06-14-09 - Biking - Fuck you Seattle

God dammit, there's no good biking around here. The bike lanes are meager, and half of the so-called "bike routes" run you right down busy streets with hardly any space (I'm looking at you, Howell-Stewart junction). The roads are in a shameful state, full of pot holes and ruts that are literally rattling the bolts loose on my bike (and banging them is a huge hazard and hurts my joints like a motherfuck). The Lake Washington loop is tolerable, but there are tons of bits with ridiculously bad pavement or narrow/ no shoulder, as well as plenty of major hazards, lots of commuting traffic, and bad routing.

My original right shoulder injury in 2006 was a separation that became frozen and is now still bugging me in the form of a winging scapula and arthritic AC joint. That crash was caused by a pot hole in San Francisco. Fucking pot holes.

Also, the fucking mini traffic circles they've tossed around cap hill and 28th are fucking retarded. They don't function as real traffic circles because they're too small; a real traffic circle works because being "in the circle" is a seperate state. The big problem with them is that cars have to swing really wide to get around them, and the road isn't wide, so cars swing right into the path of pedestrians, and cut right into bicycles. It's fucking awful. Actually I hate all the "Yield" streets around here too since half of them are at blind intersections and lots of dumb fucks come barrelling through them at high speed. All of these residential intersections should have full 4-way stops and painted crosswalks. Hell, more cities just need streets that are ped/bike only. For example Pike between Broadway and 12th should just be closed to cars. It would be fantastic for local businesses.

Kirkland's got this lovely pool right by my work, so I go to check when the lap swim hours are ... none. I mean, they do have lap swim from 5:30-7 am, but that may as well not exist. Even if I wanted to get up that early, it's fucking cold and gross that early, I want to swim in the afternoon sun you fucks. WTF you have this fucking great pool and you just can't open it? Presumably this is the same problem as the fucking roads, that there's no damn taxes and the governments are fucking dumb. It's such stupid cost saving though; you've spent all the money to make this pool, you clean it and pump it, and then you only have it open 6 hours a day.

Anyway, Colman park just south of I90 is really cool. Not the part down on the lake, that's okay, but it's obvious, what with it's views or Rainier and whatnot. The cool part is up Lake Washington Blvd S toward 31st Ave. You get the best effect if you park down at the bottom and walk up the hill - it has cool winding paths and stairs and bridges, and then at the top there's this huge public vegetable+flower garden that's like a hidden garden surprise for the hardy souls that made it up the hill.

Biking is so fucking great. I went and did the Mercer Island loop this weekend; it's pretty nice once you're out there, though the bike path is damn annoying and riding over I90 is scary and not fun. I have vertigo and the high view down to water with just a railing next to me is nauseau inducing. (only did the ride over the Golden Gate Bridge once; I nearly had a heart attack; after that I always drove my bike across the bridge and parked and then rode north).

I passed two seperate Mercer Island residents who seemed to intentionally stand right in my way. They were just standing in the road in the bike lane, cars were coming so it's not like I had a ton of room, and they made no movement out of the way at all. Rich people are fucking cocks.

Some douchebag cyclist dropped a passive-aggressive bummer-bumb on me. He was riding ahead of me on the bike lane, I move to the left and pass him. As I'm passing he says "I'm on your right". Huh? Yeah you are. I came up behind you and saw you. Oh, I get it. That's a fucking dickweed way of saying you expected me to say "on your left" when I passed you. Fuck you. It took me a little while to figure out what an acrid like asshole he was and by that time I was well past (because in additional to being a passive aggressive holier than thou dick he was also fat and slow); if I'd realized it sooner I would've yelled something back at him. How dare you fucking bring that negative shit into my world when I'm out on my ride having my one fucking moment of pure joy and pleasure? Fuck you, I know the fucking rules of courtesy, I say "on your left" if I think there's any danger or if it's a tight spot, but I don't say it every damn time I pass every person, and that's an unreasonable expectation, and even if you do think I should you can fucking keep it to yourself.

Some random dude also drafted me for a mile or so. That's not cool. You don't just jump on the ass of someone you don't know without saying anything. To draft correctly you have to be mere inches from the person in front of you. It's great for efficiency, but it's also very dangerous if you aren't communicating, because if the lead person brakes, you have an instant crash. Sometimes I'll latch onto someone's wheel when they pass me, but I hang back far enough to be safe, or I say hey can we draft a while? This dude just put his nose in my butt and stuck there. Mild scowl.

I got this book : Bicycling the Backroads around Puget Sound at the library. It sucks & basically proves that the biking here blows. There's one or two good rides in it (one of them being the Mercer Island Loop). Then it's full of rides that are just bullshit. It's got a bunch of rides that go down highways that are totally not suitable for biking (like the 203 and the 169) ; it also literally has a ride that goes on I90. WTF. Oh and then it's got rides that go off road. Umm, hello, this is the road biking book, you can put the unpaved road rides in another book, thank you. There are a few rides that look interesting, but they're well the hell far away, like Enumclaw or Granite Falls kind of far away. What the hell I guess I'll go try one soon cuz I don't have anything else to do.

The NYT Travel this week featured biking around Provence . That's like my dream; that article is pretty worthless and the writer is not a real biker, but doing some real country touring around Europe, in the sun of Provence, Tuscany, Catalonia, seeing all the countryside at the pace of a bike (the bike is the perfect speed for seeing country; walking is too slow and driving is too fast), eating and drinking. I don't want to ride the fucking Tour de France routes, that's way too hard and not fun.


Aaron said...

Yeah definitely ass road biking here compared to the CA central coast. Biking on Whidbey is pretty kickass, but definitely in the 'far' category. Ferry ride is pretty though There are lots of good backroads and not a ton of traffic, and enough bikers use it that drivers don't screw with them, and it's beautiful. It's ALL hills though, like all the god damn time. And sometimes a bit windy. They're slowing patching up the burke. You shoulda seen it a year ago... shudder. Sometimes I've ridden it at night. That's even better cuz you can't see the bumps/dips coming, so your arms just rip out from under you, or come crashing up. Oi... I love the passing-on-the-right people and their ilk. Now you'll be ready for the next one who does it. My recent favorite response is to turn and smile at them, as if you did the silent pass on purpose just to fuck with them. That'll really piss'em off : ) My brother does Kenmore -> Redmond and back every weekend. That's pretty much all smooth yuppie eastside trail, 26mi round trip.

Aaron said...

slowing = slowly. Kenmore = Log Boom (Tracy Owen Station Park).

Aaron said...

Oh and a lot of times on the burke there are those little arrows pointing at each other that mark the 'least bumpy' part of a bump. If you're scanning far enough ahead you can use those.

cbloom said...

Yeah I was thinking of doing Whidbey and/or Vashon some time in the next month or so. Windy sucks, but I hear it's nice riding out there.

Aaron said...

The ferry to Vashon is insanely quick. Like 10-15 min. It takes longer to drive West Seattle to get on the ferry than it does to get across. Expensive to take a car across though. Probably a lot cheaper if you park and walk on with the bike?

old rants