Day Ride to Vashon Island

Route to Vashon
Route to Vashon

Saturday was partly sunny, with rain clouds from the prior day beginning to clear. Temperatures reached 60 or so in the afternoon.

Day’s distance: 59 miles

I was last on Vashon Island in early March (read about that trip here). At that time, it was a meetup group ride that we planned to join that prompted us to visit the small, nearby island.

This time, the motivation to visit Vashon came from a plan to accommodate my friend Forrest, who wanted to go on a ride but whose only well-running bike at the moment was his Honda Grom.

For those unfamiliar with the Grom, it is a small framed, 125cc motorcycle, with a top speed of about 55 to 60 mph, for short periods of time. So the Grom seems most appropriate for slower “fun” roads.

Honda Grom (middle) ridden by Forrest
Honda Grom (middle) ridden by Forrest (photo by Carson)


With an appropriate destination and a loose plan that took us as far as brunch, we were golden 🙂

Everyone met at my house at 10:15am. From there, it is a short ride to West Seattle where we’d catch the ferry. We avoided Interstate 5 by using arterials and took the lower West Seattle bridge on our way to the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. The crossing is about 20 minutes and the final leg of the ride to the restaurant is also about 20 minutes (if you take the long way like we did).

Brunch was at The Hardware Store Restuarant and was enjoyed by everyone. Afterwards, we visited three parks, the Maury Island Marine Park, Point Robinson Park, and Burton Acres Park.

Maury Island Marine Park, Point Robinson Park, and Burton Acres Park
Maury Island Marine Park, Point Robinson Park, and Burton Acres Park
View from the Marine Park's observation deck (photo by Carson)
View from the Marine Park’s observation deck (photo by Carson)
Forrest (left), Keith, Will (photo by Carson)
Forrest, Keith, Will (photo by Carson)

With plans to take Forrest to visit Seward Park on the edge of Lake Washington after our trip back to Seattle, we headed back to the ferry. However, an unexpected vibration developed in the Grom and Forrest decided to head straight home after returning to Fauntleroy.

One word of advice regarding the roads on the island – take it easy if you’re unfamiliar with the turn-by-turn condition of the road surface as there are a lot of frost heaves and other similar but sometimes significant flaws on some of the side roads. I’m not talking about Vashon Highway SW, but many of the smaller roads found on the island.

In summary, the day was relaxing and the ride casual. It was fun to see a Grom in action – they definitely attempt to max out the ‘fun’ aspect of riding while keeping the package small. I don’t think a Grom is in my future, but almost every time I saw Forrest, a relatively big guy, riding it, I did smile.

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