I thoroughly enjoyed the second Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting this last weekend. It had seemed hard to top the first-ever Un-Meeting, but this year’s gathering was at least as much fun!
About 50 cyclists met in Cle Elum for a day of riding and good company. The group split up into a “paved” ride that went up Old Blewett Pass and an “unpaved” ride that explored the Teanaway Hills. Both had a lot of fun.
We had gorgeous weather, and we found some amazing roads and trails.
A great variety of bikes and riders attended, with a large share of 650B wheels and wide tires. Many of us were surprised what you can do on randonneur bikes, but others did fine on cyclocross bikes. The riders on road bikes preferred the “paved” ride.
Despite the somewhat rough terrain of some of the rides, there were next to no mechanical issues: just a few flat tires and a broken light mount. Clearly, the participants knew how to ride, and their bikes were set up well with reliable parts. This meant that there was very little down time required to deal with bike-related issues, and all the more time to enjoy the ride.
Out-of-towners included George Retseck from Philadelphia, perhaps best known as the illustrator of the iconic 1990s Bridgestone catalogues. He is becoming an Un-Meeting regular…
…Fred Matheny, from Colorado, who was one of Bicycling magazine’s bike testers and Training and Fitness Editor during the 1980s…
… and Gerolf Meyer from Germany, formerly of the magazine Fahrstil, who now has his own radio show about bicycles! They really enjoyed getting a glimpse of riding off the beaten path in the Pacific Northwest.
The remainder of the crowd were from closer by in the Northwest. Since this was an “Un-Meeting”, it was slightly “un-organized” and thus impossible to get everybody into a single photo.
Despite a burn ban, we managed to find a fire pit at a local pub, where most of the riders congregated on Saturday night. (I had arrived only at 4 a.m. that morning after an night-time gravel ride out there, so I didn’t join the festivities this year, but went to sleep instead!)
On Sunday, many of us rode back to Seattle via the Iron Horse trail.
And coming back to Seattle, we were even treated to great views of the lunar eclipse and the sunset… a great ending to a wonderful weekend.
Let’s do it again next year!
For more photos from Un-Meeting participants, check out the hashtag #bqunmeeting on Instagram.
Update 10/2: Fred Matheny’s home state and job title at Bicycling magazine have been corrected.