Wednesday, March 31, 2010

30 miler

On Saturday, Sean and I took our longest bike ride to date: 30 miles. It was the first rain-free day we'd had in a week. And, if we are EVER going to pull off the Seattle to Portland ride, we need to start building mileage soon.

So we set out on the fabulous Burke-Gilman Trail, starting from Matthews Beach a couple of miles from home (we drove there - no need to be overachievers, after all), rode north around Lake Washington to the Sammamish River Trail and headed south along the river to almost Redmond before turning around.

We did pretty well, even if we were a little slow. And, of course, there were learning experiences to be had. Namely, bring snacks! I am usually pretty snack driven but didn't even think about on Saturday. Needless to say, we were famished by the end of the ride.

One of the best things about riding - other than being outside in the fresh air and getting a good workout, of course - is the people watching. Here's what I learned from the people and pets on the ride:
  • There is a bike for everyone. We saw lots of recumbent riders, including one guy who rode with what looked like a grill cover draped over him and his bike, leaving only his head sticking out. I am not sure why. It's not like it was cold or raining. Curious...
  • Tandem bikes seem to be quite popular among a certain type of couple... generally the ones who enjoy dressing identically and look so much alike they could be twins. If we were in the south, I might wonder, but that's generally not been something I've noticed in the Pacific Northwest. A note to the middle-aged, overweight couple riding the tandem bike. Lady, it looked like you were steering your part of the bike with your guy's love handles. You might want to consider two bikes.
  • Performance wear comes in a wider selection of sizes than I ever imagined. As a note, if you aren't actually a professional bike-rider, consider buying one size up. Otherwise, you just look like an over-stuffed sausage. And wearing fancy head-to-toe Lycra, an aerodynamic helmet and special clip-on bike shoes does not hide the fact that you are 50 pounds overweight and sweating profusely. You aren't kidding anyone, man.
  • Some kids love the little bike trailers and dig riding with their parents. Some kids absolutely do not like the little trailers and will even try to jump out of said trailer while it and the parent pulling it are zooming downhill.
  • Performance bike jerseys with lots of corporate logos seem to be code for asshole riding a bike. Seriously, jerks, this is the Burke-Gilman, not the Tour de France. You have to share the trail with me and the little kids riding their bikes and the old people walking their scraggly dogs. Deal with it.
  • Basset hounds wearing pink tutus look just as ridiculous as you might imagine.
Overall, a great day. Can't wait to get back out!


Alton said...

People watching is always fun. I don't care what they say about never forgetting how to ride a bike, but that's a lie. A few years back I did some work on Cameron's bike, and rode it down the hill and back. I tell you, that is a hard task when you haven't been on a bike for over a decade.

Sean said...

32.5 miles actually....

Thanks hon, it's great riding with you.

Billy said...

Let's all pitch in and get Alton a bike for Christmas - i know he'd love it and, in his own way, thank us in a few years. Alton, aren't you glad i have all this free time now and can give you all these helpful comments that heretofore i have so woefully neglected?

Staishy Bostick Siem said...

Yeah, Alton - you would love a bike. :) Although, I bet you won't get a better deal than our $20 craigslist finds.

It gets easier. Trust me. I hadn't been on a bike in probably 15 years before we got ours. And even then, I was only allowed to ride back and forth on our street so wasn't building distance there.

And there are gadgets... They make it extra fun.