Lauren’s 15 hills of Kirkland (and one in Ravenna)

15 hills of KirklandThis morning, I got up literally at the crack of dawn and got on the road at 6am. I made it to Kirkland (via the 1 hill in Ravenna and the Juanita/Seminary and Market hills of Kirkland) in 1hr 11 minutes and signed up for the “7 hills of Kirkland.” I LAUGH at 7 hills.

Silvia showed up and we got started just after 8am. Hill #1? back up Market hill (210ft), to Juanita Hill (285 feet), then Seminary Hill (455ft). Then Norway (475ft), Kingsgate (412ft), – food stop with yummy peanut butter on everything – Winery hill (“Only 390 feet, but a 21% grade at the bottom AND my gears wouldn’t go down into the granny – I had to stop and fix that). We stopped at the food stop again for more peanut butter and cookies.

Here’s where dorky Lauren apparently turned off the GPS for 11 miles – skipping 1000+ ft of elevation gain)… For next was Education hill (410 feet), Redmond Ridge (617 feet), (the GPS was back on here) Mc Whirter Hill (266 ft), Education HIll (part II – 330 ft) and finally Rose Hill (a VERY long 525 feet).

Silvia did fantasticly well on the uphills. The only reason why she didn’t have to wait for me was that I was really good at catching up on the downhills. If you ask me, she’s ready for the Victoria 1/2 iron :)

After the Best Strawberry Shortcake ever, I went back up and over Market and Juanita/Seminary hill.

Total – approx 91 miles, 7000ft elevation gain. This link will show most – some is missing. The weather was perfect – cloudy so not too warm – just a little cool in spots until around 2pm on my way home. I met up with Ruben at U village and we walked the bike back up the hill to the house. I just couldn’t get myself to do that last 200 ft gain with a frappacino in my hand 😉

70 miles around the lake (through Issaquah)

Now we had always said “Issaquah (70 miles) and now I understand – 70 miles is the U district to Issaquah and back. That’s not what we did today. This is:

70 miles around the lake (through Issaquah)

Scott and I met up at UZ at 9, then we headed out. Right in Woodinville we suddenly had someone tailing us. It was ERIK! Riding to work. Very cool.

We met up with James around 10:30 in Redmond and continued to cycle south. Erik peeled off to work. We took West Lake Sammamish – which is busy with loads of cars (more than 12 years ago for sure!) but a nice wide shoulder.

The only problem is south of 43rd, it’s a 4 lane road, but no bike lane. There’s the bike TRAIL but it’s gravel. Where do they expect cyclists to cycle? I wonder what Cascade says about that. And why the decision to make East Lake Sammamamish trail gravel.

Anyway, a bit of traffic through Issaquah, which used to be a lovely place to stop for lunch. We didn’t though. We plowed on. We also found that it appears the Bellevue bike map is not up to date. At least the one I got from on line. We found the I-90 bike trail through signs – you pick it up right near Sunset school and it takes you UP the twisty windy switch backs (a beautiful wooded area) – towards the highway. It dumps you out near Eastgate – for about a 2 mile not-so-fun stretch – but again it’s busy but plenty of room for cyclists.

Right at Factoria, you pick up the trail again and it dumps you out right where the split off at Lake WA Blvd. From there we just did the south end of the lake – stopping for quite a bit at Kidd Valley in Coulon Park.

At Montlake, Scott peeled off and went home. By the time I got back to the U district I was only at 66 miles. Bound and determined to hit 70, I followed James back all the way up to 97th – to try a route to Meadowbrook that Greg recommended. It did quite the trick Greg. Thanks. James continued on the trail home.

So there you go. 73 miles. 5.5 hours ride time (7.75 total time with stops). My butt is sore.


A tale of three rides

It’s a weekend for a ride around the lake, and the sun even started to peak through the clouds!

On Saturday, Lauren wrote:

Greg, Elizabeth, Sean, Anthony, Emma and I did a loop around the lake today. Here’s the data from my Garmin. I forgot to turn my garmin back on after Coulon Park, so I’m Motion Based interpolated the mileage from there to south Bellevue. Basically that means the totals (including the moving average) is off, but probably not by much. GPS log on MotionBased

On Sunday, we had two concurrent routes clockwise around the lake. First from Ruben:

Sunday morning’s ride ended up with a 9am start at Blakely and 25th near University Zoka. Sylvia, Erik and I met with his bike team to do a lap around the lake. However, Sylvia and I ended up taking a different path and diverged at logboom park to take Juanita, Kirkland and Medina hills to get through Bellevue. I highly recommend the route since it takes you by Bill G’s house and you can easily identify his because of the unusual (and pretty) gate that marks the front of his house. It was my first time through that section and liked the lack of cars and the wide roads. Given it was just the two of us, we ended up settling into a nice groove of chatting and occasionally sprinting off to climb hills and fly down the downhill sections. The weather was cool and overcast with no rain and a minimum of cars on a Sunday to pull you off the road. Sylvia and I were worried we would keep slowing each other down as her training for the triathalon included a 40 mile bike ride + run yesterday. Yikes!

Here is the obligatory route map, and the recommendation to go out biking soon.

GPS log on MotionBased

Sadly, I don’t have a MotionBased log, but for what it’s worth:

As for me, I and 4 other Winos also rode around the lake clockwise. Ruben & Sylvia passed us while at a pee break at Logboom, and then we headed south along 96th Ave, taking the back way into Kirkland. We cruised along Market St. in Kirkland and did the standard loop around. We made good time with plenty of chatter; about 3:15 for the loop. We were in a 5-person group, so riding mostly in a double line, keeping to between 18-22 MPH.

Next week: Whidbey!

South Whidbey Hills == Ouch

I did just over 40 miles around the south part of Whidbey on Saturday. I got a late start (at 2pm) but managed to do the whole thing, including 3675 feet of elevation gain (a couple of monster hills!) in 3.5 hours (4 hours total time – I had to stop for an extra bike tire in Freeland and a latte in Langley).
Things to note: – Bike on top of Prius == overheight charge on the ferry. Note to self: next time put bike on Joan’s car before getting in ferry line (we did this on the way home).

  • GREAT Artsy coffee house near where we were staying in Clinton (right off 525 across from a scary looking restaurant called Cozy’s)
  • South Whidbey is really pretty, and pretty hilly.
  • My new bike tires need tubes with long stems.
  • My legs weren’t terribly sore yesterday or today – just tired.
  • I saw 3 live bunnies, 1 road kill bunny, 1 green garter-ish snake, a bunch of horses, cows and a sheep who had just started to eat a dandelion puff ball from the bottom up when I called out “baaa” and it looked up, puff ball sticking out of it mouth. I wish I had my camera for all but the road kill.
  • Elizabeth biked from Seattle -> Whidbey on Friday (and made the same ferry we did – leaving at the same time from Seattle we did – we were stuck in 1 hour of ferry traffic…). She biked Whidbey->Seattle on Saturday and made damn fine time.

Here’s the Motion Based report.

Reversing the curse?

I think I broke the “Lauren goes to Alki and it Rains” curse. We had some sprinkles on the way out, but on my way back it was pretty nice and I had to take off my rain gear.
We started at Greg and Elizabeth’s and did the “flat route” to Alki. We had a great lunch at Sunfish fish and chips, and I got a really yummy cookie at the Alki bakery for Elias (and some coffee and a cookie for me too). On the way back, Greg and I split off at the Sculpture garden to Fisherman’s terminal, then I split off from Greg and took the “long way home,” up NE 95th St to see if I could do it.
Note to self – get the compact chain ring changed back to a triple.
Here’s the data from the Garmin.

Toeclips through the Tulips 2007

Ruben, Lauren, Megan, Katy, Elizabeth (towing Emmett), and Erik (towing Laura) went on our (mostly) annual Toeclips through the Tulips ride yesterday. The weather was threatening, but we only got hit with a couple of early AM sprinkles before lunch. Temperatures were in the 50s and it wasn’t too windy. The route starts in Mt. Vernon at the public parking next to the river.


The route starts heading south from Mt. Vernon following the east side of the Skagit River, then wraps around as we head to La Conner. For the most part, the road is chip seal, and the early going this year was rough… new chip seal, so rough going. Erik got a flat pretty early on! The southern half of the ride won’t show many tulips, by the way. It’s mostly there to rack up some miles and get warmed up!

At La Conner, met up with Lupe and Elias and had lunch in the La Conner Brewing Company. They have a small beer garden on the side of the restaurant, and some open space behind (available via the beer garden or by cycling around the block onto 2nd) where you can park your bikes. We typically eat in the garden, as they have heat lamps and we’re already dressed for warmth (and the restaurant can be a bit crowded around lunchtime!).

After La Conner, we start to head to the tulip fields. While our planned route is a 20-mile zig-zag course through the Skagit Valley by the fields, invariably we make various detours depending on what fields are actually blooming. Plus, at any point if people are tired or the weather turns inclement, it’s easy enough to hop back on McLean and take it in to Mt. Vernon for a quick escape. Megan, Katy, Elizabeth, and Erik headed up the first up & down and saw some lovely tulip fields, but after about an hour we weren’t seeing much so we bagged it and headed back along McLean. Lauren and Ruben had stopped to fix a flat after heading out a bit later than the rest, and simply sped down along McLean to catch up with the rest at Mt. Vernon. Back at Mt. Vernon, we hung out at the Same Ol Grind coffeehouse, where we had some lovely cookies and coffee and took in some of the town before heading back.

Here’s a quick Live Maps collection with the starting location & food of record, and a MotionBased trail for what Lauren and Ruben rode. And some obligatory pics!

Erik towing Laura:








Kids coloring, with Lauren and Erik looking on:


Ruben next to some beautiful tulips:


A daffodil field:


Update 4/15/07: Here’s a MotionBased link to the 20-mile Tulip Pedal that Skagit County Medic One holds. Similar route to ours.

University Zoka to Alki and Back (April 7, 2007)

Megan and I ended up doing a simple out and back loop from University Zoka to Alki and back (37.6 miles). I picked Saturday morning because I really wanted to get a sunny day bike ride in. That said the weather gods were unusually cruel in that Friday Afternoon was gorgeous, and Sunday Morning was great for a bike ride, but Saturday……not so much. Don’t get me wrong, at no point were Megan and I complaining about it being unusually cold, but the day was not as advertised. The 9am start found us riding on relatively clear trails out to Alki and our return around noon found Myrtle Edwards crowded, but on the whole the conditions were for a great bike ride. Our 30 minute coffee stop at the Alki bakery for a latte and a Chocolate Chip Espresso Muffin was definitely worth it.

The data on the trip via Motion Based is inaccurate as I forgot to turn my watch on until we were in downtown Seattle. That said since it was a simple out and back course the return trip was 18.8 miles out so a 37.6 mile round trip.

Your humble scribe,

Ruben ” Next time complete data and in sunny weather please… ” Ortega