Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mid Summer fun with the Mangs

The middle of summer, August, is a series of opportunities for cyclists to get out there and strut their stuff.  After RAMROD, every other ride after the end of July is all out fun.  The team took every weekend as an opportunity to do just that.

Starting off at the University Village Starbucks
R.S.B.P. (Ride from Seattle to Bellingham and Pasundo).
This is a new tradition that the Mangs are starting the first week of August.  Several Mangs have done the official Cascade ride, the RSVP (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party), several times and were looking for ways to save money.  So it was suggested that we ride from University Village to Bellingham for 100 miles and have our wives pick us up there.  Fortunately, a couple of our Alings chose to provide support instead.  Some Alings drove straight to Bellingham to pickup their spouses.  Some of us extended our hangout fun into the Amtrak rails - commuting from Bellingham back to Seattle on the same day.  
Our support crew - we couldn't get this done without them!
On a cloudy and cool day, the first part of the ride was all fun as we made our way to Snohomish and made our first stop at the Bakery.  From there, the Centennial trail provided ample opportunities to do our usual pacelining and at some point, someone started picking up speed.  The ride towards Arlington was averaging 23 - 26 mph and those who weren't paying attention quickly got dropped. Our support crew happily met us and fed us at the Arlington rest stop.  
Climbing followed afterwards and the team was split into several groups working together.  A flat forced a regroup at the intersection of Lake Cavanaugh Road just before heading into Mount Vernon.  That
Here's the group, posing at the end of the ride at Fairhaven
Park in Bellingham, 103 miles from the start
descent provided multiple opportunities to speed down the hills as Mang after Mang kept attacking - downhill - forcing each of us to top speeds of 40+!  25 miles from Bellingham, at the Walmart parking lot in Mt Vernon, we stopped to have a delicious lunch of chicken adobo and rice.
From there, it was just a relaxed ride towards Chuckanut drive - except for the fact that after the picture taking, everyone pretty much went on their own attack pace to the finish line.  We were all done before 3 and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in the Fairhaven neighborhood.  A few drinks at a local brewery while waiting for the commuters to get on the trains and we were done for another fun day.

R.S.V.P. (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party)
Our RSVP regulars at the
Party portion of the RSVP
Some Mangs routinely sign up for every major Cascade ride and so the same was true for this year.  The regulars - Ferdie, Rudy and Roland (joined by Blake), once again lit up the roads with some of our Trangko friends on the same roads as the last weekend's ride plus the second 100 mile trip from Bellingham to Vancouver.  Partying at West Coast Plaza in downtown Vancouver quickly followed.  Congrats to all of them on another double century in their pockets!

Ride up to Artist Point, Mount Baker
Another developing Mang tradition is the ride from Maple Falls to Artist Point - an up and down ride, 31 miles per trip with 26 of those miles being a slow steady climb up to 5,000 feet above sea level.  Artist Point is at the end of
Highway 542 with gorgeous views and spectacular hiking trails at the top.
The town of Glacier, 7 miles from the starting line, is the
official start of the climbing efforts for this ride
Eight Mangs took up the challenge this year and were met with perfect climbing weather - not too hot, not too cold. Aling Arlene and Emily provided support. They were able to do some minor hiking and were able to take some majestic pictures.  But by the time the Mangs got to the top, the clouds had swept in, not just blocking the views, but dropping temperatures to uncomfortable levels.  We had a quick lunch at the viewpoint parking lot and and snapped pictures on some snow caps. The 3 mile ride down the rocky part of the mountain was truly memorable as every single one of us froze our butts off in the cold temperatures for those few minutes of descending and navigating zigzag-cliff-on-the-side roads.  For 23 miles of descent into forest covered roads, we all carefully navigated our way down the mountain and then worked together in a 6 person paceline for the last 10 miles of rollers back to the start.  Once again, another memorable ride for the Mangs and the last training ride for our Whistler trip in September.

Then there are the training rides, the hiking trips, the parties and all manner of get togethers for Mangs and Alings, making the most of the good weather we've been having this summer.  If you didn't play outside this month, then you missed out.  September's supposed to be spectacular, too!