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Old 05-05-09, 09:04 PM   #1
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what's your commute like?

Bike to work month is here. Describe your commute. Here's a description of mine, written last year and posted on another forum. Riding thru the rain and wind the past 2 days I forgot just how beautiful this commute can be on a sunny day:

I commute fairly often to work. It is a little over 56 miles round trip and I feel very blessed to have such a nice route. Last Friday for Bike to Work day brought a camera with me to try and capture some of what I see each day. I stuffed it in my camelback thinking I'd take pictures on the way home and set out at 5:30AM. It was foggy and somewhat gloomy in a Hitchcock sort of way as I rode between North Bend and Snoqualmie, dew forming on my arm hairs so they looked like spiderwebs. There is this large field of tall grass I pass by and at that time of the morning there's a herd of Elk that graze there. I was watching them off to the right when I detected movement on the left. On the other side of the road were 6 Elk running along side me in a field looking spooked and uncertain about whether to cross the road. I braked and one passed 10 yards in front of me, the other 5 bolted across behind me. Scary and cool. Wish I coulda gotten a picture of that!

At that time of the morning I have the Issaquah Fall City road to myself with it's glorious stepped climb to the Plateau. I deal with traffic only for a few miles on top before heading down a little used street that plunges off the Plateau down to West Lake Sammamish road. After navigating the speed bumps and hairpin turns there's a 90 degree turn where I release the brakes and let gravity take me away. Friday was perfect: No cars, dry road, good light.. In less than 3 blocks I reach over 47mph. The route from Issaquah to Bellevue passes by very quickly and I arrive at work where I discover several others have ridden in as well!

I think the best part of commuting is the anticipation of the 30 mile ride home on a sunny day and Friday was one of those rare warm and sunny springtime days in the northwest. I made a point to stop along the way home (a slightly different route than the ride in..) to snap some pics where I have at one time or another thanked God for being alive.

From the office, I use the I90 trail and a pedestrian overpass to get to Newport way. Newport way has a great flow to it and you can reach some fast speeds as you roll onto Issaquah. Traffic isn't bad at all.

I take the Issaquah Highlands trail to climb up to the Plateau. There's a nice climb here and you don't have to worry about cars until you're on top of the Plateau:



From the top of the plateau, I ride on some very busy streets for a few miles. I just try to concentrate on being smooth and predictable until I reach the turnoff to the old Issaquah Fall City Road then, ahhhhhh:


The Issaquah Fall City Road drops down into the Snoqualmie Valley. Here the road levels out but leaves enough rollers in it to make it really fun:


Passing through Fall City, I head east to North Bend on Rte 202. The road is busy but newly paved with a wide shoulder. I always take Fish Hatchery Road when it presents itself. It is only a couple of miles long but it is truly quiet and beautiful situated next to the Snoqualmie River. You ride by a farm where Wallaby's are raised and a there's Private Airpark. At one point just before you turn to go back to Rte 202, the temparature always drops maybe 15 degrees and it feels very damp. I guess it's from Snoqualmie Falls just around the bend in the river. On Friday it was a welcome relief from the 80 degree heat (remember, this is Seattle we're talking about). I took this picture just after turning off Rte 202 where the maple trees provide shade along the route:


There is a steady 1 mile long climb to the Upper Snoqualmie Valley, good shoulder even though the traffic can sometimes be heavy. I turn onto Tokul road at the top by the Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls and I again, have the road to myself. I am getting close to home when I see Mt Si from Reining Rd. Only 5 miles to go:
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Old 05-06-09, 11:26 AM   #2
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I car pool into work and ride to where I park my van in the winter or all the way to the house when the days get longer and warmer. I have the luxuary of choosing a dozen or more routes getting home from work. For the road bike I can put in any where from 18 to 60 miles. I have off road routes that run through Riverside State Park that's 16 to 30 miles and it's 80% trail. Life is good!
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Old 05-06-09, 11:48 AM   #3
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I work from wherever I'm connected to the internet; usually home/school/cafe

I do commute from Kirkland to the UW for school up to 4 days a week (whenever its not wet); Juanita -> Kenmore -> BG trail to UW .... 15 miles each way

to the OP, your commute looks so much nicer than mine
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Old 05-06-09, 03:10 PM   #4
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what's your commute like?

I commute from Newcastle (very Seahawk headquarters) to just north of Redmond Town Center. I don't think the scenery I experience is nearly as photo worthy as yours, but the route along Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish is decent.

Thanks for the nice pics!
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Old 05-06-09, 03:57 PM   #5
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northbend, you have a great commute it looks like.

i ride from Capitol Hill to Redmond, via I-90. here's a repost from a commute-report i posted in the commute forum a while back:

My commute is about 26 km (~16 mi) each way - Seattle to Redmond. If you've been wanting to know what a Seattle-area commute looks like, here ya go! I spared you from the more trafficky areas, just the nicer views here. Enjoy.

The view of downtown from my porch - yup, looks like a great day! Short sleeve (wool) jersey and arm-warmer kind of weather.



A few km into the trip, this is at Judkins Park in the Central District, on 20th Ave, heading south towards the I-90 trail. I've heard people say this is the "dangerous" part of town but I think that's ridiculous! I haven't had any issues commuting through here so far.



After the Mt. Baker tunnel, this is the view overlooking the I-90 floating bridge & the northern portion of Mercer Island (facing east). (There's a separated bike path from all that traffic, in case you're wondering)



Now on Mercer Island, this is looking back west towards Seattle. You can see downtown just over the hill there. That's more or less were I started the journey.



A few feet later on Mercer Island Way, briefly heading north. You can't really tell but his little kick can either propel me down it at 30-35 mph, or slow me down to 10 mph, depending if I'm going up or down it. It's really short but steep enough to make a difference. One day, I hope to sprint up it at 20 mph..



This is kind of in between Bellevue & Redmond, about 22 km into the ride. If you can't tell, this is atop a cliff I just pedaled up! This is 24th Ave, just off of 120th. Not long, but steeeep.


Then the camera ran out of batteries.
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Old 05-06-09, 10:07 PM   #6
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Oh, to be able to commute at all. I drive 150-200 miles a day for my job so don't get the opportunity for the bike commute.
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Old 05-08-09, 04:54 PM   #7
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If I had a commute like you guys, I'd actually go into the office. My current commute is about 12 ft. From my bedroom to my home office.
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Old 05-08-09, 08:41 PM   #8
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Oddly, I don't have any photos of my commute. I'll try to get some together to throw in here later.

My husband usually drops me off at my workplace (Riverton Station Post Office). Some days I start later than he does, and in that case, I ride up PHS from the Oxbow facility to Riverton. The normal ride is to go down Southcenter Boulevard, turn at Interurban and snake my way through Boeing's parking lot by the Sounder Station. Down Oakesdale, then up the hill past the hospital. Usually head south on Talbot, then up the hill at South 200th.

Not necessarily very scenic, but it does get in a few hills .

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Old 05-09-09, 06:55 AM   #9
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Hey Matt, I lived on 18th ave years ago after I graduated High School. Coming from a Town of about 400 and a High school of 83 students I was by amazed Seattle! Sunny days were the the best!
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Old 05-09-09, 08:57 AM   #10
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I commute year roundfrom Everett to Fremont.

Mostofthetime I take the bus to Seattle andride out toGaworks from there. During the sumer I will ride home a couple nights a week. My favorite route isthe BG trail to Bothel, then Bothel/Everett hwy to 112th (Silver Lake) andtake the Interurban the rest of the way.Sorry no pictures of it.

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Old 05-09-09, 02:30 PM   #11
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I cross the I-90 bridge every day (see rant elsewhere).

Here's a typical photo of my crossing:



I then continue on the I90 bike path toward downtown. Again, here it is on an ordinary day:




Though sometimes it looks more like this:

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Old 05-11-09, 01:58 PM   #12
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I think I get a little bit of everything. I drive down to a private P&R near Ikea where I start my ride. I could ride and have ridden the whole way, but it adds 5 miles and a trip up the hill from Renton to Sea-Tac and my ride is already long enough.

From the P&R on Lind, I go North up across Grady and up around the back-side of Fred Meyer, then down S. 3rd, taking a Left on Wells. That takes me up across the Green River to N. 3rd where I go right to Park. Following Park up, I jog around just a little to go past Fry's instead of straight up because I like having a good light to cross Park onto LW Blvd.

I follow LW Blvd. up past Coulon Park to Ripley Lane. This takes me along a road with some very nice views of the lake. Ripley lane goes past Seahawks HQ, where the LW Bike Trail starts. I ride that all the way over the Kennydale Hill and onto 118th. From there I go up to I-90, where I get on the short trail to Factoria.

Taking the Factoria Hill up to the Eastgate P&R is a long, slow run. The hill isn't all that steep, but it is long and I'm on a recumbent, so I don't get a lot of speed. Once past the Eastgate P&R, I go through BCC and then North to Lake Hills Blvd. Lake HIlls takes me up to 164th, which brings me all the way down to campus.

Dang, it sounds longer when I write it down.
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Old 05-13-09, 04:20 PM   #13
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I'm on my second week of bike commuting. Down the backside of Ravenna to Burke-Gilman by 25th. Fremont Bridge to Dexter-7th-Bell-3rd-Office. Going home yesterday I went along the waterfront to Interbay, up 20th, east on Dravus, north on 15th NW, to Nickerson, Fremont Bridge, BG, and then up 58th/20th/62nd to 15th and Home. Home had been up Stone Way to Greenlake/Ravenna, but I no longer fear climbing up from BG east of Ravenna and I love the waterfront and the extra miles.
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Old 05-13-09, 07:02 PM   #14
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I'm playing hookie from work Friday to participate in the Bike to Work shindigs. I start at 0600 however I'm doing the Lake Washington loop that day for fun. It's fun watching people pause, get wide eyed, then say "You're doing that for fun?"
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Old 05-19-09, 02:56 PM   #15
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NorthBend, I know your commute well! I do North Bend to Redmond/Bellevue 2 to 3 days a week year around. I mostly go up and down HWY202, then thru Marrymoore, then the 520 Trail. My office is moving to Bellevue in the Summer, so I'll see you on Newport Way!
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Old 05-19-09, 05:04 PM   #16
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40 mile loop to 92nd heading south over the top of Mt Scott then shoot down to Clackamas Town Center over the over pass and down to the bottom of Sunny Brook Dr where I fly into work as fast as I can cause I am late.
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Old 05-19-09, 05:36 PM   #17
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My "commute" is a 10 minute walk. I don't even bother with the bike because it'd take me longer than 10 minutes to get ready, and then to change clothes when I get to work.

I drive when the skies open up. Two minutes if I time it right, up to 5 minutes if both lights are red.
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Old 05-19-09, 06:25 PM   #18
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10 mile ride from Brooklyn to 42nd St, over the Manhattan Bridge on my Davidson.

oops, wrong forum
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Old 05-20-09, 05:47 AM   #19
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funny guy, Zackster! I'd like to try riding in NY someday. Well. maybe in the catskills.

Magiccx, maybe I'll see you on the road sometime. If it's raining, I'm on a Burgandy colored Bruce Gordon with silver fenders, when it's nice, a Merlin.
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Old 05-20-09, 09:12 AM   #20
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Where is the Issaquah Highlands Trail?
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Old 05-20-09, 10:58 AM   #21
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Go to the end of Sunset by the I90 eastbound onramp. Cross there and over the bridge across I90 and you're on the trail at this point. It branches about a 1/2 mile or so, go left underneath highland drive - it will start heading downhill again like you're going back to Issaquah but turn a sharp left again when the path intersects a 100 yds or so past the tunnel and head back uphill to the top of the Highlands. I like to stay on the sidewalk on the west side until I get to Issaquah Fall City road. It's much safer.
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Old 05-20-09, 01:12 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northbend View Post
Go to the end of Sunset by the I90 eastbound onramp. Cross there and over the bridge across I90 and you're on the trail at this point. It branches about a 1/2 mile or so, go left underneath highland drive - it will start heading downhill again like you're going back to Issaquah but turn a sharp left again when the path intersects a 100 yds or so past the tunnel and head back uphill to the top of the Highlands. I like to stay on the sidewalk on the west side until I get to Issaquah Fall City road. It's much safer.
Thanks. How does this trail rate as far as length/steepness compared to some of the streets that go onto the plateau, such as Inglewood Hill or Louiis Thompson roads? (I'm interested in seeing if this is doable on a tandem.)
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Old 05-21-09, 12:00 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northbend View Post
funny guy, Zackster! I'd like to try riding in NY someday. Well. maybe in the catskills.

Magiccx, maybe I'll see you on the road sometime. If it's raining, I'm on a Burgandy colored Bruce Gordon with silver fenders, when it's nice, a Merlin.
I'll look for you! I'm a bit harder to spot
Wet, wetish, snow... I'm on a green Redline Conquest kitted out for commuting (lights n fenders)
Nice weather and dry out, I will be on one of:
- Black Jamis Xenith SL
- Litespeed Tri bike (right now converted to a fixie)
- Raleigh Grey fixie

Rode the Jamis today, nice and fast!
Tomorrow I'm running to Snq Ridge, so no biking in the am, maybe in the afternoon though on the Redline.
Friday will be a long ride on the Jamis, thinking I'll hit Tolt Hill to Carnation, then Ames Lake road back to 202, might cut back up and hit Issq Fall City road, then around East Lk Samm, Marrymoore and up to MSFT. Then a straight shot of 30 miles home post work.
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Old 05-21-09, 04:55 AM   #24
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funny guy, Zackster! I'd like to try riding in NY someday. Well. maybe in the catskills.
Riding in NYC isn't so bad once you get used to the traffic. You just have to be careful. I'd still rather ride in Seattle myself.
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