Riding the Missing Link

Tuesday did not start out with a planned bike ride. I was considering the possibility of a leisurely ride to Gas Works Park & some possible plein air painting but didn’t have anything set in stone.

I met up with someone from my cohort (yay) for coffee & to chat. She’s also new to Seattle so it was nice meeting someone else in my program! She was interested in exploring so I suggested we ride together!

We headed down the Ave to hope on the BGT & I showed her the Wall of Death before we headed to Gas Works Park. We made it up most of the back of Kite Hill but then gave up & walked to the top (no shame).

After the park we continued west on the trail with the goal of seeing the Fremont Troll. The BGT is currently closed under part of Aurora (the blue dots) so we rode along 34th & then rode one block up Troll Way before walking the rest.

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via Google Maps

 

We decided to check out the fish ladder so we continued west on the BGT until it ran out. I didn’t know what to expect on the Missing Link. I’ve heard pretty horrible things about it so I was a bit nervous. I warned my new friend about the railroad tracks because what better way to make a friend than to lead them into imminent danger with no warning?

Despite riding alongside the tracks I felt relatively comfortable here. I knew about them before hand though, and without that knowledge I may not have been as comfortable.

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via Google Maps

The end of the separated lane was a bit wonky. We saw people riding straight toward us along Shilshole but the lane told us we were supposed to turn to cross the street in order to continue straight? Weird. Why not make car traffic stop here?

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via Google Maps

From here on out it’s unprotected. We had a few close passes, but I was actually worried about getting hit by a stray rock. There were some big pebbles flying around as trucks passed us & I was afraid one would hit me & cause me to yank my bike & then fall down. Very dusty too.

We turned left onto Market which had two lanes in each direction which meant fewer close passes, although we did see a few. After this we took a left over to the locks.

We saw three ships going into Lake Union which was pretty cool. We also saw some boats heading out & I was surprised that kayakers can use the locks! That would totally freak me out!

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We walked over to the fish ladder & did some creative locking to some railings (build bike racks here!). But alas, today was not a fish day & we only spotted one coho salmon. He was a fighter though, he was battling the current without making much headway & I commiserated with him. I imagine it’s much the same as when I try to ride my bike up the mountains Seattleites call hills.

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On the way back we took W Commodore Way. There was no bike infrastructure but it was much nicer than the missing link and we only had 1 close pass. We popped onto the Ship Canal Trail here. I had no idea where it was but the signs were very helpful! Yay signs!

The trail was nice & wide with great shade! I loved it! That brought us to the Fremont Bridge. Since I knew how to cross on the western side I led us onto the sidewalk & over the bridge that way, although I’m sure we could’ve crossed somewhere to get to the eastern side.

We rode past Waiting for the Interurban but alas, they were naked today. Forgetting that the trail was closed here we ended up riding back along Northlake Way & through the parking lot to pick the BGT up.

I left my new friend (I hope she still likes me after our ride because it was kind of hot & also far) at the trail detour & powered up Brooklyn for 2 blocks before walking the rest of the way back home.

Total miles: 12

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