Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hidden Lakes of Woodinville

We began our Saturday ride in the parking lot of Eastside Foursquare Church grouped together for a short devotional and prayer. I always enjoy our time gathered around our bikes in this informal and brief time of prayer before we ride. Many times, this short devo gets our conversation for the ride started. And many more times, our prayer has proven to be heard by Heaven when we return free of flats or mechanical problems.

After rolling down to the Sammamish River Trail, we reached Woodinville to climb the hardest hill of the day. I referred to it as "The Wall." This climb parallels NE 171st Street--a busy road east of Woodinville--and goes through the Reinwood neighborhood.

We huffed and puffed our way to the top and soon downhilled past Lake Leota, our first hidden lake of the day. Next, we passed Bassett Pond--not officially a lake, but a hidden body of water at least--and then turned into the Cottage Lake Beach Club passed Cottage Lake (our third lake for the day.) We passed a couple of LDS missionaries who, oddly enough, were not on bikes. I thought the mountain bikes were standard issue...

A brief ride down busy Woodinville Duvall Road took us to W. Snoqualmie Valley Road where we turned north. This stretch of road is popular with cyclists and takes you past dairy farms (advertising "aged cow manure") and rural homes overlooking the valley. After passing Crescent Lake (#4 if you're keeping track), we took High Bridge Road around to the northwest which offered a few more climbs until we turned south on Welch Rd. toward Lost Lake--also known as Devil's Lake (Lake #5).

Here we stopped for a short rest break and a photo of our group. The weather, while cold, was dry. Far better than last year's ride on this same route which was drizzley.

After Lost Lake, we rode west toward Echo Lake (Lake #6). This hidden neighborhood loops in a circle around the lake, which we did as well. We stopped at a small grocery store for restrooms and food. Rob decided to sit us down at a picnic table next to the nearby espresso stand. However, the picnic table was situated between a dumpster and a porto-potty (honey bucket, kybo, dewey, outhouse). Not the ideal location.

The other riders noticed my muffin. It was pink. Not light pink, but more like fuchsia. They were worried my innards would glow pink. I guess you have to be secure in your dietary masculinity to eat pink. Leaving the grocery store, we then rode north toward Hwy. 522 and the remainder of our route. Most of this route so far was brand new territory for us. But, now we where coming into more familiar roads as we continued west toward Woodinville proper.

Our last lake of the day was Crystal Lake (#7). Crystal Lake sits at the end of a long, quiet stretch of roadway--past the "End of county maintained road" sign--where a lovely log-built community club sits and homes dot the banks of the shore. However, as we neared the gate that closes this private community off from the rest of the world, we were met with a middle-aged woman with outstretched arms who exclaimed, "You know this is private property!" What a welcome. I muttered something like, "Just wanted to see the lake..." and turned around to ride away. The brochure for this neighborhood now reads: "Come to Crystal Lake: beautiful scenery guarded by jack-booted thugs to keep you safe!"

The sun was now shining as we headed back to Eastside. We opted for one more climb up and over Norway Hill. No lakes up there, but a great view to the East of the land we just cycled and the hidden lakes we just found.

Riders: Bob H., Gary, Kristin, Rob, Brenda, Dale
Dist: 44.83
Time: 3:18
Avg: 13.5
Max: 32.7

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