Today’s Un-Ride, as Ted named it, was a blast. It was wet, it was tough, and it was great. We just rode hard and enjoyed the company of the group. There was no posing for the cameras – and it was too dark for good photos anyhow – but the few pics I managed to snap while keeping my heart rate close to the max probably tell the story just fine.
Ted King needs no introduction. He’s one of the world’s top gravel riders, with multiple wins in Dirty Kanza, Grinduro... Riding with him and showing him some of our favorite roads promised to be fun.
About 40 riders took the 7:30 ferry to Bremerton. An hour later, we disembarked the ferry and rolled out of town. The group stayed together – mostly – for the twists and turns of the route through Bremerton that avoids the busy highway.
Once we were on the backroad to Belfair, the pace increased, and the group split up. Everybody was all smiles when we regrouped (mostly) at the grocery store in Belfair, the last resupply before entering the Tahuya Hills.
The road along the Hood Canal is spectacular even without the views of the Olympic Mountains across the water. The rain stopped, the road (almost) dried, and riding in the fast paceline was fun.
No photos from the gravel section – catching the slides of my bike on the wet gravel required both hands! The paved roads of the Tahuya Hills were fun, too.
We dropped down to the water, enjoyed some great views – alas still without mountains – before heading back into the hills.
Lunch at the general store in Seabeck was welcomed by all and provided an opportunity for socializing.
Anderson Hill Road broke up the pack again, and we trickled into the finish in small groups. With 30 minutes to the next ferry, there was time for a quick coffee stop, and we had a nice group heading back to Seattle on the 3 o’clock ferry. Despite the muddy bikes and damp clothes, there were smiles all around: A good time was had by all.
It was fun to show our guest some of the best roads we’ve got here in the Seattle area. And perhaps you wonder whether the ‘King of Gravel’ really is that fast? He is. But even more, he’s a super-nice guy. After the ride, we talked about future projects – working with Ted has added a lot to the knowledge base that goes into our R&D.
It was a perfect day on the bike. In fact, it was so much fun that we decided to do more Un-Rides in the future.