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As long as I’ve got it

June 26, 2007

The PX goes in for its 6000-mile service tomorrow. I haven’t ridden it since Sunday, but I have been riding. Boy, have I been riding.

Safety Ed said there was no hurry getting the GT back to him, so I’ve been exploring its capabilities on roads where I’d hesitate to ride the PX.

Yesterday, I decided to take the 520 bridge to Bellevue. Were I on the PX, I’d be timing this trip to coincide with the peak morning commute volume. But a GT will do 85 mph, so I just ride to Montlake and hop on.

Motorcycles get to use HOV lanes, and while there aren’t any on the bridge deck, there’s an HOV lane on the entrance ramp at Montlake. Good for me, because there’s a very large truck in front of me, so I can whip around it and merge.

The bike has no trouble running with traffic, but there’s a pretty stiff crosswind on the bridge deck, making me tense up in preparation for the possibility of getting blown into another lane. I see 55 mph on the speedometer.

I hop off at 84th and go through Medina toward downtown Bellevue. Bellevue Way turns into Lake Washington Boulevard as you head north, and I remember there’s a place within Kirkland’s city limits that has an electronic speed limit sign that displays your speed if it differs from the 35 mph limit.

There it is! I approach at an indicated 40 mph. “Your Speed 36” flashes the sign. Okay, four mph optimistic isn’t bad.

In downtown Kirkland, I decide to go right on 85th and head to Crossroads Mall. The route is easy one for a bigger scooter, and Crossroads’ food court is a good one, made up entirely of locally-owned restaurants.

Following lunch, I head back to Kirkland, the idea being to take Juanita Drive to Kenmore and Bothell Way heading back to Seattle.

Later I decide to head to West Seattle. Definitely, I’m taking the Viaduct. But I’m not getting off at Safeco Field… I keep going south, where the Viaduct turns into plain ol’ Hwy 99 as it goes past the other cruise ship terminal and up the ramp.

No, I’m not going to take the Harbor Island exit, I’m going for the high-level West Seattle Bridge. It’s sunny, the pavement’s dry… these are the best possible conditions to make a first pass on a scooter.

But it’s windy… really windy. I don’t know the exact elevation, but the high-level bridge is way up there, maybe as high as the Ship Canal Bridge on I-5. I get nervous when it’s windy, but decide to press on to the Harbor Avenue exit.

Today, I briefly pondered the idea of taking I-5 to Cafe Racer, but traffic is heavy, moving fast enough that trucks might make the ride too, uh, interesting. I opted for Aurora instead.

Having finished my Diet Coke and the New York Times, I pondered where to go next. The sun’s shining brightly, so I decide to take the Lake Washington Boulevard route to Seward Park.

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier, as seen from Seward Park

Mount Rainier looked magnificent! Too bad the cell phone camera doesn’t convey that.

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One Comment
  1. June 27, 2007 6:16 am

    That’s one of the many things I love about my GT – how it rides in the wind! I am constantly riding in the wind in the Tri-Cities. No buffeting like I had on my 125cc.

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