Today was a different day for me. Instead of riding the bike, I told Michelle (who had to put up with my long bikes rides every weekend leading up to the STP) that today I’d walk with her instead.
She is in training to walk the Portland half marathon in October with her best friend Kim. So on tap today was a 6 – 8 mile walk along the Burke Gilman trail. One of our friends joined us as well, and we headed out at 8 AM.The Burke Gilman is a mixed use trail. It has all kinds and types of people using it. Cyclist, Roller Bladers, walkers, joggers, baby joggers, baby strollers, skate boarders and many many more.
We were doing an out and back walk. Meaning we decided to head south and would turn around when we figured we got a decent workout. We were having a VERY unusual weather day today.
Bright sun, thunderheads, lightning, showers, more sun, muggy, and overall just strange. More than once we got rained on during the walk, which to me felt GREAT! It’s like getting a shower as you workout!
I learned as we walked that out friend is very skittish. Every time there was a rustle in the woods or bushes along the trail (usually squirrels) or any loud noise she’d jump and yell “What’s That!” The one time I mentioned the possibility it was a snake, I thought she’d levitate home! I decided at that point if I did see one, I wouldn’t tell her!
About 2 miles into the walk we came upon some construction. This trail is known for mudslides in the winter. Some small
And some big enough to knock a house into Lake Washington. The construction was stabilize the hill from one of the biggest slides.
Looks like they are going to build a rock wall of some time down low.
But I am thinking they are going to need to get some plants growing up high pretty quickly! As they same in Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming!”
At 3.75 miles, we did out turn around,
I had commented on the way out how quiet the path was. There were very few cyclists or anyone else on the trail. We were walking with the 2 ladies next to each other, and me a couple of steps behind them t0 minimize how much of the pavement we took over. I will tell you from experience, not all walkers are this courteous.
Along the way we passed quite of few of these signs, designed and posted to help prevent conflicts between those on the trail.
There are others asking people to keep their dogs close and to walk to the right of the trail.
I will say, for the most part, the cyclists were very courteous. There were a lot of bells, and “ON YOU LEFT”s to be heard as the bikes approached us. I know some even slowed to our speed until it was safe to pass.
I like to think that is the kind of rider I am. I know I have to share, and I do. I give plenty of warning, and pass wide. Plus, I make sure not to have to cut too close to people when passing.
But then the peloton went by. At least 12 people, most with matching shirts (really?) going much faster than the 15mph speed limit, cutting between us and a cyclist coming the other way. Close enough that if any of us stumbled or had to scratch our noses we would have pushed the bikes over.
This happened with a couple of groups who passed us, and I now understand even more why I have an uphill battle convincing people most cyclists are ok. Hell, even I had to work to remember the decent riders who passed us.
I guess I don’t get the need to gather a buncha people you know, dress up alike, and then bomb down a cycling path. I’d say plan a route where you have to challenge yourself. One on a road, with turns, climbs, downhills and a decent destination… But what do I know, I ride alone and prefer it that way!
We ended with 7.5 miles in just over 2 hours, no collisions with bikes, and I had some sore feet. I don’t have my walking callouses anymore!
Michelle will be walking 5 more tomorrow with another friend, I will saddle up and get a ride in at the same time, but again I will respect the others I pass.
Catch a clue, courtesy aint that hard!