The fact that there were two starting points for last night’s 14th Annual Dead Baby Downhill and Messenger Challenge didn’t seem to undermine the quality and scope of the after-party and, in fact, for me, having the south end option, departing from the Barrel Tavern in Burien, made the whole event that much more random and spectacular than usual; I got to do the truly bomb bomb down First Avenue into Georgetown, not only arriving well before the main contingent rolled earthward from Capitol Hill, but also, in a personally unprecedented experience, managed to stay almost within sight of the winning rider of my heat.
Apparently, I was the only person who read all the directions for the special Dead Baby Metro Shuttle from the Tukwila/International Boulevard light rail station; when I arrived at 5:00, there was just a single person waiting, and that was none other than Dead Baby Dookie himself, designer and author of the picture-perfect mock-Metro schedule brochure.
So we rode in high style up and over the high to Beverly Park where eventually, the Barrel filled up with the couple dozen or so riders who had also opted for the south end race.
I had ridden the descent one other time, but that was at night and under more of the influence, so I didn’t really realize what a stupendous route it is back towards Seattle from what they call “Top Hat, Washington.” I was down the hill and across the First Avenue bridge before the joint I lit at the starting gun was even gone.
The post-race celebration was, as always, the greatest party in the history of the universe; I saw almost everybody I know in the world there and almost everybody there was someone I knew; perhaps most heartwarming of all was to run across folks who disappeared on Thursday night’s ride and see that they were still alive and in more or less one piece.
No schism there, either.