Kubota Garden Ride (Sep 5, 2015)

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kubota_garden_coverConditions: day ride
Gear: road bike
Map: n/a
Area: Seattle
Reference: Biking Puget Sound (60 Rides from Olympia to the San Juans)
Stats: 31.2mi, 1715' gain (round trip)

I've been wanting to get back to Kubota Garden. I was there a long time ago but it has been on my radar to revisit. A friend, the Head Gardener there, was working a project for a new stone wall and it I recall correctly, there was no mortar. It is all just held in place due to the fit of the large stones. A master stonemason from Japan was part of he project.

I headed down to Steve's first. He was going to help me get my new pedals and clips set up on my bike. Finally, I'm comfortable enough on the bike that I'm ready to tackle bike shoes. After getting everything measured and fit we took a quick spin over to University Market. Steve wanted to pick up some fresh produce. I'm really liking how close he is to the market and I have to admit...I'm a bit jealous. The whole practice loop from Green Lake to the Post Office to the market and back to Green Lake was only about 3.5mi and 125 gain. The best news...no falls!

Then back at Steve's we talked about what we wanted to ride today. He had suggested taking his tandem bike out but we settled on taking our own bikes. I had been thinking about Kubota Garden, suggested it, and we decided to head down there. First we checked to see if there was an entrance free (there is not) and looked at a route. We then took off heading through the busy streets of Seattle. Steve gave me lots of prompts that were really appreciated (unclip, right turn ahead, etc.)

It was nice cycling through Seattle but ick...down towards Rainier Valley...not so much. It is really urban and the roads (Beacon Ave) are in pretty bad shape. Lots of holes, uneven pavement, glass... Eventually we got to the garden. The bad news is that there are no bike racks to which we could lock up our bikes. We did find a place but it is not ideal. I'm actually really surprised the City of Seattle (which operates the park) hasn't installed racks. We walked toward the main gate and we were greeted by a cute little mouse that walked directly towards us, paused a few times, then wandered off to the edge of the walkway to nibble on something. It was as if it was the Garden Greeter. We walked around the gardens and I was really surprised to find that there was lots of color still blooming about. The gardens are beautiful, the stone wall looks really impressive, and it was nice to visit the place.

The sky started to grow pretty dark though. Then...a flash of light and a distant rumble. Steve checked the forecast again and there was no rain expected. Hmm... We decided to take Lake Washington Blvd on our route back but just as we reached the boulevard some light rain started, then heavy, then really heavy, then really heavy driving rain along with thunder and lightning. We had about 16 miles ahead of us to get back to Green Lake. We were both a bit chilled but we didn't have the luxury to stop. I did though stop twice...once to put a jacket on and once to take off my sunglasses. We made a really fast beeline back to Green Lake. By the time we got back to Green Lake we were both soaking wet and chilled.

Notes: 12.6 miles to the garden which took about 1.5hrs. The return trip to Green Lake was about 15 miles which took about 1.5hrs. I think I'd skip the way we went down to the gardens if I do the ride again. The Lake Washington Blvd route is in much better condition and much more scenic.
Kubota Garden Slideshow

kubota_garden_map kubota_garden_ride_map

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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