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Bicycle 253 miles in December

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joie de vivre191 miles

I was on the trail that connects Marymoor Park to East Lake Sammamish Parkway. My bike slipped out on black ice, with my head to break the fall.

I laid there for a while. I got cold, so I turned on my back. There were clouds. A flock of geese flew by.

I figured no one was coming to rescue me, so I had better get up. I did. The bike was fine, but my head was too addled to ride.

I walked the bike to the road. I crossed the street, and then walked to the small mini-mall. Some guy honked at me, turning against the light into the mini-mall parking lot. I burst into tears. I cried out, “why did you honk at me?” I freaked him out. I was in no shape to deal with any thing.

I parked the bike at the Subway. I asked the Mexican-looking guy behind the counter if I could use the phone. He said, “what number should I dial?” I decided 911 was best.

I sat in the Subway. Eastside Fire and Rescue came. They took my bike to the fire station. The aid car came. They took me to the ER. I was rated a “3”, but I don’t know what the scale is for triage – 1 to 4? to 5? I don’t know.

I spent a long time in my little triage room. A nurse would come by periodically and give me more ice packs. A doctor came and gave me an exam. He said I would live. My husband picked me up and I went home.

I have a headache now.

I don’t think I’m riding for the rest of 2009, so I won’t make this goal. Or the year goal, either. 4 years ago


joie de vivre186 miles

Did a little pootle around the top of the lake, just 45 miles round trip, but it felt like a century. Alas, I have “winter legs”. It’s a total imposition to:

  • Ride more than an hour
  • Ride more than 15 mph
  • Go up a hill faster than 5 mph of slope greater than 5%

After equinox, it’s going to be hard to get myself back into summer riding shape.

And 67 miles yet to go to make this goal – and my 4000 mile goal for the year. Maybe I can ride Sunday, and push it – because I’m not going to have a lot of time next week for cycling. 4 years ago


joie de vivre141 miles

Rode into work, a bit damp but clearing as the day progressed.

Left early to go to my old secretary’s retirement party – by then it was dry. I rode down the hill, then along side some dudes on some joy ride all the way until I reached the Issaquah Transit Center.

It’s been a while since I’ve been downtown on the bike. I parked at my old building, parked the bike at my old rack. I went upstairs to the 27th floor and changed in my old shower room into something more presentable.

Walked around town after the party and did a little xmas shopping, then sat in a starbucks and wrote a little. Changed back in the ladies’ room and found my bike again before they closed down the garage.

Rode up Capitol Hill, and prowled Babeland. There was another cyclist in there with her partner looking at the toys. Made a purchase, then got back in the saddle and met a friend for dinner. Rode off of Capitol Hill down to Montlake, then caught a bus home.

Observation: it is very very different riding around downtown and Capitol Hill in the dark than it is along Lake Sammamish. 4 years ago


joie de vivre118 miles

Morning: not just wet, but alternating between rain and showers, with a heavy mist. The sun was up, but it seemed so dim and dark. I got into work and was absolutely sopping. I spent far too much time drying my socks, shoes and gloves in the oven in the kitchen, and arranging and rearranging my tights and jacket in front of the fan after I arrived.

Evening: clear, windy, dry pavement, and about 10 degrees colder. Even though the sun had been down for nearly an hour, since it was clearer and the sparkling crescent moon, it almost seemed brighter than it did in the morning. With the tailwind, I whipped down 228th, made every green light including the turn on to Inglewood Hill Road. At the bottom of the hill, in the warmer cleft of the lake, the wind was gentler, but I still felt strong as I continued pedaling north.

As usual, I enjoyed the quiet stillness of Marymoor Park. When I came out of the park, having rounded the lake and now headed south, I had the wind in my face.

As I was riding up 172nd, I could see a blinky in the distance, and decided to pour on some effort to try to catch up to the bike, the only one I had seen that entire evening. Before I reached it, another cyclist passed me, and complemented me on how well illuminated and visible I was.

After he turned up his street, I finally caught up to the blinkied bike, and briefly chatted: she was going through Sammamish Forest Manors – I was headed straight up the hill.

I didn’t see her again, and rode with strength and purpose, pulling up my driveway into the lit garage – home. 4 years ago


joie de vivreReady to go

Tube replaced
Wheel remounted
Bike cleaned and lubed
Safety check completed
New blinkie secured
Bike bag reviewed and restocked 4 years ago


joie de vivre93 Miles

Don’t get me wrong, I like to ride my bike. I like to ride my bike to work.

It was fine coming in. I wasn’t raining when I left the house, but it started to come down in a desultory way about a quarter mile from the house. When I got to Marymoor Park, I stripped off my jacket because I was getting overheated. But, by the time I left the park, it started to rain in earnest, and I had to switch out the sweater and the coat. But no big, I made it into the office, stripped off my wet things, and set them by the fan. I dried my socks, then heated them in the oven on “warm” and then put them on.

On the way home, it was dark and raining pretty hard. As I came down the big hill of 228th in fast dense suburban traffic, my front wheel was feeling really squirrelly. At the light at the bottom, I felt it – a flat. I rode carefully in to Pacific Bikes, a bike shop luckily just a few blocks away.

I joked with the techs that it was great to be in the well-lit, dry, warm shop with a floor pump and any tool I might happen to need. I’ve never really been in there, and all the staff was really nice. MY MISTAKE – I replaced the tube and threw the scabby thing away but didn’t buy a new one.

I came down Inglewood Hill and rode around the top of the lake. As I was exiting Marymoor Park, my back wheel started feeling squirrelly. After I got through the intersection of West Lake Samm and Bel-Red, I felt it. Flat.

I rode a little longer, up to the intersection of NE 40th and Bel Red. I got out all my tools, and started to work. There’s good street lights there, but it was still very dark, and pouring rain.

Could I find the hole in the tube? I kept listening for hissing, looking, found nothing. The 249 came by, but wouldn’t take me. My bike was too crippled to go in the rack, but I couldn’t bring it on the bus.

After the bus drove away, I started to cry. I had already left work quite late, and at that point I had given up on going home, and before, I had figured I was riding directly to Interlake High School to hear my daughters’ band concert. So there I was. Low blood sugar. Exhausted. Soaked through. Next bus in an hour. Cell phone merrily charging on the kitchen counter at home. The ability to fix the bike enough to make it rideable looking dimmer and dimmer, and still a three mile walk to either home or the school.

I cried and cried and cried.

I stopped my sobbing, and reduced myself to just little periodic whimpers, and returned to looking for the leak. While messing with the tube, a woman stopped by, asked if I needed help. Turns out she was a band parent from Interlake.

Story shortened: She took me and my bike home in her minivan. My husband made a sack dinner out of the leftovers from the dinner he made for himself and the girls. I changed into dry clothes, grabbed the sack, and while we missed the first two numbers of Emma’s Jazz Band II’s performance, I at least heard the last one, and all of Rose’s Jazz I. I ate my dinner cold out in the cafeteria during Symphonic Band, but heard Emma in Concert Band and Rose in Wind Ensemble.

So it turned out OK. Lots of lessons here:

A. Have a spare tube at all times
B. Keep the cell phone charged and with you
C. If you’re really going to take the bus and your bike is in a state of disassembly, have it set up so you can easily abandon the bike and lock it up and get on the f’ing bus. 4 years ago


joie de vivre72 miles

I couldn’t find my heavyweight gloves, so I had to wear my lightweight full fingers for the ride in. About 20 minutes into the ride I had warmed up enough such that my hands weren’t numb any more.

Only rode once last week, so climbing up the 12% grade of Inglewood Hill was pretty tough. Then, at the top – a thin crust of snow and ice.

Coming home, mid-30s and raining. Dark. I took Louis Thompson down the hill, didn’t want to risk Inglewood with possible iciness. My hands were so cold at the bottom I could barely move them. But, just like the way in – just kept on riding until they warmed up.

Now looking forward to a hot bath. 4 years ago


joie de vivre57 Miles

It’s been very icy, so I haven’t been on the bike much. But I did ride to the park and ride, took the bus into town for an event, and then rode around downtown, and returned.

It was very cold – under 20 F. I used chemical warmers inside by shoes, with booties covering, not to keep out dampness, but just for another layer of warmth. 4 years ago


joie de vivre44 miles - car bike ferry bike bike bike ferry car

Dumped the car in Mukilteo – took me a while to find a place where I could park it legally. Then cruised to the ferry dock.

The ferry ride was a Pacific Northwest classic. Frigidly cold and brilliantly clear as the sun came down over the Olympics. Mt. Baker was a luminous cone of ice. Glacier Peak etched against the deep blue sky. Sea gulls.

When I unloaded the bike at Clinton, the sun had already slipped over the horizon and it was getting dark and colder quickly. I detoured off the highway on to Deer Lake Road. It wasn’t a bad move – there was a decent shoulder, and traffic was low, and lower speed.

By the time I got to Campbell Road, it was pitch black. I looked at my map under the sole street light the route afforded, and correctly guessed I needed to turn left.

The turn on to Pietilla Road was a shock – it was unpaved, muddy, graveled, and a sharp descent through a deep forest. I rode my brakes. I got to the retreat center, registered, and then found out I needed to reclimb the hill to get to the cabin where I was lodging.

The next day, when others were doing Tai Chi, I took the bike out again. I rode out towards Langley. On the way back, I passed by an outdoor rack of pottery. I turned around and stopped. Some of the pottery had prices. I found six bowls I liked. I tossed out the partly melted frozen rain water that had formed in them, and took them to the front door.

Three dogs charged the door, barking wildly, but the house otherwise remained still and quiet. I put my business card in the door, said I was interested in paying for the bowls, and for them to bill me for them, as they had no prices. I did my best to wrap the bowls in my neck kerchief, and put them in the bike bag.

At the end of the retreat, I re-wrapped the bowls in the luggage in my pannier. The retreat ended just as the sun had gone down, and once back on Campbell Road I was riding in the dark again.

This time I decided to take the highway. I could take the ferry lane all the way down to the water. The final mile is very steep – at about a 9% grade – and mindful that the ground was wet and the temperature was hovering right around freezing, I took it very easy down to the terminal.

The ferry was just finishing unloading, so I didn’t have long to wait. I tied up the bike and rode back to Mukilteo. After disembarking from the ferry, it was a stiff ride up some steep hills to finally come to where I had parked the car. I stuffed the bike in, and drove home. 4 years ago


joie de vivre28 miles

3 miles yesterday, just a pootle down the Burke Gilman from the Montlake Freeway Station to an appointment.

Then, riding to work today. It’s winter. Colder than the devil’s pecker out there. Clear, big moon, frosty. My feet were frozen upon arrival. I double-wool-sock’ed it for the return home, and my feet were still frozen. 4 years ago


joie de vivreWhy 253?

It’s the only way I can reach my 4000 miles in 2009 goal – eep! 4 years ago


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