The forecast was good, so Marv, Kurt and I set out Saturday to make a ride on Whidbey Island. I had the greatest road-knowledge of Whidbey, since I was stationed there while in the service, and then lived there afterwards. I came up with a decent route. Marv and I rode our ZX-14s, and Kurt rode his BMW R1200R. The weather forecast was good, and we all had the day free to ride.
We decided to meet at the Mukilteo ferry landing for an early morning departure. The weather was marginal but, when it’s only one day, the tolerance for bad weather is higher. When you’re returning home, being a little wet isn’t as big a deal as if you’re going to be out overnight or longer.
We had an easy ride on roads that were wet. We were all on sport-touring bikes, but we were riding like we were on cruisers. None of us felt like trying to squeeze too much fun out of the wet roads. Whidbey Island isn’t somewhere you would want to go to ride fast. It’s more for great views, and the novelty of the little towns.
We stopped for a small breakfast in Freeland where the food was good and the service was almost friendly. It’s good that there weren’t that many of us, because it was pretty cramped. It made for close company with a few of the friendlier locals.
I led Marv and Kurt around some of my old stomping grounds on Whidbey. We visited Fort Ebey where I told them about how we set the hill on fire with fireworks one day. We looked around at the old cannon fort, and then moved on.
We wandered around the north end of the island on roads I remember being rural, but are becoming more and more residential every time I’m there. It shaded the rest of the day reminiscent and melancholy. We crossed off the island and found our way to LaConner for a lunch at the local micro-brewery.
The rest of the ride should have been just a quick ride back down to Kirkland, but Marv decided to pick up a hole in his back tire. We were riding along on highway 9, Marv riding in the back, when Marv passed us, and pulled off to the side. His back tire was flat!
We maneuvered to a spot on the road with a wide shoulder. We got his bike up on its crutch, found the hole, and plugged it. The first plug proved to be insufficient, and we added a second one. That did the trick. After reinflating the tire, Marv was once again roadworthy.
It was a good ride with good companions. Another Saturday of splendid, semi-unplanned adventure was in the books.