Wednesday, April 24, 2013

#30DaysofScootering: Seattle to Issaquah

In my job at the bike shop, I work every weekend and Wednesdays and Thursdays are my virtual weekend. I don't have to go to work today, but I do have an early morning dentist appointment in Seattle. I take the bus from Issaquah to Seattle and I bring my scooter along. On the way from the bus stop to the dentist, I actually meet another scooter commuter at a traffic light. He's on an old K2 scooter and thinks my NYCeWheels KickPed is really nice. At the dentist's office, Dr. Loshin is also very taken with my scooter. His wife, who is filling in for the receptionist today, is more skeptical. "Why would you want one of those?" she wonders. "It's good exercise." "It's super fun." Dr. Loshin both say pretty much the same things at the same time. We make vague plans for him to borrow the scooter at a future date so he can decide if he's going to order one. I should be getting a commission on these things!

It's a beautiful day and my plan is to try my longest scooter trip to date, the 18 miles east to Issaquah. If I get too tired, I can bail out and take the bus from Mercer Island or Bellevue College.

I roll down 5th Avenue and do my usual routine of stopping to take pictures of things too damn often.

The International District is one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods. Every intersection is a four-way stop, so the cars don't build up any kind of crazy, dangerous speed. It's a good flow for walking, biking and scootering.

This dragon is in a neat little children's pocket park.

I swing by the Bikery's new location. They are closed, but they still love me.

Bikers are always welcome.

These are the hours when you can find the Bikery folks in the shop.

I'm working my way east on the Mountain to Sound Greenway Trail.

There's art embedded in the concrete.

A nice tunnel saves me from having to climb over the ridge.

Various bits of art in the tunnel.

And a history lesson.

The east end of the tunnel.

The observation deck looking out over the floating bridge.

Lots of little green signs.

There's a lane for us non-motorized folks on the north side of the bridge.

It's a clear day, so Mount Rainier is clearly visible to the south,

There are various bits of art along the trail on Mercer Island.

This is the bridge connecting Mercer Island to Bellevue.

The little bridge over the Bellevue Slough.

The route through South Bellevue is going to get better.

I'm quite pleased to find that I'm able to (slowly) scooter up every hill between Seattle and Issaquah. I wasn't sure if I'd wind up walking on some of these.

At 150th, I cross the pedestrian bridge over to the north side of I-90.

I follow the signs and the sidewalks until I rejoin the trail.

The steepest climb of the day is the spiral ramp up to the bridge that takes me across I-90 yet again.

The last miles into Issaquah are a downhill run on Newport Avenue.

Good, wide bike lane.

This little waterfall is totally fake, but pretty.

Closer into Issaquah, I ride in the separated counterflow lane.

The trip didn't feel like any kind of burden or even that much of workout. It was, however, a wonderful day to be out an about. It took me three hours and 20 minutes to ride the 18 miles from Seattle to Issaquah, but I was taking it pretty easy and stopping a lot to take pictures.

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah, WA USA


billk said...

Would you estimate it takes about twice as long on the scooter as on bike? Could you have done the 18 miles without stopping?

Kent Peterson said...

Hi billk,

Riding the scooter seems to be about twice as fast as my walking speed and about half my biking in town speed. In general:

Walking: 3 mph
Scootering: 6 mph
Biking: 12 mph

In some cases I can scoot or bike faster, but that's the general pattern.

As for doing the 18 miles without stopping, yeah, I think that would be pretty easy. But I've always been an endurance guy. I don't go fast, but I can go a long time.

biik said...

Thanks Kent. Would also be interested in hearing about the different muscle groups you use for scootering and how your body responds. Seems like it would be good for strengthening the glutes and lower back, several areas bikes do not do much for. Enjoying your posts.

Anonymous said...

Okay. We have the distance thing down (and I thank you for that). Now I'm wondering about KickPed for short distance fill-in light grocery shopping (not heavy bulky grocery shopping). I think a backpack with belly strap worn on the scooterer's back would work best as far as scootering is concerned. And you leave the backpack at the customer service counter (as most mass grocery retailers require because they are terrified that evil and clever you might steal from them),put the scooter in the shopping cart, shop, pay, put the purchases in the backpack, scooter home a mile or two if that. Note that your serious hauling bike wasn't stolen from the grocery store's gtm cheesey isolated bike rack in all this.

That's what I want to try, next. What do you think?