Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Green River Trail, Interurban Trail, oh... and a Couple of Parking Lots

There's an interesting phenomenon among cyclists on a sunny Saturday following several weekends of rain and even snow... they all turn out for a ride! This Saturday we had 20 cyclists show up at Eastside Foursquare Church for our morning ride to Renton, Tukwila, and Kent and back again. The day was beautiful if a little cold. We headed south through Kirkland and Bellevue stopping occasionally to corral all our riders. We picked up two more at the Bellevue Way Park and Ride and then headed to the Lake Washington Loop Bike Trail. Lots of riders out today which sometimes made it difficult to make sure we stayed with the right group and didn't start following a different group, or coax other riders into our group!

After a rest stop at Gene Coulon Beach, we weaved our way through Renton. This is where our group took on more of a collaborative leadership facet. Those more familiar with the south end helped us get through the crazy streets of Renton and make it to Tukwila. There, we worked our way south to the Green River Trail. One wrong turn took us into our first parking lot of the day, but we figured out where we needed to be and found the GRT shortly thereafter.
The Green River Trail winds more than 19 miles from Cecil Moses Park near Seattle’s south boundary to North Green River Park in south Kent near Auburn. Office buildings and suburban warehouse landscapes give way to open fields and hedgerows as the trail winds its way along the river.

When we reached Kent, we planned to turn east on 212th and return via the Interurban Trail. But before we could make the turn, Warren and another rider overshot the turn and continued on the GRT. We phoned him, told him to turn around, and then headed east to the Interurban. Upon reaching the Interurban Trail, someone in the back of the 20+ pack shouted to stop. I could see Warren on his phone about 100 yards away. Soon, my phone rang. It was Warren calling to make sure I had made the turn.
I had removed my yellow jacket and that must have thrown him. I waved to him and said, "Warren! I'm right here at the front of the pack!" I laughed, told him this was a "blog-worthy" move, and we continued on the Interurban. The Interurban Trail links Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Algona, and Pacific along a near-straight 14 mile-long alignment following the historic Interurban Rail Line.

When we reached Tukwila again, we continued a bit further on the Interurban and soon found ourselves in a second parking lot near Fort Dent. I remarked later to another rider, "I lead like this--occasionally making wrong turns--so other riders will say, 'I could lead a ride... I could lead better than Bob!'" We backtracked to Grady Way and returned through Renton, stopping once more at Gene Coulon and then back through Bellevue and Kirkland, reaching Eastside Foursquare Church with 57 miles behind us.

Hey, I'll take a beautiful day of riding on trails like these even with a couple wrong turns. It sure beats staying home watching the snow!

Dist: 57.07
Time: 4:06:48
Avg: 13.8
Max: 33.8
Riders: 20 of them!


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