Posted by: fergy1008 | February 22, 2014

Green Freeze II

written by: Angela Ferguson (with a little help from Steve’s newsletter article)

Well, last weekend was Green Freeze II and, somehow, we ended up leading again!  This was not expected, the weather was way worse, and the trip did not go as smoothly, but, we still enjoyed ourselves.

After a rough week, I was looking forward to a nice quiet ride with Steve.  Maybe one other bike.  Not eleven! But, that’s where we ended up.  During mingling after check-in, we chatted with fellow chapter member Paul, another chapter member and decided to ride together.  Paul was riding without a passenger which makes following turn-by-turn instructions, in the rain no less, a little tricky. Following Steve, who had me on the back to provide directions, would make for a more enjoyable trip and we like riding with Paul (and Carol, when she’s with him).

IMG_0636Shortly thereafter we headed outside to get our rain gear out of the bike and onto us.  Paul pulled up to our parking spot as we started the process, then moved up to the head of the driveway to wait for us.  As we dressed, more and more bikes pulled up behind him and I thought “oh, well.  Riding in a group might be good.  We can just follow along and I don’t have to worry about the directions, we can just ride”.  HA!  As Steve mounted the bike, Paul came running over and asked if we would lead – he knew we didn’t have a CB but… and I didn’t catch the rest of what he said.  Steve did though and agreed to lead.  At this point I thought, “Oh, it is just going to be us and Paul, the rest of the bikes must just be getting ready to head out”.  Uh, yeah – head out behind us!!

IMG_0637We had glanced at the directions – which took us through Sumner, into Bonney Lake, through Northeast Tacoma and through the Dash Point area into Federal Way and on into Auburn where we ended at Las Margaritas – but we weren’t nearly as familiar with the areas as the previous ride and, since we were already mounted and moving, had no time to prepare ourselves for this endeavor.  I had, as always, grabbed two sets of the riding instructions – one in my hand and one in the trunk in case the first set fell victim to wind or rain. However, that only works when you’re on your own and can pull over to grab the second set whenever you want. In this situation, what I had in my hand was what I had and before we were even out of the lot the paper was wet and tearing.  Did I mention it was raining?! I do not mean a misting, a sprinkling or a shower.  I mean RAIN.  And it didn’t let up all day. I had the paper folded in quarters and sheltered them the best I could but knew it was going to be difficult to keep them intact to the end.

Paul had positioned himself behind us which made Steve feel more comfortable because Paul had a CB and could communicate with most of the group and could signal us if needed, which, it turned out, was needed.

Overall, it went pretty well but there were a few wrong turns.  And missed turns :-). First, somewhere in Bonney Lake, I turned a street before I was supposed to and ended up on a small neighborhood road.  Much to my relief, it was wide enough that I was able to u-turn right in the street, and the row of bikes followed us.  This is how Angela was able to count and find out there were 11 of them behind us.  Second, in Federal Way, Angela warned me of an upcoming unmarked Y where we were supposed to go right.  I thought I knew the intersection – I was wrong.  I went straight instead of making the right.  We quickly figured out my error and, luckily, there was an empty parking lot just up on our right.  We pulled over to confer with Paul, who, thankfully, knew the area and we realized we had only missed a small side route and were actually facing the street we would have come out on anyway.  We made the turn onto Hwy 99 and continued on our way, getting back on track within a mile or so.  By this point my directions had been reduced to about a 4 inch square, stuck to the back of Steve’s jacket with just enough visible to get us through the end of the ride.  With only two more turns until the end of the route, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then we missed the next to last turn and were completely lost.  We had no knowledge of the area we were in and no idea of where to go or how to correct ourselves.  Luckily, someone in the group did and, even more luckily, they had a CB.  Turn by turn, they told Paul, Paul told us, and we were able to make it to the restaurant. Everyone was wet but in good spirits.

The restaurant had put together several tables for us, creating two long dining areas and we found that most of the seats were already filled.  Turns out most people had ridden/driven straight to the restaurant. Does that make us foolish or adventurous? Both, perhaps 🙂

Steve learned a lot of lessons about group riding this time, but says he would do it again, that what he learned on this trip was invaluable as a rider. If you’d like to read his article for our newsletter with group riding tips and his own take on this adventure, you can view it here:

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