A few years ago, I learned of a cycling tradition. On your birthday you are supposed to ride your new age. I kinda like this idea, as anything that gets me out on two wheels is a good thing. However, I am pretty sure the guy or gal who started this was still in the 20s, and had a July birthday. Why? Because when you are in your 50s and have a November birthday this is MUCH more challenging.
Therefore I have made some modifications…
I have adjusted the rule to be “Ride your age sometime during the month of your birthday” This keeps the intent, but let’s me pick the day. Truthfully, I would rather have a November day that looks like this
Than like this
52 miles takes a while!
Checking the forecast this week, the upcoming weekend called for BIG rain. SUCK! Next week Michelle and I are going away for most of the week, and next weekend I am riding herd for her half marathon. Earlier in the month when it was VERY warm
I just couldn’t get away. So, I had two choices. Get wet, or take a day off… Yesterday I chose the dry day off.
As I mentioned, earlier in the month, it was in the 70s. Yesterday morning, it was MUCH more like a normal November, it was 38 degrees when I took off to do the Lake Washington loop!
BRRRRRR!!! I broke out some seriously warm layers!
The loop takes you down through UW, along Lake Washington, down to Renton and back up the east side of the lake. It has some hills, and some busier roads, but for the most part it is residential with trails and bike lanes.
Riding along Lake Wa Boulevard is great because of signs like this
And views like this
Suddenly, after leaving this part of the route and climbing a long hill, you are at Boeing field!
I always giggle when I see this! Today though, a jet did take off right over me, reminded me of being a kid and being able to go to the arrival gates to meet people. We always watched the planes take off while waiting.
As I was riding the weather was jut plain strange. As I said when I took off I was freezing! When I got to UW, though, it had warmed up enough to shuck some layers. By the lake, it chilled again, but not too awfully bad. But here at the airport it was headwind city! I saw a 737 take off and was blown a bit sideways, as was a police helicopter. Luckily, Renton is the bottom of the loop, so as I made the turn, the wind was behind me, But damn it was getting cold again!
I went north on the east side, minding my own business, when suddenly he (or she) squawked at me!
There was a second one in the same tree, but hidden more in the leaves. They were looking at the lake for lunch I am sure, but if he hadn’t squawked I never woulda seen them. This lead to another Seattle bird soon after
Yep, I rode right past the VMAC practice facility for the Seahawks! I was kinda hoping to spot them practicing, but sadly, they were heading out of town for an away game.
In Bellevue I was mad, I ran smack into a detour. There are some roads that just aren’t fun to ride on, and the one they took me to is one of these. WAY to many cars. I should learn, though, that sometimes straying from the normal path leads to something cool! Sure as hell, this one did as well. As I made a turn to go back to the road I wanted I spotted this.
Yep, heading into a hotel, was a guy on a horse. (YES horse went inside as well.) I asked a guy in the parking lot if it was a wedding, and sure enough that was the groom. Sorry this isn’t the sharpest photo, I only had the GoPro going at that time, and I was a bit far away. I briefly thought about getting closer, but decided it would probably be rude! Had it not been for the detour, I would’ve passed within a 1/4 mile and never saw it. Somewhere there has to be a moral to this story…. Maybe: Embrace the detours, they are pathways to discovery? I’ll work on it…
From there the temps kept dropping and winds blowing. I circled through Woodinville and considered strongly going to Dusted Valley or Chandler’s Reach, having wine, and calling Michelle for a ride. However, I still had miles to go to reach 52. I pointed my nose toward home and kept the feet moving.
Sure enough, I finally hit the goal
The trouble is, I still had 6 miles to go to the car!!! Yep, in the end it was 58 miles of cold and wind, but NO rain! My reward was a Starbucks chocolate chip cookie and then some damn good, homemade mushroom risotto for dinner! All in all a great day!!
AND I kept the tradition alive. This is going to be damn hard when I hit 70!!!