Saturday, August 18, 2012

2012 August 17 - RSVP

Team Mang members at the finish line party in Vancouver, BC
On two of the hottest days of this year's summer, with temperatures at a high of 95, Team Mang suited up and rode the 186 mile trek from Seattle, WA to Vancouver, BC.  The first day consisted of 106 miles from the University of Washington parking lot to their hotel in Bellingham, WA. The team rolled out at around 7:15 AM. There were a few occasions during the ride when riders had slowdowns due to the number of hills on the route (it was a lot more than STP, to be sure).  There were only 2 official stops - one in Machias, around mile 36 and another one somewhere in Skagit, around mile 75.  Water stops dotted the course.  The ride was casual, with a few bursts of speed as Team Mang did their best to be efficient, drafting each other.  The team was pretty much on track and together until the sun started beating up on everyone around close to noon.
One of the memorable experiences was a flat tire somewhere before Mount Vernon. The team had to take shade under a tree right beside a cow and her calf. Only a few feet away, separated by nothing but 3 barbed wires, the team was relaxing under the tree, when the cow's bull started coming up alongside with a threatening stare...stomping his feet and breathing heavily out of his nose.  And we just realized...we're all wearing bright orange! Got out of that situation in a hurry! Team time trial skills were tested on the the flat and gusty roads just before hitting the Chuckanut Road hill. That route provided vast opportunities for touristy picture taking and relaxed rolling terrain.  The team arrived safely in Bellingham between 2:00 and 2:30 in the afternoon.  That evening, they celebrated with Team Trangko at Soy House restaurant.
Team Mangs pose at the border crossing
Saturday was another day to ride the remaining 80+ miles to Vancouver, BC.  There were a lot of memorable experiences as the riders crossed the Us-Canada border and pedaled their way from the suburbs into the city.  Pictures galore, of course.  There were still a few challenging hills along the way but all in all, the group took it easy and cruised into the finish line at Coast Plaza hotel around 2:30 PM.  Celebrations were aplenty that evening as the team had dinner at Shabusen restaurant. That lasted well into the next day when a few of the members continued to tour Vancouver and check out Grouse Mountain.  Finale for the trip was dinner at Pinpin Filipino Restaurant in Vancouver. Lots of calories burned on the ride might have actually been gained back!  Check out our video summary.