[caption id="attachment_39556" align="alignnone" width="274" caption="Full-sized giraffe statue in Edmonds ... huh?"][/caption]

Last night, I slept like the dead.

Yesterday, I did a 200km (125 mile) ride on a giant loop through King and Snohomish counties. I don't normally do 10 1/2-hour rides by myself on a Sunday, but I'm riding Cascade's Seattle-to-Portland ride in one day and need to train. I followed one of the Seattle International Randonneurs' "Permanent" routes. Starting in Queen Anne, the ride basically went to Edmonds, over to Woodinville, up to Snohomish, down through Carnation to Issaquah, and down around Lake Washington back into Seattle.



I'll spare you the details of the whole ride, but I will say that:

• We live in an incredibly beautiful state. In the course of the day I saw the Sound, lakes, and rivers; lush, green forests; and vast farmland backdropped with snow-capped mountains.

• The sins of suburban living (environmentally unsustainable transportation models, sprawl, etc.) buy seriously well-maintained roads. Riding on some of the streets between Shoreline and Edmonds was like riding on a cloud.

• The Seattle Randos love hills, possibly even more than their own families. The long climbs near Issaquah at mile 90 bordered on soul-crushing.

• Just checking the forecast for Seattle doesn't really cut it for an all day ride. Also, riding for 30 miles in soaking-wet socks is a bummer.

• Finally, gas-station ice cream sandwiches are individually-wrapped gifts from God sent to lift the spirits of tired cyclists.

Some snaps from the ride:

[caption id="attachment_39555" align="alignnone" width="420" caption="Edmonds."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_39559" align="alignnone" width="420" caption="Snohomish River"]Snohomish river (I think?)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_39557" align="alignnone" width="420" caption="Snohomish County"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_39558" align="alignnone" width="420" caption="Took a slight detour for lunch and ended up on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail"][/caption]