An Earwig Lives Up to its Name

Ruben and I did a hilly bike ride today that involved getting all the way out to May Valley Road. We met at a friend’s house in Bellevue because her 16 year old daughter had said yes to an extended bit of afternoon babysitting. (He rode and I drove with Elias and my bike.) I hadn’t eaten since 7:30 this morning, grabbed lunch on the way over and crammed it down around 12:45. Mistake. We left around 1:20 and the food still hadn’t really hit my system.

Within a few minutes we hit some big hills up through South East Bellevue – taking 100th NE instead of going out to the busier Bellevue way. I’m still getting used to the Look pedals and my legs felt underpowered so I didn’t feel so secure on the steep hill we hit, I actually had to get off and walk a bit. Not a great start to the ride.

Once on the Lake WA trail (south) the food started to hit. Ruben commented that he never goes southbound on Lake WA Blvd. I have to admit, the pattern of hills did feel “odd.”

We took a left at 44th Ave NE and went eastbound towards May Valley. It’s a long climb I wasn’t looking forward to, but I made it. I haven’t been out to May Valley Road in a while, and it’s still as gorgeous as ever.

Around about mile something flew into Ruben’s ear. At first he didn’t stop, but I made him pull over at a driveway. He was holding onto his eardrum and I could see little legs and antennae sticking out. It was gross and freaky and something out of a science fiction movie. I was pretty sure it was an earwig and those things totally gross me out. Fortunately I had a pair of small tweezers, and he had a light on his bike and I was able to grab one of the thing’s legs and pull it out. I got so freaked I threw both to the ground. But then we couldn’t see for sure if I had gotten it. I used the light and peered in as far I could. Ruben also checked with a piece of wet tissue.

The rest of the ride was relatively uneventful. We rode through Issaquah, up Sunset Way/Highline Drive, onto the Highlands. Hills hills hills. I just had to take it at my own pace. On the Sammamish Plateau we continued eastbound for a while, and even detoured onto Beaver Marsh? Road. Eventually we headed towards East Lake Sammamish Pkway but first stopped at a park to refill my water bottles which were empty. I was happy to note that the “hills” on E. Lake Sammamish Parkway didn’t slow me down at all – we cruised quite nicely (or maybe there was a tail wind).

We stopped at the Pete’s near Whole foods in Redmond, cut through Marymoor park and to the 520 trail. I was a little worried about the hill going up as we headed westbound – I’ve only ever come down that hill and it seemed so steep. But I made it up without stopping and Ruben made it up strong! There was another guy on a Trek bike that just totally charged up the hill too. I have to keep reminding me that “that’s not me.”

We wound up going across Northup way to Bellevue way because it was the most direct route back to Elias and the babysitter. I wasn’t looking forward to that hill OR the hill on NE 24th, but I did make it up both and felt pretty good about it.

Final stats: 51 miles. 3 hrs 42 minutes ride time (avg 13.7 mph), 4hrs 27 minutes total time. I am still a little concerned about the speed issue with respect to STP in one day (I’d feel more comfortable averaging 16) but I have to remind myself this was far more hilly than STP. Also the other thing to note was that there was no numbness in my foot. So the Look pedals may be helping.

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