Micro, Mini, Urban Bike Adventure

Years ago, when I was still working, I was wading through a new (inherited), very heavy caseload with files that were way, way behind in being updated with current assessments and information. I was drowning and making no headway in trying to catch up. One day, during the pulling out of my hair, my supervisor (Diane) came to me and said you know, sometimes we just need to start from today and go forward. What a relief that brought me!!! I carry that thought with me a lot.

With that in mind, I will start now with my long overdue blog, and go forward from here. I have had thoughts of posting some stories but got into that mode of not being caught up with what I had left undone in the past, and simply have not blogged. Well, here I am. Thanks Diane for that most important lesson. ;’-).

OK so, I have been asking Susan (for years really) to do a bike tour and she always says “I told you, yes, we will”. And she is right, she has told me yes for years now. And we have not done one.

Enter our new electric-assist bikes:

I will make a whole post about these new bikes, but for now it is about our weekend “tour”.

This Memorial Day weekend was the time Susan said “yes” and we did it. Susan often comes up with dandy ideas for outings, activities and bike tours, and no different this time.

I called it a “micro” tour because the first day was 17 miles, which in tour language means very little biking! The route from our house to McMenamins in Bothell was not the greatest experience as we had car traffic, some sidewalk riding, and made several stops for route finding.

And, as is quite usual, the first day had a little glitch in it. My bike jacket, which I have had trouble zippering up for a while now, gave up and lost its zipper pull. We were almost a mile from home and near a strip mall where Susan’s idea came to the rescue. We pulled in to the cleaners there and the guy fixed the zipper, at least temporarily. I may need to have a new zipper put in. After the tour.

Finally we arrived at our destination.

The building was Bothell’s first junior high school. It was built in 1931, and classes actually continued until 2009. Today it is one of the many McMenamins located in Oregon and Washington. This one, like many but not all, has a hotel where we would be staying for the night.

Our room was nice and big enough to bring our bikes with us. We were in the Belle Roberts room. Each room is named for some notable person. Belle was the “grand dame” of Thoroughbred race horses in the northwest. She became one of the few women horse trainers of the mid 1900s.

The king size room was quite delightful, but both Susan and I thought that at $235 a night it was way overpriced. It truly was nothing special and we have had rooms as nice or better for lesser price. And those had microwave, refrigerator and in-room coffee/tea service. The Belle Roberts room did not.

Like all other tourists, we walked around the grounds to see the myriad of cafes, pubs and restaurants, the meeting and event rooms, the oversized pool, and the gift shop. We enjoyed our dinner at the Market to Table Tavern and called the day to an end.

Susan does not look at this as a “micro” tour, and says it is, at the least a “mini” tour, and at the best an urban adventure by bike.

The second (and final) day, I was agreeing with her.

We stopped at a cafe in Bothell for lunch before heading for home on Sunday morning. Worked our way through town to the Sammamish River Trail in search of the 520 bridge to cross Lake Washington to the UW. Thanks to Cindy for the GPS map to get us there ;’-).

We did do quite a bit of climbing to get there, and though hills are all but non-existent for us on our e-assist bikes, they do drain the battery. By the time we arrived home Susan was riding on fumes with a mere 6 miles left. I had 20 more miles on mine, but was carrying less weight (thank you Susan).

The 520 bike trail has nice wide protected space and the riding was grand.

Susan was rider #485 to cross on this day. Amazingly, 115,200 riders have crossed this year!

We reached UW and took the Burke-Gilman Trail to Lake Forest Park where we stopped for a (delicious) ice cream bar at the Farmers Market. We stayed off the trail from there as Susan is familiar with the route home on side streets.

We arrived home after 47 miles which in tour language is a decent number of miles for a day. Not micro on this day!

Now I am ready for a longer one and though Susan says that I am never satisfied, I think she enjoyed this enough to start planning for something more ;’-). I hope soon.

2 thoughts on “Micro, Mini, Urban Bike Adventure”

  1. I always love reading about your biking adventures! Congratulations on your new bikes!
    Cindy —- Road Scholar friend from WI / Eagle River


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