bike commute, bike month, city riding, off-road commute, panda, parks, ravenna, ravine
I tried to commute at least 4 times a week this month as I’m captaining one of my small company’s two teams (the Cranksters). This is a bit more than I usually pull off, so I ended up with about 350 miles for the month. On a normal month of commuting, I’ll do 175 to 225 or so, and can sustain that throughout the year without feeling too spent. Ending this month today, I feel pretty good. The elbows a a bit sore, but that’s me getting older and less flexible. At this point, I feel that the rando rides have helped me figure out fueling, so on my prior years of doing about 300 miles in May, I was much more spent by the end of the month.
I enjoyed a lot of good weather this year, and feel extremely lucky to have been able to ride as much as I have. Here are some pictures from my favorite part of the ride home. I go through a short half-mile gravel path up the “ravine” in Ravenna. It is a park that follows the contour of an old stream, and is usually a nice cool oasis in the summer months with relatively few folks hanging around.
The path here has always been well maintained, and I often see city works trucks taking care of things on the morning rides. There are a few runners on this path in the morning, but I usually have it all to myself on the way home – even during rush hour. Most bikers seem to take the street that parallels the park. This way is much more scenic, cool, and interesting.
I love this section as it is shaded by a huge cedar. It gets a bit washed out in the winter months, but nothing too scary.
The exit of the dirt path goes through a nice covered section. Foreboding at night, this is a beautiful rooted section of the trail. There are occasional off-leash dogs being “walked” here, and I’m always on guard for a bad one. May have to resort to the frame pump baton at some point, but I hope not. There is a usual line I follow on this section as it is a bit rutted. After riding this both ways for 10 years, you get into strange habits…
This is the last “scenic” part of the ride home before I’m back on the city streets. It is an old bridge that has been rendered bike and pedestrian limited – no cars allowed. How great would it be if we had this kind of infrastructure elsewhere! On a nice day at sunset, this is a great place for photos of clouds and tree canopy. Spring and Fall are beautiful!
I have a 8 mile commute in that follows a main arterial (Roosevelt/Eastlake) over a drawbridge. My ride home is more leisurely that is half trail, half city street, and adds a few miles at about 10 total. It’s a great way to gradually get the day’s stresses out before I arrive home. It’s also a good workout with about 1000 feet of climbing in 45 minutes. An interesting side statistic on the 350 miles of commute this month: I climbed 30,717 feet. I’ll call it an Everest event…