22 April 2009

Workingman's 100K Ride

I love to ride my bike to work. Some weeks, I like to go out with the bike club and do our 15 - 25 mile Tuesday evening "mudflaps" ride, then ride home. But yesterday's commute turned out to be a very interesting 100K ride for me. I all started with a nice sunrise as I was coming along the Duwamish, and I was impressed by how far the sun has moved north in the past 3 weeks. I took this same photo just before leaving for California at the end of March, and the sun rose south of the control tower.

Swing Bridge - Spokane Street, Seattle 4-21-09

After crossing over the bridge, I always get this great view of the Seattle skyline from Harbor Island. Its different every day:

Harbor Island and Seattle Skyline

After work, it was in the lower 70's and I'd been planning to do a 100k ride, with some good climbs out by Issaquah. It is just marvelous crossing Lake Washington when the weather is nice. With Mt. Rainier to the south and Mt. Baker to the north, the snowcapped Cascades to the east and the smell of the Great Northwest Springtime heavy in the air, nothing can be finer.

I-90 Eastbound (4-21-09)

Mt. Rainier from I-90 (4-21-09)

After climbing the 2-mile 10% grade of Lakemont Blvd and descending back to Newport Way, I headed through Issaquah and out toward Maple Valley, where one of my favorite local barns was really pretty in the early evening sun.

Maxwell Road Barn (4-21-09)

And then, I got onto the Cedar River Trail for a really fast return into Renton with the sun blinding me as I approached the end of the trail.

Sunset on Cedar River Trail (4-21-09)

Soon, however, it had dipped below the tree line, and the temperature went from 73 degrees to 63 degrees very rapidly.

Sunset (2)

As the sun was close to setting, I cruised north along the southwest edge of Lake Washington, taking in the late evening aromas of lawns being mowed, somebody's meat on the grill, enjoying a light breeze coming off the lake and the evening birds singing their praises to a wonderful day.

The day ended exactly as it had begun, with the sun in my eyes, only slowly sinking over the horizon as I rolled up the hill to home. I finished the day with just over 64 miles, and slept like a baby last night. Is it any wonder I love riding a bike to work?

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