Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 6, Fallbrook to San Diego

We began our last day of the trip under beautiful blue skies.  We did a group roll out from Fallbrook.

video

We rolled down a generally descending route on a secondary road to avoid construction on our normal route. It was a fun and scenic route as we made our way southward toward Bonsall.



At Bonsall we negotiated through some higher traffic intersections then hopped on the San Luis Rey multi-use path and followed it westward to Oceanside.


In past years we rode this trail in a tight double pace line.  This year we were a much larger group and rode in a less organized fashion. 



We finally reached the sea, and just as Ralph had told us during morning route instructions; "If you get lost, when you reach the ocean turn left".




We stopped briefly at Oceanside for photo ops.


We then mounted our two wheeled steeds for the final push..  We continued riding south toward San Diego, it was a beautiful day.





We had one last hill to climb, but the pull over Torrey Pines isn't all that bad.

I made my way up the hill and rode through La Jolla where the route moved east slightly to get on a path that paralleled I-5.  I was in my small ring as I climbed Torrey Pines and hadn't had to pedal on the back side since the top of the climb.  As I shifted into my middle ring upon entering the path the chain dropped between the small and middle ring and got jammed in.  I spent about 20 minutes getting it out, and that process involved a friendly motorist who offered the use of a very large screwdriver to use as a pry bar.

Following that little time consuming delay, I rode the length of the I-5 path, then got on the Rose Creek path. This path was very familiar to me as I used it as a commute route when I spent 6 weeks in San Diego a few years ago.


The Rose Creek path dumps us back onto the streets at Mission Bay.  That's not a bad place to be dumped!


From there it was just a few short miles to our finish at the University of San Diego.  I loaded my bike, gathered my bags, then milled around as folks pedaled in.



I had a few hours before many of us were meeting back at Tio Leo's for a little New Year's Eve/Post ride celebration.  The weather was just glorious. I drove the couple of miles back to Fiesta Island and went for a couple of laps of the flat man made island popular with local bike racers.

I checked into my nearby hotel room, got cleaned up, then joined about 60 fellow Christmas Bike Trippers for the evening at Tio Leo's.




It was a bit cooler on this trip than it has been in past years, we also got more rain, but it was still better weather than back home. It is also nice to be able to see different country and a good chance to visit with old friends, and meet new ones.

This wraps up my biking for 2012.  It is the 4th consecutive year that I've logged 10,000 miles or more in the year. I don't have any firm plans for 2013, not sure what the next 12 months will bring as far as cycling, but I'm looking forward to some bikey fun.

   ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............66..............0.............0..........0..............66 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........848..............0............0...........0.............848  YTD.........10,195.........142............20..........46..........10,402

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 5, Hemet to Fallbrook


We had rain overnight and the roads were still wet this morning as we left Hemet. After yesterday's pretty much on my own pedal, today I felt I should be more social.  I waited for the group roll out.  The group is a mix of seasoned cyclists (several finished the Furnace Creek 508) and others who's group riding skills leave a bit to be desired.  Rather than operating like an experienced paceline, paying close attention and leaving a cushion of space were paramount to a safe trip.



As the morning progressed hills ensued and the group spread out.



I entered the De Luz Canyon, a rather scenic section of today's route.



Today's forecast called for a 50% chance of rain.  The skies were unsettled all day, and finally one of those dark clouds caught me.  I was in the De Luz Canyon when a few very big drops of rain began to pelt me.  I took refuge under a tree and donned my raingear just as a very hard hailstorm and rain began to fall.  I let it pass mostly by before venturing out on the road again.



I continued on as the weather improved and took a nice decent before finally ending up in Fallbrook, our last night of this trip.



 After arriving in Fallbrook I set up my tent in my usual courtyard location then pedaled a few miles to our shower location.  I also joined a few of my fellow cyclists for an adult beverage.

Tonight the evening program is "reverse hot seat".  To start things off those responsible for the success of this trip were recognized then each of us, one by one, stood up to be "roasted" by our fellow riders.  It was a fun evening.



We had a record number of attendees.  128 registered riders was 28 more than the volunteer event leaders had said we could handle.  They were pretty much right on the mark.  There was always plenty of good, nutritious food, but space was tight, especially on night one in Pine Valley, and again tonight in Fallbrook on the last night. 3 nights we had shower accomodations in nearby motels, but 128 +a  few non-riding support folks in two showers was unacceptable.  At least tonight the organizers arranged for three showers, but still, 3 showers for 128 people is just not acceptable.  Even with a fast 7 minute turnaround, it's over 5 hours to get folks through the showers when you've got three available.  The group does not have five hours between arrival in camp and dinner or between dinner and the evening program. Hopefully those issues are discussed and resolved before next year.


   ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............58..............0.............0..........0..............58 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........782..............0............0...........0.............782  YTD.........10,129.........142............20..........46..........10,336

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 4, Palm Desert to Hemet

I woke up in Palm Desert this morning and brought up the day's forecast on my somewhat smart phone.  It showed that our day's destination, Hemet, had an increasing chance of rain as the day went on, with heavy rain predicted by mid afternoon.

It was hard to believe with the clear blue sky an warm temperatures of Palm Desert this morning.  But believe it I did, and planned to finish the 60 mile ride sooner rather than later in the day.  I set out on that plan.

I took down my tent, packed my bags, and was pretty much ready to roll before breakfast.  I had a good breakfast with my fellow riders, then while they were packing up, I took care of final details and put my bags in the truck.  As Ralph announced, "leaving in 10 minutes, leaving in 10 minutes" I pedaled off.

As I made my way along the route I was amused by Southern Californiaisms.


There was a choice of routes today, as is usually the case. The official route goes around a mountain, through an area notorious for headwinds.  The alternate goes over the mountain. The choice is between the chance of battling headwinds for 20 miles, or the chance of climbing a long grade to find snow and ice covered roads.

I don't ride in ice and snow, but I have been known to ride headwinds. I chose the official route around the mountain.  As I neared the section famous for headwinds I noted the fresh snow on the mountains and was glad I had stayed low.

In past years of riding this event I was amazed how abruptly the winds appeared as we turned into a pinch point between rows of mountains. A sure sign of the prevalence of winds were wind generators dotting the countryside.Today however, the windmills were for the most part stationary. There was a bit of wind on the far end of the corridor but it turned out to be a tailwind! (God must be a cyclist!)

When I reached Cabozon, the traditional lunch stop for the group, I decided to skip the usual cafe because that often turned into a visit fest that stretched way too long. Instead I made a  stop at A & W where I had a small bite to eat and made a few phone calls to folks back home.
I then continued along on my mission to arrive in Hemet before the rain.  The gentle climbing all day culminates in an exhilarating 40+ mph roll down into the outskirts of Hemet.

I picked up my pace a bit as I noticed increasingly darkening skies.  I was about 2 miles out from our evening accommodations when the first few drops started falling.  I managed to roll into the finish before the roads or I got wet.  I finished as rider number 6.  If I had shortened my 30 minute lunch stop in Cabozon I would have made it in before any rain fell. I had nothing to complain about however as from there on the riders were coming in wet, really wet.

One  rider had more to complain about.  The ride so far has been marked by a few issues.  Most were minor cases of road rash.  Today was our worst incident.  A cyclist and vehicle collided in an intersection just as he came into Hemet.  A totaled bike, a trip to the ER, and a few stitches to an ear were the result.  He's lucky to be able to smile about it.

At least for me it was a good day.  I made it in dry and comfortable. For those that came in later, or went over the hill, it wasn't quite so nice.


   ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today............,60..............0.............0..........0..............60 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........724..............0............0...........0.............724  YTD.........10,071.........142............20..........46..........10,278

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 3, Warner Springs to Palm Desert


We started out with a little frost around but warmed up as we climbed a bit away from Warner Springs during the first few miles. The sky was blue and the day promised to be just awesome as we set out on a full century ride to Palm Desert.
After almost 20 miles we reached the top of Montezuma Grade, the "Glass Elevator" of Race Across America fame.  We zipped up jackets and started down this fun run. Unbeknown to me, Tom saw me drop over the edge and started to pursue me. My mirror had blown out of adjustment as I descended so I didn't know he was behind me.  I didn't know he was there until his shadow appeared next to me after many miles of descending!  I sat up to catch a bit of wind and slow down.  I use the full lane on fast descents and didn't want to tangle with a crossed wheel.
For the first time in my life, I had been passed on a downhill run. I did save face though, my big 56x11 gearing made sure that while he may have passed me, he would not beat me to the bottom. ;-)




The downhill speed was kept to around 35-38 mph by a moderate headwind.  I maxed out at 42 as I pedaled around Tom near the bottom of the hill.
At the bottom of the descent lies Borrego Springs.  We made a brief stop there in Christmas Circle to drop jackets and other cold weather gear in our support van.  We wouldn't be needing any of that now that we were 5000 feet lower and in the Anza-Borrego Desert.


 We resumed our pedaling, heading toward the Salton Sea.




The chaparral of the mountains was replaced by...... well, replaced by not much, as we pedaled across the Anza-Borrego Desert.  The stark desert scenery is beautiful in it's own way though.






Just prior to reaching the Salton Sea we had to navigate about a mile of road that can only be described as "challenging". It is very reminiscent of the section of road out of Baker on the Furnace Creek 508 course, the difference being that this section isn't as rough, and it's only a mile long.  It was rough enough though that several of our riders went down.  I used up 5 of the bandaids that I carry on one of the casualties.

Shortly after the rough section we arrive at the Salton Sea.  Most of us stop at a convenience store here to refill fluids and calories.


We turned northward along the shores of the Salton Sea and headed toward Palm Springs. As luck would have it, I ran into Lee, the same gal I had ridden this section with last year.  It was nice to pedal with her and catch up a bit.


Lee is a strong rider, but hasn't been doing much long distance recently.  Today's century was challenging her a bit.  I tried to offer what support I could (nagging!) as we pedaled along.


As we crossed into Riverside County and left the Salton Sea behind we entered an area with citrus and date palm ...orchards?.....groves?. In the interest of finishing while the sun was still high in the sky, we did not stop to sample anything, but kept the pedals spinning.  Soon we left agriculture behind and began to see the irrigated and manicured signs of suburban living.




We weren't the first to arrive at the Lutheran Church in Palm Desert, our overnight facilities, but we were far from the last.  A surprising number of people had to be sagged in.  This was very surprising to me given that we had a relatively early start, the route had a 5000 ft net elevation loss, and we had a decent tailwind for the last 40 miles.  I guess late December is the "off season" for many riders.

The organizers of this event (who are NOT bike riders, and don't attend) arranged for two rooms at a local motel to serve as our shower facilities tonight.  While two showers might have been reasonable for the 60 or so riders of past years, they were woefully inadequate for the 128 riders we had this time.  Many of us either took sponge baths, or found other options (the shower at poolside got it's share of use).


The weather today was perfect for bike riding.  A cool morning made climbing the hill out of Warner Springs comfortable, while the mid 60's of Palm Springs was not too hot.  We normally have upper 70's to low 80's in Palm Springs, but we couldn't complain about cloudless skies no wind.

The official ride today was right at 100 miles.
I rode 4 additional miles around town, to showers, to store, etc.


   ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today............104..............0.............0..........0.............104 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........664..............0............0...........0.............664  YTD.........10,011.........142............20..........46..........10,218

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 2, Pine Valley to Warner Springs

Today is day 2 of the HI USA Christmas Bike Trip.  We spent the night at the Community Center in Pine Valley. After yesterday's Garmin fiasco, I moved all the routes to my other Garmin.  Luckily I had a spare along.

The weather has been cool for this area recently.  At 3736 ft elevation, Pine Valley put us just on the edge of snow. It was a topic of conversation last night as our route today put us up and over Mt Laguna and to an elevation of nearly 6000 ft.   I checked road conditions via my smart phone in the morning and found that there were chains required going over Mt Laguna. That bit of news was verified by several other folks using other sources.  Some decided that the snow would probably be clear by the time we got there.  I didn't buy into that so joined a few others on an alternate route that would keep us below 4500 ft.

We pedaled off under a clear crisp sky.


The "low route" as it was being called did keep us below 4500 ft, but only saved about 1500 ft of elevation gain.  Whereas the Mt Laguna route had one big climb, the low route had several moderate climbs.  It was a very scenic route. I pedaled with Ralph, a local who spent his youth recreating in this area and it was fun to hear all the stories.


As the route climbed in elevation I could see us getting closer to the snow line.  Patches of ice began to be evident in shady areas.  My mind wandered to those who had decided to ride over Laguna today.  They would certainly be in ice and snow. As it was, many on the trip are unaccustomed to navigating on icy roads and several bikes went down as we made our way through this section.


I rode by the shores of Lake Cayumaca.  This is on the RAAM route so it occupied my thoughts a bit more than normal.

I stopped at a little campground store and had some power snacks.  I would have normally stopped in Julian for a piece of famous apple pie, but wasn't sure I'd go through Julian since I was taking this alternate route. I could visualize where I'd rejoin the normal route, just didn't know if that scene was a few miles before Julian, or a few miles after.

It was before.   I rode through Julian without stopping for pie today.


On previous Christmas Bike Trips I always took a picture of a Spanish mission that the route passed in Santa Ysabel.  Today I stopped and went in.






There were some very large murals on the church walls.


There was also a small museum to the side that told the history of the mission.

 

The museum had the usual museumey stuff, written documents, artifacts, photos, etc.  I'm a bit of a history buff, so spent about 45 minutes here.  Luckily I had the time to spare.
With my extra time I took the Mesa Grande option to finish the ride up today.  It adds a few miles, and a few hundred feet of climbing.  Neither of those would cause me concern today.

Mesa Grande was a nice diversion.


This route was definitely off the beaten path.  There weren't many buildings along the way, but of those there, many had seen better days.

The best thing about biking up hills?  Well, you usually get to bike back down them!






Unlike yesterday, today the route was easy to follow.

 (okay, so I took some artistic license)

After suffering way too much on yesterday's ride, today I wore one less layer, and cooler layers at that.  It was a good move. I rode well today, no suffering.

One of the evening activities scheduled tonight was the flat changing competition.  Victor and Greg are always in tight competition.  Greg has usually come out on top.  Tonight however, Victor was victorious. He changed a flat in 35 seconds.  Admittedly, not quite like a real tire change.  For the purposes of this competition the flat tire is laying on a table.  The competitor must run about 3 steps to the table, pick up the wheel, pop the tire off the rim, pull the tube, put a new tube in, put the tire back on the rim, use the floor pump to put in 10 strokes of air.  Still a very good showing!   Victor was so fast I didn't get it on video, but I did manage to get Greg's effort.
video



All in all, a great day on the bike!


  ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today............59..............0.............0..........0.............59 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........560..............0............0...........0.............560  YTD.........9907.........142............20..........46..........10,114

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 1, San Diego to Pine Valley


Today begins the 6 day, 400 mile, Hostels International USA San Diego Christmas Bike Trip.  This will be my 5th year at this fun event.  Following the family Christmas Eve shindig I drove 16.5 hours through the night, and Christmas day, arriving here about 3PM on Christmas day.  Following a good night sleep, I'm ready to ride!  It was raining as we made our preparations. The temperature was in the low 50's as we started out, but it was 34 and snowing in Pine Valley, our ending point for the day.  The forecast for the day in Pine Valley was a high of 37 and an 80% chance of snow.  I wore my winter riding gear, figuring I'd just have to ride easily until we gained a bit of elevation, to avoid overheating.


I had pre-loaded the 6 days of routes alternating between my two Garmin Edge 305's.  The reason was that if I couldn't charge the Garmin one night, no problem, I'd have the next day's route on the other Garmin.

I fired up the Garmin about 10 minutes before we rolled out to allow it time to find the satellites after moving 1000 miles since it's last fix.  I was surprised to see that it still didn't have a fix as we started out.  I fiddled with it throughout the first 20 miles or so.  It just wasn't going to work today.  I had the paper cue sheet in my pack, but figured I'd just follow the crowd today.

Before we reached 25 miles the 20 or so riders I had been pedaling with suddenly rolled to a stop.  It seemed we had missed a turn and weren't sure where we now were.  They looked at me and my Garmin on the stem and asked about directions.  Ah, what a day to have a techno failure.  Finally someone who know the area a bit was able to lead us back to the route.  We had no problems from there on into Alpine where we joined up with many from our group who stop there for snacks.
 I was plenty warm, but standing around in Alpine I had cooled off and didn't want to remove any layers.
I jumped in with a group who knew the way and away we went.  They jumped on the Tavern Rd/Japutal Rd alternate.  It was a route that I had never been on before, and it had a bit more climbing.  This particular group pedaled a brisk pace, and before long I was way too hot. It was also pouring rain from time to time.  I knew if I removed rain gear now I would get hypothermic.  I slowed down, and got dropped.

He I was, no Garmin, no guide, not entirely sure where I was.

I finally rolled into Descanso, familiar ground.  It became clear that someone was expecting me.


I pedaled the rest of the way to Pine Valley.  It was in the low 40's, and no snow around.
We had introductions tonight, and the chatter around was revolving around the weather, and what tomorrow might bring.  It was predicted to clear up and be well below freezing.

No worries tonight, as inside we were warm and dry, if not also a bit crowded.





I suffered far more than I should have today, all related to being dressed way too warmly.  I'll make a clothing adjustment for tomorrow.  Now if I was just sure what the weather was going to be tomorrow.    Rain, snow, or clear and cold?

Get a good night sleep and figure it out in the morning I guess.

It was a good day, and nice to see old friends.


 ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today............55..............0.............0..........0.............55 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........501..............0............0...........0.............501  YTD.........9848.........142............20..........46..........10,055

Sunday, December 23, 2012

17 cold, wet, dark miles.

That's what it took to wrap up my 4th consecutive 10,000 mile year.

I had planned a ride today with an invitation for friends to join me as I reached that little milestone.Wouldn't you know it, it was raining.  Not just showers or drizzle, non stop rain.
My day started a bit late and I could never quite catch up.  I rolled into Madison's Grill parking lot just a few minutes before the ride was to start.  Needless to say, I was a bit late. 

We pedaled out in a steady, cold, rain. Our pace, advertized as "social" was even slow by that measure.  We took over 2 hours to ride the 17 miles, but it was all good.  One of the participants was a gal who thanked me for helping her get on a bike a few years ago.  It was nice to see her still riding, and coming out on a cold rainy day besides.

We finished up the ride just before 5PM, well into darkness. We were all a bit chilled, and wet.  We sat around the warm and dry tables inside Madison's, had warm food and beverage while talking about bikes and miles.

It was a lousy day to ride, but thanks to friends it was a good ride!



...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today............17..............0.............0..........0.............17 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........446..............0............0...........0.............446  YTD.........9793.........142............20..........46..........10,000

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ready to wrap this up

All of my friends who have logged 10,000 yearly miles already this year just did so, no fuss, no muss, just ride.  I think it's more fun to ride with friends when turning the 10k over.  I planned several weeks ago to log my 10,000 mile tomorrow, and invite a few friends to join me as I did so.  What that means is that I piddled around tweaking my miles to get to an amount ridable by normal folks and have a little food and drink afterward.

Tomorrow I will ride a little 17 mile ride, at a social pace, and roll the 10,000th mile with my friends.

Today was 29 miles, from Renton to Madison Park where 10 of us stopped at Starbucks for a hot chocolate.
 We had a bit of rain for about the first 3 miles, then it dried up for the remainder of the ride.

After our stop at Madison Park we retraced our route back to Renton.
It was a nice day for a ride.  Following the ride 6 of us went a few blocks to A Terrible Beauty for warm food and cold drink.
I knew I would ride 29 miles today, I just thought it might be solo.  It was nice to ride it with other folks today.  The nice weather was bonus.

Now bring on the 17 tomorrow!


...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today............29..............0.............0..........0.............29 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........429..............0............0...........0.............429  YTD.........9775.........142............20..........46..........9983

ready

29 miles today, ready for 17 tomorrow with my peeps. 10,000 miles for 2012 tomorrow!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE too smartphone

Friday, December 21, 2012

No miles.........

.....because if I were to ride today, I'd go over shoot my mileage for this Sunday's celebration ride.

Wouldn't you know it, the sky is 90% blue today, no rain, just the slightest breeze.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Almost a carbon copy

I took a good look at my remaining miles before Sunday's little celebration, the route for Saturday morning's ride, the weather forecast, and other facts involved including the detail that most Cascade Bicycle Club rides say "rain cancels", some even say "showers cancel".  Julie say's she'll ride with me on Saturday, but that doesn't mean she'll do so without some grumbling if it is raining.

Here's what I came up with.  I have 17 miles left to play with, after a Saturday ride that maps at 29 miles.  It is a 9 mile bike round trip commute that involves a 400+ ft elevation change, down on the way there, and up on the way back.

Julie is not overly fond of hills, and certainly not enamored with riding in the rain.  The forecast is for rain.
The ride is listed as a "showers cancel" ride.

I figured that if I had the yearly mileage total down to 29 miles to go, I could keep the riding partner a bit happier by driving to and from the ride.  I may not be able to stop the rain, but I could eliminate the hill.

If the CBC ride occurs, we can just wrap it up when the gang finishes instead of having to ride uphill after we are left to ourselves.  We may be wet, but misery loves company. Once the company is gone, the hill wouldn't look nearly as nice.  If the CBC ride cancels (looking likely) at least we won't have as much time to be out there in the elements.

I looked back at yesterday's ride, and while I'm not a fan of riding the same route twice, especially twice in 24 hours, it was exactly the mileage I needed to accumulate.

It was raining, just like yesterday, but today was much more windy.  It was a  truly blustery day in the neighborhood.

I bundled up in my rain gear and off I went.

I finished up a bit cold, a lot wet, and glad I don't have to do too much of that anymore!    

If you want to join a few of us and ride a leisurely 17 mile ride in Portland followed by food and drink on Sunday afternoon and have not seen the invitation on Facebook, contact me for details.  I'd love to have you join the fun! 

...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today............17..............0.............0..........0.............17 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........400..............0............0...........0.............400  YTD.........9746.........142............20..........46..........9954

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Rainy Day

I am in Seattle, there was some snow on the ground this morning on Queen Anne, as well as a lot of the Kitsap Penninsula and other outlying areas.  I was to lead a Caroling Bike Ride tonight, but with the snow and slop on the roadways, my attendees were dropping like flies.  So, I cancelled a caroling ride in Portland last week because of low interest, and again this week in Seattle.  I guess caroling by bike is not as much fun as we thought it might be.

But I still wanted to ride since I need a few miles, and it's beginning to look like snow, or at least nasty weather will be a likelihood for the next week.  I had two errands to run today and since the snow was pretty much gone by late morning, I prepared to do those by bike and get a few bonus miles beside.  I rode to the Queen Anne Branch of the Seattle Library and made a few copies, then rode out to the Discovery Park lighthouse.  It rained steadily.  I was glad that my copies were safely wrapped in plastic bag.

I was dressed for the weather so it wasn't too terrible.

From the lighthouse I rode back UP the hill and turned toward downtown.  I rode through Seattle Center and by the Space Needle, then made my way up Taylor St toward Queen Anne.  At the last moment I turned toward the local Safeway and picked up some dinner supplies........... tortilla chips and beer! (okay, that's not the only thing we are having for dinner, but it will go well with what we are having.)

I made it back, a little damp, but not cold.
Now the hard part, I've got a ride scheduled for Sunday afternoon to invite friends to ride the 10,000th mile with me.  I've got a 17 mile route mapped where I plan to turn the 10,000th mile right at the end.

With only 46 miles to play with, and pretty close to that mileage planned for Saturday morning with a bunch of Cascade Bicycle Club folks.  It's going to be close.



...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today............17..............0.............0..........0.............17 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........383..............0............0...........0.............383  YTD.........9729.........142............20..........46..........9937

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pineapple Express

 I had a coupon for a free pineapple from a local grocery store.  I had a busy day of duties, but the weather was dry and I couldn't resist riding my bike to get that pineapple.





...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............5..............0.............0..........0..............5 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........366..............0............0...........0.............366  YTD.........9712.........142............20..........46..........9920

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Some know where that switch is, some don't

Today three of us met at Gasworks Park in Seattle for a ride.  No route was planned, we just figured we'd determine that at the start. We were shooting for 30-40 miles.

It was one of those days.  Temperature was in the very low 40's, there was some rain. My riding partners were not feeling the love, and couldn't find the switch to activate rule #5

We rode slowly out to the Chittenden Locks, just under 4 miles out.  There were quite a few stops along the way to complain about the weather.  At the locks we spent some time inside at the fish ladder viewing windows.  After some time we walked back outside to find it raining a bit harder.

That spelled doom today.

We pedaled back to Gasworks, I had a flat, one of the gals had a flat, and that was that.
.


...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............8..............0.............0..........0..............8 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........361..............0............0...........0.............361  YTD.........9707.........142............20..........46..........9915

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A last minute fall back plan

I had posted a Caroling by Bike event several weeks ago that was to happen tonight.  A friend and I led a couple of these last year and had a blast.  Despite the fun we had last year, with 2 hours before the event was to happen I had no folks signed up to join me this time around.  I was pretty sure the residents along the route didn't want to hear me solo, so I cancelled the event........and just went for a ride.

I was very near Portland's 40 mile loop, I had lights, it wasn't raining.

I made the turn and away I went.  It was a nice night for a ride, not the warm summer nights we normally think of when dreaming of evening rides, but for December it was nice.  Not too cold, though a bit chilly and no wind.  I pedaled the familiar loop without incident.

It was a good night on the bike.

...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today............42..............0.............0..........0.............42 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........353..............0............0...........0.............353  YTD.........9699.........142............20..........46..........9907

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

glitches and goof ups

I had a meeting and some errands to run today, and decided that the timing of them allowed bike commuting.
Unlike in my Seattle errand commutes, my home commutes provide for longer distances.  Today's riding around came to 86 miles.  There were a couple of showers, but nothing serious.

Tonight I joined 14 members of the Salem Bicycle Club on a holiday light tour by bike.



 As we prepared to ride I noted that I had remembered my Stella 300 headlight, but forgotten it's battery.  Luckily, I had two batteries for my ARC HID light along that would work, so I put one of them on. Picking up the second battery was one of my errands today. Adequately lit, I joined the group. We followed an official signed route that took us past many brightly decorated homes.


 We had a pretty good evening for riding.  The road was dry as we started out but we did get one light shower during the ride.  Nothing serious, some didn't even put on raingear, but it was enough to put a few drops of rain on the camera lense.





After several miles of riding, we came upon the residence of another Salem Bicycle Club member and we stopped for hot chocolate and cookies.

 
Following the cookie stop we continued on the last couple of miles to bring our ride to an end.  It was a fun ride with friends. 

I fired up my new Garmin tonight.  I remembered to push the "start" button, but after the ride was over I noted that the screen was prompting me to select time zones, language, etc.  So, no data recorded tonight.
I hadn't zeroed the Cat Eye.  I relied on others to tell me that we rode just under 9 miles.

In the not too recent past I would have noted my mileage for the day and gone out for a few bonus miles, but tonight I thought 95 miles was good enough.  That bike pansy is taking up residence on my shoulder!

...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today............95..............0.............0..........0.............95 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec...........311..............0............0...........0.............311  YTD.........9657.........142............20..........46..........9865




Sunday, December 9, 2012

Family Holiday Light Ride

 I attended a ride with the group "Critical Lass" that was inviting all to decorate their bikes, wear some holiday attire, come ride a few miles, see a few brightly lit homes, and finish up with a hot drink.   Sounded like something right up my alley!

It was raining lightly, and the ride went out of it's way to say children were welcome.  I wasn't sure the event was going to happen, but a quick call to the organizer confirmed that it was a go.

Since it was raining, and I only had my phone, it was just too difficult to take photos as we pedaled along taking in the sights.  However one of the participants took this short video.

video


The neighborhood was decked out, almost to the degree of Peacock Lane in Portland, but it went on for blocks and blocks.  The entire neighborhood got into the spirit.

At the end of the ride we all stopped at a local coffee shop.  A few of us, me included, opted for the hot chocolate. We even went for the whipped cream and peppermint option!


It was yummy!

  Following that, 3 of us pedaled a bit more and went for Moroccan food.  It was yummy too!  (as was the happy hour pricing on drinks!)





It was a fun night on bikes, and great to see all the moms with kids in tow on cargo bikes!

...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today............5..............0.............0..........0.............5 Jan..............105.............34............0..........0............139 Feb.............428............108...........0.........24...........536 March.........809..............0.............0.........22...........831 April.........1010..............0.............0...........0..........1010 May..........1000..............0............20........0............1020 June.........1500..............0.............0..........0............1500 July..........1558..............0.............0..........0............1558 Aug...........531..............0.............0...........0..............531 Sept..........730..............0.............0...........0..............730 Oct............844.............0.............0............0.............844 Nov...........835..............0.............0...........0.............835
 Dec............216..............0............0...........0.............216  YTD.........9562.........142............20..........46..........9770