Ragnar Rocks

Five days ago I was pedaling my bike through a seemingly blinding snowstorm. My head was down to protect my face and eyes from the pelting snow and ice. The fluffy white stuff was literally accumulating on my handlebars and brake levers while I rode. This was at an elevation less than 100 feet above sea level.

Today I was riding in the foothills of the Cascades, halfway up the mountain pass, and wearing shorts with no jacket. I saw not a trace of last week's snow until I reached the 1200 foot mark, several miles uphill from Rattlesnake Lake. There was a small drift on the side of the trail. Not only were the trails clear of snow, but they were dry. Moms pushed their baby strollers, dogwalkers wandered to and fro, and the horsey people trotted by deployng herbivorian land mines every quarter mile. Spring has returned to the valley.

Not expecting the trails to be clear and dry, I decided to add some extra mileage to the ride at the start of the out-and-back excursion to Rattlesnake Lake. However, buoyed by the warm weather and great trail conditions, I decided to continue on past the lake anyway. I finally hit a bit of a thermocline around the old Ragnar Quarry sign on the Ironhorse Trail and got a chill. The air was easily a good ten degrees cooler at that elevation that it was just 50 yards back down the trail and I was quickly made aware that, yep, it's still just March and I'm in shorts. Time to turn around.

I didn't see the herd of elk near Meadowbrook Farm today, but I did spot a coyote along the SVT in North Bend. Spotting the coyote made me forget about the noxious cloud of stogie-smoke I pedaled through near the Mt Si. Golf Course.

The ride wound up being 36 miles long and took 2 hours, 37 minutes, not including 4:35 of "paused time". I must say that my favorite feature of the Garmin Edge 305 is that it tracks how much time you spend without moving. One of my big focuses when riding is not spending more than 3-5 minutes per hour off the bike and this makes it very easy to track.

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