So we ended up riding 75 miles together, from Kenmore to Arlington and back. John S. headed home from Log Boom Park, racking up another couple of miles, no doubt. I headed home to Phinney Ridge, adding 15 to my total, for a 90-mile ride. But John M. outdid us both -- he kept riding the Burke-Gilman until his GPS device showed that he had gone a full 102 miles, the same distance we'll cover on the first day of the STP. And he claims he didn't feel tired at all! He could probably do the entire ride in one day...
Saturday, June 30, 2007
This trail warning said there were black bears on the trail, but the only wildlife I saw was a couple of grass snakes, one of which darted in front of my front wheel. I didn't feel a thump, so I think he got out of the way in time. John said he'd once seen a couple of coyote pups playing on the trail, the mother nowhere in sight - they were oblivious to their human observers.
I wish my camera phone did a better job, but this stretch of the ride just south of the town of Snohomish was really lovely. We came down off a hill and into the valley, through fields of corn and past cows grazing in their pastures. The cows watched us ride by curiously. I wonder what they think of a human on a bicycle?
John and I were planning to do a 90-mile ride on the Burke-Gilman this weekend, which would have involved doing the entire trail from Gas Works to Marymoor two times. We're already a little tired of this trail, and I wasn't looking forward to repeating the ride twice in one day. Then veteran cyclist John Saul called me up on Friday and asked if I wanted to ride up to Arlington, on a ride that took in the Centennial Trail -- one of the few long bike trails I haven't done. I talked John Moen into switching plans, and away we went.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
On the bike commute home today, I was stopped at the Fremont Bridge, which was up to let a sailboat pass. I had a very nice view of Lake Union, where there were dozens of sailboats afloat on the lake. It was a peaceful, pretty scene, and better observed from the seat of a bike than the seat of a car.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
One truly awful thing about the Burke-Gilman Trail is that sections of it are in pretty bad shape. If this was a road that cars traveled on, these bumps wouldn't be a big deal. But ride across them on your bike, and you'll feel like your teeth are going to rattle out of your head. Most of the damage appears to be caused by tree roots, not bicycles.
Purely from the standpoint of comfort and speed, this is perhaps the best section of the entire trail, along the Sammamish River. It was recently paved and it's very fast -- especially when you're heading north and you get a little tail wind. It's hard not to go 20 mph.
You know your perspective about riding has changed when a 50-mile bike ride seems easy! This weekend I'm supposed to do a 50 and a 40.
At about the 18-mile mark in Bothell there's a funny little stretch of park where feral chickens (can chickens be feral?) strut along the trail. Pigeons, ducks and occasionally bunnies show up here too. It's a popular spot for people who like to feed the birds, so they congregate here, looking for the next handout.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
This was the last hill of the trip -- three miles long! Somebody said we were near Monroe, but that didn't sound right to me. Actually, I have no idea where we were. This road went through a beautiful forested area, so even though it was a long hill, it was lovely scenery. And I've grown to like hills (if they're not too steep) -- they give you a chance to slow down and breathe.
Food is fuel for cyclists. You can't ride 65 miles without eating and drinking a lot along the way, or you'll "bonk," or run out of energy. This was a major food stop for the Flying Wheels event. I had a bagel slathered in peanut butter and a couple of bananas. There was a long line for the bathrooms, and a sign encouraged cyclists to behave themselves and use the port-a-potties...
Here, we consulted the map with this group of cyclists. In fact, we seemed to be riding at about the same pace, and ran into them two or three times on the trip. They were cycling the 65-mile route with both of their teenage children, and were planning to do the STP in a month, too. John kept calling them the Swiss Family Robinson because they had these good-looking red and white jerseys with the Swiss cross in front.
Friday, June 15, 2007
I'm fueling up at work today for the 65-mile Flying Wheels Summer Century, which starts at Marymoor Park in Redmond. I've done 65 miles before, but this ride will be in the company of thousands of other cyclists, and up some big hills. I'm going to try to do some live photo-blogging and see how it goes.