14JUNE2008 Flying Wheels Century, 6hrs 50minutes. My first flats!
The day was scheduled to be sunny, so I was quite content to show up at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA with overcast skies. One is able to keep pace without overheating when it is not too hot outside. Most of the way on this trip, I actually wore a light cycling jacket, because it was cold and windy. There must have been at least 3000 people doing the Flying Wheels, and the road was dense with people wherever one rode. That was helpful in offering a secondary assurance that I was on the correct path. I was also able to pace behind many riders, getting the so-called advantage of pace lining. This century was sold as very hilly (3840 feet total elevation gain – 1170 meters), three main hills, including Ingallwood Hill Rd, Stillwater Rd, and then Issaquah Falls City Rd. at the very end. The first two hills occurred close to the start of the ride, and the very first hill was a total killer. Somehow, the other two did not seem too bad. About 30 some miles into the ride, my back tire went flat. Fortunately, it was close to a rest station, and I carried a spare tube, so simply swapped out tubes, checking the tire quite carefully for shards of glass possibly embedded in the rubber. Well, I didn’t check well enough, and so ended up with another flat about 2 miles later. Now, I had to patch one of the tubes and was able to locate the shard of glass that I missed previously. At least now I know that I could handle tire emergencies on the road. Continuing on, the route went through farmland, followed several rivers and a large lake, and hit several villages en-route. All in all, a delightful Century. I was not too sore at the end of it, and so am feeling more comfortable about the prospects of the STP, coming up in one month.
One of the FWC rest stops
Typical weather at the end of the ride.