You know, sometimes, though rarely, its not about the ride or the destination. Sometimes, you just need to get miles under your butt. Today was one of those rides. Our plan had been to snowshoe on Chinook Pass yesterday, and I was going to go for a 100 mile, unsupported ride today either back up Chinook or on the peninsula.
Sadly, more pressing issues came into play yesterday, and our fun plans were shot down. (though we did get to go the Deception Pass.) I really didn’t want to be gone ALL day today, so I went to another plan…
Instead of going anywhere to start, I just took off as if I was doing my normal Lake Washington loop, but instead of looping around at the bottom, I just kept heading south. Long ago I was a southender. This comes in handy as I have ridden most of the roads and bike paths down there.
I simply cut through Boeing’s parking lot (though I MAY have had to go around a “do not enter” gate or two (they were never there before) to get the southern Interurban Trail. Now for the record I HATE this trail. Its long, boring, and goes arrow straight for most of 20 miles! It was built to follow the power lines. BUT it as no cars and it helps you get miles fast.
It travels through wetlands and tall grass meadows, with very little to look at. I dodged 7 rabbits and one long-tailed weasel (THAT freaked me out). The animals though were the good parts. I also had to dodge some VERY creepy people. I am telling you, the farther south I went on the trail the more I thought I wanted to have banjos playing in the background. (Ever see Deliverance?)
At the southern most point I made the turn to come back. Are any of you in need of renting any Portapotties? I know a place I could have you call!
Trust me there were MANY more!
As I went north, things seemed to get a bit more normal. I decided to try a different route to get off the trail (Boeing can be a bit picky about their fences.) Sure enough, I found a route that went under a busy road to a parking lot on the other side. Cool!
I rounded the last turn going fast and CRAP!!! A post that blocks cars from the trail that I couldn’t see! Lock the brakes, try to unclip and turn all at the same time does NOT work well! Don’t worry the bike is fine! My finger kept it from hitting the wooden post.
OK, MAYBE I ended up peeling off some skin and drawing blood.
It was enough that I needed a bandaid…. But did I have one? Nope… (Not good prior planning I know…)
I did have a knife, wet wipe and duct tape…. Guess what I used to stop the blood! That is until I got to Safeway for real bandaids. The cashier looked at me VERY strangely.
After that I made it back to the loop, but much later in the day than normal. This meant a LOT more people on the road. (both cars and bikes). I was able to get around most of the slower ones, though I did have to stop a time or two to give directions for people who were lost.
The good part though is I saw two other Coug Jerseys like mine! There was a rousing “GO COUGS!” each time I passed of the guys wearing it.
One lady actually snarled at mean. Full lip curl and growl! She was walking and her three girls (9 – 12 maybe) were spread out across the trail. I rang the bell twice, but no one moved. I slowed and moved to the left as much as I could, and when I got closer to the kid, I said to her “Excuse me Ma’am I am trying to pass.” I looked at mom, to smile at her, and then I saw the snarl! (WOW, I guess I have that effect over women!)
The rest of the ride was pretty good. Over all I completely underestimated the liquid needs, so luckily there were plenty of stores. As the day went on it got pretty toasty out there, so I was lucky (I am STILL feeling pretty dry though)
With the stops, blood, rabbits and the crash, it tool me exactly 8 hours a 13.8 MPH average speed. Given I had an extra bike commute day this week and 2 damn good beers last night, I am happy with this.
More importantly, I wanted 3 century days before the STP. Now I have them, and I can start to ease down the mileage. Three weeks from today, win, lose, or draw, the STP will be over and I will be at the ocean again looking at this!