It could not have been a more perfect night for the 12th Annual WOW Butterfly Ride. Sunny, no wind, and it was a perfect temperature for lots of climbing. Other FCC members must have felt the same way as 11 other riders came out to join six WOW (Women on Wheels). Or maybe it was the enticement of cookies!

Why is it called the Butterfly Ride? That’s a good question. Chris Broda was the one who came up with the name. She said that we would ride up four hills like the four wings of a butterfly. Somehow the name stuck. It makes it sound like a nice easy ride. Let me tell you, it’s not! In one ride we climb Summit, McGrath, Skyridge, and Skyline!

We met at the Musher’s Hall on Farmer’s Loop. After going over the course and taking a group photo, we headed out together, charging up Summit. Some made it look easy and hardly broke a sweat. Others (i.e., me) were huffing and puffing from the get-go. That hill is such a killer to start with especially when you haven’t had an adequate warm up. But after getting up it, the rest of the hills don’t seem so bad.

Alisabeth was the first to the top and she just kept going. We never saw her again. She basically time trialed the course. The others in front of me waited at the top of Summit. After me, there was a bit of a gap so I didn’t stop but just bombed down Skyline knowing those eight riders would easily catch me, which they did. This pretty much happened every hill. I would get passed by all the stronger riders on the uphill but would catch back up on the downhills or flats. It was incentive to push as hard as I could. So hard but so much fun, too. Four big uphills. Four big downhills. (Jordan almost hit 60 mph going down Summit. Mallory was the fastest WOW at 50.3 mph! Smoking fast!) Only a little flat riding between hills.

Some riders peeled off early to bike home. Two LOL, cut their ride a little short due to time constraints and Peggy getting a flat. Our pack basically stayed together for the majority of the ride except for Hannah and Erica, who got dropped on the flat section on Farmer’s Loop before Skyline. If you can’t get onto the paceline, it’s hard to catch back up. But they finished shortly after us.

Everybody had a smile on their face at the end of the ride. Another successful Butterfly Ride! I think it’s one of our hardest but also most fun rides of the season. And chocolate chip cookies at the end to celebrate, too. What’s not to like about that?

Report and photos by WOW co-leader Corrine Leistikow