Not as hilly, more chilly. It didn’t seem as rigorous (not that I didn’t end up walking up some of the steeper inclines, for various reasons), but my it was colder, especially at the end while waiting for the return ferry (imagine standing in a fogbank being wafted on a cool breeze after having ridden about 33 miles — damp clothes and fatigue make it worse).
Rather than ride my road bike — a Fuji Finest, now sitting on a training stand — I took along a hybrid I picked up a while ago, serviceable with the addition of a chain. Not a bad bike, aluminum frame, Shimano drivetrain, etc. That may not have been the best decision, though in the grand scheme of things, I doubt it made that much difference. A broken pedal that I didn’t know about — the platform is cracked and the axle is threaded cockeyed, making it lean down and away — was an annoyance that became a real nuisance. Losing my footing, banging my heel into the chainstay, getting a cramp in one calf, all bad things and all preventable. I was reluctant to really push on it on a grade: if it broke, it could either prevent me from pedaling on the flat and/or make the crank unusable.
Still, it was a beautiful day to be out, the ride along the shoreline was pretty, even in the fog, and as always, the people of Bainbridge Island open their community to us, all 5000(!) or so of us, and that makes it worthwhile. We saw numbers in the low 4000s in our group, and as expected the number 666 I wore was a great conversation-starter. It seems to me Cascade could auction off desirable numbers (1, 7, 13, etc.) with the proceeds going to benefit their foundation.
My main problem with opportunities like this is not a lack of strength, but a lack of endurance and experience: I run out of gas too early in the climbs both from lack of a solid physical foundation and any real experience with climbs (I spent my formative years in Florida, a state no known for its uneven terrain). So I don’t always know how to attack: letting my knees or my lungs tell me makes sense but by the time they make their feelings known, I’m not able to act on their advice. Maybe I’ll add something about that to my not-quite 43 Things.