Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Routine, continued

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been spending some time with and Google Maps - Street View trying to come up with some new routes. The 10 and 15 mile routes turned out to be just the change I'd been looking for. Fairly light on traffic, nice roads and some challenging hills. Next on the agenda was a 20 or 25 mile ride that could replace the whole Indian Creek and Tomahawk Creek Trails loop.

A couple weeks ago, before he headed back to school, my son Peter and I were discussing my flagging enthusiasm for riding on the bike path and I told him I was going to start looking for some good streets to ride on. He suggested we try a ride on Kenneth road. He'd worked with the city's civil engineering department surveying roads over the summer and said a portion had been resurfaced and might be nice to try. So, I thought I'd encorporate Kenneth road into my longer ride. This last Sunday, I saddled up and headed out.

I present: The 21 Miler

My timing could have been better. There was quite a bit of traffic out on some of the major roads. I also saw quite a few other cyclists. When I rode over the bike path on Mission road it looked REALLY busy. I was happy to be on the road (even if I was passed by a young lady on a really nice road bike).

Something to consider: even though maps say that Kenneth road begins its southern journey at 133rd street ... it doesn't. I had to hop over to State Line road which was busy as all get out and then use 135th to get to Kenneth. It turns out that Kenneth is a rather popular road for automobile traffic. It didn't matter that much as the road was wide enough for people to get by me, until Kenneth curves to the west and becomes 159th street. There the road narrows, adds guard rails and becomes a moderately steep climb.

View Larger Map

I wouldn't have minded the climb, but I was getting passed by cars and trucks every 15 to 20 seconds on the way up to Mission Road. Almost without exception the people passing my crossed over the double yellow line to give me plenty of room, but there were a couple times that cars were coming from the other direction and we were all a little too cosey.

So, three sections that I would avoid during Sunday afternoon rides:
119th between Tomahawk and Mission
159th between Kenneth and Mission
Roe between Tomahawk and 117th

Other than that, it was an enjoyable ride. I'll probably ride it again, hopefully with Peter in tow, but on a Saturday afternoon when traffic might be a little lighter. I will be looking for a different 20 to 25 mile route in the mean time.

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