Chilly Hilly 2010 kicked my butt

This year, I was woefully unprepared for the annual Chilly Hilly ride, not having gotten on my bicycle for the entire month of February. And I paid dearly for this lack of preparation, conking out and ending up walking up some of the last few hills.

I rode with a few other people, but I quickly ended up lagging behind them. They would sometimes stop to let me catch up, but I told them not to bother and just go at their own pace. At one point, I ran over a nail and lost precious time to a flat tire. (I took the flat tire as an opportunity to take my midpoint break, since it occurred just a half mile or so from the cider stop.) After patching the flat, I caught up to the rest of the group at the cider stop, where they were nearly ready to resume the ride. We left the cider stop together, but I quickly fell behind.

I rolled into the finish as the rest of the group finished up their chili (a traditional post-ride snack), so we all headed out directly to the ferry. (Basically, I used their break time as my opportunity to catch up.) We were just in time for the 1:10 run, but we were too far back in line and they stopped accepting riders just as we reached the front. I guess I had time to have some chili after all, but by this point I didn't want to lose my place in line.

My record against Chilly Hilly is now even at 2 wins, 2 losses.

Ferry trivia: Even though there was room for more bicycles on the ferry, they wouldn't accept any more. This wasn't because they were being mean. They were following safety rules: While the limiting factor in how many cars they will allow on the ferry is the amount of space on the ferry deck, the limiting factor in how many bicycles they will accept on the ferry is the number of life jackets they have.

Nobody would know: Right near the start, a wine store advertised that it was offering wine tastings. Don't just lubricate your bicycle; lubricate yourself! One of my friends who was riding by himself noted "I saw that sign and thought to myself, you know, I could just go in there, drink wine for three hours, then tootle back to the ferry for the return trip, and nobody would know." I wonder if anybody actually did that.

Chilly Hilly trivia: There were 6028 riders this year, a huge increase from the 3585 riders last year.

Are you sick of all these little blurbs yet? Photos of the ferry ride from the Seattle P-I. The Kitsap Sun link above also has pictures of the ride itself.

Comments (8)
  1. Jeff says:

    Congratulations on making the ride, even if it kicked your butt. It’s a little early for organized rides up here in the Northeast; the earliest one I’ve ever participated in was a Five Borough Ride around NYC a couple of years ago — this year’s version is May 2nd, two months away. I generally look to the end of March as the starting point of my riding season. I’ve done some riding in Oregon, and hope some day to do some in Washington as well.

  2. Marquess says:

    That brings up the question: Just how do you get to work? Bike, car, public transport, helicopter, compatibility shim?

  3. Nick says:

    How chilly was Chilly?

    Also, a small typo: “where they were nearly read to resume the ride”

    [This year was not chilly at all, but it was still hilly. (And typo has been fixed, thanks.) -Raymond]
  4. Nate Jones says:

    This was my first time in a group ride, but I have been riding to work by bicycle 2-3 times a week for the past couple years.

    Like you, I was slower than my friends, generally speaking, but not too far behind them as to be annoying to them.  We’re trying to get prepped to do the STP this year, and this was a good "quiz" to see our strengths and weaknesses and where to train harder.

    I missed the wine tasting too – I’ll put that in the log book for next year!


  5. frymaster says:

    "That brings up the question: Just how do you get to work? Bike, car, public transport, helicopter, compatibility shim?"

    I now have a vision of Raymond riding to work on a compatability shim.  Cheers :D

  6. Eric Shalit says:


    You say you lost precious time because of a flat. Why was time so precious? If you do it at your own pace, take breaks, make new friends, enjoy the scenery and food, you will have much more fun. Sounds like you sacrificed that and knocked yourself out to catch up with your group. If it’s no fun, you will not want to ride long-term. Glad you were on the ride on the most beautiful day!

    [I had set a personal goal for myself to keep up with the rest of the group. I enjoyed the ride regardless. -Raymond]
  7. The Speed says:

    I also made the ride this year. It was my first time and I really enjoyed it. The nice temps didn’t hurt. Great people and a great event.

  8. Me says:

    What do you ride?

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