Wednesday, August 20, 2014

With a Little Help from My Friends: RSVP 2014

I did it! I biked 189 miles from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. in two days. The scenery was beautiful. The weather was perfect. The experience I will cherish always.

I couldn't have done it without the training, encouragement and friendship of an incredible community of women. Last winter, when my friend May and I decided to ride RSVP to celebrate our 60th birthdays this fall, it was all a lark. I signed up for a weekly cycling class, but that was all the training I did until Bike to Work Month in May when I decided to take my bike outdoors for a spin. Soon, May and I were doing weekly rides. Veronique joined us. We met Trish and Claudia on Cascade Bicycle Club rides. The Mercer Island loop rides included Sue, Lisa and Kristi, and "Tuesdays at the Roanoke" became a weekly event.

I met Wendy at the Tour de Peaks start line in mid-July. It was my first 100-mile ride with May and Sue. I was slow, we made too many stops, and we couldn't even drag ourselves across the finish line because they'd taken it down by the time we got there. But I rode a hundred miles and it gave me the confidence I needed to face RSVP.
Day One: Chuckanut Drive (May, Sue, Arleen)
That's not to say I wasn't scared. The first day went well. A thirty-minute massage loosened my muscles and I slept like a log. The second day was shorter and the hills weren't as horrible as I feared. Fear is often our worst enemy, isn't it?
Day Two: Vancouver Finish Line (Wendy, Sue, Arleen, May)
Next summer? I don't know yet. I do know I'll continue riding on a weekly basis for as long as the weather cooperates this winter and come spring it will be time to set a new goal.


mary rowen said...

Lovely post, Arleen! And congratulations on all your accomplishments. I'm really looking forward to reading Biking Uphill!

arleen said...

Thank you, MJ! I hope you enjoy reading Biking Uphill.