Sunday, March 2, 2008
Riding the Interurban
Where are all the regulars?
That's what I said to myself as I rolled up to the group of three cyclists in the parking lot at Eastside Foursquare Church on this Saturday morning. I knew they were new riders to our group. How did I know? First, they were parked in a different spot than where our group usually meets. Second, I didn't recognize any of them! Here we are, the first official Saturday morning ride of the year and none of our regular group of riders is here. Instead, three new people invited by Rick, who leads a spin class at a local health club. These were his students. And he didn't even show up to join them! I introduced myself and met each of them: Mike, Michelle, and Eva. They wondered where Rick was, too. So we called him and learned he had a family emergency. He was terribly apologetic.
So, what do you do with three new riders and none of your regulars? You go for a ride!
We headed down the hill from EFC to Kenmore and turned north. We chatted a little as we rode and I got to know a bit more about these three. It was Eva's birthday today. And her present to herself was the longest ride to date. She had only ridden short Burke-Gilman rides and never done a long one like this.
As we neared Lynnwood, we turned onto the Interurban Trail. The trail follows the route once used by the Interurban Trolley that ran between Ballard and Bellingham until 1939. In 1910, The Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway began electric passenger service. After the railway was abandoned in 1939, it was converted to a power line corridor. In the 1990s, the right-of-way was opened to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Interurban Car 55 is a restored trolley from this route, and is located at Heritage Park, east of Interstate 5 on Poplar Way in Lynnwood next to The Wickers Building, which is now the Transportation Museum. This 11.8 mile trail extends through Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, unincorporated Snohomish County, Everett and Lynnwood.
We left the Interurban in Mill Creek / Silver Lake area and rode along 132nd to Seattle Hill Road. This corner has really been developed in the past few years. Now there's a drive-through Starbucks at the corner! From this point, we turned south and worked our way through some neighborhoods I hadn't previously explored. This route took us through Cathcart to Broadway and then we headed south toward Maltby and Woodinville to finish our ride along the Sammamish River Trail. You can view our route on Bikely.com.
Well, even without our regular riders, we had an enjoyable and dry, if cold, March 1st ride. Perhaps next week, we'll see some familiar faces. But, if not, I'll still be ready to add some more miles to my odometer... and meet some new people.
Total Ascent: 2123 ft
Max Elev: 591 ft.
Riders: Bob H., Mike, Michelle, Eva