Saturday, January 26, 2008

SiR Winter Training Series #3: Camano Island Loop

The Seattle Intl Randonneur group held another of their Winter Training Series rides today, way up in Stanwood, Washington. It was a loop around Camano Island (not Camino Island), so we were excited to take in some new scenery.

Here's a map of the route:

It was great - 80-something kilometers (50-something miles) of rolling hills. It was picturesque: gray skies, but no precipitation, open fields, views of the Puget Sound. I didn't bring a camera, so you'll just have to bear with me on this.. The winds were decently strong, and the temp was supposedly 40 or so, but there was ice all over the place, on the side of the road. Camano Island is kind of like the Mercer Island Loop, except the trees are taller, the hills are bigger, and the houses are fewer and further between.

The only thing was that we started 30 minutes after the peloton, which always rolls out at 9:00 AM sharp. I thought we'd be able to catch up to them, but we only caught one other rider, who started when we drove up. We leap-frogged him a few times and eventually passed him shortly after the southern-most point. We saw two other randonneurs coming up the steep hill out of the beach park, and we never saw them again. I think the are two riders that have already done the 1,200 km/750 mile PBP, so this was more like a walk in the park for them. We never saw them again.

There's one insane downhill, after the State Park, I'm sure we hit 45+ mph on it. But then there was an almost equally large climb, it was like a gigantic half-pipe. The legs felt good, and although I didn't have an odometer on the bike today, Dennis said we were at 20 mph on the flats, although I'm sure the average came out to more like 14 or 15 mph, it was that hilly!

You can see the rolling hills in this elevation profile:

Distance: 81 km
Gain: 988 m
Start time: 9:30 AM
End time: 1:30 PM

Total Distance this year: 594 km

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