Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Seattle Adventure: A 40-mile bike ride on the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River trails

I knew I was in trouble yesterday morning when Tom’s first words to me, as if we were in the middle of a conversation, were “Yes, but where should we go for breakfast?”

In spite of my 8-month quest to lose weight and get healthy, I didn’t argue when someone (it may or may not have been me) suggested that we go to the Maltby Café, home of Seattle’s most delicious and calorie-laden breakfasts.

I had this:


I didn’t eat the bread, nor all of the potatoes, but I knew that a quick visit to the gym wasn’t gonna cut it after a meal like that.  So I did what any crazy person would have done in that situation: I texted Peter, who now lives in Fremont (a charming neighborhood just northwest of downtown Seattle – and about 20 miles from Woodinville) and told him that I’d bring him his mail -- on my bike.  I knew I wanted a long bike ride since the weather is glorious and Seattle summers are so pathetically short, and I was afraid that if I didn’t hold myself accountable for arriving somewhere far away I might not go the full distance.

I’ve been riding both the Burke-Gilman Trail (which extends south-westward around Lake Washington from Bothell to Ballard) and the Sammamish River Trail (which extends south-eastward from Bothell to Marymore Park in Redmond) for a few years now.  I’ll often take a quick 6-mile ride to Redmond or head 10 miles in the other direction to Matthews Beach, but until yesterday I’d never ridden all the way past the University of Washington district and on to Fremont! And back.

I wasn’t the only one enjoying the sunshine…


A few miles into my ride I noticed that the blackberry bushes, which are considered a weed in the Pacific Northwest at all times except during a few weeks in August, were heavy with fruit and I promised myself that I’d stop on the way back to pick a few.


Log Boom Park is at the extreme northern end of Lake Washington and is a great place to stop for a view of the lake…


There’s something encouraging about this “Welcome to Seattle” sign.  It means I’ve hit about 9 miles… which turned out to be less than a quarter of my total ride yesterday.  But hey, it’s Seattle.  Encouraging nonetheless.


I stopped at Matthews Beach, 10 miles in, for a quick energy bar and some dried apricots…


…and then I was on my way again, to the re-construction of Husky Stadium…


…and on to a quick view of the University of Washington campus.


Probably my favorite part of this ride was beneath the Aurora Bridge.  The views are spectacular!




I’d like to win the lottery and live in one of these houseboats.


(Yes, that’s a houseboat.)



Once I passed the quaint little Fremont bridge, I knew I was almost to Peter’s place.


My intent was to get a shot of Peter and me together  to “prove” that I rode all the way to his place, but he and Micheala, um… weren’t feeling so great yesterday morning (OK, by that time it was early afternoon) because they’d apparently had a really good time partying the night before.  Still, Peter agreed to take a shot of me in front of his place.


Then he went back to bed.

And I headed back home by way of Gas Works Park.  Talk about great views…


I mean talk about great views…!


On the way back I passed directly by my Gottman Institute office!  I’d had a view of the bike path from my office window (which is right behind that center tree) and wondered what it’d be like to ride my bike 17 miles to work each day.  Then I got laid off.  Anyone have a job for me? (No, seriously.)


There are some really beautiful stretches of trail right in the middle of the city!


I stopped at Matthews Beach again on my way back.  I came this close to jumping in the water!


Leaving Seattle.


Well, hello again blackberry bushes!  Time to get to work…


Within about 10 minutes I’d almost filled a big ZipLoc bag!


This sight means I’m almost back to Woodinville.  By this time my crotch was hurting sumpin’ furious.  I think I might need to look into a softer bike seat.


There are my friends the geese again!  They have no fear of humans at all.


I did it!  40 miles in one day! 


Please, Seattle summer, stick around for a while!

And now I need to do something with these for our Sunday breakfast.  Any ideas? 

No fair giving me calorie-laden recipes or you know what I’ll need to do today…  Winking smile


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Tonya said...

What a great ride! I wish there was convenient access to bike trails from where I live, but nothing but steep hills and idiot drivers. :/

Margaret said...

That's a LOT of miles on a bike seat. Ouch! The views are spectacular though. Love this PacNW summer weather. We picked blackberries yesterday too. :)

Goofball said...

wow, what an achievement but so beautiful!

Angela said...

My husband and I just moved to Seattle and have been so excited to explore the bike trails. You've inspired me!

Carol said...

Welcome to Seattle, Angela! You'll love the biking here!

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