Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Long Way to go for Lights

As I headed out the door this morning, Nolan said, "I thought you were going to get lights for the tree today." I told him I was. I just didn't tell him which way I was going.

It was pretty chilly this morning. The ducks were walking on top of the golf course water hazard. I just added a couple more layers. Two long sleeve wool shirts with a long sleeve heavy weight jersey and hi-vis jacket. Long padded tights with warm/windproof pants over the top. Two pairs of socks under neoprene booties, a wool buff and a wool bandana. Topped it off with a pair of lobster claw gloves. Bring on the cold!

By the time I got about 5 miles down the road I had to stop and take off the long sleeve jersey. I was cooking and I hadn't even had to go up any hills yet!

I headed north on Pacific toward I-5. At Mounts Rd. I hopped on I-5 for the obligatory 3/4 mile to the Center Drive exit. At Dupont (Northwest Landing) it was noon, but I didn't want lunch yet (I was on a quest to eat at a different Subway). However, I did stop and have a hot chocolate at Starbucks.

I continued on Center Dr. to Dupont/Steilacoom Rd. I headed toward Steilacoom. Although it was gloomy overcast weather, two kitted-out road cyclists blew past me. I'm sure they were toasty warm just from their effort. They continued on toward Steilacoom. I turned on the newly paved North Gate Rd. I like the ride to Steilacoom, but it is really a bunch of gratuitous hills. As I was riding the now nice and smooth N. Gate Rd., I was remembering how on the Rapsody ride a few years ago William (guy I met on the ride) and I were drafting off this kid who was going 25 and 26 mph along this road. I thought to myself, "I wonder how fast we could go now?"

When I got to Edgewood Dr., I continued straight for my only section of road I haven't been on. I thought I'd see how long I could stay off of Washington Blvd. Turns out I was able to avoid it completely. I ended up on Veteran's Dr. which took me to Gravelly Lake Blvd.

Of course, from Gravelly Lake, it's back on the freeway. Actually, it is the section I refer to as "The on and off freeway section". I get on the freeway at Gravelly Lake, then off at Thorn Lane to ride parallel on Union Ave. I was thinking I had seen a Subway on Union. Sure enough! It's kind of in the "Military District"--surrounded by Military Loan places and Military Surplus stores (just as an aside--I thought I'd maybe see if the Foxhole Surplus store had some camo bike clothes for when I want to go as "Super Stealth Biker Woman"...can you say, "Camo-chamois"?). In Subway, a couple jokingly asked me if I was out for a century. I think they were surprised when I said no, I was only out for about 1/2 a century. They said they were fair-weather cyclists.

After Subway, I was back on the freeway at Berkeley St. From Berkeley, it is the longest stretch on the freeway to get past the JBLM. Then I can get off at Dupont/Steilacoom and, again, ride parallel until Center Dr. for the last section on the freeway to Mounts Rd.

As I was riding along Old Pacific, I saw this flock of geese. I guess, instead of "Six Geese-a-laying", it was "Multiple Geese-a-waddling".

Since I had told Nolan I would get lights for the tree, I came back into town on the Woodland Trail to Chehalis Western and then to Lowes for the lights. I just wheeled Betsy right into the store. After all, she's not any bigger than a cart!

So, it was a long way to go for Christmas lights, but not a bad ride for a cold December 10th.

Total miles: 47
Total feet of lights: 48.9

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