A clear theme emerges in the manifesto comments: our beautiful weather. It was in evidence this weekend, as temperatures reached the mid-60’s and the bikers, hikers and baby strollers emerged, blinking hard into the sun. My mother, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio reminded me via phone that all are not so lucky. Her Saturday involved slush and temperatures still hovering in the upper 30’s.
So, out into the sun I went, to dust off my bike for the first ride of the season.
My friend Natalie arrived at my house and we clipped in and rolled past sagebrush and lowlands, horses and sheep. Even some llamas! A half dozen other bikers waved to us as we climbed Summitview. We huffed up Zimmerman and then blazed down Young’s Grade. The apple trees stood guard, as far as the eye can see, their new growth red-orange in the afternoon light.
Natalie and I like to ride out in East Valley too, scoping out the hop trellises and cherry orchards. Or the ride all the way out to the Wenas, the Cascade foothills rising in the West and the long downhill that brings us into Naches.
We have tremendous assets for cycling here in Yakima: all those rolling hills, light traffic and a beautiful pastoral landscape. Two cycling groups: Chinook and Mt. Adams. My favorite community bike shop, Revolution Cycles. And a long, sunny cycling season. In addition to all that, there’s also fantastic mountain biking out in the Cowiche Canyon and the newly formed Singletrack Cycling Alliance. With room to add bike lanes, connect trails and the continued expansion of the Greenway, the future is bright for cycling in the Yakima Valley.
Filled with the beauty of the Valley and the free feeling that I only get while in the saddle, I rolled back into my driveway and waved to my neighbor. I was so enthused about spring and the weather and the bike and filled with the excitement about the upcoming cycling season. And then, what to my eyes did appear, but my neighbor, unloading his snowboard from his car. Oh yea! You can still enjoy many days of winter outdoor fun on White Pass this time of year. The magic and beauty of the Yakima Valley surprised and delighted me once again and I was so proud to be living here in this community that has so much to offer.