Sunday, August 31, 2008

The last day of the month

A month where I proved to myself that if I get busy doing other stuff and don't ride for a week, and go climb a mountain for a three day weekend, it just doesn't help the mileage totals. Just over a week ago I had only logged 500 miles this month, the least since January! I had that in mind as I pushed for more miles this week.
I was at the coast today with family but did get back in time to make a lap around Hagg Lake. The days are sure getting shorter in a hurry, it was already getting later than what I like to be on the roads by the time I finished up.

Good ride though, dry, not windy, reasonable temperature.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............28...............0.................28
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
YTD...........4884....+.......766....=.........5654

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Where have all the bike riders gone?

I sent an invitation out to three groups, several hundred individuals, to join me on a ride of the Cherry Ride route. It's a challenging 100 mile route with about 8000 feet of climbing in the Hood River/The Dalles area, but at least one of the groups has hard core cyclists as members. None the less, just Brian and I opted to ride today. Rather than start in The Dalles we opted to start at the Hatfield Trailhead near Hood River. A side benefit to this was we had one of the more challenging climbs of the route beginning at about mile 12 instead of after 70 miles. When we got to Mosier we turned up State Rd and made our way to the summit of 7 Mile Hill then screamed down the back side to Chenowith Rd. It was early in the AM, and despite rolling my armwarmers out I actually was shivering cold by the time I got to the bottom. We climbed back up Chenowith Rd/Browns Crk Rd then took Cherry Heights back down to The Dalles. I missed a turn in The Dalles and ended up off course taking Brewery Grade south then Old Dufur Rd until it turned to gravel so our miles varied a bit. We ended up going back to Hwy 197 and following it up the hill (south) until we got to where the course crossed hwy 197 on Lower 8 Mile Rd. We then followed the Cherry Ride's out and back on 8 Mile Rd. When we got back to 8 Mile Rd and US 197, I made the tactical error of following the downhill Cherry Ride route rather than Emerson Loop (the uphill route) so despite best plans, we ended up a bit short on miles. The wind was just howling in the Gorge today and with 4725 ft elevation gain in the first 42 miles this was not a ride for the weak of heart. When we got back to Hood River with 92 miles we both said "good enough". I had this feeling that it just might not be good enough, so when I got to Wilsonville to pick up a trailer that I had dropped off yesterday I opted to hop back on the bike and ride one of my favorite 10 mile loops from there, after all, it was flat and just a very light breeze. After the day in the Gorge it was almost like a vacation!

I didn't fuel up adequately for the effort needed today. My stomach was growling by 40 miles in. I ate my "emergency" granola bar, then my Power Bar, but by 85 miles in I was out of energy. I started hitting the Gu flask pretty hard as well as downing a package of Orange Burst Shot Blocks that I've been carrying for several hundred miles. Short term solutions for sure, but they were enough to give me the shot I needed.

I ended up with 103 miles today, a legitimate "century" and a few bonus miles.

A good ride, and good weather. Too bad not enough folks could find reason to ride it.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........103...............0................103
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4856....+.......766....=.........5626

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Afternoon delight

It was a nice afternoon, not too hot, not to cold, not raining or windy.... a perfect afternoon for a bike ride. I took off for unplanned destinations, ended up near Canby before turning around and coming back.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............82...............0.................82
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4753....+.......766....=.........5523

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Went out for a ride..........

....rather gingerly I might add! My posterior was still a bit tender after the chipseal pounding of the weekend. I rode in regular gym shorts today just to give different pressure points. I headed up into the West Hills of Portland and just toodled around for some easy paced exploring. Nice weather mostly, one rain shower that didn't last long, mild temperatures and light breeze. Not bad at all.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............52...............0.................52
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4671....+.......766....=.........5441

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, August 24, 2008

RAPSody, day 2

(you may click on most still photos for a full size view)

The forecast was for rain by noon, so a few of us decided on an early start from Shelton to try to beat it, or at least minimize the time we'd have to ride in it.

Breakfast opened at 6AM and by that time I already had my tent and overnight bag loaded in the baggage truck. I ate a good breakfast and was on the bike by 6:35AM.

Once again I lost the course at several points, adding a few miles to my ride. The only condolence I had in getting off course was at least I was not alone. Every time I was off course there were other bikes around also searching for the way back! At one point I missed a Dan Henry that was somewhat obscured by gravel, and it was the only one marking the turn off Libby Rd. I ended up taking a rather long tour of the county's chip sealed roads (Fishtrap Loop Rd does indeed make a loop and after several bone jarring miles brings you right back where you started!) before joining up with several other lost cyclists and getting back on course thanks to a kind homeowner who gave us directions!

One of these days I may learn how to be an expert "helmet cammer" but in the meantime we have to suffer through the learning curve. Here is a clip of riding across Mud Bay. The helmet cam does not have a viewfinder, it is supposed to just record what I am looking at. However, if the camera gets bumped on the helmet (like reaching up to turn it on!) then it isn't looking the same way I am!
video

The helmet cam is still pointing in a slightly wrong direction, but here's a clip of riding into the Yauger Park rest stop in Olympia.

video

On day two we rode many miles on multi-use trails, such as this stretch on the Chehalis-Western Trail in the Olympia area.

video

The wind was beginning to pick up as I approached the rest stop at Van's Burgers on the edge of a golf course. Along this stretch it was a cross wind, but I'd soon be turning north with the wind at my back.

video

The route again took us past the nicely manicured yards in front of the upper class homes of DuPont. Before long I was negotiating the round-a-bouts of the University District of Tacoma with great views over the water but I was trying to make it the last few miles to TCC before the rapidly darkening clouds dumped their contents on me so I didn't stop.
video

I made one more off course excursion, as did most others I heard, and ended up riding all the way to 19th giving me a rather tortuous hill to climb with not much shoulder to get back to TCC. At least on this little side trip I saw some wildlife right in town! By the time I could get the camera turned on, etc, the doe decided she had enough of this brightly colored lycra clad humanoid and bolted.
video

Even with my extra miles the plan worked pretty well, it started raining, and raining hard, when I was less than a half mile from the finish. I had accumulated 92 miles of the 81 planned course miles. With the rain coming down hard I decided NOT to ride around a bit just for the even century!

One of the traditions of RAPSody is the cowbell fanfare for the finishers. These folks have a smile on their faces rain or shine!
video

I took advantage of the opportunity for a hot shower then came back out for some of the finishline goodies and a little visit with folks. I even managed to get a clip of Leo, "the unofficial mayor of the Kitsap Peninsula" as he crossed the finish line in what he later described as a "fine and certain misery"
video


It was good ride, course markers could have been better, but great folks, great rest stops, great views and supports a great cause! This Oregonian will be back next year for a threepeat!

Cascade Bicycle Club member Ross Carey has some excellent photos of RAPSody posted HERE

and L. Lisa Lawrence has a great video posted to YouTube that she was kind enough to allow me to add here.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............92...............0.................92
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4619....+.......766....=.........5389

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, August 23, 2008

RAPsody, Day 1

(you may click on most still photos for a full size view)

I started my day with breakfast at Denny's beginning at 5:15AM then proceeded to Tacoma Community College and the start of RAPSody. I was on the bike and on my way by 6:30AM. The route this year had been modified since last year in several locations, including the beginning to run us over the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge as opposed to taking a ferry like we did last year. I saw the new bridge to my left....

...continued to follow the "Dan Henry" pavement markers as they zigged and zagged their way from TCC. I noted that they turned generally away from the bridge but was only mildly concerned as I knew we were to cross on a dedicated bike lane as opposed to regular traffic lanes. I reasoned that our approach ramp must be in a different alignment. I was in a group of several riders and we just kept pedaling along following the Dan Henry's. As we got farther away from the bridge it was reasoned that we must be taking a little loop around to come in from the north, or perhaps gaining some elevation for a view. We couldn't be off course, we were following Dan Henry's!

All those reasons evaporated when we arrived at the Point Defiance ferry terminal.


We came to the conclusion that we had been following LAST YEAR'S Dan Henry's!
Our little band of lost souls scattered with most backtracking to TCC to start over, I opted to see if I could route find my way to the bridge, after all, it "had to be just over there". ;-)

I did manage to find the bridge and, after a construction crew sent me in error to a park at the foot of the bridge, I made my way back UP to the on ramps rejoining the stream of bikes now in progress on the Scott Pierson Trail.


I stopped to take in the view about midspan.



A very scenic ride, there were beautiful vistas at almost every turn. Picture postcard worthy little fishing villages made it worthwhile to make a photo stop from time to time. Here I stopped to take a photo as I rode through Gig Harbor:


In Oregon listening to an MP3 player via earphones while riding is frowned on by most ride organizers, in Washington wearing earphones while riding is illegal. It is presumed that you can't hear approaching traffic. No argument that wearing earphones impairs you hearing approaching traffic, but so does sound of wind rushing past ears and helmets when traveling at 18-20+ mph! The helmet cam does not discriminate, it picks up wind noise too!

video

RAPSody is sponsored by 5 Puget Sound area bicycle clubs with each manning a different rest stop. Before long I arrived at the West Sound Bicycle Club sponsored Manchester Rest Stop.


The weather was nice. The temperature was comfortable and winds were light. There was a bit of light fog or haze in the air making the longer views a bit obscured. Here's the view of downtown Seattle across the water from the Manchester rest stop.


The route continued along the edges of Puget Sound. Last year the route brought us on two passages on ferries, this year we rode over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, leaving us to experience ferries only in the distance.



I arrived at the Allyn rest stop and had a Calzone, a trademark of the stop! The weather was sunny and warm, in stark contrast to last year where beginning at this stop it was raining HARD!

Here's one of the colorful characters found at the Allyn rest stop.
video
Beware of lycra clad folks with pterodactyls attached to their helmets!
(as opposed to the benign folks who have pink haired trolls attached to their helmets!) ;-)

And a look at some of the good food that this ride is famous for!
video

I arrived at Shelton High School, our overnight location at 2PM. I set up my tent and proceeded to the showers (ah...nice warm water and all cleaned up!) I took this photo of the growing encampment after showering. There were probably double the tents by evening!


With my early day riding off course to Pt Defiance I had a day total of 98 miles. I decided that was too close to a full century to not finish it out, so I made a few laps around the parking lot to bring me to 100 miles. I then milled around and visited with my fellow bike adventurers until dinner was served beginning shortly before 5PM.

A couple of pieces of chocolate cake joined the setting before it was all over with!

The ride was a benefit for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, similar to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance here in Oregon. Here the BAW is thanking us for our support.


The weather forecast for tomorrow predicted rain by noon so we planned an early start in hopes of beating it, or at least minimizing the amount of time having to ride in it. It was early though, and a group of us thought a tour of Shelton sounded good.
A few of us decided to take advantage of the opportunity to take a free shuttle bus into thriving downtown Shelton in search of a dark beer. Our jovial bus driver dropped us off near Ernies, where we were assured of an interesting time.


Though we all had showered and changed into our "civies" as opposed to our lycra of earlier in the day..... we still stood out in this blue collar watering hole frequented by locals. Some of us distinctly heard a banjo in the distance playing the theme from Deliverance as we walked up to the bar!

As we were asking the barmaid about the dark beer choices I heard the folks at the table behind me saying, "are they marathoners or triathlon people or something?". I didn't know we looked that much out of place! ;-)

The beers on tap were Pabst, Coors Light, Budweiser, and Blonde Top Amber. When asked about darker beers the girl behind the counter said "Blonde Top Amber is a dark beer". We scoffed a bit at that description so she poured a sample in a small glass and held it to the light saying "oh it's dark, see?". :-)

We admired her chutzpah, and ordered a pint of "dark beer" for each of us. We moved a few chairs around and retired to a corner table with about 10 of us.

We planned on a short evening since we'd be riding early in the morning. Most of us had preplanned a one beer maximum.
We sat around, sipped our beer slowly and discussed the day. About an hour into our stay we noted a change in the crowd. The after work blue collar crowd had sifted out and the hard core local drinkers filtered in.........followed rather quickly by paramedics and police who whisked one particular troubling looking guy right back out! We decided that was too much excitement for us and we headed out the door to where the shuttle bus would pick us up and return us to Shelton High School.

Maxi, our waitress, thanked us for coming in and asked us to come back next year! I guess they don't get many "outsiders" there. ;-)

I was in my tent tucked tightly in my sleeping bag by 9PM.

My Edge 305 said I had 4912 ft of climbing today.
It didn't tell me how much of that was on the infamous chip seal of the area!
I'll just have to take my bottom's word for it that it was "substantial"!


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........100...............0................100
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4527....+.......766....=.........5297

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tacoma!

I pulled into the parking lot at Tacoma Community College just after sundown tonight just to scope things out for tomorrow morning's ride.

Another rider showed up and noticed the Race Across Oregon decals on my pickup and we struck up a conversation. It seems that he has participated in that event 5 times done the Furnace Creek 508 a few times, and I believe The Race Across America as well! Good company to hang around with!

Tomorrow I plan to ride out at 6:30AM on my two day trip around Puget Sound. The RAO veteran is planning on a one day ride.

After a somewhat rainy week it looks like the weather should be good.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

(sing along) I'm back on the saddle again

Finished up my duties a bit early today, had just enough time to get in 23 miles....just to make sure I still know how! Tomorrow I wrap up my Portland gig and by noon head up north to Tacoma for RAPSody. Just a little ride around Puget Sound with about 9000ft of climbing! :-)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............23...............0.................23
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4427....+.......766....=.........5197

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

No biking lately

:-(

I took off for the weekend to climb a mountain....... made it, all 10,358 ft, but didn't have my bike with me. This week I'm helping a buddy do some painting, and no time for bikes. Heresy I say!

This coming weekend I'm doing RAPSody, so I'll get about 170 miles. Not bad for two days, but pretty bad when you consider it's likely the only riding I'll do in over a week!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hot and windy .....and

and..... I didn't dodge it today. 48 miles from East Hillsboro around Hagg Lake and back. Near 100 degrees!


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............48...............0.................48
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4404....+.......766....=.........5174

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hot and windy

But luckily I was finished up before it was too bad! :-)
I had a lot of things to do today but wanted to get a ride in since I didn't get many miles yesterday. I started off relatively early and rode out to Hagg Lake for a couple of laps then took a meandering route back to home base. By the time I was finished it was beginning to get quite warm....... at least if felt so riding back into the wind!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............63...............0.................63
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4360....+.......766....=.........5126

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

BIG plans, but only a short ride

I was going to ride my bike to Wilsonville today to help my sister and her husband out with a persnickity hot tub. I realized that I had too many tools to carry on a bike so I ended up driving there, but did bring my bike along with hopes of getting 30-50 miles in after my duties. Alas, the job was bigger than expected, but I did manage to get out for 12 miles before bbq dinner called me back. :-)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............12...............0.................12
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4297....+.......766....=.........5063

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The OTHER bridge pedal

Dave and I made the trip to Albany this morning to join the Mid Willamette Valley Bicycle Club on their Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour. After having participated in the Providence Bridge Pedal for the last 5 years it was time to avoid the crowds and hassle of that event and go have some fun. Instead of 10 bridges we'd only see 5, but they'd all be covered bridges! The ride had 40, 65, 85, and 101 mile options. We opted for the full meal deal.

The weather was good, a bit cool for the first few miles (we started at 7AM) but soon became almost perfect. The roads had low traffic but especially in the mid sections of the 101 mile route the county had "improved" the road with chip seal, one section was done very recently. I think if more county road supervisors rode bikes we'd see a lot less chip seal!

The rest stops were well stocked and spaced well. At the Roaring River stop they even had made to order turkey or ham sandwiches along with all the fixings. Unfortunately eating full lunches and riding don't go well together for me.

As afternoon came we started getting a bit of wind. That coupled with the chip seal and hills made for a challenging ride. I had my tires up to a full 130psi and was paying for it on the chip seal. I was just getting pounded. At one point perhaps in around 70 miles I was riding up about a half mile hill with maybe a 7-8% grade and into the wind. I was tired of having my behind hammered so a first for me........ about 2/3 the way up the hill I walked my bike for about 150 ft. Dave was a way behind me and I figured while I waited for him I'd just walk a bit. I might have had an easier time with less psi in the tires. I'll have to remember that for RAPSody in two weeks. That 180 mile course has a lot of chip seal as well.

At any rate, Dave and I finally got back to the fairgrounds in Albany, our start/finish point, had a rootbeer float and then proceeded back north. On our drive back Dave and I decided that this ride, with 500 participants, was a bit more challenging and a WHOLE LOT less frustrating than riding with 20,000 others of varying skill levels over bridges in Portland.

Despite my grumblings about wind, chip seal, hills, and a lunch I didn't feel like eating,........ it really was a fun ride!





(I've got a few more photos that I'll put up here when I can get them off my phone!)

In the evening we joined the rest of our Old Goats 4 CycleOne team for a little appreciation gathering. Our support crew had really gone above and beyond for us and we wanted to show our appreciation. It was a good evening.




++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........101...............0................101
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4285....+.......766....=.........5051

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, August 9, 2008

videoFinally doing something bikey.....Volunteering at Sunset Criterium today,riding the 101 mile Covered Bridge Ride tomorrow, and RAO team awards tomorrow night.

Category 1/2....zoom, zoom, ZOOM!
video

The cell phone shows its limitations with video!
video

Thursday, August 7, 2008

a rarity

I was at the gym this morning, hopped on the lifecycle for an hour just on a lark. Just needed to be reminded why I should be on my real bike!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............0...............23.................0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4184....+.......766....=.........4950

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, August 1, 2008

a busy weekend

I am going to the coast this weekend and was going to toss in the bike and go for a ride somewhere around Florence, but now the forecast says cool and wet. I decided to leave the back home and went for a ride this morning instead, just a short out around the lake and back. Better than nothing I guess, but hardly the stuff to build conditioning! Cool, breezy, dark clouds, but no rain yet.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........32...............0.................32
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
YTD...........4184....+.......743....=.........4927

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++