Monday, April 11, 2016

2016 is here...and we've got lots to do!

It's been a while since I last made an entry in this blog - that's because the activities of the 2015's Fall and Holiday seasons took over pretty much everything we did and cycling (and writing about it) took a back seat.
But we're back.
Early this year, a small number of Mangs continued to ride consistently on the weekends - and it shows in their endurance and strength in our current rides. Some of us kept active in other ways but many took to other winter activities, pushing out our cycling training to early March, but also putting on display what makes this team so much more than just a cycling team. In many ways, we've become like lots of small families within a big family - doing movie nights, parties, picnics, and just providing friendly support for each other in many areas of life.

Some of the Mags enjoying snowboarding lessons
from Mang Cris (not in pic)
In January, Mangs and Alings played in the snow - visiting Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain on the weekends (and on "sick days"). Some individuals with prior experience stepped up and provided instruction for those of us who just hadn't figured out snowboards yet - thanks, Mang Cris! This may just become a regular annual activity as Mangs and Alings figure out other ways to have fun with each other in the winter months aside from just riding our iron horses in the cold rain.  Still haven't figured out what to call these snowboard lovers - any suggestions? Team Mang Hielo (ice)?

Fat bikes on top of Easton's snow covered hills
For those of us who still love our iron rides and wanted to get a riding fix, we couldn't let snow stop us.  We drove out to Roslyn, Washington for some fat biking. If you don't know what that is, nope, it's not mountain biking. It's riding in the snow trails on special bikes with humongous tires - and it's a lot of fun and provides a good workout! A group even drove all the way out to Winthrop just to do this.

Hop is going for Mt. Rainier!

Other activities in the winter involved those with legs, specifically, hiking as Team Mang Bundok (mountain) proceeded to rack up miles on their pedometers. On several occasions, the bundoks proceeded to hike in the snow - on snow shoes! Whatever gets your blood running, I suppose. Regardless of the temperature, Mangs and Alings have fun, even if it involves a funny way of walking while still getting a workout.  Today, one of our Mangs is sklipping cycling this year and instead focusing on training for a multi-day summer hike with REI folks up to Mount Rainier. We wish him luck - go get 'em Mang Harry!

Hot Chocolate Run particpants
And of course, there are those who don't just hike, but run - as in marathons. A few Mangs and Alings trained on weekends (one of those activities they did instead of cycling) for the Hot Chocolate run marathon.  On a cold morning in early March, some of them did 5K and others did the 15K, finishing proudly mid pack. A few Mangs are even focusing more on running this year instead of cycling...yes, we call them Team Mang Takbo (run).  More power to you folks!

Team Mang Bobowla winning the tournament!

Over the holidays, a subset of Team Mang also got themselves into a sport that involves throwing a 15 pound ball down a smooth floor to knock down 10 white objects at the end of a lane, avoiding gutters on either side. Team Mang 'Bobowla' actually came away from their efforts with prizes!  From all accounts, the team had actually been doing very well in their competitive league at the Acme Bowl in Tukwila and this just in, literally...they actually won the competition as I'm writing this! Congratulations to the players, the "fans" and everyone who supported the group during their long trek towards this championship!

Some of the Putiks, sporting their new jerseys on
a weekend ride
A new branch of Team Mang also just formally opened up (if there is such a thing as formalizing). Our mountain bike lovers - Team Mang Putik (mud) designed, ordered and just got their jerseys in early spring. They are now proudly wearing them. In fact, on the first major road ride of the year - a wet Chilly Hilly in February, none of the traditional road riders of Team Mang represented and only the Putiks rode for the team! Is it because they're used to cold and rain? Hmmm...I dunno. Our first official mountain bike ride was in March at Coupeville, Washington, where the Putiks lead even those of us who had no mountain bikes through a morning of trail riding with the Whidbey Island mountain biking community.

Whew! I'm not sure if I can keep up with all this diversification,  I'm not sure if I captured everything we did over the past 5 months since the last entry.  But it's all good - I'll catch up on the next post.  Even though cycling is what brought many of us together, friendships tie us to each other in the other areas of life.  At least now that it's Spring, everyone's starting to focus on their cycling training again to get ready for the summer rides...and there are a lot of them coming up. More on those on my next post. Here's hoping for another successful Mang/Aling year of movement!