Just last week I did what is my more normal Northeast County Loop, but as I am trying to get in some longer rides, I decided to pimp out my normal loop. So I pimped out the loop by adding in Ferndale, Lynden, going a little further north, ultimately bumping it from 40 to 50 miles. And the gold bling on this loop was that I rode it clockwise;)
The ride is a nice one whether for training or just a long ride for pleasure. For me it was both a stress relieving pleasure ride as well as a training ride because I don’t think I’ve had a ride over 50 miles yet this year and the 100 mile Tour de Whatcom(TDW) is next weekend. I was still smiling and functioning well enough after this ride, so I am hoping that points to a good ride next Saturday.
As usual, I recommend that if you are going to do this loop, do the Ferndale section early. Traveling north out of Ferndale I kept on Portal/Enterprise all the way up to Loomis Trail Road rather than turning on Birch Bay Lynden Rd. I took Loomis into Lynden on Main before again turning north, this time on Benson Rd. Benson goes way north and you keep on it until you turn right/east on Pangborn. Follow Pangborn east to Van Buren and then Van Buren south to Lindsay. Turn left and continue east on Lindsay to Telegraph. Lindsay has a hard left to be taken at a weird intersection with Gilles Rd. Right/south on Telegraph and keep on it as the main road transitions to Sorensen, south on Goodwin, west on Hopewell, south on Siper until it hits Hwy 9. Hwy 9 leads you to Nugent’s Corner and from there it’s a short ride on the wide shouldered section of the Baker Hwy, west towards Bellingham, up to the roundabout at Smith Rd. I took Smith back to Northwest Drive to complete my loop, but there are many slower & quieter ways to route back to Ferndale. I stayed on Smith, only because it was a little quicker.
Things of interest on the ride: more raspberry harvesting machines than I can ever recall seeing, smell of approaching rain, then the smell steaming up from asphalt after the rain, and of course the smell of raspberries.
Also of interest was eating my own home-brew fake Larabars. The Cashew Cookie bar is my favorite and what I ate last year on the TDW. Since the only 2 ingredients for a Larabar Cashew Cookie Bar are cashews and dates, I looked into how to make my own. Turns out that it is pretty darn easy; buy organic cashews and pitted dates on Amazon, 1-1/2 cups of cashews and 30 dates, grind the nuts in food processor, add in dates and then shape and size into balls, bars, or whatever. The dough was a bit too thick and sticky for our Vitamix, so next batch I will be trying out soaking the dates for 30 minutes before mixing to make them a bit more slippery, or so I read. I also read that dates are pretty healthy as sweets go, low glycemic index, high in fiber, high in antioxidants.