The winds will rip you apart

It was dark and raining at 4:30am in Seattle. It was still raining at 6:30am as the ferry crossed the Puget Sound towards the Olympic Peninsula. It was pretty much raining the entire week leading up to the weekend (but honestly, it feels like it’s been one constant rainfall all winter long). But when I arrived in Sequim on Saturday morning, the rain had somehow held off and shown us bike racers momentary mercy.

It's not magic - it's the rain shadow

While the Pacific Northwest is notoriously wet, and even has a rainforest on the Peninsula, Sequim only gets 15-20 inches of rain every year (that’s about the same as Los Angeles, CA). But since Sequim is nestled next to a massive body of water leading to the Pacific Ocean, strong winds come howling from the west.

Day 2: Volunteer Park

Despite what I said about Ballard having a great atmosphere... I think I like the Volunteer Park Crit better.

The course may not be on city block lined with screaming fans, but the course has more interesting features: there’s a fast descent, a little hill that will definitely wear you out after a few laps, and a tight corner on top of the hill leading into the finishing straight.

From a Cat 4 racer’s standpoint… it was a much harder race.

20mph winds made 45F feel more like 35F. Deep section carbon wheels and sub-15 lb. aero bikes were tossed around like tumbleweed. At one point, I swear we were going 12mph into a headwind and I was pushing 500W.

Safety in numbers. Hide from the wind.