February 25 2012 Ride: Yes, You Read that Correctly

I was so certain, yesterday, that I wasn’t going to ride today that I actually declared it to be so: “It’s going to rain all day tomorrow, so I won’t be riding.” Witness this weather graphic:

Now, I see that tiny sunshine peeking out from behind the clouds, but do you also see the percentage assigned to the “Drizzle”? Seriously, Seattle. I tire of this. It’s been an entire week of “Drizzle” or “Showers” or “Rain.” There were like… three hours of sunshine on Tuesday, and I was in a meeting for the entire time. Whatever, weather. I see how it is. I’m SO over it. No, I’m not pouting. Shut up!

Anyway, when I actually arose this morning (as opposed to the time when morning begins, which are two vastly different things), though it was overcast… there was no “Drizzle.”

“I’m taking a shower and leaving!” I shouted at everyone. “Don’t hold breakfast for me!’

It turned out that they had already eaten breakfast at least an hour before, so that wasn’t an issue. As I dried my hair, made myself a fried-egg-on-toast (or two) and a banana smoothy, I kept thinking: “this is ridiculous. I should just go. It’s going to rain Any Second, and I’m blending bananas.”

But it didn’t start raining. I mean, the sun didn’t come out and magically turn the South Sound into St. Kitts, but it was dryish. I loaded The Raleigh up onto my rack and drove down to the Cedar River Trail, which I haven’t ridden in ages.

Okay, I haven’t ridden anywhere in ages, but you know what I mean.

Clearly, the trail was popular today. Unfortunately, those guys aren’t actually wearing splendid pink rain jackets, just clear-ish ones over red jerseys. It was sort of disappointing, really.

The thing about the Cedar River Trail is that I take it for granted. We actually lived about two blocks off of it for a year, so it’s my “home trail.” Even now, it’s a less-than-five-minute drive from my house. I sometimes forget how beautiful much of this trail is, particularly the opening stretch. My goodness, but it’s purty.

It’s hard to complain about this. “Oh that… yeah, we got waterfalls. So what?”

“Tree ferns? Yeah, I’m totally not into those. I mean, what’s up with all the green, you know?”

I love the river this time of year. The glacier run-off turns it the color of tumbled sea glass.

Signs of spring were just starting to appear, like these lovely green shoots covering the rather scraggly rose hedge/highway noise barrier.

Their color is so vivid. In fact, all the colors this time of year are starting to look vivid, after months of grey and rain and miserable brown mush. It’s easy to forget why anyone would want to live here when one is consigned to sitting on the couch one weekend after another. Of course, if “one” were, say, My Athletic Man, one would just go backcountry skiing on the same weekend when four people are killed in avalanches and Freak Your Girlfriend Out. So this couch-sitting thing is relative, you know. I won’t get killed doing it (at least, not immediately), but it does wear a bit thin.

The main problem with my ride turned out to indeed be weather-related, but in no way regarding rain. The temperature today was hoving in the high 30’s, which was something of a surprise (I see that snow is in the forecast for tomorrow, dang it). It was cold enough to start my still-clogged sinuses on an epic effort to rid themselves of their contents in as watery a formulation as possible. Though I always carry a small pack of Kleenex in my basket, it wasn’t enough. I stopped literally every half-mile or so to blow at least two cups of watery snot out of my nose before it ran down my face in great rivers. And not rivers the color of tumbled sea glass, either!

Though this was mighty annoying, it was also unavoidable, so I just dealt with it by frequently cursing, which is, I find, a surprisingly satisfying way of dealing with all sorts of things. And by stopping at the bathroom to unroll fifty feet of single-sheet toilet paper from the porta-potty to take with me after I’d exhausted the entire pack of Kleenex by mile three.

First of all, what is that strange blue run-off from the porta-potty? Freaky. Also, I like how vividly-pink-purple the camera bag looks here. The fabric, which is really more of a grape color, is also highly shiny, which I find makes it look much brighter in pictures than it appears in real life. Or maybe it, too, was celebrating spring.

Next to the bathroom is a basketball court, which is normally hopping with muscular young men (and a few not-so-muscular sweaty middle-aged men) playing pick-up ball. For obvious reasons, it was empty today. The highly-reflective surface looks great here, but nothing can really capture how much fun it was to ride around in circles through those puddles. I was tempted to do a puddle-busting “panda” shot, but didn’t. I’m sure I’ll regret that later.

Okay, I regret it Right Now.

I managed a measly 10 miles, which was my original goal. Though the weather held up through the entire ride, I was in constant fear of a downpour. Normally, a little “Drizzle” wouldn’t concern me, but considering the temperature, I really didn’t want to get wet.

The ten mile mark is just after this sign, which I’ve featured before, but which bears a closer look:

Doesn’t he look totally uncomfortable?

I mean, what the heck is he riding? That’s the Bike from Hell, that’s for sure.

The Raleigh and I paused on the way back (okay, about twenty times) to deal with my nose, and took advantage of our stopping point to enjoy the view from the old Cedar River railroad bridge.

The old bridge has a beautiful patina.

From here, the river twists and eventually moves further away from the trail. A short ride down to the area by the gazebo, and I can ride across the river again, from a different vantage point.

So no real complaints, Cedar River Trail. It felt great to get off the couch and get moving, the river is gorgeous this time of year, and there was No Drizzle (90% my butt). And my nasal issues are totally not your fault, Cedar River Trail.

Now, can we talk about that speed limit?

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15 Responses to February 25 2012 Ride: Yes, You Read that Correctly

  1. John h says:

    Two things I feel compelled to comment on. First- whats up with the $101 fine!?… I mean, that seems a little crazy and just an odd amount too. Second- That bike wall sign, is that carved into a brick wall? Thats awesome!!, even if the artist bicycling perspective is a bit off. That thing should out live a picture perfect wood carving or painted sign. =)

  2. Auchen says:

    Hi RBG –
    The sign-guy on the big ol’ bike from Hell might BE uncomfortable, but at least he has a view of the trees directly in front of him…
    I can’t say as much for the view shared by three-out-of-four of those guys passing on their modern bikes.
    Some things I just don’t understand… Like, why does your right pannier keep disappearing and reappearing?

  3. rideblog says:

    John, the $101 fine was implemented after a woman was struck and killed by a cyclist who, admittedly, was going way too fast for a public trail. Why they lowered the speed limit from 15 to 10mph at that point is mostly political, and as for the fine’s odd amount… I’m not sure either. You can just see someone at the city council meeting: “Let’s make it really hurt… how about a $100 fine?” “No! $101!”

  4. rideblog says:

    He he. Auchen, sometimes the bike needs to be more beautiful than others. When I feel like it’s inherent pertiness would suffer from my basket o’goodies, I remove it. Other times I’m lazy and leave it there. The beauty of a pannier basket, as opposed to a regular pannier, I suppose. Though one of those Po Campo bags could stay on and be pretty, I suppose…

    And I never got the pace line thing for that reason, too. And the “holy crap! The guy in front of me just slammed on his brakes!” problem.

  5. DisabledCyclist says:

    Awesome that you got a ride in,my friend,and as always GORGEOUS pics! :D

    It hit 70 degrees here not once,but TWICE this past week,and what was I doing? Everything but what I wanted to be out doing…riding,LOL! What with Nick’s new mini-mountain bike,and Jamie’s new Schwinn (not a “Wal-Schwinn either,LOL,a Sears-Schinn :P),and that I’m soon replacing my still under 500 total mile Origin 8 frame,i SHOULD have been riding,LOL! I’m so glad to have read this post,it brought a big smile (and a chuckle…I have similar snot issues sometimes while riding in the cooler temps….I carry no Kleenix though,just blow lots of snot rockets :P ),TY,my friend :)

    The DC

  6. rideblog says:

    Hey DC, all those new bikes me rides are on order NOW! I have done the occasional snot rocket, but I find that a certain… viscosity is required for them to be successful, and today I would have just sprayed watery snot all over myself. It was that sort of thing.

  7. anniebikes says:

    Thanks for the gorgeous pictures. Riding in 33 F temps. can certainly be bone chilling so I totally understand how difficult it is to get out there. When I lived in Portland, OR I used to be thankful that I wasn’t living in Seattle. I never did pleasure rides in Portland’s winter; it was always commuting to work and back. 10 miles was enough!

  8. Beautiful trail, but seriously, 10mph? Who came up with that, and have they ever been on a bike before? I could see 15 being reasonable for a MUP, absolutely, and it’s terrible that someone was killed, but…10???

  9. DisabledCyclist says:

    LOL,I’ve been there too,my friend! Not pleasant indeed

    The DC

  10. rideblog says:

    Thanks, Annie! Yeah, it snowed today (though just for a few, lovely minutes) but has warmed up now. This afternoon it was actually sunny. Strange Seattle…

  11. rideblog says:

    Princess, I agree that it’s insane. I think it was more political pandering by panicked city leaders who don’t ride bikes, than anything based on logic. I mean, no one’s out there ticketing, either.

  12. adventure! says:

    Two things to note: That bike art is definitely a candidate for Badly Drawn Bikes. I’ve been thinking about doing something with that, so don’t no one steal it, y’hear? (What does everyone think of a flickr group pool?)

    For another example of badly drawn bikes, check out these specimens found on wallpaper somewhere in Minnesota (where Ms. Snarkypup Rideblog is going to build her Raleigh factory):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanadventureleaguepdx/tags/badlydrawnbikes/

    And I’m guessing that the fine is $101 vs. $100 because it brings it into higher category/class of fine with the extra dollar.

  13. rideblog says:

    Yeah, that one’s bad, Shawn, but mine is worse. It’s like the person had never actually seen a bike.

    And that’s a good explanation of the fine. Probably true!

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