For planning on a century ride, I sure didn't get a very early start! I pulled out of my driveway at 9:45. But, hey, the weather was nice and the days are getting longer--plenty of time!
I wasn't really sure where I wanted to go, but with such sunny (if not a little chilly) weather, I thought a ride along the water might be nice. So I headed north. I rode down to Steilacoom and along the water to Chambers Canyon. Up Chambers Canyon and a right turn at the stop sign. As I was riding along, through a multitude of roundabouts, I noticed what looked like a bike path to my left. At the next roundabout I headed over to it. I had no idea where it went or what it was called, but I thought, why not? I got to a trail head parking lot. The map wasn't that easy to understand, but it looked like it headed in the direction I wanted to go--or so I thought. I continued on. Pretty soon, I was doing a series of steep downhill switchbacks. At the bottom, the trail went back the direction I had come. I thought, uh oh, I bet I'm going to have to go back up. Sure enough, I was just doing a big loop (called the Soundview Trail) and I had to go back up to get back to the road. At least that explained why I didn't see any other cyclists (lots of walkers though). No one who knows this trail would be stupid enough to ride a bike on it!
After I returned to where I had started this folly, I got back on the road. I rode Grandview to 27th. But, instead of turning onto 27th (didn't want to go up the hill) I continued on Grandview. When I got to 19th, the end of Grandview, my choice was to go up an even steeper hill! Well CRAP! I went up as far as the next street, then cut back over to 27th which was not as steep. By this time I was getting pretty hungry. I figured there had to be a Subway somewhere close by. Sure enough, as I came to the intersection of 27th and Bridgeport Way, there was a Subway! While I was eating my lunch, I contemplated where I wanted to go next. I mapped riding across the Narrows Bridge to Gig Harbor. It was only 7.3 miles. Perhaps I would ride to the Gig Harbor Old Town Bicycle store. Jason, the previous manager at the Olympia store, is at the Gig Harbor store so I thought I would stop in and say hi.
After going across the bridge, I got on the Cushman Trail. I've ridden it before on the Rapsody Ride. However, now they have finished Phase 2. So I rode that too. Phase 2 could possibly be the hilliest trail I have ever been on! Multiple 8% grades and a couple of 10% suckers as well! Then, the trail ended. I looked at Google Maps. Turns out I had ridden right past Old Town. I was so busy watching for Cushman Trail signs, I completely missed it. That meant I had to go back up and down the hilly Phase 2 part of the Cushman Trail.
I made it back to Old Town and surprised Jason. He was impressed I had ridden there from home. I told him I really wanted a 100 miles and when I turned around at the end of the Cushman Trail I was only at 43 miles. Jason suggested going to Point Defiance and doing the 5 mile loop. That would give me 100 miles. So, back across the bridge I went and then to Point Defiance. The 5 mile loop is definitely an up and down affair! There are lots of great viewpoints along the way though, so I didn't mind. At the end of the loop I had to (of course) go back up the hill on Pearl.
I turned on 6th to head back to Bridgeport Way. I wasn't going to go back down to the water, but instead, stay on Bridgeport to Gravelly Lake. Then, I did the hop-on-hop-off-the-freeway route back to Mounts Rd. It was great riding on the freeway going FASTER than the traffic! Poetic actually! BUT...it was still not going to be 100 miles! When I got back into Lacey, I took the Woodland Trail to Chehalis Western instead of going the back way through the neighborhoods. As I turned into my driveway, my odometer clicked over to 100.1 miles. WOO HOO!!! I did it! I got home at 7:30. Would have been earlier if I had actually started earlier!
It seemed like every hill I went down today, I had to go back up. Average speed was pretty low at 13.8, but not too bad considering the hills...I guess.