Monday, June 23, 2014

Busy Solstice

Date: June 21st, 2014
Distance: 74 miles
Song of the Day: Africa - Toto

The first day of summer has come. I had been looking forward to the solstice and change of seasons. But when I woke up, I didn't have any plans. But I could see right away it was going to be one of those perfect Seattle days. Warm, but not hot. Bright blue skies to the horizon.

I didn't have any plans though, except for a midnight bike race. To get myself out the door I picked up a shift with Postmates.

I got my bike and headed out to deliver the lunch rush. I didn't envy the cars around. Two of the freeways 520 and 99 were closed. The marathon was blocking of a large section of downtown streets. The Solstice Day Parade was blocking things in Fremont. On a bike it wasn't a problem. I slid past the traffic gridlock on first. I rode along with the runners for a bit. I even accidentally became part of the parade. I also ran into a few people I knew and chatted with them. I didn't have to worry about parking or holding up traffic.

After my shift was over I headed to Ballard. I went met up with a friend I hadn't seen in months. I got to take in a bit of the World Cup (Nigeria vs. Bosnia).

My room mates texted me to join them at Magnuson Park, so I rode out there. We hung out in the sun and went swimming before they had to head back home.

I still didn't have plans for the evening but I didn't feel like riding home. Instead I went to Gasworks. The place was wild. The air was filled with the sound from a half dozen different brass bands. People were dressed in wild costumes, or just a thin layer of body paint. Some of my friends spotted me and gave me the usual "get a car hippie" greeting.

From Gasworks we rode to Wallingford. Another friend was having a house party there. We hung out there until it was time to head off to the race.

I showed up at Greenlake about an hour before the race started. There were already people hanging out and good music playing. Eventually about 45 people showed up. It was nice to see such a large crowd out there. I realized while I was talking with people I had put on a bunch of miles already. It turns out that I was right around 50 miles already, and I still had the race to do.

The race started right at midnight. It was four laps around Greenlake. The loop is about 3 miles, so the race was 12 miles. It was dark and the sprinklers were on for the first section. I didn't mind much. I like a race with a few obstacles. After each loop there was a stop under the bleachers to get your spoke card stamped. I rode as fast as I could, but missed the lead group by just a few seconds after the first stop. After that I never caught up. Wound up coming in 5th, which wasn't bad. It was fun, and good times. I really appreciate all the people who came out and made the race happen.

I took left right around 1:00 AM with a few friends. But I was on my own after Pioneer Square. It was such a quiet night, I couldn't help but think of what a day that had been. I love the times where you can just go with the flow. I left that morning not knowing what I was doing, but that was okay. I didn't need any plans to have a good time.