Chilly Hilly 2010 kicked my butt

Raymond Chen

This year, I was woefully unprepared for the annual Chilly Hilly ride, not having gotten on my bicycle for the entire month of February. And I paid dearly for this lack of preparation, conking out and ending up walking up some of the last few hills. I rode with a few other people, but I quickly ended up lagging behind them. They would sometimes stop to let me catch up, but I told them not to bother and just go at their own pace. At one point, I ran over a nail and lost precious time to a flat tire. (I took the flat tire as an opportunity to take my midpoint break, since it occurred just a half mile or so from the cider stop.) After patching the flat, I caught up to the rest of the group at the cider stop, where they were nearly ready to resume the ride. We left the cider stop together, but I quickly fell behind. I rolled into the finish as the rest of the group finished up their chili (a traditional post-ride snack), so we all headed out directly to the ferry. (Basically, I used their break time as my opportunity to catch up.) We were just in time for the 1:10 run, but we were too far back in line and they stopped accepting riders just as we reached the front. I guess I had time to have some chili after all, but by this point I didn’t want to lose my place in line. My record against Chilly Hilly is now even at 2 wins, 2 losses. Ferry trivia: Even though there was room for more bicycles on the ferry, they wouldn’t accept any more. This wasn’t because they were being mean. They were following safety rules: While the limiting factor in how many cars they will allow on the ferry is the amount of space on the ferry deck, the limiting factor in how many bicycles they will accept on the ferry is the number of life jackets they have. Nobody would know: Right near the start, a wine store advertised that it was offering wine tastings. Don’t just lubricate your bicycle; lubricate yourself! One of my friends who was riding by himself noted “I saw that sign and thought to myself, you know, I could just go in there, drink wine for three hours, then tootle back to the ferry for the return trip, and nobody would know.” I wonder if anybody actually did that. Chilly Hilly trivia: There were 6028 riders this year, a huge increase from the 3585 riders last year.

Are you sick of all these little blurbs yet? Photos of the ferry ride from the Seattle P-I. The Kitsap Sun link above also has pictures of the ride itself.


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