After two challenging rides in two weeks, I was seeking a change of pace. The inaugural Woodinville Wine Ride on Sunday (June 7) was indeed a change of pace — 30 miles of trail riding, with no serious hills; a relatively easy out-and-back from Woodinville to Seattle and back.
I should have done some reporting to find out exactly why the Cascade Bicycle Club added this race to its lineup for 2015. But its purpose appears to be a fun blend of bicycling and wine tasting, as well as engaging more casual riders. Wines are poured both at a stop at the halfway and turnaround point (Magnuson Park in Seattle), and a the finish line behind the Woodinville Commons Cafe.
This resonated with the 1,000 or more riders, who braved 80-degree temperatures and long lines at Magnuson Park at 10:30 a.m. to get a four-ounce cup of merlot or chardonnay at the halfway stop. The finish line featured a wine garden, more people serving wine in cups, and the jazzy music of the Charles Street Messengers on stage.
Busy trail forces a fast pace
As for the actual ride, the 15 miles out and 15 miles back on the Sammamish River and Burke-Gilman trails — they connect on the route — was fast and fun, though the trails were very congested with riders and runners (but also nicely shaded in parts).
My legs were spent, from a training run and the recent Flying Wheels Summer Century and 7 Hills of Kirkland Metric Century. But I felt forced by the bicycle traffic to maintain a strong pace, and I ended up sprinting the last few miles so I could finish in under three hours.
I rode the course in 2:53, but that includes a half-hour stop at Magnuson Park for snacks and water (I avoided drinking wine at the halfway stop). So my riding time was about 2:25, or about 13 miles per hour. I did have a cup of chardonnay at the finish; very good.
I recommend this ride for couples, or for groups of friends who can stay together on a fast and narrow trail. Just watch how much you drink at the halfway stop, to ensure a safe ride back.
What’s next? Back to running
My next bike ride will be in July, the Tour de Peaks on July 18. My brother Mark says he is coming up to ride with me.
On Saturday, it’s back to running, and I am again doing the Snoqualmie Valley 10K Run in Carnation. This event has a marathon for the first time, as well as a half-marathon. I’m trained for a 10K, but nothing longer at this time. That’s why I am again skipping the Rock ‘n Roll Seattle Marathon and Half-Marathon, also Saturday.
Thanks for reading! Till next time.