As my sit bones have healed up and I find myself able to ride again, I`m finally able to explore the area by bike! I have a Physical Therapy Clinic & Crossfit gym called Experience Momentum to thank for that… One hour was all it took to fix my bike, temporarily fix me through muscle release, and plan a long term solution for me to ride happily, and pain free. For the first time in months I got a 30 miler in, and felt very little discomfort (What discomfort I did feel was my fault) . I`ll be honest, that in itself was a boon during these ridiculous times. Before the world closed, I picked up a camera strap for my shoulder – one that I could wear while riding with the main intent of shooting action shots of friends, and making it more ergonomic to stop and take pictures without having to unpack. It seems the stars are finally aligning.
Without a doubt, my intention wasn’t to ride hard or far. I just wanted to get out and take pictures; so naturally the opposite happened and I pushed it. As I headed westbound over the 520 floating bridge, I was in my version of heaven. Cruising along across a blue lake with snow capped peaks visible miles away in the distance, not a cloud in the sky, and what I consider to be perfect riding temps (low 50s). The cherry on top was the gargantuan silhouette of Mount Rainier visible off in the distance like some kind of sleeping titan. My idea of heaven. The 520 bridge spits you out right in the town of Kirkland – where the first COVID-19 cases proliferated. Riding through, you`d be hard pressed to see anything out of the ordinary for a Thursday afternoon. Couples walked in the parks, small groups of friends played or hung out by the water, and elderly couples strolled down the sidewalks arm in arm. It was beautiful – it also felt wrong. I understand the need for human interaction as much as the next person (albeit I am more introverted than most) but what was happening here was an insult to the masses that are tirelessly fighting the spread and severity of this virus. I could not get through Kirkland fast enough.
The cool part was that while the majority of that town was on a slight uphill, the decent as I headed north was an absolute blast! The crowded buildings gave way to quiet suburbs and tall evergreen trees. At the edge of these neighborhoods was a state park where the road started to wind upward again. Bathed in sunlight diffused by the tall trees above me, I couldn’t help but wear a goofy smile. This is what I have been missing. I had taken some trips around the lake before, but I had never come far enough to connect the mental maps. Well, yesterday I did! Before I knew it I was on familiar roads. Better yet, there was a bike trail for me to get on. The only downside to this particular trail is that riding over 10 mph on it feels like you are driving through the time worn streets of Detroit. For someone that has been dealing with sit-bone pain, that was nerve wracking.
I finally got off it, eventually. Happiest part of my ride. Now remember when I said my intention for this ride was to chill and take pictures? That meant I brought ZERO food or electrolytes. Surprisingly, I didn’t bonk, but I could feel myself growing a little too frustrated with the bumps on the trail. Oh. And good lord did I have to pee. But being only a few miles from home, I pushed it and got off the war torn streets of the Burke Gilman trail (which was insanely packed). One more hurdle.
Leaving my place via bike is always fun – its a straight shot downhill. Coming back…? You get it. When you’re hungry and irritated the last thing you want to deal with are these behemoths they call “hills” here, but I had to get home. I admit, I stopped and rested more times than I would normally- but hey, I`m human and I made it. All in all, what a wonderful ride!
As a city, we are still practicing social distancing. But we have grown lax. With how quickly people are starting to congregate, I worry that we`ll be responsible for a second wave of COVID-19 right after the East Coast starves it out. So for myself in the meantime, we`re gonna focus on indoor trainer rides. Everyone has a part to play in this. #flattenthecurve
I hope everyone is staying safe and happy! I`ll be posting a video breakdown of my cassette and fee-hub soon for cleaning – Stay tuned!