When we got back from Tibet I reassembled the bikes and decided to keep the “lowriders” on my Rodriguez.  (FWIW, Nitto calls them “hub area racks.”)  During the trip I’d mounted them directly to the fork and they overlapped the axel so that I had to remove the skewer every time I needed to dismount the front wheel.  Back home I used P-clamps which moved them forward enough to avoid that problem.

 I liked the way it looked and performed and bought a pair of small panniers from Swift Industries to match my rando bag.  Unfortunately, the clips on the panniers were spaced too widely for the hub area rack, so that wasn’t going to work.  However, I still had an extra large size rando bag that would work on the Franklin and I could set it up with matching panniers if I mounted front racks.

In the mid 1990s I bought matching front and rear Topeak racks for two mountain bikes – and I think we used them for exactly one trip.  The rear racks were big and beefy (they had an internal cleat to store a Kryptonite U-lock)  and both of them failed when welds cracked. I salvaged the square aluminum clamps that held them together before I junked the rest.  The front racks were not so beefy and they had a spindly hoop that didn’t inspire confidence but the triangular hub area part was probably better designed  than the Nitto ones for hooking into panniers.

I thought that I might be able to mount the bottom part of the front racks on the Franklin, sort of like the way the hub area racks mounted on my Rodriguez. I discovered that the hub area part didn’t detach, but the hoop did.  With a couple of my salvaged clamps I used Nitto struts and rack bolts to rig a brace to the front rack in place of the hoop.  I worked hard to get the angles right and to avoid that erector set look, but the curved light mount didn’t give me many options – I ended up clamping onto the canti strut right where it joined the rack.

The only problem was that the clamps were intended for a larger rod than the stock used for the rack.  I didn’t have any shim material handy, so I folded several thicknesses of tinfoil into a shim and figured I’d come up with something more permanent if I decided to leave the rack on the bike.  (The folded tinfoil was too wide and when I trimmed off the excess it looked like it had been chewed off.)

A year later I took the Franklin in to get the oil in the Rohloff changed. The rack was still on the bike and I thought it looked ok and it rode fine.  I noticed a chain rub (or rather more like a fender rub) on the downstroke on the non-drive side and I asked the guys at R+E to take a look at it while they had the bike.  They called me to say they’d traced the noise to a broken clamp on the  drive side of the front rack!  I swapped it out for another clamp and the bike rode silently – inspiring me to mount the second of the two front racks on the Ibis.  (I didn’t spend as much time on angles and parallel lines – this time I clamped to the rack stock and not to a strut so it kind of crosses over the lowrider.  the spacers I used to line up the mounts give plenty of space for the clips, though.)

When I put the struts on between the rack and the low rider I used a couple of pieces cut from a beer can as shims.  That worked well enough that I went back and replaced the tinfoil on the Franklin with similar beer can shims.

While I was taking these photos I realized that I had two Rohloff equipped bikes in the same place at the same time – probably not something that happens every day.  Here’s the group photo:

here are the rear wheels, closer:

and here are those racks:

And here’s what got me started:

King County Regional Trails Wishlist

That last post about levy-supported trail projects got me thinking – here are some things I would do with $165 million for King County trail projects (in no particular order):

  • Extend the Interurban Trail North from 110th to Greenwood Park
  • Extend the Interurban Trail North from Echo Lake to Mathay-Ballinger Park
  • Replace the  missing trestle over Preston-Fall City Rd. on the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail
  • Extend the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail to SR 203 / Snoqualmie Valley Trail
  • Pave the Issaquah-Preston Trail next to I-90 between Highlands and Preston
  • Complete the missing link on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail between Tokul Rd and Reinig Bridge
  • Extend the Cedar River Trail pavement to Landsburg
  • Build the pieces of the Puyallup-Lynnwood Trail Corridor remaining after the levy-supported work is done
  • Extend the Green River Trail from Kent to Auburn – Black Diamond Rd.
  • Complete the missing link on the 520 Trail between 108th and NE 24th
  • Extend the Burke Gillman on the east side of the Sammamish River from Blythe Park to Wilmont Gateway
  • Extend the West Sammamish River Trail from Redmond Way to Leary Way
  • Extend the Duwamish Trail to the Spokane Street Bridge
  • Extend the I-90 trail to 2nd Ave / Chief Sealth Trail
  • Extend the Chief Sealth Trail under I-5 to 2nd Ave
  • Complete the gap in the Chief Sealth Trail between Myrtle and Webster
  • Extend the Chief Sealth Trail from 51st & Gazelle to the Cedar River Trail
  • Connect SeaTac Airport with the Interurban Trail at Tukwila Station
  • Build grade-separated crossings at 51st, NW Sammamish Rd, and Gilman blvd on the E Lake Sammamish Trail
  • Build bridges over I-405 and the Sammamish River on the Tolt Pipeline Trail


SEPA determination of non-significance – sale of property interests to Sound Transit


The description of this proposal states “The property interests proposed for sale do ot overlap with any recreational facilities on the north side of Marymoor…”

This is extremely misleading inasmuch as the proposed transit route obliterates the gap between the East Lake Sammamish trail and the Redomond central connector trail, precluding the completion of a trail that the cycling community has been anticipating for years.

Both trails now dead end at arbritrary, non-destination, points. Considering the energy and resources that the county and city have invested in their fragments, it would be very unfortunate if they were not to be connected. There is no good pedestrian / bicycle access to the bear creek trail system from the east and unless it is expected that all transit users will drive to the train this must be corrected.

Shoreline made trail construction in the right of way a condition for permitting Sound Transit in their jurisdiction. King County should do the same while it still has something that the transit agency wants.  To give them this property without requiring them to build the trail connection would be a serious disservice to County taxpayers.


From the August 2018 ENVIRONMENTAL RE-EVALUATION CONSULTATION filed by Sound Transit:

Different than the 2011 Project, the Proposed Design Refinements would accommodate an at-grade trail connection between the East Lake Sammamish Trail and Redmond Central Connector with a bridge over Bear Creek. If funding is provided by King County, the missing link to the East Lake Sammamish Trail would be built by Sound Transit when the light rail extension is constructed.


UPDATE  9/3 – got this reply:

Thanks for your comment regarding the Sale of Property Interests to Sound Transit. As you likely observed, King County Parks withdrew its SEPA Checklist and Subsequent Determination for this project as it was ultimately redundant to the environmental process undertaken by Sound Transit.

To address your specific comment, King County Parks has been working closely with Sound Transit since the passage of ST3 to ensure that the East Lake Sammamish Trail North Extension is integrated into and constructed concurrently with the Downtown Redmond Link Extension (DRLE) Project. As you’ve noted, this is a critical trail connection that needs to be completed between two significant regional trails and Sound Transit’s project is providing the first real opportunity to complete this connection. When finished, the East Lake Sammamish Trail will pass through the SR 520/202 Intersection, cross Bear Creek and connect directly with both the Redmond Central Connector and Bear Creek Trails in Redmond.

If you have any additional comments/questions related to Sound Transit’s DRLE Project, please contact Sound Transit’s Community Outreach Specialist, Ryan Bianchi at: Ryan.bianchi@soundtransit.org

Mike Ullmer
King County DNRP | Parks and Recreation Division
Desk: (206) 477-4485 | Cell: (206) 258-0615