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Thread: Rsvp 2014

  1. #1
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    Rsvp 2014

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    Anyone else doing RSVP this year? We're doing RSVP1--my 2nd and my husband's 3rd. I'm excited and relieved that the forecast is for cooler weather with only a slight chance of rain. Here's to a safe ride for everyone and tailwind most of the way!

  2. #2
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    Dh and I are going to be riding RSVP2 on the tandem. It's the second on the tandem, but our 6th overall. Looks like there are some significant course changes in down town Vancouver this year. Could be interesting....

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  3. #3
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    I understand parts of the route should make it less congested.

    There are route segments that could be even more peaceful, but that means designing route that would include winding abit through some interconnected path routes from New Westminster into Vancouver..and people having slightly wider tires than road narrow tires. I'm not talking about mountain biking.

    Going into downtown Vancouver has ....some quiet residential (and scenic) roads which are wider and would accommodate a large group ride...so no idea why on earth some of those streets aren't included.

    I'm sure there have been some route improvements..
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  4. #4
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    I agree with Jean (shootingstar) that the route changes on Day 2 will make the ride more peaceful and safer. The major changes seem to be between Golden Ears Bridge and Pitt Meadows Bridge and once we're in downtown Vancouver. I think the best change is having us ride on the urban trail along the water once we're in downtown Vancouver rather than making us ride along Water St. and Cordova St., which were crazy busy with tourists, buses, cars, etc., last year.

    Jean, I'm also curious why the Cascade ride organizers don't choose a route going through quieter areas once we start heading west towards Vancouver. Maybe they want to include the Barnett Highway segment to make the ride more fun for the experienced riders, or it may just be that they need the ride to go through Port Moody since Cap's Cycle always serves as a food/bathroom/bike-maintenance stop for the ride.

  5. #5
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    Cap's Cycle is actually in New Westminister, very close to the Central Valley Greenway, a bike route where a lot of it runs through park, lanes and abit on quieter roads go west and into downtown Vancouver. http://www.translink.ca/en/Getting-A...ling-Maps.aspx Go to CVG Map on page. Then from the Central Valley Greenway, we would cross Broadway St. and hook into the Adanac St. bike route which takes one through some quiet older neighbourhoods, some bike mural art, past old historic downtown Chinatown, etc.

    CVG has sections which is hard-packed fine gravel and the rest is paved. Large sections of the CVG never gets too busy on weekends. Which is quite doable with road bikes, if tires aren't very thin/no thread. We have done day long 100 km. round trips between Golden Ears Bridge in Langley and downtown Vancouver. We never cycled back home on the Barnett Highway. We used the CVG and east of that that other paths. We headed out on the Barnett Highway early morning on weekends to get out to Golden Ears Bridge, when car traffic was minimal.

    My partner is a long time cycling advocate in Vancouver, he knows (and was involved in working the municipalities) on some of these signed/laned bike routes.

    I worked on the capital construction project for the Golden Ears Bridge. Here is are my stories: http://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/...-i-never-knew/ http://thirdwavecyclingblog.wordpres...ed-work-areas/

    Have a good, safe ride. Just tell yourself, there are beautiful quiet areas maybe less than 2-3 streets parallel to the mass group bike ride route!!

    ****I just looked at this yrs.' route. It is a lot better ..and more scenic into the downtown Vancouver area. No matter what, there will be huge wave of cyclists from Seattle on part of the popular Seaside bike path (that runs under the Burrard Bridge).
    Last edited by shootingstar; 08-15-2014 at 10:34 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  6. #6
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    Have a safe and fun ride RSVP'ers! Look forward to reading about your rides.
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  7. #7
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    RSVP1 2014 Ride Report

    Auđunn and I did the RSVP1 again, my second time and his third. Having much cooler weather and another year of riding experience on a bike that fits perfectly, not to mention having done the ride once before, made it much more fun this year.

    Day 1

    On Friday morning we met our friends (Dan, Jim, Jeff, and Carolyn) at the UW Montlake parking lot at 6am, and we started off at 6:20am, right when it started sprinkling. The Burke-Gilman was pretty crowded, and we rode with a big group of 15-20 riders, averaging about 12-14 mph. It continued to rain for the first few hours, so I was glad I had a really light jacket at the start. However, we warmed up quickly enough, and my jacket was off before we reached the climb up Woodinville-Duvall Road. The climb was still challenging for me, but the cooler weather definitely made it easier, and this year I only had to stop once during the climb.

    Once we passed Maltby we rode along Broadway through quieter roads and the scenic farmlands around Snohomish. Since I was much slower on the climbs, our friends went ahead, but they waited for us at the Machias Station food stop. After Machias I could easily keep up when we averaged 16-18 mph along the flat Centennial Trail, and it was fun just chatting and catching up with everyone on the ride to Arlington. Of course, we had to do our annual stop at Moe’s Espresso Stand for peach smoothies, and once again, the owner's daughter recognized Jim and Jeff.


    Moe’s Espresso Stand where we stop for peach smoothies every year we do the RSVP

    Afterwards, we told the group we were bypassing the climb up Finn Settlement/Lake Cavanaugh Rd., and instead we'd continue on the Centennial Trail and ride up to the Lake McMurray store to get lunch. At the store we chatted with the owner who knows Auđunn pretty well since the store is a regular Seattle International Randonneur (SIR) control. We got drinks and microwaved some burritos, and she even came out a few times to refill Auđunn's coffee cup while we sat on the porch and directed about a half dozen RSVPers who missed a turn and ended up at the store. Afterwards, we continued on Highway 9 which had a few fun rollers and only a few short climbs. I was worried that Highway 9 would have heavy traffic, but we only encountered a few cars and one logging truck. It was definitely much easier than the climb up Finn Settlement/Lake Cavanaugh Road, and we got back on the RSVP route just before Big Lake.

    This year West Whitmarsh Road was open, so it was a straight shot along Avon Allen Road and the rest of the way to the Chuckanut. Fortunately, it had stayed overcast during most of the ride, but it was nice to get into the trees and shade while we had to do the climbs along the Chuckanut. This year I knew that on the Chuckanut rollers we could pick up enough speed on the descents to get up the next hill, and there would only be a few hard climbs. Again, we stopped to take a break and admire the beautiful views at the Larrabee State Park lookout. This year I only had to stop 3-4 times along the Chuckanut, but I still almost wept with relief when we got to the RSVP Lemonade Stand at the 100 mile mark. I still believe that is the most amazing ice-cold lemonade! We also bumped into one of Auđunn's Cascade friends, Elizabeth, at the lemonade stand, and we hadn't seen her since the last RSVP, so it was fun to catch up.

    Last year we got lost trying to find our hotel in Bellingham, so I mapped our route to end at the Spring Hill Suites, which was an additional 8 miles north of Bellingham. We finally got to the hotel around 4pm, and fortunately, a friend's wife had dropped off our bags at the hotel earlier. We took nice refreshing showers, then took the hotel shuttle to the Boundary Bay Brewery for our annual dinner celebration.

    Day 1 Total Distance: 107.9 miles
    Day 1 Total Time: 9 hours and 42 minutes
    Day 1 Moving Time: 7 hours and 40 minutes
    Day 1 Average speed: 14.1 mph


    Day 2

    Since our hotel was much closer to the IHOP, we slept in until 6am on Day 2. We checked out of the hotel, dropped off our bags at the Best Western Heritage Inn, and had a big hearty breakfast at the IHOP. Just like last year we bumped into Jake, a Cascade Bike Club ride leader, with a small group of riders at the IHOP. After breakfast we met Dan and Carolyn at Northwest Drive at 7:30am, and we started the ride with them pulling us and a whole train of other riders, going about 16-18 mph for about 10 miles. At one point I had to stop to take off my jacket, and everyone behind us was so disappointed that we were pulling over. Once we started up again, Dan and Carolyn pulled us and a much smaller group of riders, maintaining the same high speed to Lynden. Our pace was so fast that I could barely feel the 5+ miles of rough chipseal roads between Bellingham and Lynden, and I couldn't believe how quickly they were over. We stopped at the Lynden Mini food stop, where we met up with Jim and Jeff, who decided to sleep in longer but still arrived just shortly after us.


    Jim, me, Auđunn, Dan, Jeff, and Carolyn at the Lynden food stop

    Afterwards, the six of us rode up to the US-Canada Border, and fortunately, this year there was essentially no wait. After the crossing, we took our requisite group photo at the Welcome to British Columbia sign.


    The group at the Welcome to British Columbia sign

    The route Cascade posted for Day 2 was supposed to go along the border, but the road was closed. Instead, we rode along the highway and turned left on 16th Ave. The revised route meant we had to ride up "The Wall".


    Now I know why everyone calls it "The Wall"!


    The 1/4 mile climb up The Wall has a 10% grade at its steepest

    I could only ride halfway up The Wall, then I had to walk up the rest, like a few other riders. Just past The Wall and after another short climb, I had to stop again, so we were chatting with a homeowner who was asking us if we made it up The Wall without stopping. He was so sweet and so Canadian!

    The next part of the ride was nice and easy, mostly through quiet country roads. It started raining, which I didn't mind, but I knew we were approaching the Golden Ears Bridge, which I was dreading. We stopped to take shelter under the Lougheed Highway, and I ate a Clif Shot energy gel to prepare for the climb on the bridge. When we started again, we saw several dozen riders had also stopped under the highway to get out of the rain and warm up. It was only drizzling, albeit continuously, but I definitely preferred the cool, rainy weather to really hot, sunny weather.

    Like most parts of the ride this year, the climb up Golden Ears Bridge wasn't as bad as last year because of the cooler weather. Also, the bridge was less crowded when we crossed, and I could maintain a fast enough speed that only 2-3 riders had to pass me. When we approached the Pitt River Bridge, we had to stop at a traffic island with about a dozen other riders. A few were new RSVPers who were struggling and complaining about having to cross the bridge again. I remember having the exact same reaction last year, so I assured them that it was actually a different bridge, the Pitt River Bridge, which was, fortunately, much shorter. Once over the bridge, we decided to stop at the Starbucks to get out of the rain for a bit.

    Afterwards, the short 2-mile stretch along the Lougheed Highway was probably the worst part of this year's ride for me. At one point we had to ride around a bus, which was kind of scary given the heavy traffic. I wish Cascade would use a safer route through quieter roads rather than having us ride along the main highway. Our next stop was Cap’s Westwood Cycle in Coquitlam, where the staff hosed down our bikes since it had stopped raining. Last year we bumped into the Skateboarder Guy at Cap's, but this year we passed him at the railroad tracks just before Pitt River Bridge. We saw him again on the Barnett Highway. My goal was to beat the Skateboarder Guy to the Coast Plaza Hotel, so we could be there if everyone gave him a round of applause, just like last year.

    This year because of the much cooler weather, riding the Barnet Highway was actually fun. Last year I was so hot and tired and miserable, I just wanted to get it over with. This year I actually noticed the beautiful views across the water. I didn't have to stop once along the highway, and I was surprised how quickly we got to the last climb. We decided to take a detour on Bayview Drive, so we could avoid the last part of Inlet Drive and do the last climb on Drummond's Walk Urban Trail. There was actually a bit more climbing on the detour we took, but it was on a quiet road with almost no cars, which was a lot nicer than riding along the busy highway. Going along the trail also allowed us to cross Hastings using the bike/pedestrian overpass.

    After that, it was clear sailing into Vancouver. We rode quickly along the rollers in Burnaby and the outskirts of Vancouver, and the sun finally came out. We were definitely warming up, and the whole while I was thinking how much I was going to enjoy some gelato. Just before we reached downtown, we turned off on Glen Drive to go to La Casa Gelato, another RSVP tradition.


    Another one of our RSVP traditions is getting gelato at La Casa Gelato

    This year riding through downtown Vancouver was so much easier since the route had us go along the Seaside bike path, rather than making us ride along Water St. and Cordova St., which were crazy busy with tourists, buses, cars, etc., last year. We started the bike path right before a group of 10-12 riders with a few Cascade ride leaders. The bike path was really crowded with tourists and families, so we spent most of the ride along the path calling out "bike up", "slow", or "post" every other minute. We turned off when we got to Cardero Street, and we made our way to the finish at the Coast Plaza Hotel where crowds cheered us on.

    Afterwards, we joined our friends for drinks on the grass, and there were high fives and beer and wine all around. We were all commenting on how much easier it was with the cooler weather. A few had hated having to ride along the crowded Seaside bike path and preferred riding through the busy tourist areas, so we debated which way was better.

    This time when everyone asked if I'd do the ride next year, my answer was, "Absolutely!" My only regret was forgetting to take a group photo at the finish.

    Day 2 Total Distance: 80.5 miles
    Day 2 Total Time: 7 hours and 33 minutes
    Day 2 Moving Time: 5 hours and 27 minutes
    Day 2 Average speed: 14.8 mph

  8. #8
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    Marie, that is a great ride report. And I have met your husband! He's a riding buddy of mine---Chris Heg. Chris likes Auđunn a lot.

    I know a lot of people who love RSVP. Maybe we'll do it some day.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  9. #9
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    Thanks, Salsabike! When you mentioned doing the SIR Maltby 100K, I had a feeling you and/or your DH would probably know Auđunn. Is Chris doing the 600K this weekend? Auđunn left the house just after 3am to get to the start in Kent.

    If you're used to doing SIR 100Ks, then RSVP is only a little longer, mostly flat, and very scenic. You and Chris should definitely plan to do it. Among Auđunn's rando buddies, we only ever see Steve DeGroot on the RSVP, but then most of the randos don't like the big crowded Cascade rides.

  10. #10
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    Oh yeah, RSVP ride report! We're getting ready to do TRIRI next weekend, so I had mentally moved to the next thing.
    We did it on the tandem again and one of the amusing highlights of the ride came at the beginning when a certain Seattle weatherman (who trained in yellow group on CTS rides)
    passed us and intoned, "loookin' good ladies!" Brian was not thrilled to be mistaken for a lady. We couldn't decide if it was Brian's long-ish grey hair or if the huge rainbow on the back of our matching Pink Floyd jerseys identified us as a same sex couple if you weren't looking too closely. Oh well, there are worse things than being mistaken for a couple in a committed relationship (like being mistaken for his mother!) Brian did get a really short haircut the next week, though...
    We were immensely annoyed that our rear tire went flat in the first 10 miles. Dh had just put a new tire on which was supposedly bombproof, and it certainly appeared so when the two of us couldn't get it off the rim to change the tube. A support person stopped and then it was three people struggling to get the bombproof tire off. Ooof, but we lost a lot of time getting that !@#$%! tube changed! We started having shifting difficulties just before the Woodinville-Duvall rd climb. Pop, pop, pop went the derailleur as we climbed, and I was all for turning around and just driving up to Vancouver. I'd already had it. At the top of the hill there was a mechanic who adjusted the derailleur and it didn't give us any more guff after that. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful after that, all the usual landmarks; speedy trail ride, nasty, never ending climb up to lake cavanaugh, headwinds in Skagit Co and beautiful views and blessedly cold lemonade on Chuckanut dr. We rolled into Bellingham around 4:00 singing "We are the Champions".
    We were feeling pretty good the next morning and really pushed the pace on the flats. We were roaring along at 20 mph until we realized that we were going to have to do "the wall" We ditched about half way and walked the rest of it, and I was doing more than a little grumbling about it. What a dirty trick! After that, my usual saddle complaints surfaced and we slowed considerably in an effort to keep my sitter happy. The rest of the ride was a blur of pain until the Seaside Trail. I thought the trail was beautiful, but I gotta say, as a route to finish a big ride like RSVP, it wasn't the best choice. We found navagating that tandem on the extremely crowded, narrow path to be one of the most exhausting sections of the ride. We were happy to get off the trail and onto the quieter residential streets near the finish. We felt pretty smoked as we crossed the finish and descended into the parking garage of the Coast Plaza. Nothing that a beer and burger couldn't fix, though.

    Rodriguez Adventure
    Bacchetta Bellandare
    HPV Gekko fx
    Custom Rodriguez Tandem
    2009 Specialized Tricross
    2012 Trek Mamba

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarieV View Post
    Thanks, Salsabike! When you mentioned doing the SIR Maltby 100K, I had a feeling you and/or your DH would probably know Auđunn. Is Chris doing the 600K this weekend? Auđunn left the house just after 3am to get to the start in Kent.

    If you're used to doing SIR 100Ks, then RSVP is only a little longer, mostly flat, and very scenic. You and Chris should definitely plan to do it. Among Auđunn's rando buddies, we only ever see Steve DeGroot on the RSVP, but then most of the randos don't like the big crowded Cascade rides.
    Hey, Marie! Chris REALLY wanted to do the 600 this weekend and signed up for it before he realized we had his Aunt Jean's 80th birthday party today and decided it was just not okay to miss that. It sounds hard--I mean, even harder than the usual SIR hard.

    We've done some longer tandem rides, like one-day STPs, so I'm sure we would love RSVP, and people keep saying it's beautiful! We just can't seem to get the timing right--that is, we're always committed to other stuff. And next year, it'll be PBP for Chris again...

    I think I met Auđunn on the incredibly wet spring populaire this year. We're in the middle of our third tandem P-12. I look forward to meeting you sometime as well.

    lauraelmore1003, you are intrepid.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  12. #12
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    Wow, lauraelmore1003, that's hilarious! I hope you gave that Seattle weatherman a hard time about the 0% chance of rain forecast once it started sprinkling at the RSVP start. I hate that Woodinville-Duvall Rd. climb so much, and if I'd had mechanical problems trying to climb it after standing out in the rain to change a flat, I would have thrown a temper tantrum and called a friend to come get me, so I could drive up to Vancouver. Considering how hard it was for me to maneuver the tight turns around all the posts, riders, kids, pedestrians, etc., on that Seaside bike path, I can't even imagine how much harder it must have been on a tandem. Yes, intrepid indeed!

    Salsabike, that's too bad Chris wasn't able to do the 600K, but there will be other 600Ks and only one 80th birthday. I heard from Auđunn over two hours ago, and they still had to climb to White Pass and descend to the staffed control at Silver Beach Resort. Didn't sound like they'd be getting much sleep before starting again tomorrow. We may have to skip RSVP next year if Auđunn decides to do PBP. He's still on the fence since he hasn't completed a 1200K. He DNFed halfway through day 2 of the Cascade 1200K due to mechanical problems (rear disc brakes broke). I definitely want him to do PBP, so we can spend two weeks in France!

    Wait, did you two do the Spring Populaire in early March that started in Green Lake went to Maple Valley then ended at Zeek's Pizza in Phinney? If so, then I've probably met you since I volunteered with Auđunn and Jan to stamp cards at Cowen Park and staff the food stop in Maple Valley. I remember a few tandems, but there were so many riders, and I was so cold and miserable in Maple Valley, I barely remember anyone. If it was that bad for us at the control, I can't even imagine how much worse it was for the riders. I vowed the next time we staff an SIR control/food stop when it's not summer we need to have one of those canopies, so we don't have to stand out in the pouring rain, and the riders can get a short break from the rain.

  13. #13
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    YES!!!! I remember that control and I remember you and Jan and Audun there looking freezing and soaked. I also remember that you guys had all these great boxes of food--chocolate chip cookies, other good stuff--and that we were so drenched and chilly that we stopped for two seconds and then just kept rolling. That is the wettest ride I've ever done, and around here that's saying something! I felt for all the volunteers at the controls, since at least we could keep moving--although I have to say even though we were moving, that was a really cold ride. By the time we came around the end of Lake Washington Blvd., there were huge lakes of water right in the road and I just started to laugh--got drenched right up to the knees. I still remember the secret control in the Arboretum, too--those guys had no cover either. Definitely a canopy is needed for the volunteers?

    How's Auđunn doing now?

    You know...there's a 1000k in a couple of weeks he could do, if he really wants to get into PBP....would be fun to have you guys there. PBP is a huge pageant and hearing the riders talk about being cheered on by the cycle-loving French is just amazing. And we are actually planning to go back to Iceland for a week, after PBP, and want some of his advice about his most loved places there.

    I don't do the longer rides. But I like the rando community a lot. Good folks.

    I know this is WAY off the RSVP topic now. Sorry, guys!
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  14. #14
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    I finally had a chance to read your ride reports in detail...reading on my iPhone wasn't cutting it, what great stories you have. Knowing that there is an alternate route that is doable on the hilly section near Lake Cavanaugh is priceless, I'll have to remember that if/when we do RSVP again. Marie, what fantastic pictures! And you really captured the essence of "The WALL" too. I didn't feel too bad walking it, when I saw much younger and fitter guys also walking up that monster.

    Lauraelmore, I hope your sitter recovers in time for your next cycling adventure, so sorry you had trouble again... still hoping to catch up with you some day at a Cascade Event...

    Thanks for sharing your stories everyone!
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  15. #15
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    It would be tough to find 1 particular longish street that would take a large string/peloton of RVSP group riders into downtown Vancouver, in particular to the Coast Hotel without any traffic congestion from local cyclists, cars, etc. during the day. The only other option would be to choose a hotel about 2-3 km. away from downtown Vancouver. Downtown is downtown in any major city.

    The longest separated bike lanes run through the heart of downtown but not straight to/by the Coast.

    Great photos, good the weather was better on latter ride day.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

 

 

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