07.07.12 / I-90 Trail.

So, I’m not updating as frequently as I though I might, but it’s fine. I’m sure you’re not too upset. And, if you are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Tumblr, you’re not missing out on anything. Moving along.

About a week ago, I went to the Mountaineer Columns with my dear friend, Sunshine. It was a 6.7 mile bike ride. We climb the crack for a couple hours, then it was a 6.7 mile ride back to our neighborhood (and I had to go immediately into work). The ride kicked my ass. If it weren’t for Sunshine’s encouragement, I might have died. It didn’t help that my tires needed air and my bike is significantly heavier. But this isn’t the time for excuses. What it comes down to is I’m out of shape and need to work on that.

I had the day off today, and a few days ago I started questioning where I could ride. I’ve considered riding my bike east to Cougar or Tiger Mountain. Cougar Mountain is only 14.8 miles away from me, which seemed very plausible. However, I doubted if I would be able to bike nearly 15 miles (yes, there are plenty of ascents and descents along the way) and then have the strength to do hiking, THEN ride back 15 miles. Since I had the day off today, I decided to check out the I-90 Trail, which runs along side of Interstate 90 (obviously). I wanted to see what kind of ride it would be, gauge how much huffing and puffing I’d do, etc. It wasn’t bad! For a trail that runs along the freeway, you didn’t see much of it, which was nice.

The ride was pretty “mild.” There were definitely some steep ascents, but equally as many descents. After my first few miles, I confessed to Twitter that I needed to invest in a pair of spandex shorts. The Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge (Seattle to Mercer Island) was quite a stretch, but it was great because the view was  lovely and between the cars whipping by and the water, there was a pretty comforting and cooling breeze. There was a rad bike tunnel with some random art and loads of bikers passing through.

I dropped off into Park on the Lid (ate a peach), then to Luther Burbank park (ate a Cliff bar), then crossed the E Channel Bridge to Bellevue, where I rode around Mercer Slough Nature park (ate another Cliff bar) and relaxed.

Before I hit my “destination,” my back brakes ended up going out, so I had to pull over and remedy that. Cyclists, man. They’re so great. Nearly every single person that passed me (like, 20) slowed down or stopped to make sure I was OK and asked if I needed any help. It’s things like that that make me feel good and reinstates that faith in humanity. Thankfully, about three minutes of quick adjusting put me back on my wheels again.

I knew I wouldn’t be going any further east, and since I already rode over ten miles, I decided to head back home. I’m not ashamed to admit that every time I descended down a long stretch, I sung Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free bird” and every time I ascended up a painful stretch, I yelled out loud, “Keep it up! Don’t you stop now! Get it, get it, get it!!” and so on. I was drenched in sweat when all was said and done, but when I started seeing familiar streets, and threw out a few “Yeah Buddy’s.”

Dropped by QFC to get dinner. Road home. Realize at some point I lost half of my keys. Walked back a mile to the store and there they were, on the sidewalk by the bike rack. Lucky me. All in all, it was a great day. Topping the day off with writing to you, uploading the remaining photos to Flickr and drinking a Strongbow. Good day!

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