Sunday, March 6, 2016

Reverse Foothills Loop, Mostly (2016-02-27)

I really should've picked something less hilly for a shakedown ride.

More after the break…

The day had a bit of a shakey start, as my block had a scheduled power outage.

Thankfully, the power came back a couple hours before my departure, so I didn't have to use the stairs with my loaded bike.

Main Section

I started a little after 05:00 and headed northeast on the Burke-Gilman Trail. I was curious to see if the closure just east of UW was finally over. It wasn't.

Apparently, it's going to last until June. This lack of urgency shows how much the politicans really care.

I also saw a sign for a scale model of the Solar System.

When I got to Woodinville, I found the restroom closed.

"This lack of urgency shows how much the politicans really care."

It felt exactly as one would expect a temperate rainforest to feel when I got to Redmond, and the mist turned into drizzle as I passed through it.

I then went along the West Lake Sammamish Parkway to get around said lake, and there were some road cyclists around.

I tried a couple parks in Issaquah for restrooms, but they were all closed for the Winter, which is the norm around here.

I pushed on to Hobart, slowing with the climb as my saddle was still too low. When I did get to Hobart, I got a soda to calm my stomach.

A customer at the shop said that he used to do a lot of road riding, and knew these particular weather conditions quite well. Neither he nor I were fans.

From there, I continued south over the Cedar River, which was another slow slog as I geared down a ton. I was too worried about ending up in the "saddle too far back" state to mess with my saddle position around the worst climbs, as that would hurt significantly more than "saddle too low."

I also got some photos of the BNSF mainline to Stampede Pass, with centerbeam cars taking up one of the tracks.

And the Reserve Silica Corporation.

The segment to Black Diamond was fairly easy, and I went off-route to get some water and an iced tea at the bakery.

After Black Diamond, I crossed over this gravel conveyor, and finally thought to stop and photograph it.

And then I crossed the Green River, which was a combination climb-descent-big climb. As before, the climbs were slow. However, unlike all of my other loops through the foothills, I didn't have to detour around this bridge, as the downhill side of the bridge over the river had a shoulder and was super-fast. Going up a steep hill on a major highway without a shoulder, which is what would happen if I went northbound across the bridge (my typical direction in the foothills) is never, ever fun.

My knees were hurting due to the saddle position, so I stopped at Krain Corner to give them a rest and get a salad.

My route through Enumclaw had me deviate around the city core, but I eventually made my way to SR-410 to cross the White River. Once in Buckley, I started tweaking my saddle position again, but my knees were so beat-up that I couldn't really do much anymore.

I descended SR-162 into South Prairie at speed, but was attacked by frigid needles of water the whole way down. The rain persisted to some degree for a while after that, too.

I saw a couple with a Rodriguez tandem at the South Prairie espresso stand and chatted with them for a bit. They told me how they toured across Europe with it, which sounded pretty cool to me. They also told me what happened to the owner of the Trailside Cyclery that caused him to sell the shop.

After all that climbing, I was glad to have a downhill ride all the way down to Sumner, even though it was into the wind at times.

I stopped at the Trailside Cyclery to chat, and he told me more details.

He said that some local teenagers bought chains for their BMX bikes online, and wanted him to cut the chain. He would've charged $8, which they said was ripping off. He also told them that if they had bought the chains at his shop, he would've cut them for free. The teenagers slammed his commuter bike in the rack out front, and he gave chase on another bike as they rode off, and they ended up beating him up and breaking his leg. The teenagers ended up in prison, and he sold the shop to the owner of Cycle Therapy in Kent, who hired the girl I met at the shop as a mechanic when I first visited over a year ago.

I had an easy enough time riding to Sumner, even though I knew I couldn't go on much further after that.

I safely made it to Sumner Station for the bus ride back to Seattle.

I kept trying to rest, but the guy behind me kept trying to suck on something, making a really annoying noise that kept me up.

Return Home

Once in Seattle, I felt like I'd regained much of my strength and had an easy ride home. There a strange buzzing rattle the whole way, but I wasn't able to figure it out until I was mostly home.

I ended up applying thread locker to the bolt that held my kickstand on, so the problem should be gone now.

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