Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Report

The plan for Sunday morning was to ride 15 miles over to the lake for the Vancouver Bike Club scavenger hunt.  Instead, I woke up only two miles away, covered in sand and hungry.  I got up, shook off, packed up and jettisoned.  As promised, Ayla generously provided bagels, cream cheese, fruit and coffee.  She even set up a toaster.  I was starved so I scarfed while the scavenger hunt instructions were delivered.

We were given two double-sided pages of maps and lists.  This was a complicated-looking contest! A varying amount of points were offered for items photographed at specific locations and for items found "anywhere", like a garage sale selling bikes or a cat on a porch swing.  More points were awarded for each team member included in the photo.
And then there was the bonus flag option.  Bonus flags!  I didn't even know what that meant, but I knew it was for me.  Turns out there were eight locations, each one with a hidden flag worth a bunch of points.  Teams were allowed to stay together or split up and my teammates Jake, Bill and Ann told me right off I was on bonus flag duty.  My responsibility as a so-called "fast rider" would be to race out and gather up as many flags as possible before the return deadline.
First I stopped at the bathroom to wash my face, put on some lipstick and do some damage control.  Then off I flew out of the park, over to Fourth Plain, up Fruit Valley Road.  The first flag was at the Burnt Bridge trailhead parking lot, which is no longer a parking lot.  I stood there and looked around until I spied a bright purple flag.  I grabbed it and ran.

Up to Bortolomi's Pizza on 7th to snatch my second flag.  On the way there, I started reading the "anywhere" list and taking pictures.  Out of state license plate.  Garage sale.  Boat for sale.  School sign.  Banana peel.  Then down to the aptly named Hidden Park for the third flag.
Made a quick stop for an iced Americano and back out to the lake.  On the way, I saw my fellow hustle riders and rode south with them for a bit.  Shortly after u-turning to get back to the finish line, some gentlemen stood up and held out a banner reading "Hey Bicyclists" so I stopped.  They gave me a rainbow striped popsicle and asked me to come back after the picnic (which I did, getting video-taped sitting on a couch with my bike in the shot!).
To my surprise, my teammates were not at the picnic shelter yet.  We would be penalized a point for every five minutes past the deadline, which was only one minute away.  Meanwhile, the picnic set up was in full swing.  There are some people who are tireless volunteers and they just give and give and give.  They put out baskets of fruits and breads and lay out burlap cloths and pretty flowers in jars with bows on each table.

Finally, twenty nine minutes late, I saw my team ragtag in.  Ayla had her hands full scoring each team as individuals showed her their pictures.  The bounty of prizes arranged on the table next to Ayla included such goodies as a bottle of wine, oil & vinegar, kitty cat salt & pepper shakers, gift certificates, a cycling vest and socks.  My team won and enjoyed the prizes and gold medals Ayla gave out.  Everyone won something and was given a medal.  But the best part was the ride itself and the feeling of teamwork.  And the amazing picnic food, games and prizes that followed!

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