May 19 2012

North Loop

Remember when you were a kid and you were making Easter eggs? And you got tired of making those boring single color Easter eggs? So you decided to make the coolest, multi-colored Easter egg and spent 20 minutes (but it seemed like 3 hours) holding an egg partially suspended at different angles in the different color dyes so that it came out kind of like a tie-dyed egg? Remember how great that egg looked?

And then remember how you dropped it as you tried to put it on the drying rack?

In some surrealistic way, that memory represents our training ride this weekend.

Steve, Nancy, Sam, Troy and I met up at the Bellevue Way Park and Ride just before noon. Before starting out we thanked God for another beautiful day and prayed for safety. Then we took off up Bellevue Way, onto 112th Avenue through Bellevue to Lake Washington Blvd through Kirkland. We hit the first hill at Market Street coming out of Kirkland. No sweat!

Came down the other side and into South Juanita then started the long climb up Juanita Drive. No problem. We got to the retail center at the top of the hill and Nancy asked, “When are we going to hit the big hill?”

“Uh, Nancy, we just finished it!” Things were going well – even better than expected.


Rode down the back side of the hill, got onto the Burke Gilman Trail, and made it to our first rest stop: Log Boom Park.

Thumbs up for spam and rice












We shared some spam and rice – the only food you need if you ever get stranded on a desert island. Life is good! After refueling we got back on the trail. First time on the renovated portion of the Burke and it’s like heaven. New, smooth, and widened asphalt trail. Better visibility. Couldn’t ask for more.

Getting refreshed at Zoka












Smooth sailing all the way down to U-Village to our second rest stop: Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Company on NE Blakely Street. Iced mochas, pomegranate soda, and an iced vanilla blade! Every ride should be this good!

It’s 2:30 pm. Should be back at the park and ride by 3:30 pm – plenty of time to get to the MANDATORY STP riders’ meeting. Exiting the Burke we have a little snafu. Riding through the crosswalk I slow for an oncoming car that looks like it’s not going to yield. Nancy bumps the back of my bike, Troy slows, forgets to unclip, and hello pavement. Dinged up his finger a bit, but it’s all good. We carry on.

We continue on the Lake Washington Loop path through the Arboretum and head down toward the lake. Then the egg dropped and at 5:45 pm we made it to our third rest stop.

Our 3rd Rest Stop: The Quah Spa












Okay, so how did we get to the ER at Swedish Hospital in Issaquah (aka, the Quah Spa)?

Well, we had a bit of an incident. I prepared a diagram to help explain. I didn’t really see it so I’ve pieced it together from what we collectively figured out after the fact.












The bike ninja didn’t actually run Nancy off the road, but he passed her at a particularly bad time and obscured her view so that she wasn’t able to see and anticipate the sharp turn.

Nancy said she was leaning hard to make the turn, but just didn’t have enough room to pull it out. As she described it I had a picture of Speed Racer making that turn on two wheels. Nancy’s not Trixie, but she’s no Speed either. The whole thing made me feel like Chim Chim.

In retrospect, we should have talked about the irregular road condition prior to the descent, but when the really cool Easter egg drops, you just can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Nancy sat in the bushes for awhile. She was experiencing a lot of pain in her right shoulder so she sat there awhile until she was able to sit up. Steve stayed with her while I rode with Troy and Sam back to the park and ride. We were hoofin’ it and got there just before 4:00 pm. Troy went to the STP meeting and Sam and I loaded up our bikes and drove back into the city to pick up Nancy and Steve.


When we got back, Nancy and Steve were sitting on the curb. She was still in a lot of pain, but it was intermittent. One thing I learned about Nancy is that she’s really tough. She even laughed between the bouts of pain.

The ER was busy. We saw our friend Anna who works in the ER and she helped get Nancy admitted and into a room. She came out to the waiting room and told us that she throught that Nancy’s collarbone was broken. And you know what? Anna knows what she’s talking about. It was broken in two places.

When we went in to see Nancy she told us it would be awhile before she would be treated so we prayed for her and then left to go back to the park and ride to get her car. After dropping her car off at her place and returning to the ER, we found Nancy dressed and ready to go home! She was talking to the ER receptionists and telling them how she’s still hoping to ride the STP!

Well, I gotta tell you that she was on Vicodin, but I don’t think it had really kicked in yet so I’m pretty sure she was serious and aware of what she was saying. We went down to Walgreens to get her medication and made a stop at Starbucks while we were waiting for the prescription to be filled. That’s when we took this last picture. Have you ever seen a happier person with a broken collarbone?

She'd smile even without the Java Chip Frapp and Vicodin
















Nancy’s home now recuperating. Please join me in praying for her. For quick healing, peace, and continued joy in the midst of recovery. As for me, I’m so grateful to God for protecting Nancy by sending her into a bush instead of the guardrail, I’m thankful that she wasn’t hurt worse than she is, and I’m thankful that Steve, Troy, and Sam were there to help. God is good!


1 comment

  1. blueneck

    Ride around North Lake report
    by Blueneck
    Our ride started off at Bellevue Park & Ride. Five riders total – a good sized group.
    It started off pretty easy, all the way into Kirkland and up the hills there. Reasonable climbing
    and I didn’t feel bad going up the hills; a nice easy ride as advertised!
    We then hit the Burke-Gilman – I really liked the smooth new pavement on the
    trail. Every time I ride it I remember racing some kid who was twice as young as I was and I beat ‘em!
    But that was when I was in college. These days, if I can even draft off someone half-my age I feel good.
    I have another memory of riding that trail with Ed, Kary, and Mikkel, but I’ll save that for another time.
    We stopped off at Zoka’s – Jon got refreshments and we relaxed while Troy told us a story. Ride with
    Troy next time and maybe he’ll tell it to you.
    We got back on the trail and started winding our way toward I-90. The bike route then takes a
    bit of a drop through some “S” curves – I noticed that the speed picked up and here’s where the ride
    took a turn. As we descended, I could tell that Nancy was going a little fast; when another rider swooped
    in and went flying past me and then just as he passed her, Nancy tried to avoid scraping her pedals leaning into the turn, but this caused her to take a roll into the bushes. It could have been a lot worse if it was a few yards more since that was where the guard rail was. I think the guy who passed was going too fast. I wish I could tell you that Nancy tried to fight him off and that they went at it in the curve; some big burly guy taking on Nancy…but that wasn’t the case. I saw her go down and me and another rider rushed over. She was in pain and it was her shoulder.
    I knew from experience with shoulder problems to try to keep her arm immobilized. Jon and the other guys in
    our group rode back up and we decided that I would stay with Nancy while they go get the car.
    As we sat there I tried to keep her comfortable and we got to talk about a few things here and there; under
    normal circumstances a pleasant chat. Many cars and other riders stopped by to offer help; probably 20 or more.
    Nancy is tough – she hung in there while we were waiting. The only thing she mentioned was that the
    concrete curb we were sitting on was getting a little uncomfortable.
    Jon soon showed up with the car and we were able to get Nancy to the ER in Issaquah Highlands.
    It is one of the nicer ER’s around and Anna was working that day so I knew Nancy would be in good hands.
    Please pray for healing for Nancy and a recovery filled with joy of God’s care for her.
    Well, that’s my report – the lesson here is to really be careful with the “S” curves dropping down to Lake
    Washington as you’re heading south. It’s a place where many crashes occur because the curves are technical and can be slippery since they’re always in the shade.

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