I mostly ride around the north end of the lake to get to work. On Friday, since they paved the East Lake Samm trail through the Issaquah city limits, I decided I’d do the south route.
I rode south along West Lake Samm until the construction zone. The flagger said I could wait 7 minutes or climb the hill. I decided to climb the hill. It’s been a while since I came up that thing. I’m now so used to hill climbing, while it was steep, it was far from impossible. I got out of the saddle at the end, and really worked it until the top.
Then I did the long slow descent down the rooty I-90 trail back down to the lake. I figure the whole extra climb and descent added at least 10 minutes to the ride.
The new trail on East Lake Sammamish was OK – better than the road, which has high traffic speeds, narrow lanes, crappy pavement, and an even worse sidewalk (if you wanted to retreat to it). Then I came up 212th Way, the first time in a long time. I remember when I first rode up the stair steps of 212th, I had to stop more than once, and hang my head over my handlebars, desperately trying to catch my breath. No more. Yes, the risers are steep, but the road is not challenging in terms of its slope.
On the way home, I did a nice long sprint on East Lake Samm, keeping it between 18 and 20 mph, until the park. That pretty much fagged me, so I decided to ride the more gentle slope of Bel-Red (a 5% grade) than face Multi-Deity Hill. I met this guy I know, Arthur, coming up Bel-Red. I tried to keep up with him at 7-8 mph, but I couldn’t. I went back into the saddle, and continued climbing at 5 mph. He looped me, and then rode up the rest of the way with me, which was convivial, but sort of condescending, too. 9 months ago