Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lake Washington Loop

This is a very common ride in these parts. I've never done it and have always had it on my list to do. Today was the day! For four plus hours of riding, here is what goes through my brain:
  • Chemical hand warmers are da bomb! It was below 40 degrees when I started. I tucked one on the top of my road shoe but under my booties and that worked very well to keep my feet comfortable. Usually if it is under 50 degrees, my feet go numb on a ride. Not today!
  • I hate the Burke-Gilman. There I said it. The clueless pedestrians/runners (Hey! I'm a runner and I know how to behave on that trail), the washboard effect of tree roots, the annoying street crossings, those dillweeds in Lake Forest all get to me. So I decided to try the Sand Point Way detour for "fast riders" which only makes me snort a little bit. I am not a fast rider at all. Sand Point Way was hilly, with a fair bit of traffic and torn up in places but I liked it better than the good ol' B-G. This route put me on Highway 522 for a little bit. It's a bit dicey just north of 145th but I just held my line and soon enough a wider shoulder opened up.
  • Juanita Drive Hill. I've heard of this hill and I climbed it today. It seemed to go on for quite a while but it was never very steep. Looking at the elevation map, it ends up being a mile and a half climb and the elevation is the same as the hill that we live on top of. Hunh. I guess I'm used to climbing that everytime I go out for a ride. No biggie.
  • Buzz. A huge white suv buzzed me around Kirkland. There was no other cars on the road and the gleaming tank made sure I knew it was going by as close as possible on the wide road. I was shocked but not scared and then pissed.
  • Bellevue. Uh that just sucked. I chickened out of climbing up the NE Points Drive which is just to the north of 520 and south of Kirkland. I've run up that hill many times but the thought of biking it was a bit much so I ended up riding right through downtown Bellevue. I couldn't remember the turn off to hit a quieter street nor where I'd have to make my next connections. I should've brought a map. Traffic was light so no problem and then I got a little lost trying to figure out where to turn off to the Mercer Slough area. I found a really bad place to cross a very busy street. Oh well. I made it. I won't go that way again.
  • A Happy Surprise! The washboard area on the bike trail paralleling 405 just north of Renton has been repaired. Smooth pavement is a joy.
  • Emergency Pancake Call. At mile 42, I was at Seward Park and realized I was out of food and really hungry. I called K to ask that he have pancakes and coffee ready when I got home. I figured it would take about an hour. That kept me focused!
  • Lake Washington Shore. If there is a happier sight than watching large dogs bounding into the lake water to fetch things, I can't think of it. Lots of joyful dogs out there having a blast.
  • Lycroids. There were large packs of those similarly lycra clad cyclists out and about. I find them quite snooty. Please don't let me ever get a bike jersey like that.
  • Form check. There were tons of runners out along Lake Washington as usual on a sunny day with the Seattle Marathon looming. I sometimes want to yell at runners when I am riding past to stop running like a sack of potatoes. Form! Run like you mean it! I don't think it would be appreciated.
  • Lake Washington Blvd switchback climb to the Arboretum. This has gotten easier! I was really nervous the first time I climbed this road earlier this summer. No problem today.
  • Montlake. I tried crossing Montlake instead of the University Bridge. It's a little confusing in that area even by car. The well placed bike trail signs were much appreciated. Uh. Do you think they'll fix those roads. Ow!
  • Pancakes are the best post ride eats!


Enniferjay said...

So I should return the lycra jersey I got for you from the thrift shop? (j/k) I like the play by play reporting of this ride.

xsfgirl said...

Geez! I feel exhausted from reading your post as if I got a workout. That SUV should be shot and I do miss you guys yummy pancakes.

Max said...


Just found yoru blog via reverse lookup (that is, you have my blog linked on your site).

Good to read about your re-awakened interest in bike commuting. I've been doing that a bit, too, over the last several months. I also did my first complete circumnavigation of Lake WA a few months ago and it sure felt like an accomplishment. (My trick? Kid Valley at Coulon Park in Renton: chocolate shake, fries, and a burger take me home! Any other time, I'd NEVER eat something like that).

Bummed to hear about your stress fracture; hope you heal quickly.

Say Hi to K for me.