A year ago, the spring 100k was covered in snow. This year we had cherry blossom petals snowing down on us. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. The populaire marked the first organized ride of the season and it is always exciting to see old and new faces again. The morning started with a fiery red sunrise against the horizon as we gathered to drive to the start in Renton. Coffee and donuts waited at the sign-in table and there were more people in wool jerseys than rain jackets. I managed to get my bike cleaned and all put back together after getting the new frame straightened. As we gathered for a pep talk, we were surprised with a serenade from a bagpiper as we started off. Over 100 riders decided to try the 100k course instead of the ever popular Chilly Hilly.
The forested and farmed hills around Renton didn't make for incredible sweeping vistas, but the sun shining through the trees on the spring flowers was equally rewarding.
All day, conversations abounded as we got to hear about how many rainy rides everyone did last winter. Plans started to be formed for the summer as people talked of the many big rides offered in our area this year. In best SIR form, there were incredible controls. Cookies, drinks, and smiles greeted us at the major controls, all good things even on a "short" ride. Also in SIR tradition, there were plenty of hills to find in the area. We even found some extra ones not on the course with some "bonus miles". It's so easy to miss a turn when chatting with friends.
The ride ended at the Dog and Pony Alehouse with good food and lots of beer. The Olympic gold medal hockey game was in full swing on the TV. We enjoyed meeting a few new faces over a few pints and burgers as we waited for friends to finish their ride.