Ride Report: Original S.I.N.S

Dream on bike boy
Dream on bike girl
And wake up to a brand new day
To find your trails haven't washed away

A few weeks ago I was talking with Kenobonn and he expressed a desire to add another milestone to the training program I created for us. He wanted something long, like 60+ miles long. And soon. I looked at the schedule and felt that January 20th would be a fine time to do it. It was the ninth week in the program and followed a scheduled recovery week, so we wouldn't have to worry about overtraining. Sure, why not, I thought. It would be nice togo a little longer and see how the training is coming. Well, as it turns out, Ken had to head out of town this weekend but I didn't let that stop me from getting in the scheduled metric century by myself. I thought I might as well combine my Ridge to Ridge ride with the lovely cruise up the SVT to Rattlesnake Lake. And wouldn't you know I even thought up a snazzy name for the ride before the first snow-covered mile rolled by: Original S.I.N.S.

Snoqualmie to
Issaquah to
North Bend and back to

Like I said, the first couple miles of trails I warmed up with on Snoqualmie Ridge were still pretty well covered in snow and slush and the paved Preston-Snoqualmie Trail was still partially frozen in areas, but I soon got onto solid, and dare I say dry, ground and pedaled my way through the little town of Preston and down to the Grand Ridge trail near High Point. The Grand Ridge trail was a bit drier than a couple weeks ago. There was still some mud in the usual spots, but for the most part it was dry. I climbed up to the road and continued straight across, around to the new section of trail, and followed it all the way down the back side off the ridge to the bog before whipping the bike around and retracing my steps. As I descended back towards the dirt road at the start of the trail I came across a most peculiar site. It was a dad pushing an enormous baby jogger up the trail, followed close behind by his wife carrying a small fist-sized dog and what couldn't have been more than a 4-year old boy with a shiny gold miniature mountain bike. Those who have climbed Grand Ridge starting from the dirtroad know how tricky this climb can be. It's steep, it's very rocky, and when its even the slightest bit wet it can provide a nice challenge for even skilled riders. But for a four year old with a bike that probably weighed more than he did? I slowed down as I got closer and said, "You guys must be feeling ambitious, this is a pretty steep, rocky trail you picked."Dad already had a deer-in-the-headlights look on him and his little boy was pushing the bike and looking miserable. They weren't even 100 yards up thetrail yet so Dad asked me if I was serious. I told him the trail challenges experienced riders all the time. Then I looked at the little kid and said,"Hey little man, you must be a pretty good bike rider to take your bike up this trail. Good luck." I glanced back when I got to the bottom and the whole family had turned around and was thankfully descending the trail. They would have figured it out soon enough, but I felt good for tactfully saving them some grief.

From there it was over to Tiger Mountain and a quick down-and-up on the Issaquah High School Trail. Back under the overpass at Exit 20 and back to Preston and up the woodchip trails to Snoqualmie Ridge. I decided to make a pitstop at my house 34 miles into the ride. I quickly downed some beef jerky, changed into a dry jersey and different jacket, changed my socks and headed back outside to my bike with a freshly filled Camelback and waterbottle. Time to head to Rattlesnake Lake! 34 miles down, 28 to go!

When I started the ride four hours earlier I had a couple of goals for whatI was hoping to accomplish and one was that I was hoping to feel somewhat better than "exhausted" when heading out towards Rattlesnake Lake. Well, I'm happy to report that I felt surprisingly fresh. I descended some trails to downtown Snoqualmie feeling completely energized by the few minutes I spent at home and was cruising along the SVT in no time. The last few miles of trail before the lake were covered in snow and slush which made the going a bit slower, as did slowing to pass the many equestrians I saw out on the trail, but I reached the lake in high spirits and spent a few minutes downing what must have been my 6th Gu for the day and a box of raisins. Time for the home stretch! Back down the SVT through the snow and slush, through downtown Snoqualmie, and back up the parkway to the ridge. Nothing like riding 62 miles and leaving yourself a nice 500-foot climb in the final mile or so! Regardless, I finished the ride feeling great. It was good to get out and do it alone, although it would have been nice to have someone to high-five when I finished, as it was that kind of ride.

Ride Stats: 62.5 miles, 4,460ft elevation gain, 5:58 actual pedal time, 6:36total time, 104 songs played on the iPod.

In addition to feeling "better than exhausted" when heading back out for the second half of the ride, I had three other goals. One was that I have no more than 5 minutes of down time (i.e. snacking, peeing, adjusting gear,resting, etc) every hour. The 6:36 time includes the 12 minute pit stop at my house and I still only averaged 6 minutes of down time every hour. I'm very pleased with this. Another goal was that I still have enough left in the tank to charge the final hill back up Snoqualmie Parkway. I did. It was probably one of my faster climbs up that hill and that too pleased me. The last goal was that I stick to my nutrition plan. I did. Not only did I haveto take 5 pee breaks (clear every time, thank you very much!) but I never felt even close to bonking and wasn't even terribly hungry when i finished the ride. As if you can't tell, I feel great about how today's lengthy solo training ride went. Dare I say days like this are what I live for.

PS: Apologies to INXS for the manhandling of their lyrics.


Jeremy said...

Do you have any detailed directions of your ride? I live in Issaquah and am thinking I would like to do an up and back to hyack using the greenway but I don't see any real detailed directions. Any thoughts?


Doug Walsh said...

Hi Jeremy. I tried to email you through your blog, but didn't see an email address. I hope you get this.

Anyway, from Issaquah, if you head to the Community Center you can hop onto the paved trail that leads behind the High School football field. Off to the right is a trail that leads up towards the power lines near Tradition Plateau. This is the Issy High School Trail. Climb to the powerlines and continue under them to the intersection, make a right and pass the lake near East Tiger. This will put you at Exit 20 on I-90.

My ride goes along the Grand Ridge trail which can be accessed from the north side of I-90 via the dirt road on the left. I then make my way through the town of Preston to the Preston-Snoqualmie trail (available on King County Maps) and climb upwards to the Snoqualmie Ridge development via the woodchip trails.

If you're just looking to ride to Hyack, you're best bet is to either follow the directions I gave and pedal down Snoqualmie Parkway to downtown Snoqualmie, make a right, and continue along the river past Snoqualmie Valley High School to the Mt. Si Golf Course. You can drive and park at Centennial Fields, which is next to the Mt Si. Elementary.

Either way, hop onto the Snoqualmie Valley Trail at the golf course (next to the driving range) and take this all the way to Rattlesnake Lake. Once at the lake, stay on the trail as it winds into the Ironhorse State Park parking area. Behind the vaule toilets is a trail leading up to the Ironhorse Trail. This goes all the way to HYack, however the train tunnel is closed in the winter and you're likely to hit snow as low as Rattlesnake Lake.

Good luck, and enjoy the ride.