Monday, October 31, 2016

Greenwater (2016-10-22)

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!

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.

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

It was still dark when I got off the train. I tried to find a restroom nearby, but didn't have any luck.

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.

I ended up donning my rain gear during the stop to keep the warmth in.


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 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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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