Yesterday was my first bicycle ride around Lake Washington for this year, and I am glad I built up to this endurance ride in the gym and in my daily 10 mile round trip rides to/from the office, else I would have been totally wiped out instead of just exhausted. The weather has been improving this late winter (albeit rains are predicted for the next two days - it is Seattle after all), so I have been able to start a little early in my training. I am considering the one-day Seattle to Portland ride this year, but I have to adhere to a rigorous training to be prepare for that arduous adventure.
I met a lot of new riders and runners on the trails and roads, either folks new to the area or people renewing their yearly health resolutions. A number of them were lost so I had them follow me to get them back on trail; it is easy to miss or lose sight of the access trails that wind through the area. They are much like the Borderlands access points in Charles De Lint's novels - you have to find them by looking askance. The funniest one was a couple of young track runners I met as I arrived at the Fremont canal bridge just as the crossing gates dropped. The soft gong was going and these two guys were halfway across the bridge approaching slowly. They were confused. Several people waved at them urgently to get them to get off the bridge, as the operator was waiting for them before he could raise it. When the two guys wearing "BYU" T-shirts got off the bridge, one of them asked, "What's the matter?" I said, "The bridge is going up." "Really? does it lift straight up?" I smiled, "No, the two ends pivot upward." "Oh! I've never seen a draw bridge before. Why does it do that?" As he said that, the bridge pivoted its two halves completely vertical. It must have been quite a sight because the BYU track runners were in open mouth awe. I pointed down to the canal and said "It opens to let large boats like that one pass under." They hadn't looked down until then which brought on another look of astonishment when one of the large tourist ferries glided through. Ah, flatlanders!
I'm taking it easy Sunday to recuperate. Today is mostly blue skies salamander shaped clouds, and a crisp view of the Mt. Rainer in her snow mantled glory, the distant Olympic Mountains, and the nearer Cascades glinting in the sunlight.
Oh, I'm a time lord...
There's a path around Lake WAshington? I'd ask you to show me while bicycling if I had any hope in hell of not feeling like I would be a lead brick attached to you! :-) I'm in Renton; do you know how I can find my way to a good path?
(Also: how quickly does riding downhill kill one's brake pads?)
(Also-sub-two: do you know who I'd go to if I wanted the goretex windbreaker we've talked about in the past? My little orange waterproof shell won't work... *ICK*, but the feeling of puddled water at my elbows is disgusting!. And how much would I be looking at paying for it? Just so I don't go into sticker shock.)
There's a path around Lake WAshington?
Yes, both for pedestrians and bicyclists.
This link has detailed bike and pedestrian paths for greater Seattle:
This link has detailed bike and mixed use paths for all of King County:
This link is the 3.6MB massively detailed King county map:
Where in Renton are you (nearest main cross streets)? And yes, the lead brick metaphor is probably true, but the way to deal with that is do an outing with Selene and myself. Selene is no where near rabid as I am about bicycling, so the two of you can moderate me. How about next weekend, weather permitting? I can show you some of the nicer Renton trails/roads.
Also: how quickly does riding downhill kill one's brake pads?
I have a road tuned hybrid bike with disk brakes which I ride about 5,000 miles a year. The brake pads lasted two years. An old style caliper based brake pad will last considerably less mainly because those pads are mostly rubber instead of the harder metal-carbon pads used in disk brakes. You can get metal-ceramic or metal-carbon brake shoes for calipers, and that will significantly increase pad longevity.
Given the 'hills' in the area, I doubt if they will add noticably higher wear than the usual wear aused by stopping or slowing around turns and obstacles.
do you know who I'd go to if I wanted the goretex windbreaker we've talked about in the past?
REI (http://rei.com). They are havng a sale right now. Many items are reduced by 50% Thosee goretex (or equivalent breathable waterproof) jackets go for around $100. These standard kjackets tend to be too warm for cycling, so I suggest you look at the cycling gear section. Those jackets are designed to keep water out and keep the wind off. I got one last year for $75.
When he says "Selene is not nearly as rabid as I about bicycling," that is somewhat of an understatement. It's hard to get me out there at all, but I do go sometimes, and enjoy it if it's not beyond my abilities. I'm up for it if the weather is nice.