Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Touch Public Art in Seattle

Sunday was a perfect day to join CAL and GVB on the long-awaited 'Touch Public Art in Seattle" ride I had purchased at the Learning Factory Foundation auction. Warm, brilliant sunshine. We started at Gas Works Park, pedaled over to check out the new J.P. Patches statue and Waiting for the Interurban, Taco Del Mar Lenin, and the Fremont Rocket.

Out to the Locks, and down Interbay led us to the Olympic Sculpture Park, Pioneer Square and a caffeine infusion at Zeitgeist. Then through Eastlake, where GVB remarked that this could have been a tour of historic bars of Seattle, and out to U of W.
Of course, we were hungry at this point, so CAL led us to a great venue for a Burrito Bravo in the Golden Oldies parking lot. Satisfying! More pictures of the ride here.

Topped the 1200 mile YTD mark with this ride.

Hope that the weather holds for Kitsap CC, but the outlook is wet and windy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Country Bike Web Page

Another interesting geezer who rides a Bleriot writes about his bike. Pictures, podcasts and other links. And, it puts the RAGBRAI thought back into the active part of the cerebral cortex.

While I did the RSVP this year, I didn't do any of the other big rides that were originally considered, STP, NYC Century, or Lake Tahoe.

Next year? Good reasons to keep riding through winter, which seems to have set in.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

When Worlds Collide - Latest Episode

When the odometer flips over 1K, the New Ride is no longer 'new.' Added 60 + miles on another spectacular fall day, first up to the Learning Factory for a picture with the Vets Club, as I had contributed to their mileage project for 9/11, and then out to Marymoor to cheer on the Breast Cancer walkers.

Two dear friends from high school, about 50 gazillion years ago, are participating in the walk. Picked Lisa and Mallory up from King Street Station and shared dinner with them, plus C & M, the night before. They all hit it off in splendid fashion and, for me, the experience was one of finally being able to connect my present with past friends, to come full circle, connect some dots, restore the universe, have worlds collide and walk away smiling. Both of the old friends look healthy, happy, wonderful senses of humor and presence, victorious survivors.

So, on the walk, I waited for them to hit the SRT after about 19 miles, and while waiting, cheered on hundreds of other walkers, some carrying flags honoring wives, daughters, sisters, friends who had been afflicted with cancer. I thought of Lynn, of Mary-Pat, the Fat Cyclist's wife, Susan , even Auntie Dot, and the other women who are fighting through that. Deeply moving. And, the other things were present as well, including watching how people react after walking 19 miles, knowing that they have two more days to go, tired feet, legs, backs, how they react as they see the sign telling them they are almost at the end, smiles, laughter and lots of comments about getting a ride on the Bleriot, which is no longer the new ride. L and M were in fine shape as they made the turn, smiles, hugs, and laughter, but they looked ready for Day One to be done!

My ride back was gently pleasant in the warm autumn afternoon sunshine, against a headwind that turned into a tailwind near the top of the lake. A few weeks ago, I wondered where summer had gone. It's still here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Iron Horse

Rode the Iron Horse Trail from Cedar Falls to Hyak on a beautiful early September Sunday. 50 + miles on a gravel road, a former railroad right-of-way with a relatively easy climb along the north side of a ridge.

The trail crosses a series of ravines and creeks over old railroad trestles. It being a Sunday, the trail was well populated with mountain bikers of various experience levels, many traveling without helmets in early preparation for organ donations or at least testing their chances for a Darwin award.

The clear highlight of the trip is the 2.5 mile trip in total darkness through the Snoqualmie Tunnel. Dark. I mean, real dark. And damp. And cold. Water dripping at both ends. Can't tell if you are going straight. An occasional rider coming from the opposite direction provides some light, but difficult to tell if they can see or know what they are doing...

Once on the other side, at Hyak, the air is drier, the sky more blue, and an overriding sense of relief at having made it to the top.

Interesting to poke around Snoqualmie Summit during the off season. We haven't boarded there for a couple of years, although it's where we all learned. Looks like new activity at the Silver Fir chair. Rode over to the base of the trail to the Mountaineers Lodge, where Cub Pack 144 held Sno-Camp for the years we were members. The Lodge burnt to the ground a couple of years ago, and hasn't been rebuilt. The trail to the lodge site was blocked off and No Trespassing signs warned against the hike up. I was in cleats and pushing the bike, so didn't venture up.

The return trip was much quicker, totally downhill!

Others have blogged about the trail, including Biking Bis and Keith.

My photos are here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Magnolia Loop

From last time.....no, I never hit 65.9 MPH......the bike computer went a little nuts while I was waiting for a light.

Warm, sunny September day at Golden Gardens, where I went to extend the Magnolia Loop. Finally, I'm beginning to feel like there's some distance between the now and summer quarter.

And, a stop at Gas Works provided an opportunity to watch a couple of landings on Lake Union.

Witnessed a young woman take a header at the end of the BGT in Ballard, just west of the Fred Meyer. She tried to cross the railroad tracks, got caught and fell. Took the opportunity to distribute one of the many Group Health Ouch Pouches collected from various rides. And, reminded her and her BF that helmets were good ideas.