Saturday, February 16, 2008

Seattle to North Bend & Back Century (Riding with SiR)

Today I attended the sixth of SiR Winter Training Series, a great set of rides so far. It was a great ride, and I got to the start quicker than expected. I rolled out at 7:15 AM to the tune of a light mist, Schmidt E6 lamp blazing (see photo below). Riding with SiR is great because usually no matter how slow or fast you're going, there will be someone else close by. But the first 19 miles or so of this ride were solo, although I more cyclists than expected going across I-90 & Mercer Island.

After meeting up with the group in Issaquah, we rolled out at 9 AM sharp. The first section of the route on Hwy 900/E. Lake Sammamish was pleasant, and I settled in with a few folks I've met during these rides. We got to the first climb, Louis Thompson Road, within 15 minutes or so. It's a fun climb, and just about on the edge of the steepness that forces me out of the saddle. Maybe 7-9% grade? It lasts for a 1/2 mile, maybe more. After that it was what I like to call "classic" Northwest back roads for pretty much all the way.

Below you'll find a few of the photos I took along the route, most of them taken while riding. Enjoy!

Passing through the Mt. Baker ped/bike tunnel - whenever I ride through here I think about the video cameras in the tunnel - who watches those? Or do the just scan the vids if something happens in the tunnel? (There are three video cameras aimed on peds/cyclists in this tunnel, not visible in this photo)

The scene looking East across Lake Washington at I-90 - North Bend is somewhere out there..

The view from Hwy 202, looking towards Carnation.

My velo at Snoqualmie Falls -it's always wanted to go!

I think this is Mount Si peaking out from behind the fog near North Bend. I was hoping for a more dramatic view, but oh well.

A theater in North Bend, on the way back towards Fall City. North Bend is a pretty small town, nestled in the Cascade foothills. I think it's main feature is a cafe that was in "Twin Peaks."

Heading back to Snoqualmie Falls from North Bend, along Highway 202.

This little creature was running around out feet & begging for snacks at Snoqualmie Falls - it would even touch your hand if you reached down!

Heading back towards Issaquah, leaving Fall City, on a aptly-named Issaquah-Fall City Road - some nice climbing ahead (if you like climbs, that is). I ended up taking it pretty easy coming up this part, as I'd done about 75 miles at this point!

After the official ride was over, heading back towards Seattle through Eastgate. You can see downtown in the distance on the right - that's roughly where I'm headed.

Now in the Central District, this is downtown Seattle in the distance. Almost back to Capitol Hill! About 98 miles so far.

The scenery was great, and I feel pretty confident about longer rides. The dynohub worked, the newly-built wheel didn't blow up, and I didn't have any major mechanical issues. Although towards the end of the ride my drivetrain was squeaking like a nest of crickets..

Start time: 7:15 A.M.
End time: 3:25 P.M.
Total Distance: about 100 miles (Seattle to Issaquah is about 19 miles, the ride was 62 miles)
Total Distance this year: 1,238 km (769 miles) [log]


Robert H said...

I'm trying to remember any point that I was actually in front of you. Thanks for letting me suck on your wheel.

Kevin King said...

That is just an awesome description of an incredible ride. Thanks for posting this - it is really inspiring.