Sunday, June 2, 2013

The hills are Gig Harbor

At the start line braving the rain
Sixty four miles isn't usually a problem for cycling weekend warriors like Team Mangers but this year's Peninsula Metric Century ride around Gig Harbor proved to be a little challenging.  Not that it wasn't fun, of course.  Any ride that Mangers do is always memorable with the usual mix of jokes, laughter, encouragement and!

The day started out with doubts as the weather forecast proved to be inaccurate.  Morning clouds that were supposed to morph into sun turned out to be rain, on and off.  The team almost canceled but there was enough excitement to pursue the ride - plus, the fact that some of us had just paid the fee!  To make matters worse, a couple of riders forgot their cycling shoes and had to improvise.  Thanks to Maria for driving Joe's shoes up to the start line and to Old Town Bicycles in Gig Harbor for supplying pedals and straps to Raf (for free).
Mang Raf riding along the beach views near Southworth

Posing at a dock in Port Orchard
The peninsula ride is scenic - long roads that curve through small towns and beaches of Southworth, Manchester and Port Orchard provided lots of picture taking opportunity - something Mangers love to do.  It had its share of rolling hills and long steady climbs. The course is well marked, although some of us missed a quick right turn and skipped a few of the last miles.  Rarely did we go on busy roads as most of the course was on interior country roads.

Rain and cold eventually gave way to sunshine and even though the sun was out, temperatures stayed in the mid 60's, perfect for climbing (not too hot, not too cold).  We had a slight mishap when Harry's chain skipped the largest cog, causing him to lose balance on a big climb. He got a little bruised but thankfully, no serious injury.  From then on, the shifting on his bike wasn't quite as good - about 15 miles from the finish but he made it back, still managing to climb the last few hills.

Joe had to abandon early on because this was his first attempt at a major ride and cramps took the best of him.  But he had his own little adventure in the island on his own - while lost trying to make shortcuts, he got treated to a party by a nearby church.

It was great riding with Eric again - work and school schedules had made it impossible for him to ride on Saturdays.  Everyone made it back to the start line by 3PM and half an hour later, the Mangers were concluding their day at Applebee's.  As usual, lots of fun bicycling with friends!
Concluding the ride at Applebees