Friday, May 6, 2016

Bike and Bus Ride

biking on the bus

I love an adventure and two modes I use for exploring is bicycle and bus. I set off from North Seattle on my bike heading north and east on a route I found using google (who would have ever thought it would come to this – computers telling us where to go). I rode through Hamlin Park which I had heard of but had never been to. It was beautiful forest and the park road becomes a paved trail at the eastern end. Well, it may be paved, but it is full of bumps and lumps, narrowing as it goes. I managed to get out of there just as I was thinking it wasn't such a good idea after all. But then came the descent toward Lake Washington and the smile came back to my face.

I continued along the lake, then turned north on a route toward Mill Creek that I had only just learned earlier in the week on a Cascade ride. Of course, I added a scenic interlude to make things more interesting, but soon was rolling into Main Street Mill Creek. Somehow, I resisted stopping at Spotted Cow Coffee, the best coffee north of Seattle, instead continuing east. It was a consolation gift to be on the smooth, low-traffic roads of Mill Creek that encircle the golf club.

Next, I worked my way down toward Broadway to head south. On the way, I was honked at (what year is this – I thought drivers got over that in the 90s) and passed very closely. I kept my hands and fingers to myself, but made a mental note to change the route to avoid that section. When I got to Broadway, there was construction to repair the road surface which meant that the surface was currently far from ideal. However, because of the work, traffic was stopped some distance behind me and so I had the road to myself. I rode up to a flagger while the traffic ahead of me was stopped and he reported that I was the nth cyclist he'd seen that day. He asked me how far I had ridden and when I told him (at that point it was 30), he confessed that he had a strong desire to ride more but for now he would have to be happy with rides with his kids on bmx bikes. I was sent on my way with wishes for a safe ride, which would come in handy in not too long.
Doggy Haven Resort

It was on Paradise Lake Road, normally a serene rolling road in the country that I redeemed those good wishes. All of them. I may have used them for double their face value. While it may be a lightly traveled road on the weekend, during the week it was transformed into a terrifying torrent of trucks. Between the good wishes and my pink jersey which screams "I'm a Girl!", I was somehow granted safe passage, making it to Bear Creek Road without a scratch, though definitely shaken.

Luckily, the worst of the ride was over and then the only worry was finding my way to downtown Redmond. My cue sheet told me to turn on an avenue that didn't seem to exist. Yes, I still use cue sheets. Normally, in this part of the cycling universe, I am with a group known as Goosebumps which has very skilled leaders who know all the secret passageways, allowing me to just follow along blindly. Maybe I have been a bit too blind because I went through Tuscany (neighborhood with huge homes, manicured lawns and 2-car garages), came out the other end at The Hedges (even larger homes with 3 or 4-car garages) and knew I was in the wrong place. I consulted my phone's map and headed back, still with no conclusion. Just as I thought I would never get out of that suburban maze, I decided to go for it and roll down a trail in the forest. Voila! I had escaped to ride in the country once more and was on my way, making it to Redmond's quaint downtown in no time.
secret passageway

I rolled up to the Transit station, checked the schedule and saw that I had about ten minutes until my coach came. Yes, a fancy coach; the eastside gets a better transit option with cush seats for a cyclist's tush, luggage rack and even overhead reading lights. Not bad for paying a mere $3.00. In no time, I had loaded my bike and was enjoying another kind of ride.


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