A month ago I read this strata post by Jan Heine, the Bike Quarterly guy: “Amazing course so close to the city – thank you Steve for scouting it.”  In the comments he noted that no permits were required and that the roads were  all open to the public even though it cut through the watershed.  It’s not quite the opening of the Cedar River Trail to Rattlesnake Lake, but I’ve never found a route to Snoqualmie / North Bend that goes east of I-90 so I was intrigued.

I suspected that route finding would be more than Jan let on, so I plotted a route in Ride with GPS and annotated it with river and road crossings just before turns.  In fact the route was pretty simple – out 208th to the crux of the route, a turn onto 364th to get over the ridge.  Then Rattlesnake Rd. out to Highway 18.  Here’s the loop:

I took the studded tires off of the Rodriguez and replaced them with 42mm Continental SpeedRiders – maybe three years old but still lots of tread left.  I set out early with a water bottle and two kind bars, and here’s my ride.

I was looking for a T intersection on 208th and didn’t find it.  The river crossing shown on the map just before that turn is less than obvious.  I figured that the road heading uphill behind the yellow metal gate was probably the route and since I had plenty of time I figured I’d give it a try before backtracking.  The road was better than it looked at the beginning but rocky.  The climbing wasn’t particularly steep and I was waiting for the work to start when I hit the crest and started down.  I must have hit a rock or something just before the first switchback because suddenly my front tire was hissing and I knew I had a puncture.

I couldn’t find anything to lean the bike up against so I turned it upside down and removed front wheel.  I rolled off the tire and found a slice, across from the valve stem, about half-an-inch long.  I pulled off my saddle bag to get a new tube and found that there weren’t any tubes there.  I had forgotten that when I mounted the studs I’d taken the tubes from the saddle bag.  Okay, I thought, I’ll just patch the tube and try to miss the rocks.  The patch kit had a full tube of cement with the seal unbroken – but when I opened it the tube was full of air with a small plug of dried cement at the bottom.

So this was an interesting situation: I was 45 miles into my ride, about 10 miles from Issaquah-Hobart Rd., I wasn’t sure I was on route, and I wasn’t going to fix that tire with the stuff I had with me.  I looked at my phone – it was a little after noon and I had no signal.  Neither Google Maps nor Strava could show me anything about my position.  The first question was whether to continue on the road I was on or to backtrack.

I decided to continue, thinking that there was a pretty good chance that I was on route and besides I was heading in the right direction.  The road leveled out and then started to descend and after the first switchback I started thinking about having to spend the night and pulled out my phone again to turn off the GPS apps.  I saw that after the crest I had a signal, so I called Odette and asked her to come pick me up on Highway 18, not mentioning that I wasn’t sure where I was or if I was on the right road. I wasn’t sure I was where I wanted to be until I came to a T intersection and had to decide which arm to take – Google maps said I had reached Rattlesnake Rd. so I knew  I was about 4 miles from the road I’d asked Odette to meet me at.  A mile or so later and she called me to say she was there – I heard the chime of a text but didn’t check the phone until the next mile marker.  She drove up Rattlesnake Rd. for half a mile until stopped by a gate at a big substation so my walk was a little shorter than expected.  Good thing I’m married to somebody who will drop everything to come bail me out when I get into trouble – that’s twice so far this year!

I’ll return and ride that route clean.  It’s a beautiful forest, the climbs are actually pretty easy, it’s a nice connection that I didn’t know was there – just keep an eye out for rocks.



From 1/1/2014 to 12/31/2020 I rode just over 93,000 miles. By June 2021 I ought to be able to say that I’ve ridden 100K miles since I retired.



It’s really too bad that Seattle doesn’t have a group to advocate for the interests of cyclists.  I gave up on CBC when they sold out on the Burke Gilman missing link route,  but opening this event to electric scooters means I’m done with it.

It would be kind of funny if it wasn’t so sad…




Dear Jerry,

There’s no doubt that autumn has arrived in the Pacific Northwest. Why not enjoy the season to its fullest by keeping active outdoors? The view of changing forest colors, dramatic fog, and that crisp fall air are reason enough to hop back into the saddle. However, we’ve got something to really motivate you to ride when the rain, the wind, and the cold might drive you to stay indoors: The Ride in the Rain Challenge!

Point System

Are you ready to ascend the ranks on the leaderboard? Let’s talk points! Points are granted for two modes:

    • Bicycling (outdoors)
    • Scooters

Yes, scooters! Seattle joins the growing list of cities in Washington with a scooter share program.

You get points for:

    • 10 points for your first ride of the day.
    • 1 point per mile
    • Additional points when you participate in select community-oriented events. Details to come!

We’ve also got some great prizes in the works and can’t wait to tell you more about it soon.

End of an era

“We recognize this has been an unsettling week for members. The sale of MEC’s business, and the decision to move the business away from the co-operative model was, after all, a very difficult decision – but it was the right one. Facing a stark choice, we chose to preserve employment opportunities, a larger store presence, and a commitment to MEC’s ethos rather than fold up the MEC tent for good.”



Here are my Strava stats for July:

Way off the 50-miles a day pace I had in the second quarter – look at the bar chart:

The explanation is that Odette retired on June 30 and we closed on a new house on July 15.  I figure I’ve got another week or two of work to get out of the old place and then maybe I’ll ramp up again, or maybe not – I foresee a lot of energy going into getting the new place organized and set up the way I want it.

Defund Sound Transit

Sound Transit strikes again!  Not really a surprise, but no process, no warning, no real consideration of the disruption caused.  Conflict in construction zones seems to be worse with private contractors, but inconsiderate blockage of critical routes seems to be the purvey of Sound Transit

Tolt Pipeline

So…. you apparently can no longer exit the pipeline trail at 133rd to get to W. Snoqualmie Valley Rd.  (because there are new “Private No Trespassing signs on the gate.)  You can walk down to the highway through the brush on the pipeline corridor – but I’m not sure that it’s recommended.

#notrails is ending


King County Parks is announcing it will re-open its parks and trails on May 8 with some restrictions, and urges visitors to “Recreate Responsibly!” Active use and high touch facilities such as restrooms, play areas, sports courts, and picnic shelters will remain closed, and organized events and programs will remain suspended.


King County Parks announced today that on May 8 it will re-open its parks and trails, including regional and backcountry trails, with some restrictions. The county cautions, however, that keeping parks and trails open will depend on visitors practicing safe distancing and following public health guidelines.

Parking lots and trailheads will be open, as well as fields, docks and boat launches, and the off-leash dog area at Marymoor Park.  Visitors are asked to “Keep it Moving!” and refrain from gathering or playing team sports or pick-up games on the fields. King County Parks’ decision follows the Governor’s recent announcement about the May 5 re-opening of state recreation lands.

“Here in King County, we treasure our parks, trails, and wilderness, and I know that people are eager to enjoy the outdoors during these stressful and uncertain times,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We are re-opening our parks and trails in a measured way and encourage folks to recreate responsibly, keep each other safe, and continue to curb the transmission of COVID-19 in King County.”

“Outdoor recreation is a great idea but we absolutely need to continue to take precautions to prevent bringing COVID-19 back home with us. Everyone must practice safe distancing and good hand hygiene whether indoors or out because lives depend on it,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County. “Where parks and trails are experiencing overcrowding and where safe distancing is not occurring, we will need to recommend re-closing those facilities to prevent the spread of infection.”

King County Parks is planning for a phased re-opening and return to full operations. The division will monitor use and continue to follow guidance from the Governor and Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Facilities such as restrooms, play areas, sports courts, and picnic shelters, will remain closed. The campground at Tolt-MacDonald Park remains closed, as does the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, the Jim Ellis Preston Community Center, and the White Center Community Center. Organized activities and programs, such as team sports, race events, swimming lessons, volunteer work parties, and public gatherings remain suspended.

King County Parks will update the status of its parks, trails, and facilities at kingcountyparks.org/COVID.

King County Parks, in collaboration with local and state land managers and outdoor recreation stakeholders, is encouraging people to recreate responsibly by adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Keep your distance. Recreate with those in your household. Give others plenty of room and communicate who will step aside on the trail (trail etiquette gives hikers coming uphill the right of way).
  • Stay local. Don’t stray too far from home when recreating and keep rural communities safe by minimizing stops and bringing all that you’ll need for your outing.
  • Keep it moving. Use parks and trails for walking, running, riding, rolling, and passing through.
  • Plan ahead. Be prepared to go somewhere else if your destination seems crowded. Add hand sanitizer and a mask or other face covering to your 10 Essentials.
  • Play it safe. Keep your activities within your comfort and skill level to reduce the risk of injury and adding to the strain on our health care and emergency services.
  • Leave no trace. Take any garbage with you, including disposable face masks and gloves.

The health and safety of residents and Parks employees is paramount, and Parks will continue to monitor its parks and trails to ensure that visitors are following physical distancing and other public health guidelines. King County Parks encourages visitors to do their part and keep each other safe so that King County’s parks and trails can remain open.

Park and trail visitors can report crowding, areas that need attention, or other issues using King County Parks’ reporting tool, SeeClickFix at https://seeclickfix.com/king-county

# no trails

I’ve been amusing myself by riding without using at the King Count Regional Trails.  It’s remarkable how much we orient our routes to the trail system, even when the trail routes don’t have any real advantage.  It’s also remarkable how advantageous the trails usually are, and how there are several choke-points where there aren’t good non-trail alternatives.

Here’s a selection of #notrails routes.