I think the 11th and final Palm Tree Ride can be best described with one word: wet. Oh sure, it rains in the winter here, we all know that. But typically it’s that drizzly stuff or passing showers. Saturday was a day of full-on, never-going-to-let-up R-A-I-N, the type of rain you’ll get soaked to the bone if you’re out in it long enough. And I did, because I was. We got 1.8 inches (45 mm) of rain on Saturday. More rain than we got for all the first sixteen days of January combined. Our monthly average is around 5 inches, so we got about 1/3 of that in one day here. Yeesh.
Anyways, you may think I’d be crazy to still lead a ride in this type of weather. And I was. But there were also eighteen crazy people who showed up, so who’s more crazy?
Any type of slow-paced, social-casual riding isn’t exactly pleasurable in these conditions, so I did a shorter ride than hoped, about six miles (10 km). And I kept the pace up, making brief stops. Still, we saw some of my favorite palms and other exotic and interesting evergreen trees.
The end-point at Velo Cult for beer was definitely welcomed by the wet riders, though it still took another day for all my stuff to dry!
So there you have it, the last Palm Tree Ride, a bittersweet affair. When I started this ride in 2005, I had no expectations, so it’s nice to have done it for a decade. But over the past few years I haven’t been as excited about doing this ride, and I am not one to keep a tradition going for the sake of keeping a tradition going. There may be another palm-themed ride in the future, who knows. I don’t plan on anything to take this ride’s place, but I do a number of rides on an annual or semi-annual basis (like the Pizza Ride), so there won’t be a shortage of “tradition” from me in the near future.
I’d like to thank everyone who came out on this last ride. We even had Family Ride down from Seattle and a couple down from The Vancouver!