Sunday, March 9, 2008

Vashon Island Loop - 105 Kilometers of Northwest Riding


Yesterday I met up with Chris, Robert, and Joby at the Fauntleroy ferry terminal out in West Seattle, our mission was to cover the 75 kilometers of rolling hills and two-lane roads that is Vashon Island.

I actually made it on time, not just barely like I did last time, when I made about 30 seconds before we loaded the ferry. The route out to the ferry docs went a little quicker this time, and the Miyata rides like a dream. Kind of a heavy & maybe a little sluggish dream from the 1980's, but I love it nonetheless!

This wasn't a Seattle Intl Randonneurs ride, just us four and a few roadies who were also taking the 9:30 ferry over. With a light mist coming down, I was glad to have on my two layers of wool, it was all I needed. And even when the rain stopped later and the sun started peeking out now and then, my two layers of wool felt just fine.

Since I'd done this ride a few weeks ago, I figured I could get through it by memory (and of course hoping that the others had brought cues just in case). This worked for about four of the turns, but I didn't recognize as much of the ride as I expected.

Lucky for me Robert brought an extra cue, so I did have one although without a holder for it, they are kind of useless sitting in your jersey pocket or stuffed up your sleeve. Thanks guys for showing me where the hell to go! Next time maybe I'll know the route 100%.

I had delusions of grandeur and floated the idea of doing Mercer Island after the Vashon Loop, which was my initial plan, since my friend Jessie was planning on doing it at about 3 PM or so. So I was going to do both Islands, and was imaging being able to brag of banging out another century, but, alas, it was not to be so.

Sure I could've done it, but by the time we were done and back in Seattle my legs said, "hey there's a 200k Brevet next weekend (that you might pedal to, no less), are you sure you wanna do this?" Good point, me. So I just did the 16 km back home for a total of about 105 km for the day, no extra island loop after all.

On the way back to Capitol Hill I passed the Seattle Bike Expo, which looked more like a fuckin' car expo from the outside. If you didn't know what it was it might be hard to tell, I was hoping to see bikes locked up all over the place, but this is a side of the cycling scene you just can't ignore: the cars. Why are cars such a part of the cycling scene? I saw a huge line of cars parked next to the train tracks, and a parking enforcer getting ready to write tickets for all of them. It was probably a long day for that cop.

It was a great ride (great rides seem to happen a lot out here in the Pacific Northwest)! Thanks to the gang for riding with me and showing me where the hell to go! It's always fun to ride in a group, sharing slipstreams and stories.

Today I'll be resting & watching the 2008 Paris-Nice race on tv in about an hour! Always good motivation to go ride.

Vashon Island Map: [link]
Total Distance: 105km
Start time: 8:30 A.M.
End time: 2:30 P.M.
Total Distance this year: 2,119 km (1,316 mi)

3 comments:

Dessa said...

Looks like you had pretty good race on the lake as well. Congrats.

Ortolan said...

— Hey there, shoot me a message back... as I'm interested to know more about the Vashon ride on a fixed-gear. Possible? Insane? Worth it? Thanx.

: )

mattm said...

Definitely possible, but it all depends on gearing.

I'd be afraid to tackle some of those hills (like the first one off the ferry dock) on anything above a 70" gear.