South Lake Washington Loop

I just realized that I haven’t been on a real bike ride in a while. Since getting back from Cuba (late April) I’ve taken my bike out only a few times and each ride was tame and leisurely. South Lake Washington was not that.

Me, Megan and Garry.

Garry’s in town and so Megan planned a bike ride around the south part of the lake. She kindly invited me along (or I invited myself… The lines get blurry sometimes).

Mercer Island is feeling patriotic.

I haven’t done this exact route before. It’s a popular one with bikers and I can see why. You basically get a longish, challenging (for most people) ride around the bottom half of Lake Washington. You ride on roads, trails and bridges. And you ride through Seattle, Mercer Island, Factoria (Megan and I wondered if Factoria is part of Bellevue, and I looked it up. Yes, it is. For some reason, the fact that there are bike trails in Factoria threw us both off. Bellevue is not known for being a bike friendly city, so Factoria feels rebellious somehow) and Renton, before returning to Seattle again.


It’s a 24 mile ride, with close to 1000 ft of elevation. The hills are not super long or super steep, but there’s enough of them to feel them. At least I felt them. Hills are something you can get used to and conquer more easily if you train. And I haven’t been training…

Garry, who recently got this Silvio Cruzbike, was conquering the hills like nobody’s business. So, even though it may look like it’d be impossible to get up a hill in this recumbent position, it isn’t. This is a really cool looking bicycle! To me it looks both extremely comfortable and very difficult to maneuver. Especially when going up or going down a hill.


The clouds looked ominous all afternoon. I was expecting it to start pouring at any moment, but oddly enough we didn’t get any rain on this bike ride. It rained in the morning, but by the time we went out it only looked scary.


I really love this part of the trail. I would like to walk around here sometime, because on a bike you get through it too quickly! This is Bellevue’s Mercer Slough, right alongside and underneath I-90.


Not all of the ride is on trails though. Some of it is on the side of the road, but that’s something else I’m slowly just learning to deal with. I don’t like to bike next to cars, but there’s only so far you can go on bike designated trails.

It wasn’t an easy ride, by no means! But I’d like to do this route more often. It’s varied enough, interesting enough and challenging enough and it shouldn’t get boring any time soon.

Screenshot 2016-07-04 09.26.24

  • This Ride: 23.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 970 ft
  • YTD Biking Miles: 640
  • YTD Hiking Miles: 47
  • YTD Urban Hiking Miles: 96.5


2 thoughts on “South Lake Washington Loop

  1. Nice read and description. Excellent photos. I really enjoyed the ride but the next morning my hip pain was back. I was unable to tie my shoes and walking was painful. Off the bike for a while.

    The good news is that I am scheduled for a steroid shot next Thursday which should take me through the remainder of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope the shot helps! I’m so sorry… I felt it the next day too, even though I have no chronic pain to speak of. It was just enough for me to feel it.


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