Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Riding to the Gigantic Bicycle Festival (2015-08-22)

I wanted to check out the festival. I think I'll do the overnight stay next year, as it'll be more interesting.

Related albums:

For more information, see the Gigantic Bicycle Festival website.

More after the break…

Part 1: Outbound

I started at about 05:00 and headed out along the Burke-Gilman Trail and Snoqualmie River Trail to get to Woodinville, then headed through Woodinville to get to SR-522.

I had the dreaded foot pain caused by my bike's current fit for maybe 40 minutes, but then it went away.

While Woodinville–Duvall Road would've been the most obvious way to get to Duvall, I wanted to do something a bit more entertaining, so I took SR-522 up to the top of the ridge, then left it near Echo Lake. I headed north for a bit, passing by farm after farm, then hung a right to start heading southeast, back towards SR-522.

The road took me under SR-522, then over undulating hills before sending me down into the Snoqualmie Valley.

I was a bit concerned as I approached Duvall, as I saw signs for a SR-203 detour. I thought that the trail might've been closed, too, since they're usually pretty close together.

Chatting with one of the baristas, I learned that the SR-203 closure was in town. Oddly enough, she had heard about the trail closure and thought they also might've been related. I soon found out that they weren't.

Getting on the trail, I was completely unaffected by the closure. However, I did have to switch over to SR-203 further south due to the trail closure:

It's a shame that they hadn't tried harder to provide a detour.

I jumped back onto the Snoqualmie Valley Trail after crossing a parking lot paved with sizeable rocks rather than gravel.

Then headed through Carnation and up the gradual grade to Snoqualmie.

After complaining about the gravel incline from last time, some folks alerted me to the staircase on the other side.

It only helped a little.

Also, Tokul Road was still closed, and will remain so for a while.

After dealing with the hilly detour, I got to the park for the festival. Along the way, my GPS started exhibiting random shutdowns.

Later research indicated that it's caused by the battery contacts disconnecting. Unfortunately, the display wasn't working very well anymore either.

Gigantic Bicycle Festival

The park was pretty empty. Cyclists trickled in bit by bit, but the festival wasn't too exciting while I was there. I chatted with a few vendors:

  • Ti Cycles and a wheel builder under the same tent
  • RAD Power Bikes
  • An Etsy vendor specializing in jewelry made from old bike parts
  • A guy who had a bunch of his 'barn finds' and art on display

The last guy had this interesting contraption:

Part 2: Inbound

I didn't really chat with many folks as I wasn't feeling up for it, so I headed home after only a couple hours.

I did stop for a shake and a soda for energy, as I was feeling a bit worn down.

Then I started heading down SR-203. For the first time, I saw downtown Snoqualmie consisting of tons of shops fairly close to the railroad museum. For some reason, I didn't have recollection of any of that from my previous times in the area.

I felt like I was riding into the wind as soon as I got to the bottom of the steep downhill adjacent to the falls. That continued as I left SR-203 for the Raging River Valley, and still as I headed down the gravel trails to Issaquah.

Taking a route north of I-90, I ended up in an unfamiliar mall parking lot. It took a bit of wayfinding, but I eventually made it to SR-900 including the bicycle overpass of the junction with I-90. Without any further trouble, I made it to the transit center.

Part 3: Return Home

The ride home was fairly uneventful. Like last time, I took 4th Ave instead of 2nd. My legs were a bit worn, though, and I wasn't feeling too energetic.

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