Friday, September 9, 2016

Change of Scenery ride

I really love the views I get riding the Alki bike path but after doing 6 rides in a row on that route it was time for a change in scenery.  Whereas Alki offers scenic beauty in bunches the new path I choose is, shall we say, a bit more gritty.

new section of trail completed 2015

The Duwamish river trail follows what is a "working" river south of downtown Seattle and a fairly industrial area.  I passed warehouses, light industrial, chemical plants, concrete factories etc.  Quite a departure from the mountain and sound views I was used to but its good to change things up a bit.

A working river
At one stage of my adult bike riding nearly every ride was a group ride and involved loading my bike on the car rack and driving someplace to meet up and ride.  One day a neighbor, and fellow cyclist, saw me unloading my bike from the car and commented "your driving someplace to ride your bike?".  A simple comment but it resonated with me and I started to seek out local rides that didn't involve me driving somewhere.  I noticed in looking at my Seattle bike map that I had a number of bike paths in my area; Alki, Duwamish, Green River, Interurban etc. but they didn't really connect.  In fact it took me three tries before I could find a way to connect the end of the Duwamish trail and the start of the Green River trail.  I could see on that map it wasn't far maybe a mile and half but until I realized I had to jump onto to a sidewalk to go a short distance the wrong way on a one way street, thread through some sketchy neighborhoods and ride a frontage road I had never connected them.  Once I figured it out I had access to literally miles of paths.

a prettier section of the Duwamish
 So in order to keep my riding going I took my bike to the start of the Duwamish trail to get some riding in before sunset.  I had forgotten that dusk could come on so fast in September and I didn't think to check my tail light until I was on the ride to realize it had been too long since it had interfaced with a USB port and it was dead.  I was ok, however, and finished a 19 km out and back ride before the sun totally went down.  I was also able to do the ride without a "breather" stop this time, in part because I didn't want to burn daylight and in part because I felt strong enough to do it in one go which was a pleasant surprise.  Also in the section I was riding there was no place I really wanted to stop and hang out.

bike pedestrian bridge
I was able to make it to the start of the Green River trail which in the future I can use to create some longer rides.  Although the trail I rode is mostly warehouses, train tracks, and gritty urban landscapes, I did get some glances of the river and there are some nice art pieces here and there.
Boat sculpture 
I got off to a late start this summer with riding but I realize that weather won't be as much of a challenge to continued riding as daylight.  We usually have nice falls here in the northwest into mid to late October but the days are getting shorter so I might need to start taking a bike to work with me if I want to get in a mid week ride before darkness falls.

Riding, Smiling and Repeating.


  1. What is your schedule for lunchtime?? I know that as winter arrives I make time at lunch for a ride. I keep a bike in my office and can zoom out for about a 50 minute ride. Even if it is cold and windy as long as it is not icy or snow packed I can put up with almost anything for 50 minutes

    1. Hmm good suggestion Jim there is actually a bike path right next to my building too.

  2. Interesting the comment on "adult bike riding." Kids know all the "back roads to far places," as Ferlinghetti put it. But "down they forgot as up they grew," as e. e. cummings responded, sort of. It's great to rediscover those urban alley-like trails.

    1. You definitely find short cuts and alternate routes on bikes, I think in part because you are moving at a speed that allows you notice them.