Claire Petersky has really been a great influence on my commute, both in figuring out the route, as well as making it kind of fun to document. These photos were taken over three sessions because my Clie’s battery doesn’t hold out that long. Thus, you’ll see cloudy, rainy, sunny all alternating. Do Not Panic.
|Home to Lake Sammamish||Lk Sammamish to Eastgate||Eastgate to Factoria|
|This is my bike, a humble 10+ year old Trek. It’s served me many miles, but I’m going to replace it at the end of the year with a new bike. I’ll still keep it for a “dirty commute” or perhaps my spouse will take an interest in cycling.|
|The commute is full of hills, the first of which is my
My neighborhood has fairly
wide streets, which is nice because I hate weaving around cars as much as
I dislike riding on the sidewalk.
|We have a brisk downhill. If I’m not fully awake by now, the cold wind
rushing by will certainly do the trick. The grade is about 12%, and I easily
hit the mid 30s going down. .
|The next road is rather busy. This section has a lovely shoulder that,
unfortunately disappears. I live on a plateau, and the worst part of my
commute is getting up and down.
|The main roadway has been realigned, leaving a lot of cones, uneven
of water, dangerous
Following this is a rather steep downhill and about two and a half miles
in busy traffic. Sorry, no pictures.
|But at the end of this, we parallel Lake Sammamish State
Park, which has a large chunk of prime condo real estate allocated for
very pretty. However, snapping us out of our reverie is the other side
of the street, paralleling Interstate 90. (And check out those
condos just across the freeway!)
|A short descent leads us to one of four traffic circles in the area.
I’m still not sure how to best approach this, other than trying to act
like a car and take
up the full lane. This does not fool
the school bus, who proceeds to cut me off anyway.
|Now comes the tricky part. I have to find the bike trail
connecting this to eastgate. Oh sure, now I know where it is and do this
but until I knew where to look, it’s really hard to find. (Thanks to Claire
at yahoo.com). Hint #1: It’s behind the school.
connector is pretty cool because it saves me from having to take some really
nasty roads (hilly, busy traffic, no shoulder) to do
the same thing. The climb’s are about 7%. .
The first time I took the trail, I was going the opposite direction —
downhill — at night, before coming to one of these switchbacks.
I am so glad that I had my light on!
|After spiraling up, we’re running parallel to I-90 again. Note the closeness
of the highway traffic. . In a few minutes we will be entering
Bellevue. Too bad I don’t have a radio (not).
|This is the exit of the connector. Note that this side is almost as
hard to find as the original point. Oh sure, you’d
think you couldn’t miss this, but it’s a hidden driveway that, unless
you’re standing right in front of it.
|Our next challenge is The
Scary Tunnel. It’s “scary” because it’s mostly unlit, and, as you
can see in the photo, the “shoulder” is about a foot wide. .
What you don’t see is the shoulder has rain grates in it, thus you don’t
want to ride to the right of the white line. . The good news
at the end of the tunnel
|We wind past a shopping center and patiently wait at the traffic light.
We’re on the other side of the freeway, but looking down at it. Following
this is another lovely downhill, which I won’t take pictures on so I can
enjoy the hill.
|Following this is another lovely downhill, which I won’t take
pictures on so I can enjoy the hill.
|This is the last, busy traffic area we have to contend with. We’re near
Factoria Mall, perhaps the most chaotic area after the plateau. Traffic
exiting I-90 doesn’t typically look for the cyclists trying to cross the
road and join the trail just ahead of us.
(Please go to part two…)