Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Getting Serious Again (2015-08-08)

After trying to get the fit on my bikes right on my own, I gave up and decided that I'd been wasting my time for too long. I had R+E fit my Double Cross and Aurora Elite, and now I'm adjusting to the new fit.

After riding my Soma Double Cross for so long, riding my Jamis Aurora Elite made me realize a couple things:

  1. My Double Cross definitely has a more flexible frame. It's most obvious when climbing, as the chainring hits either side of the front derailleur cage an the bottom bracket area flexes, and it tends to be a little noodly when unloaded, and kind of unpredictable when loaded. However, the frame combined with the wider tires makes the bike much more comfortable on rough roads.
  2. I prefer the modulation of the low-profile cantilever brakes on my Double Cross over the Avid BB7 disc brakes on my Aurora Elite. I was kind of freaked out when braking on the latter because they just didn't feel right.

Of course, both bikes are excellent in my opinion; they just have different design goals.

More after the break…


I started at 05:00 like usual and headed south out of Seattle. It was cloudy and cool and remained so for many hours.

In SoDo, I noticed I noticed some new railroad tracks where there was construction last time.

Further south, after I had entered Tukwila, I also saw the Museum of Flight getting an upgrade.

After getting onto the Green River Trail, then exiting it in favor of the Interurban Trail, I stopped at the Starbucks in Kent for some water.

My knees still were a bit wonky with the new fit and the drizzle was a little disheartening, so I got some coffee to push ahead.

After rejoining the trail, I noticed a familiar sight (UP #1215) with a fresh coat of paint.

I also saw a sign regarding the closure from last time.

Like usual, I left the trail at 15th St SW, then took the C St Trail to the East Valley Highway, then that to Sumner. At Sumner, I got onto the Foothills Trail and headed toward Orting.

I stopped when I saw what appeared to be a new substation. This has happened before, but I'm still not sure if I'm actually seeing new substations instead of just noticing ones I had ignored previously.

I also stopped to take a close look at the local bridge across the Puyallup River, as it's being replaced with a new one very soon.

Shortly after crossing the river, I chatted a little while I ate with a who stopped when he saw me.

He recognized me from the STP, and was curious about my touring bike. He thought his bike wasn't really up to the task, though I told him that it's just his current tires. He said he'd tried some WTB tires, but they had sidewall blowouts eventually. I suggested the Schwalbe Marathon series of tires.

When I eventually got to Orting, I was a bit saddened to see the local shop closed. The guy who runs it is pretty cool!

Unlike recent rides, I pushed forward to South Prairie, discovering that the closure was gone. I also discovered the effects of a large fire.

In South Prairie, I stopped by the local gas station for a soda, then drank it while eating at the Trailside Espresso park thing.


Heading back along the trail was rather uneventful, though it was getting pretty hot out with the Sun.

Once back on the other side of Orting, I found a nice, peaceful place to eat off the side of the trail.

I then passed through Sumner, taking the West Valley Highway instead. Next I jumped to the Interurban Trail again, leaving it for coffee in eastern Auburn.

From Auburn, I zipped up the Interurban Trail like usual and cut over to Oakesdale Way using the 'secret' shortcut I found last time.

I then headed up the Lake Washington Loop. I was dealing with some hotfoot at this point due to the power I was putting out.

I had to deal with a bunch of car congestion once past the Arboretum, but left it when I took the LWL route that led to the Montlake Bridge. There was a lot of pedestrian congestion there due to the night's event.

To cross Montlake Boulevard, I took the new overpass which had opened recently.

Once back on the Burke-Gilman Trail there, I hurried back home. My legs were tired, but I was still able to extract power out of them.

And then I got home before dealing with any more precipitation.

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