I used my day off to do my second century of the year. This time I decided to do a "urban century" riding up through Myrtle Edwards park, over the BG through Gas Works and the UW, up across the top of the lake, down through Kirkland, and into Renton. Some time around Renton then back home to round out the century.
Summary: Rider: 49 YO male clyde (5'6", 225 lbs.), regular (daily) commuter Bike: 2006 Bacchetta Giro 20 (SWB Recumbent) Distance: 103.5 miles Riding time: 8 hrs 50 min. Time door-to-door: 10 hours 50 min. Average speed: 11.7 MPH Max speed: 36.1 MPH Min speed: At one point I saw it reading 4.something. Heart rate avg: 115 BPM Heart rate max: 147 BPM Calories expended: 5445 Incidents: Forced off the BG by some yahoo who thought he was racing
Flat tire coming out of Bellevue on the Lake Washington trail
For me, taking a long ride isn't about making the best time or going over the same route again; it's about taking the opportunity to see new places (or places that you only get to see once in a while). I also have to admit that, good or bad, I don't usually prepare much for these rides. I usually decide a day or two before that I'm going to do a ride, gather up some stuff, and just go.
The last two centuries, and most of the longer rides I've done that aren't full centuries, have been over mostly rural routes in the south end, so this time I decided to go on more of an urban route. I've been wanting to go around Lake Washington for a while, so I figured I'd make that part of this trip.
I started out with a regular commute trip from my house to the waterfront. I went north from there, though, into and through Myrtle Edwards park. Actually, I explored some alternative routes in the park, since I was under the impression that you could get from there to the Ballard Locks without having to go over the Ballard Bridge. There may be a way to do it, but I didn't find it. I ended up going over the Ballard Bridge which, of course, had to open just as I got there.
Once on the other side of the bridge, I went on up to the Locks just so I could say I'd been there . I didn't actually go into the locks, since they had a Walk Your Bikes sign up and I didn't feel like getting off, but at least I got there.
From the locks, I went back through Ballard and found the Burk-Gillman, connecting near the Fred Meyer in Ballard. Actually, I didn't know the trail started there, but I saw some other riders who seemed to know where they were going and just followed them.
The BG was a pretty nice ride through Freemont, the UW, and on up through Kenmore. The surface could be a little smoother, but it wasn't too bad. At one point I took off on a side trail to follow signs to a rest room and had to take a dive because some idiot came around a blind corner like he was in a road race or something. I had to ride off the trail, which caused my tires to slip, and I went down on my left side. No real harm, but the jerk who caused the accident didn't even slow down. Oh, well. I just got a little road rash. Nothing serious.
I departed the trail onto Juanita to get down into Kirkland. Man, that's one heck of a hill! In fact, that whole ride from Kenmore down to Renton is full of hills, large and small. I was kind of tired by the time I got to the south end of the lake.
There was a parade in Kirkland I had to go around, and the park in Renton was too full to find a place for lunch, but it was a good ride. I did get, or at least noticed, a flat on the Lake Washington trail just south of Bellevue, so I had to change the tube on the trail. I looked at the bike this morning and the new tube is also flat now, so I must have something in the tire I didn't feel the first time. Lots of people offered to help me change the tire, so that kind of made up for the jerk who ran me off the trail.
Once in Renton, I rode around some parks and city streets I hadn't been in or on for a while, then connected up to the Green River trail and went over to REI in Southcenter to borrow their pump. After making sure my tire was back up to full pressure, I checked the odometer and saw that I was up to 75 miles.
I knew that my ride home from Southcenter, if I took the long route, was about 14 miles, so I decided that I needed to kill 15 miles to make sure I got the whole century. I went south on the Green River trail for 8.5 miles, which put me into Kent, then back again. After that, I took the Interurban up through Fort Dent and into South Park, where I turned up the Des Moines hill for the final few miles.
I'll admit that after riding 98 miles, my speed up the hill wasn't as good as I'd have liked. It was actually pretty painful watching the hundredths of a mile tick off one-by-one. It was nice to see it roll past 100, though. Very nice.
I got home in time for some nice BBQ chicken and a little relaxation before watching the fireworks on TV. I feel pretty good today, if just a little stiff. Guess I've got to figure out why that back tire is going flat, though.