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Mind-blowing Mega Mileage

June 28, 2009

Boy, I’m sure racking up the mileage on my bike. I realized yesterday that I’ve only had this bicycle since March and now I’m up to over 30 miles a ride. Holy cow–considering I hadn’t ridden a bicycle in decades prior to that, I am impressing the heck out of myself. And for a 49 year old woman, that ain’t too shabby. (I still feel 39.)

Saturday morning was my normal walk with my steady walking buddy. We walked a portion of the Burke-Gilman Trail and I calculated the round trip to be about six miles. We usually can do more, but it was hot out and she’d been doing some gym work the days preceding so was more tired than usual.

After my walk, I came home and rested up, ate, and changed and got ready for my bike ride with my bestest biking friend (BBF). While sitting outside eating my lunch, this is what my backyard thermometer said. Easily 80 degrees. About time! Love it.

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Finally we got going and we started in Snohomish at the south end of the Centennial Trail. (Click the link to read more.) This is a trail that is paved and goes along an old rail bed. Don’t let the idea that because it used to be a railway that there aren’t some deceptive hills. Not huge, but steady slight upward grades that for a newbie cyclist like me can be pretty challenging. I made it through them because I kept my head focused on the return downhill part! Woohooo! (Not to mention the steady encouragement and praise from my BBF.)

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Here’s an image of the trail map, but you can go here to see the full-size PDF. The trail goes from Snohomish through Lake Stevens to Arlington and is 34 miles round trip. We did the WHOLE trail.

What an amazing day. We couldn’t have had better weather and the trail is absolutely phenomenal. I like this trail better than the Burke-Gilman Trail. It’s less populated, wider, and the views are breathtaking. At one point you are elevated above the Marysville valley farmland area looking westward through forests of cedar trees. Look the other way at times and you see snow capped mountains flanking beautiful lush farmlands sprinkled with horses, livestock, and quaint farm houses. We passed a campsite of bikers (motorcycles) enjoying a summer bike ride. There must have been 75 or 100 bikers. Impressive. And we passed (or were passed by – depending on my stamina level) many families with children out cycling.

Speaking of families, as we hit the Lake Stevens area, who did we spy but my daughter, her hubby, and my two grandsons out for a walk, ride, and skateboard. Cody was on the skateboard, Cindy and Evan were walking – ok, Evan was in the stroller – and Cayden was riding his bicycle. Man does that little guy go fast and love to put on the brakes fast. Then he pops up his front wheel saying, “Look at this!” What a wonderful treat to run into them. And they got to meet my bestest biking friend, so that was cool too.

0627091533aHere I am at mile marker 12 on the way up to Arlington.  (Pictures taken from my cell phone, so, sorry for the poor quality. The black strap around my waist is holding one of my water bottles. Even with two water bottles, it wasn’t enough. Must remedy that.)

The other thing I like about this trail is that there is a long stretch where roads cross the trail but the cars are required to stop for the cyclists, pedestrians, etc. Oh, and there’s even an equestrian trail that runs parallel to the paved trail. Drivers up in that area, when they had the right of way, were so courteous and stopped to let us cross. That was not lost on me. Usually drivers are so rude to cyclists (I’ve been guilty of that at times and now I’m sorry.)

We are definitely going to do this trail again. We’re talking about taking along a lunch next time and parking at the picnic bench that they have that overlooks the valley. It was so quiet along portions of the trail that it is just an ideal place to sit and enjoy a bit of serenity and soak in the gloriousness of life.

Saturday mileage recap:

  • Walking – 6 miles
  • Bicycling – 34 miles
  • Total mileage: 40 miles.

What do I love best about all this activity? That the next day I’m no longer so stiff that it hurts to stand up and walk, and that the tightness that is developing in my muscles feels incredible. My spirit feels rejuvenated and alive, and I feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. My confidence level and outlook on life has been rocketed into a different dimension. It’s just mind blowing, really.

(PS. My cycling buddy has done “Century” rides in the past – 100 mile rides. Guess who will eventually be doing this too? But not alone!)

4 Comments
  1. Mary permalink
    June 28, 2009 2:25 pm

    Good for you Claire! I grew up in Granite Falls, so I know what you’re talking about when you talk about the beauty there…and Lake Stevens…gorgeous!

    • June 29, 2009 7:18 am

      Thanks, Mary. Granite Falls is a beautiful area. I’d live on the shore of Lake Stevens any day.

  2. June 29, 2009 5:30 am

    That’s a hell of a lot of miles for one day! Last week our bike ride was 22 miles long. We took a trail (old RR tracks) that runs parallel to a river where people white water raft. With the sound of rushing water and riding through trails of unbelievable greenery it just makes for a great day. I’ve told Hans countless times that I’m so glad he likes to do these things. I take the small back pack I made and since it’s cotton it’s not too hot on my back. I have to have carbs with me or I get dizzy(er!) and I carry my water in it too. I wish we could do this year round. Keep riding!

    • June 29, 2009 7:01 am

      Thanks, Laura. I agree. I wish we could do this all year round. Riding along your route sounds divine! I’ll be packing some stuff to take along on the next long ride like that. Not sure about a back pack though as this girl has to get her sun tan. LOL.

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