Accidental riding

I wasn’t planning to do much riding today, what with teaching and all (especially after I decided to fill in and dance the prince’s variation in rehearsal–always warm up properly before jumping, kids. Whoops.)

But despite my I’ll-regret-that-later poor decision making while teaching, I was still feeling like my commute wasn’t long enough (said no one ever driving to/from work). So, thinking ahead to catching the ferry to Vashon to ride there some day, I got off the Bainbridge ferry and decided to bike to the Fauntleroy ferry dock via Alki. I’d never done this before, so I thought it would be fun, and a good opportunity to scope things out. Looking briefly at a map, it just seemed like a few miles, and nice and flat along the water.

The second of those statements was correct–great views, easy riding, but it was more like 13 miles one-way… I ended up biking over 35 miles on the day, not bad for a day I figured I wouldn’t ride much!

And really, how had I not biked this route before?!? It was so much fun rolling along on the edge of the water–from ferry to ferry, you get to see all aspects of Seattle. There’s gritty industrial (big machines! trains! cool stuff!), nature views, wacky people watching, different sorts of residential neighborhoods, parks, business districts, you get the idea. Or, if you’ve gone through there, you already had the idea. Anyway. But today did move the plan to bike around on Vashon up my priority list.

Ok, not that exciting of a view, but proof that I was there...

Ok, not that exciting of a view, but proof that I was there…

(Bike obsession TMI alert–I was riding on my single speed bike today. Though a single-speed can definitely make some things more difficult–any slope above 5 or 6% gets to be quite the core and arm workout, whew!–I kinda really like riding it when I’m tired. On my geared bikes, I’m always shifting up or down to try to stay in an optimal gear to keep my effort consistent, or thinking about how I ought to be shifting, or whether I should stay in a harder gear and stand up to climb, or would do better to go to an easier gear to sit and spin up a hill. There’s none of that with a single-speed–99% of the time you can put your mind at ease, secure and confident in the knowledge that you are in the wrong gear. It takes a lot less mental energy, and since my single-speed is a little undergeared for the flats, to preserve a slight hope of making it up hills, it also makes me take it easy a bit on the flats–no shifting up to go faster (and work harder). There were a couple exciting moments where I wasn’t sure whether I’d clear a hill, or slow to a halt and topple over sideways before I could clip out of my pedals, but overall, it made for a very relaxing day on the bike. Though had my route been less flat, I would be singing a different tune…)

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