Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lake Washington Loop (2017-04-29)

A fun yet difficult ride not quite following the official Lake Washington Loop route. I also stopped by a new bike shop run by some of the folks from my previous local bike shop, which had closed down over a year ago.

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More after the break…

Outbound

I started at about 05:30 this time, and headed out west and north along the Burke–Gilman Trail. The early sunrise and relatively warm weather sure were a welcome change from this Winter!

When I got to the border between Kenmore and Bothell, I headed south along 96th Ave NE/Waynita Way NE, arguably the easiest and safest route along this part of the loop.

After passing through Juanity and over Forbes Creek, I hung a left and climbed the steepest road on this ride to Crestwoods Park and the Cross Kirkland Corridor. The access path to the trail itself was also unexpectedly steep and involved descending a staircase.

Once on the Cross Kirkland Corridor, I headed south through Kirkland, got onto the SR-520 Trail, then left it and made my way through northern Bellevue before stopping at the same place as last time for coffee.

Inbound

Remembering how busy Bellevue Way tends to be, I tried an alternate route to leave Old Bellevue. It was largely file, though I did have to push my bike up a very steep and narrow path.

Next time, I'll probably do something more like this, as it involves no walking nor spending a lot of time in heavy traffic.

I continued via a short segment of the I-90 Trail, then took the official route all the way to past the Renton city limits. Along this stretch, I saw a group of at least two dozen roadies heading the other way.

At the park, I saw another large group of riders who were heading in the same direction as me, as well as some couples here and there.

To get through Renton, I skirted the eastern side of the valley and mainly stuck to the trail there, and that large group from Gene Coulon Park was on the road beside me. They turned left as I headed straight toward another bit of trail.

And to exit Renton, I took the official route through the airport, along Rainier Avenue, and to Seward Park.

Then I continued along the official route all the way to the Burke–Gilman Trail. I was still feeling pretty good, but my ride wasn't over yet: I still had to get to Wedgwood for the grand opening party of (mend) bicycles. The climb from the trail up to the shop was only 1.3 miles, but I'd obviously was running low on blood sugar at that point, so it was pretty arduous. I was pretty spacey by the time I got to the shop.

Thankfully, there was plenty of stuff to eat and drink, and I did recover fairly quickly.

Return Home

Wanting to avoid the impending rain, I headed out fairly early. While I left alone, one of the party guests did eventually catch up with me on his Ross Signature Series road bike. At a brisk pace (at least for touring), we headed out toward Fremont. Parting ways, he headed across the bridge and I continued home.

It was a pretty good day, and definitely helped me regain my confidence and motivation for century rides.

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