Earlier today, I received an email,
“Regrettably, we must inform you that the 2020 Tour de Whatcom scheduled for July 18th is officially canceled as of today due to the COVID19 pandemic.”
And a bit later today I received another email,
“Regrettably, we announce that the Mt. Baker Hill Climb scheduled for September 13th is officially canceled due to the COVID19 pandemic.”
It’s a weird year, this 2020. It’s not like I didn’t expect either of these cancellations. In truth, I would have been surprised if they were not cancelled, especially the July event. The hill climb in September though, I was kind of holding out hopes that it’d still be on somehow. I wasn’t sure I’d be ready for either event because cycling has definitely taken a backseat to many other things during this time of pan-weirdness. Good things like outdoor remodeling projects, expanded gardens, upgraded rainwater system, dogs fostered, numerous cleanup projects, just not cycling so much.
That’s not to say that I’ve not been able to do any cycling at all because near the beginning of this stay at home time, a few of us at work regularized a weekly lunchtime bike ride. Oh, yes, I should mention that I am both blessed and thankful that I have been able to keep working through this time. Sure, my wife is unemployed, mother-in-law is stranded with us and high schooler is home schooling/gaming but every one of these situations has taken the form a blessing, in one form or another.
There have also been a few weekend rides that brought more enjoyment than I would have expected from just a few hours. Hitting random lowland trails on Galbraith riding the old Stumpjumper was too much fun. Ride a trail and as every intersecton approaches, flipping a mental left/right/straight coin in my head worked fantastically to clear my head of all the daily things flying around in there. Another welcome ride was Rufus Creek, though this time taking Baneberry Trail on the way up rather than just an out and back on Rufus. Not sure I liked the steep gravel road that is most of Baneberry, but it was a workout and Rufus was a nice ride out as per usual.
I once trained for the Seattle to Portland (STP) to do as a single day ride, but a group decision made it a 2 day ride, so I went back later and did it as a solo “outlaw” ride because…I just did. When this whole virus thing turned weird I just parked the thought in my head that I’d do my own “outlaw” TDW if it came to it. I’ve mentally committed to do it every year and well I essentially ride it solo anyway and I also arrive long after the cheering section has gone home, so really the only thing that will change is maybe whethere there is a porta-potty available here and there.
Ok, so here’s an update on my TDW plan and I think it might be a plan that appeals to other also. My plan is to ride all four routes this summer, the 20, 40, 60, and 100 mile routes between now and the end of summer. I am liking this plan because I’ve often thought of doing one of the shorter routes just for variety, but never wanted to not do the century ride each year. This way I get it all and perhaps I’ll even exercise a vintage bike or two that I wouldn’t trust on a 100 mile ride. A win-win plan in this weird year.
As for the Baker Hill Climb? Not so sure on riding my own outlaw version of that. Perhaps skipping the valley part of the ride and just doing the climb itself, maybe on a weekday morning with some really choice weather. And I shouldn’t forget the thought I have for a Ferndale Slow Roll…but perhaps the kickoff will just be a Solo Roll on Space Ape.
So yes it’s sad that a couple of events got cancelled but really in the whole scheme of things it is nothing. It’s like saying “Oh, so sorry that your mother has died, but did you hear me…I’ve stubbed my toe”. There are so so many good things going on in response to all of the bad things happening that I am certain that 2020 will go on the record as a blessed year.
Now shut up and go ride your bike.