Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Good Fit, Bad Weather, & Coffee Overdose (2016-06-18)

I went out knowing that the weather would be not-so-great because I needed to finally dial in the last of the saddle position. I ran on coffee much of the day…which subsequently caused me to not pace myself when I did get the saddle position to where I liked it. I got too excited and burned my legs out.

More after the break…

Part 1: To Bus

I started the ride at about 05:00, then headed east to catch the bus at the University District freeway station. On the way, I used one of the unlocked porta-potties on the trail for the Summer Solstice events. I didn't see much in the way of rain at all, by the way..

Part 2: Snohomish County

When I got to Everett Station, I noticed that yet another plastic nut inside the bag had vanished. I used a Surly strap to take up the load, so nearby screws and nuts woludn't loosen.

It was raining in Everett, so I decided to do my normal thing and get coffee to stay motivated and warm.

Unfortunately, the rain only got worse as I left. In fact, while riding on the SR-529 (old US 99) bridges out of Everett, 1-3 inches of standing water covered the road, as there was no drainage on the bridge. Great design!

I started noticing more porta-potties around Marysville for a parade later that day, and made use of one. I wish there were public facilities like this in all cities!

With coffee in my system, the rain didn't really bother me much. I made small saddle adjustments to reduce the strain on my kneecaps, and eventually found a place that felt pretty good and stuck with it.

I eventually passed through Arlington, and decided to change my plans.

The stub of the Whiteworse Trail attached to the Centennial Trail wasn't really rideable in those conditions, anyway, as it was comprised of large railroad ballast.

I rode up to Lake McMurray, then immediately headed back, but not before getting to the saddle position I kept through the rest of the ride. While heading back to Arlington, I saw a group of folks driving fancy European sports cars, followed by a group of motorcyclists. Hard core!

Back at Arlington, I stopped for coffee yet again, and stuck around for a while to fully warm up.



While the rain continued as I headed south out of Arlington, it only got particularly nasty as I was halfway up Culpeper Hill. There was an inch or more of water flowing down the entire width of the paved trail! Other cyclists were also out there.

Since I was headed to my parents' place and only had so much time, I left the trail at Lake Stevens and took the shortest possible route to Everett. Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of traffic and I was pressed to keep up the pace.

The big traffic jam in the above photo was caused by a guy in the left-hand shoulder standing outside his stalled car while talking on his phone.

My front brake pads were almost gone, so the descent into the Snohomish River valley wasn't too much fun. Unfortunately, it would be only a few more days until I was going to switch it to sintered pads, so I'd need to get new pads for safety, then replace them only a couple days later.

I was pretty much mentally done by the time I got to Everett…only for another squall to roll through. At that point, I decided to switch to Community Transit's Swift BRT line instead.

I had some trouble finding a stop, and walked up some steep hills on busy Rucker Avenue to avoid traffic, but eventually found one. I only realized that this wouldn't get me anywhere near a way to quickly get to northern Bothell after I had boarded, then phoned a pick-up in Lynnwood instead.

I was glad to be out of that when I finally got to my destination!

A couple days after this ride, I finally realized the true source of my knee problems: I was forcing my overbuilt quads (fronts of my thighs) to do all the work, which terribly stresses the tendons around my kneecaps. When I started to tell my hamstrings (backs of thighs) to pull their weight, the pain went away rather quickly. A big breakthrough!

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