Some time ago, I signed up for another Strava Challenge, the Quarq Power Trip, with the goal of riding 100 miles in one ride, which is pretty doable around here this time of year. Plus, with the large group of guys I’ve come to know over the past several months, I figured we would all hammer it out together. Problem was the weekend we needed to do it turned out to be the only time to check in on my dad in Bellingham, who was recovering from a heart valve repair. I figured I’d see him and get in a ride, so I threw the Focus CX bike on the Subaru and headed north. Weather was looking miserable Friday night but something excellent happened when I got up, because there was zero wind, excellent visibility and best of all, no rain.
So after eating as much as I possibly could, I set out with a “maybe I’ll ride 100, maybe not” attitude. I headed out one of the best roads that I’ve ever ridden on, Chuckanut Drive. So scenic. Hit the flats and for the first time, circled around Samish Island while seeing a dozen or so Great Blue Heron along the way. Tons of birdwatchers out. Headed south along Bay View Road and ended up in La Conner after encountering some major side winds.
After a quick bite and a check-in with my mom, I headed out across the flats debating what to do. I could stick to the route that I had planned, and go for the 100, or head back the way I came and settle for 80-ish. My competitive side kicked in and said, “would you really be happy with 80?” and I responded, “probably not”. So I headed north up Farm to Market Road and eventually old Hwy 99. As my younger brother forewarned, there were plenty of rednecks blasting by. Headed out Prairie Road to eventually come upon the south end of Lake Whatcom, however, the road was extremely rough and was starting to get a sore throat. My body was tired but I started thinking about how my dad was going through something much bigger, so I wanted to go on as some sort of meager attempt to prove that if you start something, you must finish, as some sort of sideways inspiration I’d want to pass on to him after his surgery…to get well, and finish up strong.
Made it to Sudden Valley mini-mart, where I inhaled a frosted pink cookie and gatorade and with 13 miles to go, I knew I was going to be short on mileage by the time I met up with my mom for a beer at Kushan Brewery. Bellingham is just too small, so I headed out Squalicum to loop around town to desperately find mileage without hills. Finally, the Garmin clicked over to 100 miles (right in front of my old high school, BHS) and to the brewery I went. I was spent. I’ve never done a solo 100 before and with the winds and the sore throat coming on, I was ready to call it a day.