Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Gig Harbor and Olalla II (2015-09-12)

My first ride along the Kitsap Peninsula in quite some time.

More after the break…

Part 1: To Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal

As usual, I started at 05:00. I started heading south through Downtown, then crossed the Spokane Street Bridge to get to the trail that rounds West Seattle.

When I got to Duwamish Head, I was delighted to find the restrooms open.

From there, I headed south along the recently repaved Beach Drive, and eventually made it to the ferry terminal.

While I made it just in time to get on behind the cars, a group of road cyclists in full kit was forced to wait for the next boat.

He talked about the Rodrigues he has, as well as the National Forest Explorer he hopes to get. He wanted to go to the Bicycle Quartery Un-meetup, but won't be able to because of work.

Part 2: Outbound

As I'd learned very well in the past, a ferry ride always involves a lot of hill climbing shortly after, and this was no exception. I only had to deal with so much before making a left to start heading south to Olalla

As you can see, I was again at sea level in Olalla. You can probably guess that there was a lot of hill climbing from there. It was even worse than the climb from the ferry!

I passed through the edges of Gig Harbor before making it to Borgen Boulevard, all of which involved navigating roundabouts and roads with lanes that have been closed…since I was last in the area over a year ago. Borgen itself sent me down a steep hill to SR-16, but I made a left at the roundabout to get to the Cushman Powerline Trail.

Well before I got to the end of the trail I remembered, I got to a crosswalk which meant only one thing!

After chatting on a guy with a beautiful vintage steel bike, I headed along the new section of trail to find its end. It was at Borgen Boulevard again.

I chatted with someone a bit. He had been jogging out and back on the trail, and told me something awesome.

With that done, I started heading back the way I had planned, to the end of the trail I remembered.

And then along the trail over its steep grades (relative to 'normal trails') through Gig Harbor and to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. After crossing the bridge, I stopped at the park through which the Scott Pierson Trail goes.

After riding a little while parallel to the trail to avoid crosswalks, I decided to look for a cold refreshment as I was running rather hot. I managed to find a Sonic Drive-in within a few suburban blocks of the trail and headed for the drive-through. Unfortunately, the sensor didn't pick me up so I went to one of the drive-in slots. (The driver behind me in the drive-through was nice about the delay.)

I then jumped back onto the trail, seeing some stuff going on.

After the end of the trail, I took my normal route down the big hill through downtown Tacoma, stopping a couple times to get photos of some of the old railroad stuff there.

And the new commuter rail tracks.

And the Milwaukee Road Trestle,

After crossing the Puyallup River on old US 99, I was stopped by a road closure.

Going back to the old highway, I followed the 'trail' there.

Which turned into a bike lane…that pedestrians are told to use.

I had to deal with crossing I-5 via freeway interchange thanks to the closure, but it was painless because the right combination of lights was red. After that crossing, I was back on-route.

When I got to Puyallup, I noticed that the old bridge was now moved out of its original location.

I then followed my usual route to Sumner, and went to the downtown for ice cream. Since I hadn't been setting an alarm like usual to remind me to eat, I was running low on energy a lot on this ride. Oops.

At the Dairy Freeze, I noticed that a wasp had been splatted on my water bottle.

Part 3: Inbound

With the sugar in my system, I proceeded to zip up the West Valley Highway, then up the Interurban Trail. While on the trail, I found a memorial for the victim of the stabbing that happened shortly before my ride in early July.

Even with the sugar, however, I eventually started having trouble against a nasty headwind I was fighting in the northern part of the valley. I decided to get a quadruple iced americano, which proved to be a mistake as I would find out later.

After riding for a bit from the Starbucks, the clicking in my pedal that had been going on ever since last Saturday was getting rather annoying, so I went to a bike shop I remembered from a ride long ago.

The detour eventually dropped me in downtown Kent where I acquired more water at yet another Starbucks before zipping up along the trail.

When I got to Tukwila near the train station, I left the trail for the Lake Washington Loop. The route I'd been using kind of irked me as it sent me through Boeing's private property, so I just followed the road instead.

Even though it resulted in a bit of backtracking, I think I like this new route more.

After passing through northern Kent and skirting the edge of downtown Renton, I headed along the Lake Washington loop. The coffee was really overpowering my system and I was sweating, huffing, and puffing like mad. It eventually got to the point where, after climbing over the ridge to get away from Lake Washington, I had to take a short break.

After passing through Montlake, I had to ride on Boyer because of the closure of a freeway overpass, which was fine. I was pretty burned out due to the caffeine forcing me to exhaust my energy supplies.

After crossing the University Bridge, I headed home the normal way. When I was at the bottom of the final hill, I had to stop again due to extreme hot foot in my toes.

Ever since that happened, I've started leaving the shoe strap above my toes loose to allow for some freedom. It may also be a bike fit issue, as a bike I've had fitted since this ride ended up with a saddle about 1cm lower than the Double Cross I was riding. (The ~1cm raise on the Double Cross is from when I had the custom insoles made after the first fit with the same guy who fitted said new bike.)

Shortly after, I arrived at home. Despite the hot foot, this ended up being a pretty awesome ride.

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