Friday, February 5, 2016

Finally! A Century After Two Months (2016-01-30)

It was the perfect weather for a day-long ride.

After dealing with ice, ice, more ice and…

…I finally was able to get a real century ride out.

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More after the break…

Outbound

I started at about 05:00, as has been the tradition, and headed south through downtown. The First Hill Streetcar recently started operation, so I snapped a photo of a vehicle shortly before it left.

I was expecting rain, so I was all suited up, but I didn't really see anything significant as I went south through SoDo and Tukwila.

I did end up seeing drizzles from time to time, but they didn't really bother me.

Once I got just path 37th Street, the section of path that was iced up before was still flooding normally.

So I decided to take C Street through Auburn instead, cutting over to the C Street Trail after it started on the west side. I then passed through Sumner and hit the Foothills Trail.

The SR-162 bridge across the Puyallup River that was recently replaced with a modern bridge was still there, albeit with bollards on both ends.

At that moment, I was wondering if they were going to move the bicycle trail onto the old highway bridge, but the old railroad bridge still seems to be in decent shape.

From there, I made my way over to the Trailside Cyclery to chat, and we got into some political stuff.

The shop owner talked about how the recession caused by Big Money caused a lot of people to lose jobs, and the tent homelessness problems in so many cities are the result of this. This also caused them to lose their homes and families and end up on the street. Because of the despair, they turned to drugs. This large population dependent of drugs caused the drug cartels and smugglers to get huge amounts of business. I'm not 100% sure if I'm remembering correctly, but I think he said that "El Chapo" said that this helped him get so rich.

He also talked about how the daughter of the late owner of the local feed store was suddenly thrust into local land and house wealth when her father died long ago. The store is long gone, and the daughter is in her 90s, and now has to deal with taxes and maintenance. Whenever she cleans up the houses as forced by the town, the town raises her taxes. It's a pretty nasty situation, especially since she just worked like anyone else before she inherited all the properties.

I was sad to find out that the local bakery shut down, as it was often a stop of mine in the area.

While we were talking at the shop, there was a fender bender on the highway where the trail crosses it. Specifically, one driver stopped abruptly to let someone cross the trail, and the driver behind them rear-ended them.

I left the shop so the owner could get back to work, carefully crossed the highway, then stopped at the Carbon River for photos.

Inbound

Heading back, I followed the Foothills Trail to Sumner, then stopped at the Dairy Freeze for a lemonade.

And then I headed north up the West Valley Highway, taking it all the way past Auburn to avoid the flooding. I took 37th Street to get back onto the Interurban Trail for a little while. I'd never done it to this degree before, so I saw some new sights.

Rather than taking the Interurban Trail all the way back, I made a left onto the Green River Trail, then Frager Road to get some more distance in.

After seeing the nice weather all day, I was worried about the cloud cover in the skies to the north.

I eventually made my way back to the Green River Trail, following the detour in Kent, then took it all the way to South Park

And then I crossed the South Park Bridge to follow the eastern side of the Duwamish River back through SoDo.

Through downtown and all the way home, I took my usual route. It was right around sundown when I got home.

I never really found a comfortable saddle position between "too high" and "too low" with the saddle all the way back. After checking some of my other bikes, my guess is that the saddle still needed to be further back, so I put an order out for my favorite setback seatpost.

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