Seattle Summer Cogal 2012 Report

Seattle Summer Cogal 2012 Report

by / / 31 posts

Some weeks ago, I took notice that the days were getting longer (note that this is not necessarily synonymous with “summer” in Seattle) and that it had been an overly long period of time since the Inaugural Seattle Cogal on Whidbey Island back in October. A quick email to Frank to suggest we organize a Cogal resulted in my new understanding of the term “We.” Like many things in life, a few command decisions are all it takes to produce results. The Seattle Summer Cogal 2012 was born. Picked a day. Picked a route. Made arrangements for some niceties pre- and post- ride. Made an announcement. *Ding*. Cogal.

@eightzero’s take:

Sadly, my VMH could not ride because of schedule conflict with her primary sport of Olympic fencing, but she did join us for the pre-ride festivities at Ray’s overlooking Puget Sound. Even though we are local, I decided a nice bit of combo would be for us to stay over at the Willows Lodge right next to the start/finish Redhook Brewery after the Cogal – we’ve wanted to stay there and Dr.Mrs. Eightzero was kind enough to acquiesce to my suggestion that we “share our hotel room with a bunch of sweaty guys I met over the internet” so they could get a post ride shower. Love that woman.

I added a few Kms from Casa de Eightzero to make it the full meal (imperial) century deal. I don’t do a lot of group rides, but it was easy to see this group of nut jobs were all very strong, competent cyclists. My moniker “eightzero” comes from my contest number from when I raced sailplanes, and by nature, I’m a rather cautious, non-risk taking kind of guy. But with pilots I knew (and trained) I never minded flying within a wingspan of because I could trust them. So too with this bunch – I learned how to pace-line a little better, and tried to keep up my end of the bargain. I think maybe that was the fastest I ever ran from Snohomish to Monroe, even though Dr.Mrs. eightzero and I have run it many, many times before. Sorry for getting you guys lost – I had the route on my bars on my Garmin 705 and when you drop the guy with the route directions…well…

And of course, I was reminded I am not a climber. At all.

Post ride beerage, refuel at the brewery was the capstone. What a great group. Had a blast.

Speaking of blasts: watch to see what we have on tap for the Seattle Cogal 2013.

@snowgeek’s take:

@James attacks on the left in a flash of blue… a subtle wave passes through the group… who’s going to respond?  It’s a bit early in the ride for this, isn’t it?  But surely we’re not going to let him get away with that!  @urbanwhitetrash kicks and charges off in pursuit…  fuck it – I’ll burn a match now…  who knows, later in the ride my matchbook may be all soggy from this Pacific Northwest cool almost-rain…  just as I kick, everyone else seems to make the same decision at once, and soon we’re all hot on @James’ wheel as one sweeping, forested turn after another fly past…

lather, rinse, repeat…

It felt a bit like what I imagine internet dating is like – meeting up with folks whom you only know through their online rantings.  Anticipation…  would I get dropped immediately?  Are they really all just a bunch of assholes?  Will I be able to parlay the expected heckling over my lack of Rule #33 compliance into a source of power to lay down The V?

Concerns assuaged…

Anybody know where we are?  I thought we were doing the loop counter-clockwise…  No, I think we were supposed to make a turn back there in the middle of the descent…  Doesn’t that Garmin thingy on your stem tell us where to go?  Where’s @eightzero to reel off the route for us?  Hang on, I’m trying to work my iPhone through this plastic bag…

Kilometers added…

The road pitches up into the last climb, and the group stretches out… After a few minutes, suddenly the grade is perfect and I find my spin and start reeling people in… @G’rilla … @scaler911 … I pass @frank on the final ramp, giving a camaraderie-filled “Yeah baby…” on my way past, which is immediately interpreted as a threat…  I feel, rather than hear (Principle of Silence, remember) Frank pull on behind me, and moments later he passes with extreme prejudice… must respond… big ring riding… we flash past @James & @urbanwhitetrash, who are waiting for some reason (do they know something we don’t?) and hammer down the other side…

Guns fired… out of ammo…

Thanks, all… for a fine day on the road and a swell evening at the Pub…

@frank’s take:

Its always fun cycling with people. We cyclists form a subculture connected by a love for the bike. But a group ride really doesn’t go much deeper than that. A group ride is just a ride with other people who like to ride.
A Cogal (pronounce it correctly: cog-all) is different. Its a day devoted first to the bike and then to beer, two things close to my heart. But what truly amazes me is that we’ve somehow managed to go from what I humbly consider the most awesome virtual community in the world to translating that to the physical world. Time and again, the gatherings that have been organized via Velominati have resulted in the meeting of kindred spirits and the building of friendships. To my knowledge and in my experience, every single person who has shown up to a Cogal has been a class act. That, my friends, has nothing to do with us and everything to do with you. You amaze me.
Eightzero organized a fantastic ride for us on a day of questionable weather. And, because I have exceptionally poor judgement, I decided to ride from my home to the Cogal start at Redhook. And then I convinced more people to join me in my idiocy, making me comparatively less stupid.
Casually Deliberate pace? Well, maybe not so much. More like, “split into groups and regroup at set meeting points”. Not the plan, exactly, but its bound to happen when you combine hills and competitive spirits. We had lots of fun switching between mellow paces on the flat that kept the group together and all out battles up the hills. For those of you in the first group, you’ll all remember The Ridge. One of the finer moments I’ve had on a bike in my life.
But its all about the after party. Pouring rain, pouring beer, good food, great service, and a group of newly-found friends.
This is what its about. Camaraderie, friendship, shared passion. And hangovers that take a day and a half to dissipate.
Cheers.
@G’rilla’s take:
A Cogal is always an opportunity to learn a new route, meet new people, and have a fun time riding a bike.
We made a few wrong turns which strangely ended at the top of a hill we didn’t need to ascend, or at the bottom of a hill that we had to climb back up to find the correct route. Everyone was in a good mood and showed a great level of teamwork for a group of people who had just met each other a few hours before.
@Jamie’s take:
It is obvious that my level of preparation and the Cogal’s “Casually Deliberate” pace were not an even match.  Though not the slowest by any means, I failed to contend for any KOM points (this year at least). The route was great, the weather odd but fine, and my Velominoti comrades a blast.  The best part of the ride for me was feeling the loving hand of Merckx himself on my very ass as the grupetto I was in got a 20 Kph
tailwind for the last 10 Km of the Cogal.  It was comforting to know that He wanted to hurry me on my way to my recovery beverages. Speaking of which, while the rain held off for the most part during the ride, we experienced some true Rule #9 drinking on the patio of the otherwise packed Forecaster Pub.  Chapeau to all the riders who braved the elements and “loved the work.” Next year I WILL be prepared for KOM points (even if I AM the oldest SOB on the ride).
@scaler911’s take:
I’ve thought a ton about how I could wax poetic about redemption from dropping out of the PDX Cogal that myself and McSqueek organized. But with simplicity in mind, this is my version;I drove to Seattle with McSqueek. Rode fucking hard in beautiful country. Tried to break Frank’s Guns. Couldn’t. Got stupid drunk. Drove back to PDX the next morning. Kidding aside, this was a top notch group, on a top notch route that left
me totally wrecked. I haven’t ridden that hard or far in years. Chapeau @eightzero for organizing, tip of the hat to @McSqueek (my pedalwan) for his massive improvements, and there needs to be a rule about guys coming from Colorado/ Canada/ England and bringing the pain so hard that my starter pistols are going to cooked for days.
Good Shit. Keep ‘em coming.
@mcsqueak’s take (a haiku):
Rain fails to show
Pedals Turn Furiously
Beer me I’m done

// Cogals

  1. As usual, it was a total joy to read the reports.

  2. Nice stuff, guys!

  3. Awesome stuff guys. That needle thing looks like  the non-drive side of a huge hub.

  4. One thing I forgot to mention: as we pulled out of the start at the brewery, I had to lead out through the neutral zone, as there some stupid intersections to get through. I dropped onto the route slowly, and sort of soft pedaled a bit so as not to get folks too strung out on the road, miss traffic lights, etc. I realized after a bit that I couldn’t hear anyone, and thought I’d dropped everyone in traffic; I took a quick glance over my shoulder to see 11 other bikes perfectly obeying the Principle of Silence right on my wheel. It’s an amazing thing.

  5. Very cool. Chapeau to eightzero for organizing and riding not only the route but some extra as well. Sorry I missed this one as it would have been great to see G’rilla and squeaky again and meet scaler et. al.

  6. @eightzero

    One thing I forgot to mention: as we pulled out of the start at the brewery, I had to lead out through the neutral zone, as there some stupid intersections to get through. I dropped onto the route slowly, and sort of soft pedaled a bit so as not to get folks too strung out on the road, miss traffic lights, etc. I realized after a bit that I couldn’t hear anyone, and thought I’d dropped everyone in traffic; I took a quick glance over my shoulder to see 11 other bikes perfectly obeying The Principle of Silence right on my wheel. It’s an amazing thing.

    If you’re going to obey The Principle of Silence, it’s going to be at a Cogal. I’m told that my carbone tubbies have a hypnotizing affect however.

  7. We still need pictures of post-Cogal celebration and someone that was sober enough to fill us in on this whole cranium touching ordeal.  Inquiring minds want to know!

  8. Love the write up lads, good read.

  9. @roger

    We still need pictures of post-Cogal celebration and someone that was sober enough to fill us in on this whole cranium touching ordeal.  Inquiring minds want to know!

    No photos of that I’m aware of, which is good. Something like 100 beers were consumed. Given you have an idea of the number of attendees and do the math, it weren’t pretty.

    And I’m not talking about the cranium thing except to say it involved Franks thumb, forefinger and seat rails. I’ve probably said too much actually.

    I might also add that Mrs. Frank is a very tolerant person.

  10. Sounds like a great event. Thanks for the reports. Love the concept of Rule #9 drinking!

  11. Is that a fucking double rainbow in one of those pictures?

  12. @Nate

    Is that a fucking double rainbow in one of those pictures?

    “Oh MY GOD, It’s a full on, double rainbow across the sky. WHAT DOES IT MEEAANN!!??”

    Yep. That may have happened too. It was a good Cogal.

  13. Great report. As with all things V, amusing, witty, engaging, and slightly terrifying.

  14. @scaler911

    You have a point good sir, some things are better left unsaid, undocumented.  I imagine Mrs Frank has the patience of a saint.  With the amount of time it takes to run this site, plus I imagine he has an actual job, it has to be quite the juggling act.  But you Seattlelites, you really do put on a smashing Cogal!

    Speaking of double rainbows, I kid you not one of the guys in a local club sent an email last night recapping how crazy a day they all had, and it involved sinking ships, double rainbows, lost cyclists, and a few rounds of thunderstorms.

  15. Great write up and i just love the photoshop work on the Space Needle.

    Sounds like you all had a blast!

  16. @frank

    Your guidance would be greatly appreciated over in blighty as to the correct pronunciation of Cogal. You give some guidance above but can i just confirm it’s cog as the first syllable, will all as the second?

    Cheers!

  17. Awesome awesome awesome!

    Nice one eightzero for pulling this off… great reads from everyone, and I loves me a haiku.

  18. @936adl

    @frank

    Your guidance would be greatly appreciated over in blighty as to the correct pronunciation of Cogal. You give some guidance above but can i just confirm it’s cog as the first syllable, will all as the second?

    Cheers!

    Try this…

  19. Great stuff! I love these reports, especially the different writing styles they engender. Cheers!

  20. @brett

    @936adl

    @frank

    Your guidance would be greatly appreciated over in blighty as to the correct pronunciation of Cogal. You give some guidance above but can i just confirm it’s cog as the first syllable, will all as the second?

    Cheers!

    Try this…

    This link doesn’t seem to work for me.
     

  21. Nice writing guys! Good reading.

  22. It’s 4am, it’s pouring with rain, I grab a bite to eat and load up the car. On the empty roads heading down to Seattle for my first ever cogal, there is a little tinge of nervousness but I’m not sure whether it’s the anticipation of the ride or how much I’m going to get grilled at  the border. It’s still raining; the border guard questions why I would drive all that way to ride my bike rather just ride my bike, he has a valid point, but that is besides the point, I’m on American soil and heading the Seattle “Summer” Cogal as fast as my 1987 Volvo GLE will take me.
    As I make my way down the I5 to exit 172 the sound of the rain on my windshield and drone of the tires are almost too much for the stock stereo system that, even though cranked, is still barely audible. Exit 179, I’m at full stop on the I5, how could there be standstill traffic this early in the morning, I have to pee. Exit 175, it’s stopped raining, this is a good omen, as is the parking spot right out front of the Herk. I swing around only to find some lady has decided that the two spots out front of the coffee shop are perfect for her to pull into the middle. I yell some choice four letter, single syllable words at her as I pass to find parking elsewhere. Did I mention I really had to pee.
    I have arrived with enough time to get kitted up (my apologies to the neighbourhood of Phinney ridge, for the first of two bare ass shows) and to have a sip of my espresso before a small of crew of gentlemen, resplendent in their V-kit, arrived. Hands shaken, names traded, espresso & baked confectionaries consumed the cogal has un-officially started. We now begin our traverse across the city, at some point @Frank says something about loving this descent -there may have been and expletive in there-  and he takes off like stabbed rat. I tried to chase but the idea of descending moist, unfamiliar roads at this speed made my sphincter pucker. The proverbial leather glove had been laid to all our faces by @Frank – Game on, challenge gladly accepted.

    We’re early, almost a full half hour early but it’s okay, the company is good and the conversation is easy. In dribs and drabs riders show up, some by car, some on bike. Introductions are made and then promptly forgotten, I’ll be first to admit I’m terrible with names, but now having a name AND a handle to remember, it’s too much. Sorry fellas. It’s near the anointed hour, @eightzero does a final head count and we’re off, the Seattle Summer Cogal has officially started, 30km in.

    Single file out the parking lot we head, a few pedal rotations and a couple of roundabouts and @Frank announces from the back, “First Flat!” @Frank offers to stay back and will meet up with us shortly. The first climb of the day sees @G’rilla pop to the front with a few other just behind him. We stop at the lights and wait for the butterfly whisperers to catch up and also for the two repairing a flat, we wait, and wait some more and finally @Frank and @James are back in the group. Many of us Pacific Northwesters at this point have noted how humid the day it, it’s uncommonly humid, @snowgeek from Colorado is not a fan.

    Bikes mounted, green light and we’re off once again, through beautiful countryside and wonderfully fresh air, sometimes a little too fresh, but that’s country riding. It must have been the orange painted space needle or someone may have posted flyers announcing our arrival because the local drivers were wonderfully appreciative of our presence on the road, they were honking their horns, and screaming – which I can only assume was “happy birthday Eddy Merckx!” because all I heard was a combo of horn and “UUUUUCCCCkkkkkkkkyouuuuuuu” as they blew by in a cloud of diesel fumes. The more corners we took the less traffic we encountered, -it was blissful.  Dry, rolling hills and tree covered roads that twisted and turned out of view only to reappear and disappear as the apex of each was crested. Somewhere on this ribbon of asphalt a couple of us had managed to separate from the rest of the group, we sat up to figure out if anyone had any idea where we were going. It wasn’t until we stopped at the top of the climb did we realize that indeed, a wrong turn had been taken. By this time however, and alarming trend was starting, it seemed that every time the road pointed up, @James flew off the front like a bubble in a spirit level. Back down the unnecessary climb and onto the proper route it was game on to regroup, by this point @G’rilla had gotten his bearings back and a “B” line was made to the bakery, foregoing a roadside taco stand which distressed @snowgeek.

    Expresso had (for the record, this is @Frank’s second espresso on the ride, lord knows how many he had at home), baked goods eaten and or stuffed into pockets and as an almost single group again, we were off. More beautiful country roads, these ones are flat with little wind, so the pace is good, the chatter of paceline buddies could be heard, even from the front. We managed to stay together as a group for the most of this part of the ride, even though digs were had, attacks were mustered and each time the peloton dragged them back. This was the worst possible time to have to stop and double back, yet that’s what I found myself doing after a ziplock baggie with half an almond butter and nutella sandwich and an oatmeal cherry cookie dropped out of my pocket with an unbelievable thump. A couple of matches burned and a fortuitously placed construction site and I was able to get back with the group, just in time for a break. More espresso *cough @Frank*, and what looked the tail end of a full bbq platter, corn bread and all for @Jamie.

    Now we’re told we’re into the serious part of the ride, this is where the hills come into play and at about 120 kilometers into the ride, this means business. The climbs, although sharp, were mercifully short and the ridges connecting ascents to the descents were sublime, so sublime in fact myself, @Frank & @snowgeek went plowing at full speed down and partway into the valley only to have @eightzero reel us back with a phone call, mount unnecessary has climbs everywhere. We climb back up and lo and behold the usual gang of misdirected fools are waiting for us. Misery, it seems, loves company. It’s about here I’m glad I doubled back to grab my dropped bag of food. There are still more climbs, each one seeming to take more than the previous one, and all this time the rain is threatening to fall. Between the climbs, the ridges and the descents there are small reprieves where we gather and regroup only to be shattered apart on the next climb, one of these reprieves is at a gas station, another is out front of a church. We refill bidons as the pastor tells us that we should attend church on Sunday as a repayment for the water, I fought the urge to reply that were currently attending service in the Church of Merckx. I try not to goad holy men in foreign lands, it’s a personal rule of thumb.

    Climbing is now done, all that lays between us and cold, fresh beer is about 15 kilometers of traffic filled roads and pathways. We part ways with @James who has another 50 or so kilometers to return home -animal-. Under the watchful eye of @eightzero we make our way through the traffic and onto pathways around Marymoore park, we resist the urge to stop off at beerfest next to the Ride to Conquer Cancer finish line, autopilot now fully engaged. I’m off the front of the remaining riders, I drop down into the phantom aerobars and all I can think about is how good that first beer is going to taste. Should I order a lager and an IPA and chug them both, or chug the lager and sip the…whoooooosh @G’rilla hammers past me in a gravel ditch with @snowgeek not far behind, this scares the bajeezus out of me and snaps me back to reality. I jump onto @snowgeek’s wheel and it’s an all out horse race with whatever juice is left in the tank. There is a sharp hairpin corner to get onto the bridge, I’m still behind @snowgeek, we take the corner onto the bridge when @G’rilla pops out of the bushes and almost t-bones us, it’s a ballsy move to take the shorter, dirt path up and it almost pays off. A few more corners, a close encounter with a mini van and we’re back where we started.

    All in all an epic ride, with a bunch of really cool cats to boot. Thanks @Jamie for the first pint, you’re a champ. A huge thanks to @eightzero for setting this up, planning the route and guiding all safely to our well deserved hangovers. Thanks @snowgeek for the ride back to Fort Awesome & @Frank for taking my bike.

    Thanks to all the keepers for this hallowed space on the internet that allows us to geek out both digitally and in person.

    This was one of the better birthday rides I’ve had in a long time, even though it was one day early.

    Cheers,

  23. @all

    Sounds like it was an absolute blast.

    @urbanwhitetrash

    Great writeup!

  24. @urbanwhitetrash

    at some point @Frank says something about loving this descent -there may have been and expletive in there-  and he takes off like stabbed rat.

    Hahah. HAHAH! “takes off like a stabbed rat” may be the most funny thing I’ve seen written in awhile. Great mental image. I’m going to keep that one on the back-burner for future use.

  25. @936adl

    Great write up and i just love the photoshop work on the Space Needle.

    Sounds like you all had a blast!

    Blast? A blast you say? Wait to see what is coming for the 2013 Seattle Summer Cog. *Blast*

  26. @urbanwhitetrash great great story.  we also have the same appreciative drivers.  great feeling having cheerleaders at the ready 24/7.

  27. @urbanwhitetrash Nicely done sir, nicely done.

  28. @roger

    @scaler911

    You have a point good sir, some things are better left unsaid, undocumented.  I imagine Mrs Frank has the patience of a saint.  With the amount of time it takes to run this site, plus I imagine he has an actual job, it has to be quite the juggling act.  But you Seattlelites, you really do put on a smashing Cogal!

    Speaking of double rainbows, I kid you not one of the guys in a local club sent an email last night recapping how crazy a day they all had, and it involved sinking ships, double rainbows, lost cyclists, and a few rounds of thunderstorms.

    Sounds like a good time. What’s the point if your life is all about just working, and paying the bills. Times like that are what the stories you tell your grandchildren are made of.

  29. ast weekend I met up with some of the guys from Velominiti for their Seattle Summer Cogal, and it was great fun.  I was admittedly a little apprehensive and nervous, as I usually ride solo and haven’t tested myself much in matching other’s accelerations.  Also, this was to be my longest ride to date this season, and I was concerned about taking in adequate food.  I arrived just in the nick of time to avoid Delgadoing, and said, “you guys look casually deliberate,” as I rolled up to the group of about 12 in the parking lot.

    We departed under leaden skies and moist, but not wet roads.  It is said that the Inuits in Alaska encounter so much snow that they have 17 different words describing different varieties, and we here in the Pacific Northwest have the same relationship with rain and its variants.  Soon after departure, the roads became more rural, and the pace and grade ramped up, and I was happy to be able to follow the wheels – until I couldn’t.  At some point during the second or third climb, I just suddenly started going backwards through most of the group and popped right off the back.  I came to an intersection and not knowing which way to go, simply stopped and waited for someone who had some notion of where we were going, and soon, the one known as @eightzero appeared to guide me into Snohomish.  We chatted most of the way there and actually ended up beating the group that had dropped us to the coffee shop, as they had taken an unplanned detour at some point.

    The second half of the ride was much the same, getting dropped once the pace ramped up on the hills, but hanging in there on the flat.  I was fine dropping back and wait for those behind, and we beat the lead group, who had again ventured off the parcours to the beer meeting back at Red Hook.  The rain mostly held off until we were back at the brewery, and the last 5 miles or so, we had a huge tailwind pushing us beerward.

    Great to meet all you guys, and looking forward to the next one!

    .

  30. Cool – nice write ups, sounds like a great time.  This Cogal ridable from my house, though I missed it.  Fantastic how this site has grown into like minded bike freaks actually sharing rides – for real.  Awesome.

Leave a Reply