Sunday, October 28, 2007

West Seattle Loop

48 miles on the West Seattle Loop today, basically the Spawning Cycle ride without the Seward Park extension. 2695 miles YTD. Yep, the bike fit adjustments have helped, as has the fine fall weather, cool this a.m., but no wind to speak of and a bit of fog.

On the way back through Pioneer Square, I was looking to fill a water bottle, and searched in vain for a fountain near Safeco Field and Qwest Field. Millions of dollars for public sports stadiums, but no free water! Instead I stopped at the Klondike Gold Rush National Park in a little store front on 2nd Ave S. The smallest National Park in the system, or so I've heard, and a little gem! With a water fountain!

Two things on the return that caught my eye....first this classic Cadillac Fleetwood, with an Ichiro license plate, parked in the Montlake neighborhood, and across the street from a new Caddy with an 11Edgar plate....

On a more serious note, when crossing the Montlake Bridge, I came across a cyclist down in the middle of the bridge. According to another cyclist, the rider fell on the bridge deck, hit his head, and split his helmet in two. Apparently, the rider was conscious and was talking, but the scene was grim, with a fire engine and medics on the scene and traffic backed up in all directions.

Frankly, it's insane to try to ride on the slippery metal mesh bridge deck under any conditions, and this was just more evidence.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

First Frost and Harvest Moon

October 26 - First frost of the year, first scraping of ice from windshield in the morning. Took the Brown Dog to Magnuson before sunrise and watch the mist rise from the lake as well as the sun come up and throw light on the Tailfins, as well as bounce off the setting full moon.

A spectacular fall afternoon reminded me of many years ago, and the Santa Ana winds in Newport, with south swells, offshore breezes, and afternoons riding sidewaves through the Wedge peaks. Nostalgia time, especially as I'm trying out the bike after Coach Tammy's adjustments. Extensions on the pedals and shims on the shoes (to even out the pedal strokes and maybe counter some bow-leggedness!) all seem to make incremental improvements.

The view of Mt. Rainier from the Magnolia Bluff on these clear fall days (with enough strong NW winds to blow the smog away!) is something else. But, in late October, as you round the bend and head north on the east side of the hill, on the way up to the Locks, the shadows are long and once out of the sunshine, it's cold, especially into that wind with origins in the North Pacific. Brrrrr. Crossed the locks and headed east on the BGT.

Once in Fremont, the trail drops down alongside the Ship Canal, and the alder trees are bright golden. With a tailwind, it's not so cold. But after 5:00 p.m., I'm in the evening commute with lots of traffic. Still the bike feels better than before and my legs are less tired.

And, when I get home, it's time for the full moon to rise about the Cascades. Quite a nice view as well as a cosmic full circle experience for the day.

More pictures from the day!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Back in the Saddle, Again

Tuesday, October 23 was outstanding. The Santa Ana winds that drove all the fires in Southern California pushed the clouds and rain away and the temperatures back up to give us one more day of summer. So, it was a good day to hop on the bike again, do the Magnolia loop, and see if I am, as I wrote a week ago, getting old and snarly.

Not yet.

Lance was right. It's not about the bike. It's about mental attitude, being prepared, eating right, getting rest, and doing it. (And, yes, it's also about oiling the chain, cleaning the bike, making sure brakes work, wheels are true and the helmet is on.) But, the Magnolia loop ride was great. Strong all the way through. The sunshine and the warmth helped, as did all the fall colors, but a lot of everything else was in place too.

Came back home via the BGT under the Aurora Bridge for the first time since it reopened. As you clear the bridge, headed east, Lake Union opens up in your field of vision and the views of the city, the boats, houseboats, and yes, even I-5 as it cuts an auto-scar north/south across Capitol Hill and Eastlake, are spectacular. Lots of other bikes out today, including commuters, exercisers, and the normal collection of denizens.

2620 miles, year to date. Can I make 3,000 by year end? With enough dry pavement, yes I can!

So, last night I visited Cycle U for the first time, for a bike fit. Came away impressed. After spending the time to listen about how I rode, what goals (such as they are) I had, and The coach hooked me up to the Compu-Trainer and watched me ride. With lasers, levels and observation, Tammy compiled the information she needed.

She adjusted pedals (knee-savers to move them out from the crank) and shoes (shims to compensate for the angle of my feet), moved the saddle back and lowered it. The result was a more comfortable ride that will be put to the test later today and then again on Sunday.

Importantly for the pocketbook, she confirmed that the Lemond was a good choice for me and my riding.

The next step is to complete the Athlete Profile and to sit down for a training consultation on Halloween. Let's see where that leads.

One more thing. Yesterday at the gym, someone came up to me after my session on the hamstring torture machine and remarked, "You've got big calves for an old guy! Are you a mountain climber?"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

October in Seattle

The National Weather Service is predicting 50 knot winds and loads of rain for the

next couple of days, so maybe it's a good idea to take a look at some of the photos from the first half of October, when the weather was nice!

Maybe we'll get some more sunshine before the end of the year.....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Long Autumn Ride

Rode the loop from BGT to SRT to Marymoor, down to Issaquah, and then back on Newport Way and I-90 bridge on Saturday afternoon. Took a little less than 5 hours to do 50 miles. Not a strong pace, as I stopped for photos, coffee, etc. Had planned to get a sandwich at the Subway at Marymoor, but the place was closed, despite some outdoor religious revival meeting that was going on. I filled the water bottle and headed back on the road, but was low on steam. Maybe it was the layoff from all week, maybe it was having commuted the day before, maybe the lack of food, or who knows what, but my pace was slow and I was tired.

And, the Lemond seems sluggish. Annoying clicks with each turn of the crank. Rough ride with little forgiveness for bumps in the pavement. Am I just getting old and snarly?

As I limped home, another rider pulled up at 25th & Blakely. She was riding a Lemond Sarthe, a steel bike outfitted like my Alpe d'Huez, and she was raving about the ride. "Smooth" she said, and it got me thinking about a Bianchi. Went to Gregg's on Sunday, checked it out, but also went to Recycled and looked at the Surly Bikes. Now I've got some things to compare!

A couple of bike sites have caught my eye this evening, particularly in light of a couple of bike/car collisions that have been in the news recently.....

Keep it safe.....