Thursday, March 10, 2011

Winter Weather Warrior Results & Vasa Ride Review

So the results are in for the Winter Weather Warrior contest and......I did it! I made Perfect Attendance! Woohoo!

As I posted when I first began, it wasn't easy. There were quite a few days I just wanted to throw in the towel and stay inside where it was warm. I even had the flu on the very first day of the contest. But I stuck with it and eventually CaBi became a part of my daily life. So much so that when the contest ended and I went back to commuting on my own bike, it felt strange. I'm glad I participated, but I'm glad its over too. Maybe there will be a spring contest?

Last Sunday I woke up at an ungodly hour and headed over in the rain to the Swedish Embassy to participate in WABA's Vasa Ride. It's a 58 mile course that ends back at the Embassy with some warm blueberry soup.  When I checked the website the night before, it said that registration was full and that 600 people had registered! Unfortunately, the number of people who actually showed up fell FAR short of that number! What the heck, people? Are you all made of sugar or something? So it was a teensy bit wet out--at least it wasn't cold! WABA said there was about 70 people that showed up. I think I counted MAYBE 40 by the time I started the course.

Registration tent

Swedish Embassy

Remembering the difficult time I had with my last long ride around DC (The 50 States Ride), I think I overcompensated this time and packed everything but the kitchen sink in my bag...oops. My pack was a little heavy.

-First, I'm really glad I opted not to use Betty this time. It was simply to wet out, and the course was fairly hilly--not extremely so, but enough that a 50lbs 3 speed cruiser wouldn't have been practical or fun at all. I used Jamie, my Jamis Coda Sport instead. He's much lighter and better suited for basic hills. I really wish he had fenders & a rear rack though.

-I'm really glad I had a group of friends to do this ride with. Because of the small amount of riders doing this ride, I would have gotten separated at a bunch of points on the course and become hopelessly lost in Blair Witch country. I had no idea where I was most of the time, and was glad I had people to watch out for me.

-I really wish Jamie had a rack. I used my messenger bag to carry everything with me, and ever since I started using a pannier on Betty, I cannot stand wearing messenger bags/backpacks anymore. My neck & back were killing me throughout the ride. I managed to ignore it most of the time, but I know I had to stop more often to stand up straight and stretch my back than I otherwise would have.

-I packed too much. I really didn't want another dehydration/starvation episode so I packed a ton of water, gatorade & snacks. I really didn't need all that.

-I think I dressed fairly well. The only items that I had a problem with were my shoes & gloves. Everything else got damp, but not soaking wet. Unfortunately my feet & hands were drenched. I'm really glad that it wasn't cold out. I was wet, but never cold. If it had been cold out as well as rainy, I don't think I would have shown up either.

No, I didn't finish the whole thing. However, it wasn't because of inability, it was because we ran out of time! I mentioned that I did this ride with a group of friends. We are all coworkers and every time we stopped for a "quick" break, it turned into a blab fest that lasted a bit longer than we meant, oops! We love to gossip! I think our "lunch" break took almost an hour. Anyway, by the time we were 3/4 of the way through we realized that a) we were never going to make it in time for the blueberry soup and b) one of my friends still had to be at work that day, and if he was going to make it on time, we had to hoof it back ASAP. We took a few short cuts to make it.

Here's the course we did:

It was a very scenic ride. We rode by Glen Echo Park and into some very beautiful communities with gorgeous homes & farms. I've never been to that part of MD before.

Did I mention it was raining that day? I was a soaking, muddy mess when I was done. I wanted nothing more than to take a warm shower and put on dry clothes. Even Jamie got a bath!

Jamie takes a shower.
I would definitely do this ride again. 

I don't really have too many photos taken during the ride itself. It was so wet out, I was afraid of breaking my camera. Even my poor iphone is now having issues from having gotten wet. The sleep button won't work anymore. Oh well. Here's a few shots I took:

My overloaded pack.

New home being built.

Rest Stop. for 45 minutes.

So, I hear the Bike Summit is in town. I really wish I could have registered, but I need to save my money & leave hours. Those of you that are participating, have fun! Take lots of pictures for me.

I dropped Betty off at BicycleSPACE for an annual tune-up. They told me it would take about a week before I could get her, but the next day the mechanic called me and said she was all set! Yay! I'm sure the speedy service is simply because they don't have much room for her (she's a big girl), rather than because she's special ;-) I haven't had a chance to pick her up, but as soon as I can escape work, I will be glad to bring her back home! I want to get her tomorrow morning, but if its going to be all rainy again, I think I might wait until its dry. No sense in getting her muddy & wet when she just got clean!

The next ride I'm looking forward to is Bike DC! It will be my 3rd time doing it. Unfortunately, I heard from WABA that NPS denied them the permits for the GW Parkway. That's the best part! C'mon NPS! Quit being party-poopers. I'm also registered for Bike to Work Day, and 30 Days of Biking. Spring has sprung, people, and I am so happy!


  1. congratulations on the perfect attendance. nicely done.