ERC news

Got an email from the County yesterday saying that by the end of 2021 the ERC would be open and paved across the Wilburton Tressle and from Coal Creek Parkway to the Seahawlks training facility.

It would be better news if they indicated that they planned to connect it to the I-90 trail – they don’t.  “Until the completion of a future trail bridge over I-90 the route follows Lake Washington BLVD and 118th Ave SE for a mile between Coal Creek Parkway and Southeast 32nd Street in Bellevue. ”   It isn’t clear how you’ll get up to the railroad grade at Coal Creek but unless they model it after the Reinig Bridge, they’ll be a ramp.

When Constantine first announced the 2019 press level he said part of the funds would go to regional trails and called out the ERC specifically (he gave that speech at Wilburton.)  The ERC was mentioned in the fundraising emails I got from various King County Council members – Dembrowski, in particular, said “This levy will greatly expand our regional trail network with significant investments to build out the Eastside Rail Corridor, including $4.6 million for a connection to the Sammamish River Trail in Woodinville.”

(Off topic but of interest, Dembrowski continued:  “In addition to other projects, I was pleased to secure funding to: (1) build a new trail connection in Bothell, extending the Tolt River Trail to meet the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River trails at the former Wayne Golf Course site ($2 million), (2) expand regional trail connections between the Interurban Trail and Burke-Gilman Trail in Lake Forest Park and Shoreline ($7.5 million), and (3) support acquisitions for the proposed Green Loop Trail in Kirkland ($2.5 million).”)


Now the county says that WSDOT is paying for the pavement and the new 405 bridge and that they’re looking for funding for the I=90 bridge.  Not exactly a surprise since it was obvious that the widening of 405 was going to take out the existing trail, but I wonder what they’ll use the levy money for instead?


From the Bike Everywhere People:

I hope you’re well.

Quick FYI, you might have noticed that for some of your rides recorded on Strava that they have taken a few days to sync across to Love to Ride.

This was due to a backlog in the Strava sync which is thankfully now clearing. It should complete overnight and be all up to date in the morning.

Tomorrow we’re also adding a ‘Last Strava Sync: X hours ago’ display on to the top of the rides table so you can see when Strava last sync’d with your Love to Ride account.

If you logged any rides manually on Love to Ride, when Strava sync’s you’ll have duplicate rides. You can easily delete these manually logged rides by clicking the red circle with the x in it next to the ride on your profile page.

Happy riding!

2019 Cycling goals

The last couple of years I worked I commuted by bike quite a bit, running up 8,000 or 10,000 miles each year. When I stopped working I knew I needed to maintain my activity level so I decided to try to bike every day and settled on a goal of 1,000 miles each month. I soon realized that short months during ski season get in the way of a monthly goal, and I restated my ambitions as 12,000 miles a year. 2018 was the fourth of those, and I hit the 12,000 mile mark at the end of October. At first I figured I’d just work on getting more than in 2017 until I realized that with a little push I could get to 10,000 on my single bike. I managed that, and ended up with 4,000 tandem, too.

Here’s how 2018 looked on Strava. (14,110 miles, 748,398 ft. climbing & 1,173 hrs on the bike.)

So what do I aim for in 2019? just doing more miles is kind of dull. I like the challenge of getting 10,000 on my own bike. Maybe I’ll come up with some more sub-goals like elevation and miles on gravel – but then I’d have to track those as well. I think that maybe the answer is to set a multi-year goal instead of another annual one. Right now I want to get to five 12,000 mile years, but in the back of my mind I’m thinking about how at the end of 2018 I’ve ridden 63,000 miles since leaving work and that means I only need 37,000 more to claim 100,000 in retirement!

More Assholes

Hard to see in this image, but the sign right after the “bikes may use the full lane” signs is a “no bikes” symbol. here’s a zoom

This is on 84th in Clyde Hill. This fall they rebuilt the first couple of blocks off of 520 to put in sidewalks and make the landscaping nicer. Since 84th is the main bike commuter route to Bellevue you would have expected them to connect the bike lanes to the 520 trail, but no – they still start after the first traffic signal. What were they thinking?

I expect that the idea is that cyclists will move to the sidewalk for that stretch, but that’s not likely to happen and it takes you across 28th (where there are lots of cars heading for the bridge) at an uncontrolled crosswalk instead of routing cyclists through the traffic circle.

I’ll ride the curb lane here and take the traffic circle. If I get questioned a bout it I’ll point to the “may use full lane” sign and say that it looked to me as if the “no bikes” symbol referred to the sidewalk where riders must yield to peds. I may be the asshole in this context, but the street designers ought to get called on a stupid plan that doesn’t take into account the volume of riders coming off the trail.


So last night as I was walking home from PNA I got hit by a car.  I was crossing Phinney at 65th, in the crosswalk, with the light, when a guy in a white SUV came up fast to the intersection and made a right turn without stopping.  He  knocked me down but  I got up, yelled at him , and banged on his hood – so he gunned his motor and hit me again.  I jumped sideways and as he went past he stuck his fist out the window and hit me in the face knocking off my glasses.  I was kind of shaken up but only my jaw hurt.

It was just over a month ago that I got hit on my bike crossing Blakely, in the crosswalk, by a woman in a minivan.  This is after years of riding lots of miles with no incidents.

Sometimes when it seems like everyone around you is an asshole, you have to ask whether or not it’s you.  I wasn’t being aggressive in either of these incidents, and both times I was paying attention.  I was wearing highly visible clothing both times (although that really shouldn’t have mattered.)   I don’t know – maybe it’s me, but I kind of think it’s just luck.


Ride In The Rain

So it turns out that if you link your Strava to the bike everywhere site once, you continue to post there in future challenges.  Unknown to me I was the high-mileage male rider for the UW in November ‘s ride-in-the-rain and I was third overall.  I wasn’t affiliated with a team.  (Extraordinary Least Squares ws there but didn’t post so many miles this time.)

The impact of the new 520 Bridge Trail

This month makes one year that the new trail has been open over the 520 bridge.  Here’s a link to several routes that have morphed to take advantage of my ability to ride across 520.  The big difference that the new trail makes is that my default ride has shifted to segments of the Lake Washington Loop route either north or south of the bridge.  I’ve rediscovered some of the rides in the old bike guides because I don’t have to drive to the trailhead any more.  A lot of the rides on the eastside that I’m used to doing have now become loops and a lot more interesting.

This is not to say that there aren’t areas for improvement:

  • The elevated plates over the expansion joints are an abomination – we’d be better off if they were uncovered like on the I-90 bridge
  • The crossing at Evergreen Point should have been an underpass at the level of the tennis courts
  • The segment on Northup between 108th and the trailhead on 24th is really disappointing – the City of Bellevue needs to step it up.  Guys, there are two major pieces of bicycle infrastructure here and they don’t connect with each other!
  • The west-bound intersection at 108th is really a bad design.  There should probably be a pedestrian bridge here, (but then you’d need a MUP on the south side of Northup to connect it to.)
  • The trailhead on 24th is a blind crossing that’s going to kill somebody.  It’s made worse by the steep hill you come up approaching it westbound.  You have to keep up your momentum to get up the hill, but then you risk popping out in front of a car you can’t see.
  • The crossings further east on the trail continue to be irritants – particularly the one at 148th.  I thought Microsoft had gotten State money to improve those crossings, but maybe that was just the one on 36th?
  • The 520 trail needs to start at the Avondale / SR 202 intersection and the Redmond Central Connector and the East Lake Sammamish Trail need to thread under those ramps and feed into the 520 trail.

I can’t wait to see how the plans for the segment on out to I-5 get realized and I’m even more eager for the second Montlake Bridge.  (Like either of those will happen in my lifetime!)