Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 4--Some Sun, Some Rain, and Some Wind

What else is new?

I thought I might make it through Day 4 of the Festive 500 without getting rained on (it would have been a first). But, more on that later. Today's direction was north-ish, but I started out going west--just to the trail though. I took Chehalis Western to the Woodland Trail and rode it to the end at Woodland Park. I got on Pacific, but turned off at Steilacoom Rd to go down to the Nisqually Valley that way instead of on Pacific. I knew I would come back up Pacific, so I wanted to go a different way down. I, generally, try to avoid out and back as much as possible. Consequently, maps of some of my rides look like dumbbells. When the only way to Tacoma involves a short stretch on the freeway, it is difficult to make it a loop (although, if I wanted more miles, there is a way to do that--it does involve more freeway riding).

So I rode the usual way to Northwest Landing/Dupont and down to Steilacoom on the water. I stopped for a potty break at the little park near the Anderson Island ferry dock, then continued along the water to Chambers Creek canyon. The wind was pushing me along and there were occasional sun breaks (I was foolishly hoping the wind would turn around for the ride back). It was quite pleasant. I came up the canyon and turned left. I rode along Grandview to 27th, and 27th up to Bridgeport/Jackson. As I was riding toward the Narrows Bridge, a car started honking at me from a ways away. Jackson is a four lane road. There is no shoulder, so I take the right lane enough that cars need to change lanes to pass me (none of this try to squeak by me business!). Anyway, I signaled for the car to change lanes and held my position. The old guy in the old car continued to honk at me as he drove around me and proceeded to give me the finger as he continued down the road. I just shook my head and kept going. What an ASS!

I had planned to ride across the Narrows, but it was too windy to be fun, so, instead, I turned onto the path up War Memorial Park. I rode up to the next street and turned left (this is the bike route to 6th St.). Instead of turning right to go to 6th, I went straight across the pedestrian bridge over Hwy 16. I wanted to do the suggested bike route to avoid the overpass, exit, and on-ramp to 16. It goes over the pedestrian bridge, then back down to Jackson on the other side of the overpass. From there, there is a bike lane again (I think it is ridiculous that there is no bike lane on Jackson from 27th to the other side of the overpass--poor planning if you ask me).

I thought of riding all the way to Point Defiance, but that would have been more miles than I wanted. So, I just rode Jackson (turns into 26th N) to 6th and started heading home from there. I rode back to 19th on 6th. As I was getting close to Jackson again, I started looking for a possible side street that would parallel it. I turned on 70th which took me back over to 27th. At Bridgeport and 27th I turned into the bike lane and rode to Cirque Dr. I was thinking of staying on Bridgeport and doing Gravelly Lake, but there was more traffic than I felt like dealing with (I was still pissed at the old geezer who honked at me). I rode Cirque Dr. back over to Grandview, then back the way I had come along the water. I, again, stopped at the park by the ferry for a snack and potty break.

The rest of the ride was just the way I had come, except this time it was raining. Fortunately, the part on the freeway is only 3/4 of a mile. It rained pretty heavy until I came down to the bottom of Old Nisqually in the valley. Then it tapered off to just a little rain. When I got back to Pacific, the sun even came out for a short while! It warmed up my legs that were cold from the rain and wind. Yes, the wind had NOT turned for me, so most of the ride home was in a headwind with occasional crosswinds.

I was thinking of a 50-60 mile ride, but by the time I got home I had gone 68.6 miles. I guess that's just less I have to do to finish this challenge!

Total miles for Day 4--68.6 (110.4km)
Total kilometers remaining of the Festive 500--133 (82.6 miles)

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