One of the unfortunate aspects of long cycling rides is the early starts. I drove Kathy to work at 11pm, got home and finished packing my things. I had only 3.5 hours to sleep before driving up to Seattle for a 5am start in the dark. If I’m going to be out all day, would a good night sleep be so difficult? Anyway, here’s the start photo – amazed yet again by how many dedicated SIR riders there are in the wee hours!
I was feeling great early in the ride, and was fortunate to stay with the lead pack for such a long time. I think the racing crowd had mostly done the pre-ride the week before, and this remaining group worked well together to keep the pace civil while covering miles fast. Right as we hit 6 hours into the ride, we crossed the 100 mile mark. This would be my first ever 6 hour century!
Seen here is Adam, Theo, & Are Tee who I’ve now been on at least a few rides with. They are a great bunch of randos that make the camaraderie aspect of cycling so good. With every ride there are new people to meet as well, and many miles to cover with plenty of time to chat with a lot of them. It’s great to share tips, talk about upcoming rides, and know that I’ll recognize and ride with several of these guys again on the Cascade 1200.
My pictures ended here, but Theo captured many more here. We had reached the border of Canada in great time, and turned back to retrace our route a small amount. It was apparent at that point that we must have been lucky with a tailwind, as it was now a headwind. The route leads us to a volunteer’s house where they had food and drinks waiting for us. Our pack had split in a few places, but the controle was packed with starving randos. I made a quick baselayer change and tried to stretch my aching knee that was starting to twinge at 150 miles in.
Our group mostly stayed together, until some guys with more endurance powered ahead. Shortly after, I had a flat tire and more people continued on except the three others I had stuck with all day. I was very thankful for their company, since I would have seen many solo miles ahead otherwise! We caught a few more people again at the grocery store controle, and added Theo and another to our group again for the remainder of the day.
We finished in organizers’ hotel room, with the beds covered in pizzas and soda. I wolfed down a lot of pizza and soon saw my sugar skyrocket due to activity ending, and food kicking in. With about 17 hours of the day spent cycling, it was a tough but rewarding ride and is now my longest single day ride at 250 miles!
Strava data for the 400k Race to the Border