And I’ll be in Edison afore ye
Doc had agreed to call our friend Chuck at 4:30 to determine whether meeting up Edison would be possible. They talked, and Doc told us our friend Chuck, Chewy, Jeanne de Parc du Madison, Andy Ragnew and Scott the Printmaker were at Starbucks. Okay.
Doc and Tiny did the ride from Shoreline separately, Tiny riding her Venice 50cc bike. This was the slow group; our friend Chuck had taken the Whidbey Island route, which requires a bike capable of 60 mph. How fast does the PX go?
The Seattle to Bellingham map you’ll find elsewhere is a nice route, but turned out mostly not to be the one we took. Doc and Tiny did dash through parts of the north King/south Snohomish County suburban sprawl that I had no idea existed. In fact, it wasn’t until we reached the Everett waterfront that we encountered familiar territory, at least to me.
I lived in Everett about 20 years ago, in a studio apartment with a Murphy Bed. I have to admit, I never noodled around Everett even though I had a Honda CRX, which got scooter-like gas mileage. I can’t remember if the street is called Marine Drive, or Marine View drive, but on a day like this one, with the sun shining and the temperature not oppressively warm, it was nice.
Nicer still is Pioneer Highway, a main drag through the Skagit Valley. It’s flat, with occasional views of water, and mountains in every other direction.
Once again, the PX demonstrated its workhorse heart, running close to flat out with no complaint and no indication it couldn’t set this pace as long as it had gas. Doc & Tiny set a quick but reasonable pace, and our group was a capable, experienced one: The Butterfly of Panama, Ms. Honey, Mr. Robert the hair stylist and a new guy, Brent, on the prettiest P200E I’ve seen in a long time.
We arrived in Edison, our friend Chuck and his posse nowhere to be found. Doc had earlier asked where we should park once we got here. I said, Edison is only four square blocks. Anywhere will be fine.
As it turned out, a good spot was a place touting itself as a “biker bar,” the Longhorn Saloon. Most likely patronized by Rich Urban Bikers, judging from the Harleys parked out front. Let’s get some liquids and wait for the others.
From the bar’s back yard, we could see the others pull up. There’s no hurry, so those of us who’ve finished our liquids take a stroll around downtown Edison. It is, after all, only four square blocks.
Edison is one of those towns where you could imagine farmers coming in for things like animal feed, fertilizer, lard and other such things… once. Now, you’ll find antiques, artisan orgainc bread and shops with multiple selections of balsamic vinegar. The place is now a way station for yuppie day-trippers from Seattle and Vancouver. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, right?
We head out in a big group for the part of the ride that I have looked forward to all year: Chuckanut Drive. A narrow, twisty road up the side of a mountain, one I did several times in my Miata. I’m giddy with anticipation, not only for myself, but for the PX. Chuckanut Drive is the kind of road the PX’s designers ride and drive on, about as close as you can get to the Tuscan back roads or ancient coastal highways of Italy, at least in this corner of the world.
I’m right behind Doc & Tiny, Chewy is next to me. We are traveling at a pace that pushes the bike’s limits, but is not crazy fast. There’s time to enjoy the occasional glimpse of Samish Bay, the dense forest, heck, even the designer mega-houses that take full advantage of the views.
But don’t enjoy the view too much, I say to myself. The rocks are cut so a car can clear them, but above the height of most car roofs, some rocks stick out. I’d better not lean over too much.