Yesterday we met up with Mark Thomas in the U District for a meandering ride. We started leisurely enough with a stop after about 2 miles for lunch at Agua Verde and then another stop at the visitor center of the Arboretum for a bathroom break. After that the ride took off in earnest as we headed south along Lake Washington, crossed I-90 and the north end of Mercer Island, continued south to Renton where we caught the Cedar River Trail then up and over Cedar Grove Road. We made a short stop at the grocery mart there for water before heading north to Issaquah. Of course I got a flat on the busiest road of the ride but had plenty of willing help from Robin and Mark so didn't even get my hands dirty! Thanks guys! A cruise along East Lake Sammamish assured us our adopt-a-road section looked in good order before cutting through Marymoor Park and hitting the Sammamish River Trail. Mark turned off for home in Redmond while Robin and I continued to link up to the Burke Gilman Trail back to our car in the U District. Mark whined at one point that I had promised a sunny ride. Pretty cheeky if you ask me considering it WAS sunny some of the time AND the ride we did at his behest on Saturday was a soaker. You just can't please some people. I don't think I've ever ridden that many miles of trail and I kept noticing guys with grey or white beards cycling by. There were so many of them I began to wonder if there weren't just 3 or 4 that kept circling around. No kidding I bet I saw 2 dozen white bearded cyclists on the various trails. The rough road along Lake Washington (especially around Leschi) and the root ruffled Burke Gilman combined to rattle my bones and I was short on food and getting close to bonking as we finished up. Robin suggested a smoothie and I had seen a sign for smoothies just down the road from where we parked. It turned out to be a cheesy Thai place (note to self: advertising for Bubble Tea not a good sign) whose smoothies were more like slurpies. They had these really fat straws that guaranteed brain freeze about every 4th sip. After watching Robin clutch his forehead for the 3rd time I finally located a smaller straw and things went better after that. A funny kind of ride day but it was great to be out there.