I wanted to check out the festival. I think I'll do the overnight stay next year, as it'll be more interesting.
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.
I think it's pretty stupid how the official weather station for Seattle is all the way out in Seatac.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
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.
I'm at The Duvall Coffeehouse in Duvall, WA https://t.co/P7yHYmeuQW— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
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.
The highway is closed for a block, but the trail I'm using goes around it.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
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.
Found the SVT staircase. It's about as fast as the steep gravel incline.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
It only helped a little.
Also, Tokul Road was still closed, and will remain so for a while.
Why is it taking so long to reopen the road here?— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
After dealing with the hilly detour, I got to the park for the festival. Along the way, my GPS started exhibiting random shutdowns.
My GPS has suffered a major mishap. I know the area well enough to make it to Issaquah without issue, though.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
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
Let's see how this event goes. (@ Centennial Fields Park in Snoqualmie, WA) https://t.co/s7j4e8Ib9U— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
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.
Heading home. It was kind of cool, but I do want to get home.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
I did stop for a shake and a soda for energy, as I was feeling a bit worn down.
I'm at Herfys Burger in Snoqualmie, WA https://t.co/ZKSKn1m3B8— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
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.
Tokul Road will be closed until February 2016.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
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.
Nasty headwinds the whole way from Snoqualmie.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
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.
I'm at Issaquah Transit Center/Park & Ride in Issaquah, WA https://t.co/JhcYupnqry— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
I really wasn't worried about being able to make it back here without navigation.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
Looks like someone threw up in the back of this bus. A supervisor just roped off everything from the rear door rearward.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 22, 2015
Just got moved to a bus containing significantly less vomit.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) August 23, 2015