Having just gone over the 2,500 mile mark for the year yesterday (heck, until 2 years ago, I'd never done more than that in a YEAR), I decided I needed a little bit of celebratory ride, so took an extra little bit of time tonight to give myself a really awesome commute home from work.
It all started out with having to stop at Pike Street Market to pick up a couple pounds of broccoli rabe for my nephew Chris' birthday party Saturday. We love that stuff, and I promised Ma-in-Law (Carmen) I'd have some. So I left the office and when I pulled in to the produce stand, the guy knew exactly what I was looking for. I suppose when a guy rides up on a custom black and red bike as distinguishable as mine is 6 or 8 times over a month period and always buys nothing but broccoli rabe, he might eventually figure it out, right? So, paying my $7.00, I pack my booty safely away and head off down 1st Avenue until I can drop over to the waterfront. Haven't figured out how I want ot go to get home yet, thinking I don't really want to go out the Duwamish, I came in that way today. Don't want to just go up Beacon, I've been doing that a lot. Hmmm. Maybe I should tackle Holgate. That's 11 and 12 percent a good part of the way up for a half mile. Yes, no, yes no. Back and forth with myself. Aw, what the heck. GO FOR IT!. So after almost getting creamed by an inattentive driver who was holding a cigarette in one hand and a cell phone in the other, punching buttons to dial while leaving the light, I cautiously let all the traffic go, swept over to the left lane and with my now nearly 40 pound bike, climbed up to 13th, dropping down through a little gully before having another little one-block grinder to McLellan. That's when I decided do have some fun. I'm gonna do a BEACON HILL ZIG-ZAG tonight. There are several roads straight up and down Beacon Hill, west and east sides, and I've ridden pretty much all of them. So if I go down one, up the next, down the next, I eventually get home. So I dropped down McLellan to the east and was going to go up Cheasty, but it is now closed for repaving as part of the light rail project. So I had to go over the "corkscrew" pedestrian bridge over Rainier and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd and dropped to the east side of Rainier and headed south through the neighborhood back streets, coming out by Safeway and Hollywood Video. There is a little shortcut with a really steep hill I've never ridden on that goess between MLK and Rainier, so I figured to myself, "Self, we oughtta head up that little bugger." So I did. I measured 23% for just a couple seconds, VDO said max. sustained climb was 20%. Then it was through the new housing development and up Columbia Way, then around a dead end loop, just for s&g's and back to Columbian to where I could actually get through and I wove my way up and down some more steep little zig zags until I dumped out to the Chief Sealth Trail, heading still southerly to Myrtle. I should have gone down Orcas and up Graham, but it was starting to get to be dinner time. Heading west on Myrtle, I needed to stop and get a gallon of milk and a bunch of vegetables, then headed back down hill just so I could do ONE LAST CLIMB before heading for the barn and finally coming up to Webster and a little left rigt left right and with a nice little 11 mile after-work ride, managed to get a little over 1,000' of climbing in. I weighed the bike when I got off. FIFTY-EIGHT pounds!!!
What doesn't make me walk, makes me stronger.