Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Night Ride Up And Over Queen Anne, Capitol Hill

I just got the Ciocc back from the shop, now the steering tube is cut flush with the frame, taking off a good 1". I hadn't actually touched the Ciocc since last year, according to my cycling log! Definitely time to take it out for a spin, even at 7 PM. Did I mention it's about 32 (F) degrees outside?!

I bundled up with shorts, knickers over those, a sweat-wicking shirt, long-sleeve wool jersey, then another long-sleeve jersey over that, gloves, wool glove liners, wool socks - talk about layering! It's ridiculous how many pieces of clothing/accessories I wear on the bike, but that's what you've gotta do when it's this damn cold out. In the summer I'll shoot for three or four items at most.

Starting at Broadway & John, I bombed Denny over I-5, heading towards Queen Anne. You know you're going fast when you're passing cars on the flats! Must've been doing 35+ mph, but then a damn stoplight held me up, of course. Then there's another big steep downhill section by the Whole Foods, I'm sure I hit 40+ mph there, didn't have time to look. Made all the lights up to Fairview, even held a steady 20 mph on the slight uphill coming up to Dexter.

When it was time to turn off Denny, I toned it down to get ready for the climbing portion: Queen Anne! Passing Key Arena, took a left on Mercer, then a quick right on Queen Anne Ave. It's great to look up at the ~10 blocks of steepness that awaits. I dropped into the 39x23 and went for it! You can bet it's a tough haul at that gearing, but it feels even easier than the triple on my heavier Bianchi.

I turned off for the view of downtown at Kerry Park, it's like a post-card. Quite the reward for the climb.

After a little breather at the park, I continued up and over Queen Anne, towards Fremont. After crossing the Fremont bridge I took a right, towards the U-district. At one point on 35th St. I was holding pace with a dude on a scooter! Probably about 30 mph or so, of course that didn't last too long.

I avoided the Burke-Gilman trail, since it's so damn small & dark, plus there were some patches of ice here & there. I'd rather be on well-lit streets with cars & a little ice for sure. Once In the U I took another right, on Eastlake over the University Bridge. Then it was a left up Harvard Ave, for a nice little climb I like to call home: Capitol Hill. The Harvard/10th Ave climb is tough, but I swear that 39x23 really pushes you faster, the only other option is grinding at a slow RPM. Each pedal stroke is just smoother and just plain easier (than on my Bianchi Eros). Like butta, they say.

Distance: 14.99 km
Time: 45 min, 42 secs
Avg speed: 21.5 km/h
Top speed: fast! (~65 km/, hopefully more)
[Route Map]

Total Distance this year: 514 km (log)

Elevation profile of the route:

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