Monday, April 15, 2013

Sammamish River Trail Ride

When I was younger and cycling all the time, I frequented the Sammamish River Trail ride.  If I remember correctly, it was about 9 miles to from start to finish leaving from Marymoor Park in Redmond to the trail end in Woodinville, WA.  It was a nice ride, 18 miles out and back following the Sammamish River through the valley, passing the Chateau St. Michelle Winery.  If you wanted to ride further, you could head west/north west and find the Burke-Gilman Trail that takes you from Bothell, WA, around the north end of Lake Washington to the University of Washingon and beyond.  I would either ride from Marymoor out and back whatever distance I chose, or on occasion, I would ride from my house in Bellevue to Marymoor, catch the trail and ride around the north end of the lake, crossing Lake Washington on the Interstate 90 floating bridge and back home.  Nowadays, I believe the Sammamish River Trail and Burke-Gilman trail are connected  so you can stay on the trail all the way to the end of the Burke-Gilman near Gasworks Park in Seattle.  The Sammamish River Trail has been fixed so that you no longer have to cross any streets like you did when I used to ride it in my youth.

Yesterday was a glorious day, so I thought I would take a break from taxes and go for a ride.  I will be doing my ride for The Tour de Cure (raising money for diabetes) in a little less than a month on the Sammamish River Trail, so I though it would be good to see the ride.  I did not go the whole distance, but did get in a nice ride.  I rode the Globe 3, which performed well, though I need to adjust the rear derailleur a little bit I thinks.

Bridge Crossing

The trail now connects to other trails along the route.  They have even added some new trail bridges.

Bridge to another riding/walking trail.

I took a leisurely pace.  This was in part because I am out of shape, also because I just wanted to do a nice leisurely ride to take my mind off of things and enjoy myself.  I found myself passing the 60 Acres soccer fields and stopped to take a look.  I saw some people flying model airplanes at the field as it is no soccer season.  I owned an R/C model airplane business for about four years and I used to fly on occasion at this field.

60 Acres

I turned around a little short of the 5 mile mark, so I did not go for a long ride.

I stopped for a drink and turned back here.

On my way back, I was being followed by another rider who who was staying at my pace.  It was fine, but everyone passing me kept saying, "look at that dog".  I scooted on a little bit ahead and stopped to get a peak and a picture.  This gentleman has converted a plastic bike trailer into a sidecar and instead of a child, his dog was riding along.  He passed before I could get my camera ready, so the only shot I got was from behind.

Dog in a side car!!

The train trestle in the above picture is also being converted into a trail.  I remember riding under a moving train in the past.

Now there is a Subway in the park, so you can get a sandwich after your ride!  We were planning a spaghetti dinner, so I did not partake.  I did not want to ruin my appetite!  It was a fun ride.  I also used the Strava Cycling app to track my ride.  Came out pretty close to my computer info, so I will have to continue to use it.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Craigs List Find

My son is off to school at Montana Tech.  One of the reasons he wanted to go to that school is because of the proximity to the great outdoors.  Skiing, biking, rifle shooting, etc.  Yes, they even let them bring rifles to school, provided they are locked up at a secure facility in the dorm and not kept in their rooms.  Ok, getting a little off track.  Anyway, he brought his Trek mountain bike to school with him.  Despite locking it securely, someone managed to cut the lock and steal his bike.  He is still off at school, but my wife got a great deal on a Novara (REI) Brand mountain bike off of Craig's list.  Only $150 for a bike that was only ridden a few times (and it looks it) and is worth considerably more.  It is by no means a high end bike, but it has decent components.  He can ride it over the summer and if he wants to take it to school with him, it only cost $150 if it gets stolen.  The guy even threw in a bike helmet since he didn't need it.  Got the bike for his wife, who got pregnant and stopped riding after only a few ride, and now has to move for a job, so we got lucky.  I may have to try it out for a while. ;)

Park Repair Stand

Today we went to REI, one of my favorite places for outdoor gear, and I got a slightly belated birthday gift, a Park PCS-10 Home Mechanic Repair Stand.  I had an old Park repair stand I sold a while back since I was not using it much at all and it could not fit the odd size tubes on my son's bikes at the time.  On top of that, it was not so easy to store.

Here is a picture of the old Park stand
 I took for the Craigslist add.
The new one is really cool.  Not only can it handle bigger tubes, the way it works is better, and best of all, it folds up for easy storage.

And I tried it out on a bike.  It works great!