Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Filling in the Monroe Gap (2014-08-06)

I tried out an alternative route for exiting Monroe.

More photos of the areas covered can be found on these earlier albums:

More after the break…

Part 1: To Snoqualmie

I started at about 05:00 and headed south to the I-90 Trail, then east along the trail itself.

I never really liked the design of that trail.

Once off the trail, I passed though Newport and Issaquah.

And then I took to I-90 for the rest of the distance to SR-18. I made a left onto it, then barrelled down it to SR-202, where I ended up at Snoqualmie Falls.

Part 2: Snoqualmie Valley

From the falls, I barrelled down SR-202, then followed it through Fall City before making a right onto the little farm roads on the western edge of the valley.

In the past, I would typically head towards Snohomish after hitting Monroe, but I decided to instead head north toward Granite Falls. This took me along a new stretch of the valley that is apparently popular for cycling.

When I approached the one-lane road closure shown in the distance here, a large group of cyclists was headed in the other direction.

After heading along the valley for a while, I climbed a big hill out of it. As sometimes happens on these rides, there were no cars headed up the hill at the same time so nobody was bothered.

I did eventually start to see some familiar areas from past rides. I followed the same route around Lake Roesiger I took when I went to to Verlot to get to Granite Falls.

Part 3: Return Home

From Granite Falls, I took SR-29 to get back to the Centennial Trail.

It was a fairly route ride along it back to Snohomish. I've started to leave the trail a little ways north of where I was doing it before in order to reduce how often I'd confuse drivers by entering the road.

A cycling group showed up for a while, then left before I did.

I left the cafe, then zipped up SR-9 in a higher gear than usual. With all the riding earlier in the day, I could really feel when I pulled up on the pedals through the backstroke.

A celebration was also going on last time.

On the ride home, I felt myself hitting my limit, though not like I've done on past rides. My legs weren't sore, but were simply unable to push as hard. I attribute that to my having spun fast all day rather than pushing a little harder the whole time. This is a more reasonable failure mode. Also, it's kind of expected for this sort of thing to happen when retraining to use new muscles, as the new muscles aren't used to the heavy use as much.

I started to feel pretty sick from the caffeine and dehydration from sweating heavily as I rode through Seattle along the BGT. I can't say I've ever been able to stay hydrated in that state.

It was really good to get home after all that.

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