#30daysofbiking: Wrap-up and Tulips!

My final ride for the 30 Days of Biking challenge turned out to be a lovely group ride through the Skagit Valley. We decided to (mostly) follow the Skagit Flats and Tulip Fields route. This was the longest ride I’ve been on to date (35 miles).

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Some things we learned:

Do this route backwards so that you can see the tulips first.

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This route is super lovely and flat. We had somewhat of a late start (12:30) and because of dogs-riding-in-trailer issues we were SLOW at first. This meant that we didn’t get into La Conner –24 miles in — until almost 5pm. We barely made it to Roozengaarde before they closed at 7pm and did not get to see Tulip Town at all.

Bikes + brews are always a good combo!

We started the ride with lunch at Skagit River Brewery, and apparentley I knew how hungry I was going to get becuase I devoured an entire chicken sandwish and a plate of fries in about 10 minutues. 24 miles in we stopped at La Conner Brewing Company and enjoyed some brews and food on their patio (dogs included!). I suppose you don’t always have to stop at brewerys, but there’s something about biking make miles that makes me crave a good, cold beer.

In general, stopping and exploring your surroundings is what makes cycling so fun for me. Try not to get too wrapped up in time and speed. Enjoy the world around you in a way that is just impossible from a vechicle.

Sometimes when you think your dog should like something, he just won’t.  

The first picture is about 17 miles in, when we finally figured out how to keep them from jumping out. It’s called a VERY SHORT leash. They look happy now, but Collins (in black) never stopped barking while in motion. We test rode them around Seattle, about 4 miles total with lots of breaks, and they seemed to be fine. However, they were not ready to go 35 miles. I’m glad they look happy in the above photos though.

Tulips are pretty 🙂 

 …And helmets are cool.

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Total Miles for April: 200.5!

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On Returning to Winter

Well, actually, not returning. When we left Seattle it was still fall (just look at my last post!). Two weeks in Belize doesn’t exactly prepare you for freezing temperatures… yet here they are. Before returning, I was exciting about layering clothing and wearing something other than a swimsuit. But now that I’m here I’m afraid that I forgot how to ride in this crazy traffic and up these ridiculous hills.

Which is why, starting tomorrow …

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From LaneChange.me:

Take The Winter B-icicle Challenge!

As winter settles in across all Northern Hemisphere nations, and the cold wind blows, it’s tempting to put your bike away for hibernation. But as of December 1, we’re asking you to keep on pedalling through all three winter months.

Why are we doing it?

To see if we can put our money where our mouth is in regards to living a greener life, and not just when weather permits

A good time to reflect about those people without homes during winter

We love riding our bikes and don’t want to go three months without it

We hate traffic jams!

Rules. We will ride to work or school everyday unless:

The road is so icy we’ll most probably break our necks

We have a meeting or activity that is more than an hour bike ride away

We’re so sick with the flu we can’t even be bothered to watch The Wire

So, if you are up for the challenge sign up on Facebook!

Oh, and I’ll be giving you a break from winter and posting up Belize pics soon. Please forgive the poor quality of my iPhone camera.

Group Ride: GasWorks to Ballard Locks

A few Sunday’s back J and I got together with my brother, his girlfriend, and a new friend who just moved to Seattle from Kentucky. It started out as a nice sunny fall day.

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My favorite part about meeting Dino was finding out that she also rides a Lotus! I’ve never seen another Lotus in person, so that was quite exciting. I think she said that she bought her’s on eBay and that it came from Portland. I also hardly see any road bikes in my baby 49cm size. Here’s a pic of my Stella and Dino’s Lotus locked up together: 

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We were hungry, so we took a short ride down the Burke-Gilman to Brouwer’s in Fremont. We enjoyed the beers and the lack-luster service on the patio for probably 2 hours. From there we rode to the Ballard Locks. For almost ten years now I’ve been wanting to see the salmon running through the locks, so I was hopeful that today was going to be my lucky day.

Unfortunately, we were caught in a downpour! By the time we got to the locks we were soaked. But, hey, this is Seattle. We took for shelter in the fish ladder viewing room and got to see four salmon! Not really the excitement I was hoping for, but still sweet. By this time, we realized that the rain wasn’t going to let up so we decided to make a mad dash to the closest bar.

On the way out we got to see two little harbor seals! It was raining too hard to think about my camera, so I don’t have any pics of the wildlife. I do, however, have a photo of our wet bikes locked up outside The Sloop Tavern

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There we enjoyed BIG glasses of Rainier, some fried food, and some laughs as we waited out the rain. (Those mugs look like pitchers, but they were individual glasses!)

Darkness began to fall, and with it the rain subsided. Our ride back to GasWorks was all along the Burke-Gilman and pretty deserted because of the downpour, so we decided to enjoy some of the Hale’s Ales Super Goose IPA that I had filled my growler with earlier. 

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Even with the rain, we all had a great time. Most of my riding is done alone, to and from work, so I was escatic to be part of this bike gang!

Tour de Flannel is Oct 2!!

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Beer + Bikes + Flannel. What could be better? I’m totally doing this. 

The 3rd annual Tour de Flannel starts at GasWorks park on Oct 2 at 10:30am. From there the group will make their way along the Burke-Gilman trail to Redhook Brewery in Woodinville. I’ve been wanting to do this ride all summer, but the Burke-Gilman closure had thwarted our plans. Let’s hope its opened back up in October. 

Details and RSVP here