Sunday, July 24, 2011


When I was checking in for this year’s Tour de Watertower, I bragged to event organizer, Hardcore Greg, that having ridden in last week’s Polka Dot Rocker, I wasn’t daunted by the prospect of pedaling up seven of Seattle’s highest hills; it seemed like the climbing prospects afforded by that earlier competition dwarfed those required by the one ahead. After all, in the PDR, I was on my bike for almost four hours non-stop; no way the TdW would take that long.


My final time yesterday was 3:44:46, and because the Tour’s route was clearer than the Rocker’s, I definitely rode harder and suffered more in the former than the latter; TdW FTW.

It was a stunningly beautiful day and the route took us through some of the loveliest neighborhoods in town, including the creepy Stepford Wives tidiness of Magnolia and upper Queen Anne.

I was pretty pleased with my route, having finally, after two previous attempts, figured out some reasonably efficient ways to reach each of the destinations.

My better decisions were to take the Magnolia Bridge and approach that neighborhood’s tower from the south and also, in a moment of inspiration, go across the Aurora Bridge on my way from Queen Anne to Woodland Park.

On the other hand, leaving my bike at the top of the Counterbalance and walking to the nearby tower was kind of a mistake. Note to self: you may save time strolling up, but coming back down on two feet is sloooow.

And, for the third year running, I took that dead-end street leaving Magnolia and had to ride back up a hill to get out of there.

Still, I only cramped up once, climbing Fremont Boulevard, but by that time, I was pretty sure was going to survive, no matter what.

The winner, Rob. K., finished more than an hour and a half faster than me; I got to spend more time riding on a perfect day, though.


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