A fairly easy ride to further retrain my legs. I had some nice conversations with cyclists that were starting to ride again as the cold season ends.
More after the break…
Part 1: Outbound
I started at about 05:00 like usual, then took my normal route south through Seattle and Tukwila.
Pretty cold this morning.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 25, 2017
However, when I got to the Renton area, I took a new route via Monster Rd SW, which involved a bit of climbing that I hadn't expected. I was trying my saddle a couple mm up from last time just to check, and had a pretty hard time.
Tried a new route from the Interurban Trail to downtown Renton. it wasn't my kind of thing, though.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 25, 2017
I then passed through Renton to the Cedar River Trail, which I took to Maple Valley before I got some hot coffee to warm up against the cold. As I approached Maple Valley, snow started to fall. While there, it came down a bit harder, but it cleared up shortly before I left.
I'm at Maple Valley Market in Maple Valley, WA https://t.co/Zvj7x5iAYt— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 25, 2017
At the transition between the paved an unpaved section of the trail, I realize that I might know how the old Milwaukee Road got from the ROW of the Cedar River Trail to the ROW of the Green to Cedar Rivers Trail. There's an abandoned ROW on an embankment that gradually makes its way up the side of the hill below SR-169 and above the former trail.
A bit concerned about the light snowfall out here.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 25, 2017
It was rather nice being on the unpaved section of the trail without rain for once.
At the end of the trail, I started my climb out of the valley. Like before, it was really hard on my legs, and I had to stop to lower the saddle those couple mm after my hamstrings started to burn. Despite slightly lifting with every pedal stroke, it looks like the saddle couldn't go any higher. It also can't go back with the current seatpost.
When I approached the main road again, I saw a couple of roadies making their way up it, so I joined them. I didn't have much trouble climbing anymore, and started a conversation with them. They eventually dropped me after the second hill south of Ravensdale.
Rode with some roadies starting at Landsburg. They dropped me before Black Diamond.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 25, 2017
No more threat of snow for now. (@ Black Diamond Bakery and Restaurant in Black Diamond, WA) https://t.co/cIz1G4GhTU— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 25, 2017
I did end up chatting with them a short while later, as they'd also stopped at the Black Diamond Bakery. The older of the two talked about how he'd done a Bikecentennial ride when he was younger, and I told them about some of my rides. As they left, they talked about how inspired they felt to continue long rides like the one they were on.
Good cycling conversations at the Black Diamond Bakery.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 25, 2017
Part 2: Inbound
I started leaving Black Diamond via SR-169 to get to Green Valley Rd, but it turned out that there was a closure on the road between SR-169 and Flaming Geyser State Park, so I had to turn back toward Black Diamond.
Fortunately, I found another route to Flaming Geyser State Park, which involved a steep descent that got me to nearly 35 MPH! Indeed, there were also warning signs for the closure on the other side.
I then made my way into the park, hoping to actually see the geyser this time.
Unfortunately, the geyser had run out of methane to burn in 2016, so it wasn't really a sight anymore.
While I'd stopped to eat, a woman rolled in on a touring bike looking for directions around the closure I'd just gone around. I told her about it, but didn't think to warn her about the 9% grade she'd be climbing up for a while. We also exchanged contact information before parting ways, as we'd both been looking for folks to do "long, slow" rides with for a while.
Might've found a cycling companion while at Flaming Geyser State Park.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 25, 2017
After leaving the park, I headed west along Green Valley Rd toward Auburn. I did also try to find an interesting sight from a previous ride, but it appears to have been demolished since I was last in the area. I was fortunate enough to get daylights picture of Green Valley Meats, though.
Once in Auburn, I went to Zola's Coffee for a little boost to get me back home, then headed back to the Green River to follow it into Kent.
I'm at Zola's Coffee in Auburn, WA https://t.co/oneHKfFz0G— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 25, 2017
Saw lots of cyclists in the afternoon, including a few large groups. Glad to see folks coming out of the woodwork as weather improves.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 26, 2017
Once I got to the outermost trailhead of the Green River Trail, I switched over to it. Aside from having to walk some sections, it was fine for a while.
That is, until it turned into mud and gates.
I'd almost forgotten how bad that part of the Green River Trail was.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 25, 2017
After a short bit of road riding until crossing the Interurban Trail, I followed the Green River Trail and Frager Road all the way back to the Seattle city limits.
And then I took my usual route through Georgetown, SoDo, Downtown, and so on all the way home.
Chatted with another woman during the Dexter Avenue part of my route. While she lives nearby, we parted ways before exching contact info.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 26, 2017
The funny thing is that we both live in the same neighborhood of Seattle, but she took a different route to get there so we didn't get to talk for too long.
I got home at about 19:00, and it had only been dark for a short while. Can't wait for longer daylight hours as Spring and Summer come.
Thought that potential riding companion wouldn't speak to me again after I sent her up a long 9% climb without a warning.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 26, 2017
She seemed in good spirits when she replied to my message.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 26, 2017
Both of the women I chatted with today had dynamo lighting featuring my favorite headlight: the B&M Luxos U.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 26, 2017
I also was glad to have solved two major issues that had been plaguing me.
Didn't make myself sick to my stomach once today. After trying a number of things, Nuun at 50% strength worked pretty well.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 26, 2017
Getting my shoes recollared with a smoother material did solve the ankle abrasion problem.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) February 26, 2017