Sunday, January 22, 2017

A multitude of birthdays

My friend Carol often holds a gathering of folks who have birthdays around now.   Today she invited a bunch of us to celebrate.  I biked there and back.


Dry with a tailwind on the way there, a few raindrops and a headwind on the way back.  45-50 degrees.

.........Road Bike........Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........27................0....................0........................0..........27
Jan...............92...............15...................0......................31..........138

Monday, January 16, 2017

A change in the weather

It reached 37 degrees F today at home.  Balmy by recent standards.  By those standards it was surely tropical in Seattle today where it reached 53 after a morning low of 36.

I'm still in Seattle, and took a short ride from Gasworks Park to Golden Gardens.

The closest I came to the snow covered streets at home was the snow on the distant Olympic Mountains across Puget Sound.



The sky was blue this morning, but clouds had filtered in by the time I got on the bike today.  It is supposed to rain here tomorrow. It is supposed to rain at home tomorrow also, but I'm betting that it will at least start out as freezing rain.  Now the experts are agreeing as well.

It looks like I'll be back on rollers for the next day or so.

.........Road Bike........Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........12................0....................0........................0..........12
Jan...............65...............15...................0......................31..........111

Sunday, January 15, 2017

History repeating itself?

I'm back up in Seattle. They don't have any snow around, and haven't had recently. It is even a about 15 degrees warmer at night, and 15-20 degrees warmer during the daytime. Today I rode down from Queen Ann to Green Lake and back. Green Lake, like most of the lakes in the area, indeed, Puget Sound itself, was scoured from the landscape by the Vashon Glaciel Ice Sheet over 50,000 years ago. Today it looked as if it might be returning to those ancient times.



The lake was completely frozon over for the 4th time in 101 years.  The ice thickness was about 6" where I took this photo, but thinned to perhaps 2" on the far shore, where it was subject to the afternoon sun.  Police and fire where there to remind folks that the park was asking people to not walk on the ice for safety reasons.

It was nice to be out riding the real bike again.

.........Road Bike........Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........13................0....................0........................0..........13
Jan...............53...............15...................0......................31...........99

Friday, January 13, 2017

Baby it's cold outside!

The cold air remains turning our area into something closer to Arctic Tundra than Oregon's Willamette Valley. Even where de-icer was used, the road shoulders are littered with gravel, broken tire chains, and chunks of ice. Oh well, the gym is dry and warm..........and there is a hot tub for post ride comfort! On the lifecycle!

.........Road Bike........Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .........0................0....................0........................20..........20
Jan...............40...............15...................0......................31...........86

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Snow, Ice, Rollers!

It has been a week of below freezing temperatures resulting in an accumulation of snow with underlying ice everywhere.  I stayed safe by riding rollers.

.........Road Bike........Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .........0...............15....................0........................0..........15
Jan...............40...............15...................0......................11...........66


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dry and Cold

It was about 5 degrees below freezing today as I dusted off the fixed gear bike and headed out. I was bundled up like an arctic explorer of course. The sun was shining brightly and I decided that it wasn't cold enough to need my balaclava. Probably a mistake, because as I pedaled the wind chill was fierce. My cheeks felt the sting of the cold air rushing past them. I balanced the need to pedal to keep warm, with the need to keep frostbite at bay.

I pedaled northward along Boones Ferry Rd to Tualatin then through Cook Park in Tigard.
The travel lanes were dry and ice free. The shoulder/bike lanes had some ice in places. I rode the white fog line for safety, keeping my eyes open for ice.

I puttered around enough that I managed to get 28 miles before calling it a day.


.........Road Bike........Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........28................0....................0........................0..........28
Jan...............40................0...................0......................11...........51

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pretending to ride a bike

Today was dry and cold.  At 2PM it was 30 degrees (the high for the day) with a humidity of 27%.  The east wind was howling through the Columbia Gorge (39 mph at Troutdale, over 100 mph on Mt Hood)  FWIW, it is predicted to drop to 17 degrees tonight here in Wilsonville. It is well on the way since it is 22.7 degrees at 10:15 PM

Riding in sub freezing temperatures is not part of my training for RAO, so I rode the lifecycle at the gym for the first time in several years.

30 minutes of pretend bike riding, 11 miles of pretend distance.

.........Road Bike........Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .........0................0....................0.......................11..........11
Jan...............12................0...................0......................11...........23

Monday, January 2, 2017

A cool ride to Golden Gardens

It was a cold morning, and predicted to not get much warmer.  I had afternoon plans, so I hopped on the bike mid morning, hoping for the warmest portion of the day available to me.

It was dry, but below freezing as I took off from Gasworks Park in Seattle.  I knew what the weather would be as I prepared to ride today, so had clothes on to be comfortable.

I pedaled out toward Golden Gardens, and realized that I had taken off without my phone this morning.  Bummer, when I got to Golden Gardens the sun was shining on fresh snow on the Olympic Mountains.  It would have made a nice photo, even with the phone's camera.

Oh well, next time I guess.

I rode back to Gasworks and called it a day.

 A 12 mile round trip.  Not many miles, but 12 more than I rode all last January.



.........Road Bike........Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .........12................0....................0.......................0..........12
Jan...............12................0...................0.......................0...........12

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The last ride of the year

As the day was coming to a close, my friend Julie and I got on our bikes and rode around the top of Queen Ann, taking the long way to Menchies for frozen yogurt.  It was a funny choice for a treat, since it was just a couple of degrees above freezing with little spritzes of snow falling. Julie has biked even less than I have this winter.  She rode once in November, and today would be her only ride in December!

The first stop was an overlook where we could see the Space Needle.  Later tonight there will be huge crowds here to watch fireworks that will welcome in the new year.


After a couple of miles we came to Menchies and had big bowls of frozen yogurt.


After a leisurely snack, we bid the lass behind the counter adieu and hopped back on the bikes.  We continued around the north side of the hill. There was still a feel of the holidays in the air.


It was a fun, if cool, ride.  Not fast enough to get warm, but fast enough to experience wind chill.

My year ends with 3006 miles.  My least amount in at least 6 years.

Most of my cycling accomplishments were off the bike this year.

I was crew chief for the 4 man Southern California RAAM Challenge team, Team Skipper.  The boys came in first place overall.  Not bad at all!

 I designed this year's Race Across Oregon route. I'm pretty proud of the fact that at 522 miles, with 41,717 ft of climbing,  it was the most difficult Race Across America qualifier. Hey, if you want to race RAAM, you want to know that you are up to the task! I also wrote the route book, one of the nicer ultra race route books if I do say so myself.

I previewed the RAO route while supporting Lisa Bliss as she biked the route over two days to get a feel for it.

I was originally picked as crew chief for Barry Dickson as he planned to return to RAO and try to improve on his 2nd place finish last year when I was doing crew chief duties for him.  He had some issues during the year that left him not ready to race and he withdrew a month or so out.  Lisa Bliss found out that I was available and picked me to fill out her crew for a solo RAO.

She had all she wanted of the hilly course, but did finish with about 90 minutes to spare.

I returned to Race Across the West this year as crew chief for Robert Baldino and Brian Martin as they raced a two man effort.  It became my first DNF as crew chief. (not counting the crash related withdrawal at last year's Race Across the West)  The heat of the SW desert was just too much for them, and I had lost control of the team.  The decision to withdraw was made before I had input.

My poor results of the year continued with Hoodoo 500, where I was crew chief for solo racer Donna Braswell.   She failed to finish as well.  We started out with three crew members, but one withdrew as the race neared, fearing a DNF.  My fellow crew member Emily and I decided to continue, just to support her, and help her gain experience.  She made it less than 200 miles into the 500 mile race, but at least Emily and I felt that the time spent was worthwhile.

In November Dave Schalk and I teamed up to support Barry Dickson as a solo racer, and Chris Davies and Karin Weller as a mixed tandem team as they raced in the 24 Hour World Time Trial. This was a new experience for me.  Instead of following the racer along the course providing nutrition, hydration, navigation, and repair, from a moving vehicle, we'd be based in a stationary pit area. Very much like a NASCAR race, we communicated with our racers via two way radio and had needed supplies staged for a quick transfer as they pedaled into the pit area. Legendary ultra racer Dex Tooke was there as well and took this video of the pit crews in action.

video


Several racers exceeded 500 miles with Christoph Strasser leading the pack with 552 miles in 24 hours, but our racers results were disappointing for them.  Karin and Chris withdrew with bike fit issues, and a couple of hours later Barry withdrew while riding with the leaders with back pain,

It was a tough year for me, after having stated in an interview last year that I had never had a racer DNF, this year most of my racers did.  Dave and I spent a few days in southern California riding in the sunshine and thinking about next year's plans.

For me, next year will include racing again.  My first bike race was with my former college roommates as the 4x team Old Goats in the 2008 Race Across Oregon. We did pretty well in our debut, coming in first and setting a course record.  We will be returning to the RAO course in 2017 trying to repeat our results.

Some of my usual signature rides fell by the wayside this year.  The 300 mile Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway weekend ride didn't happen due to lack of interest, as did the Crater Lake/Diamond Lake cycling weekend. I missed out on the Ride Around Mt Hood, and chose to not ride STP, I missed riding to Mt St Helens.  Obviously with only 3000 miles, I missed a lot of riding fun.

One new experience I did get, Dave and I put on panniers and rode from Seattle to Vancouver BC.  We broke the 200 mile trip into 3 days of pedaling and sight seeing.  It was fun.

With a bike race on the calendar, this coming year will see more miles for sure!

Happy New Year to all!


.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .........4...............0..................0.......................0...........4
Jan...............0................0...................0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......559................0..................0........................0..........559
May.........414...............0..................0.......................0...........414
June........337...............0..................0.......................0...........337
July........310...............0..................0.......................0...........310
August.......40.............0....................0......................0............40
Sept..........100..............0...................83......................0...........100
Oct.............29...............0....................0......................0............29
Nov............600..............0......................0......................0...........600
Dec............102..............37......................0......................0.........139
YTD...... 2869............37...................83.......................0..........3006

Friday, December 30, 2016

Back on the real bike!

It was raining this morning in Seattle (what would you expect?) but dried up by late morning.  I hoped on my rain bike, the only one I have with me this time.  I rode out the Burke-Gilman.  There we fleeting views of Lake Washington as I rode along.




I was dressed warmly, as the temperature would remain in the 30's my entire ride.
There was a slight wind blowing, but not enough to cause any trouble.  There were a few people out walking dogs, and even fewer out riding bikes.  I rode to Gateway Park then turned around.  As I rode through Kenmore I stopped at McDonalds and had a fish sandwich with fries and a drink.  Just what I needed to keep moving!

With today's ride I managed to achieve a paltry 3000 miles for the year.  Less than 30% of what I've done many years.  Oh well, in one more day I can wipe the slate clean and start in on a new year.



.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........35...............0..................0.......................0..........35
Jan...............0................0...................0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......559................0..................0........................0..........559
May.........414...............0..................0.......................0...........414
June........337...............0..................0.......................0...........337
July........310...............0..................0.......................0...........310
August.......40.............0....................0......................0............40
Sept..........100..............0...................83......................0...........100
Oct.............29...............0....................0......................0............29
Nov............600..............0......................0......................0...........600
Dec............98..............37......................0......................0.........135
YTD...... 2865............37...................83.......................0..........3002