Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring is here! Team Mang is riding!

March started out with rides in the cold usually ending
in rain - fenders necessary!
Last year's March rides were few and far between - mostly due to the weather and maybe because people thought the STP was too far away to be concerned with.  This year has been different.  As many of the team members continued to ride through winter and in the rain, a sizeable portion of the team is now fit and fast and ready to go "bakbakan"...on every ride!  In spite of the bad weather, every single weekend of March  featured a ride where speeds reached 24 to 25 mph on the flats as jackrabbits "raced" each other on different stretches of the road - even going up hills.  And when they weren't racing, they were pacing at around the same speed.
STP Training Series started with a
wet ride to Black Diamond

As Spring rolls around, more Mangs and Alings are starting their riding to train for July and the range of paces has been varied.  So we've come up with an STP Training Series for those who are training to do the 1-day STP and can't (or don't have to) keep up with the jackrabbits.  The goal is to build up the miles from 50 to 100 - culminating in a yet to be determined 150 mile Team Mang (Walang) Fondo at the end of June. It won't be uncommon to see 2 rides happening on a particular Saturday - one for the STP Training Series and another one for those wanting to do more aggressive, speedier paced rides.

Some of the guys enjoying the food at Boni's suprise
birthday lunch in the middle of the Renton to Enuclaw
ride. Thanks, Virna, for feeding us!
The ride in the middle of March was unique in that it featured a combined ride with a surprise lunch break along the route in Mang Boni's house to celebrate his birthday.  The team did the normal Renton to Enumclaw route where the plan was to do a detour on the way back and suprise the team with the food.  Aling Virna prepared a sumptuous meal for the team. Because of the varied paces, the team got separated, some made wrong turns, others added iles on the wrong route and when they finally arrived in Covington on the way back to Renton, they were 2 hours behind and about 15 miles over!  It turned out to be a fun ride, in spite of the effort and the long train - the meal, just a few miles from the finish helped, of course, plus the good company.

Mangers and Aling enjoying the road from Snohomish
Another special ride was done the week after. Veronica and Edgar led a ride that started from Bothell, snaked its way to Snohomish and came back through Monroe, Woodinville and Redmond - along some of the same roads as Flying Wheels. Most everyone participated in the ride and the jackrabbits had their fill of "bakbakan" even as the STP trainers struggled to keep up.  But with some patience (and maybe because of the unfamiliarity with the route), everyone stayed and mostly finished together.  Weather was perfect this time around - cold but not enough to freeze us (unlike the other March rides where it was either freezing to the bone or we were so wet our gloves would squeeze out water when we held our water bottles).
It turns out March broke all time records for rainfall in the Seattle area.  It's been a bit difficult for some to train with all this liquid pouring from skies but we're still determined to get ourselves in shape in time for July.  Some of us have been training to do a 92 mile ride in California in April (the Sea Otter Classic - watch out for a report on that soon).  Some have had to train in the middle of the week or any time when the weather clears.  Hopefully, April bring us better weather for training.