Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What a change a day makes, or not

Yesterday was a lunch ride, today is a pre trick-or-treat ride.  That part changed.  It rained on me.  That part didn't change!
I'm partaking in some Halloween activities tonight but still wanted to get some miles in today.  It's the last day of the month and my last chance to add to October's mileage.  November is looking to be a low mileage month as I will be traveling (without a bike!) so I had even more impetus to get out there and ride.

All that being said, I only got 19 miles in today.



  ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........19..............0.............0..........0..............19  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 YTD..........8501.........142...........20.........46............8660 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lunch ride

 I am still in Seattle.  I awoke to the sound of light rain. The forecast was for light rain this morning turning to heavy rain by early afternoon.  I really need to get some miles in so decided if I had to ride in rain, I'd rather ride in light rain than heavy rain. Since it took me so long to get motivated to ride it seemed to make sense to cycle to lunch.  The Redhook Brewery is about 25 miles out, and I know how to get there,  so that suited me well. I hopped on my rain bike and took off.

It wasn't too bad.  Light rain from time to time, well actually most of the time, but there were stretches with no rain as well.  There was a brisk headwind as I pedaled out the Sammamish River Trail.

I pulled into Redhook, had a bite to eat then turned back around before the weather deteriorated, and before I got cold.

The rain was beginning to pick up a bit, but the wind was at my back. I pedaled along at a brisk pace.  I got back to Queen Anne and climbed the hill in significant rain.

But the end was in sight!

As odd is it seems, it was a good day to be out pedaling, if for no other reason than there will certainly be worse weather than this to ride in, and I'll likely be out in it.



  ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........51..............0.............0..........0..............51  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............825.............0.............0..........0.............825 YTD..........8482.........142...........20.........46............8641 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Full Moon

 Aaron's Bicycle Repair in West Seattle sponsors a Full Moon Bike Ride every.....get this.... full moon.  Tonight was a full moon, thus nearly a dozen of us started from the shop and went for a little ride to the waterfront, burned a little firewood, eat some cheese, drank some wine, and munched on a whole slew of candy, cookies, and other assorted treats. It was more about socializing than biking.  In other words, it was a fun night on bikes.  It was even more fun in that it was a late October evening without rain!











Aaron brought some glasses along that had to make one think before taking another drink.  LED illumination provided quite the effect.









  ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today...........4..............0.............0..........0...............4  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............774.............0.............0..........0.............774 YTD..........8431.........142...........20.........46............8590 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wow

As I prepare to post today's ride I notice that this is the first ride in a week.  After thinking I would reach 10,000 miles for the year in early October, with riding like this I'll be lucky to reach it at all this year.

Bummer, but at least it was a good ride today.

My friend and I started off from the top of Queen Anne hill in Seattle and made a looping descent down the hill.  The less than direct route allowed us to take a more gentle descent, avoiding the hard braking down a 23% hill with rough pavement.  It also gave us some nice views.


After a wet evening, it was a pleasant surprise to have a dry day to start off in.  I wasn't confident it would hold so I rode my rain bike, and carried rain gear along.

We got to the base of Queen Anne and crossed the Fremont Bridge then accessed the Burke-Gilman Trail.  We had plans to meet another friend at Marymoor Park on the far side of Sammamish Lake so we'd ride the length of the B-G then ride on the Sammamish River Trail to Marymoor Park.  The fall colors, while still evident, are now past their prime.  My riding partner had more fall colors than the trees!


As we neared Marymoor Park we met our friend pedaling back toward us.  At that point the plan morphed a bit.  We had originally planned to ride around Lake Sammamish, but now turned back toward Woodinville to look for reflective dog collars!  Unable to find exactly what our friend wanted we rode back to Blazing Bagles near Marymoor Park and had lunch.  While there another friend who had been trying to catch us all day finally did so.  To be honest, he had his work cut out for him, he had started in West Seattle, giving us about a 15 mile head start.

After scarfing down bagel sandwiches the friend in search of dog collars resumed the search locally, the other three of us turned back on the Sammamish River Trail toward Seattle. We had a bit of a following wind which made the pedaling easier.


We rode back until we got the chance to get back on the Burke-Gilman Trail.  We then pedaled that to the Fremont Bridge.  At this point Eric departed and made his way back to West Seattle, Julie and I began the circuitous ascent of Queen Anne.  As we climbed up the hill a few drips began to fall.  Not rain by Pacific Northwest standards, just a few sprinkles, increasing to a very light rain as we finished up.  A good day on the bikes, especially for this time of year.



  ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........73..............0.............0..........0..............73  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............770.............0.............0..........0.............770 YTD..........8427.........142...........20.........46............8586 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Not what it seems

Today 3 of us rode the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway to Salem.  We started in Wilsonville, which is technically not on the route, so we rode a few bonus miles before picking up the route just a mile or so outside Champoeg Park.  There was an 80% chance of rain today and we were prepared. We expected a headwind as we pedaled south, and our expectations were filled.  I suppose the forecast was correct, we did get rain, but not as much as expected.  We had one rain shower as we neared Keiser, hard enough rain that we took refuge under a filbert orchard canopy.  But in short order we were back on the road.  It was the only rain all day. In Salem we stopped for a bite to eat.  John Henry "Hoary Marmot" Maurice, lives in Keiser and was reminded that he had an early evening commitment,  so he bailed out while close to his home.  Carol and I kept pedaling back north, with a tail wind helping us along.

The wind not only helped us along, but also dried the roads off.

When you have only one rain shower on a day that says 80% chance of rain, and a tailwind on the last half of a ride, you've got to consider it a good day.  I did.

  ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........81..............0.............0..........0..............81  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............697.............0.............0..........0.............697 YTD..........8354.........142...........20.........46............8513 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Where did I put those booties?

I rode the rain bike today. The last time I rode it in rain was last June. (I did ride it for a bit during Race Across Oregon this year in July, but it didn't have fenders on then)

So late last night I was looking for bolts,  installing fenders, lubing chain, looking for my booties, storm socks, long sleeved jersey, windproof long pants, etc.

I eventually got it together, sort of.  As I pedaled the 8 miles to meet 4 others I heard an ever increasing rattle.  I traced it down to fender brace bolts that I had neglected to tighten. I finger tightened it and pedaled on.  That worked for about another mile until the rattling quit........and the bolt disappeared.

We were meeting at REI, which would have a replacement bolt, but was not yet open.  I rode back to Fred Meyer which had a bolt.  I arrived back at our meeting point with about 3 minutes to spare before pedals down.

The roads were wet, but no rain was currently falling.  Temperature was tolerable, if perhaps just a bit on the cool side. We rode through Rosemont, Rivergrove, and West Linn.  We then made our way along Willamette Falls Drive through Willamette and then on to Wilsonville via Mountain Rd.

The weather was improving a bit, we now had large patches of blue sky, interspersed with billowing clouds that looked like they could offer downpours, hail, or lightning at just about anytime. The sun did warm things up for us though. Not hot by any means, but comfortable.

In Wilsonville we got on a bike path that followed the Willamette River and crossed under I-5.  The path was littered with leaves and pine needles but the biggest danger was a little bit of green slime growing in the shaded portions.   With the dampness on the trails it was pretty slick.   We came into a tight corner, sharper than 90 degrees, and one of our riders unclipped to make the turn.  A following rider went down hard.  Perhaps braking too hard to avoid the unclipped and slowing rider?  Maybe just slipped.  Whatever the reason our rider was down on the asphalt and wincing in pain.

After about 20 minutes of considering the options. we decided for all of us to ride back to REI in the most direct fashion. It would cut a few miles off of our intended route, but we'd get our injured rider back quicker.

We had a following wind as we rode back north.  That made for easier pedaling for all of us.  We covered the 8 miles pretty effortlessly.

Once back at REI (where they were having a big sale outdoors in the parking lot) our injured rider decided to do a bit of bargain hunting.  He was in a short sleeved jersey, and shorts.  By now it was raining and the rest of us watched him shop as we stood under cover.  He was banged up, wet, and cold, but continued the search for bargains.  One of our group said he wasn't happy unless he was miserable, I suggested he must certainly be there by now!

After a bit, the rain quit and we began to go our separate ways.  Dave and I were hungry so we took a look at the sky and figured we could get the few miles to McDonald's before the next shower hit.   Love it when a plan comes together, we made it.  We were sitting inside, dry and warm, as a deluge fell.  We kept an eye on the sky as we ate.  At one point there was a break, but we could see more dark clouds bearing down.  I opted for a refill on my soda.

Finally we saw a bigger patch of blue sky coming our way.  We decided it was time for us to make a run and the last 7 miles of today's journey. We took off and pedaled southward. We noted significantly cooler air than when we started out today.  Looks like a cold front had passed through.

We had hoped to miss the rain, we almost made it.   We had about 5 minutes of rain as we were about 2-3 miles from home. Luckily it wasn't one of those hard showers, just rain.

Surprisingly, it was the only rain to fall on us all day.

It was my first day of wet riding since last June.

I survived.

  ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........51..............0.............0..........0..............51  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............616.............0.............0..........0.............616 YTD..........8273.........142..........20.......46..............8432 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The last hurrah?

Today was a nice day.  A bit cool in the early morning, but warmed up to the low 60's and a mostly blue sky by afternoon.  Just about perfect for a bike ride.

I had some details to attend to in Forest Grove but given the nice weather, and the prediction of rain for the next week, I decided I should bike there. This may be the last dry day for some time.

I began from Tualatin, rode to Forest Grove, took care of details, then rode back.  It was a nice day to ride.
It is the time of year where we must all cherish these kind of days. They are bound to become fewer and farther between as we move forward on the calendar.




  ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........69..............0.............0..........0..............69  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............565.............0.............0..........0............565 YTD..........8222.........142..........20.......46..........8381 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A change of seasons

I rode from Seattle to Bellevue today. A week ago it was summer.  Over the weekend it rained.....hard.  Today was a reprieve, but it felt like a reprieve rather than a continuation of summer like weather . I took off with long tights and arm warmers.  For the first few miles I had a tyvek jacket on as well.  Fall colors were on full display,


I was riding to Bellevue to meet my friend after work.  She was working, I was riding.
I traveled down from Queen Anne via the south side, through the Seattle Center.


I  made my way across the I-90 bridge and over Mercer Island then turned north into Bellevue.  It was a short ride, but very enjoyable to be out in the sun one more day.

  ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........15..............0.............0..........0..............15  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............496.............0.............0..........0..........496 YTD..........8153.........142..........20.......46.........8312 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A short ride, but dry

Today was the return trip from Double Trouble.  I found that  my riding partner had never been to the Columbia Gorge or the Deschutes River.  A return trip in "tourist mode" was in order.  We took in a number of non-bikey sights including Shearer's Falls and White River Falls before reaching The Dalles for lunch.
 The fall colors were in full display.

Along the Deschutes River

On the way to Roweena Crest on old Hwy 30

  We then made our way to Roweena Crest.

Roweena Loops
We then continued to Mosier where we unloaded our bikes and rode along the Historic Columbia River Gorge highway, though on the section only open to non-motorized modes of travel.  We rode as far as the Mosier Twin Tunnels and no farther, since the trail was closed by a recent forest fire in the area and not yet open despite recent rain.

The now closed exterior walkway at Mosier Twin Tunnels



As we continued westward we left Oregon's desert behind us and entered the much more wet west side.  True to it's fame (despite the 3.5 months with just .11" rain!) it began raining by the time we got to Hood River and continued to rain all the way to Seattle. That didn't however dampen the desire to continue to play tourist as we made our way west.

video









It was a nice day but it might just be time to put fenders back on the rain bike.

  ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today...........2..............0.............0..........0...............2
 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............481.............0.............0..........0..........481 YTD..........8138.........142..........20.......46.........8297 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Double Trouble

 I rode Double Trouble today.  Double Trouble this year was a 200k, shortened from previous 200 mi versions. This non competitive ride can be ridden as a solo rider, but is best geared to the "ride and tie" event.  My friend Julie joined me today in this endeavor.  She is a self described social rider and was going to be challenged by this ride, and you can't say I wasn't warned.


Beware all Desert Coyotes who enter here!
Despite the trepidations, I started our team off with a good climb on Bakeoven Road. I pushed hard knowing that my partner had parked the pickup at the top of the hill and was now pedaling up the course.  We continued this trading back and forth as we moved our way up the course, that follows part of the Race Across Oregon route.


I rode reasonably hard today.  We got off later than planned, and my partner continues to tell me how slow she is.  I knew we'd do better with more time rather than less. It is a non competitive ride, but that's the official description.  With these folks, when on the road, you don't want to make their passing you easy.  In fact, you don't want them passing you at all.  I didn't stop to take photos today.

We rode a generally uphill ride all the way out to Clarno Summit.  We rode up through Shaniko then had a fun descent into Antelope on the way out there.



 Once to the top of the Clarno climb we turned around and rode back.
I rode the top half of the climb out of Maupin heading west.  The route then took a side trip on Juniper Flat Road.  This was my first time on this road.


There were many scents in the air today, and none more prevalent than along this stretch of road.  Along with the Juniper and sage, there was the aroma of alfalfa.   I also spotted 7 deer and managed to get the phone out of my pocket and get this photo with it will maintaining a brisk pace.


Julie had moved the pickup up to the Hwy 216/Shearer Bridge intersection near Tygh Valley.  I had planned that I would make my climb out of Maupin, the Juniper Flat loop, and the Tygh Valley fairgrounds loop, and catch her before she began the descent to the Deschutes River.

I got to the pickup and loaded the bike and began to chase her down. I was surprised when I did not catch her before the descent, but  not overly so.  I figured I had about a 50% chance to catch her before she started down.  I was really surprised when I did not catch her by Shearer's Falls.  I looked around the portable toilets, figuring she might have ducked in there.

When I got to the bridge I got a strange feeling.  She is not at all familiar with the area we were riding in.  I was hoping she did not make the wrong turn and end up climbing to Grass Valley.  If she did that she was not going to be a happy camper.  I took off along the Deschutes River and with each passing mile I became more convinced that she had made a wrong turn.  My plan was to continue on to Maupin, make sure that someone had not sagged her in because of a flat or other mechanical, fill with gas, and take off toward Grass Valley in search of her.

To my utter amazement I came across her about 1.5 miles from Maupin. She was pedaling like a madman. The social rider had become very much a bike racer!


She communicated to me that she had really wanted to beat me to Maupin!


What could I do?  I let her ride the last mile into Maupin where I got her photo as she finished the ride up.


Her smile of accomplishment was priceless.


  ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........76..............0.............0..........0...........76 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............479.............0.............0..........0..........479 YTD..........8136.........142..........20.......46.........8295

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A mixed bag

I had a nice ride with Cascade Bicycle Club folks today where we joined even more cyclists to attend the unveiling of a bike counter on the Fremont Bridge.



 Following the ceremony we rode to the Ballard Locks, a bakery, and a chocolate shop! The end was not so nice, as I collected 5 stitches over my eye.

 As we rolled up to the coffee shop where our ride was ending I saw a shallow curb, looking like about 2" tall. I was moving about 3 mph and was just going to bunny hop it.  Alas, the leaves that covered the road for about 2 feet leading to the curb were deeper than I thought.  The curb was probably 6" tall.  I came up a bit short, the bike stopped, I didn't.  Landed with my face on the concrete sidewalk.

Blood all over the sidewalk, fire trucks with sirens, kindness of friends.


Two days later I was quite a sight.  Black eye (right side) bruised bridge of my nose (where glasses slammed into me) black and blue under the eyes (again, where glasses got me).  The worse was the chin and upper lip. No stitches, but bad road rash. Pretty hard to eat,  brush teeth, or smile, when it hurts to move lips!

But at least the bike suffered no damage than a few scratches on the aerobar.

........and this too shall pass.

  ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........18..............0.............0..........0...........18 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............403.............0.............0..........0..........403 YTD..........8060.........142..........20.......46.........8219

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Commuter

Today I joined the ranks of commuters who travel the Burke-Gillman trail in Seattle. Okay, so for me it's a one off deal, and the "job" I commuted to was a volunteer gig at Cascade Bicycle Club. It was a foggy cool morning as I made my way to Magnuson Park. It was the first ride of the season where I had long fingered gloves on. With the flat route, and slightly slower pace due to congestion, it was about right.

 Fall is in the air.

 ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........19..............0.............0..........0...........19 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............385.............0.............0..........0..........385 YTD..........8042.........142..........20.......46.........8201

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The end is in sight

After 3.5 months where we got very little rain (Hillsboro received 0.11") the weather guru's tell us the end is in sight. This weekend is expected to be wet, really wet. The impending change made today even more special. I took off early this morning and headed north to join a few Cascade Bicycle Club folks on a ride up Mt St Helens. The dry weather has made it hard to get control over the forest fires that are burning in several areas of the Cascade Mountians. That means there is still some smoke in the air. There is not so much that it smells smokey, but it does affect distant views. It also makes for beautiful sunsets and interesting effects.


We started at Hoffstadt Bluffs because of an advisory of heavy construction traffic below that point. That would shorten our normal route to about 50 miles round trip, with about 5100 ft of climbing. The 5 of us saddled up and began the pedal up the hill.



The fall colors were quite brilliant today.


There was a bit of excitment as we made our way to Johnston Ridge. I was leading our little entourage on a short descent. As I came around a corner I saw an elk on the roadway. I was traveling about 30 mph so braked to slow down as I tried to determine what exactly this big animal was going to do. I was down to about 5 mph as I approached to within 25 feet of the puzzled cow elk. Finally the elk decide to continue off the right side of the road, jumping the guard rail in the process. Once this elk had demonstrated the safety of the maneuver, the rest of the herd appeared from the brush on the left side of the road and followed the lead. About 15 animals in all, all cows and calves. I had pulled my camera out and was trying for "the shot" as an elk would jump the rail. Alas, don't wait for that perfect shot because you are likely to get what I got, which is nothing, as you can see from the elk photo that... I don't have posted!




After a couple of hours of pedaling up hill we arrived at the top of Johnston Ridge, and the end of the road.



Once on top we took in the view for a bit, smoke limited though it was.


I was surprised to learn that the lava dome, that continues to grow, has now replaced 7% of what was lost due to the eruption. The size of what we see is deceiving, the lava dome is 1300 ft tall. To put that in perspective, it is approximately the height of Portland's West Hills.


I was also somewhat surprised that the river had cut channels up to 200 ft deep through the previously smooth plain that resulted from the eruption and debris flows.


After spending about an hour at Johnston Ridge, playing tourist and snacking, we began our descent.

The descent back down down was fun. Top speed was kept in check by a bit of headwind, but my 56x11 high gear allowed me to keep it moving a pretty good pace. The top speed was only 43 mph, but I rarely dropped below 35 mph.



I ended up with 51 miles and 5900 ft of climbing. As with all rides, when we reached the end it was time to stop. With the impending rainfall, I probably should have pedaled a bit more as I waited for all of us to arrive. As it was, I was happy just to load up the bike, change clothes, and relive the day's adventure with my new found friends as they arrived back at Hoffstadt Bluffs.
It was indeed a very good day on the bike!

............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........51..............0.............0..........0...........51 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............366..............0..............0..........0...........366 YTD..........8023............142............20.........46.........8182

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Summer continues

 I ventured east of the Cascades for a ride today.  I do that most often in the Spring and Fall when the west side of the Cascade Mountains is likely to be wet.  The dry side of the mountains is called that because it's ....dry.  Today I didn't need to go that far to dodge rain showers, it was dry and sunny all over the region.  I did want to ride a long sustained hill though, and the ride I chose had it.  So off I went.  Ken joined me for the day of fun.  Neither of us has ridden a whole lot this fall, and we joked a bit about it.  We figured since it was just us out for a ride today that we didn't have to admit to anyone how slow we were.  So, the official story is we just tore this course up today.  We climbed the hills like pros!

Ken had time constraints today, on both ends of the day.  Instead of starting in Tygh Valley as we usually do, we started in Maupin at the Imperial River Company.  That would shave off about 15 miles, and one climb out of the Deschutes River Canyon.

We started riding along the banks of the Deshutes River heading toward the Grass Valley climb, aka "Lauren's Hill" after my 2010 Race Across Oregon partner.  She had her heart set on climbing that hill, and did a stellar job.



The low in the area this morning was in the lower 30's. There was still a chill in the air as we started out, but our 10am start took some of the bite out of it.  By the time we started climbing toward Grass Valley we were plenty warm!  We made it up that hill in the previously described "record time" (that's the story and we are sticking to it!) then pulled into the town of Grass Valley to eat a few snacks and rest of a bit.

From Grass Valley we turned south and followed Hwy 97.  The road is a bit busier than the other roads we'd ride today but the traffic was all very friendly and accommodating


There was a slight north wind and it helped us cover the 28 miles to Shaniko a little easier than normal.
I had been tailing Ken most of the day so far, but put the hammer down with about a mile left to go, just to beat him to the town line!  We pulled into our normal stop, a smokey little dive of a market.  We spent nearly a half hour there eating hot dogs, ice cream, and candy bars.  I got a large bottle of lime Gatoraid to refill my bottles, Ken had a Starbucks coffee drink and refilled his bottles with water.


From Shaniko we turned westward and made our way to the high point of today's ride then played on some rollers heading toward the Deschutes River Canyon.

 Ken was ahead of me (see that yellow speck one hundred yards ahead of me?) but wouldn't stay there for long.  The rollers lost elevation as they rolled along.  Just perfect for me.  I passed him, held back a bit on a small climb to remind him of the likelihood of gravel in the turns on the Bakeoven Rd descent, then put the hammer down.  In the last 8 miles I put a 3.5 minute lead on him.  I rolled into the Imperial River Company just after 4PM, right when Ken was hoping to be there. We had 86 miles on the odometers.

Ken loaded up and headed out for his home commitment, I rode to Shearer's Falls and back to get my desired century in.

It was nice day on the bikes.  Ken and I were pretty evenly matched............. both of us WAY faster than the rest of you.  ;-)

Upon arriving back at Imperial River Company I took out my phone and checked on the status of my friends who are riding the Furnace Creek 508, then I too headed west toward home, just as the sun was setting.


A perfect day.

 ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
 Today.........100..............0.............0..........0..........100
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............315..............0..............0..........0...........315
YTD..........7972............142............20.........46.........8131

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A big day for some, not so big for others

It is a big day for those who've trained hard, often for years, in anticipation of the Furnace Creek 508 which starts today at 6:30AM. After a few years of riding these crazy events I've met a few of the participants of this year's FC508. I wish them, and all the competitors, a great race and awesome adventure.

(photo credit for all racer "mugshots" to AdventureCorps)
John "Geoduck" Pearch finished 42:00:24
                         See Geoduck's location via his SPOT tracker



Rob "ZomBee" James
DNF :-( 
                              See ZomBee's location via his SPOT tracker

Chris "RAM" Ragsdale finished 33:05:07


Mike and Joan  "Trojan Rabbits" Diechtman finished 32:41:22


Janine Spence and Catharina Berge members of the 4x "Rock Ewe"
finish  28:23:30


 
Adam "Rock Rabbit" Bickett finished 33:52:35
       

Janice "Wooshkeetaan" Sheufelt finished 33:53:57
and a nice wrap up with George Thomas's interview of the Furnace Creek 508 director, Chris Kostman

       
                                                                              Listen to internet radio with overthetop on Blog Talk Radio

As for me, I'm heading out to ride a 40 mile loop, twice.  80 miles on mostly bike paths with a few friends.  Hardly a life changing adventure, but will be fun none the less.

UPDATE
  Well, I did get out for that ride today.  Four others joined me for a fun day in the sunshine.
We rode the 40 Mile Loop, which despite the photo above, is mostly on dedicated bike paths.
One of the first paths we encountered today was the Peninsula Crossing Trail. This path is very dark at night but is quite enjoyable during daylight hours. Here's a short segment of that trail.



There was a brisk wind coming out of the Columbia Gorge, perhaps 25-30 mph.  We rode into that as we were on the Marine Drive Bike Path on the shores of the Columbia River. My friends struggled a bit with the wind, but Paula managed to keep a smile on her face.


  The rest of the group only planned on riding one loop so they weren't as concerned with time as I was. We rode a bit slower pace and spent a lot more time stopped than I would have if I were riding alone, but it was nice to have the company.  We stopped for lunch at Cartlandia.

video


(Eric Shalit photo)

We arrived back at Oaks Park after 6 hours of fun.
video


 My friends went their respective ways, I took off on lap two.  I had considered riding the route counter clockwise so I'd have a tailwind along that exposed stretch of the Marine Drive path, but changed my mind when I realized that with a 4PM start I'd likely be finishing up in darkness, or close to it. That would put me on roads at dusk as where riding the route clockwise would have me on the road section early in the ride while the sun was still relatively high in the sky.

I pedaled a bit harder on lap two, but more importantly, did not stop.  I finished in 3 hours, just as it was getting dark.

It was a good day on the bike.

 ............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
 Today..........80..............0.............0..........0...........80
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............215..............0..............0..........0...........215
YTD..........7872............142............20.........46.........8031




Friday, October 5, 2012

Furnace Creek 508 and wind

I had plans to ride to Forest Grove today with a few stops along the way to take care of some business details.   I got a bit of a late start because I was watching a live webcast of the Furnace Creek 508 check-in.
I watched for just over 2 hours, then left the player embedded here so that you, my loyal blog fans, could follow along easily.  :-)



Live stream by UstreamI finally did start pedaling because I knew I was going to ride at least 55 miles, and much of it would be into a brisk headwind, along with the stops I needed to make.  I was going to need my time.

I fired up my trusty ride oracle,  and mapped out the route.  I started pedaling at 1:30PM under sunny and warm skies.  The temperature was 70 degrees as I passed on time/temp readout.  It seemed about right. There was about a 25 mph wind blowing out of the north in the Tualatin area, and that morphed into an east wind as I lined up with the Columbia Gorge and made my way westward toward Forest Grove.  I had a pretty long run heading west, and knew that though I was pedaling along at a pretty fast rate that the return trip would be considerably slower with the wind likely to be in my face.

I did get my business taken care of, even stopped by my mom's house to tweak a few computer settings for her.  The wind was indeed in my face, but with Furnace Creek 508 starting early tomorrow morning I didn't have to let my mind wander far to remember that I have ridden in a whole lot worse wind. 

The wind did slow me down considerably, but once in the Beaverton area I turned south and the wind started out as a crosswind but gradually morphed into a tailwind, as expected. There are reasons an east wind does this, but this is a bike blog, not a meteorological blog, so we'll let you research that on your own if your are curious. Much of my north/south travel today was on the Fanno Creek Trail. Just south of downtown Tigard the trail crossed Fanno Creek on this bridge.
It's not the most scenic bridge, but I thought I'd snap the photo.  A friend had posted a photo of a portion of path in the Bellevue Washington area and asked friends to identify the location.  I thought this was a non descript enough photo to play the same game, so I posted it to Facebook and asked for guesses, with the hint of somewhere along a route from Tualatin to Forest Grove.  No successful guesses.  ;-)

After taking the photo I continued on my way and  was just glad to not be riding into the wind any longer since daylight was beginning to be a concern.  I finished up at 6:30pm, about 10 minutes before sunset.  I made a couple of laps around the parking lot where my pickup parked, just to bring me up to a nice round 60 miles. That puts my weekend on the "+20 plan", as I have plans to ride 80 miles tomorrow, and 100 on Sunday.  Gotta take advantage of this unseasonably dry weather! 



 ............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............135..............0..............0..........0...........135
YTD..........7792............142............20.........46.........7951 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Two Lake Loop

A sunny day, bonus! I took the opportunity to ride around Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish and added a little ride up Seattle's waterfront.



I began near the top of Queen Anne and rode down across the Fremont Bridge, not Portland's Fremont Bridge over the Willamette River, but a smaller Fremont Bridge in the Fremont Neighborhood of Seattle.
Portland's Fremont Bridge is the second longest tied arch bridge in the world, while Seattle's Fremont Bridge is the busiest drawbridge in the world.

I got on the Burke-Gilman Trail and began along the western shore of Lake Washington. I came to Logboom Park and stopped to look around.  I learned that this was the site of a lumber operation where logs were hauled in via rail and dropped into the lake where they were lashed together in large rafts to be floated to mills.  An interesting tidbit was that logging began about 1860, and by 1920.... a span of 60 years, all marketable timber was logged from the area. The waterway and locks between Lake Lake Washington and Puget Sound were finished in 1916, and resulted in the level of Lake Washington being lowered by 9 ft. (and the dewatering of one river and the relocation of another!)
What is left of the timber operation at Logboom Park today is polluted water. I guess there were different priorities a generation ago.
There was also a sign advising that swimming here was not safe. 
There was a nice view across the lake though.

I continued on my way, following a course I had ridden before which went around the northern end of Lake Washington, through Marymoor Park and along the eastern edge of Lake Sammamish. When I got down to the southern end of Lake Sammamish I got on the route I rode a couple of weeks ago that took me out to May Valley then headed west.

I made my way over to Seattle's waterfront and rode a route that I have ridden a few times now with various Cascade Bicycle Club folks. Once I got to the heart of Seattle I rode UP Queen Anne, a steep pitch worthy of notice, and a fitting way to end the ride today.

Just another great day on a bike!


............road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..........75..............0.............0..........0...........75 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.............75..............0..............0..........0............75
YTD..........7732............142............20.........46.........7891