Steve and Brent Ride to Subway

Steve and I are on the phone, talking about a bike ride. “Don’t bring the fixie,” he says. This means he’s going to go fast. We meet up at Gasworks Park and ride along the Burke-Gilman Trail. I’ve ridden the B-G a lot but I still ride there because it is pretty and I’m less likely to get squashed by a car.

The ride has to destination. We just ride. I don’t have any water bottle cages on my bikes so I stop at every water fountain to drink. I know where they are. Steve always offers me his water but I refuse. If I’m going to be dumb enough to not carry water then it is my responsibility to fill up along the way. Water stop number one is just past Ti Cycles, famed for their Titanium bikes, although part of me feels that a Titanium bike is like having unidirectional speaker cables. Get over it.

This ride Steve needs to pay a visit to the bathroom. There’s a park halfway to the top of the lake so we turn into it. I’ve never been here before. This park is on the lake, there’s an area for kids to paddle in the water. There’s plenty of space and not many people. There’s also a water fountain. Another one to add to the list – water stop number two.

I count the gulps as I drink. Twenty gulps. On a hot day I drink thirty. I used to just drink a lot of gulps then break for air. If I’m already breathing hard this doesn’t work so I figured out a system where I gulp, breathe in, gulp, breathe out, repeat. I think I’m odd for doing this, but it works for me.

At the top of the Lake we keep on going. At this point I know I am eating into the afternoon. The ride to the top of the lake and back is about two hours and I haven’t turned around yet. Water stop number three is here, but it is closed for a few months as they renovate the little park it inhabits.

As we keep riding we pass onto the ‘Sammamish River Trail’. This confused me at first. The B-G used to go all the way to Marymoor Park but they renamed it at some point recently and forgot to tell me. So when I passed the sign for the SRT I figured I must have taken a wrong turn and it took me fifteen minutes to unfigure it.

The SRT has much nicer pavement than the B-G. Maybe this is intended to highlight the spiritual differences between the Eastside and Westside, like changes in road surface as you pass from England to Scotland. Although I have driven from England to Scotland, expecting the road to get rough and potholed and inhabited by wild Haggis but instead the road quality improved. The Scots were making McAdam proud.

Water stop number four is a crescent shaped structure with a map of the B-G and SRT inlaid on the concrete outside the toilet block. Two Titanium Serottas are parked there. The Eastside has nice bicycles. Continuing on we pass a salmon watching area. Yes, people are watching salmon swim up the Sammamish River. Good for them. We race by.

Water stops number five and six are by sports fields and close enough together that there’s little need to stop there. We overtake a couple. He’s riding a Davidson, made in Seattle and a nice shade of red. I say “Nice bike,” and ride on. He smiles.

As we get to Marymoor Park we have been gone about two hours, maybe more. I might know where all the water stops are but I don’t bring food either and I have no idea where the food stops are on the SRT. Marymoor Park is near Redmond Town Center and there’s plenty of food there. I didn’t bring a bike lock so one of us will have to guard the bikes while the other gets food.

Despite my hunger we must first find water. Marymoor Park must have water stop number seven, so we ride around and look. We ride into a cluster of baseball/softball pitches and there see something unexpected yet welcome. A Subway. There’s a franchise of Subway in the middle of Marymoor Park. I join the line while Steve guards the bikes from the hordes of thirteen year old soccer girls. One twelve inch meatball sandwich later and I’m fueled enough to head back.

But not fueled enough. At water stop number five is a concession stand that is open. Hundreds of school-age kids and parents are milling around watching various soccer games. I buy chocolate. There are bags of chips sitting out in the open on stands. It remind me of something Kevin’s sister said when visiting us in Seattle and seeing all the bunches of flowers outside Metropolitan Market – if this was Australia they’d all be stolen.

Back on the Seattle side of the lake a pedestrian motions us to slow down. We look ahead and someone is sitting in the middle of the path. A protest? As we pass it becomes clear that a cyclist has knocked down a pedestrian. As we dawdle past he scene two policemen arrive and ask some dude standing there, “Are you the cyclist?” I hear him say yes. We leave the sad scene.

The next few miles are up a gentle slope and we don’t talk much. We maintain our pace up the hill. I can feel it working my legs hard, the effect magnified after four hours of riding, and making me thirsty. In this state I don’t look around at the view or admire the trees or feel the wonder of cycling, I just want a drink. At the top of the hill I smile – water stop number one is close. This is my favourite part of the ride. I’m thirsty, the wind is at my back, I am going downhill towards the water fountain and the track is wide with few pedestrians. Life is good.


1 Response to “Steve and Brent Ride to Subway”

  1. May 8, 2008 at 09:54

    Originally from October 16, 2006.

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