Took John Swinbank around the north part of Lake Washington, crossing back on SR-520. Chilly and misty at the start, so I wasn't sure it was going to be fun, but there were a hint of blue skies by the end: overall, a really nice day. Wandered around through town to get to the Burke, taking John on the "scenic route" (including a couple of wrong turns). He powered up Juanita Hill just fine, but started to wear out once we got into Kirkland. By the time we hit 520, he was pretty pooped, and suffered his way up Phinney (which isn't terrible, taken directly and with some gears). I tried a couple of sprints toward the end and I wasn't at full capacity myself, so I guess I need to restart riding. But hey, first ride of the year in January: not too shabby! Logged here.
Another ride with John Swinbank, this time across SR-520, through Medina and back around Mercer Island. With a little stop for paczki in Capitol Hill at Bakery Nouveau. It was a lovely day, though a bit chilly. Quite a few riders out and about, including a few we played leapfrog with on Mercer. Need to figure out which of the very fancy gateways we rode past in Medina are the Gates's house. I barely made it up Roy in Capitol Hill, I was laughing so hard (at the absurdity of the hill). Paczki were totally worth it, though: I ate two (and another pastry)! Logged.
Took a ride from work on a not-raining day, now that the days are long enough to make it feasible. Across SR-520, back on I-90, but going through Medina and West Bellevue was pretty dark: there are no street lights in the expensive areas! Didn't want to run out of light battery, so I didn't go around Mercer, but I probably could have. Was kind of chilly, but the full moon through the clouds over Lake Washington was really cool. Had a donut at Ly's at the end; bear claw, specifically, which was good but I think I'll stick with other things from there. < a href="https://ridewithgps.com/trips/21039373">Logged.
Digging around for ride ideas, I found this ride around West Seattle to Des Moines, which had some interseting looking hills. Didn't think I could do the whole thing (it's 45 minutes just to get to the West Seattle bridge), but figured it was a good starting point. Riding around Alki Beach was very slow: the car traffic was backed up really far, and the path was full of people. Admittedly, it was a lovely day, but they still slowed me down! Going south from Lincoln park past the ferry terminal is quite nice, and has some decent climbs, particularly going up Shorewood Drive; it's a nice approximation of the Mannyunk Wall, but I think even steeper. I cut across east after that and had to study a map to figure out how to get home. Ended up on some major streets because I couldn't figure out how to get past 599 and I-5, so that chunk was less than pleasant. Came home via Lake Washington Blvd. past Seward Park, so had another chance to push the speed a bit there. Whole ride was pretty slow, but I blame the slowness getting to (stupid Alaska Way traffic) and through (stupid beach cruisers) West Seattle. Logged it.
Was indecisive about where to ride today, but finally took the (probably wisest) choice to not go further out in the mountains, as trails would probably be snowy. Instead, drove over to St. Edward Park and wandered around in Big Finn Hill. Started out by riding down the gravel road to the water, and then back up; it turns out that there are no bike-usable trails that lead off from there, though a sign at the top suggested otherwise. The Big Finn trails themselves were easy to get lost in, without a guide like last time. It was fun to just explore, though. Made it back just in time to go to dance practice. Logged it!
Went around the north part of Lake Washington "the other way", going across 520 first, and then north through Kirkland and finishing on the Burke Gilman. It's a different ride this way, but I think I like the other route a bit better; the bike lanes and road margins feel safer going south. On the other hand, going over Juanita hill heading north is a different experience, and coming down is screaming fast: I was on the brakes a fair bit, otherwise I'd have easily exceeded 60 km/h. Coming back on the Burke is pretty fast, though I started to lag a bit toward the end. Stopped by the Mountaineers to see Alina's class meeting. Came home straight through town going over 70th and 85th. Nothing like sprinting uphill on 85th in the evening to get the blood flowing! Logged.