Monday, September 28, 2015

Ending the Season with a Classic Ride

Mangs (and Aling) and their friends getting ready to board the Edmonds ferry for the Kitsap Classic
The last weekend of September heralded the official end of the 2015 cycling season as Team Mang joined several members of the cycling community in Cascade Bicycle Club's annual Kitsap Color Classic - a 56 mile romp around the Kitsap peninsula featuring rolling hills, a couple of climbs and gorgeous scenery.  Kicking off with a ferry ride from Edmonds also added to the experience as the official start of the ride was actually a couple of miles of gentle climbing from the Kingston terminal.
Here's the gang taking a break at the Poulsbo stop
Since the earliest ferry was at 8:50, we didn't really have a choice but to roll out from the start line way past 9AM.  Nevertheless, with temps hovering just around 60, it was a cool ride in spite of the sunny and clear skies.  Those downhill runs in the shade reminded us that summer was over and this was simply a nice sunny Fall day.

We all stayed within a few miles of each other - reaching Hansville and taking pictures of the bay just chillaxing and staying in at least two groups. The stairclimb rollers after that caused us to get fragmented and by the time we reached those long climbs, the orange train had become really long.  Some regrouped to ride together on the way to Port Gamble.  Still, we were well within a half hour of each other by the time we got there.  From that quaint town, the ride to Poulsbo gave us the opportunity to basically take the road as one big group - intimidating, if you didn't know us - all those orange and black shirts riding the road.   Fortunately, we've been around the cycling circuit so much that random folks, even in cars, recognize us, cheer us on and give us compliments about our good riding habits (calling out 'on your left', calling out obstacles, drafting, etc).  It's a good feeling when your team gives out positive vibes to the community.
More clowning around on board the Edmonds-Kingston ferry

After the Poulsbo break, it was all pedal to the metal as everyone pretty much gave it their all through the last remaining hills to get to the terminal quickly.  Thankfully, nobody missed it, and everyone finished the course in a decent amount of time. It was just such a good feeling to see friends who came out and enjoyed the day and the company - some of whom we hadn't seen in a while.  Here's a video summary of how everything went down.

It may have been the official end of the cycling season for the greater community as Fall officially makes itself unmistakable but Team Mang continues to ride on the weekends, sometimes on the road, sometimes on the mountain trails and sometimes on hiking boots.  We've even got riders in the bowling alley (watch for a report on that soon).  Next year will bring a host of new challenges, opportunities for memories and good times with friends.  Some will take a break to focus on other things in life (as they did this year), others will want to become stronger, while others will just continue to enjoy the company.  Regardless of each others' goals, it will be something to look forward to.  Some of us are already planning for summer 2016!

Have a great off season everyone!