Well the time has finally come. Even though I do not have an official desk as yet, I have moved to the Lynnwood office of the Mighty P. Most people would be very excited to be a mere 5 miles from work (especially with Seattle area traffic) and trust me I am. But I will have to work harder to get the bike miles I am used to.
To help with this, I decided, even though it was 85 outside (damn hot for us in June) it was time for an after work ride…
Over the years, I have done many a post about combining errands to that need to be run with a bike ride. The benefits are many and far-reaching. They include: Being efficient, getting exercise, no need for a parking spot and making boring errands fun.
I tell you this because tonight’s ride was one of these. I got an email from Chandlers Reach Winery that our summer release was ready for pick up. I did NOT have to get it today, but since it’s a 25 mile round trip from my door to theirs, and I wanted to do about 25….
Unlike with cars, an errand like this on a bike takes some preplanning. There is nothing sadder than a broken wine bottle… To prevent this, I emptied the panniers and then threw in a couple of towels to wrap the bottles. Total elapsed time of prep? 3.4 minutes!
I was then off and heading down the road! Suffice it to say, the roads were backed up for miles, and with the heat, people were cranky. I, on the other hand, had a wide open Burke Gilman trail which ran very close to both a Lake and the Samamish slough. Which, combined with shade from the trees, and 15 mph breeze selfmade on the bike, I must say it was quiet pleasant!
I decided to do things a little differently on my way to the winery, though. Instead of sticking to the trail, I jumped off to take a back road into town. Normally I take this road on the weekends, and it isn’t too bad. At 5:45 on a Thursday afternoon, it was backed up forever. My trusty bike and I stuck to the shoulder and flew by at least 50 cars. (Maybe that is why some drivers dislike us so much. Of course if they’d just ditch the car and get a bike….)
As expected, the parking lot was full and cars were idling waiting for someone to leave. Once again I couldn’t help but smile and I rolled right past them, pedaled up to the entrance and simply leaned my bike against the pillar.
Now I don’t know about the rest of the world. But here in the Northwest, cyclists, no matter how sweaty and smelly, are welcome in all wineries, no matter how snooty. Its one of the many reasons I like it here! Chandlers is far from snooty, and the person manning the bar had a glass of ice water waiting for me as I walked up. Gotta love it.
10 minutes later, I had the bottles safely stowed and I was heading home. I had to laugh a bit when I saw some of the same cars STILL waiting for a space, and one guy glared at me, which made me laugh harder.
Then I heard the crash!
In Woodinville, the city designers decided that Roundabouts, instead of intersections would make traffic flow better.
Hey it works in Europe right? Problem is this aint Europe, and drivers around here weren’t raised with these new fangled road set ups.
Sure as hell, someone didn’t yield to the person already in the roundabout and pegged her right on driver’s side rear. Luckily, for me that is, I did not see the impact happen. This means I couldn’t be a witness and therefore stuck there for a while. I did see both get out of the car, and it appeared they both planned to leave their cars RIGHT there blocking traffic. (Taking a few cell phone pics and moving out of the way is a much more considerate thing to do!)
I should sat they were blocking car traffic…
I skirted right by them and hopped on the trail for the ride home. It was a great ride,with a bit of a breeze and with the sun lower, more shade! Then out of the corner of my eye I spotted this guy across the river.
Yep, an osprey hanging out watching for dinner! Gotta love cycling in the northwest.
Now I know there are those who will never understand why a growed up man (yes I mean me!) spends so much time on two wheels. My answer to them is simply: Try it! If they did, I’d be willing to bet MANY more would love it than not!
Like the wind!