Friday, April 29, 2016

Lake Tapps, new territory

I belong to a Facebook group that urges us to "Heed the Call of the Trail Not Pedaled".  Today I did just that.  After being at Lake Tapps for a birthday gathering last night, today I had the hankering to ride around a bit. My hosts suggested a path that went from Auburn to Sumner.  Against the advice of my hosts, I decided that I should ride to the ride.  It is a hilly area, and there was a mile long 10% grade getting to and from the trail along with 6 miles of significant roller coasters.  I wasn't sure if I could get the fixie up a 10% grade for any appreciable distance, but there aren't many hills that I can't push my bike up if necessary, so off I went.

Before getting to "the hill" there were non stop rollers.  On a geared bike, this would have been fun.  On the fixed gear bike it was work.  There were no shoulders on most of it, and a reasonable amount of traffic, but drivers were considerate.

Once I got to "the hill" there was a wide separated path, that locals appear to use for exercise.  I would get my exercise keeping the fixed gear bike under control as I went down the 10% grade.


When I got to the bottom it was just a short jaunt to the trail I was heading to.


It was a nice ride along the White River.  The White River is a component of the whole White, Green, Black, Duwamish, Puyallup, and Stuck River man made and natural river route modifications.



It looks like the changes are not yet finished.  This project will remove the pedestrian/bike bridge and replace it with 2 lane automotive bridge, and widen the river channel by 200 ft on each side to allow high flows to better get through the area without flooding the nearby commercial buildings.


As I crossed the bridge I had a front row view of something in the river.

video
It appears to be some sort of fishwheel, perhaps part of a fish counting or tagging operation.  There was nobody staffing the barge and no apparent action going on.  There was a sign farther up the river saying that the area was under rehabilitation and fishing was not allowed.

I saw a path that headed back east, at a tangent to the trail I was on.  It was packed gravel for a city block or so, then turned to asphalt.  It looked to connect to what I determined to be the East Valley Hwy.  When I got to the road, it was indeed East Valley Hwy.  I took out my phone and started the Maps.me app to find a way back to Lake Tapps without having to retrace my route.  The climb couldn't be avoided, but the route could be.  Forest Canyon Rd went up the hill, but it looked like it would be a circuitous  route with a lot of turns to memorize.  I headed back north toward Lake Tapps Parkway, "the hill" I had come down on.  Just before getting there, there was a turn marked "to Lake Tapps", that worked for me.  It was steep, steep enough that I had to resort to the "paperboy weave" to keep making progress. By the numbers it was just over 11%.  When I arrived at "the hill", I noted a paved multi-use path directly across the hwy.  I made my way over to it and began pedaling up it.


The trail diverged, and I took the wrong way.  after some significant climbing, I found my way had turned into a sidehilling single track.  I didn't want to give back the hard earned elevation, so I continued on.


I eventually reached roads and without the sun to keep my bearings, I soon found myself pulling out the phone again.  I reestablished my directions and continued on.

Before long I was back on the roller coaster working my way back to Lake Tapps.  I pulled into the house just as it started to rain lightly.

After the rain passed, I twisted friend Julie's arm to join me for some bonus miles.  We pedaled around the community.  Having not taken my phone, or camera,  I missed some nice photo opps of beautiful lakeside homes with views of the lake.  Next time.  Julie and I added 4 miles to my 18.

22 miles
It was another good workout on a short mileage ride.
1327 ft

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........22................0...................0.......................0...........22
Jan...............0................0...............,...0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......559................0..................0........................0..........559
YTD...... 960...............0...................0.......................0...........960

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A quick out and back

I had a painting project that kept me busy this morning and plans to attend a birthday gathering this afternoon.  In between I had just enough time for a short ride.  Nothing fancy, just a quick out and back on the Burke-Gilman Trail from Gasworks Park (Seattle).



.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........11................0...................0.......................0...........11
Jan...............0................0...............,...0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......537................0..................0........................0..........537
YTD...... 938...............0...................0.......................0...........938

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Magnolia!

I took the fixie out for a spin today.  The Hwy 99 Viaduct in Seattle will close tonight for 2 weeks while "Bertha" tunnels under it.  Given the fiasco that this project has been, it seems that nobody is willing to gamble that some disaster will not happen as it tunnels within 15 feet of the foundation of the viaduct.  I'm not sure if the street under the viaduct will be closed but thought this might just be my last chance to ride there for a few weeks.

I rolled down Queen Ann, rolled being a misnomer, since there was little rolling involved, but a steady significant pressure being held on the pedals to keep from over running my gear.  My other bikes roll at nearly 40 mph down this hill.  The fixie would be held to 12-15 mph.

Once I got to the bottom I got on the Ship Canal Trail and rode toward Magnolia.  On the fixed gear the climb up is a workout.   Once I got up, the views across Elliot Bay were superb.




I took the easy descent off the east side of Magnolia and accessed the Elliot Bay Trail.  I was surprised to see this sign, ostensibly placed by SDOT, that limited speed to 5 mph.  I seemed to be the only one who paid attention to it.


When I posted this picture to a local Seattle Facebook cycling group a typical response was "The sign as-is promotes outright mockery"  I rode a bit farther, slowly just to be obnoxious, then took this photo.


I continued along the waterfront and got to the construction zone.  Narrow lanes, zero shoulders, and concrete jersey barriers separating lanes made the passage harrowing.  I took the center of the lane, much to the chagrin of a few of the motorists.  Oh well.

I got to near the ferry terminal and noted the time, and the wind.  I figured that a ride out to Alki would be just too much for the time I had left.  The ride out there is exposed and sure to be against the wind for half the way.  I turned around and rode back through the construction zone.  This time was a little easier.  I, by chance, had timed the traffic light so I was in back of a group of cars. I had no problem keeping up with the flow of traffic.  Funny thing about that, if I'm in the front, drivers think they need to pass me, if I'm in the back there is no issue.

I noted a lot of flags flying in the boat basin.  It seems that an around the world clipper race is laying over in town. I spent a little time finding out what it was all about.


I got back to Myrtle Edwards Park and took one more photo.


Then I began the arduous climb back up Queen Ann from the south side.

It was a short ride, but a good workout.


.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........18................0...................0.......................0...........18
Jan...............0................0...............,...0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......526................0..................0........................0..........526
YTD...... 927...............0...................0.......................0...........927

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On a mission

I'm in Seattle and had some time today, and the weather was dry.  I took off on a mission to get 37 miles. That would put me over 500 miles for the month.  Whoop de doo. (not) This milestone used to be reached 10 or so days into each month. Now it only marks a progression: 0 miles in January, ~125 in Feb, ~250 in March, ~500 in April.

I thought a ride out the Burke-Gilman Trail and Sammamish River Trail might be nice.  Before I could get too far along, I decided to see if the new I-520 floating bridge was open to bikes yet. I poked around the west end looking for an access to the bike lanes. I ended up riding in the Arboretum, a favorite spot to kayak.



As I rode around in the Arboretum I came across a Golden Chain tree.  I happen to know this tree because my parents had one in the front yard for a year or two before deciding that they wanted something different.


I eventually found myself at a conglomeration of cyclone fencing, orange cones, and construction tape, as well as a supervisor type construction worker.  He told me that the bike lanes were not yet open, and wouldn't be open until the old bridge was removed.  He said that should be done by late July.  Oh well, I made my way back to the BG and headed out.

The Burke-Gilman is not the nicest trail to ride.  There are many root ridges, as well as numerous street crossings.  Once I got to the Sammamish River Trail the surface improved and there were far fewer crossings, mostly because the trail ran along a river and vehicles wouldn't have anywhere to go without having a bridge.


I did cross a pedestrian bridge to scope out the Bothell Schoolhouse.



I continued out just a short distance beyond Red Hook Brewery. I was near Lake Sammamish.


I turned around and began my return trip.   After a few miles I came across a woman trying to fix a flat tire on her three wheeled cycle.  I offered assistance, she accepted.  It was a tough tire to change, but I eventually got it changed and back on the bike. She thanked me, and I rode on, having done my good deed for the day.


There was a bit of headwind as I made my way  along Lake Washington, but it was only slightly bothersome.  The clouds thickened as the day progressed, but no rain fell.  The high was 62 degrees.
Not a bad day for a bike ride at all.


.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........45................0...................0.......................0...........45
Jan...............0................0...............,...0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......508................0..................0........................0..........508
YTD...... 909...............0...................0.......................0...........909

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A few bonus hours

After the extended nice weather, it was predicted to rain by early evening.  But it is Thursday, and time for the Thursday Night Ride!  My friend Julie is going to Burning Man in a few months and wants to bring a bike, but does not want to put her good bikes into the dust, sand, and other risks involved.  I talked her into getting a cheap "throw away" bike to take with her.  Yesterday I bought just such a bike at Goodwill.  Today I planned to take it out for a test ride to see what might need to be done to it.

I decided that I'd work a test ride into the Thursday Night Ride.

I started from my usual starting point for TNR, Sellwood Riverfront Park.  I started early enough that I rode out to Cedarville Park.  Along the way I stopped to adjust the derailleur stops.  Other than that, the bike did perfectly.  I rode back to the TNR start location at Salmon Street Springs just in time to see our fearless leader being interviewed.


Despite the forecast, the weather was pretty nice.  There were about 180 attendees.


A good percentage of the people were wearing purple, in honor of the entertainer Prince, who died today.


We rode across the Morrison Bridge to begin with,  as is our custom.  We rode through the near east side of Portland. Several of the bikes have sound systems that rival those found in cars (you know the kind, the ones you can hear for blocks away!) Tonight Prince's songs were in heavy rotation. There was even an impromptu sing along when Purple Rain came on. I'm not a big fan of Prince, but I still thought it was pretty cool.

Nathan J photo
We rolled out to Fred Meyer for our first stop of the night.   After about a 20 minute break, we continued on our way.

The next stop was at Jackson's, our normal supply point for the after party.


They are happy for our business.  It would appear that they put on extra staff on Thursday nights to handle our numbers.


After 15 minutes we continued the last mile or so to our traditional post ride party spot, under the Hawthorne Bride.


Tonight I joined the celebration for a bit, then pedaled back to Sellwood. With the 26 mile "preride", 10 mile TNR, and 4 mile ride back to Sellwood, I ended up logging 40 miles tonight.  As I was driving home, lightning flashed and rain poured down.  It was a little late, but that was fine with me. I enjoyed the few bonus hours of nice weather!



.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........40................0...................0.......................0...........40
Jan...............0................0...............,...0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......463................0..................0........................0..........463
YTD...... 864...............0...................0.......................0...........864

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mock's Crest for sunset

With the recent run of awesome weather, a last minute call was put out to ride a few miles to Mock's Crest to watch the sunset.  Surprisingly, I've never been to Mock's Crest before so I jumped at the chance to ride there tonight.

Many of the same folks who ride the Thursday Night Ride were in attendance.  The starting point for tonight's ride was the usual finishing location for the TNR, under the Hawthorne Bridge.  I rode to the ride from Sellwood Riverfront Park.  It is closer and easier for me to drive there than downtown Portland, parking is more secure, and I like the 5 mile warmup bonus miles.



Tonight's group numbered 40-50 folks, not bad for a short notice jaunt.

We rolled a little faster than the Thursday Night Ride pace, but still not fast.  I had the ultimate embarassing moment.  We came up to a red light taking the left two lanes of a 3 lane one way street. (we were preparing to turn left)  As we came to a stop, I was in the front and to the right side.  I am not the best at trackstands, and lost my balance leaning right.  My attempt to get out of my toe clips on the fixie bike failed, and as quick as a flash, I was on the pavement with a thud.  Everyone around me asked if I was okay.  Except for feeling stupid I was fine.  The bike had a battle scar.


Our entourage arrived at the park to find it already quite well populated with others also waiting for the sunset. There were easily 200 people there.


We staked out our section of turf and waited for the sun to set.


Before long the show began.




After about an hour it was time for me to begin my pedal back.  When I got along Interstate Ave I had to stop to get this photo.


By the time I got back to Sellwood, it was dark.  I had good lights, so it was not an issue.  It was a perfect evening for a ride.

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........20................0...................0.......................0...........20
Jan...............0................0...............,...0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......423................0..................0........................0..........423
YTD...... 824...............0...................0.......................0...........824

Monday, April 18, 2016

It was another beautiful day in NW Oregon. I was kept busy with other duties most of the day, but by mid afternoon with a temperature of 90 degrees (and 14% humidity!) I could stand it no longer.  I had to get on a bike!

I loaded the fixed gear bike and drove to Sellwood Riverfront Park. I pointed the bike east and pedaled.  Though the Portland area is experiencing a brisk east wind out of the Columbia Gorge, the wind was not too bad in Sellwood.  It would increase as I made my way east. The dry warm air blowing through the Gorge kept the sky clear.


By the time I got to Gresham, the wind was blowing pretty briskly.  I was also coming up against time constraints.  I turned the bike around and rode back to Sellwood.

It sure beats riding in the cold rain!


.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........26................0...................0.......................0...........26
Jan...............0................0...............,...0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......403................0..................0........................0..........403
YTD...... 804...............0...................0.......................0...........804

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Lyle/Goldendale loop

It was going to be a warm day.  The east winds blowing through the Columbia Gorge would ensure that, as well as low humidity.  Nothing like winds blowing from the arid eastern side of the state to do that!

Ross and I planned to ride a 69 mile loop from Lyle, WA to Goldendale via Centerville, than back to Lyle via the Klickitat River Canyon.

I drove out Interstate 84 to The Dalles then crossed the Columbia River just below The Dalles Dam.



We started in Lyle, at the Klickitat Trailhead parking lot.  The Klickitat River looked pretty peaceful and inviting.


Looking in the opposite direction gave us a good view of Mt Hood.


We began pedaling just a few minutes before 10 AM.  Right out of the gate we began to climb, and would climb over 2000 vertical feet in the first 10 miles.  Climbing out of the Columbia Gorge is work no matter how you do it.


We got to the top and for the next 20 miles we'd be battling a 15-20 mph headwind.  At least there were a lot of wildflowers to look at!






 The riders going the other direction were some of the 200 participants of the Goldendale Gran Fondo.  I asked Ross if he knew what Gran Fondo translated to.  He gave a quizzical look.  I explained that it meant "pay a large fee to ride bikes on public roads".  In this case the folks paid $70 each to ride the same roads we were riding for free. (plus 25 miles of gravel road)




When we reached Hwy 97 we took a short out and back ride to the "scenic viewpoint".  I told Ross that we had probably already seen everything that we'd see from the viewpoint, but there might be some interesting facts displayed on the information board.  He was up for that.


There was another sign that had a lot more information and history, but it made for a poor photo.  We did however read it.  ;-)

We turned north and rode toward Goldendale on Hwy 97.  Many folks complain about having to ride "the busy road" but we found no issues. The shoulders were wide, debris free, and the traffic was all friendly.



We got to Goldendale shortly after noon.  We stopped at a grocery store and Ross stocked up on some snacks.  I was carrying enough to fulfill my needs, but did get a Snickers bar, because.......Snickers Satisfies. ;-)

From here on this ride was going to be fun.  A big elevation loss AND a brisk tailwind!  First we rode across the more or less flat plateau. We were holding a strong 20 mph plus with the tailwind pushing us.

Mt Adams
At mile 45, we dropped into the Klickitat River Canyon with a thousand foot elevation loss in 5 miles. Talk about fun!  Once we flattened out a bit there was time to take in the scenery.




We rode through the small town of Klickitat but had no need to stop.  The river, and us, were on our way to the Columbia!



We finished up back at the Klickitat Trailhead, with 69 miles, and just under 3600 ft of climbing.



  It was a great day on the bike! My home weather station showed a high today of 84 degrees, with a 19% humidity.  Eat your heart out my East Coast and Gulf Coast friends!

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........69................0...................0.......................0...........69
Jan...............0................0...............,...0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......387................0..................0........................0..........387
YTD...... 788...............0...................0.......................0...........788