Fortunately for me, the team ride of yesterday, which I did not partake (instead did a 54 miler with my friend, Julie, who was riding her new bike!), was another hill-climbing fest. Why is that good for me? Because the guys that rode yesterday were all tired for today's ride! That means one thing--I can keep up!
We headed out toward the southeast section of the county, in the area of Lake Lawrence and Smith Prairie. There are some great roads out there without too much traffic. To get there, we even went on at least one road I've never been on!
We worked our way along various roads and even made a stop at a gas station/mini-mart to eat and refill bottles (I've only experienced that on the club rides--never a Team ride)! Refreshed, we kinda sorta started heading back. It was a somewhat convoluted route, but I was doing fine, so I didn't care.
We had returned to Rainier Rd and taken a right. I thought they would turn left on Steadman, but then I heard them say they would turn right on Spurgeon Creek. I could have continued on Rainier to home, but I assumed they would ride Spurgeon Creek, maybe do Sun Lakes, continue on Spurgeon to Yelm Hwy, and Yelm Hwy back, where I would turn off at my neighborhood. Well, you know what happens when you assume...
We did, indeed, turn on Spurgeon Creek, and also did the Sun Lakes loop. However, instead of returning to Spugeon Creek Rd, while in the Sun Lakes neighborhood, we turned onto a road called Dawn Hills Dr. As we turned, I said, "Okay...we're going this way." I didn't exactly know where "this way" went to. One of the guys, hearing me, said, "We'll eventually get home." We came to a cul-de-sac. We continued straight through the cul-de-sac on what, to me, appeared to be a driveway. But, then I noticed it did have a name--Trowbridge St. Hmmm....I thought. Why does that sound familiar? One of the guys told me it came out at Rainier Rd just down from Fir Tree Rd. Oh, that's why it seemed familiar. I've seen Trowbridge many times from Rainier Rd. I just had no idea it connected to Sun Lakes. Well, it really only connects if you are on a bike (or walking). There are two gates separating the two neighborhoods (probably keeps the fire insurance lower for the homeowners having the alternate outlet). They were like a secret door!
Once on Rainier, I did continue straight on home while the rest of the group turned onto Fir Tree. I ended up riding another 73 miles with an average of 18mph.
Just when I think I know all the secret, sly dog routes...I learn a new one! Yay!