Pinehurst is up by Northgate, right? My internal city map is a little foggy up that way...
Get yourself to Gas Works Park (when I worked at N'gate, I'd usually take 5th Ave down, which gets you to Green Lake; I'd turn onto Ravenna and either take the Burke Gilman Trail to Gas Works, or go over the University Bridge) for an easy-to-find starting point. But it's a loop so of course you can start anywhere, the U bridge might be more convenient. We'll use Gas Works as an example though.
Ride out of the park on the BGT going east. After a mile or so, you'll want to go up a slight hill at that busy intersection, and then go over/down the University Bridge. That gets you onto Eastlake, this is the worst mile of the ride because of traffic. Go right on Edgar Street. Take the first left onto Chesihaud, then right after a block, the road curves left and now you're on the lake shore, on Fairview I think. Follow that until it meets Eastlake again, this time you have two lanes and one of them "belongs to" cyclists as it goes over a "bridge" by Zymogenetics. Go right at the end of the lake, through or around South Lake Union Park, and then you can take the road or the parking lot up to the Fremont Bridge. Go right after the bridge, then right again down a small ramp under the Aurora Bridge. Immediate left after the ramp, you'll go a short distance on new pavement by Lake Washington Rowing Club, out onto Northlake, and pretty soon you're back at Gas Works.
The loop is 6 or 7 miles in all.
Shoot me a PM if you want to try and set something up for an after work ride.
I am looking at the bike map published by Seattle City now. I usually go down on Roosevelt to commute. When I'm not in the mood to tackle the hill on the way in, I take Ravenna via Green Lake as well. Either way, I hit University Bridge and Eastlake.
That Gas Works Park route around Lake Union sounds wonderful. I don't think I've got the time this afternoon, but I will definitely try it sometime next week. :)
As for riding together, I'm pretty sure I'm not up to your level yet. Let me do some more training before I'm moderately confident that I won't be too much of a burden to you.
This alley is actually "Yale Terrace" If you go two blocks and hit Roanoke you get back on the route you described above. But there is less bike and car traffic and you get a fun fast downhill.
I'm always tempted to take that right immediately after the bridge (it goes by the scenic park / grassy area with benches near the water, then follows some neat residential areas and p-patches) but I always avoid it because of that short and steep uphill. Maybe I shouldn't, that section of Eastlake is really no fun to ride on.
I rode on the Burke-Gilman trail for the first time today. It was an amazing path! We started at Lake Forest Park, rode along Lake Washington and then Lake Union - all the way to Fremont for lunch and beer (Fremont Brewery, anyone). We then headed north on Stone Way towards Green Lake, stopped by Gregg's for a couple of questions, and then rode on regular roads back to Lake City, where we got back on the trail. It was a lot of fun.
Speaking of which, not sure where the OP is commuting to, but you might consider a detour through Interlaken Park. This nets you right at 1 mile of riding on an extremely quiet road through forest, with views over Lake Washington for the part of the year the trees don't have leaves. Usually only two or three cars pass me when I'm on it, and I usually travel through it in either the morning or evening rush hour times. If you aren't starting out on Capitol Hill or First Hill, it is a climb to get to though. I use it as a quiet detour into work and school pretty often, and occasionally will bomb down through it on the way home. For me, it's a nicer way to ascent Capitol/First Hill, and well worth the 5 minute detour for the utter peace and beauty it offers. I enter the southern end at Delmar and exit onto 19th, or the reverse when headed home.
[EDIT] To go to Edmonds, should we turn left onto 205th from the Interurban trail, cross Aurora and head west? That's what Google Maps suggests when I entered "Firdale and 100th."
I didn't think much of those two bridges over Aurora until recently when we were passing through them at night. They've got a neat light display on them and are really pretty and interesting to cross over in the dark. :thumb: ;)
Coming from the other direction, you just want to make your way to 19th, which means up and over Capitol Hill if you aren't already on it! 19th goes directly into the park and becomes the park road. I'm usually coming from work on Pill Hill, so my usual route isn't probably what most people would use. Although occasionally when I am making my way back north from Beacon Hill, I'll end up on 19th and take Interlaken to get the University Bridge. These days I'm more partial to the Myrtle Edwards/rail yard/Ship Canal route, because even though it adds about 3.5 miles to my trip, 5.5 miles of my trip becomes just pedaling. For that five and half mile stretch it only passes through a single traffic light!
I ride around downtown in the mornings/afternoons all the time and see plenty of hybrids, mountain bikes, vintage road bikes, and bling new CF road bikes. Buy whatever you think will make you happiest (whether it be cheapest option, fitness, all-terrain, etc), go ride and have fun!
Which color is your bike and which streets do you take? I have seen at least 1 red and one blue trek around on 4th or 5th close to university st
When I've got time (like if I'm in town for the weekend, which is rare these days) I like to do a "grand loop" of Seattle. Ride down Lake Wash to Seward or Beer Shiva Park, come back along the Chief Sealth Trail, I'm not sure what the name of the park is but you can go right onto a bike trail just before the 15th Ave Bridge, it's really pleasant and drops you off at Judkins Park (?), then you follow another trail down to Dearborn, and come into the ID. From there I like to go up Cap Hill, make my way to 19th (usually I'll ascend near Volunteer Park) and come down Interlaken, out at Roanoke Park, and head north through the neighborhoods until I have to join Eastlake for the bridge. Roanoke Park is small but I like it a lot, it's really pleasant. Plus there's a water fountain (in season) and nice gardens. :D
I agree, Interlaken is a really pleasant ride. It's nice and curvy, a fun descent, and probably 2/3 of the time I won't see a car.
I can see where 29er would have more comfort over narrower 700C tires, but I can't see any advantage in 29er versus 26" when it comes to comfort. If anything, the advantage would go to 26" wheels due to the greater variety of tires available to them.