Seattle to Camano Island (And one stupid move)

Rubens to Camano MBSaturday morning Lauren gave me the opportunity to bike one-way from Seattle to Camano Island and given that it was something I hadn’t done before I thought…. Why not?.

Background:
The reason for the trip was that we go to a July 4th party at a friends place up where they have a great cabin, and enough space for 3-5 families to camp out on their lawn and eat and drink to excess and light up some Indian Reservation fireworks into the sound. The weather was forecasted to be sunny and beautiful and 2/3rds of the trip I had traveled before and 1/3 of it would be new bike route. Lauren was taking up the kids and the camping gear, so all I had to do was pack up a change of clothes and some things from the night before.

Ride Notes:
Ideally I would have gotten out the door at 7:30 to avoid the heat of the day but there was a small twist in my planning, I got a major cold that night and my nose was running and that left me without sleep and sluggish getting out the door by 9:45AM. Luckily, bike riding has this great effect that while I am riding I have enough blood flowing to my head that my nose stayed relatively clear. The warm day also helped and with the known route everything was fine. The ride to Arlington was entirely familiar as it is simply Burke Gilman to Woodinville, Woodinville to Snohomish via 156th St, Maltby and Broadway, and Arlington via the Centennial trail. I had done this ride earlier and the only new part would be Arlington to Camano. This part of the ride was lovely, but had one tricky part that no GPS or software planning tool could help me with……..

Sidebar:
While I was up late prepping for the ride not only did I build a paper cue-sheet and some street level maps of the Arlington to Camano trek, I did something _really_ geeky and for the first time I uploaded the biking route into my GPS watch which was _REALLY_ _REALLY_ cool! All I had to do was follow the route on my GPS watch and I had mapped it close enough that I never had to really look at my cue sheets for the majority of the ride. I did use Lauren’s fancy new cueclip that she made for me and it worked wonderfully, but after this ride I thought that it was pointless given that my watch could hold the route for me. Luckily, (again) I also had a paper backup of the route with maps which became really important when I made the one juvenile decision of the day.

Ride notes (Continued):
There was bridge out and under construction at Smoky point at mile 54. My GPS watch said, cross the non-existent bridge. There was a big tractor and large orange construction signs that said ‘Bridge under Construction until September’ There were no easily visible detour routes since I was in the middle of the countryside. I had to resort to the paper maps of the area and found that the nearest detour involved riding 5 miles on the I-5 highway or 15-20 mile backtrack or detour. After looking at the maps, considering the weight of my bike, I wondered if I could walk a 2-3 foot wide ledge 50 yards (and 20-30 feet swampy fall on one side or a 10-20 feet fall onto a partially constructed concrete base on the other side. Must be testosterone poisoning…..I picked up my bike and walked the ledge. In retrospect, it was a completely stupid thing to do, but my balance was good, my bike was light and the winds were quiet. The rest of the trip was uneventful and I arrived to a party that was just starting with _lots_ of food and _lots_ of water which was exactly what any rider would want after such a ride. The weather was in the 70’s arriving on the island and a long stretching session that night, and a morning Yoga session with our yoga instructor (who owns the cabin) made for some very happy legs.

Ride Stats:
94 miles, 5:30 minutes moving time, 17MPH average.

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