Flaming Geyser Ride

12APRIL2008  Auburn to Flaming Geyser State Park via Black Diamond, then Green River-Interurban Trail loop, 64 miles, 4 hours.
It was an absolutely beautiful day, so it made sense to head out on my bike. Road directions from the bicycle route guides needed a little to be desired, and the route occasionally was not clear, but, I managed to find my way around all the same. The ride up to Black Diamond from Auburn was a long steady climb, and I was able to maintain an 18-20 mph speed. Past Black Diamond, the road dropped precipitously down to Flaming Geyser State Park. The park was just off the road, so I turned off to see the fantastic flaming geyser. Here it is…

If you don’t see it too clearly, don’t worry. That’s all it is! Can you believe that? Apparently, some dude was trying to drill a well, and after going down 360 feet, hit liquid that tended to burn when ignited. Cool. Actually, though the stream running through the park was beautiful, the only real attraction of the park was the bridge into the park.

The rest of the way back to Auburn was flat farmland. The total loop was only 35 miles, and though very hilly, I decided I needed a little more time on the Fahrrad. So, 30 more miles up the Green River and back. The Green River is named because it is green, kind of like the Chicago River every St. Patrick’s day. But this green is not from food coloring. It is from green Schleim.

There were lots of apartment complexes and industries feeding Boeing on the other side, but also a golf course. It occurred to me why I hate golf. The lawn was covered with fat ugly slobs slowly meandering after their golf balls, calling it to exercise. My eye.
By the way, you all may be wondering what my bike looks like. It is a Novara Trionfo, purchased last year from REI. (see lead photo) I had to lean it up against our car in order to get a photo of it. Real bikes do NOT have kickstands.
I tried a map bag on the handlebars on this trip, as you can see, but didn’t really like it. I usually wear a Camelback hydrator, where I can carry my keys, extra food, camera, repair pump, extra tube, etc. The little gadget under the seat also carries repair tools. I find that the way to survive a long trip is constant hydration and constant sugar. Today, I learned not to bring chocolate, which melted. Gummibären and GU (Schleim in a small aluminum package, that you can carry in your jersey pocket, and slurp down about once an hour, which really charges your energy quickly). Last year, my outings were occasionally passed by more experienced riders. On this ride, I passed a lot of experienced riders, maintaining an 18-20 mph pace even at the end, and was passed by nobody. So, I think I’m getting in better shape.