Friday, September 2, 2011

44 Miles in 4 Hours

image borrowed from bing

44 Miles in 4 hours

I took the bike
to Queen Anne Starbucks.
Took the usual route,
Lake Washington trail to the UW
then the Burke Gilman to Fremont,
across the bridge
and up Florentia to 3rd West
and the long pump
to the corner of Queen Anne and Boston,
past the house of the person
who tried to run over me
with a Toyota
in a Seattle Symphony related incident.

You remember last time
I did this trip
I complained that
the trip down
wasn't fast enough.
This time I decided
to take 3rd West down,
long straight ride.
I hit 37 mph
on the portion
that had been resurfaced
in asphalt
and began thinking,
with a petit frisson of terror
about the lower half
that had been only prepared
and not paved.
Prepared as in all dug up
and chewed into rough patches
and meandering ridges.

The trip up
had only been 15.5 miles,
which meant that the trip home
would only be 30.1 miles.
So I started thinking of ways
to add 10 more miles
to the trip
to make it 40.

On down to Lk. Wash,
skirting the Arboretum
(which is a fast trip going north
but a vehiclularly intimidating
slow slog sailing south)
to Madison valley,
where I once got a ticket
for having a turn signal bulb out
on the Alfa,
and back to curvy Ohlmstead legacy
part of the the L.W. trail,
past Bush school
where they've planted the big sea-monster like
"T" square on the lawn
to the wonderful big "S" curve
past the last house Kurt Cobain
ever owned,
and thence on
to Mama Williebelles barbecue stand
and Leschi.

During which I decided
that a cut
across the lake
via the I-90 corridor trail
would be just the thing
to pad the mileage
of the trip.

The trail to the bridge
splits off from LWB at Leschi
and follows more
Ohlmstead legacy
curvy tree lined road,
which is a nice way to travel
even though it is
a bit of a climb
to the head
of the floating bridge;
once there, however,
its a long fast trip
to water level,
giving up
all the potential energy gained
on the climb, but,
that is what it's all about,

The ride through Mercer island
is a park like pastoral run
that is a lot faster west to east
than the other way
because the hills
are long and gentle
going down
and short and steep
going up
so that you can gain
plenty of speed
to coast to the top
of the short steep parts.
East to West is just
the opposite,
long slogs up
and short opportunities
for wind in your hair
on the downward run.

Across the other bridge
and through the Mercer slough wetland trail
and the junction
of the east side
of the Lk. Wash. trail,
otherwise known as
15 miles
of fair to middlin' bike road.

The trail has become
quite undermined by roots
of the trees.
Keeps you awake,
and I like the trees.
The trees are only
on the east side of the trail,
the other side is freeway.
Quite often
it's possible to pass
the freeway traffic,
which sometimes
(more often than not, actually)
moving very slowly.

Now that I was headed south
approaching Renton,
it dawned on me that,
ever since I started
across the bridge,
I seemed to be facing
a headwind.
Also I was approaching
the 40 mile mark
and fatigue began
to intrude
on my otherwise
idyllic peregrination.

I began to look forward
to rounding the south end
of Renton airport
and having the wind
in my corner.
Ah, well,
that didn't work out;
the wind,
being free as a breeze
decided to change direction
just for me,
thanks, God.

It was amusing,
to see a herd of goats
helping with weed control
along the airport periphery road.

Back up to Rainier Ave,
At least the carbs fueled
the climb through
Dead Horse canyon
on Holyoke st.,
and a smooth coast home.

Doug Palmer

August 2008

Lane Savant said... seems so much more significant in that form.