For almost 20 years, I drove 26 miles from my front door in Federal Way to the Mighty P in Seattle. In study after study, Seattle keeps coming up on top of the worst commuting cities in the country. But I was good at it. I could read the traffic, knew what lane to get in, Paul Tosh the traffic guy came through time and again for me, allowing me to bail out and get off the freeway and use my patented alternate routes.
When I moved to the Holy P for 3 years, my skills enhanced even more as the commute was longer. After coming back to the Mighty P again, Michelle and I were lucky enough to score spots in the office 5 miles from our house. No more traffic issues…
Yep, I admit it, we are spoiled, I ride to the office most days on the bike, Michelle uses the freeway in the morning and then surface roads going home. We flat have no rush hour issues.
I had no idea how much my commuting skills had atrophied until Wednesday this week. We were going to Seattle for our friend Kaye’s birthday dinner. OH MY GAWD drivers suck! People are impatient, not taking their turns, hitting the horns, cutting each other off. No lie, I felt like a country bumpkin going to the big city. I have lost the anticipation I used to have and had to be in reaction mode. Dinner was great, as was seeing Kaye, but it was NOT fun getting there or getting home.
We had the same issue Thursday when we left work early for date night in Woodinville. Some ass tailgated me all the way down the offramp and then passed illegally to get around me! He got my horn AND flipped off! I will admit, I found it funnier than hell that we ended up right behind him at the stop light in town. Dumbass expended a whole lot of anger to get one car length ahead of me. I hit the horn and flipped him off again!
Michelle wouldn’t let me follow him and continue to flip him off…
In short, driving a car around here sucks ass…
But a bike….
Today after work, I took off for long way home ride to enjoy the sun. I did my loop from Lynnwood into Seattle, over to Woodinville and then home. So in short, combining both Wednesday and Thursdays car commutes.
It was SOOO much easier…
On the way down to Seattle I use the Interurban trail. Honestly it is NOT my favorite route, but it gets me where I want to go AND I don’t have to deal with traffic! I cruised into Seattle, the Fremont neighborhood, without a care in the world. No stress at all!
In fact, I decided to visit a couple of local sites while I was in town. The Fremont Troll
And our own statue of Lenin (What you don’t have one in your town?)
Again, the bike made this easier. There is usually NO place to park a car that is close to either of these two landmarks. But with the bike, I rode right to them. If more people would be bike tourists, they would not only have less stress but be healthier… But I digress.
Once done checking things out, I hit the Burke Gilman to head to Woodinville. This takes me right under the Fremont Drawbridge
This is a major crossing for rush hour cars, AND for bikes. An opening like this lasts less than 5 minutes. But car traffic will be screwed for at least 30 minutes afterwards. We bikes? We are just delayed by the 5 minutes. As soon as the bridge gate arms open we are right back on track!
Speaking of which, since I was going under the bridge today, I was not delayed at all! I was cruising my way to Woodinville. Instead of staying on the trail, I went across the trestle
and took the back road into town. This a route used by many a cyclist, but alas, cars can take away from the zen of the ride sometimes. This time it was a lady in a Mercedes convertible, who passed me on a blind corner and damn near got taken out by a pick up truck coming the other way. Had she wait 30 more seconds, she woulda been able to see for miles. Again, driving around here can suck!
The ride was just what I needed, though. I ended up with 48 miles. Enough to stretch the legs, but not so much to ruin tomorrows long ride. I was able to shoot from the hip and get the photo of bike on trestle above as I pedaled home.
When I got home, Michelle had made a giant dish of ziti! I dove into that and ate half my dinner from the dish it was cooked in before I slowed down enough to put it into a bowl! YUM!
In short, driving and trying to park in Seattle causes stress, anger and ulcers. A bike, is the opposite of this. It reduces stress, causes smiles and makes you healthy! Seattle is a great town, and I highly recommend a visit. But take a cab to the hotel, rent a bike, and leave the driving to the jerks!