Monday, April 19, 2010

Ridin' Dirty - North Lake Washington Loop in the Rain Again

view from the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge

So it was, a ride at night, similar and yet distinct. Mostly similar.

We are such regulars on this route, a clerk at a nifty little mart where we resupply with victuals knows us, asks about riding. He's a nice guy. I'd prefer clerks at mini marts in far flung galaxies like Juanita, or whatever, don't recognize me. Then again, I found myself looking forward to seeing him. Nice fella. Let me use the restroom once, despite a clearly posted "No Public Restroom - Sorry" sign.

The Super 24 is super, but it isn't open 24 hours a day

Man, my picture phone camera blows.

It rained on us when we got to the Bellevue side of I-90, big drops, real rain. We took shelter for about 10 minutes, then rode anyway. By the time we touched down in downtown Bellevue it stopped.

Big Finn Hill pretty much kicked my ass -- which is kind of depressing -- but for some reason we also had been peddling faster and taking less, and shorter, drinking/smoking breaks. In all, we executed the route in less than four hours. Got back to Mr. Q's place at 3 a.m. Early for us. 

Right before I almost ate it against the wall. Shouldn't take shots with your picture phone while ridin' dirty, even if Mr. Q looks badass.

I'm not sure, but I can't imagine a time like 40 miles in four hours is impressive to anybody but 30-something stoners egged on by sweet leg-spreaders.

By the time we bombed down the hill the rain had stopped. The north slope of Big Finn Hill is one of the sweetest night ride hills in the area. In my amateur opinion, it's up there with the east slope of Admiral Way, 24th Avenue East coming off Capitol Hill and SE 140th Avenue from Petrovisky to the Maple Valley Highway in Renton. I'd even go so far as to say Big Finn Hill, otherwise known as Juanita Drive NE, is the sweetest hill I have ever ridden. It never gets old.

The reason for the repetitive route, which has gotten kind of old, is not a reason I am proud of: We had figured out a nifty route to Everett, but reckoned it would be about 60 miles, round trip. Maybe a little less.

And we chickened out.

So it was, a night ride pleasant, if not unsurprising.


  1. Ever thought of taking the 520 west?

  2. I'd love to, but I'd have to be pretty plowed. It's off limits to bikes and peds. The new 520, one of the proposals, if it ever gets built, will have a bike lane, I believe.