Sunday, August 24, 2014

Let's Party all the way to Vancouver, BC!

A few miles from the finish line in Vancouver, BC, Team Mang
just had to stop and take pictures!
Team Mang participates annually in the Ride from Seattle to Vancouver (RSVP - where P stands for Party). This year was no different with no less than 18 riders representing.  Although 188 miles isn't exactly a walk in the park, the fact that this two day, no-pressure ride comes after a 1-day STP and RAMROD makes it feel like a relaxed, take-it-easy kind of ride.
We started out from University of Washington at 7AM on Friday, August 15.  It was an unexpectedly wet ride all the way to Snohomish.  By that time, the group had split into two due to "bathroom" issues.  The lead group proceeded quickly to Arlington and by the time they reached Mount Vernon, they had dropped a few more.  Still, that second group worked together to get to mile 75 in a reasonable amount of time.  The trailing group made their way through the course in a relaxed, but brisk pace, literally singing along the course, even as they passed many riders cruising along at 21mph. 
The buffet detour, 30 miles from
Day 1's finish..was well worth it!
We all regrouped at the Mt. Vernon rest stop by noon.  Half of the group decided they wanted to solider on to Bellingham to end the day early while the other half decided to take a "buffet" detour in the downtown area - $7.99 for an AYCE sumptuous meal was hard to beat, plus it was tradition.  It was hard to continue the ride after that meal...but still, that group managed to cruise on down to Bellingham and arrive by 4:30 (2 hours after the first group) - still singing and head bobbing along the way. 
At the border, just before we were shooed by an angry
border guard
After a nice dinner at Tokyo House and some ice cream at Fred Meyer, we finished the evening with a good night's sleep.  A few hours later, we were on our way to Vancouver, BC on day 2.  We had decided to all stay together so we can finish as a team.  We started out exiting Bellingham at a decent pace until Mang Roland started huffing through at 23 mph - and we all followed.  We still stuck together but as we got closer to Lynden we decided to take the pace down a bit so as not to tire all of us out.  What was the hurry anyway? At the border, it was the shortest crossing ever - less than 5 minutes and we were all through.  That's when we ran into the border crossing guard who probably was having a very bad day (she was not nice at all).
At the Golden Ears Bridge
clowning around
A few miles into British Columbia and we were presented with "the Wall", a short 20% climb that separated all of us.  That wasn't a problem because the first BC rest stop was just a couple of miles away.  We regrouped and from then on, all worked together to stay together, cross the Golden Ears Bridge together and just have fun, cruising together at anywhere from 19 - 21 mph.  We did get hit with a few rain showers, which is why we all still finished with wet shoes, muddy clothing, faces with splatter and grossed out bikes.
At the city limits
A few miles from the finish line, we were going through a modified route from last year and we just had to stop to take pictures of the nice views and surroundings - literally 2 miles from the finish.  Being the silly folks that we are, we managed to get lost and bring a few other RSVP riders with us.  But we eventually found our way back.  We got to the finish line party by 2:30, still at a better time than last year's.  And from then on, it was just party, party, party (see what Team Mang did on the video).  Festivities continued until the evening when we all met up at the Richmond Night Market.  Way to go, Team! Its always a fun time when doing a ride with the Mangs and Alings!
Congratulations on another RSVP fun ride, Team Mang and Team Aling!

Here's a video summary: