Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cold And Wet Lake Washington Loop!

Today I did an 82-km solo ride, the Hilly Lake Washington Loop. As you can see, it starts out pretty tame, but gets more & more hilly as the ride goes on. The group of hills towards the end of the ride is going south on 5th Ave E., right next to I-5. The big hill just before that is Juanita Drive.

Here's a Google Map of the route (the green line):

There were pretty strong winds out of the south, and with the temperature at about 37 when I started, the 'warm up' to 45 degrees F by 1 P.M. didn't really help, it was still damn cold! My extremities were really cold/numb, but the wool jersey & rain-proof jacket were plenty to keep the rest of me warm.

My feet were wet/freezing/basically numb by Renton, only 10 miles into the ride! With just light booties & wool socks on my feet for warmth, once the water soaked through, the only thing I could do to warm them up was wiggle my toes & do round pedaling. It sorta works. But dammit, I should've worn plastic QFC bags under the booties..

The rain let up at about 1 PM or so, but by that time my gloves (& liners) were soaked. For the first 65 kilometers or so my hands were warm enough to compensate. But when I stopped for snacks at a corner-store on 165th and took of the gloves, that's when my hands really started to freeze! They didn't get warmed back up until I was back on top of Capitol Hill, those last 10 km were really rough.

No wonder I didn't see but eight or so other riders the whole time! I almost bailed (e.g. took I-90 back to Seattle, cut the ride in half) when I got to I-90 in Eastgate/Bellevue, but I decided that this ride would be one to remember, and hopefully one that'll make me enjoy Spring & Summer that much more!

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