Saturday, April 19, 2008

Extended Lake Wa Loop, Replete with Frozen Rain, Sleet, Hail, and Sunshine!

Just minutes before lift off, here I am getting ready to carefully descend four flights of stairs with a bike on my shoulder!


(I exaggerated the brightness on the pic above so you could see the jersey & bike better) Note that the bike is not your typical randonneur's bike, and in fact not the one I've been using on brevets. But if I can get used to it's racy fit, maybe I'll take it out on a brevet or two this summer.

Did a solo Lake Wa Loop today with a few detours, including breaking off of the Burke-Gilman trail to hit up the rolling hills that are 5th Ave through Seattle. As you can see, most of the big hills are at the end.

There was some rain/snow mix predicted, and when I rolled out at 12:15 P.M. from Capitol Hill it was a light mist of rain, nothing to worry about. No sign of snow, but I was actually hoping to see some and even ride in it.

So even though it was about 40F degrees & wet outside, my "armor" worked well: thick wool socks, booties, knickers, two short-sleeved jerseys, wool arm warmers. You know it's spring (well at least close) when you don't have to wear a jacket!

The wind was coming from the north, so holding 32+ km/h (20+ mph) wasn't too hard all the way down to Renton. At around Seward Park I chatted a bit with a guy also wearing a Seattle Rando jersey. Ty (sp?) was riding back to Dash Point from what I gathered.

Held a good pace through Bellevue, and when I got to the Kirkland area I drafted off a VW station wagon for a few kilometers at about 50 km/h (30 mph) on a flat stretch just before the Market Street climb. I wasn't even behind the car, just off to its right a bit, but still in their slipstream. That was fun!

The Market Street climb used to feel like quite the slog, but then again that was years ago and I was on a fixed gear then. Now it's pretty easy, just a warm up. Juanita is a more of a "climbers climb," and I held a good 25 km/h+ pace going up it. Passed up some other riders, trying not to seem like an asshole, but what can ya do? Some people ride faster than others, so why feel guilty? A little wave (lift of the fingers really) and I sped past them.

The downhill was fun, although at this point light slush was coming down. Held 60 km/h going down that for a good bit, man I love that downhill!

Then in Lake Forest Park I broke off the B-G trail and headed up into the city, on a windy uphill known as Perkins Way/185th St. Three miles long, but not steep until the end. The rollers through Seattle weren't bad either, but the rain was coming down harder at this point.

The hardest part was the climb back up Capitol Hill, up Harvard Ave off of Eastlake. Then 10th Ave, that's 10 or so blocks of straight climbing! Not the steepest, but tough on the legs after 4 hours of hauling ass.

Total Distance: 88.9 km (~55 mi)

Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes

Rolling Time: 3 hours 25 minutes

Water/Food Stops: 0

3 comments:

Robert Higdon said...

I actually did part of this ride Saturday (although a few hours earlier). Too bad I didn't see you out. I caught about 40 seconds of snow on the East side.

Robert Higdon said...

p.s.
NICE jersey!

Life on a Whim. said...

I'm a cyclist from San Diego, Cali and i'm going to vacation at the end of May in Seattle. My gf and I plan on bringing our bikes up, but we're not aware of the bike events there besides the fact that Seattle's got a wonderful collective of cyclist. I was wondering if you could help me out with either websites or maybe some events that might be going on between May 30th-June 2nd. Thanks a lot in advance, and I love your stories. Always love hearing stories about cycling.