Yesterday morning, I got a phone call: “Gerolf here. I am in Seattle.” Gerolf Meyer is one of the people behind the German magazine Fahrstil, for which I had written a few articles in the past. I knew that he was riding from Vancouver to San Francisco, and that he wanted to explore some of the backroads we had written about in Bicycle Quarterly. A journalist who was going to ride his bike across Babyshoe Pass in the Cascades this week, rather than walk the halls of Interbike, was somebody I wanted to meet. I had suggested we get together when he passed through town.
He was at a café near Greenlake, so I just rode over to meet him. He told me how his GPS had stopped working as he entered Seattle. He had found his way, but ridden far too much on busy highways.
Over lunch in the University District, we discussed the different routes he could take to Portland via the Cascades. Trying to describe how to get out of the metropolitan area and find the Cedar River Trail, I realized it would be easiest if I went with him. It was a lovely summer day, and my work could wait. So we rode along Lake Washington while talking about our respective magazines and various trends in the bicycle world. It was interesting to compare the handmade bicycle movement in Germany with that in the U.S.
In Renton, we saw a brand-new Boeing 737 take off for its maiden flight. When we got to the Cedar River Trail, our conversation had not yet reached a natural stopping point. The trail beckoned in the warm sunlight, so I continued to ride with him. I was glad I had changed into cycling clothes, since my initial 2-mile ride to Greenlake was turning into something a bit longer.
Finally, we reached a construction site on the trail, and it was time for me to turn around, if I wanted to get home for dinner. Gerolf gave me a copy of the latest Fahrstil, and then he rode off. I envied him, going on a three-day tour to Portland via some of my favorite roads. As I write this, he should be approaching Babyshoe Pass.