I got up significantly later then this and found the rear tire on my Atlantis to be flat. Same with my “backup” bicycle. D’oh! So it was the automobile which making the best of a bad situation I took the opportunity to run some errands. Arriving home that evening after dinner I changed the tire. I then decided that as this was the longest day I was going to ride until dark. I headed out about a quarter to nine with plenty of light in the sky.
I rode through my neighborhood down to Lake Washington Way and the Kirkland waterfront. The sun was dipping down into a layer of clouds at the horizon painting the sky with its vibrant colors. I rode out onto a public pier, where I snapped the above photo, and spent some time enjoying the setting sun on the water. Twilight now I ride through Kirkland’s downtown which is thronging with people in cars and on foot. The sounds of people dining and drinking on patios an the smells of grills set the scene as I ride through town. People genuinely use the Kirkland waterfront on nice days and it is nice to actually see people out and about. I rode through town and up Market Street pulling off to wander the neighborhoods along the waterfront. I was riding till dark which I knew was over an hour away and as I had no specific destination beyond returning home I let myself freely wander. As I began to loop back to Market St. I took a left that went downhill back down toward the water. This road looped around and I found a back entrance to Juanita Bay Park which was a nice discovery. I rode through its paths and parking my bicycle walked out on a board walk into the lilly pad covered bay. At the lookout there was a pair of giggling teenagers so I wasn’t that compelled to spend much time. Plus I was riding into the darkness. So I soon set out, crossing the park and heading up Forbes Creek Drive. This is a really nice route with rolling hills through the valley carved out by the creek though at times I was riding through thick clouds of gnats. Some interesting looking areas of woods along the creek that merit further exploration. Reaching the end of the drive I wandered through the light industrial above it seeing if there was a path that connected to the Kirkland Highlands, which I’ve always felt there should be. Now pretty dark I didn’t see any promising leads and I rode on.
I’d turned on my Schmidt Hub much earlier as I like having the taillights bring glow adding to my blinkies in the twilight. Riding through the dusk that I love so much it would illuminate my way as I went into shaded areas, disappearing as I returned into the dwindling light. Now though in the thick gloaming the light was essential to show my way. Leaving the industrial area I rode under the 405 on 116th (a route I would not do during the day with the insane traffic and freeway ramps) and into the Rose Hill neighborhoods. Pretty much totally dark now, clouds were rolling in as well diminishing the light from the quarter moon. I rode through the neighborhood until I crossed over to the Bridle Trails neighborhood heading toward a pedestrian overpass across the 405. Riding past a school I see a couple of young adults one of them on a bike. His buddy shouts out to me “Front brakes rule, right?” to which I replied in the affirmative. He used this to chide hid buddy who informed him he had no front brake, or a rear brake either for the matter. Must be a fixed gear rider. Shortly thereafter I crossed the 405 and wended my way through suburban streets until I made my way home.
Back home: 10:15pm
Back home after about an hour and a half, now the sky is mostly cloudy with a hint of light to the west but stars overhead in between the clouds. The solstice is about done and from here on out it will be darker every night.