Monday, October 19, 2015

A Girl, Two Rides, And One Mishap

I had one and a half great ride this weekend.

Hubby wasn't feeling well so instead of doing our ride around the little lake (Lake Sammamish) on Saturday, I rode around the big lake (Lake Washington). The weather was forecast to be 80% chance of rain, but it turned out to be a glorious day - perfect for riding a bike, jogging (as if...), or frolicking in the meadows.

When doing the Lake Washington Loop, one has to bike on Rainier Ave for a bit, which has never been fun. The bike lane is narrow and sits between parked cars on the right and fast traffic on the left. Imagine my surprise when I encountered a newly painted bike lane as wide as a bus! Not only was the bike lane wide, but it was flanked by safety zones on both sides, making the combined bike lane as wide as the car lane. It was awesome! Thank you, City of Renton.

Child labor?

Cool sign at the Renton Airfield

Lake Washington seen from the south
The entire loop from Issaquah turned out to be around 65 miles, which I did in 4 hours and 20 minutes. A new personal best - and I wasn't even trying to bike fast. I just let my legs do their thing in a speed that felt good and not exhausting, knowing that I would have to bike up Lakemont at the end of my ride. So all in all, a fantastic day of riding.

Sunday's Big Ride

I met up with Dave on Sunday to do the big ride. We had initially planned on biking to Centennial Elementary School, which would have made the ride 150 miles. But as we approached Arlington, it became clear that we weren't going to make it all the way there and back in time to have sufficient day light - and for me to claim my car at Marymoor Park. Below is a map of our ride as it turned out.

As we approached Marysville, it started raining a little. I had brought my new Sugoi jacket which turned out to be nothing short of spectacular. It was everything the Showers Pass jacket wasn't. Despite its lack of vents, it was breathing just fine and most importantly - it was actually waterproof. Go figure; a waterproof jacket that actually is waterproof. What an amazing concept.

The World's Largest Cinnamon Rolls!
Maltby Cafe

Pumpkins on a fence
First time in proper daylight
I've never started to bike this trail in daylight before so this is the first time I've been able to take a picture of its start in Snohomish.

The Snohomish County Centennial Trail is a recreational treasure. One of two “Centennial Trails” in Washington State, the 29-mile Snohomish County trail runs from the City of Snohomish to north of Bryant.

The trail is nice and tranquil and not too busy - especially when raining.

Dave in the distance

Fall colors

I only counted single-digit slugs. Yeay! We didn't bike very fast and only made it to the Nakashima Farm at the north trail head. I'm not saying it was a short bike ride but the 106 miles were shorter then what I wanted to bike.

Christmas in October...

Bryant - if you blink, you'll miss it

Black bears???

Apparently there are black bears along the trail. I didn't see any, but if I had - I seriously doubt any of the advice posted here would have done me any good...

  • Stay calm and avoid direct eye contact
  • Do not approach the bear
  • Try to scare it away by clapping your hands
  • If the bear attacks, fight back aggressively
The first two are kind of a given, but for me, the single most important piece of advice is missing:

Bike as fast as you can the hell away from the bear - and only hope there's a slower biker behind you.

I would not linger and hang around to see if the bear would ignore me.

Now to the mishap.

When I go on long - and short for that matter - rides, I bring everything I need including food. I'm not a fan of stopping once I'm on my bike and rolling. Dave and hubby, are members of the other camp, which is fine, I'm not a hater. So on the bike ride of yesterday, Dave wanted to stop for food. It was almost four and we still had about 20 miles to bike. Since I had parked at Marymoor, I was a little nervous that they would close the park and I wouldn't be able to retrieve my car. Yes, I drove to the start of a ride for once. Not sure what came over me.

Anyway, we're biking through City of Snohomish and Dave wants to stop for food. I tell him I'm covered and wave my protein bar to show him. He makes a face I'm thinking means he disapproves of my choice of grub. In the midst of my waving I drop my bar and have to stop to retrieve it. Next thing I know I can't see Dave. I figure he's around the bend, so I book it, but can't find him, so I figure he's stopped for food. At this point it starts pouring down so I'll admit I didn't look too hard for him when I can't find him initially. I make the decision to continue on, so I bike on. It's getting dusky, it's really pouring down, and it's a bit windy, making the ride back to Marymoor a proper suck fest. Perhaps that's karma, perhaps it's just coincidence.

A 5:20 I roll into Marymoor Park, wet as a drowned kitten and regretting not wearing rain pants. It took 9 hours to bike 106 miles and that's too long. I need to work on this if I'm to do STP in one day.

Ps! Dave made it home. He had pizza.

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