Sunday, May 29, 2005

Bainbridge Island Ride

Another beautiful sunny, and dare I say hot day in the Seattle area. Sandy, Chris (visiting from Chicago), and I met at Francesca's house for a bike ride. We decided to show Chris and Sandy around the area and picked Bainbridge Island for a nice moderate challenging ride - basically we could do the Chilly Hilly course.


So we rode away towards the ferry terminal, but decided to detour by the Ballard Locks. We arrived and walked our bikes in, since riding them isn't allowed on the grounds. Soon we were standing at the fish ladder, which is more like a fish fire hydrant. On one side, incoming water is channeled to a narrow chute, with mesh-like sides, so that some water spills out; on the other, a big tube that suddenly ends in mid-air, shooting salmon out to fall to the water below. After watching and seeing a few salmon blasted out of the end of the tube, we walked out the other side of the locks and continued towards downtown.

Locks Sculpture

Once on Bainbridge Island, Francesca and I discovered neither of us brought a map. Fortunately, the route was marked by paint on the road - so called "Dan Henry's" we could follow. We followed the route (except for two wrong turns a few minutes into the ride) and enjoyed the challenge, but decided not to overdo it and took the shortcut route of 20 miles. Still, the total ride was around 50 miles counting the round trip to/from the ferry terminal.

Seattle from the Ferry

During the ride we passed a woman who was doing the same route... on a unicycle! Her unicycle had a really big wheel, at least compared to a bike wheel. She also had some extension for resting her arms. I rode next to her for a bit and she was moving along at 11 to 12 mph. She said it takes about a week to learn to ride, but three or four years before you are skilled enough to ride the moderate hilly route we were on. I can't imagine having the balance to do hill climbing and descending, on a unicycle. She said she was training for a "Swiss Alps Unicycle Tour" - wow.

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