With a number of major bicycle rides coming up in western Washington in the coming weeks, a lot of cyclists hit the road all over the Puget Sound on this no-raingear Sunday.
I took a spin down to Black Diamond and hooked with cyclists heading the same way almost immediately (below). Usually, I have May Valley Road pretty much to myself, but there was plenty of bicycle traffic out there on Sunday.
One of the riders said that some were training for the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic (July 9-10), while others are looking ahead to the Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party (RSVP, Aug. 5-6 or Aug. 6-7).
There's also the Ride Around Puget Sound (RAPSody, Aug. 27 and 28) and the High Pass Challenge (Sept. 11) coming up, among many more. [See all the upcoming rides for July, August and September at Biking Bis website.]
While I wished them well, my “big ride” of the year is probably behind me. I trained all spring for Biking Across Kansas for the first week in June, and now I'm just out to enjoy the scenery.
Here's the famous Black Diamond Bakery, which is a year-round destination to bicyclists from all over the area. It also has a restaurant, coffee shop and ice cream bar. The pastries are excellent; I indulged in a giant bear claw.
On clear days like this, it looks like it's right at the base of Mount Rainier, but the volcano is still quite a few miles away.
I later stumbled across a Cascade Training Series bike ride (top) that was using the Flaming Geyser State Park as a turn-around for a century ride from Magnuson Park.
Here's one group crossing the Green River bridge at the entrance to the park, while another group is arriving.
The training series starts in the spring with some basics about bicycling and some short rides, and continues into the summer with longer rides. The rosters are full for this year, but here's where you can learn more about the Cascade Training Series for next year.
I'll have to admit at being amazed at the number of cyclists I saw on the road today. Sometimes, in midweek, I can go 20 or 30 miles and see only two or three bikers. Often, my only company is the shaggy Highland cow I nicknamed Ferdinand, below. He has staked out a pasture on May Valley Road almost as long as I've been bicycling on that road.
I'm going to make it a point to schedule more rides on sunny weekends so I can talk with other cyclists instead of naming the roadside livestock.