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: