I rode a 200k Permanent yesterday, it turned out to be a fabulous day and resulted in a great ride. Late in the week a few riders emailed saying they wanted to join in the fun (weather forecasts have that effect) so we were a band of 10 bike geeks rolling away from the warmth of the Lacey Starbucks and off into the dark night a 6:30 am.
This route starts off with a long stretch (20+ miles!) of paved rail trail riding, something I normally eschew: The road crossing bollards, the kids on wobbly department store bikes, baby strollers, roller bladers, just too may obstacles …normally. But at 6:30 you encounter the occasional morning jogger and no traffic at the road crossings. What is normally a nuisance becomes pure pleasure. The riders grouped in twos and threes talking softly in the dark, rolling along with no more concern for safety than just keeping it pointed down the trail, a delight to see.
As the sun came up and the miles ticked away, the faster riders disappeared into the distance and eventually I was at the back of the pack. I slowed to take a blurry photo of an elk herd grazing outside Rainer,
and of course I took a pic of the sun coming up over the ridge.
Duane and I rode along together for a bit,
here we had to wait a train going into Bucoda, do we get extra time for that?
After the Tono hills we sneak up on the Cenralia Steam Plant
At Adna Mt St Helens was peeking out, we’ll see her up close in July when we ride the three Volcanoes 300K brevet.
This ride really does have everything: it is bucolic, miles and miles of country roads, (love that chip seal) plenty of wildlife and not-so-wild life. This guy wanted to come out for a run, I happend to have my camera in hand so pointed it at him and said BAD DOG! and he backed off. Is the camera the new pepper spray?
(smile girls, the bike geek is taking our picture)
It will be even better in a month when the alders, salmon berry, and bracken fern green up. There is even an urban stretch through downtown Olympia for thise who are not comfortable without a little traffic and some stop lights. I have to temper my remarks here, I am certain that riding on home ground in bonus weather colors my thoughts.
Perception or reality, we had a great day on bikes, and the fact that this can be ridden clockwise or counter means I am sure to be back on this route again. Thanks so much to Josh for putting it together and Geoff for converting a great idea into an excellent perm route!