Despite its name, this town is actually on the White River. It shares its name with the Greenwater River, which is a tributary of the White River.
On this ride, I finally figured out what my knees really want, and realized that I needed to lower the handlebars with the saddle once past a certain point in order to feel like I'm getting any power out.
More after the break…
Part 1: To Light Rail
Since I wanted to catch the first train, I left home at about 04:20 after indenting to leave a bit earlier. Unfortunately, I didn't make the train and was stuck at the station for all of twenty minutes. Gotta love decent service in the morning!
I could hear the first train rolling away as I exited the elevator. Oh well. (@ Link Light Rail - UW Station) https://t.co/hWg5zYOkxo— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
When I got on the train, there was a guy sleeping across a row of seats who didn't get up when security staff asked him if he was okay. He ended up riding the whole way to Angle Lake, only getting up there.
There's a guy laying down and sleeping on this train. He's almost constantly hacking up phlegm.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
The previous times I've taken Link Light Rail, I've had to hang my bike up strangely. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this one fit just fine the normal way, as the headlight was out of the way.
Part 2: To Greenwater
I'm at Angle Lake Link Station in SeaTac, WA https://t.co/NimMAl6156— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
It was still dark when I got off the train. I tried to find a restroom nearby, but didn't have any luck.
7 Eleven is waging a war against customer restroom.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
While there was a little bit of climbing at one point, the route I took to the Green River was largely downhill. It featured some pretty tight turns on steep grades, which were less than fun for me in the dark despite my nice headlight.
My plan had been to take the shortest route to the Interurban Trail, but I started along Frager Road out of habit.
After realizing my mistake, I just took roads through Kent to get to the trail. Traffic was pleasantly light, but the foggy chill in the air and the submerged trail gave me the idea to stop for coffee for a bit.
Some of the Interurban Trail in Kent was flooded. #seabikes— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
The humidity is letting the cold really taking its toll.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
It was so foggy and damp earlier that everything got soaked as though it had been raining.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
I'm at Sun Break Cafe in Auburn, WA https://t.co/z6pOrDpPDC— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
I ended up donning my rain gear during the stop to keep the warmth in.
I think it's time to start wearing shorts covers in the morning. #seabikes— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
When I left Auburn, I took A Street despite wanting to use the C Street trail. Despite avoiding the nasty SR-18 interchange, I did have to ride in traffic for longer. After riding the length of the contintuation of A Street along the East Valley Highway, I skirted the edge of Sumner rather than dealing with the nasty drivers at the main SR-410 interchange.
The small road continuing south from there and to Alderton provided some beautiful Autumn colors.
I just love the colors of Autumn.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
I used the Foothills Trail to get from Alderton to Orting. When I got there, it was about opening time for the Trailside Cyclery, but the owner wasn't there yet. I spent my time waiting by eating and lowering my handlebars 10mm as needed. Brian did show up eventually, and I asked him to help make sure my handlebars were pointing straight.
I'm at Trailside Cyclery in Orting, WA https://t.co/xMZEt6iqBm— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
From Orting, I continued along the trail to South Prairie, where I stopped to chat with a couple who were riding a Co-Motion tandem. The 'captain' said that he used to visit Bill Davidson at Elliott Bay Bicycles, who built the bike he was riding. He also commented on how the lugs looked to fancy for a Davidson. Before we rode our separate ways, he commented on how Davidson said that there's "no art to modern frame materials."
To get to Enumclaw, I rode the highway up the long grade, then continued along SR-410 through Buckley.
I'm at The Local in Enumclaw, WA https://t.co/eYGik73p8W— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
Looks like my past saddle position issues were at least due in part by how I wasn't lowering the bars with the saddle. #cycling— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 22, 2016
@librarianbikes Mostly connecting the dots from past experiments.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
Once done in Enumclaw, I started up the climb up SR-410 toward my midway point.
After the road leveled out, it passed under one of the Weyerhauser Mainlines, a large logging road. It would remain close to SR-410 for quite some time.
And then the 410 Quarry.
The scenery I rode through was very nice out there, and I was reminded of my other treks along mountain highways.
I briefly passed through Federation Forest State Park, which took the highway away from the White River for a bit.
And it wasn't long until I finally reached the community of Greenwater, which was where the highway was brought back to the river, as well as back into Pierce County.
The town shares its name with the Greenwater River (not to be confused with the Green River).
It's a pretty small community with only a few shops.
As well as a marker for a branch of the Oregon Trai.
The Greenwater River flows into the White River, which used to flow into the Green River, but has since been flowing into the Puyallup.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
Part 3: Return via Rainier Beach
After eating some food and drinking some fluids, I started on me way back, 'unwinding' my ride along SR-410.
As the Sun was lowering in the sky, I didn't stop much while I sped downhill toward Enumclaw. My only real stops were saddle adjustments and similar.
Dominant leg forces the saddle position, and the other foot's cleat must be offset, according to my experimentation.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
When I got to Enumclaw, I stopped at an espresso stand for a mocha to get me to the Green River valley.
And then I proceeded along SR-164 toward the Muckleshoot Reservation, but not before an unexpected stop.
Apparently Enumclaw thinks it makes sense to have staples strewn about the road. #seabikes— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
Patching it won't work because of how the holes in the tube are spaced.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
The ride was peaceful until I got to the reservation. There was a lot of traffic there, and one driver couldn't wait a few seconds for me. You know, those people who keep hammering on the horn even after they've gone around you.
That spooked me a bit, so I got into the shoulder when it appeared, which ended up being a bad move.
After having someone blaring their horn at me from behind while I was going 30+ MPH down SR-164, I got into the shoulder when it showed up.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
Suddenly, one of WSDOT's narrow sidewalk replaced the shoulder. I was so shocked that I hopped off at an oblique angle.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
Miraculously, I didn't go down and the only damage was some minor fender scuffing. Gotta love the handling of this guy.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
It was pretty scary, but nothing appeared damaged when I pulled off onto a side street to examine the bike.
After passing through Auburn, I was finally on the Interurban Trail, which I took all the way to Tukwila.
I'm in a much better area for cycling now, thankfully.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
And then I used the Lind Street overpass to get to the other side of I-405. I stopped for some water and other fluids in Renton before going along the Lake Washington Loop to Rainier Beach.
I'm at Fred Meyer in Renton, WA https://t.co/cz4IKHXXZN— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
A guy driving by shouted, "I like your spandex!" I didn't have any exposed.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
Once there, I almost limped my way up the last hill. (As I discovered on my first commute after this ride, my saddle was definitely too low and far back!)
It wasn't long before a train picked me up.
Part 4: Return HOme
Once at the University District, I carefully rode home. My knees were definitely not happy, and I didn't want to risk any injury.
My left knee ended up pretty unhappy at the end, but I think I know what to do.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) October 23, 2016
I got home pretty late, part of it likely because of the saddle position, just like the past few rides, only this time it was too low instead of too high.
Thankfully, my knees were plenty good after a day of rest.