joie de vivre I'm back now
Lots and lots to say about the ride today.
I rode to a disaster planning class (see goal, Develop a disaster plan for my agency) in the city.
It’s a big nostalgia trip for me to do the old commute. I realize how much I am NOT in bikie culture at all with my current commute. I never see cyclists on the Plateau, and this time of year I might see one or two going the other way on ELSP and more in Marymoor Park – but when it gets to be November, I’m going to be the sole cyclist in the cold/dark/rain and it will be pretty lonely on the bike at Marymoor.
But on the ride today, tons of other bikes out there, the full range from folders to recumbents, people riding to and from work, some of the same old commuters I saw two years ago, riding to and from – just gave me this sad, longing feeling, wishing I could be regularly riding where other people also regularly ride.
Now, when I actually got to the place where the class was originally scheduled to be held this morning, the lights were off and the doors shut. It was OK, I was there 15 minutes early, so I hung out there, along with someone else who arrived for the class until 9:00 AM when it was supposed to start.
Then I called the Red Cross who was co-hosting the training, and apparently they moved the class to the Red Cross building, and the other guy and I just never go the message. I asked the folks at the Red Cross how to get there, and they said to go on Rainier, but I didn’t want to ride at all on Rainier, so I asked for help from 23rd or MLK. They told me to turn on Massachusetts, I couldn’t miss it.
So I rode down MLK until it ended at Rainier, never seeing Massachusetts, and then I rode for another mile on Rainier (feh) until I realized surely I must have missed it. Since Rainier is so awful, I took another street back, and found myself climbing up Beacon Hill. By the time I figured I was in about the right vicinity of the building, I was far above the Rainier Valley, and there were no through streets, only a cliff. I had to overshoot it by several blocks, coming down a crazy-steep hill, back to freakin’ MLK, and then did a series of dead reckonings (never ever finding the “can’t miss it” Massachusetts) until I came to the building, now 55 minutes after I first arrived at the place I thought the class was supposed to be at.
I found a set of car keys when I was climbing up Eastgate Way. Based on the tag, I thought they would have come from the Toyota dealership at the top of the hill. I turned in the keys, and then, since I was were I was, I took the little path that runs in front of the big Mormon Temple & Tabernacle Complex, which connects to another little path I used to take all the time when I first started riding to work.
I abandoned using this path, which runs alongside Robinswood Park, because it wasn’t the fastest way. But today it was very pleasant, zipping along under the trees, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
I used to think of my commute into downtown as being hilly. And it certainly isn’t flat – the only flat bit is going over the floating bridge. But compared to my current commute, which has sustained 8% – 12% grades, nothing felt hilly today. There’d be an uptick, and I’d hoist myself out of the saddle, and do the “Lance Dance” for a bit, then sit back down and slip it into the granny, and I’d be at the top, no problem. I’ve become a much better hill climber with a commute to the top of the Sammamish Plateau, no question.