Distance: 99 miles
Elevation: + 5189 / – 5496 ft
Climbing Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult*
Our stats based on my bike computer:
Distance: 99.35 miles
Max Speed: 39 mph (not my PR)
Average Speed: 13.3 mph
Race map and elevation profile
The race start was at Magnuson Park where we met at 6am. The race was a fully catered race which started with breakfast at the start line, then deli sandwiches on Dave’s Killer bread (yum!), pie from Remlinger Farms, strawberry shortcake, and ended with chicken and salmon dinner and unlimited free beer (more on this later).
Race startAt the first rest stop another ride asked us if our matching outfits were intentional. They were. Thanks to UW crew free gear.
At the second rest stop (~30 miles in) Kim realized that she busted a spoke on her back wheel. While there was support at each stop, Kim was so overdue for a tune-up (and new brakes!) that one of the volunteers just took a pair of pliers and tucked the loose end to try to alleviate some of the noise making. This of course caused a significant wiggle in Kim's wheel and he suggested that we do the 85 miler and not do the optional 15 mile add-on. We said we would think about it.
When riding, I always get a song stuck in my head and it just loops over and over. To most, this would probably drive you nuts, but oddly enough, it doesn't really bother me, unless the song is not something I want circling in my mind for hours. About a 1/3 of the way into the ride, there was a break in the clouds as the sun attempted to come out (and it did later, turning into a beautiful day). This break in the clouds and seeing my shadow on the road beside me prompted me to think of Annie, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow. So, for the next few hours, that song played on repeat in my head.
I told the girls about this habit of mine, of which Kim particularly enjoyed and decided to give me a new song, The Motherf___g Pterodactyl. This is a comic written by a local comedian/artist who is super funny, The Oatmeal. Well, lets just say as soon as she mentioned this song, it was stuck in my head.
Within a few minutes, I was asking Ashley to provide me a new song (because you can only sing about a pterodactyl ripping you a new one so long), an easy gospel song to sing along with. For those who do not know, Ashley is an amazing singer (currently recording in a studio actually!) and whenever we hang out she (oh so nicely) obliges our repeated requests to sing something. At this time we had picked up another rider who was unaware of the private concert he was about to witness. On a back road on the way back from Snoqualmie Falls, Ashley starts belting out He's Got the Whole World In His Hands and Ain't No Mountain High Enough.
Snoqualmie Falls (61 miles)
As soon as we dropped from the falls, we climbed into Issaquah up a monster hill that has a fake descent in the middle that tricks you into believing the climb is over, but its not. During this hill, I kept alternating our names (Steph & Ash, Ash & Kim, Kim & Steph) and sang He's Got the Whole World In His Hands in my head on repeat. I think it helped.
At this point we knew the biggest climbs were behind us and we were back in familiar territory and on familiar roads.
At mile 95, Kim was leading the way (usually I lead in biking and she leads in hiking) and I was about to slingshot up a hill and as I came up on her I challenged her to the top. I won by a hair, but it was more fun to be able to still have that type of energy at 95 miles.
Overall, the race was really fun and I liked doing a race course that I haven't done before. Outside of the beer at the end I really liked it and loved experiencing it with some great friends.