Posted by: angrybeesound | June 14, 2009

Accordions and Metronomes

The week up to Flying Wheels Summer Century I was debating doing it. Ive dont the ride every year for four years. I cant think of anything besides birthdays and Christmas I’ve done four years in a row. The debate was between Flying Wheels and doing the RAMROD training series ride. RAMROD training series is something I’ve been doing through Cascade Bike Club. It is devolopmental series of rides that started off with ~50 mile ride and is progress of working up to 120 or so, all in aims of preparing the riders for a successful RAMROD ride. Theyre great rides, but untimately Flying Wheels won out.

I meet Keith (hes famous) at the start line at 8 on what is officially my first day of summer vacation.


Both decked out in our gear. we rolled out at 8 am sharp.

The layout of Flying wheels is full of typical notherwest climbing for the first 25. There 3 climbs, short and steep, and then rollers and flats for 55 miles, one last hill, the worst of the day, then 10 miles along the lake  for a route that looks like this

and an elevation profile that looks like this


yes virginia, you can climb 4,500 feet and never get above 525 feet above sea-level

The first couple of miles are flat along a pretty buys road  and being the largest century in the state of Washington, there are also 25 and 60 mile ride options, there are plenty of people out on the rode. For the first few miles everyone is on the same route.

Everyone on a bike is a friend, but some of my friends really need to ride on the shoulder if they’re going 15 mph on the flats. The ride comes to a damn stand still as we assault the first hill, and I think the steepest, Inglewood. Out of the gate there is 100 yards of 10-12%, I am quickly in my granny 39-28 but still passing people, some people are walking. People popping off their bikes on the climb always reminds me of jack in the boxes.

My heart rate is getting up there, but nothing serious, soon enough it is over. There are some flats to a light where everyone regroups, then a good downhill down 228th a short section on highway 202 then another steep climb, Ames Lake. Keith lives on Ames Lake, so I know this hill, the pothole out of the corner, where the road has moss on the side, the turns. It is steep for the first 1/4 mile, but then it levels off and if you notice this you can dig and make some good speed up it, if you still think youre climbing at the same pace you can plod along at 8 mph. I hook on a good wheel up the hill, a serious cyclist. She’s little and light, she has finesse where I have to rely on power. It is a mutually beneficial agreement as she tucks into my draft on the descent, it is a solid 35+ for a couple of miles. Some skinny bastard I ride with calls me a bus.

We get spit out into the lower reaches of the Snoqualmie River Valley. There is a rest stop, I had gone out with empty bottles like a retard and needed some liquids. We work our way onto 203. I hook up with Mike (?) who says hello by calling me fat, or rather he said, “GO FATTY” I talk him up for a few miles, we get buzzed by a ‘get off the rud ya moran’ car and take a sharp turn up to Cherry Valley road. I leave Mike at this point and climb alone, everyone climbs alone.

Soon enough, after the climb flattens out into roller, I encounter the Eastgate cycle club. Theyre fast so I jump on their wheels. They’re also accordions. They surge and brake, bunching up and spreading out. They’re dangerous group riders, but they’re fast. Someone peels off the front done taking their pull and fades back. I give the rider a slot in front of me letting me know that his last teammate wheels is his. I do not want to get into their line. I am sure this was seen as a ‘I want to benefit from the group but I don’t want to put into the work’ move but it was really a ‘I want to keep you all where I can see you move.’ Moments later a bottle gets ejected from a cage, or dropped, somewhere near the front and all kinds of shit breaks loose. People are locking up their brakes, skidding and swerving. I’d like to thank Fatcyclist and Ibis cycles for my wonderful set of 7900 dura ace brakes, I was able to slow and avoid the confusion. The scary thing is that during the entire episode and the entire time I rode with the Eastgate folks that nothing was called out, no obstacles were pointed out. We hit Duval, cross the river and come to the second rest stop. I see a way out.

Aric and Gary, man I see these guys everywhere. Tour De Blast, HPC, 7 Hills of Kirkland, Crater Lake century, they turn up in their Cycle U gear everywhere. These guys embody the PRO riding that Belgium Knee Warmers talks about.  From their kit and their gear to their group etiquette to behavior these guys are serious. I say hey and we head out. A group of 3 is much more my style than a group of 15. I’ve ridden with Aric more than Gary, but Gary is riding like he’s on a mission today, indeed he is, he is participating in the Etape du Tour in July.


Gary is a metronome, steady and smooth. You can get power quickly, just take a winter sit on the trainer a few days a week. Smooth takes time. And at 59 he is a model of where I’d like to be as a cyclist as I get older. Oh Gary, sorry about pointing out how you’re older than my parents.

With Gary pulling and either Aric or me in the two slot we go miles, always a doable pace. The effort level stays about the same. We slow through Snohomish, in years past Keith and I would stop for pie here, not this year. =(

On the way to Monroe, up Lords Hill, as we roll past Lords Stables on Lords Road (I’m not kidding) The Eastlake group catches up. They pass us and promptly slow, sitting in front of us doing their sthitch. Gary looks over his shoulder the way everyone does when they’re going to go, I smile, I think Aric says ‘yeah.’ Gary bursts around them, seriously upping his work. The Eastlake kids cant let us go, its not in their nature; but now were working so they don’t overtake us again.

Carnage on the roadway. Sadly, not everyone has a good day, over the course of the day I see 3 people with medical personal attending to them. One had a guy laying in a ditch, a sherif standing over him, he was limp and his head was lolling side to side. One of the others was on a total flat spot with no traffic (by aldera baseball field) there was a team surrounding the rider. The third was on some downhill rollers, with like minded jerseys around the person on the gurney

SDC10204fatty leads the way.

Midway stop in Monroe, bottles and some food. Keith is coming in as were going out. He quickly grabs some food.  Were not in a big paceline but we pick up a few riders, I do a little pulling but gary must like the look of the road with no one in front of him we eat up miles. Keith drops off with some cramping in his foot, we loose Aric somewhere along the line. At the base of the last hill my legs are feeling ok, it is 80 miles in and I know that, but I’m not done yet. Gary out paces me, over the little over a mile he grabs ~20 yards on me. We roll into the mile 82 rest stop, are there a while, find Aric and Keith.

The final 10 miles has gary laying on the hurt. Its rolling and everytime I looked down at the computer its between 24-31, Gary is trying to rip off my legs.

I ended up with a 19.4 average speed for the ride, 4:56 ride time for 96.13 miles with 4,975 feet of climbing. One thing I am trying to work on this year is stopped time while still eating enough, I did alright on the eating and was only stopped 12% of the time. This was one of my first rides with a garmin hr monitor, I saw an average of 158 and a high of 185, I never got piqued even on icky hill.

I meet jerry after the ride. I meet jerry last year on 7 hills, last year we were both in pink fatcyclist jerseys. this year were sporting black.


Thanks for reading, i think i do these ride write ups as much for me as for anyone who might be reading.

Tour de blast AND LIVEstrong are next week, going to try to make it a 300 mile week.

found some pics from years past




couldnt find 08, ill look on keiths machine


  1. Well done! I’m sure you will kick butt on the Livestrong Challenge.

    I hope to see you there. I’ll be the guy in the Fat Cyclist jersey :).

  2. Nice write up. I should have done this ride – maybe next year.

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