Sunday, November 9, 2008

Seattle-North Bend 200k Permanent - On A Rainy Fall Day

This morning Robert, Chris, and I took off from the Lechi Starbucks at 8 AM, setting off for a 200k permanent that would take us on a circuitous route through Redmond, Carnation, Fall City, North Bend, Newcastle, Maple Valley, Renton, and then back to Seattle. It was another great ride, and it was awesome to ride with a small group, almost Audax-style.

Passing through so many close-together places meant that I really didn't need two water bottles, but I brought two out of habit. Or maybe I bought water at every controle out of habit, even if I had one full bottle. Having been tested with stretches of 80 km of no services, this cyclist is wary of running out of water altogether.


The Leschi-North Bend-Lechi permanent was relatively hilly, sort of like doing the Lake Washington Loop 2.5 times. But maybe a little hillier.. an interesting variation of this route could include Cougar & Tiger Mountains, although the thought of that right now sounds very tiring.

The amount of climbing we did was 5k feet or so. The climbs included Novelty Hill Road (the descent on the other side was scary, since it was wet!), Snoqualmie Falls climb, Tokul Road (near Snoqualmie Falls), Issquah-Fall City Road, Newport Way - after that I don't remember any big climbs. Surely I'm forgetting some though, especially the short ones with no names.

The max elevation of the route was in the 600-foot range, so it's not like we were doing passes or anything - but round here it's hard to go very far without going up or down. And for some reason I was in the big ring most of the time today, even on some of the climbs. 

Rain & Gear

At first the rain was light, but it eventually turned more medium than light or misty. My feet started to feel a bit wet - I should have used the plastic-bag trick on the feet.. but my new Ibex light wool jersey held out nicely to the 47-52F temps we saw today. And eventually the feet dried out.

Luckily I brought two pairs of gloves, since one of them was soaked by the first 50 miles or so. But my wool knickers were perfect, and never felt wet - even with no rain pants on!

The Sealskinz gloves worked well, even in the cold, and my wool cap kept my ears from getting too cold. It's not super-cold yet, but 10+ hours of exposure can sometimes leave you colder than usual.

Ride Pictures

Starting the ride on Lake Wa Blvd, heading north towards the U-district:

Even though it was raining, the scenery was still great:

100th Ave near Carnation - totally covered in water! We had to ride down to Ames Lake Road(?) to get around it:

Chris shining in the sun:

Really cool road near North Bend:

Awesome view heading into North Bend:

The North Bend QFC, and what I can only assume is Mt Si in the background:

The view on Railroad Ave:

Trying out a new setup - jacket strapped to bars, above handlebar bag. Less weight in the rear makes climbing easier, it seems:

Sunset over Lake Sammamish - at 4:30 PM! Damn fall..

I love the motion conveyed in this shot - this was on Coal Creek Parkway, I think:

the finish at a restaurant in Leschi:

More photos on flickr.

Much thanks to Robert & Chris for inviting me on one of many installments in their R-12 quest. While the brevet season is over, the riding season isn't! As the saying goes, "there's no such thing as bad weather - just bad gear."

And thanks to Narayan & Geoff for handling the paperwork for these crazy rides! Now that I know the drill for riding permanents, I can see quite a few in my future.


Vincent Muoneke said...

like your report format

good ride

Robert H said...

Great photos Matt. My legs hurt though. I need to work on that.

Anonymous said...

Great photos Matt. That cool road in North Bend is Reinig Road. Your right about Mt. Si behind QFC and Coal Creek Parkway in your cool motion photo.