Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Scootering on Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island is a wonderful place for having wheeled adventures. The island is only a 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle and it has some fine, albiet hilly, roads with great scenery and not too much traffic. Every February the Cascade Bicycle Club gets their season rolling with the annual Chilly Hilly Bike Ride on Bainbridge Island.

I've ridden the Chilly Hilly several times in the past, but since I've been working in bike shops I've tended to be working most weekends when the organized rides happen. My days off are mid-week and that's when I get the bulk of my riding in. Sometimes these rides are solo and at other times I ride with a friend or two who, like me, has a work schedule that allows for mid-week adventure.

This week I had an odd idea, I wanted to ride my SwiftyONE scooter the length of the Chilly Hilly route. I'd figured I'd be doing this solo but when I told my friend Mike Kearsley of my plan, he got quite excited about the prospect of biking along with me. "I'll be slow," I told Mike. "Me too!" he said. "I know I'll be walking up some of the steepest hills," I said. "I will too. I'm an old fat guy who carries too much stuff. This'll be great!"

And you know what? It was great. We met up at the Seattle Ferry Terminal at 8:30 AM and took the 8:45 AM ferry to Bainbridge. Mike and I both love stopping whenever we something cool or odd or pretty and Bainbridge Island is filled with such things. Mike shot a super brief video (embedded below) before his Iphone's memory filled. Mike also took loads of pictures with my camera and he's a big, friendly guy who'd randomly ask passing dog walkers and joggers if they'd take our picture.

Here's the video:


Here's a link to a bunch of pictures from the ride:

We had terrific weather for the ride, cloudy most of the day and cool, but never actually cold and there wasn't a drop of rain. The sun even came out for a little bit. We stopped at a Little Free Library, a funny bus stop with a trampoline, odd bits of art and any other place that looked interesting or pretty. We also added a little side trip to Fay Bainbridge Park.

And yes we walked up some of the steep hills. The longest and most notable was Baker Hill which was a long, slow trudge up followed by a sphincter clenching 30 mph screaming descent back down to waterfront. 30 mph feels REALLY fast on a kick scooter!

I know just how fast I went on that Baker Hill descent because I've fitted a little Sigma Bike Computer to Swifty, so I have some stats for the ride. With a few little course additions (like rolling down to the beach at Fay Bainbridge Park), we logged 34.8 miles in 5 hours and 17 minutes of rolling time (we had lots of messing around taking pictures time, too!) So our rolling average speed was an impressive 6.58 mph. "That's what my speed averages when I'm going by myself anyway!" Mike assured me.

We were a little early for the 4:35 PM ferry back to Seattle so we oohed and ahhed over the various nifty bikes at Classic Cycles before we caught the ferry home. Both Mike and I agreed that this odd little ride was one of the best days we've had on wheels.

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