Bike Tour: Olympic Peninsula

Getting a head start with transit

Yes, it would have been possible to ride all the way to Olympic Peninsula, but the increased bike miles might have added an extra day I didn’t have. Instead, I decided to bike down to the Bainbridge Island ferry and take the bus from there in order to get a bit of a head start. I had planned to make Port Angeles my ‘home base’ for this trip. Day 1 would be transit and bike to Port Angeles, day 2 an all bike day west of Port Angeles, and day 3 transit and bike back home. I’ve done the Bainbridge Island ferry a number of times before, but this was my first time doing it with no intention of riding on the island itself. I was inspired by this transit adventure Darron and Nathalie had over a year and a half ago. Their destination was Port Townsend. I wanted to go a bit south of there to Discovery Bay, but found that the first two busses that they took would work for my trip as well. Coming off the ferry at Bainbridge Island, there is a bus waiting for you. As you get off the ferry and bike a short distance, you will see a sidewalk and turn right. The bus should be waiting and you can board as soon as you get there. Could be hard the first time, as there is minimal signage. Even though my ferry was late, due to only one ferry running that day, the Kitsap Transit 390 was waiting for me. I was on the bus for the entire route, to North Viking Transit Center in Poulsbo. Here is where the late ferry had an impact – the Jefferson Transit 7 which I had planned to take (due to it’s convenient transfer with my previous bus on paper) had already left. The 7 only runs 5 times a day, meaning I was waiting for over an hour for the midday bus to come. Once it did, I was able to get to the Four Corners Park and Ride, which has great bike amenities. After that, I had planned to take the Jefferson Transit 8 to Discovery Bay where the Olympic Discovery Trail starts. However, due to the earlier missed connection, this meant a 2.5 hour wait. I didn’t have that kind of time, so I decided to bike on State Route 20 instead. Even though it is a well biked route according to the Strava Heatmap, I wanted to avoid it due to the narrow shoulders. I also thought the weather wasn’t going to be great at it was turning to fall, but I actually had great weather that day, so that wasn’t a factor. It was 7 miles, and only a couple of big trucks passed, so not that bad. I was glad to reach that trailhead in Discovery Bay! There was a way I could have been protected against the late ferry. That would have been to take the Clallam Transit Strait Shot (Route 123) Like the Kitsap Transit 390, this bus waits for the ferry to arrive, and conveniently has Discovery Bay as one of its stop. You do pay for this convenience however, with the $10 fare. As I was on an adventure and wanted to try different transit agencies, I’m glad I took the Kitsap Transit 390 ($2 with ORCA card) and Jefferson Transit 7 (Usually $1.50 cash but still fare free due to covid), but next time if the ferry is late, I’ll opt for the Strait Shot.

Finally on the trail

I got to the trail a little later than I would have wanted, but still had plenty of daylight to get to my destination in Port Angeles. I enjoy riding trails for the first time, you never know what interesting things you’ll find along the way. The Olympic Discovery Trail is interesting, as it is long and takes a few different forms. It’s mostly paved, but there are sections on quiet roads, and then some heavily forested sections with hard packed gravel/dirt. I also enjoyed the many bridges you get to cross. There are also varying widths. It does get a bit narrow as you approach Port Angeles, but that wasn’t a busy section of the trail. After that section, you hit the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the forested trail instantly turns into a seaside trail. After that, I headed to my Airbnb to get some rest for day 2.

Lake Crescent section

Day 2 I headed west from Port Angeles. The trail goes through a nice waterfront area of the city, and then a more industrial part. There is also a bit of a climb up into a neighborhood before you get back to the separated trail. This section of the trail includes the bridge over the Elwha River, completed in 2009. I’ve seen many photographs of the bridge, and it was fun to ride over myself. Just after the bridge, there is about a 10 mile section on State Route 112. The portion starts out with decent shoulders, but they narrow at places. According to the map, there is a small portion of trail if you turn right on Freshwater Bay Rd, but I opted to keep going on the highway. After the highway, there are a couple of options. You can turn left on Joyce Piedmont Rd. This is a paved road with no shoulders. The section option is going a little further to Gossett Rd where there is a short portion of paved trail, and then a gravel access road (the website warns about logging trucks, but I didn’t run into any). I opted for the latter, as my bike has 700x32c tires. If you are using narrow road tires, I would recommend the first option. After that section was my favorite part of the entire trip – the Lake Crescent section. I believe this was one of the most recently completed sections as I remember reading in 2018 that it was being worked on. When you first ride along the Spruce Railroad section, you get breathtaking views of the lake. Further along, you gradually increase in elevation and it becomes more forested. I rode all the way to U.S. Route 101. The trail does go further west on the other side of the highway, before you are routed onto roads to La Push, but this was my western terminus for the trip. The rest of the day, I retraced my steps back to Port Angeles.

Port Townsend portion

There is also a part of the Olympic Discovery Trail in Port Townsend. This portion of trail is also named the Larry Scott Trail. My plan was to take transit to Port Townsend, and then the entire length of the trail before heading to Kingston to take the ferry. On my way to Gateway Transit Center, I got a flat tire. Luckily, due to my missed connection on day 1, I had decided to take an earlier bus, as they run every half an hour, and I was worried that the 5 minute transfer window was cutting it close. After I fixed my flat, I made it in time to catch the Clallam Transit 30 to Sequim I had originally planned. This route costs $1.50, and it was the busiest bus I was on during my trip. I think the fact that it runs often make it more popular than the Jefferson Transit routes. I made it to Sequim just in time for the Jefferson Transit 8 to Port Townsend. There were two other people on the bus. Once I got to Port Townsend, I stopped by The Broken Spoke to pump up my tire and buy another spare tube. After that, I hit the trail. It varied between paved and gravel, as well as very wide to very narrow. There were a couple of other groups using it, but pretty quiet for the most part. After that, it was roads and highways back to Kingston. I got to pass the Hood Canal Bridge via bike for the first time. I heard it used to be much worse. Not too bad for my crossing, though I did have a couple of semi trucks pass. That made me feel good that I was turning left instead of right at the end, as the majority of the traffic was turning right. I made it to Kingston just in time for a ferry and was relieved to be on the more familiar roads and trails after a lot of adventure!

Final maps

Bike route

Ride Report: Olympia Weekend Trip

From rail to trail

After my planned RSVP ride was canceled in 2020, I had some Amtrak credit I needed to spend. For those long rides, I like to stay a couple of days at the destination and take the train back. As I had never been biking in Olympia, it looked like a good opportunity for a weekend trip! I took the Amtrak Cascades 503 down to the Olympia/Lacey station. The station is in the middle of nowhere, but you only have to share a busy highway for a short stretch before reaching Thurston County’s great trail system. The first trail I used was the Chehalis Western Trail. This trail runs north/south and connects Olympia/Lacey to the Yelm-Tenino Trail. Both of these long trails were built on former rail lines, making the grade very gentle. As I’ve participated in STP, I’ve been on the Yelm-Tenino Trail before, but it’s different when you are trying to hit a time target compared to a casual weekend ride. The trail goes through a park in the town of Rainier where there is a basketball court with many basketballs lying around. I stopped to take a few shots. At the end of the trail in Tenino they pay homage to the former use as a rail line and use the old depot as a museum. Traveling back north on the Chehalis Western Trail, I came across another trail-side attraction – a large sculpture park! The weekend I was there was the first weekend of a trail closure, which forced me to take a detour between 89th Ave SE and 103rd Ave SE. It added a couple of miles, but the roads were low traffic, except for Rainier Rd SE which had a wide shoulder. Day 1 came to an end at my Airbnb. I also took advantage of the free transit, taking the bus to downtown Lacey for dinner.

Journey to the state capitol

Day 2 was time to visit downtown Olympia. I based my route on Bill Thorness’ Olympia route in Biking Puget Sound. I also included Olympia’s pilot ‘bike corridor‘ which had a couple of nice diverters. A bike corridor is similar to what Seattle or Portland would call neighborhood greenways. I also used the Woodland Trail to travel east/west. This trail intersects with the Chehalis Western Trail and gives the rider the choice to go in any of the four cardinal directions. I was impressed by the trail amenities I saw in my two days. Lots of public restrooms, bike pumps/tools, covered benches, and water fountains. Heading into the city, I was able to get up close to the capitol building and some of the other historic areas around the city, such as the old Tumwater brewery. Olympia had a couple of interesting pieces of infrastructure as well. There was a raised intersection, but the grade seemed too gradual to be impactful. I also saw a cool roundabout which had a chicane leading into it, and a bypass for bikes. Olympia is still lacking any PBLs, but it looks like they have them in future plans. I look forward to coming back and seeing those improvements! At the end of the day, I took the train back to Seattle. Not too many people at the Olympia station, I think using the train from Seattle to Vancouver or Portland makes more sense usually, but I’m glad I used it for this short weekend getaway!

Twitter thread day 1
Twitter thread day 2

Ride Report: Middle Fork Snoqualmie

Getting there is half the fun

I first learned about Middle Fork road in 2018 from a post on The Urbanist. I don’t know how I let 3 years go by without trying it, but I rectified that mistake on Wednesday. I took the authors advice and went on a weekday in order to take advantage of less recreational traffic. It worked well on Middle Fork Road itself, where I saw just about as many bikes as cars! Another piece of advice I took was getting there by bus, but I started a little further away than North Bend. I took the Sound Transit 554 to Issaquah Transit Center and started my 76 mile round trip from there.

I had prepared for the partial closure of the Issaquah-Preston Trail (which is closed until 2023) by starting my route through downtown Issaquah and up E Sunset Way to connect to the trail which goes through the Issaquah Highlands. I took the trail all the way to SE Issaquah-Fall City Rd which worked better than expected. I know some like to take Highlands Dr NE (which I have done during a group ride), but it is a busy road with two lanes in each direction, so I thought I would skip it. SE Issaquah-Fall City Rd has seen some upgrades since I last was on it, including a couple of traffic circles which work pretty well. One of the things I was looking forward to was the fun downhill on the more rural part of SE Issaquah-Fall City Rd which continues on SE 40th St. It’s a nice gradual straight downhill and fun to pick up a little speed on! This is also the reverse route of Cascade’s Flying Wheels. On Flying Wheels it’s an uphill towards the end of the ride which never seems to end, so this is a much more fun version!

I then navigated through Fall City onto State Route 202 (SE Fall City-Snoqualmie Rd). This is a very busy road with many big trucks and not much of a shoulder, so not much fun. I went onto SE Fish Hatchery Rd for a temporary respite, but as part of the road is closed due to a bridge removal, I was back on the 202 quickly. The only other way I can think of bypassing this part would be to take 356th Dr SE to the gravel Snoqualmie Valley Trail, but that might not work for those with thin tires. After Snoqualmie Falls, the ride became more pleasant. At the traffic circle I turned right be mistake instead of going straight, but quickly corrected myself.

At the end of SE Mill Pond Rd, I ran into the unexpected detour which most impacted my route. I had intended to take SE Reinig Rd to 428th Ave SE on my way to North Bend. However, a portion of SE Reinig Rd is closed until mid October. This detour made my trip shorter as I took Medowbrook Bridge and went to North Bend south of the river. If you are up for some hard packed gravel riding, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail is an option here. On this part of the ride, there is also a paved trail from Centennial Fields Park to Medowbrook Farm, but it is narrow in places and includes a gate in the middle. The road is pretty low traffic, so I would stick to it unless you can’t handle anymore cars by this point.

OK! We’ve made it to North Bend! Almost there! Good news – you can skip the last three paragraphs and get a 23 mile head start by starting at North Bend P&R! On weekends, Trailhead Direct’s Mount Si route will get you there! Metro 208 also gets you to North Bend. You could also try the Snoqualmie Valley Shuttle. There are a few ways to get from North Bend to Tanner where the turn off to Middle Fork Road is located. You can crush gravel on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, take the busy SE North Bend Way, or SE Cedar Falls Way and SE Tanner Rd. At the end of Tanner Rd, you can continue onto a short gravel path onto a paved trail, or turn onto North Bend Way there.

Into the forest

When you first turn onto Middle Fork Road and pass a middle school, an industrial area, and the outer reaches of suburban sprawl, you start to wonder if you’ve made a wrong turn. Seconds later you find yourself completely immersed in the forest. A one way road leads you to a sign welcoming you to the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resource Conservation Area. With very few cars, long sections can be enjoyed without interruption. Moments of serenity and connection to nature is what makes this 12 mile section of road so special. Riding alongside the river, trees everywhere, and tall mountain peaks to the east. This is my idea of bliss. The road takes you into Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Near the top there are a couple of small sections of gravel, but these are so short you can walk your bike if you have thin tires. If you are into biking and hiking this would also be a great route with many trails along the way. The grade is also very gentle making it an easy ride for people of all levels. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and I found myself back to North Bend in no time.

The return journey

I went back through the town of Snoqualmie and used the short Snoqualmie Centennial Corridor Trail which also doubles as a railway museum. Then came the climbing to Snoqualmie Ridge. Snoqualmie Parkway has a wide shoulder, but I opted to use the trail which takes you to the top. Then there is riding through a neighborhood, and the use of an access road to get to Lake Alice Rd SE. Here there is a VERY steep downhill, which I thankfully survived with no cars buzzing by me. You can continue down to Preston-Fall City Rd SE, but I prefer to take the paved Preston-Snoqualmie Trail. There is a gravel switchback section you have to walk down. After you go through Preston and SE High Point Way, turn onto the gravel Issaquah-Preston Trail. This is 3.5 miles of hard packed gravel, and my 700c x 25mm tires worked fine, though that might not be the case in non summer months. After the trail, you find yourself on the wrong side of E Sunset Way. You have two options, if you don’t see anyone using the sidewalk you can take that. I got lucky and the protected left turn lights turned green with no cars coming off the highway, so I took that opportunity to get onto the correct side of E Sunset Way. All that is left after that is a ride through downtown Issaquah back to the transit center.

Ride Report: San Juans Trip

Venturing across the Salish Sea

Last week I took a vacation for the first time in what felt like forever – a long weekend in the San Juans! It was also my first time taking a ferry since 2019 when I made it to the Kitsap Peninsula, Bainbridge Island, and Vashon Island. This was also my first time riding the San Juans on my road bike. Lopez Island served as home base, and I completed a 35 mile loop of the island on my first afternoon there. Lopez is the most associated with bikes of the four islands, and I can see why. Very car light roads with mostly slow, friendly drivers. There are also lots of fun side adventures to choose from and plenty of other people on bikes to wave to. Lopez Village is fun with some great small businesses, including ice cream which is great on a hot summer day. Shark Reef Sanctuary and Spencer Spit State Park are also worth a visit, though you’ll need to walk a bit to get to the views. I didn’t get a chance to visit Odlin County Park, but it looks like that is a good option as well. There is also Agate Beach County Park at the south end of the island which is a good place to stop at the picnic tables and take in the view (See Instagram post below). I had lots of fun, I only wish it was a bit longer!

Lopez Island Loop Route

For my second ride, I got up early to take the 7:30 AM ferry to Friday Harbor. It was a freezing ride down to the ferry, but as inter-island rides are free for pedestrians and bikes, I can’t complain! As San Juan Island is bigger, I had an opportunity for a longer ride, and still enough time to get back for the 1:55 PM ferry. The ride was 55 miles and included a loop of the island and a trip down to Cattle Point. My favorite part of the ride was Lime Kiln Point State Park. I would say it’s a must visit. Amazing view and a nice shaded area to take a break. The San Juan Island Sculpture Park also looked fun, but I couldn’t linger too long as I had a ferry to catch.

San Juan Island Loop Route

With two island rides, I categorize the trip as a success, but I was wondering if it would be possible to ride all four islands in a day. The hardest part would be finding a ferry schedule that would be the most efficient. I did some napkin math and I think it would be possible to do a 15-25 mile ride on all four islands in under 15 hours. A long day for sure, but a significant amount of time would be spent on the ferry or waiting for it. Shaw Island seems like the largest obstacle, as it is a small island with not very frequent ferries to the other islands. Maybe I’ll try this challenge next time I’m find myself up here! At the very least, I would like to explore Orcas Island.

Ride Report: Sultan Loop

Riding the hidden bridge

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Sultan. I’ve only been there as part of group rides, but was excited to start doing long summer rides again. One part that isn’t my favorite is crossing the Sultan River on Highway 2. I did a little research before the ride, and found there was a strong Strava Heatmap line a little north of the bridge, even thought Google Maps bike layer showed nothing (they have since added it). It seemed like there was another pathway, but when I tried to search for it, all I could find was an article about a groundbreaking for a ped/bike bridge in 2019. I thought obviously this must be finished, as people can’t be riding bikes in large numbers on water. I set out planning to use the new bridge, with taking the lane on the Highway 2 bridge as a backup. As the traffic on Highway 2 was pretty slow, it wasn’t hard to merge over and turn left to use the new bridge. However, I think for future rides I will be doing a counterclockwise loop in order to avoid the need to merge on the highway, and needing one stoplight instead of two. I’ve created a new counterclockwise route. I haven’t ridden the whole thing in that direction, but I don’t think there will be any problems riding in that direction, and it’s much more convenient for the Sultan River crossing. I’ll try the new route next year and make any adjustments if necessary.

The rest of the ride was as I remembered, great rural roads with not too much traffic. My favorite part is Tualco Loop Road (apart from the smells). On a hot summer day the shade of Ben Howard Road is also appreciated.

Recap: 2020

I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing about what a strange year 2020 was, plans (like riding to Vancouver) that were cancelled, so I will spare you and go right into some fun I was still able to have on my bike!

March 22: Snoqualmie Valley Trail

I’ve had the Snoqualmie Valley Trail on my list for a long time, but it always seems a bit out of reach, especially for my gravel bike. Starting on the eastside made the trip more manageable. There is one gap which makes it not completely continuous to Rattlesnake Lake, but the detour is easy enough to navigate. I had a lot of fun on the trail, and there are many options to connect with rural roads. I’m also exited about the changes that are being made to the connecting Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. I’m hoping to utilize them for a multi-day tour in the future.

Strava Activity

April 12: 10,000 miles!

I reached 10,000 miles on my green Rodriguez! It has been a really fun journey on this bike! The route that took me over the milestone is inspired by a Cascade CTS route. I had planned to participate in CTS this year in preparation for the ride to Vancouver, but as that was cancelled, I decided to do some of the routes solo instead.

Strava Activity

June 19: Green River and Interurban Trails

I always like going down south to the Green River and Interurban Trails, and there were some improvements waiting for me this time! In Pacific, WA the Interurban Trail was extended south to Steward Rd SW. In Renton, there is a new section of the Lake to Sound Trail which makes the connection to downtown Renton and the Lake Washington Loop route a lot easier. I have been seeking a better route to get to the south end of the Interurban Trail. This time I tried a trail in Lakeland Hills which looks nice on the map, but isn’t great in real life. It is hilly (surprise) and includes speed bumps – not the greatest for a descent!

July 22: Cascade Trail

As there were no out of state adventures for me this year, I decided to take advantage of some adventures closer to home. Skagit County is where the Centennial Trail ends, but they do have a long trail of their own – the gravel Cascade Trail. This trail runs from Sedro-Woolley to Concrete. It is one of the quietest trails I’ve been on – I didn’t see anyone for the first 15 miles traveling west from Concrete. It was a cloudy day, but still was very scenic.

Twitter Thread
Strava Activity

August 8: Discovery Trail

Another in state adventure I had was south to Cape Disappointment. The Discovery Trail starts at the North Head Lighthouse in the state park and then traces the shoreline going north. There is also an offshoot at the Beard’s Hollow Trailhead parking lot going towards Ilwaco, but part of that trail is gravel, and there is also plenty of elevation change. I’d save that part for walking. The shoreline part of the trail is nice and flat. Perfect for a beach cruiser. Great trail for a laid back vacation!

December 23: Spring District Scouting Ride

There is going to be a lot of change coming to the eastside in the coming years! Bits and pieces of the ‘Eastrail‘ are being built out as well as East Link Light Rail. One area where both of these are intersecting is Bellevue’s Spring District. Bellevue has traditionally been a very car oriented city, but with transit and a key multi purpose trail with many connections coming, it may be feasible in the future to live in the Spring District car free. Now this is Bellevue, so the new car infrastructure is coming as well, but at least now there are some bike and pedestrian friendly pieces, like a protected intersection.

Twitter Thread
Strava Activity

Car Free Streets

There were plenty of car free streets this year! Seattle had a Stay Healthy Streets program, as did several surrounding cities. My bike even appeared in The Stranger article on the subject! Here are some highlights:

Bike Map

Help me find Seattle’s diverters!

I’ve created a Google Map documenting some of Seattle’s traffic calming features, such as diverters and chicanes. If you know of any that aren’t on the map below, let me know via Twitter or commenting on this post!

Diverter types

Diagonal (Blue)

This is my favorite kind of diverter and the most effective in reducing neighborhood cut through in my opinion. This limits vehicles from traveling in 2 out of 3 directions, while allowing bikes and pedestrians passage.

Diagonal diverter example
Diagonal diverter on Broadway E and E Edgar St. (Northwest corner of Roanoke Park)

Street end (Green)

This is a pretty simple concept. The street ends for vehicles, but bikes and pedestrians are allowed through. This is one type that Vancouver does well with small linear parks.

Street end diverter example
Street end diverter at Stone Ave N and N 92nd St

Median (Yellow)

These are typically on arterials and allow vehicle traffic to turn right on the arterial only, while allowing bikes and pedestrians to go straight. These are becoming more common in Seattle.

Median diverter example
Median diverter crossing Rainier Ave S at S King St

No entry (Purple)

These barriers stop cars from entering a street while allowing bikes and pedestrians to go through. Portland has some good examples of this type, sometimes creating a contraflow bike lane.

No entry diverter example
No entry diverter at 17th Ave NW and NW 57th St

Thanks for the help!

We’ve had a lot of fun after my initial post on Twitter! I’ll post some of my favorites below. These include an interesting story of how a chicane was fought for in West Seattle, reaching Irish Twitter, and a signal boost from a Seattle city councilmember!

NEW: A to B Routes

One of the reasons I started this blog was to have a curated list of my favorite routes. This is still a work in progress as I explore new areas and continue to refine my existing routes. Now that I am more familiar with the good bike routes in the greater Seattle area, I thought having a ‘choose your own adventure’ style might be fun. With that, I developed routes between hubs in Snohomish, King, and parts of Pierce counties. These are my new A to B Routes! They can be used for recreation or transportation. I’ve tried to create the safest routes possible, which sometimes adds to the total miles of the trip. Some routes have alternatives or scenic variations. A great example of this is a fun loop between Monroe and Sultan. I like to take this route to Sultan (be careful on Highway 2!), and loop back using this route.

I invite you to check out the A to B Routes page! I appreciate any feedback or ideas. As a result of some initial feedback, the hubs on the map are clickable and direct you to the relevant section of the page.

Recap: 2019

2019 and 2020 have been a bit busier for me than usual, so I haven’t had a time to do a month by month or ride by ride recaps as I had hoped, but I did want to take some time to document my 2019 highlights which included my first one day STP and some new bike friends!

February 3: Tunnel Ride

Get to ride some new infrastructure before cars take it over and some old infrastructure before it gets torn down? Sign me up! This was a short ride, but it’s always fun to bike some car free streets!

Strava Activity

February 24: Chilly Hilly

Chilly Hilly was the first organized ride I participated in with my new bike that I had bought to do STP for the first time. That day a few years ago was miserable, and I told myself never again, but this time the weather was a bit better and I had peer pressure to deal with. This time was a lot more enjoyable!

Strava Activity

May 3: Ravenna Bike Train

In May I started the third line of the Seattle Bike Train which travels from Ravenna/Roosevelt to Downtown with a stop in Fremont. These rides are designed for people new to bike commuting or who prefer to ride in groups at a leisurely pace using the safest route possible. It was a lot of fun connecting with the Seattle bike community this way throughout the summer of 2019. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the bike train is still on hiatus for 2020. Follow @SEA_BkeTrain on twitter.

May 4: Tour de Cure

This was my fourth time participating in the Tour de Cure. It’s always been good weather and a good route. I did the 60 mile variation this year, as 100 miles this early in the year is a bit of a challenge. I have noticed the organization of this ride improve over the years, and it does feel good to give back and have fun at the same time!

Strava Activity

May 26: Emerald City Ride

The Emerald City Ride started 3 years ago much like the Tunnel Ride – an excuse to ride on new car free infrastructure – this being the new 520 bridge. This year’s route didn’t include the 520 bridge, but still had my favorite part which is the I-5 express lanes. So fun to get to ride these every year – I even used them in order to get to the start line!

Strava Activity

May 27: Bike and Bus Foothills Trail Loop

Sometimes there are routes just a little out of my grasp. When that happens, I check to see what Park and Rides with frequent bus routes are close by. Taking the 150 to Kent/James St. Park and Ride has become one of my favorites as it is right on the Interurban Trail (South). I then have access to the great light traffic roads of South King County from Auburn to Enumclaw and then to the Foothills Trail. This route will become a lot better when King County builds a trail bridge over the White River. Currently, the uncomfortable highway 410 bridge needs to be crossed which is not fun! (Though it was relatively painless this time)

Ride with GPS Route
Strava Activity

June 1: Flying Wheels

As I was training for a 1 day STP, I wanted to use Flying Wheels as a test. My friend Bob was along for the ride and didn’t have anything to train for, but he ended up pushing me up the many hills! I was shooting for a 16 mph average which would have been better then the previous year, but we ended up at 17.1! This ride made me feel I could hit my targets for the 1 day STP.

Strava Activity

July 4: Bike and Bus Centennial Trail

My other favorite bike and bus route is taking the 512 up to Everett and riding the whole Centennial Trail! The Centennial Trail is to Snohomish County what the Foothills Trail is to Pierce County. 30 miles of uninterrupted trail. There are also plans to extend it south to the King County line which will eventually connect to the yet to be completed EasTrail. This was just a great summer day. Early bike ride and back to Seattle in time for burgers, shakes, and fireworks with someone I care about.

Ride with GPS Route
Strava Activity

July 13: STP

It was finally here, my biggest challenge! A 1 day STP. I started with at the earliest official time – 4:45 AM and had a goal of reaching Portland by 7 PM. The first 100 miles just flew by and I was riding the relatively flat route at a great pace for me. Right round mile 150 after entering Oregon, I had some pain in my knee. I stopped at the side of the road to stretch a bit. After that, I continued, but the pain came back. This caused me to stop about every 10 miles to take a break and stretch. I also decided to take it a bit slower, especially on the hills approaching Portland. This caused me to miss my target by 15 minutes, but I still felt incredibly accomplished to get to Portland in a respectable time!

Strava Activity

September 1: Friends Ride over 520

After the speed of the STP, it’s nice to slow it down for a fun ride over the 520 bridge! The new trail is nice and wide, and I always enjoy riding down Evergreen Point Rd as there are usually very few cars. My favorite part is that everyone took their own selfies which show off their unique styles!

Strava Activity

September 13-14: Vancouver

I’d been south to Portland, so naturally I had to visit Vancouver as well. This time my route included more neighborhood streets which form a great connected network. Even though I don’t live in Vancouver or Portland, it’s always easy to come up with interesting routes as there are so many great connections between trails, bike friendly neighborhood streets, and PBLs.

Twitter Thread
Strava Activity: Day 1
Strava Activity: Day 2

September 22: Kitsap Color Classic

This was my 3rd year in a row participating in this ride. It’s always fun to take the ferry over for a nice loop around Kitsap. This was the worst the weather has been, but it didn’t make the ride any less fun!

Strava Activity

Year End Maps

I really only bike for the maps. I started biking when I got a GPS fitness tracker and haven’t stopped since. I like exploring new and interesting places and then mapping every ride to see where I’ve been.

Recap: November-December

November 17: Cranksgiving

Cranksgiving is an annual event run by Tom from Seattle Bike Blog. It’s a fun event, and the food donated goes to Rainier Valley Food Bank. This was my second time participating. Last year I went not knowing anyone, and met Chelsy and Cyndi who joined me again this year along with Bob. The four of us had a great time and our team got 3rd place! Along with different kinds of foods and various stores, you can also get points for photo challenges. Swift Industries hosted a party afterwards, and it was great to see increasingly familiar faces as the bike community in Seattle continues to grow.

Twitter Thread
Strava Activity

November 24: Camano Island Loop

During the Thanksgiving weekend, my family and I spent some time on Camano Island. I didn’t bus/bike it as I’ve done twice before, but did bring my bike up to ride a quick loop around the island. It was my first time doing the full loop around the island, and I enjoyed the mostly low traffic roads. What I like the most about cold weather rides is the cool refreshing air, and being close to the water only amplifies that. I rode clockwise, but I did run into a pair of cyclists twice who were going in the counter clockwise direction.

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December 15-23: Eastside Upgrades

The Eastside has been making some nice bike updates this year. Bellevue continues to build out their 108th Ave NE PBL which is their best addition to their growing bike network. They recently added a floating bus stop in partnership with King County Metro. I used it during an off-peak time, but imagine it would work well to reduce conflicts during peak times. Over on Mercer Island, they added lines to delineate bike and walking zones where the trail passes the Mercer Island P&R bus stops. I would prefer having the trail be widened here, but at least this brings awareness to the different users of the trail and park and ride. Cyclists wishing to avoid conflict with pedestrians completely can always use SE 24th St just north of the park and ride.

Strava Activity Dec 15 | Dec 23

December 31: West Seattle Greenways

As this is my third New Year’s Eve ride to West Seattle, I think it is safe to start calling it a tradition! This year, I rode on all 3 of the West Seattle Greenways, including the one that is still under construction. Some parts of these greenways are a little more hilly than ideal. After the greenways, I took advantage of the very flat Alki Trail on the way back to Seattle. This ride concluded the 6,700 miles I rode over the course of the year! Looking forward to a great 2019!

Strava Activity