Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lowering Goals

 In the not too distant past it would have been unheard of for me to not bike at least 500 miles in a month, and for most of the year I'd expect to ride 1000 miles or more in a month.  Not this year.  Today is the last day of February and I've got a year to date 504 miles.  I've ridden farther than that in 48 hours! :-O

The day started out with some jobs to do.  I took off with  pruning shears and materials to build a grape arbor.  I also brought my bike, thinking that if all went well I'd get time to ride 25-30 miles.  The significance of that distance was that I'd roll over 400 miles for the month, and 500 for the year thus far.  Far from being anything to crow about, I just couldn't stand to not get those milestones, as puny as they were.

I finished up my duties and hopped on the bike.  I rode a portion of my birthday ride route from earlier in the month.  There were a few sprinkles around today, but not while I rode.  A side note, depending on how the weather goes for the next few hours, we are likely to record the 4th driest February on record. It's not that we've had a lot of dry days,  we had measurable rain on well over half the days, but never any truly rainy days.  Most days had in the neighborhood of 0.01"-0.05".  Just drizzle.  Certainly the weather did not play a factor in my low mileage.

Here's the route I rode today.



As King George II said, "mission accomplished".  Big deal.

...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............29..............0.............0..........0..............29 Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93 Feb................411..............0..............0.........0............411 Total..............504.............0..............0.........0.............504

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A last hurrah

The current trip to Seattle is coming to an end.  I had just a short time to ride, so I took off on one of my favorite short routes.  I rode out to Magnolia.




Since time was short I didn't bring the camera but it was just as scenic as it usually is.  Other than just a bit of wind it was a perfect day for biking.  Not too hot, not too cold, just right.

...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............13..............0.............0..........0..............13 Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93 Feb................382..............0..............0.........0............382 Total..............475.............0..............0.........0.............475

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chilly Hilly

I rode Cascade Bicycle Club's Chilly Hilly on Bainbridge Island today.



The official ride route was 33 miles. Given the short distance of the route, it was a perfect excuse to ride to the ride.  I twisted an arm and talked my friend Julie into joining me. We started from the top of Queen Anne in Seattle, a little 400 ft hill.  We rolled down Taylor Street to downtown, then made our way to the water's edge by way of Roy Street and a brand new bike/ped overpass over Hwy 99 and the numerous railroad tracks. From there we headed south on the Elliot Bay Trail to the ferry terminal where we joined the gathering masses.
The Seattle Times got a good photo of the gathering cyclists.  Our numbers would double as ferry time neared.



 Julie and I are both Cascade Ride Referees, as were friends Leo and Lee Anne.  There were about 40 Ride Refs in total. Click on the link to know more about the Ride Referee's role.

We loaded our bikes on the ferry and prepared to make the short trip across the water to Bainbridge Island.


Jim Carson photo

In years past we had a dedicated ferry for bike transport, this year we shared the space with automobiles. I guess the Washington State Ferry System believes in "Share the Load". ;-)

As we docked on the island, cyclists cued up to make our egress, and begin our ride.


Chilly Hilly is a popular ride and with 6000 riders and only 33 miles to spread them out over, often the biggest issue is not the chilliness, or hilliness, but the crowds of cyclists, some with less than stellar cycling skills.  This year seemed to be a bit better than normal.  There were still plenty of cyclists around, but the 30% chance of rain, and predicted 20 mph winds may have scared away those lesser skilled riders.


The 30% chance of rain (predicted to go to 80% by dark) didn't hurt us much today.  I never got a drop of rain all day, and even saw my shadow much of the time. I didn't ride hard, but did keep moving except for a few photo opportunities, and a couple of stops to help out with rider issues.


I finished the course a bit before 11AM.  I milled around the finish line festival for a bit chatting with other riders. I also had a bowl of famous "Chilly Hilly Chili".



 






It wasn't cold riding, but after milling around the finish line for about 45 minutes I was starting to get cold.  I decided to pedal backwards along the route and rejoin my friends, who according to text messages were now riding pretty much together.  Of course, "riding" is a relative term.  I attend Chilly Hilly for the ride, they attend for much more social reasons.


They weren't the only folks in this back of the peloton who were out to enjoy the day.  I came across this guy who said he was waiting for a group of a dozen or so of his grad students who were joining him, all in matching frog helmet covers.


As I rode back through the riders I helped a few who had flats, and also got to ride UP a steep pitch in excess of 20% that the route riders got to ride DOWN.

After nearly 12 miles riding back, I came across my friends, all with smiles on their faces and chatter of dancing in the streets.  They also had a few stories of folks not exhibiting good cycling skills, and a few instances of ear buds. (prohibited on Cascade rides)  All in all, they were having a good time, albeit at a slower pace.

I turned around and joined them on their ride to the finish line.  We arrived there (me for the second time today!)  just a bit before 2PM.   There was not enough time to make the 2:05 ferry,  so we chatted with a few folks in the now dwindling crowd.  We lined up for the 2:55 ferry.


We may not have had dedicated ferries this year, but we certainly had the numbers to do a de facto take over.

After our  ferry crossing back to Seattle, Julie and I rode northward on the Elliot Bay Trail, then eastward on the Ship Canal Trail, before arriving in Fremont and making the climb back up Queen Anne.  We had a brisk tailwind along the water.  The climb up; Queen Anne wasn't bad at all, despite Julie voicing concerns as we were on the ferry.

It was a good day, and a bonus that we never had any rain.

  ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............68..............0.............0..........0..............68 Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93 Feb................369..............0..............0.........0............369 Total..............462.............0..............0.........0.............462

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Sunny Day

It's February.
I'm in Seattle.

Those are two reasons to not expect blue sky, but blue sky it was!

I had a few hours in the early afternoon so I pedaled off on a little sightseeing excursion.

I started out with a field trip to Kidd Valley.

From there I took off for the waterfront and made my way up to Magnolia, with a detour to Smith Cove.
It was a pretty darn nice day.



video

I had to be finished up by 3PM so I did more pedaling than stopping the last half of the route.  It was a great day to be on the bike, though a bit colder than it appeared.





  ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............16..............0.............0..........0..............16 Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93 Feb................301..............0..............0.........0............301 Total..............394.............0..............0.........0.............394

Monday, February 18, 2013

A solo ride

There was a plan to join my friend, as she joined her friends, on a ride around Lake Sammamish.  We chose to ride to the ride. As is often the case, my friend wasn't feeling it, or as she said, "I lost my mojo".  We were to meet three of her friends at Marymoor Park, about a 30 mile commute for us.  Before we even started out 1 had decided not to go....  there was a 40% chance of rain.

As we pedaled along the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River Trail I heard enough excuses that I knew we weren't going to join the others.  We arrived at Marymoor Park in plenty of time, but missed connections with the others.  We did meet them going the other way as we pedaled out of the park.  Neither they, nor we, stopped.  Amazing to me, but I don't get involved in the girl politics.

My friend and I were following a route that we had mapped to my gps this morning, one that we had ridden, more or less, a few weeks ago.

The hills were causing troubles for my friend.  As we reached about 41 miles into the ride the gps indicated a hard right turn onto the I-90 trail.  My friend look at me, scowled, and continued on.

I can take a hint.

I followed the gps map.

I started up a steep switchback section heading towards Newport Way.  I waited on this short section for 15 minutes in case my partner was deciding to follow. I did after all have her phone, her money, her pump, her lights, and evidently her mojo.  I used my stopped time to take a photo. 
  I didn't know the area well enough to know where she might have pedaled, so I couldn't try to chase her down.  All I knew was the course that was on the gps.

   I figured that I'd get back to my pickup, drop off her phone and a note saying I had my phone with me and was backtracking the course trying to find her. I knew I could do nothing until I got back, so I turned the power on and rode hard holding an 18-22 mph.

Drat, after passing through UW I come upon my friend, pedaling her normal 12 mph.  She just smiles instead of telling me how she got ahead of me.  I'm guessing quite a few less miles, or public transportation.....though she had no cash.

No matter, I pedaled up the hill and finished the ride.  We were both starved, so a quick dash to the local pub for some food followed.

The map is of the main route, not including the ride down and back up Queen Anne, nor the return on the Sammamish River Trail.



Oh, and that 40% chance of rain?  I got a few random drops in the last 7 miles, never enough to make the road wet.
  ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............83..............0.............0..........0..............83 Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93 Feb................285..............0..............0.........0............285 Total..............378.............0..............0.........0.............378

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Shopping

 I am in Seattle and seemed to have brought the dry Oregon weather with me. Even though there was a 70% chance of rain this morning, the roads were dry. My friend and I finally got out mid afternoon for a ride to Greg's Cycle and Performance Bicycle in search for a new bike computer, brake pads, and bar tape.  We struck out on all counts, everything is back ordered and should be here in about 10 days. :-(

On the way back we noted that the air was cooling and clouds were getting darker.  Despite the signs of impending rain we stopped for a bit to eat since we were both hungry.  Sure enough, while sitting by the windows eating a late lunch/early dinner, it started raining pretty hard.  Neither of us had rain gear along, and I was on the fenderless carbon bike.  We ordered another drink and hoped to wait it out.   Finally at 5PM we had a break.  We went for it.

The roads were wet, but we were climbing Queen Anne, so the speeds were low, no fear of a rooster tail from the rear tire.  We arrived at the top of the hill without getting rained on.  Not too bad.

Could have easily ridden some miles today, but alas.


 ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............16..............0.............0..........0..............16 Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93 Feb................202..............0..............0.........0............202 Total..............295.............0..............0.........0.............295

Friday, February 15, 2013

At last!

Today was the 5th consecutive day without rain, and finally I got on a bike.  Earlier this week I was busy pruning backyard fruit trees and grapevines, and taking care of some fire district business.  Today I spent the morning in Seattle trouble shooting a washing machine but did get out late this afternoon.  I took along a can of florescent orange pavement marking paint and marked the route down Queen Anne to Nickerson.  I can follow my GPS for this easy gradient (no more than 6% as opposed to the 27% straight down the hill) but friends are lost.  Today's little ride down and up the hill should help them.  :-)

It was a beautiful sunny day and would have been nice to ride a few more miles, but it was better than nothing.

On another bikey related issue, it looks like I will be Crew Chief on a Race Across the West effort by Gary Feldstein. Best of luck to him,.  I will do my best to live up to his faith in me.

 ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..............7..............0.............0..........0...............7 Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93 Feb................186..............0..............0.........0............186 Total..............279.............0..............0.........0.............279

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The best worst day ever?

 4 friends joined me on a 58 mile ride to celebrate another birthday.  
Ken got stuck waiting for a train to clear an intersection and was just a bit late.  We filled time by snapping a photo of our smiling faces.


We rolled out about 12:15PM, fifteen minutes later than we had planned.  
We pedaled west and rode about 13 blocks to reach the East Bank Esplanade.  It was a gorgeous February day.


    Today also happened to be The Worst Day of the Year Ride, a day according to weather records that historically has the worse weather.  Today that was not the case.  Our route traveled part of their route, but in the reverse direction.  Since we had a noon start, the Worst Day riders we nearing the end of their ride.  We felt a bit like salmon swimming up stream at times.


  We rode out near Kelly Point Park then turned east and followed the Columbia River back upstream.



  We crossed over the Interstate Bridge and worked our way northwestward toward the western terminus of the Burnt Bridge Creek Trial.  One of the riders had torn an ACL skiing last weekend, and I haven't been riding much.  Between the two of us, we traded Lanterne Rouge duties today, though I was probably in that position most of the time.  I was having bloating issues again :-( and found pedaling a bit difficult. I especially noticed it when I had to pedal hard when trying to keep up going up hills.  

  I did my best to invoke Rule #5.

  We followed the Burnt Bridge Trail to the Discovery Trail then across the Sam Jackson Bridge and back into Oregon.  From there we followed the I-205 Path to the Springwater Trail, then we took city streets to add mile or two so we'd finish up with 58 miles.  Mark had dropped us like bad habits as we made our way along the I-205 Path, but the rest of us pedaled into Madison's Bar and Grill together.

  We sat down at a table and ordered food and drink and took a well deserved rest.

   We made two brief stops today, both to take advantage of a restroom.  That's one nice thing about riding paths rather than roads for much of this route, there were actual flush toilets! With just two brief stops we managed to keep a pretty good average speed.  Given that we were on paths we didn't expect a fast ride, but we did manage to keep a pretty good pace, if you consider a 12 1/2 mph average good.  Today we did. 
We ended up with 58.15 miles and 2088 ft of climbing.



Having birthdays is hard work!


 ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............58..............0.............0..........0..............58 Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93 Feb................237..............0..............0.........0............237 Total..............320.............0..............0.........0.............320

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Dry Run

I had a bunch of errands to do today, but with a conference to attend the rest of the week, I really wanted to get on the bike. At 1:45PM I finally rolled out, planning to ride the Washington State portion of this weekend's birthday bike ride. I figured I'd start from the north end of the Interstate Bridge, ride the route, then when I got across the Sam Jackson Bridge I'd take the Marine Drive path back to close the loop.



  The roads were dry and the sky mostly blue.  Not bad at all for a February day, especially one predicted to be wet.

  Much of the route is on multi-use paths, and the portion in Washington is no exception.  I've ridden some of these roads/paths before, but not all by any means, and never all together.  That was the impetus to ride this today before leading a group out there on Sunday.  Always poor form for the ride leader to not know the course, or find that part of it isn't safe to ride!

  I rode streets northward until I accessed the western end of the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail. After a few miles of following the creek I came to I-5.




  After a few more miles I took a turn onto the Discovery Trail.



  As I crossed the Glenn Jackson Bridge I paused to take a photo of Mt Hood, Oregon's highest peak, though there seems to be a lot of variance in its reported height.


  Though I had planned to follow the Marine Drive path, as I was crossing the Glenn Jackson Bridge I looked at the time and thought if I put a bit of effort into it, I might just be able to ride the entire 58 mile route before dark.  It was a bet I didn't want to lose, as I didn't have a headlight with me.

  I could feel the lack of miles this year.  In my slow paced rides recently I've been able to pedal pretty well, but pushing the pace I could feel my lack of fitness.

  I knew that the remainder of the route was on bike paths except for just a few miles.  I was going to need every bit of daylight.  I had three Planet Bike Superflash Turbo's along.   With about 4 miles to go I pressed on of them into service facing forward.  I didn't want any surprises, and didn't want to surprise anyone coming toward me.

  I finished up just after 5:30 PM.   Just under a 15 mph clock time average.  Not too bad given that riding paths is slower than riding roads.  As I was driving home it started to rain.  My dry run had dry weather.  Perfect timing!

  And yes, I'm tired!

 ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............58..............0.............0..........0..............58 Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93 Feb................179..............0..............0.........0............179 Total..............272.............0..............0.........0.............272

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Going the wrong way!

Last Saturday I rode 63 miles.
 Last Sunday I rode 42 miles.
 Monday I rode 13 miles.
Today I rode 3 miles.

   My pickup developed some issues that needed my attention. The necessary repairs required a trip to the local auto parts store. I biked there and back..... in blue jeans, sweatshirt, athletic shoes, and baseball cap. I looked like a POB (person on bike)

    But I got the parts and didn't contribute to my carbon footprint.  It was nice to at least get some pedaling in, but I don't have much more room to slide downward. I might have to gear up for the predicted wet weather and get in a longer ride soon.

 ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today..............3..............0.............0..........0...............3 Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93 Feb................121..............0..............0.........0............121 Total..............214.............0..............0.........0.............214

Monday, February 4, 2013

Here Comes the Sun!

  I recently rode a 58 mile birthday route in Seattle but didn't take the time to get photos. Today I had hoped to reride the entire route just for fun, and to take a few photos along the way.  As it ended up, I had some work to do this morning and couldn't get out early enough to ride the entire route, since I have plans for happy hour early this evening.  I did manage to get a short ride in however, and at least got out to Magnolia Blvd, where I knew there should be some good views. I was riding solo today, so I didn't have to listen to complaints about the hills, but nobody there to listen to my complaining either! There was still some fog/low clouds/whatever in the sky but it was rapidly dissipating.


Mt Rainier was just beginning to become visible through the grey.

I made by way back across to the Queen Anne neighborhood, where I couldn't resist taking a photo of the Seattle landmark, the Space Needle, even though there were those pesky wires in the way.  






As I was finishing up my little ride the sun finally came out. :-)



    ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............13..............0.............0..........0..............13
Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93
Feb................118..............0..............0.........0............118
Total..............211.............0..............0.........0.............211

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bob Marley's Birthday Ride


Hey Mon, leets go fo a bike ride!

Wednesday is Bob Marley's birthday but today was the day Cascade Bicycle Club celebrated it.  17 of us gathered at the CBC offices in Magnusen Park to ride a 42 mile ride.  There were dreadlocks, tie dyed cupcakes, and plenty of jokes about the now legal (in Washington) herb.


    Jenny was ride leader and took us out on a moderate paced ride to Alki Beach and back.  It was probably a bit warmer than yesterday, though a few sprinkles overnight had the roads damp this morning.  Nothing serious thankfully, as I'm on my carbon "fenderless" bike.

  We happened along a bike incident.  Seems that one bike was descending a narrow path and hit another who was coming up.  The guy that was coming up had dislocated a thumb.  He called his wife to come pick him up.   We did our best to make sure that both were okay and would be taken care of, before we rode on.  Thankfully, not our group, and nothing too serious.

   We arrived at Tulley's Coffee where we stopped for a bit before turning back around.  We picked up one extra rider who was asking how to get back to near UW.  As luck would have it, we were going back that way, and she was more than happy to  tag along.  She did well, kept right up, and rode safely.  That is always a concern when you pick up an unknown rider.

  I goofed up and took my camera, but not it's memory card, today.  I managed to get just a few photos as we prepared to ride on the camera's internal memory before I ran out of space.

We had a good ride. (and I already have ridden more miles this month than all of last month!)



    ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............42..............0.............0..........0..............42
Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93
Feb................105..............0..............0.........0............105
Total..............198.............0..............0.........0.............198

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A new month

I'm ready to step away from January, where I set a new record for the fewest miles in a month, and move into February. The last month has been marked by sickness, ....and my email got hacked.  I even noticed that one of the emails surreptitiously sent was to this blog, hopefully nobody clicked on the link.

Today was the Seattle Edition of my birthday ride.  I have always ridden my years in miles, and the only change this year is that I will do it once in Seattle, and next weekend I'll ride another version in the Portland area. Today we planned to ride this route:

6 of us met at the end of the Fremont Bridge in Seattle late this morning.  It was supposed to be sunny, at least it was dry.

L to R.. Julie, Brad, Mike, Johnny, and Geoff
Eric ran late and would join us a few miles into the ride today. We rode west toward Discovery Park then turned south and rode to Lincoln Park via Alki.  The ride over Magnolia Blvd was very scenic, but the camera was buried and I didn't want to stop the train to mess with it.

Just before we got to Lincoln Park Eric wanted to stop at Bakery Nuveau.  He said it was right on the route.  Well, not exactly as it turned out.  We climbed a significant bonus hill, and spent longer than I had allotted for a mid point stop.

Geoff and Johnny
Mike
Julie
After a bit of time we dropped back down the hill to Lincoln Park, only to climb back up again.


Geoff, Johnny, and Brad waiting at the top


My friends, Seattle natives all, knew exactly where we were, me not so much.  But I had the gps with the route loaded on it!  We continued south past the ferry landings, then turned east.
We climbed a bit to get over to Renton.   With some waiting for regroups, a bit slower pace than expected, and a longer mid point rest stop, we were running late.I had planned the ride based on a 10 mph clock time average, and we weren't holding even close to that.  There was some discussion as we waited again for a regroup resulted in a modified plan to stay on the west side of Lake Washington. It would cut a few miles off, but with my commute to and from the ride would still result in at least 58 miles, the goal for the day.  Everyone else rode to the ride too, so it was all okay.

Riders started peeling off to ride home, with Geoff first as we got near I-90, with him making his way back to Bellvue.  Johnny left us near the arboretum, as did Eric. Mike left us before we crossed over the Montlake Bridge. We followed the STP route in reverse to get back to UW, where Brad took his leave.  Julie and I finished back up at the Nickerson Saloon, with lights on, where we had fish and chips and an adult beverage before riding back up Queen Anne hill. Before the ride up Queen Anne, we had a 6.5 mph clock time average. Unbelievable really.

We never saw the sun as was predicted, and it never got as warm as expected but it didn't rain.  All in all, it was nice to be back on a bike.

I was on my carbon bike today, the first time on it since January 1st, when I rode around Mission Bay in San Diego.  No rain either day!


    ...........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total Today.............63..............0.............0..........0..............63
Jan..................93..............0..............0.........0.............93
Feb.................63..............0..............0.........0.............63
Total..............156.............0..............0.........0.............156