My original plan for this ride was to only go to DuPont, until I realized how it wasn't far enough.
More after the break…
Part 1: To Tacoma
I started a little before 05:00 this time.
I headed straight south on my normal route along East Marginal Way S.
A few years back, my parents sent me a newspaper article about this place, and I've been seeing it every time I go through the area.
It was pretty nice for a while, put I was a bit startled to see clouds to the south as I rode through the Green River/Puyallup River Valley.
Pretty nice day so far.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 7, 2014
And I eventually ended up under the clouds, but the weather held just fine.
It's cloudy down here.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 7, 2014
Similar to previous rides, I took Freeman Road and 20th St E to downtown Tacoma. My route took me along a road that brought me to here (the route turned left).
I was curious about it, since such road closures don't seem so common, at least where I'm from.
I had to use the restroom, but the guy behind the counter at Tully's said he couldn't let me use it unless I bought something, so I did…for someone else.
Bought something for someone else so I could use the restroom. (@ Tully's Coffee) http://t.co/MjhvsPuXji— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 7, 2014
Part 2: Lakewood, DuPont, and Nisqually
I headed straight up the normal climb to get out of lower downtown, then proceeded east over the hill for a while.
While I was riding along, a guy asked if I had a pump, so I stopped for him.
This one guy with a BMX bike was towing a used trailer he just bought but it had a flat, so he asked if I had a pump. I let him borrow mine.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 7, 2014
He was almost adamant about repaying me for my time, but I didn't need anything in return.
He really wanted to repay me for my time, but I didn't want anything.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 7, 2014
As you might notice, I missed my turn south after heading east for a while.
I was surprised to see such nice routes through Tacoma, with trees and fields on either side of the road.
A couple drivers shouted some seemingly condescending cheers at me while I was waiting in line for a left turn.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 7, 2014
The ride eventually turned into weaving between major thoroughfares and neighborhood streets. This eventually got me to a point where it wasn't possible to cross the street due to a median barrier.
After that, I ended up on some very narrow roads around Lake Steilacoom, which led me across a bridge.
After that, I was back on neighborhood streets for a while, until I started going along the public roads through JBLM. My route told me to cut through the private roads (how familiar!), but I knew better and used my GPS to check to make sure the road to the right would go through.
Once through there, I rolled through miles of area that looked just like the manicured, sterile corporate headquarters of Microsoft with some huge houses behind tall fences in places.
DuPont is the most disgustingly suburban place I have ever seen.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 7, 2014
Oh yeah: Amazon and Intel both have a presence in DuPont.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
I stopped by for water in a "village" (strip mall) for water.
Now that I've corrected my pedaling style, hills rejuvenate my legs just like before.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 7, 2014
Lots of cyclists around JBLM. I think I saw a group ride past DuPont.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 7, 2014
This also brought me across the Nisqually River.
It was rather peaceful down there, so I rode a bit to see some more of the valley. I didn't go all the way to the effective "rest area," though.
It's was almost like a different world down there, without any of the influence of the Seattle-Everett-Tacoma sprawl.
From there, I just headed back the way I came, over the river again.
I started hearing an odd noise, as though some tape was stuck to my front tire. Upon inspection, it was a wad of chewing gum. There was another wad on my rear fender. I had the feeling that the folks from earlier did that.
Someone stuck a wad of gum to my rear fender.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
I left I-5 just past DuPont and retraced my route around JBLM, then left it to head toward more of the old US 99 route.
Lots of dead railroad tracks around JBLM, too.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 7, 2014
In that area, I saw a bunch of buildings typical of older strip malls.
Rode through lots of pre-I-5 strip along "Pacific Hwy SW."— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 7, 2014
I followed "Pacific Highway SW" all the way through Lakewood, then ended up going through a dead quiet business park. This was followed by a fairly routine ride through some low-density areas mixed with thin forests and parks. The only thing of note I recall is how I crossed some old Tacoma Rail tracks.
After going up and down a few steep hills, I ended up on a high-speed downhill run down Canyon Road, then headed east toward Puyallup and Sumner. I came up with the idea to stuff my shoes to reduce fore-aft motion, and stopped by a small convenience store to pick up a roll of paper towels to experiment with.
I then proceeded straight toward Sumner, where I stopped for coffee.
I was held up in Sumner by a couple of four-axle units hauling a long rake of empty container cars.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
I'm at Starbucks (Sumner, WA) http://t.co/0tbgjOAcSC— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
I'm pretty sure my feet have been killing me because my shoes are a tad too long.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
My legs aren't even sore at this point!— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
Unlike some other times, I made it a point to consume a good deal of water with my coffee.
Part 3: Return Home
I took the East Valley Highway to leave Sumner, then took a new bicycle path beside C Street. (On an earlier ride, I really wondered why I was told to ride beside C Street. Since then, I was informed of the path.)
I was tailed by a big guy riding an e-bike illegally on the Interurban Trail for much of its length.
Some fat guy on an e-bike was drafting behind me on the Interurban Trail. Too bad e-bikes are illegal on trails.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
Sumner to S 196th St.: ~1:20. #cycling— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
Stuffing my shoes did help to reduce the pain. Too bad the winds were being uncooperative.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
It was a fairly typical ride through Kent, Tukwila, and Renton to Seattle and Seward Park. My legs weren't bothering me as much as I would've expected at this point.
I was rather hungry by the time I got to Leschi, so I made sure to stop and eat for a bit.
Similar to last time, I took the Boyer detour around the construction at UW. There was a lot less traffic this time, though. Beyond that, not much happened the rest of the way home.
Looks like I managed another all-day bicycle tour.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
I'm pretty sure I had a tailwind for the bit from UW to western Fremont.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
I need to figure out what to do about my shoes.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
My bike also needs some transmission work, as it often does.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
My ears were ringing loudly right before I got to bed, even though I was sure to consume a lot of water. It's almost impossible to get enough water on these rides.
The ringing in my ears is one thing I hate about extreme dehydration.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
And I dropped my touring bike off to get parts replaced the day after the ride.
I burn through transmissions like nobody's business. (@ Bikesport) http://t.co/V98S0kuARW— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014
The whole US 99 mess inspired me to consider just riding along the old right of way through Tacoma and Olympia, rather than snaking through slow neighborhood streets or diverting to the foothills.
My ride yesterday gave me some insight into a good route through Tacoma using the former #US99 route.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) June 8, 2014