The biking season is officially underway as Cascade Bicycle Club’s 40th Annual Chilly Hilly took over Bainbridge Island Sunday. For the club’s first ride of the year, hundreds or people packed the ferries for a cruise around Bainbridge Island’s relentless hills (2,675 feet of climbing in 33 miles). Meanwhile, it was snowing sporadically around the region.
So how was the ride? Here’s Jonathan Dean’s take over at the SunBreak:
There are few pleasures greater than whizzing down one of Bainbridge’s empty 2-lane roads, the glimmering blue waters of Port Madison or Port Orchard beckoning at the bottom of the hill, the smell of fir and spruce in the cool breeze that’s wicking away your sweat and rustling the number-tags you’ve pinned to your jacket. Yet this precious pleasure is only bought with the great pain of climbing each of the island’s hills, a couple of which are long and steep enough to qualify for Tour de France ratings.
Of the thousands of cyclists who rode today, many resorted to walking their bikes up especially steep stretches. Some of us just shifted down to our “granny gears,” eliminated everything from our consciousness besides pedaling and gasping for breath, and hoped we didn’t smash into anybody. And yet, there’s an odd pleasure in the light-headedness you get when you crest one of those killer hills, the way I imagine nitrogen narcosis is probably kind of fun.
Be sure to add your photos to the Seattle By Bike Flickr pool (some already have!). Here’s what a few people had to say about the ride on Twitter:
Sunny on Bainbridge, the birds are chirping and the bicyclists are smiling. Must be #chillyhilly time!
— Cascade Bicycle Club (@cascadebicycle) February 26, 2012
— john holdcroft (@johnholdsea) February 26, 2012
Boarding the ferry with FHR. I’m a little scared. twitter.com/familyride/sta…
— familyride (@familyride) February 26, 2012
— JayInslee (@JayInslee) February 26, 2012
I wish that guy playing the theme to rocky on the #ChillyHillyride yesterday was here with his boom box to help me wake up this morning.
— Jeela Ganje (@JeelaG) February 27, 2012
In other Cascade news, the Seattle to Portland Classic sold out last week, earlier than ever before. That’s 10,000 registrations by February 21. Incredible.