Signing up for 30 Days of Biking “forces” riding on you. That isn’t an issue when you love to ride–or it shouldn’t be. But sometimes the day sort of sneaks away from you….
As did Day #1! I spent the day working away at my computer, watching a typical early spring day for Spokane: Snow, rain, wind, sun, rain, snow, wind. May have been sleet, too.
I kept waiting for the break that would entice me out the door but the sunshine always peeked through the clouds right when I had “just one more thing to do and then I’ll ride.” Then the ominous greyness would close in again.
But it wasn’t until 10:30 at night that I said, “I’m doing this!”, pushed back from the dining room table where I had been jacked into my laptop all day, and headed out the door.
Like one of the rides I took last September, this was a “nothing” ride taken only to keep up with the schedule. All of .45 miles long and roughly 3 minutes, the route took me out to the street near our house that has a bike lane, then around a little quiet neighborhood loop and back to the house.
For a nothing ride, though, it had peace and quiet, stars and wind, and the always-joyous feeling of moving myself under my own power. I was reminded all over again that every day with a bike ride is a good day.
Now today was just the opposite: a long, planned ride. I took the day off work for the start of spring break even though the kids weren’t around (grown-ups deserve spring break too!).
Sweet Hubs and I checked the forecast, which predicted the warmest weather (51 degrees F) around 2 p.m. and only a slight chance of rain. We watched the skies and broke out the gear at around noon.
We had discussed a couple of options and settled on an old standby: Ride down to the Riverpoint Campus where I work and from there take the Centennial Trail along Upriver Drive to the Rocket Bakery on Argonne, around 9 miles one way.
Spokane experienced record-setting rain in March and the Spokane River rushed past us, swollen with rain and snowmelt, for most of the route. Parts of the trail where it runs closer to the river were actually underwater but the on-street bike lane on the shoulder was fine.
After a coffee and bagel at the Rocket we walked up to Argonne Cyclery to check out the stock, then took a different route home we’d planned with the help of my smartphone while we sipped.
One of the things I love about riding my bike is the freedom it gives me to take different routes. Something about being in a car puts us all on autopilot (tell me you haven’t found yourself taking the wrong freeway exit because it’s one you always take but this time you were supposed to be going somewhere else). I can’t be on autopilot on my bike because mindfulness matters, and that applies to route selection as well as riding tactics.
This was an awesome route and one we’ll take again. I’d highly recommend it as a way to get from Millwood back to the South Hill on some different streets.
From Argonne we took Empire/Euclid (conveniently located a block south of the Rocket Bakery) west; it’s a quiet residential street alongside the railroad tracks. Heading south on Park we were delighted to find a bike lane that took us almost all the way to Sprague, with just one pinch point under an overpass just north of Sprague.
We headed west again on Eighth, which at some point becomes Hartson. We passed a historical marker indicating we were on the original Captain John Mullan Trail and a creative scarecrow on a bike perched in a field, among other sights.
At Freya you have to take a righthand turn onto the one-way–a bit of traffic at this spot. We headed westbound again on Fifth to Liberty Park, and along the way we passed some little neighborhood businesses and the East Central Community Center
Here we had a choice. We could turn north and get through the weird stretch of Second Avenue at the Hamilton exit to take Arthur southbound. It’s doable but I wouldn’t send a newbie through there–lots of traffic, including encounters with people who have just exited the freeway and haven’t ditched all the speed yet despite the signage (including the fatality statistics sign).
Instead, we climbed a steep set of switchbacks on the paved Ben Burr Trail up out of Liberty Park (look for it at the east end of the park). This brought us out onto a steep gravel street–our old friend Hartson–and from there we hit Perry and rode south to home.
Tomorrow will have me back in the usual commuter routine–no problem getting a day of riding in there. We’ll see how the full 30 days go, but at least I’m off to a rolling start! (Including my second road test of my new Sheila Moon Lingerie Knickers with the lace trim–watch for a review post soon.)
- Another 30 Days of Biking–Can We Do It? Heck Yeah!
- 30 Days of Biking, September 2011: The Biking Blogging Series
- How did Day 1 go?
- Day 2?
- You can start the 30 days April 3 and go through May 3, if you like–planning to jump in now?