June 1 was my book deadline for "75 Classic Rides: Washington" and I'm happy to say that this morning, I hit 'Enter' and sent 63,500 words to Mountaineers Books. (Yesterday, I'd Fedexed them 75 maps with elevation profiles and 185 photos.) With luck, those words will be in book stores early next year. Thanks a heck of a lot to the countless bike clubs, bike shops, bike folks, family, friends, as well as John Clark, who helped me out. Whew! The last six weeks have been a push, that's for sure.
For a while now, it's kind felt like the above photo, the last turn before Artist Point during the Mt. Baker Hill Climb when you're so close, but so knackered it's all you can do to just turn the pedals over, and no matter what you do, you can't get to that great big parking lot in the sky fast enough. Mentally, I've kind of felt the below, whatever that look is. (Sideways, too, if you can believe it.)
Celebrated said accomplishment (that I seem unable to shut up about) by riding my bike of course. The Samish Lake loop, hammering the hills and tossing in 15 seconds of standing sprints every two minutes. Hit that residential section above Lake Padden too--Samish Crest--where it's all Tony Soprano mansions on smooth, wide streets that tilt upward at 14-, 15-, even 17-percent. Also linked together a killer 1.5-mile hill that climbs 600 feet--the first part is what B'hammers know as the Steps, then it crosses Samish Way and heads up 40th St. and Samish Crest Way to the end. It's quite rude, and I love it!
Speaking of rude hills, last Sunday, whilst all of Northwest Washington was getting their Ski to Sea on, Titanium Cancellara and I headed down to Skagitland on a 60-miler during which we climbed that bump just off the freeway near Burlington. Hillcrest Drive to Tina's Coma Drive (what kind of name is Tina's Coma?) went seemingly straight up--17-percent--for about a mile. Kwazy!