Sunday’s ride was near La Conner, 60 miles north of Seattle, a large farming area, known best for the tulips festival in April. In the 12 years since I’ve visited, the there’s been consolidation of farms and several have gone away. The two remaining ones are Roozengarde and Tulip Town, and have more formal parking and shopping areas than before and discourage people walking among the fields. (Understandable, given the numbers.)
This is the tail-end of the season, and the farmers cut the tops off to give the bulbs more energy. It’s still pretty, just not colorful. The good news is traffic was way down.
The weather was fantastic, and the turnout was large enough that a “faster” group formed to complement the “social” (12-14mph) pace. Since this is a very flat area, I went with the faster group on the theory that I could always drop back.
The pace was higher than I expected — 17-18mph sustained — but I kept up with the pack through La Conner. We were still pretty early for lunch so they took a side trip through the Swinomish Indian reservation. This appears on the map as the two hills in the middle, which added about 800′ of the 940′ total elevation gain. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to keep up and resumed my normal, plodding pace up and down.
Lunch was at the Happy Moon Cafe on 2nd street, in downtown La Conner, followed by a quick, flat ride back to Conway via Fir Island Road.
44.4 miles, 940′ elevation gain, 2900 calories, 3:07, not including lunch.