Saturday, May 3rd-- The adventure starts at 8 a.m., with three guys intending to ride the entire 24 hours. Sheldon, Eric, and I will make make ONE round trip from Gasworks to Marymoor Park in Redmond, and back (50 miles), then go up Stone Way by car to the Greenlake loop. It also looks like we may have a few other guys joining us on this 50-mile trek!
We should all be up at Greenlake by 2 p.m., where it's easier for people to stop by the lake and skate a while, any time during the afternoon or night. Early Sunday morning riders are more than welcome, we'll need the extra support at the very end!
Stoke-meter jumped when Eric Lowell grabbed a ticket to fly up from deep in the heart of Texas to join!!
Later, Gareth Roe will be at Greenlake all night with the support van and his support kids on bikes, riding in the dark ahead of us like some odd sequel to E.T. The Greenlake meeting place at the lake is at the Stadium / Crew boats area.
Thinking about doing some serious miles with us? Read this first!
The SEATTLE course:First 5 or so hours, from Gasworks park Seattle to Marymoor Park, Redmond, and back (50 miles) then a short car ride up Stone Way to Greenlakes' 2.8-mile loop from around 2 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Sunday -- all at Greenlake park.
THE BURKE AND SAMMAMISH TRAIL - 50 MILES
START line will be right in front of Urban Surf, across from Gasworks Park.
2100 N. Northlake Way
The trail is pretty straightforward for the first half. You'll ride through a few busy intersections with crosswalk signals, hopefully not too busy at that time in the morning, but definitely something not to blast through on the return trip. After University Village, the big intersections are practically non-existent for the rest of the trip.
Always be aware of FAST bikers, and try to keep to the right as much as possible. This trail is like a Freeway for bikes, and they will let you know LOUD AND CLEAR if you get in their way. I very rarely have any issues with them, but some are really on edge. Just remember to keep right. We want to keep a good reputation on the trails, this is part of the reason Cascade Bike Association is cool enough to allow longboarding on the Seattle to Portland!
You will cross over 10 or more HUMAN-CATTLE GUARDS, concrete grates just before or after intersections that will shake your teeth loose. Best strategy is look behind you, then if its clear, ride over those babies diagonally. If the traffic is too busy for you to hog the whole trail at that moment, at least bounce your deck just before, and unweight as you go over the grate. This will save you much rattling and possibly help extend the life of your kingpins and axles. Trust me on this one!
Just before the 13-mile marker, at the northernmost end of Lake Washington, you'll see Tracy Owen park to the right.
Stay on the upper part of the trail and you'll see this landmark:
I point out Tracy Owen Park, so you'll be ready for the only detour in the entire 25 miles, which comes up about 1/2 mile later.
Instead of crossing the busy intersection of 68th, you go under it, through this tunnel, then wrap around back to 68th, and get on 175th headed in the same direction.
The detour along 175th's about a half-mile long...
Later on you'll pass Wayne Golf Course on the right, then through a tunnel. This is the next "big" decision point...
After which, you go down the BIGGEST HILL on the whole trail (it's small) then cross a small bridge.
A couple miles later, you'll go down the next biggest hill (this is the last hill you'll see) and see this sign.
The general rule of thumb: keep riding along the Sammamish River all the way to Marymoor park.
After a long, flat plateau winding along the river, with less than a mile to go, you'll come to this very important fork in the trail, where you need to break tradition and go left -- over a passenger bridge and around a very sharp blind corner (footbreak!!) under the bridge, then blast the last to Marymoor Park.
There are some portable restrooms to the left, just past this structure, and just a few hundred feet from the 25-mile turnaround point, so if you need the restroom, NOW would be the time...
You've made it!
Now take a deep breath, do a victory dance (or lie down for a minute) then turn around and shoot back to Gasworks!
From there, if you're still itching for more, jump in the car, and drive UP Stone Way to Greenlake Park- we'll be there the rest of the day, and night, and day...
Last edited by pavedwave on Wed May 07, 2008 6:16 am; edited 1 time in total
The weekend vibe was buzzing, and it's taking a while to recoup and settle into 'normal' life again this week. I'm blown away with the amount of support from friends and family, who rode through rain and wet trails, hanging tough at the base camp under a tarp, and sacrificed sleep through the night hours.
These are the people who made this 3rd Ultraskate happen, and I am truly grateful:
Eric Lowell - 166 miles, the Texas speed demon, sprinting through the finish. The man seriously did some fast laps in the wee hours of the late morning, bumpin tunes on the mp3, whatever it was, it worked. We carbo-loaded the night before at the Old Spaghetti Factory and Eric told me how he'd taken to distance boarding so fast, considering he used to run marathons, but had some leg injuries that really held him back. One of the best memories I'll have is when Eric reached the first 25-mile mark, out at Marymoor at the end of the Sammamish trail, and called me on the cel to say he's thinking about doing the whole trail twice (100 miles) instead of coming up to Greenlake after 50. In the end he decided against that plan, but just the raw energy was what really blew me away.
Gabe Gribler - 102 miles, staying close by and setting a perfect lake pace, Gabe was great to have along, chatting about his summer plans to ride across the USA with Keito and a couple others.
Keito Swan - 80~85 miles, great chattin' and riding, making the time fly. He was dressed for summer with canvas shoes and legs completely brown with mud kickin up off the trail. He later had the same observation as I did the following day, noting how much human hair?? was caught up in the wheels and trucks.
Sheldon Lessard - first 50 miles, and bunch of laps. even caught smiling on camera a couple times I know Sheldon wanted to go further, but he came into this ride with a pretty bruised up hip. We'd just been down at Salem slalom the weekend prior and he took a decent slam. He should be jonesin' for the next one though.
Andrew from shoreline - first 50 miles, keep it up! He and Rain showed up at the start line and we only got to see each other briefly, as I was kind of in mental-mode and launched off the start right at 8 a.m. In retrospect we probably should have spent 5-10 minutes going over the trail logistics but luckily I saw the whole group, Sheldon, Eric, Rain, and Andrew, together out around the 23-mile mark as they were making their way to Marymoor.
Rain from shoreline - first 50 miles, helped set a fast paced start! I kept looking back up to around the University Village area, and that's where he got caught at the signal light. This kid was blazing right off the line, and I hope to see him out again.
Calin Schepler - a serious chunk of mileage and amazing amount of support (once again!) Calin's a big dude that rides a really solid Subsonic drop deck that just hums under his monster pushes. He's made every ultraskate so far and always clocks the laps-- at the same time taking some really creative pics and spreading great vibes.
Gabe's buddies on bikes and the disco scooter! I didn't chat with these guys much but they were seriiously cracking us up riding a scooter that had sparkly wheels lighting up as they spun. Got us talking about all kinds of new longboard product ideas, we're going to get rich overnight on...the things you talk about at 3 a.m. with sleep dep.
Gareth Roe - the thing I always like about riding with Gareth is he tends to stay out ahead, and gets further out ahead. He knows I'm pushing to keep up, and wants me to push even harder. At the same time, he's not overly hardcore. Chillin at the camp, he's totally into where your head is, asking the right questions, food, water, exhaustion, etc. Eric told me that Gareth really helped him out of a slump when he hit his first "wall" at 1 or 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Gareth's always an inspiration and positive force out there. It's amazing a guy this busy can make these weekends happen.
Ian and Nathan Roe - midnight crew "racing" laps, on boards not bikes this time! I have really enjoyed giving the boys a good excuse to ride around the lake when all their buddies have to be in bed. Still, as much as I know they like riding, it's pretty tough on their weekend and after crashing out in the van only a couple hours, they must have been feeling pretty punchy at Beth's breakfast the following morning, I'm sure they slept well later Sunday. They both stuck with their Dad's longboards the whole time and still set a great pace for me.
Brett Tinius - nimble skate acrobat toting vidcam, on location almost the whole event. Brett rode and shot and knows how to do it all without slowing us down and yet getting right up close -- the last laps with he and Jackman are some of the most memorable. The guy is a visionary and I can't wait to see how the projects he's working on evolve.
Barefoot Ted - rippin' on any setup he picked up, look out for this guy next time! I had met Ted only a month prior, at a marathon, finding out how incredibly intense he is was just the start. I have no doubt if he takes up LDP in any capacity, he's going to be a huge force!
Leah Jurek - coaching, nutrition, and great vibes just when needed. Leah is really encouraging, sweet, and has a lifetime of knowledge in doing these things right, taking care of your body and mind. She's also the most effective masseur I have ever met. www.leahjurek.com is her site and I'd highly recommend her!!
Brad Jackman - Easy Rider, stoke-fueled the evening base camp bringing his monster chopper bike and came back for the morning laps. That was a lot of driving to make it out here twice. The man's got a contagious dedication to skating, and it's always fun to listen to how he's going to order eggs, bacon, and toast. Love how Brad has rejuvenated the slalom scene in the NW.
Jody Smith - Easy Rider II, showing off her talents on the chopper, she's been incredibly encouraging at our racing practices and events, supporting Spence and putting up with our guy talk from time to time, although we do try to self-correct.
Spencer Smith - "slalomkid" gets smoother all the time. Although the rain didn't really allow it much, he was out on the pump board, jazzed as usual!
Ken Barrett - always a blast having you there, you encouraged Eric more than you probably know. Not only taking footage and entertaining the camp, but out stylin on the big boards and making it look fun and easy.
Demetri "Tron" and Amanda - standup rain slides, the fastest dog-tow I've ever seen, and my daughter now wants a ferret, you guys gave her a lot to talk about afterward!! You couldn't have come at a better time, it was already late afternoon and we thought the rain was letting up on us-- then Splooosh-- everything was drenched, and it could have been mentally oppressive and tough, but that's when Demetri busted out the rain dancer and started shredding up the wet trail.
Kyle - blazing down the trail and probably wondering what was taking us so long really hope to have him back on the next one, from the start line!
Casey Morrow - sharing some fast laps and reppin' P-town! Catching up on the Ditch Slap news was a great break from the monotony of the trail, plus watching to see how he was going to manage not getting wheelbite with those honking wheels on such a tiny deck (which is a great formula for a lightweight pusher...) That was a great late evening boost. Hopefully he got sleep and found some parks Sunday to round out the trip.
Tim Eney - I would love to get you out here doing laps more Tim! Awesome to round out the day, now I wish they served bloody marys at Beths.
Seth Zeichner - thanks for making it out, I know it wasn't easy, and we gotta get out and ride, maybe just an hour or so, not 24.
Subsonic Scotty - many thanks for the midnight calls!
--and of course my wife Sakae and daughter Sophie who supported this adventure all the way through and are now dealing with my hobbling around the house Tim Conway style, knowing the lawn isn't getting mowed any day soon.
Only did one pump lap. Pushed with both feet until both were equally hammered, and swollen up the next morning. Hopefully closer to looking like human ankles by this weekend.
If you were there and I failed to mention, give me a jab, the many goodbyes at Beth's breakfast are just coming back, and I barely remember the groggy ride home (that's kinda freaky.) This one was a brain-cooker.
Everyone there rode it out in wet conditions, Northwest-style. It rained almost half the event, and the trail stayed wet for more than 3/4 of the time. The two days preceding were dry, the two days following have been sunny, warm, and dry. Mother Nature seriously put us to the test, both physical and MENTAL.
Very happy to have run into you at Green Lake last month. Couldn't help but be intrigued by the concept of LDP and ultra skating...it is in my blood.
As I mentioned, I was a serious skate rat in the 1970s. Living in SoCal during the introduction of the urethane wheel was a fantastic place to be...especially with a drought going. First it was crazy downhill challenges, sans safety gear, with scars to prove it, and then came the discovery of skating in pools. We were gods.
However, skating sort of disappeared out of life. Life caught up to me. Things changed. No longer wanted to endure the wages of sin or wipe-outs.
So, LDP comes along. A few rides and I think, wow, this is something. Captured my imagination right away. But more interestingly ULTRA LDP.
Why so interesting? Cause it combines skateboarding (a fundamental first love of mine) with ultra distance and endurance (something I have been drawn to recently). The birth of a new phase? Could be. Looking forward to finding out.
So, it looks like I better start training. Gets some miles under my belt. At the moment, I am pretty much a virgin when it comes to riding distance, but my body has been trained to run 100 mile mountain races, so I know it is fully capable of pushing the edge.
I really don't think there is going to be any serious challenge to James' record for the time being. 200+ miles is QUITE extreme.
I am also a firm believer in INJURY free. One must be sure to keep one's body safe from any permanent damage. For me, staying as close to injury free is essential. Finding a balance between extreme and comfortably survivable is a goal.
So, bravo to you James and your imagination and stamina. Your vision has opened a whole new world of sport that some of us are destined to follow.
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