But, it's not over yet. Heck, I still haven't cleaned all the mud off my single-speed left from the SSCXWC race. There are two races left that I'm planning on participating in: the last Seattle Cyclocross series race, up in Monroe, and a mid-January race up in Bellingham, part of the Cascade Cross series, that I'm sure will be mind-numbingly cold. From the Cascade Cross site:
I couldn't agree more. It's almost sad to see only 2 last races on my calendar, since the 10 or so races that I've done this year have been a complete and total blast. I've even done better than I thought I would: always finishing in the top half of the field, and even snagging a couple of top-10 finishes."This may be the first cyclocross race in the NW in January, and we believe it is HIGH time we got in line with our European counterparts. Quitting in December? What are we, elves?"
That said, the impending end of the season has had me thinking about what type of riding I'm going to focus on for next year. I've been really intrigued by randonneuring for a while now, and I think 2010 is going to be the year I jump in and try it out for real. I've been lurking on the Seattle Randonneurs' email list for some time now, and I've done enough centuries and supported rides now, that going rando seems like the next logical step.
In that spirit, and to test out some winter gear, I packed up the Mercian on Sunday, and headed out to do part of the Leschi-Auburn-Leschi 200K route:
I chopped off the part of the route that goes up over Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington, opting instead to come back to Seattle via Eastgate and the I-90 trail. I had some crap to do later that day, and I've done the Lake Sammamish/Lake Washington rides plenty of times. This ride was more about exploring new roads, and getting my "long ride" legs back.
It was a wet, rainy affair from the get-go, but I stayed plenty warm thanks to a smart selection of clothing and jackets. The only exception was my feet. I've struggled to find a decent solution for keeping my feet warm on long winter rides, and this day was no exception. As if on queue however, an email discussion sprang up on the SIR email list just today about this very topic, so maybe someone has a bright idea that I haven't tried yet.
I should probably shut up and end this post with some pictures from the ride. While the PNW gets some nasty weather, it gives up some great scenery at the same time. I'm bummed that a few of the shots I took while riding didn't turn out, especially the ones of the fog and mist rolling off of Cougar and Tiger mountains, as I rode right between them into Issaquah. I'm going to have to master that skill for sure if I want to be able to capture any of the amazing scenery I'm sure to see on my upcoming brevets.