SIR hosted its annual spring training camp for cyclists in East Wenatchee last weekend. It's called Northwest Crank and every year I've had a great time getting in some dry and warmer weather riding. This year it was desperately needed. My body is extremely low on both fitness and sun exposure (yes, I mean pale and flabby - nice picture huh?). Not much less than a full freckle merge will cure the pale part but 3 good days of riding helped to start the flab banishment program.
Our intention was to hit the road very early Thursday to arrive in time for the first ride of the event. Robin's been working loads of overtime though and was beat when he got home Wednesday night with nothing packed so we took it easy and ended up getting there about 3pm. The riders coming in were looking a little beat up by the strong winds so we hopped on our bikes to go see if our buddy Mark was out there battling it and might be happy for a little help the last few miles. We found him in good shape and not needing help but we enjoyed chatting him back to the hotel anyway. Friday brought the lovely Stemilt climbs.
The Adventure Ride crew: l to r: Wayne Methner, Mel Kydd, Paul Carolan (my little bro), Jan Acuff, Jim Rupert, Eric Anderson, Robin, Bob Brudvik, Mark Thomas
The crew heading up Badger Mountain
Saturday we pulled out the tandem for the adventure ride (some unpaved and very steep roads) up Rock Island Grade and topping out on Badger Mountain. We had a nice group for this ride and enjoyed suffering together. Saturday night was the banquet and White Elephant gift exchange. Chris Ragsdale had crafted a poster of Mark Thomas riding a small bike with training wheels complete with a daisy border. I managed to nab it and Robin and I spent the rest of the evening watching Mark try not to cry over the loss of the poster. Next day I made him sign it and then presented it to him under the promise that it had to be displayed somewhere. Sunday Robin led a rebellion by chosing NONE of the advertised rides and getting all but about 3 of the riders to defect with him. We had a great pace line up the west side of the Columbia before hitting the Navarre Coulee climb up to Lake Chelan where Pete Rankin was waiting with snacks and drinks. Coming back down over the rollers was a scream with a double pace line. I opted not to ride on Monday planning to provide support and rest my sore legs. Now hopefully we'll get some of that sun over on this side of the Cascades.