Cold Weather “Healing”

img_3570This sunny weather this last week has provided a number of good days to ride my bicycle.  It has also been deeply cold.  I relish these cold, sunny bike rides out on the road.  There is something special about them.

Is there science to say that cold air does the body good?  My freshman year college-BioSci-educated mind would say, “Certainly.”  As with most of my science, it feels so.  I’d even go as far to say it can cure the common cold.  I may have to call the Surgeon General to get this word out.  It feels right whether biking, skiing or walking.  That crisp, clear air does something for me.

It not only does something for my body, it triggers memories.  The cold weather rides take me back to my early morning paper routes, first for the Lynnwood Enterprise and then the Seattle Times.  Of course, Mom would drive me on the rainy mornings, but on those clear mornings I would get on my bike and ride the roads of South Snohomish County, newspaper sack over my shoulders, throwing papers at front door porches.  It was a difficult job and on those crisp mornings you felt as if you were climbing a mountain.  Completion was incredible success.

Today, the completion of a simple, warm weather bike ride feels like an incredible success.  The cold weather just makes it that much more special.

Don’t fade away from any of these cold days in which the rain stays away.  Get out for a walk, ride, run or stroll.  Take it in.  Breathe it in and out…not only the air (which will cure all ailments), but also the memories.


Chehalis-Western Trail

TrailThis is a fantastic paved trail that you don’t want to miss if you are in the South Sound.  If you are not in the South Sound, pack your bike next time you head south and take a two-hour break from your drive to enjoy this ride.

You’ll want to start the Chehalis-Western Trail as far north as possible.  This would be at Woodward Bay Road, which is on a peninsula north of Interstate 5 (by the way, I-5 is pretty much going east-west at this point).  Remember, as always, to not keep valuables in your car.

From Woodward Bay head south.  The trail is flat the entire way.  It is entirely free of traffic.

Just south of Indian Summer Golf and Country Club the trail takes a turn to the left and turns into gravel.  You’ll want to turn around at that point and head back.  That is 17 miles one way, so it is a significant ride.  I know, I don’t like out and back trails, either, but this one is worth it (and there isn’t a super safe alternative).

The trails passes a number of ponds.  You’ll see deer crossing.  The trail meanders along creek in places.  Stop and eat some berries.  There is a lot of trees to keep you shade in the sun and somewhat dry in the rain.

This is the perfect trail for any level of biking.  Go as far as you want and then turn around.  It’s safe, flat and fun.