A week late.

Post by Ben Rathkamp

I was going to post a week ago.  But things get hectic.  This next week was looking next to impossible logistically between school, work, training and prepping the WWU team for its first race of the season, and what will be the first race ever for more than one of my new WWU teammates.  Thankfully, the rest week I just had allowed me to make some needed headway into the peripheral projects and details I should be placing at a higher level of priority in my life.

But last Sunday is what I’m here to write about.  One week late.

It was the last ride of a training block.  I was tired but ready to buckle ‘er down and bust ‘er out.  After all, it’s only one more workout right?  I got on the bike around 3:30.  Headed north.  It was sunny so I was definitely enjoying myself.  The flats in the Lynden area are pretty nice in the sunshine.  Heck, I’ll take a drink of sunshine from just about any spigot these days.  I headed west and traveled along a road that runs parallel to Lynden-Birch Bay road, which I tend to avoid.  I thought I’d check out the roads between L-BB and the river to see if there was a nice river-router.  No such luck but I did find Custer School road (?) which pops over the freeway very conveniently and drops you down in a little, secluded hamlet that I didn’t even know existed, Custer WA.  Home of the Custer Cougars, The Custer General Store and Tony’s Bar (home of some sweet Mexicano Karaoke by the sound of it).  I had heard of Custer but have somehow always missed it on my hundred odd rides in the area.  For a second, I thought it might be a Crit town but on second thought, I don’t think its big enough.  It’s like, 2 blocks total.

After Custer, I made a b-line for Birch Bay to catch the sunset.  Success.  Its the pleasant little bonuses you get on rides like these that make training more than just a workout.  It’s not all watts, heart rates and pain.

Little did I know, the rewards for my effort were just begining.  After the sun had set and darkness had fallen, I was headed back towards Ferndale.  I took a right turn towards the east, and was startled, practically off my bike by just a quarter of what was the biggest, orangest, brightest full moon I have ever seen, plopped down right at the end of my street at the top of a little riser, like a pat of butter.  When I got to the top, the moon was halfway exposed from behind the mountains and if you looked real hard, right to the right of it, you could make out the outline of Mt. Baker.  Epic.  More than epic.  Laugh-out-loud astounding.  It’s like the good Lord was peekin’ his planetary sized head over the horizon and winkin’ at me right then and there.  I love the Northwest.

Then I had to do Vista hill repeats. Surprisingly, I felt better after them than the last time I had them on the skedge and I felt better at the end of this ride than I did at the end of my last block-ender.  So that’s cool.

My rear shifter cable pretty much crapped out during the last of the repeats and I had little gear options on the ride home.  Well timed mechanical actually.  I had plenty of time to fix that and get some race bikes tuned up this week.  Nothing gets you stoked to race like gettin’ the whip all flossy.  When I get my tubbies glued… oh boy.  Matching carbon weaves on frame and wheel!?  White evo tires matching white lettering on the bike!?  Sooooo hot.  I might have to buy a digital camera just to show you.

Keep the Faith.

-Rathchamp

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