Sunday, October 21, 2012

Coffeeneuring Challenge, Part 3: Redmond, WA

Saturday, 10/20/2012

The day was moist...

Actually, today's weather was much better than forecast. Temperatures were in the mid 40's, and the heavy grey clouds delivered much less than they threatened (although they did indeed deliver -- see below).

Today I rode to a coffee shop I haven't visited in a very long time: Sorrento's on Redmond Ridge. How long has it been? Apparently they closed in February of 2011, and reopened under new management. They're basically a Tully's now.

Since rain was definitely in the forecast, I dug through my box of rain gear, long neglected during our fantastic rain-free summer. Gone (for the next 9 months or so) are the days where I can just throw on some shorts & a shirt, grab my bike and hit the road.

During the rainy season(s), I generally wear:

If the weather is cold, I'll wear a short- or long-sleeved wool base layer under my cycling jersey and a wool buff around my neck/ears. If it's really cold I'll wear leg warmers under the rain pants and a second set of gloves.

To paraphrase something Jill Homer wrote years ago: While staying "warm and dry" is the ultimate goal, this is often unattainable during endurance events; sometimes the best you can hope for is "warm and wet".

(Of course, a 10 mile ride through the forest for a cup of coffee is not exactly an "endurance event", but the same holds true.)

Ready to battle the elements

From my house it's about a mile to the Tolt Pipeline Trail, from there a bit less than a mile to the Trilogy Trail, and from there another mile or so to the Redmond Watershed.

Nearing the Redmond Watershed

Luckily, the rain held off until the end of the ride. We've had some significant winds lately.

Positive aspects of windy days: lots of leaves and needles along the trails. This is always beautiful (if a bit slick in some places).

Needle-covered path

Negative aspects of windy days: tree damage.

Trail hazard
The hazard's original owner

A trail diverged in a green forested recently-developed urban area.

I took the path less paved

After 10 miles or so, I decided it was time for coffee, so I made my way to Sorrento's.

Velo Coffee Monster™

After nourishing body (heat) and soul (caffeine), I headed home via the Redmond Watershed main entrance. I love this little sign on the facilities building -- it always makes me think of a few lines from Bob Dylan's song "Isis":

I came to a high place of darkness and light,
Dividing line ran through the center of town.
I hitched up my pony to a post on the right, 

Went into the laundry to wash my clothes down. 

My hitching post

On the way home, just as I entered my neighborhood (about two miles from the house) it started to rain. Just a few sprinkles to let me know what was coming. The closer I got to the house, the more intense the rain became. Within a mile of home, the wind picked up and the rain came down in buckets.  As I flew down a short hill (where 216th Ave NE crosses Struve Creek, a.k.a. "The Ditch") the cold rain hit my face like frozen porcupines.

Shortly after I got home the rain stopped, the wind subsided, and the sun even made a brief appearance. I guess Mother Nature was encouraging me to get home ASAP -- just in time for another coffee.

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