Sunday, April 30, 2017

South Kitsap (2017-04-15)

Decided to put myself through more punishment, and it didn't disappoint!

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More after the break…

Part 1: To Ferry

I started at about 05:00 like usual, and headed south against headwinds. I thought everything was normal, except I realized I'd forgotten my phone when I reached the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. Considering it largely superfluous, I pressed on.

I didn't get there early enough to get on the ferry before the cars, but I was pretty surprised when I saw the gate go down with me standing a few feet from it as directed. The ferry attendant almost forgot about about me, and told me to walk around the gate when she remembered.

Part 2

I took SR-160 and Banner Road to get up from the shores of Puget Sound, even though my route said to take Long Lake Road. Didn't make much of a difference either way, really.

I then proceeded along Ollala Valley Road, which was nice as always.

At the general store/gas station, I saw one of the promotional trailers for the Nintendo Switch behind a truck that was getting a fill-up. There was also another customer who was really unhappy with the owner of the gas station because of something to do with the pump he was using.

Remembering a crazy climb, I took steps to plan my route around it instead of up it. I ended up going up four steeper and longer inclines instead. Boy, I was kicking myself after that! Even worse is that there's a second option that's just one steep incline incline.

After all that climbing, I still noticed that I was lifting off the saddle a little with each pedal stroke. When I eventually stopped to eat, I raised the saddle one little bit, and that went away. Unlike on past rides, the problem never showed up again, so it was a real breakthrough!

When I eventually got to the turns off for the Cushman Powerline Trail, I accidentally left the main road one roundabout early and had to wait to get back into traffic…before taking the next roundabout to the local YMCA. There was a nice walking trail I strolled along for a bit before getting to the actual trail.

Years ago, I tore a quad while on this trail because of poor fit and technique, so it seemed fitting to finally get all that so right this time. I didn't have any trouble at all on the steep rolling hills of the trail!

When I got to Gig Harbor, I saw a large group of cyclists of all ages, who subsequently headed towards the Tacoma Narrows Bridge behind me. I ended up at the back end of the group, unable to pass due to its length and the limited visibility on the bridge.

I stopped for coffee and food shortly after getting on the mainland portion of the Scott Pierson Trail, then continued along it, taking the streets through Tacoma after it ended.

When I turned off to 20th Street E, I saw that it was still closed, over two years later!

I had to take the main road through the area instead, unfortunately. I wasn't too enthused by the rain passing through, either.

After necessarily braving the I-5 interchange, I took the other portion of 20th Street E to Freeman Road…only to find that it was also closed! So much for keeping roads open.

After getting to the other side of the detour, I saw that they were repaving and widening the road. I guess it's worth the closure in this case, as the road used to be rather narrow, undulating, and bumpy.

I took Valley Avenue to Pacific, then ate there. Despite eating, my blood sugar started running low, so I stopped at the Green River Cyclery to rehydrate and eat more.

When I asked the employees there about the trail closure, they suggested taking the detour I took outbound last time rather than the high-traffic, high-speed 'official detour'. It was definitely a better route this time, too.

I didn't see very many cyclists on the Interurban Trail despite the decent weather. Maybe the winds (now from the north) were still too discouraging.

When I eventually got to Tukwila, I considered taking the light rail line to get around Seattle, but after stopping to eat and drink some water, I decided to keep at it.

I took my usual route along the Green and Duwamish Rivers and through both Georgetown and SoDo back home. I also ended up in a mini-paceline with some folks heading back to Capitol Hill from Georgetown. They were up for a good chat, and I needed a break from the headwinds.

While dodging traffic in downtown Seattle, I ended up behind a couple cruising in Porsche Carrera. The car merged right because I kept on their tail, and I ended up ahead of them at several intersections after that.

It was still light as I crossed and followed along the Ship Canal on my way home. When I got to Ballard, there were a couple of cyclists looking for a place for outdoor eating, and I showed them to No Bones About It. The guy was on a Soma Grand Randonneur and mentioned that it kept shimmying no matter what he did. The girl was on a Salsa Vaya.

It was a pretty good day.

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