Day 4: Shafer State Park - Seattle, WA
Distance: 61 miles
The night before taking off on our final day, we decided to humor ourselves and check the weather. Seattle in September is normally pretty pleasant but you can never be too sure. Low and behold heavy rain showers were predicted to come at around noon. We (Josh) decided to wake up at 6am in order to beat the rain for as long as possible. With our ride only being a little over 60 miles, we figured a little rain wouldn’t affect us at all. Boy were we wrong.
We packed up our personal stuff as quickly as possible so we could get on the road, leaving the tents and bigger gear for Tony to pack. While packing the car Tony was heckled at by a 12 year old from across the campsite. After hearing, “Hey you, yeah you with the grey gym shorts”, a flawless description of Tony, he turned around to get into a stare down with his newly found nemesis. The silence was broken as the kid proclaimed, “fight me bro” as he broadened his shoulders. Tony, deciding that this wasn’t the time or place to duel a middle schooler, ignored him and continued to pack.
As the cyclists began their journey, they were quickly greeted by a light drizzle and a comfortable breeze. The inner Seattleite in us scoffed at the so called “rain” that the weathermen predicted. Slowly but surely that drizzle turned into a torrential downpour with a side of gale force winds sprinkled in, 4 hours before the weatherman predicted. Thanks Obama. Rain jackets soon became useless as it was impossible to even attempt to stay dry and warm. 20 miles into the bike ride it became very evident that this was going to be the worst day in Cycle for Charvat history. One might then ask for consolation, ‘Well, what’s the best possible way to enjoy biking in a mild hurricane?’ We came up with two great answers to that question.
Not 5 miles before the Seattle arrival, Cesar thought it’d be a kick in the pants to run over a giant nail and replace his tire on a two-foot wide highway shoulder. He knows how to have a good time. While servicing the tire, Cesar dropped a screw to his bike on the road and could not find it. The high wind speeds coupled with cars spraying us as the drove over puddles made finding the screw and picking it up with numb hands almost impossible. 15 minutes into looking for the screw and amidst our hypothermic spasms, John and David approached us saying, “We just pissed ourselves for warmth, you guys gotta do it.” After Matt and Kyle turned down their tempting offer, they responded with, “Come on, just piss yourself, we did it and it's freaking awesome.” They liked it so much that they did it a second time while biking 30 minutes later.
The second method was developed and strenuously tested by our beloved philanthropy chair Luis: A fun little fact about Luis is that he never learned how to change his gear out of granny gear. This meant that he had to peddle at approximately 250 rpms just to maintain a normal speed. Luis was working his body so hard while spinning his legs that the rain actually was converted to steam the second it made contact with his body. Side effects of this tactic may include passing out on the side of the highway, looking like a banshee, and excessive waste of energy, but Luis was more than willing to roll the dice for warmth.
We finally made it onto the Ferry back to Seattle and were so cold and wet that we penguin huddled in the bathroom under the one heater that we could find. Once we dried and warmed up enough to where we had the finger dexterity to open a wallet, we bought discount clam chowder worthy of a Michelin Star.
Once the ferry arrived in Seattle our muscles were in so much pain from the cold and we were so unwilling to venture back into the rain that we rode our bikes to the Pioneer Square light rail station to take a quick shortcut (shhhh we aren't supposed to tell anyone that). We met some of Seattle’s finest on the lightrail, with one of the most standout members being the man drinking out of a fifth while smashing his head into the window as he screamed, “I’m a bad man. I’m a bad bad man.”
We made it to Seattle at around 2pm with soaked jerseys but big smiles. While the ride only lasted 4 days, the men who took part had to challenge themselves in ways they never had before. We all laughed, screamed, and sweat our way through the journey and it is one that none of us will ever forget. We hit our goal of raising over $10,000 for young adults with cancer and absolutely could not have done it without the love and support of all of our followers. After Josh, Nigel, and Matt started Cycle for Charvat in 2016, they hoped that it could become an annual event. After someone broke into Theta Chi and stole all the bikes out of it, the entire house feared that that would be the end of Cycle for Charvat. With the leadership and drive from a few strong members in the house, Cycle for Charvat is about to take off on its third annual ride, this time to San Francisco. It has been surreal to watch something that you created grow into such a large annual event that has already raised $40,000 for the Kyle Charvat Foundation. We all look forward to following and supporting the bike ride in the years to come, and we hope you do as well.
Until next year,