Saturday, April 3, 2010

It's All About the Coffee Shop

My theme for 2010's cycling club rides is, in a word, coffee. Specifically, coffee shops. A few riders are on to me. They've noticed my trend. That's alright by me. You have to have a goal for the end of the ride. A reward. Something to look forward to. So, this year, it's all about the coffee shop.

Today's ride was actually led by Kristin. Although, I helped her determine the route and I selected the coffee shop. But, I made sure she was out in front (which isn't hard to do as she likes to ride in front... hard-core roadie that she is.) We left Eastside Foursquare Church and headed on the Samammish River Trail into Woodinville past the wineries and then continued south on Rt. 202 to English Hill. The nice climb up and over English Hill warmed us up on this unseasonably cold Spring day. The temperature never climbed above 45 degrees today.

Once over English Hill, we continued west on NE 133rd St. and turned north on 232nd Ave NE. This route is a familiar one we use to get to Duvall. It avoids some of the higher traffic roads and is a more secluded route with stately homes mixed in with older ramblers on heavily treed lots and a road with plenty of rollers. The route Ts with NE Old Woodinville Duvall Rd. which is a nice decent into the Snoqualmie River Valley.

We rode into Duvall and stopped at a corner where we encountered a dozen or more members of the ByrneInvent Cycling Team. They were relaxing on their bikes waiting on a couple other riders. They took off about the same time we did. I knew it would be wiser to follow them rather than try to leave before them and watch 18 cyclists pass me in the first half mile. We began our loop around Cherry Valley Rd. and at the bottom of the first hill, I was surprised to see the ByrneInvent team stopped on the shoulder. Flat. One team member had flatted and now everyone had pulled aside to wait on him. I resisted the temptation to shout out to them something like, "Hey guys, a little early for another rest stop, huh?" I knew I wouldn't be able to outrun any of them if they gave chase to beat on me...

Our loop around Cherry Valley included a regroup stop at Valley Foursquare Church as they were getting ready for Easter services. This church is of interest to me because they are one of my graphic design clients. The two A-boards we passed as well as the signage outside the church were designed and printed by me. Fun to see my work while out on the road. If you're looking for a good church out in Duvall, check them out.

After our loop, we descended down Stillwater Hill and turned north on Rt. 203 back into downtown Duvall. It was at this moment that I began to really look forward to the upcoming coffee stop. I even began fantasizing about my pastry of choice. Despite making better food choices these days, I knew I wasn't going to be able to resist the urge... A P P L E F R I T T E R. I could hear it calling. I nicknamed it the Gut Bomb. And as we pulled into Tressa's Bakery, dismounted our bikes and walked into the warm and cozy café, I saw the object of my desire. One left. I'll take it. Plus a white chocolate mocha. (Adding up calories burned minus calories about to be consumed... I might just break even.) After cycling nearly 40 miles in temperatures of about the same number, we needed this warm-up. It felt good to kick back, relax, converse with friends, and enjoy the ambience. Until we all noticed the CD playing in the background was skipping. Kristin kindly informed our barista and she took care of it. Didn't need that song skipping in my head for the remaining 20 miles.

Our return route to Bothell was direct and uneventful. No it wasn't. As we climbed back up NE Woodinville Duvall Road, a woman in an SUV pulled alongside of me with her passenger window down. "Excuse me sir! One of your riders in the back has fallen over!" Fallen over? She made him sound like he was a fence post. I turned around to check on David, our recumbent rider who was in the back. When I found him, he was fully upright, but smiling sheepishly. Apparently, his rear wheel had caught the road edge and he tumbled. Nothing hurt but his pride. We pressed on, back into Woodinville and toward an old standby, Norway Hill.

Norway Hill is like the exclamation mark to many of our rides. If you just didn't get enough climbing in, tack on Norway. It's a hard, steep hill that ends a block from Eastside Foursquare. I used to resist it, but not today. I am powered by Apple Fritter. I am fueled by white mocha. I have calories to burn. See, there's a reason why it's always all about the coffee shop.

Riders: Kristin, Bob, David, Jim
Distance: 49.52
Time: 3:47:25
Average: 13.0
Max: 32.0

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