This time of year, I hear the same conversation over and over again. “Remember to set your clocks back an hour Saturday night!” Followed soon by, “I hate when it gets darker sooner!” (OK that second sentence comes from me!) If I had my vote, we would stick with Daylight Savings Time (DST) year round. I don’t care of it is dark when I go to work, but I hate when its dark when I leave. It also cuts into my cycling time, as it pretty much ends my after work rides.
Given that, when the cycling and the November weather gods came to a VERY rare agreement, it was time to take advantage of one last DST ride…
We all know, either by experience or legend, that it rains in Seattle. Some claim there is even a psychological disorder brought on by the dark and gloomy days. I love the cooler days, and the rain doesn’t bother me in the least. However, October outdid itself this year.
Not only did we break the October rainfall record, but, for only the 13th month ever since weather records were first documented (1890s) we had 10 inches of rain! Yep it rained a lot. 25 days had some rain. Sometimes just a little, others all day. In short it was WET!
Now there are some good things about rain like this in the Northwest.
Snoqualmie Falls is just amazing to behold when the water is high. You get wetter from the river spray than the rain.
When the sun comes out, and it does (eventually) it show’s us that the rain in the lowlands results in a brand new blanket of snow on Mt Rainier.
It’s also cool to see the fog that appears as the sun warms and ‘dries’ the ground.
Some things are NOT so good when it rains this much. There is some flooding, including the bike paths
And yes if you look closely, that is a fish in the path
And, if you pay attention and look around, you can discover some of the most amazing mushrooms! (OK yes, I know, I am a science geek, but nature of almost any kind interests me. The fungus among us is just another piece of that.)
Those last two are the same type. They start as the round one on the bottom, and then expand to the upper. Fun fact: When I posted this picture on Facebook a friend told me that these (found right near my office) were hallucinogenic shrooms! A little research told me that this is the fly agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria)! I decided NOT to test the effects, but damn they are pretty!
With all this, we are now in November, notoriously out wettest and stormiest month. However, Friday, 2 days before the end of DST, dawned bright and sunny
Even better, the temps were going to get up to the 60s! One must never squander a day like this in November, so I was out the door and on the bike by 3 and heading for Seattle!
As promised, the air was warm, the winds were light, and it was dry as a tater chip! When I started the ride, I was in shirt sleeves and sunglasses. Quite honestly I do not know if I have ever been able to do that in November before.
Michelle wants to do a 10+ mile work out Sunday. So I wanted to map out a route for her. (It is much nicer for me to drop her off somewhere and let her walk to the endpoint a measured distance away) I decided to ride into Seattle on the Interurban, and then keep track of the miles on the way back. (I found her an 11 mile course for tomorrow!)
In Fremont I found out it was not only our hero the cyclist who was taking advantage of the great weather! Lake Union was busy!
From Fremont, I took the Burke Gilman trail back toward home. This was about an hour into the ride, and the sun was getting lower in the sky. Being November, this means it started to cool down pretty quickly, and I had to bust out a jacket.
I was having a great ride, feeling good, and I didn’t want to cut it short, so I went past the turn to the house and added more miles with a ride into Woodinville. Folks, I should have taken a picture, but I was amazed with the backed up traffic on the route I chose. People leaving town, were backed up for 2 miles just because of a busy intersection. No exaggeration, some of these people were going to be there for the better part of an hour. On a bike, I covered the same distance in 5 minutes. I wish I could get more people on two wheels!
When I reached the around, I knew I would not get home before dark. But, I have my lights, I am on a trail, and dark doesn’t scare me. I just pointed nose home and kept rolling. I had to watch out for a few people walking without lights, but otherwise, it was a great ride. In the fading light, I was even able to spot an rare otter swimming.
I was correct. By the time I left the trail for the last climb to home, it was full on dark. However, something seemed ‘off’. It took a bit for me to figure it out. The temperature was warming up! Yep, that means the rain was coming!
I made it home, after an excellent 49 mile ride. When I grabbed the Powerade out of the fridge, I noticed we were short on a few items for the next mornings breakfast. I jumped in the car real quick to hit the store, and sure as hell, 10 minutes after I got home, the rains started! I got lucky. Its been raining ever since!
Sadly, starting tomorrow, it will be dark by 5 PM. Most of my long rides will now have to be not he weekends, AND I might have to start using the rollers soon. But, I at least milked DST for all it had. It really was a great ride!