|Date||October 7, 2006|
|Who (else)||Claire Hamanaka and Walt Willard, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Susan Nicolich and Dave Snope|
As far as we could tell, only 3 DOGS teams made it to Salisbury for this year's big event. We knew well in advance that the weather would again be rainy, so TeamBreeze and Snope/Nicolich decided to bring our "beater" bikes: aging, but still reliable 90's vintage Burleys. We equipped them with fenders and taped over any places that would allow water to get in the frames. Team Dbloccupancy (Walt and Claire) brought their old Cannondale for the occasion.
On the morning of the ride the weather was, as predicted, rainy and windy. Since it was the 10th Seagull (not counting last year because we didn't ride then due to the weather) for Team Snope/Nicolich, we were determined to ride this one, the weather be damned. We ate our hotel breakfast and drove to the college a little later than usual, hoping the weather would calm down a bit. We finally got going around 8:30 and joined thousands of like-minded cyclists on the road. The weather prospects were too daunting for Team Dbloccupancy and they elected to stay dry and do some local activities (not a bad decision).
The ride started off wet and windy, but we trudged along with our "heavy" Burleys and rain gear flapping in the breeze. Soon we picked up a group of "klingons" and started a pace line, alternating the lead between the 2 DOGS teams. We decided to do the 100 mile route with the option of cutting it short and making it a metric century if the weather made things too uncomfortable. After about 44 miles and lots of wind that, at times, slowed us to a mere 9 mph, we decided to cut the ride short and went directly to the pie and ice cream stop, bypassing the trip out to Assateague Island and the prospect of 20-30 mph headwinds. Our "klingons" were disappointed but were very grateful for the pull. Other riders who made it to the island told us later that the winds were so strong that some people were walking their bikes over the island bridge rather than risk being blown over while riding! We enjoyed our pie, ice cream, and a great-sounding duo called CherryBud.
The last 15 or so miles of the ride seemed long (that section always does), and we rode back through the tunnel and heard the now-familiar cheers from the bystanders and college volunteers at the finish line. We were wet and wind-blown, disappointed that we didn't get to do the 100 miles; but safe and happy to be back. The next day, the weather cleared and it was a perfect day for...a century ride! Oh, well.