Banana Slug #1 was a huge success. With all the wet weather we’ve had this winter, I wasn’t sure if we were going to have nice weather for our first Banana Slug of the year. Last year we got a pretty good dose of rain while climbing Monument. It wasn’t the most pleasant ride. Fortunately, the sun was shining Saturday morning and the temperatures were comfortable.
I’m not sure if it was the awesome weather, or the fact that we started in Blue Lake next to Mad River Brewery that brought out a record January crowd. We had 28 riders on the roster, and a few unregistered folks along for the ride; I counted 35 riders heading out as the ride started almost promptly at 10:00. A number of the riders informed me that they planned on doing the originally planned route, the ride up to Lord Ellis Summit via Bald Mountain Road/Snow Camp Road. On their return, they confirmed that the route was somewhat less than ideal. In fact, one of the riders slid out and crashed on a patch of ice as he maneuvered to dodge an oncoming vehicle. He was bruised, but okay. Weather and conditions permitting, we’ll do that ride next January. It’s a really fun ride.
There were no surprises about the finishers either. The top riders were in good form, and could have finished in under two hours had they not stopped to hang out and enjoy the awesome weather. We had quite a wide variety of riders too; it wasn’t all hammer fest. There were a lot of people taking their time and enjoying the day.
And on that note, we are awarding points this year. The point system will work like this: All registered participants get one point for finishing the ride. First rider will be awarded five points, second will get four, third three, fourth two, and fifth one. As well, we will have separate awards for men and women. The top sluggers will be awarded a trophy for the year and will hang onto it until they are awarded the following year.
Here’s to hoping our February event is graced with such beautiful weather.
Here are the results. And though technically they didn’t “finish” the ride, I’m going to give all the Lord Ellis riders a point for their adventurous spirit. They earned it, and then some.