Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Little Mountain Tour In The Fog

So it was Sunday, and it was foggy, essentially misty outside. Time to break out the Pacer (w/ full Honjo fenders of course!) and go for a spin.. to my favorite stretch of road in the Seattle area, Cougar Mountain.

At the start of the ride, heading east on John St, crossing 23rd ave. (Came back up this way as well which was really slippery! I had to sit to keep my rear wheel from spinning)

After a screaming descent down Madison (which is almost always slowed by autos), and a quick right on Lake Wa Blvd takes you to one of the best roads in Seattle:

Now heading up to the I-90 trail:

I love this little downhill on Mercer Island:

Now crossing into Bellevue:

Riding through the Mercer Slough area - always a bumpy ride. I kind of hate this section.

Time to climb... but after having always done Cougar Mtn in a clockwise direction, I wanted to try something new. Plus riding up the 54th St side is really slippery on a wet day, like this one. So I took a right up Lakemont Blvd, off of Newport Way: (goes up for a mile or two, with some 10%+ sections)

One of the downsides to going this direction is that it's less scenic than the other way - after 10 minutes of climbing it still looks like:

After going up Cougar Mountain Drive(?), through the fancy housing area, past the school at the false-peak, and the bonus climb (another 15-20 minutes of climbing, and a little descending), I came to this beautiful, but scary hairpin on Cougar Mtn:
(I went around that turn suuuuper carefully!)

After passing through Issaquah, and doing the Tiger Mtn loop, I turned back towards Seattle, via May Valley Road - another nice one:

Now heading west back to Seattle near Factoria, with the Olympic Mountains in the background.

It was a great ride. I think I was the only person out in short sleeves & knickers that day, but my wool baselayer + wool SIR jersey were plenty to keep me warm! (And the Sealskinz gloves were great too). 

OK, so I might have been pushing it a bit with no sleeves - anyone else in denial that Winter is definitely here?


6 comments:

Duncan Watson said...

Very nice ride and pictures. I will have to poke around on google maps to see if I can recreate it. Thanks for the post, very cool.

Robert H said...

I kind of enjoy covering my pasty legs up actually. How long of a ride did that end up being?

mattm said...

Thanks y'all for the comments!

Duncan: I neglected to include the link to the map I created from this ride: map

Robert: the little GPS thingy I've been using said 43 miles (starting/ending at Enatai Beach park in bellevue), and with the ride over from cap hill i was guessing in the 55-60 mile range overall.

I'd love to turn some variation of this into a permanent some day, although jeff's new "10k" perm is probably pretty close.

(Btw the GPS unit reported ~3,800 feet of gain on this ride, while Garmin's Training Center said ~4,500. Either way, it's a decent amount for 43 miles of riding!)

ming said...

nice ride, some of those pictures look to be almost black and white.

i still commute to work in shorts, its getting tough as im usually coming back home in the 11pm hour, i have no problem rocking LONG socks

Anonymous said...

Great story and photos. I hate the bumpy section of the I-90 trail also.

el dooglas said...

i was in shorts till last week but now switched over to my foxwear pants. they are comfy and warm. looks like a nice little ride!