Thursday, May 19, 2016

Orting and Green River (2016-05-14)

My plan was to do a foothills loop, but the rain discouraged me enough to turn back early.

I didn't take too many photos this time, so here are some related albums.

More after the break…

Outbound

Like usual, I started at about 05:00 or so. I headed south via my typical route via downtown Seattle, then SoDo/Georgetown via East Marginal Way and so on.

I then got onto the Green River Trail, followed by the Interurban Trail, like so many rides before. However, I saw a gang that had taken over the entire trail

When I got to Auburn, the rain was starting to make itself known, but let up fairly quickly. I still didn't bother with switching from my wool outer layer to my Showers Pass jacket.

Riding south out of Auburn, I saw a gang had taken over the entire width of the trail, so I just rode along streets paralleling it until I got onto the C Street Trail. Once at the end of that trail, I did my typical thing and stuck to the East Valley Highway to Sumner.

As I headed south and east along the Foothills Trail out of Seattle, the rain began getting worse, so I changed my plans from my typical loop through the foothills to heading back once I got to Orting.

In Orting, I stopped at the Trailside Cyclery to hang and chat for a while.


When I talked to the owner of the Trailside Cyclery, he said that he was absurdly busy all the time. For example, if he tried to work on a wheel build—which takes a couple of hours of continuous concentration—he'd get a phone call, then a customer, then another phone call over and over. Eventually, he'd forget what he's doing and then try to get back into it. Difficult stuff like that isn't really possible with continuous interruptions. When I asked him if he had thought about hiring help, he said that he'd have to train them, and then they'd leave fairly soon since Orting is a fairly small town. There isn't a base of folks trained in bicycle repair out there like in Seattle. He decided to stop bothering with it and simply deal with everything himself, even if he loses business because of it.

While I was there, a group of folks headed up toward Carbonado by bicycle stopped by. We exchanged some information about the continuation of the Foothills Trail. Maybe someday I'll get a chance to check out the 'unimproved' bits. And maybe someday Pierce County will link the two paved sections, as they are separated by fences and formerly private property right now.

Inbound

Once I left the shop, I headed back north via the Foothills Trail, the West Valley Highway, and the Interurban Trail. I did make a stop at a shop there after having seen their sign on a recent ride.


The Green River Cyclery opened in Auburn five months or so ago, and contains a full cafe like some other shops I've visited. The atmosphere is nice and the lead mechanic is a cool guy. When I asked about what they stocked, they said mainly Surly and Jamis, like Bike Sport back near where I live used to. It's nice seeing a shop open so close to the trail, and in Auburn, as the nearest other one I know of is in Kent and on the other side of the valley.


I left Auburn via the the Interurban Trail, then took Frager Road parallel to it as far as I could.

On the side of Frager Road, I found an abandoned kickstand. Definitely opposite to how I feel about kickstands!

Once Frager Road ended, I got back onto the Green River Trail all the way to South Park, then crossed the Duwamish River and took my usual route along East Marginal Way and 4th Avenue S and so on to get back to downtown.

While riding up Yesler Way downtown, I was slowing while waiting for a very long line of pedestrians to cross the road, then suddenly went down when my front tire got stuck in a grating. I guess 35mm tires aren't even wide enough for SDOT's work!

After getting back up, I just continued along my way north through downtown, where I ended up seeing one other cyclist several times.

I didn't see her again when I started my climb up Dexter Avenue. The rest of my ride home was pretty uneventful as usual, but I got home much earlier because this ride was shorter and didn't involve any public transport.

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