Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Cycling

Christmas is a perfect day for a ride. Why? Because there is no traffic! :)
Seattle streets all to myself. Well, me and a few other bikers and walkers. Lovely day for a ride too. Sunny and crisp.

Not much to tell. I'm slow. I took a few pics. Yeah, that about covers it. Went out to eat then home to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special and open our presents. Good stuff.
Republican Street
Dexter Ave.
Lake Union
Fremont Bridge
Lake Union

Monday, December 16, 2013

Seattle cycling - In search of color

Martha over at Wisconsinland put out the challenge to find some winter color. I think I first read about it on Trobairitz' Tablet so I figured I'd add a link to both. And while finding color wasn't the main purpose of my ride, it was a good excuse to keep my eyes peeled for a little bit of brightness in the day. I have to say that while fall is my favorite season (and technically it's still fall) the landscape now looks more like winter. But I like it. In it's own soft, subtle way it's beautiful. Serene. The land at rest.

Overlooking Lake Union. and I-5. Even the cars aren't colorful.
My ride took me up the big ramp behind SCCA. I don't have a photo of it, but it looks like a long steep climb to the top. It starts at Eastlake Avenue and heads up up up and over the freeway to the hillside neighborhood above. I've seen a lot of commuters go this way but hadn't rode it myself. Surprisingly It wasn't as hard as it looked. Nice view from above the freeway. I didn't have a route planned so I just followed the sharrows and headed toward Montlake bridge.

Lake Union from Burke-Gilman Trail
Once across Montlake bridge I joined up with the Burke-Gilman trail and looped back toward Eastlake.
Under the freeway. Kissing couple down by the water. 
Instead of staying on busy Eastlake I dropped down to the waterfront for a pleasant ride along a quiet residential street. Very pleasant with the condos, houseboats and docks full of sailboats. I spotted one guy up on the mast of his boat. I think he may have been putting up christmas lights.
Decorating for the holidays
Fairview Avenue
St Marks Cathedral? 
Tiny float plane. My boss has a float plane, larger than this, that is his pride and joy.
I threaded my way through the Fred Hutch campus up past the big sculpture and back to Eastlake Avenue.
Brick roundabout and cool grill-work along the edge
Basket of Light sculpture
Sculpture at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
There is a little bit of rainbow color on the sculpture. Alas 'tis as muted as everything else. The only real bright standout color was on this little houseboat. In the scheme of things, it hardly counts, but I was getting desperate.
A little bit of color along Lake Union
So I cheated. I waited until nighttime when the Radio towers and Christmas cranes could strut their stuff

Monday, November 25, 2013

Riding the mean streets: South Lake Union to Gasworks Park

I did it. I worked up enough nerve to try riding the streets of Seattle on my bicycle. Yes, I rode them a little bit last September, but that was mostly quiet streets or sidewalks/paths. This is a first real attempt at street riding on a busy street. Some areas had a bike lane, others like this one is shared space. Parked cars to the right. Moving traffic in the left lane. I rode along the left edge of the right lane. A little to close to parked cars for comfort, but I wasn't always brave enough to move over to the left more, especially on uphills.
Eastlake Avenue E
Once across University bridge I was able to drop down onto the Burke Gilman Path. With plenty of runners, walkers, and cyclists, it wasn't exactly the quiet, tranquil experience I'd hope for, but it was calmer than the busy roads.
Burke Gilman Trail
Gasworks Park. I've wanted to come here since forever. I can't remember when I first heard of it, but it sounded fascinating. Sorry for the harsh pics today. The sun always seemed to be in front of me.
Lake Union from Gasworks Park
Part of the gasworks

A little mound of a hill. This doesn't really show itself in google maps.
I didn't realize the park wasn't flat. I had thought to bring Rachel for a stroll with her wheel chair, but that will have to wait until she's ready to walk her own self up the hill.
Eastlake Avenue - heading back 
I returned by the same route. The bridge above is I-5. The bridge I'm crossing is University bridge. It has a nice wide lane for bikes, but the lane ends once over the bridge. Then you share the single lane with traffic. It's wider and cars are generally very good at passing safely. Again it was the parked cars that made me nervous.
Ahhh return of the bike lane. 

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. My daughter's clinic.
Requisite Iconic Space Needle shot with bikey. Noisily processed due to heavy backlighting - darn sunshine!
Space Needle over Mercer Street.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Found parking

Spotted this little gem tucked between two buildings off the back alley that is my window view. Finding a place to park can be challenging. This seems to be a cozy little spot.
Wonder if it needs to go for a little spin around the neighborhood? ;)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Burke Gilman Path

Finally had a chance to ride Burke Gilman trail this weekend. It's been on my bucket list of trails for many, many years. It's a pretty ride with views of Lake Washington ( at least the portion I rode).
Okay, not the best view, but it was where I stopped for a moment
Shared the trail with other riders, walkers, runners, and even a few inline skaters. It's fun to ride, but have to say it wouldn't replace a nice long road ride in the country.

Turbo thighed caped crusader?
Funny sign: Is this trail ravaged by turbo-thighed caped crusaders running down the locals? I didn't see any. The kitted up racers I saw were going at a reasonable clip and were either quiet or curteous, but never rude and I didn't see anyone get buzzed. Same with other users. Everyone seems to have worked out a pretty good flow of traffic on the trail.

Also kudos to the courteous drivers. At every road crossing cars spotted me approaching and slowed to let me cross (even when I had a stop sign, even when I'd rather they just go first). I'm so used to cars ignoring cyclist/pedestrians it was unsettling to ride in front of them.

I guess the bad bicyclists and drivers stayed home that day.

I rode the Trek and came to the conclusion hybrids are hard to ride. Good for a trip to the library and such, but for longer rides they're a lot more work! I'll be ... well Ron will be bringing my roadie up next weekend. Yep, I miss my skinny tires and drop bars.
14.8 miles per google maps.

Monday, November 11, 2013

In the Emerald City

Long time no post. I vacillate between keeping a current blog or just hanging it up for the time being. Inevitably I get restless enough that  I want to post something. My daughter and I currently and for the foreseeable future are living in Seattle. Last chemo was back in July, side effects have abated for a while.

Green Lake Pano

Sunset at our old apartment. Alas no tripod-pardon my motion blur

The past few weeks have been good times shopping, strolling about the city, and making a few trips back to Oregon on the weekends. Rachel returns to the hospital for another round of chemo this week, then hopefully on to a 2nd transplant. It's good to be back fighting this thing, but distressing to think about the side effects that go with the fight. It's a damnable disease!
Alki Point Trail

Green lake
Green Lake again. Came around a curve to this golden scene

Back in Oregon for Halloween - Meow!

Sad attempt to use the old nikon after a summer of iphoneography

All my photography this summer has been with an iphone. Convenient if not entirely satisfying for this hobbiest-photog-wannabe. Tonight I finally dusted off the old Nikon and tried to remember how to run the darn thing. Did okay other than forgot to change my ISO settings to something decent.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lake Washington Hike

As you can probably tell from this post, we are in Seattle. Still battling Leukemia, but we have been moved up to the "big dogs" at Seattle Cancer care alliance. Still doing chemo, still waiting for a remission that will last.
I found a little path the other day and came back to explore a little further. I can't recall the official name of the path or the arboretum where it originates, but it's on the western shore of Lake Washington. (Maybe it's just Lake Washington Arboretum ... as good a guess as any.)
I found it by following the path along the Montlake cut.
Montlake Cut
Trailhead to Marsh Island
The trail passes through two islands via footbridges and floating walkways.
As you can tell, the waterway and island sit practically under the 520 highway. I kind of like the juxtoposition of manmade road works and natural settings. It's noisy though. I would love to explore by kayak!
Marsh Island pathway
Lake Washington Pan. Click for larger view
Foster Island and Husky Stadium
Floating walkway
I hiked for about a half-hour before turning back. There are still miles of trails to be explored, but thats for another time.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hiking Weekend

Two days of hiking in the Portland area. Saturday we visited Tualatin Hills Nature Park. 200 acres in the heart of Beaverton. The weather was decent and it was so nice to be outside and walking!

Sunday we woke to rain. and rain. and more rain. Spent the morning at REI with about a zillion other shoppers. Found me a nice little cap, so it wasn't a wash. I had to get outa there though. Too crowded! Next stop was Road runner sports to replace a pair of my running shoes. My poor old NB's are getting mighty thin in the soles. Not sure why, it's not like I actually run that much!
Stopped for a hamburger for lunch (was good and didn't order the french fries!), then as it was still raining, we popped into downtown Portland to visit yet another Bicycle shop - Western Bike Works. Nice shop. We drooled over the lovely bikes and bought a computer for Olivia, my hybrid.
The weather was looking a little more promising, so we headed toward Tryon Creek State Park. Beautiful Park. I didn't take too many pics, and many of the few I did were blurry. Too dark and to much drizzle, but we had another lovely walk in the woods.

I'm getting anxious to be home. Hopefully in a couple more weeks.