A February Ride

Last week, we went on a “training ride” into the hills northeast of Seattle. We met at 7:30 and rode to Snohomish (above). The valley of the Skykomish River was filled with cold fog, so a stop at our favorite bakery provided a welcome warm-up.

As we headed through the hills near Lake Roesinger, the frost was melting in the meadows, and the sun broke through the fog to start a glorious day.

February in Seattle isn’t always rainy! Matt’s on-bike photographs capture the gorgeous morning. (All photos by Matt Delcomyn.)

All winter long, we had been looking forward to one of our favorite roads. Reiter Road is a scenic, winding backroad that connects Gold Bar with Index. It runs high above the valley in a long series of short climbs and exhilarating descents.

Alas, the road was closed. A clogged culvert had caused a large washout. (Budget cuts in road maintenance don’t always save money.)  Fortunately for us, the road is needed as an alternative evacuation route for the town of Index, so it will be repaired. By next year, we should be able to return to Reiter Road.

We explored for an alternative route, and found a road that happened to go to a fish hatchery. From there, a pipeline maintenance trail led along the scenic Skykomish River.

When this dead-ended at a creek, we stopped for a picnic lunch. The photo shows (left to right): Hahn, Ryan, Jan. On the way back, we stopped at our favorite taco truck in Monroe for a second lunch. Riding in the cold makes you hungry!

While we don’t talk much about bikes on our rides, we do notice each other’s equipment. Matt was intrigued by the patina on Jan’s handlebar bag. It has been in daily use for a decade, yet it’s still waterproof.

The shadows were getting long as we headed into the hills that separate the Skykomish River from Lake Washington. It was dark by the time we got home. A day well-spent on beautiful roads in the company of good friends was ending!

For Seattle area readers, here is the essential part of our route. (Bikeroute Toaster does not display routes along bike trails; we took the Burke-Gilman Trail and the Centennial Trail near Snohomish.) See you out there!

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

I love cycling and bicycles, especially those that take us off the beaten path. I edit Bicycle Quarterly magazine, and occasionally write for other publications. One of our companies, Bicycle Quarterly Press publishes cycling books, while Compass Bicycles Ltd. makes and distributes high-quality bicycle components for real-world riders.
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3 Responses to A February Ride

  1. Patrick Johnson says:

    Jan,
    Surely you’ve reviewed different handlebar bags in past issues of BQ, yes? I’m trying to choose a bag and your reviews would come in handy. Maybe there’s an index somewhere that would point me to certain back issues?
    Patrick

  2. Alas, our roads are still full of snow. I expect to be able cycle recreationally again in mid-March.

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