Who put that mountain there?

Is what I say to myself all the time.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME SEATTLE? These are not hills. They are MOUNTAINS.

Yesterday I rode to Capitol Hill. I did not want to do this, but alas, my local art store didn’t have the size of glass I needed & I knew Blick would, so off I went. Sidenote: much better location for my wallet than in DC because now I can’t get there without fear of death by heart attack!

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I took Yuba because HILLZ. I headed south over University Bridge where I graciously surrendered my right-of-way to a large truck hauling a boat (JK no, they just ran the stop sign) & pulled a box turn at the light to head east on Furhman. Last time I biked to Capitol Hill I took Harvard & it sucked. Furhman was relatively quiet & FLAT but more than one person revved their engine behind me. Why? FOR FUN PROBABLY.

Googlemaps is crazy & directed me to turn up Shelby which I don’t even think is possible to bike up. I think you would just tip backwards & fall to the center of the earths core if you tried it. Seriously. My neck hurt just looking at it. I decided to press on & try to find a hill with less grade. I turned right onto Hamlin to head up the hill & had to use full assist while pedaling as hard as possible. WHO PUT THIS MOUNTAIN HERE?!

After a relatively long break at the top with copious water consumption & much panting (to the consternation of the man setting out his trash can) I turned left on 10th & pressed onward & ever upward. I hopped onto the sidewalk at E Roanoke to push the button & continue on my way up 10th. This is a stupid intersection.

I plodded along using copious amounts of battery power while gasping for air & cursing the tectonic plates that lie underneath this horrible city. I stopped at the top of the hill to catch my breath & suck down ever more water while sweaty profusely & mumbling profanities (but only because I was too out of breath to yell them).

The bike lane ends here but the lane is 12 feet wide so yay for being squeezed in between moving & parked cars! I never feel like I can hold a 12 foot lane. They’re just too wide. No particularly close passes though, most drivers moved partially into the center passing lane to pass.

When 10th turns into Broadway it becomes a bit more narrow so I rode in the lane here until the protected lane starts at E John Street. The lane is nice & wide with plenty of passing space & bike specific traffic signals. Alas, my journey was almost over so I didn’t get to ride in it for too long.

I purchased a few pieces of pre-cut glass as well as an 18 x 24 inch pad of newsprint The smaller glass fit in my basket but I rested the newsprint & the large piece of glass on top & secured it with a bungee. Most people would assume that you can’t bike with large sheets of glass but I do it all the time & I’ve yet (knock on wood) to break any.

Despite feeling nauseous & dizzy and having a SPLITTING headache (riding up mountains will do that to a person) I decided to try to ride through Interlaken Park on my way back because after doing all the work to get up the hill I figured I should get to enjoy it!

Lovely filtering at Volunteer Park

I headed back down Broadway & turned off in order to ride on Federal Way which was quiet but also hasn’t been paved in 1,000 years. After bumping along for several long blocks I turned onto E Prospect to head through Volunteer Park. It had started misting by now so I took shelter under a large tree & tried to protect my pad of newsprint from rain so it wouldn’t bubble up. I ripped up the two plastic bags I use for seat covers in an attempt to cover the pad. It worked relatively well but required some re-tucking in throughout the rest of the journey.

Cargo secure, I continued on my way. But being severely directionally challenged I got lost. Googlemaps wanted me to turn onto 19th to get to Interlaken Drive E (which I should have done?) but I was confused about which section was open to cars. I wanted to ride through the whole park & I saw that E Interlaken Boulevard was marked in dark green for protected lane/trail so I was trying to get there.

In the end I walked my bike down the very steep sidewalk to 23rd while squeezing my brakes as hard as possible & gave up, tired of going several steep blocks uphill only to go right back down & up & down & up-up-up. 

I got back on my bike & headed down 24th, taking the sidewalk over the Montlake Freeway & the bridge.
I headed up the ramp at the Link station & rode back through campus along Stevens Way. Home at last, we walked over to Udon where I ate the best noodles ever & then took a nap to recover.

Soon to come: a petition to level the city to make it humane & civil.

One thought on “Who put that mountain there?

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