Thursday, July 29, 2010

Long Way to Work

Earlier riser I am not. This morning however, I was up at 5:00 AM - stupid early for me - partly due to a stiff neck. I couldn't get comfortable, so just gave up and hit the shower. I'm also pretty busy at work and thought I'd get in early for a change. After a slow breakfast and change into bike duds, I was out the door at 6:00 AM or so. Really early for me. Weather was overcast and 56 degrees. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest.

Rolling along to work, kind of tired at first - this being day 6 of riding without a break - I loosened up and felt better. No rush today and I just cruised at a slow 15 mph pace with no effort at all. The Burke-Gilman Trail was less crowded then usual, but still the occasional bike commuter, jogger, or dog walker to keep me company. No pushing it all for this commute, speeds low and sightseeing high. The overcast conditions making Lake Washington look more dramatic. I could hear bald eagles in the trees, their call is unlike any other bird. Bike commuting on the Burke-Gilman, you can't ask for a much better set up. Trust me on that.

When I hit my usual trail exit that dumps me onto Seattle streets, I elected to stay on the trail and continue towards Fremont, a funky - though becoming more developed - part of Seattle. Plan to arrive at work early now canceled. Plan now to use the extra morning time for a longer ride. Yeah, that's the ticket.

I roll through Fremont along Lake Union, go under the Fremont Bridge and continue on the bike path for awhile longer - thinking I'm damn lucky to live here. Seattle is an awesome place to be a cyclist. After a bit, I turn around back through Fremont and over the bridge into downtown Seattle - a different route then I usually take. Nice change of scenery.

Even after my scenic detour, I still get to work a few minutes early and clock a 20+ mile commute. Sweet. A killer way to start the day. I'll have to take the longer route more often. It's worth getting up early for, even with a stiff neck.

Ride on.


  1. I would give a right nut for 56 degrees right now since we have have been in the 100s. It is like making an adventure sometimes by taking a different route.

    Stiff neck thing must be going around...

  2. Yeah, we have some wet winters - but Seattle area summers more then make up for it. 50s at night, 70s during the day, no rain, no humidity, no bugs, puffy white clouds, snow capped mountains. Weeks of this.

    It occasionally gets hot and maybe gets into the 90s, but even then - nothing like the east coast fun. I know that all too well after growing up in New Jersey. Eastern Washington does get hot, totally different weather then Seattle. We're close to water and smack dab in-between two major mountain ranges.

    On top of that, loads of people ride here. Mountain bike, commuters, racers, recreational types - the full deal. Add in some cool bike paths to get around and amazing mountain biking close by. Yeah, we're pretty lucky here in the Pacific Northwest.

  3. Oh yeah - the stiff neck thing sucks. Pretty common. Mine is 99% gone, hope yours is on the way out also.

  4. hmmm interesting, I deal with the "stiff neck" too. I think sometimes all the hours on the bike and lifting your head up in an aero position is part of the blame. I've learned to let the eyeballs to more of the work and let the head hang lower.
    Good job on the early ride.

  5. I'd bet the riding position may have an effect - but wacky enough, riding seems to help my back and neck. I do have my bikes set up race style, like most, with the 'bars a bit below seat level. I'm used to it after a few zillion years now, but I'd bet raising 'em a bit probably wouldn't hurt (Ha, get it?).

    I actually tweaked my neck out the other night throwing a baseball around with my son, so been a little screwed up since then. Since I do nothing but ride, my excuse for a body is pretty lame for doing anything else.