Chilly Hilly 2013
This was the second year in a row we – my wife and i – participated in Chilly Hilly, an event organized by Cascade Bicycle Club to start off the cycling season in the Pacific Northwest. As its name would suggest, even though the total elevation climbed is less than 3000 feet for a route of about 33 miles, there are some greater than 7 percent grade climbs. The most significant one is on NE Baker Hill Road, a 0.7-mile climb averaging 7.2% grade. Just like any other bike events with many participants, the frustrating part of the ride was dealing with cyclists who refused to yield even though they – and their group of cyclists – were occupying the whole lane, forcing other cyclists to overtake them by breaking the ride rule against riding across the center yellow line. Seriously, this is common sense. If you are not passing other cyclists, then stick to the right side of the lane. I suspect many of these inconsiderate jerks are the same drivers i find occupying the passing lane on I-5 while driving at the same speed as the car in the slower lanes.
But the most hazardous part of Chilly Hilly is not the steep climbs, speedy descent or vehicles. It is getting on and off the ferry. With hundreds of cyclists trying to get on or off the ferry at the same time, that for me is the most hair-raising part of the ride. It’s evident that many cyclists used this event to start off their cycling season. I witnessed a few cyclists riding up the ramp on the ferry in the wrong gear (large chain ring) and when unable to propel themselves forward, they came crashing down.
My only goal for this event was to ride faster than we did last year. I’m happy to say we rode 1.2 MPH quicker 🙂