Monday, August 31, 2015

Another busy August for Mangs and Alings

So the team's been busy this month.  A couple of weeks after summer's biggest rides, Mangs, and more importantly, their female counterparts, the Alings, never let their saddles rest.  Here's what went down in August:

Thanks to Aling Archelle for the collage - pics of Alings over
over several weekends of riding since late July

Alings got busy training for their signature ride, Cycle the Wave, scheduled for Sunday, September 20.  What started out as an activity for just the avid female cycling enthusiasts of Team Mang has quickly gained interest among the fairer crowd this year and a bigger more diverse team has been on their saddle every weekend since after the STP. And this time, they're not just riding.  They actually raised funds for the cause (WAVE stands for Women Against  Violence Everywhere). Several Mangs have been providing support to the Alings - an encouraging sight in this family friendly group.  At the very least, the Alings' spouses or partners recognize the importance that their better halves play in their favorite hobby.  This team has always been about positive reinforcement anyway.  Watch for a full report next month on how they did at the Cycle the
Veronica met her goals
with the help of the team
Wave ride where most, including beginners, will attempt the 30 mile route.  But some are talking about doing the 37 and even the 42 mile route! More power to all of them!

Even when they're not with the group, the spirit of Team Mang and Team Aling remain with its core members - witness one Aling Veronica.  In spite of her seeming absence from the major rides and training this year, she continues to represent the team in all things good. At this year's Obliteride benefiting the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, we had a 1 person team since many of us could not participate.  So we just helped out with her fund raising efforts.  It's a cause, after all, that affects all of us.  Thanks for representing, Aling V, and thanks for doing this truly meaningful ride!

Mangs with H2Velo friends at the finish line in Vancouver, BC
Another August and another trip to Vancouver, BC, goes down in Mang history. A rainy Friday in the middle of August didn't stop a whole bunch of Mangs from taking the road on their 108 mile journey to Bellingham as part of Cascade Bicycle Club's RSVP (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party) first leg.  With all the excitement, the group skipped the traditional Royal Star Buffet stop at Mount Vernon and hurriedly made their way to the ride's halfway point.    The second half of the ride provided an additional 17 miles to the normal course due to construction at the border crossing, forcing the ride route through a different international entry point and adding a few more hills to the ride.  Mangs were up to the challenge, though, and working together, all finished and partied at Coast Plaza Hotel at a decent time.
Hanging out at the Night Market
after a day of cycling
In the meantime, another group of Mangs hooked up with a few guys from LAFBL to do just a Vancouver, BC ride on the same Saturday. This was more of a touring jaunt where the goal was simply to have fun and get some miles in.  You can ask the participants about the fun details of that ride - specially that trip to a beach that shall remain unnamed. Both groups came together for celebration at the Night Market in Richmond that evening.  What's a ride without the food afterwards, right?

At Artist Point with nary a view in sight due to forest fire
smoke covering much of Mount Baker
The next weekend brought about another epic ride - this time from Maple Falls, WA to Artist Point, the end of Highway 542 at the highest paved area of Mount Baker, 5,100 feet above sea level.  In spite of the 2 hour drive to the starting point, riders had a blast pedaling 31 miles up the mountain.  It would have been a perfect ride had it not been for the smoke from the Central Washington forest fires which enveloped the mountain specially at the higher elevations, taking away some of the views.  But as with all our rides, it's the company and the journey that counts and all agreed that hanging out with each other was what made the trip worthwhile (click to watch a video).  That downhill run was one of a kind, too.

Our two faithful racers at the raceway were joined by a few
others during the course of the season
August also brought about the conclusion of the year's Budu Racing series at Pacific Raceways in Auburn where at least 6 Mangs participated over the course of the season.  One of them, Alex, actually won something on one of those fateful Tuesday nights.  Some of the faster guys joined in on the series this month just to try it out.  Their only goal was not to get dropped by the peloton - some achieved it, some...well, let's just say the pictures were great!  Several Mangs and Alings hung out at
A few more Mangs joined in later
in the season
the track every week to cheer them on. Next year, some Mangs are planning to participate early on in the season, so they can improve their racing skills as the series progresses from Spring through Summer.     

The month concluded with the annual camp at Deception Pass with a scheduled ride. This year's Saturday ride around Whidbey
A near miss - a car was actually parked there just before
we left for the hike.
Island was canceled due to the strong windstorm that kicked in.  Mangs and Alings woke up to the sound of rangers evacuating the camp site because of the danger of falling trees and limbs.  Already a tree had fallen down, barely missing a car and a tent.  The team and their families were barely able to sneak in a short hike up to Goose Rock in the midst of the windstorm before they all had to pack up and leave.  One of our cars was actually damaged (albeit very minor) by thick tree limbs falling.  So the camp was cut short but we managed to squeeze the most fun that we could out of the place and out of each other (just watch the video).
Having fun with the wind at the hike atop Deception Pass

Whew - summer just blew past us and the rains seemingly arrived right on schedule.  But September promises a few more sunny days and every weekend of this coming month still has a major ride or adventure for the Mangs.  So stay tuned for what's going to happen at the Whistler Gran Fondo, Cycle the Wave, Honolulu Century (yes, we've got someone in Hawaii) and the Kitsap Classic.