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Lake Sammamish Loop

Short but Sweet

Conservationist lost control of it years ago. High tech millionaires have taken over it's perimeters with their residences and vacation home properties. Twenty five miles of scenic two lane with few stop lights and signs, the Lake Sammamish loop has a lot to offer for such a small stretch of road.

At night it's a favorite with sport bikers, by day it's there for the rest of the riding public to enjoy. The Lake Sammamish loop is a great way to stretch out the bike in the winter months without little care to conditions that lie ahead. If you're looking for a good excuse to get out, but not lose all your body heat over the course of an afternoon, then this ride will fill the bill.  

Begin at either the north or south ends, depending which direction you initially reach it from. It's accessible from the south side using I-90, or from the north by exiting 520 at it's easterly far end. For an afternoon trip we suggest counter-clockwise as this will cut down how much sun you take in the face. Whichever way you go please exercise great caution at the corner of East Lake Sammamish Blvd and Sammamish Drive on the southeast side as the rail road tracks will sneak up as you enter that turn. A wet road can almost guarantee if you don't see these beforehand, you will when you pick up your bike afterward, hopefully without a broken or scrapped leg.

Leisurely the ride takes about an hour including a stop for coffee at one of the espresso carts or corporate caffeine hangouts. In the winter this is a nice way to warm up the ends of your digits if you feel them starting to chill. In the summer you can stop at the PCC in Issaquah on the south end and pick up a picnic bundle to enjoy in the park across the street. Mirror that image on the north end with a sandwich from Redmond's Chalet store and a hop into Marymoor Park.  

Short hiking trails are scattered along the west side with roadside parking available. In the summer months there's a lot of activity at both ends of the lake in either park including Hydro races, music and food festivals. Services are available on both the north and south ends, but for a throwback in time gas up or grab a pop at The Little Store on the west side.

As you ride along you'll see some exceptional views of the lake from the road. The standard speed limit is 35 mph and you're very likely to hit a speed trap along the way so be careful. This is also a favorite road with the Sears driving school nearby which you can use to your advantage for keeping your speed low should you have a line in front of you due to a student. Holding those handle bars and stretching out is really what this theraputical trip is all about, not speed. Also, don't be surprised if you run into a flock of the many types of migratory birds that live along all sides of the area. Other scenery includes sleek new packaged American architectural styles that abound with the many new residences popping up on shore. Fortunately most of these don't block your lake view from the road as a you ride.

This is going to sound silly to some of you iron butt types who are used to riding 400 miles a day, but for many the Lake Sammamish loop is just what the doctor ordered for those winter days when the sun breaks through and you've been tricked into thinking it's summer for a split second. It's also a great way to break up a weekend when you may be stuck working, but want to duck out for a short ride and lunch and then get back in and finish up.

If you're feeling a fit of good health coming on, try leaving your motorcycle at home and riding the loop with a bicycle. Highly recommend and fairly easy.

Patrick Thomas


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