The Year’s First Ride

I just plunked down (in a figurative Spent-It-On-The-Internet sense) fifteen hard-earned dollars and registered for the 2012 Vasaloppet Ride.  Longstanding and attentive readers will recall I participated in this event last year, which makes me one of a few hearty souls who can make such a claim.  The day was characterized by a near-constant downpour and most registered riders opted to pass on the experience.  I was fascinated by the prospect of blueberry soup, riding the streets of DC, and getting a good start on 2011.  You can read the details of my hybrid’s one and only organized ride here.

Hosted by the Swedish Embassy, the Vasaloppet is named after the world’s longest-running cross-country ski race.  At least that’s what the Swedish Embassy claims and I’m in no position to argue with them over matters involving snow.  The ride is the same distance as the ski race – 59 miles.  I’m sure the Swedes would have preferred to host a ski race, but this is simply not practicable in this part of the world during the first week of March.  Still, it’s likely to be on the cold side with a slight chance of quite frigid temperatures.

It has already been established that it can pour buckets of rain on this date.

The ride is self-supported on open roads.  The Washington Area Bicycle Association co-hosts the event and provides cue sheets for the riders.  With no T-Shirts, mechanics, and water/food stations, this is a very spartan ride (for $15, one can hardly expect much more).  The big attractions are getting together with others on one of the first events of the season while eating blueberry soup in a foreign embassy and ruminating on the life story of King Gustav Eriksson Vasa.  That’s more than good enough for me, so once again I’m in the peloton for this event!

This year, I’m bringing the Trek.

If you’re interested in signing up, you can do so here.  They’re only taking 400 riders, so move quickly!


13 thoughts on “The Year’s First Ride

  1. It was 1/4th sold out a few minutes ago on Friday 2/3 so move fast.

    I’ve done the Vasa ride when their was ice on the road.

    Barring horrific weather I’ll be there to do the 30 miler (more soup for me). Haven’t decide on my flavor of bike yet.

  2. No longer the sole hybrid at the start; are you planning to do the pulling now? 😉 But watch out for the 1 & only gravel patch! Hope weather is better than last year & enjoy that blueberry soup. Looking fwd to reading about your ride.

    • I shall do my best to pull at least my fair share and will be certain to alert my fellow riders to the patch hazard at Mile 3! I don’t think I will enjoy the blueberry soup any more than I did last year, but I don’t want to be rude so I’ll still sample a taste.

  3. Planning on visiting my sister during Tech’s spring break, I usually take the train. But, since in this country it is tremendously difficult to take a bike on Amtrak, have been thinking about driving to get in a good ride before a 100 k here in western MA the following week. Checked out your blog just now to look for some good 40-70 mile routes in the area, since she lives not far north of you. So now, suddenly, without warning, contemplation or forethought what do I find? I have registered myself for the VASA. My memories of DC in early March are sunny, warmish and forsythia, so I’ll hold out for that idea. Thanks for the info and I always enjoy your blog.

    • Wow, I shall be in the presence of someone who has interviewed Gerry Patterson! I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

      Thank you.

      I hope we get the weather you remember. It will certainly be an improvement over last year! Truth be told, the temperature was nice; it’s just that it was a tad damp for my tastes. I hope to see you at the House of Sweden and thanks for your kind words. I’ve been enjoying your blog as well.

    • It’s definitely an acquired taste which I have yet to acquire. To me, eating the blueberry soup is similar to chugging a quart of milk after winning the Indianapolis 500 – it’s not exactly what you’d like to be consuming at that moment, but tradition dictates otherwise.

  4. Encouraged by your blog, I participated in the Halv Vasa yesterday. A great time for sure. And I was not disappointed by the blueberry soup; it was like drinking a slice of warm blueberry pie! A pie-fiend like myself could definitely get fat on a treat like that.

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