This ride seems to be getting bigger and bigger, which is good because it is a great event. It is a fun and challenging bike ride, winding through Kirkland, Redmond, Carnation, and Duvall (and maybe some other small cities!) featuring several good hill climbs. Last year I was training for IMCdA and did the century (a 100 mile bike ride) with Chris, and this year my plans were far more modest. I planned on either the metric century (62 miles) or the original 7 Hills Route of 40 miles, depending on how things went and if anybody else was doing the metric.
I met Rod, Francesca, Jen, Sandy, and Chris at the Kirkland marina and we pedaled off to climb Market hill and then Juanita Hill. I was pleased I was able to hold my own with the group, since I'm now a Flat Lander. ;) At the top of Winery Hill we passed a sign that gave its elevation as 380 feet (I think), which is a good 70 feet higher than our local "mountain" SugarLoaf. Winery Hill features some on course entertainment: a solo bagpipe concert.
At the 25 mile rest stop Jen said she was feeling burned out from her previous insane training camp, and wanted to do the 40. Sandy and Chris split off for the century - they are both in serious training mode for big events - and the rest of us followed the 40 mile route. We rode along streets so familiar to me, passing less than a mile from my old house and right by my old office...
We finished up after about 3 hours of riding. In the meantime, Mike and Alexandra setup a barbecue and invited us and several others over to chow down. All food tastes great when you are hungry from a bike ride, but this food was even better. :)