Glad I sucked it up a bit!

I am always excited in the spring time when Daylight Savings time hits. Once this happens, the sun stays up long enough to allow after work rides! Here in the northwest, during June and July, it is light almost till 10 PM! I love these rides!

Now that it is October, the sun goes down sooner, the temps are lower, and, being the northwest, it gets a bet wetter.  All these combined for me NOT to want to ride last night….

I had ridden to work in the dryness. but as the afternoon went on, the clouds rolled in and showers started to fall. The morning that started like this

Had turned damp!

So, when I left to bike home, I had all but decided to not ride anymore…

Funny thing though, as I rolled along the 5 miles to my house, I noticed the rains had stopped and it looked like it might clear a bit. Which started me talking to myself about the REALLY bad weather around the corner, and how next month I would kill for a day like today, and why was I being so lazy??

When I got home, I dropped the panniers (saddle bags) called Michelle to tell her I changed my mind, and loaded the bike on the car. I decided to drive down to the Burke Gilman for a ride.  My theory was this: If I was riding and the clouds opened up, I could turn around and be back to the car, getting warm and dry, quicker than if I had to pedal the 4 mile hill up to my house.

I decided that I would ride to the bridge I have aptly named “Turnaround Bridge”.

Its 11.5 miles away, which makes for a 23 mile round trip ride, and takes me along some of my favorite places on the Sammamish River. It’s the perfect distance for a late start in dicey weather!

When I took off, I was under blue skies, but of course, in the distance were dark clouds. However, Pacific Northwest Cycling rules (OK my own personal ones anyway) state you don’t turn around just because it looks like it might rain. So off I went!

On a nice summer day, the trail can be mobbed at 430. I noticed right away this would NOT be one of those days! In the first 3 or 4 miles I passed maybe a half-dozen people. I LOVE trail days like this. Off I went.

It was a bit chilly, and of course, as I got closer to the turn around point, it started to rain. Even this poor heron looked like she (or is it a he?) was cold as well!

Right after snapping this picture the rains started hitting harder. Not a downpour, but steady. The rational, slightly chilly part of me was voting for a turn around now, but the stubborn Tony pointed out we only had 3 miles to the bridge….

As usual, stubborn Tony won!

When I got to the bridge, I hung out a bit looking at the water. This is a salmon spawning route (this is NOT a photo from yesterday)

And this time of year you can often see fish swimming upstream under the bridge. Sadly, there were either no fish, or the water was too murky from the rain. No salmon spotting for me…

As planned, I turned around and started back to the car. The ride, which had already been good, got even better. At least better in the nature spotting category.

First, 5 minutes into the return trip, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Sure as hell, there was a huge (2 – 3 foot long) big fat salmon that had jumped completely out of the water! No way I could get my camera on it, but I promise this is NO fish tale! YAY salmon spotting a success!

Then, as I went along, I rounded a corner. The sun and clouds and shadows combined to show me this VERY peaceful scene.

I know I know I take a LOT of Blue Heron photos. and many (not all) end up in my posts, but how can I resist!

Sure enough, there was one more a little further on… (this helps one understand why its called a blue heron!)

Well after this last one, I was honestly starting to get a little chilled. I hadn’t put on the warmest layers, so with the sun setting, and the wind chill from the ride, the toes were getting cold. I kicked it into gear and headed for home.

As I neared the car, the sky was starting fill with crows. Somewhere in the Bothell area, the crows each night gather together in a group. called a murder, for mutual protection.  This means at sundown, the sky is full of the black birds. It can be a little creepy!

I stopped to snap a few pictures of some glowing clouds, only to be surprised by the number of crows that ended up in the photo.

This is why I try never to be mean to a crow! They are smart suckers and will track you down with their friends to get even!!

I made it back to the car without anymore rain, after cranking out 23 miles. Once again, I was reminded why I ride. It aint for the miles or the speed, but for the memories and sites. This was one very cool nature ride!! I am glad I got my lazy butt out there!

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6 Responses to Glad I sucked it up a bit!

  1. sarburch says:

    Nice ride! Glad you sucked it up and went for it. I love that last photos with the crows. Beautifully colorful (and a bit creepy, too). Like you said, enjoy these days when you can, cuz the weather will DEFINITELY get worse.

  2. There is just something about bridges and their symbolism which speaks to the soul — glad that the wonderful Bothell Landing spot is your turn-around. Thanks so much for the adventure chronicle with nature breaks! I love the close-up photos of herons and the far-away photos of crows. No close-ups of crows, please! Now please take care of yourself and don’t do TOO many rides in the rain. There is a time and season for different kinds of exercise and then you will enjoy bike riding again in the spring. In the meantime…..spin class???!!! (we know you love it!)

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