Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Burke-Gilman Trail Repeats, and Some Sightings

This past Saturday I did the Burke-Gilman trail from Gasworks Park out to Remdond's velodrome. I usually avoid the crowded, flat, and bumpy trail that is the B-G, but since I'm recording some popular local routes for a magazine, I had to do it.

The velo at Gasworks:

The strange "Wall of Death" - apparently modeled after those crazy cylinders that motorcycle riders do at the circus:
Beauty of the Burke-Gilman trail:

Rider at Marymoor Velodrome:

End of the Burke-Gilman trail:

Nice view of the lake & seaplanes from the B-G trail in Kenmore:

Perty sunset at Gasworks:
Sunset is only looking better by the time I'm back up on Capitol Hill:

Made it out to Redmond in about 1:25, pretty good pace. The air was clear, a great day for a ride in light wool. At the velodrome I watched a guy do a few laps, and talked to a guy thinking about riding with SiR. Ended up dropping him on the Sammamish River Trail on the way back, sorry about that!

After the ride I got home, plugged in the GPS unit, and learned a tough lesson. GPS units don't work when they're in your jersey pocket! Guess you can file that in the "duh" category, but now I know at least.

So on Sunday I set out... to do the same damn trail that I happen to hate! But hey, if these pics & the GPS recording end up in the mag, then it'll be worth it.


On Sunday, while pedaling through the U-district, I spotted a small peloton and instantly recognized the blue SiR jerseys speeding towards me. Saw a smiling Vincent and gave a quick wave. I'll have to join the "team ride" one of these days!

And by the way, I was proud of the SiR group for not crowding the whole path! (Unlike a certain "Cucina Fresca" team that almost took me out around a blind curve on Saturday.. next time your badass team should get in the street, if you ask me. Or at least keep your peloton to one lane of the bike trail??)

In other sighting news, I think I've been crossing paths with cycling celebrity Kent P. on the I-90 trail through Mercer Island. Well, he looks like Kent, and has a mustache, anyway. Kent, is that you? I'm they bearded guy on the grey Pacer with hammered Honjo fenders.


Now let me address something annoys the hell out of me now that I've been commuting in the dark lately: those super-bright LEDs/HIDs that blind oncoming traffic (me). That's awesome you can light up the road from here to Spokane, but you're also burning my retinas!

Some riders aim their lights down, or at least cover them when they approach someone. But so many don't. I've been trying to yell "can't see!" as I pass these blinding riders, but I doubt they can hear me over all the road traffic. Do they even care?

I could aim my Schmidt E6 upwards and give them a taste of their own medicine, but then again we might both wreck in that case... Also thought about spraying water on the offenders as I passed, but that's a tad extreme.. although there would be a small amount of poetic justice in temporarily blinding them with water in the face.

Anyway, people! Aim that shit down... (after ranting now I'm wondering if I'm blinding anyone.. sure hope not!)


Duncan Watson said...

I did a similar ride on Sunday though I stayed on the East side. I love your pictures, I should pack my camera more often on rides. I need a good way to get the camera out as I ride a recumbent. I can shove it in the seat bag for now. Thanks for the pictures.

Anonymous said...

matt... "don't succumb to bike on bike hate!" says the angel on one shoulder. but my devil thinks it would be hilarious if you spayed someone with your water bottle. hehe... just be ready to pedal your ass off.

Mars Girl said...

Great pictures, Matt!

This is funny about the bike lights... a verbal sparring recently took place on my bike club's email list on this very topic as a few of our members think some of our other members' nuclear powered lights are blinding everyone else...

Fortunately, one of the complainers okayed my NightRider MiniNewt as being bright but not blinding. Though, I do aim the beam down because my primary concern is not hitting an unseen pothole or other road "obstruction" that might take me down. So I'm not really trying to see millions of miles ahead of me. I just need enough warning ahead of me that I dont smack into a deer. Out here in Ohio they are quite rampant and several of us night cyclists have nearly hit one or two... (it's rutting season right now too).

Anonymous said...

SiR has a "team ride"? I've not heard of that. Is this just an informal group ride, or does SiR have regular planned rides? (The SiR doesn't seem to say.)

Thanks for your blogging. I'm working up to brevet-length rides, and it's nice to read the thoughts and experiences of a local randonneur.



matt m said...

chris: "it would be hilarious if you spayed someone with your water bottle."

dude, i'm all for setting things right, but spaying? that's taking things to a whole new level! =]

matt c: the team ride is an informal group ride starting in ballard, and all are welcome is what i hear. (starts at cafe fiore, 5404 Leary at 9am on Sundays). not sure if that's going to be the starting time every week; sign up on the SIR email list to get the details weekly.

i believe they ride for about three hours, with two groups depending on preferred speed.

Narayan said...

I have had the opposite problem...

I once nearly hit a guy who was turning left onto the trail near the university district. I missed him by about 5 inches. I came to a complete stop while he rode away. I said "Get some lights!". His Response: F you....

Anonymous said...

What is worse than ultra-bright headlights are FLASHING ultra-bright headlights. I can understand flashing headlights in the daytime so that motorists notice you coming, but not at night.

Anonymous said...

SPAYED....haha... i almost chocked on my apple... Here's an "R", please place it between the "P" and the "A" to correctly spell sprayed. heh

Robert H said...

Bob Barker would approve of spaying other riders.

matt m said...

correction regarding the group ride for this weekend: this weekend it's starting in Renton, in case anyone wants to go:

Ride at 9:00 am Sunday from south end of Gene Coulon park in Renton. Early arrivals meet at Southport Cafe in appartment complex next to the park.

Kent Peterson said...

Dang nice pics there. They almost make that dull trail seem not quite so dull. And yeah, we do cross paths. Back when I commuted to the Bicycle Alliance, I'd see Peter McKay quite often. With my schedule at Bike Works, I see you! You SIR guys are everywhere.

Random Menace said...

Oops. Although I wasn't one of those "badass" Cucina Fresca riders you nearly ran into, they are my teammates. I'm guessing this was somewhere on the UW campus? We try to avoid the bike paths for the very reasons you mention, but this particular ride started at UVillage and was heading south. So needed to use the BG for a couple of miles. Sorry. I was on the ride that headed north, and we used Sand Point Way specifically to avoid the BG.

RoadieRyan said...

First off thanks for your blog. I am thinking of doing a Brevet in 2009 and your postings are very informative. I am thinking of moving to a more distance friendly frame and notice you are riding a Surly Pacer. What made you arrive at this frame? did you consider the Surly LHT, or other "distance friendly" frames? Thanks in advance for your observations.

Roadie Ryan

PS. I too have had my share of WTF?! moments with "fast groups" on the BG trail. I usually try for the Zen rather than offend course, BUT I do often find myself in the "I'm not giving up my lane and if you want to run into my Clydesdale ass and my 10 yearold Aluminum frame with your 155 lbs and your Carbon fiber beauty go ahead" not the most mature response ;-)

Cameron305 said...

I hate the Burke Gilman so badly I no longer wish to ride it when the weather is nice. I know it is over forty miles long, but there are so many clueless morons with no sense of courtesy or etiquette that I have run out of breath to curse at them. What happened to signalling while you are passing?