You know you’re probably going to enjoy your new job when part of the assigned “training” requires that you attend a 25 mile bike ride on a foggy fall morning.
Lindsey, Hanna and I–three of four new AmeriCorps members at Cascade–pedaled to the Starbucks in Leschi Wednesday morning rather than our normal commute to Magnuson Park, to join Mike Nelson’s Wednesday Retired Unemployed Merry Pedalers (WRUMPS) daily ride.
With a backdrop of fall colors nearly as vibrant as the group’s colorful array of jackets, we set out across I-90, through Mercer Island and over to the Eastside, making our way around the south end of the lake. From there, we connected to the Chief Sealth multi-use trail that took us climbing over Beacon Hill to end with an easy coast back down toward Leschi.
Although our retired ride companions jokingly referred to themselves as “the geezers”, we later found out that these Retired Unemployed Merry Pedalers don’t mess around–our ride leader Mike is a 23-time Ironman triathlete! Fortunately for us newbies, the moderate pace he set on the mix of trail and bike lanes was manageable and true to the ride description. Always hoping to introduce people to new terrain on his rides, Mike was happy to have a few Daily Rides newcomers in tow.
Having moved to the area two weeks ago, my experience biking around Seattle has been limited to my neighborhood and my daily commute on the Burke. The ride was not only the perfect way to learn about safe and scenic trails, but it also helped me gain a better sense of the layout of Seattle’s neighborhoods and surrounding cities. Both Lindsey and Hanna, Seattleites for several years now, enjoyed the introduction to routes on Mercer Island and the Eastside. All of us agreed that our favorite part was when Mike pulled the group over to point out spawning salmon. For a recent transplant, It doesn’t get much more Seattle than that.
Well, work on Wednesday was rough. After a morning of chasing “geezers” around the lake, sitting at my desk in the afternoon was a welcome respite. Whether for work or for pleasure, if you haven’t been on a daily ride yet, I highly recommend you check out the calendar. They’re free, they’re fun; and you get to meet some friendly people, perhaps ride a new route and, in the very least, get out there and get active.