I met Francesca and Rod this morning, for another great-weather bike ride. Today's goal was to ride around Lake Washington. However, the plan changed partway through, and we also encompassed Lake Sammamish! Total distance was 74.8 miles, in 4 hours 56 minutes.
(Click to see a larger version of the route; file is 1.5 MB)
NOTE: the first 5 miles really aren't that hilly (if you look at the elevation profile). On the TOPO map, it is hard to see where the Burke-Gilman trail runs, so I guesstimated... and crossed some hills by accident.
Everything started off well. I felt good climbing the hill around mile 16, but by the time we took a break at Marymoor Park, around mile 25, I started to wear down. From that point on, I had a tough time keeping up with Francesca and Rod... however we did regroup often. I was pretty beat by the time we got to Seward Park, around mile 45. I suspect I wasn't eating enough while on the bike, which would partly explain why I was dragging along.
We got separated along Lake Washington Boulevard near I-90, and at the top of a small hill climb I had a choice between going straight, or taking a left and climbing more to the top of I-90. I wasn't sure which way they went, because I didn't see them in either direction. I decided to go straight, and right after passing under I-90 my phone started to ring. I thought it might be them calling to tell me I went the wrong way ;) but instead it was my Mom. I listened to the message and then continued on to Leschi, where I stopped at the Starbucks for a mocha.
By this time, I was pretty ragged, so taking a break felt really good. I hadn't seen Francesca and Rod for 10 or 15 minutes, and figured they had indeed taken the other route. That was OK, because I needed a short break and something to drink. So while I was staring off into space, thinking about whether I felt more like an anchor or a "stone of woe", they came cycling back. I felt kinda bad - they were looking for me to make sure I wasn't passed out on the side of the street, or having mechanical problems, and here I was sipping my cafe mocha and munching on a clif bar!
My lower back was aching and Francesca pulled out some aspirin from her bag. I made a mental note to carry stuff like that with me next time. After a few more minutes or stretching, we got back on our bikes and pedaled the remaining miles back to Francesca's house.
Once there, I ate a banana, drank my recover drink, and felt a lot better. This was my longest and toughest bike ride so far, and it felt good to finish!