Vella Bella Ride, Lake Wentachee
August 16th & 17th
Whew - what a hot and hilly ride! The Vella Bella ride near Lake Wenatchee was a beautiful and fun ride! We decided as a group to start the 50 mile ride at 7:30AM so we could beat as much of the sun as we could, our best attempt to escape the heat.
We all set-up camp at the eight mile campgrounds on Icicle Rd. Waking up at 5:30AM wasn't so easy, but the groaning quickly dissolved once we had our coffee. We started from the rec center and headed out to start the first of two out-and-back legs. The first leg was definitely the hilly one! We did so much climbing, but all was worthwhile when we flew down on the way back. When we reached the turnaround, which in fact was the literal end of the pavement, the rest stop consisted of a pick-up truck, one volunteer, coolers of water and various nutritional snacks. We could only stay a few minutes because the bugs were starting to bite, but we had great conversation with other ladies and had fun teasing the volunteer guy that seemed a little bashful among so many women.
Like mentioned above, we flew down on the way back through the refreshing breeze and empty roads (virtually no cars at this point and all were polite). The corners were curvy - easy to tuck and fly. We stopped back at the rec center to put on more sunblock and load up on more food (eating/drinking every 20-30 minutes is the first way to survive the unrelenting heat). Then, we headed out to the second out-and-back leg of the 50 mile ride. This leg was much more of the rolling hill variety and most of it was sheltered by trees, except for the first 5 miles on a highway with some semi-truck traffic. When we reached the rest stop at the turnaround point, we had a beautiful view of the river from atop a foot bridge. Another pick-up truck with snacks and two men volunteering (bonus!). All the women we spoke with unanimously agreed that this was a memorable ride and we are all hoping that it will continue to grow and year-after-year.
The way back was not as fast, but the tree cover kept us cool as the weather heated up. There were a few near misses with squirrels making suicide runs across the road, nearly missing our wheels by inches. What are they thinking!? The last 5 miles on the open stretch of road were hot as the sun scorched our backs, but we all made it back with more than enough energy to laugh and chat about our adventurous ride. At the end of the day, we all were relieved that we chose to do the 50 and not the 75.
Back at the rec center, there were all sorts of goodies waiting for us, including gummie bears (genius!). We filled our bellies and then headed back for showers and an afternoon spent in Leavenworth grabbing some beers and cooling down.
Save the date for Vella Balla 2009 - August 29th