Sunday, December 29, 2013

Vashon Island II & SR-16 (2013-12-28)

I finally got the photos of downtown Vashon I wanted, even though this ride was a bit short.

Part 1: To Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal

I left a little before 05:00 and headed straight for Fauntleroy. Similar to an an earlier ride, I went over Avalon. I knew to use the crosswalk signals this time, since the sensors in the road can't detect bicycles.

Oh yeah, I saw the bicycle with the four buckets attached to its front and rear racks, as well as the owner, under the West Seattle Bridge.

Part 2: Vashon Island

It was quite the slog up to the ridge of Vashon.

My first photo, oddly enough, was the cafe at which I obtained coffee during my last time on Vashon.

And much of the rest of downtown:

Rather than heading along the highway the entire way, I turned right near where Metro stores its buses for the 118 and 119 and likely the 116.

The road here reminded me of the many, many small highways through forests upon which I've ridden in the past. No wonder Vashon Island is so popular with cyclists.

I rejoined the highway for the leg to the ferry terminal, which consisted of little more than a dock, a bus-type shelter, and a porta-potty.

The ferry took a while because this route isn't too popular and thus has a limited frequency.

Part 3: Pierce and Kitsap Counties

Rather than taking the direct route, I went around via downtown Tacoma for no real reason. This started with Ruston.

I also came across the Winnifred Street Bridge, which I recall from a few times in Tacoma with my family. The bridge was closed the last time I saw it, over ten years ago.

Next up was Ruston Way: a low-level route along the water with an associated multi-use path beside it.

This took me to Schuster Parkway, and I exited before it turned into I-705; the exit dropped me off in downtown Tacoma.

I'd really like to live in a building like this one:

My route up the hill involved climbing up a street (Saint Helens Avenue) with a bike lane as one direction.

Between Tacoma and Gig Harbor, I took the familiar Scott Pierson Trail/Narrows Bridge/Cushman Powerline Trail route.

On my previous ride through the area I saw some cyclists riding down along the shoulders of SR-16 itself where it merges with SR-166, so part of the point of this ride was to try it out for myself. It was a good ride, and rather fast since there weren't any steep hills nor places where I had to stop.

I felt a bit of nostalgia after the merge with SR-166, as I had gone riding along the route long before as my first ride of any real length. I even took the same secret bicycle route to get around the merge with SR-3:

And then, of course, the ride through downtown Bremerton and to the ferry terminal.

The ferry was just waiting there as this one only runs so often.

I was let on after the first set of cars, likely because the person directing traffic didn't see me waiting to the side. I had to go to the upper car level to get around the cars.

Part 4: Return Home

The last bit was fairly routine, though I did climb Broad from Alaskan Way rather than going through downtown. Due to construction, car traffic was slow, but I had no trouble keeping up with it.

Since this ride was fairly short, I didn't bother with coffee. Oddly, I felt stronger at the end than I did at the beginning.

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