Although I love to travel and get out of town as much as possible, I do with all of my heart LOVE Seattle SO MUCH. So when there is a chance to go on a Seattle adventure, I will take it. And this is what went down last Saturday:
All I wanted for my birthday this year was to go on a 50 mile bike ride. And the only way possible would be if it wasn’t POURING rain – which is very hard to predict in the middle of May when one second is pouring, the next is sunny, and then – oh, look, HAIL!
Taylor and I woke up on Saturday, stuffed our faces, and took off. We were planning on cycling the entire Lake Washington Loop which is about 50 miles depending on where you start. Yeah, I can ride a bike, I usually don’t fall or crash into cars, but it HAS happened. I wear my helmet like a good biker person.
We headed east from Capitol Hill and about a mile in I was DYING. The hill was too much for me. “I can do this, I can do this,” I mumbled in my head. Taylor and I are pretty active; we run, we hike, we climb, we play other sports. But neither of has really ever biked more than 10-15 miles in one go.
Eventually it leveled out and we were cruising southbound toward Seward Park. It was a BEAUTIFUL morning. We looped around Renton and took a few wrong turns. We got to Bellevue which was the worst part of the ride thus far because we were on the main roads and had to use the sidewalks a bit. I get really scared of cars. Eventually we made it to the Kirkland waterfront for lunch. We had gone 30 miles and my bootie was SORE. “What are bike shorts?” I had said the day before – highly recommend those for anyone who does this.
We had lunch at The Slip. I ate a burger in about 30 seconds. Post-burger lovin’ we were back on our way and continued toward Bothell. For about six miles there was a slight uphill grade and I was DYING. I was in the lowest gears, felt like I was peddling a million miles an hour, and panted the whole way. I would look to the side and scream at myself thinking how I could run much faster than the pace I was biking. Taylor was nice and would stop for me every now and then and let me catch up.
We stopped when the terrain leveled out and found a coffee stand in a parking lot. I chugged a cold brew while rethinking my life and how biking was a very humbling experience.
We were back at it. And then the magic happened!!! There was a MAJOR downhill part and I was flying for about four miles. It was beauty. Tears of joy streamed down my face because I didn’t have to put in one ounce of effort. Now that is my type of exercise. Once we hit Bothell we veered left and continued on the Burke-Gilman Trail for the remainder of the ride. It was nice to be on a bike path and it was finally completely FLAT.
That last little stretch was a treat. We were just biking at a nice leisurely pace while middle-aged men passed us by the minute. “I’m just enjoying the view – I’m in NO RUSH.” By the time we entered Seattle we were craving some IPA’s so stopped a bit north of UW and got a cold drink at a cute little cafe called Saint Helens. I could barely walk. We enjoyed our beers on the patio soaking in the last of the sunshine. About thirty minutes in it started drizzling and we were just a couple miles from the UW station where we would throw our bikes in and head back to Cap Hill.
The experience TRULY was humbling. I have a new respect for people who cycle often and feel that I was definitely not in biker shape. But I HIGHLY recommend this loop to anyone who needs a nice little weekend adventure.