For the fourth year in a row, Nick and I have had the pleasure of riding around Bainbridge Island with a small group of friends the week before Cascade Bicycle Club takes over the streets for its annual Chilly Hilly bike ride. We lucked out with the weather again this year. It was indeed chilly (36* when we left the cars), but more importantly, it was dry.

The ride didn’t start very auspiciously. Right of the ferry, Michelle’s bike decided it didn’t want to shift. On a ride that involves 2700′ of climbing, this is not a good idea. She got it sorted, and we rode another five minutes before Nick’s bike got a flat. He swears that he doesn’t get flat tires very often, except everyone in the group seemed to have a story about “the time Nick got a flat…”

Things started to look up after that, and we found a good riding pace. At the top of the first huge climb, we all wished one of us would have another mechanical so we could rest. It was not to be.

About half-way through the ride, we stopped at Battle Point Park for some refueling.

It’s a little hard to read, but Michelle’s wrapper says “Nougatocity,” which is defined as

A heightened yet fleeting state of accomplishment that makes you realize how unbelievably unmotivated you normally are.

Leave it to Snickers to define precisely how we were feeling.

We continued to ride at a leisurely pace, stopping at parks along the route. I never actually registered how many parks Bainbridge Island has. It’s a lot. Many of them are quite beautiful. I’d like to pack a bunch of picnic lunches and visit them all some day.

We arrived back in Winslow at 11:40, not one hill too soon, and made a beeline for the pub. Beers, ribbolita, salad, mushroom burgers, and sweet potato fries filled our empty tummies and we coasted downhill to the ferry.

I’d like to say that Nick and I felt invigorated by the ride, but I’ll be honest. We fell asleep in the living room about 10 minutes after we got home. How’s that for nougatocity?

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