Last Sunday my buddy Mike and I decided that upon learning that the Indie Series race wasn’t in Port Gamble but Port Angeles and the weather looked iffy we should make the drive to Leavenworth and ride Freund Canyon. Mike enjoys the race which is June 4th, while I despise it. He promised it was actually a fun ride unlike racing it. I took his word for it and the plan was in motion.
The day started with us having breakfast at the Chelan Cafe in West Seattle. Surprisingly I actually was on time this time as usually I never want to get out of bed at the hour it requires us to get a good start on the day. After a tasty and filling breakfast of omelets we hit the road. We were in a heated discussion about women and as a result we missed the exit for Rt. 97. Now if you’ve ever done this you know the next exit in which you can turn around at is 8 miles away.
After our costly mistake we got back on track and made good time to Leavenworth. Along the way we saw 5 young deer who were seamlessly oblivious to the cars speeding by. A quick stop at Safeway refilled out now empty stomachs and gave us the needed fuel for the 24 miles of riding to come.
Dressed and ready to ride we hit the trail. I started with arm warmers and they came off almost as fast as they went on. We stashed extra bottles in the grass along the road side and started our first loop or three. Mike was feeling the 50 hilly miles he did on Vashon Island the day before while I just started easy as I always do. Surprisingly the climb didn’t seem as long as I remember. We passed many riders along the way and I took not of areas I wanted to stop later and photograph.
Overall I agreed with Mike, it was more enjoyable not racing and it didn’t seem as hard. At the top of the first climb we ran into Brendan from the Recycled Cycles team who was out with a friend riding. After a quick chat we pointed our bikes downhill and were off. Just past the first stream we ran into a group added some “S” curves to “slow” things down they said. We walked our bikes through and thanked them for their efforts. The first time down the downhill my right index finger was burning from braking. It was like it wasn’t warmed up and it cramped.
We hit the bottom, switched out our bottles and Mike said he wanted to hit it hard. I said, “Just go man, just go”, but soon after he turned on the power I decided I wasn’t going to be left behind so I upped my pace and gave chase. I knew I wouldn’t catch him or make up time but I would do my best to limit my loses. I powered up the climb and felt great. At the top I had only conceded 3-4 minutes to him. We blasted down the descent once again and once again I blew the same water bar from the first lap but at least my finer wasn’t cramping.
Lap 3 was much like lap 2 but I did stop to take the pictures you see in this post. The short 10-15 second breaks helped but I did notice I was a little slower the third time up. This time I would lose closer to 5 minutes to Mike by the top. We wasted no time and blasted the downhill one last time. I was a bit too chatty for Mike and was told to “Shut the Fuck up” on the way down. Me talk to much, get out! After yet again blowing the same water bar I chased back on to Mike’s wheel to only catch him at the third stream crossing to pitch flat in the stream. Mike raced away and I slowly walked back to the road. There was no point in changing the flat at this point since I was so close to the end.
We finished off the day with a pitcher of beer and some Big “Bob” Bratwurst at the Muchen Haus in downtown leavenworth. It was a great finished to a great day of riding. I might actually do the race which I swore I would never do again after the last time.
For Trail Report with map and more go here.
Get out there!