Posted by: bradhammond | May 4, 2010

My Lucky Weekend?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the good luck from the bad at first…

Sunday I was planning to do a 3 1/2 hour bike ride after I got done working in the nursery at church.  Earlier in the week, the weather forecast for Sunday was looking really good, but it actually turned out to be rather cool and wet.  (That happens a lot around here, I’m used to it…)  Anyway, I left my bike locked to the back of my car while I was in the nursery, and then drove the rest of the way to Snohomish where I planned to start my ride.

The rain was fairly light, and the clothes I brought were warm enough for the weather, but at the last minute I couldn’t find the key to unlock my bike!  I searched the pockets of the pants I had been wearing, the pockets of my windbreaker, the car, the ground around the car – everywhere I could think of!  Eventually I had to give up and drive home.  At least I had a spare key at home.  On the way I didn’t feel all that sad and decided that I would ride Monday morning instead.

The forecast for Monday looked pretty grim – rain, lots of wind, snow in the mountain passes, etc.  I started planning on doing my ride inside.  I don’t think I’ve ever had the patience to ride 3.5 hours inside, but it seems possible in theory!

When I got up this morning (Monday) it wasn’t actually raining, and sun was coming in the window.  Of course this can be pretty misleading, as all of the clouds and storms come in from the west, and I have often gotten drenched riding on mornings where there weren’t any clouds visible to the east.  I couldn’t see any clouds, though, so I decided to ride outside – I figured if I could get one or two hours in before I got rained on that might be worth it.

It was very windy, but there was plenty of sunshine and no rain falling!  I biked the loop around Lake Washington, and there were a lot of whitecaps on the lake. Here is wind data (peak gusts)  from the local weather:

  • Oak Harbor: 56 mph
  • Alki Beach (W. Seattle): 51 mph
  • Arlington: 48 mph
  • Everett: 47 mph
  • Shelton: 47 mph
  • Tacoma: 45 mph
  • Port Angeles: 41 mph
  • Gig Harbor: 41 mph
  • Olympia: 40 mph
  • Bellingham: 39 mph
  • Seattle (Sea-Tac): 39 mph
  • Hoquiam: 39 mph

I would guess that I went through some winds over 20 mph during parts of the ride.  Headwind for the first and last hours, but some tailwinds in between.  There was one stretch when I was going around the Renton Airport and I’m pretty sure I was going over 20 and almost exactly the same speed as my tailwind – that’s pretty fun!

After I finished, the weather got pretty nasty at home – hailed several times, and some pretty hard rain.  I definitely got lucky on my timing today!   It was a much nicer ride than it would have been on Sunday, so I guess I was actually lucky to lose my key, too!  I found it a few hours after I got home – somehow it got stuck inside the sleeve of my windbreaker, while I was putting it on I guess, and I didn’t feel it at all.

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