WA: Lost in Edmonds

Friday, July 26, 2013

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Even though we’re up in Washington, I still plan to do a century ride a week and the day is here! This very urban route begins from Lynnwood and goes SW along the perimeter of the greater Seattle area and continues east for a loop around Mercer Island returns north from Bellevue and Kirkland back up to the start at Lynnwood. The highlights of this course are the many viewpoints and vistas of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, the many bays, coves, parks and lakes of this region.

It’s early in the morning so there’s a lot of commute traffic for the first 10 miles as we ride out through the city of Lynnwood. No worries though, the majority of city roads have a wide clean shoulder area and most motorists are very courteous to cyclists.

We head west on 168th St SW and quickly arrive on Olympic View Rd, it’s here that I realized that we missed a turn. We pull over and Michael pulls out his smart phone to check our route. We are supposed to turn on Meadowdale Rd to 76th Ave W, well here’s the thing, the roads of the greater Seattle area are not on a perfect grid system, there can be 3-4 street name changes within a quarter to half an mile. We had already missed a couple of turns prior to this one and had to turn around or look up our location on GPS. So no problem right? We get back on track and continue into Edmonds on Olympic View Dr.

Olympic View Dr is a gorgeous stretch of road that runs along Lynndale Park and through the thick wooded Southwest County Park. The road continues west through a residential neighborhood with large waterfront estate homes. Olympic View Dr obviously has views of the Olympic Mountains! The road winds out around to Puget Dr and Caspers St to Sunset Ave; a one-way street which is okay for cyclists. The waterfront views are phenomenal-Puget Sound is gorgeous with the Olympic Mountains looming in the background, it’s all very picturesque!


Click on any photo below to start the gallery slide show

The Edmonds-Kingston ferry provides service to Kingston, Hood Canal and the Olympic Peninsula and the train station nearby serves Amtrak and Sound Transit. It’s a very busy transit area for the community and tourists alike.

We continue SW on Edmonds Way pass Edmonds Marsh and the City Park. It’s a long climb up to the Westgate area and the level of traffic dramatically increases, before long, the shoulder area disappears so we hop onto the sidewalk. At this point, something just doesn’t feel right. We pull off the side of the road to check the GPS again. Well guess what, we missed a turn-AGAIN! We are so, so off track now.

We have 75 more miles to go, at this rate; the century route I had planned is just not going to work for us. I should have known better and thought twice when the route sheet ended up to be 4 pages long with tons of turns and multiple street name changes. Apparently I didn’t zoom in enough on the map when I was creating the route to catch all the changes-no one to blame but myself!

There comes a time when you know something is not going to go well and the decision has to be made to just stop, call it quits and change plans. The time has come and it’s now-so we retrace our way back to Edmonds. We’re just going to hang out on the benches by the shoreline, take in all the sunshine, and enjoy the views and the vibrant town.

Edmonds is a waterfront community with extensive views of the water and Olympic Mountains. There are multiple waterfront parks and sandy beaches along with a very accessible and walkable downtown area. Downtown Edmonds has the classic old charm feel with a central fountain and streetlamps with colorful hanging flower baskets. The Visitors Center is located in an historic log cabin next to the Historical Museum. It’s easy to get lost in all that the town has to offer; from the bookstores and little shops to the boutiques. Feeling tired and hungry after all the window shopping? Stop at one of the many coffee shops, cafes and restaurants, there’s plenty to choose from!

From Main St, we make our way to 9th Ave S and 220th St SW and hop onto the Interurban Trail that takes us back to Lynnwood.

The shorter ride allowed us to return to our RV with plenty of time to do some grocery shopping, laundry and unwind with some coffee and tea at the local Starbucks with free Wi-Fi. It all worked out for the better-I’ll have to re-route another century for another day! There are plenty of rides ahead of us.

*Some pics are taken from the web

Garmin Stats:
32.22 Miles with 1893′ of elevation gain
Max elevation:
Max grade:
Terrain: Flat with a few low hills

Weather: Great! Sunny with clear blue skies. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the mid 80’s. N winds with 82% humidity

Not everything will go as you expect, drop expectations and just go with the flow.


Click here to view the interactive route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

*the cue sheet has been adjusted to omit the wrong turns