Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Wrap-Up

22 miles around Magnolia after about a three-week layoff and sporadic riding since early fall. I'll finish the year with about 1900 miles, considerably less than Lynne or Biking Bis. Ending odometer reading = 778.3 miles. Let's see if we can get that > 4,000 by end of 2011.

Lots of reasons for the mileage drop, some of them even justified, but the resolutions for the new year include riding more and drive less. Add to that, Don't Feed the Trolls.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day After Thanksgiving Rivendell Ride

Thanks to Rob for organizing the Day After Thanksgiving Rivendell Ride. About ten of us met up at Zoka U-Village for coffee and decision to go north (oops, south, then west) on the BGT for a loop.

The trail was a bit slushy, given the Arctic Blast earlier in the week, and then the melting rain that fell overnight. All seemed well and we were settling into a groove when we came upon a down rider just west of Brooklyn Avenue. Apparently, he had slipped on a metal post hole cover, went over the handlebars, and hit his head on the pavement. The rider came to before the medics arrived, but was taken away on a stretcher in an aid car.

We resolved to ride carefully thereafter, not that we hadn't been before.

Our route took us west to Golden Gardens, up to Loyal Heights, west to Green Lake, and then to our various directions. Good group to ride with, and I look forward to more with the Seattle Rivendelicatessans in the future.

Rob's take on the adventure is here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Route 66 and other to dos........

This looks way cool, and something to put on the to do list.

Route 66

I'm adding a couple of other centuries:

Lake Tahoe

New York Century

And, of course, the old standbys....



and even,


There. I've set some goals for 2011.



Found this on Marcos' FB page, and it's worth remembering.....

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Summer in November

My oh my, what a ride, and did I need that ever. 73 degrees in November in Seattle is unheard of. TLF craziness, amorphous and ever-expanding project lacking in direction, resources, leadership, distracted and lazy students, classroom frustration, election defeat and country going right-wing nuts again, ignorance winning, feeling sick for about three weeks, and all made me want to GTFO and into the sunshine.

Time for two-wheeled therapy.

31 miles, and now I feel a whole lot better.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Back on the Bike

Thirty miles yesterday a.m. on a warm fall afternoon. Nothing special about the Golden Gardens>Locks>Magnolia loop, as I've done it many times, but it seems like years since I've been on the bike. Given the crazy schedule and travel this year, the miles have not come as easily as before.

The ride felt great, the Bleriot rode well, and I turned off the head phones for the return to listen to the world and to join the Commuting Peloton.

Nice to be back.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

ALS Double Day

Former TLF colleague Gary Guinn sent me a notice a few months ago about participation in the ALS Doubleday Ride and Fundraiser, and I took the bait. Like the Livestrong ride last year, this was an inspiring and emotional event. Unlike Livestrong, and pleasantly so, there was a refreshing absence of the macho Lance factor (Challenge those hills! Game on, Cancer!) among the participants and more of an emphasis on community and recreation, while supporting those who needed it.

About 400 riders moved out from Mt. Vernon High School at 10:15 and headed through downtown Mt. Vernon, along and across the Skagit River, and into the delta area and farmland, toward La Conner. Along the way we passed crops (wheat, spuds, carrots, beet seed, fallow tulip and daffodil fields, corn, pumpkins, even Christmas tree farms), farm animals (cows, sheep, goats, horses, chickens, ducks, geese, donkeys), and even some wild life (bald eagles, falcons, herons, hawks and a bunny!).

Rest stops were stocked with regular rider food, well-managed and plentiful, with lots of support and good cheer along the way. The route circled part of the Swinomish Reservation on Fidalgo Island, then headed back up through La Conner toward Padilla Bay. Most of the ride was over flat terrain, so the 54 miles seemed relatively easy, even though I haven't really been training and had no rides of that distance this year. The Bleriot performed well, though the chipseal roads seemed to loosen a few screws and bolts along the way.

Gary was a great teacher, loved by his students, and always one with a good story, frequently about roller coasters, which he visited whenever he traveled to conferences. I was grateful for the opportunity to ride in his honor.

More pictures here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Garmin Out; Cateye Strada In

My time spent messing with the Garmin Edge 305 may be over. The thing ("Is that a mediated bike, Andy?") wouldn't turn on this a.m., a day before the ALS ride in Mt. Vernon.

Do I replace it? Or, do I go backwards in technology, deciding that I didn't really need all the extra functionality, the angst spent wondering if my bike computer needed charging, upgraded software, measuring elevation, acquiring satellites, GPSing, and generally getting more data than I really needed?

Recycled Cycles installed a new Cateye Strada. Back to basics. Keep it simple.

I've got other ways to GPS.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Perugia and the Denouement

What can I say about the band's performances at the Umbria Jazz Festival? Two amazing sets at the Piazza IV Novembre. By the end of the second night's gig, we are reduced to tears of joy for how they have played, what they have accomplished, how much they have grown, and the sad and beautiful poignancy of this all ending.

First day, we are late leaving Hotel Il Grifone, but bus driver extraordinaire Marco Pranger maneuvers the massive tour bus right to the stage. Set-up, sound check, and they are off.

Basie tunes get the people in the square moving. Ballads are sweet. Dusk turns into night. Feetbone gets the people in the square shuffling. The last tune played on the 2nd Night is Brown Knows Rose. After the encore, the musicians sign autographs and pose for pictures.

We accomplish what we set out to do, and swing all the way.
Pictures here.

Denouement in Rome:

Nolan read from notes, thanking all, talking about jazz family, thanking Brown for all, for putting up with poor choices. This young man has grown up, as have we all. Not a dry eye in the house.

Following was Max, impromptu, once again thanking Brown, but also admitting that he couldn't imagine high school without jazz band, recognizing he would have been lost without that experience.

Colin and Anna lauded the musicians, the parents and Brown. Noted that they see a lot of bands, but Roosevelt is the best, easy to travel with.

Brown gave an emotional and inspiring talk, Teddy Roosevelt's "Daring Greatly." Thanked musicians for overcoming difficulty and peaking at Umbria. Remember the values of the band, excellence; support forthwith group., OK to work hard, to demand high standards of self and others, and to swing! He hugged every band member, told them to thank their parents, tell them about the trip, and to realize that their parents wanted them to have an experience they would remember the rest of their lives.

What a ride.

What's next?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Aboard the M/V Dubrovnik.....

Aboard the M/V Dubrovnik.....

Came on board after cleering customs and passport stamping '@ 6:30 p.m., dinner @ 8 and underway @ 9.:00.
Wonderful sunset, lights of Split, small ports and through a narrow passage into the Adriatic. No moon tonight so the stars just popped.

Chatted with Colin M about succession at Mandrake, after a conversation with he& Anna this afternoon about future tours, Dalmatians, Italy, Greece or maybe Russia and the Baltics.......who knows?

Comments overheard.....

...."My give-a-shitter's plum rusted."

....Their bubble is not quite plumb."

Before in Split, toured Diocletian's Palace this afternoon with Curt C. Roman ruins, world heritage site, monument to John Paul 2 in cathedral that had been Diocletian 's mausoleum. Then, pizza at Strega Nona's before returning to wait too long for ship.

Cabin was stuffy making it difficult to sleeping, after tossing and turning, awoken from unpleasant dreams to find the dawn. Spectacular sunset, billions of stars at night, spectacular sunrise, and then, Italy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Euro Transport

One of the highlights of Hvar was renting a bicycle for a couple of hours, and cruising the city. Two hours for 50 kuna, or about $8 seemed like a reasonable fee, and I rode as far as I could on the promenade toward the south, until I came to a public beach, where bathers were enjoying the sun and warm Adriatic.

The rear tire on the Kona Mountain Bike was about half-full, so I swapped it for another steed and rode the promenade in the opposite direction. The local who rented the bike told me that keeping the tire pressure low was a good idea, as the hot sun and the tiles in town caused the tires to explode!

I saw several municipal bike sharing programs while traveling, in Vienna, in Rome and in Slovenia, all well used and seemingly successful. Overall there is much to emulate from the European approach to transportation, with small, fuel-efficient cars, well-functioning public transportation, trams and subways in Vienna and Rome, an excellent bus system in Perugia, and even municipal escalators in Perugia to move citizens up and down the steep hills of the city.

My photos of bikes and other transportation from the trip are here.

Hvar Musings

Espresso atop the Spanish Castle Magic overlooking Hvar, after swim, pizza lunch, and dropping off laundry. Climb in heat of midday, to see great views, contemplate Anna's mystical stories, Euro 2013 with Cynthia, talk with Curt about AA, fathers, family. This place is right and it's not all random. Some things fit too well.

Notes from Croatia

Opatija by the Sea - The Croatian Riviera.

Imperial Hotel is summer resort for some Hapsburg royalty, just as old but charming, ignoring window dry rot and other obvious "used to be great" touches, with the Baroque interior and ubiquitous yellow paint. Hot, humid; threatening thunderclouds cropped up as we drove over the border from Slovenia toward the coast. By the time we got into town, rain spreading across from Rijeka. Long lunch at Hemingway's that sufficed, then rain and thunder started on the way back to the hotel. Questionable whether we would play outside on the terrace. Sean led a group in an a capella Star Spangled Banner in honor of 4th of July.

The band set up under umbrellas on the terrace and used the festival's sound system. During the set up, Brown told the band, "Hey guys, Elvis needs some help." Has this phrase ever been used before in this context to this audience? Probably not.

Downbeat about 5:15 drew crowds from hotel, as well as off the street. Some watched from across the main drag in town and the band delivered a killer performance that left many slackjawed. In particular, New Musical Express rocked the place.

After dinner, Tower of Power (Described as 'God's Soul Band.' I like the idea of a deity with their own personal R&B revue.) at the Liburnia Jazz Festival; loud, lots of fun. Checked internet in an attempt to send email and photos, but no access so off to bed for early wake-up. Photos from Opatija here.

8 am and we are on the road to Split, 6.5 hours down the coast, through the mountains on the Croatian equivalent of the Interstate, well maintained, wide and great road, go Marco go! First, we get a ferry ride and then to Palace Hotel in Hvar.


We moved from Vienna, Austria into Slovenia today, stopping for lunch in Graz, a picturesque city in south Austria, from which Arnold Schwarzenegger hails.

Ljubljana - Another charming burg. Stayed at Hotel M. Comfortable, clean, step. Up from Hotel Atlas in Vienna.

Dinner then 20 minute stroll through their Tivoli Garden to main square where big crowds gathering for Saturday night out on the town., with added excitement of World Cup match between Spain and Paraguay on TVs at most all the bars and cafes. Got gelato and reconnected With Scott B., Curt & Andy McCarthy watched with the other Slovenians, as well as some great people viewing.

Sunday am, 4th of July, hour and a half of tourist stuff, strolling the waterfront. Pictures to be taken, souvenirs and chotchkes to be admired, even some stuff from Nazi era, as well as lots of Soviet memorabilia, disturbing for its nonchalant character. How do they deal with that history? Maybe the same way Americans do with slavery and the genocide of the native population.

Tomorrow, the 4th of July, we go to Opatija, Croatia, perform at the Palace Hotel, then go see Tower of Power at the Liburnia Jazz Fest.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


We drove to Eisenstadt, home of Esterhazy Palace and the Haydn Museum for lunch and a tour. Again, the weather was hot, somewhat humid, and we were sapped.

Much of the 'grandeur' of the palace and the glory of the lesser nobility encouraged my notion of how things would improve when the revolution occurred, but that's another story.

Then on to the spa at Marienkron, in the town of Mocchof, near Gols, Austria. The band played outside and blew them away with an old school set including American Patrol, Pennsylvania 6-5000, and In the Mood. Among the crowd were Sister Immaculata, the nun who manages the facility.

Also attending was a mystery guest and his date. Why were they there? Where were they going? They missed a great, great performance!

Much of Austria derives it's electricity from wind turbines, and other renewable sources. Near Gols, we drove through a large wind farm. Given the lack of a breeze, few of the turbines were rotating, but still, it was very impressive, as was Vienna's transportation infrastructure, with subways, trams, dedicated bike lines, and other civic amenities. Sure, taxes are high, but the results seem well worth it, with universal health care, five weeks' vacation, and a spotless city.

More photos here.

The next day, we leave Vienna, have lunch in Graz, then cross the border into Slovenia, for an evening in Ljubljana.

Vienna and Matzen

While dealing with our jet lag, we took city tour of Vienna on the bus, hosted by one of the Masons' favorite guides, who explained the difficulties of poor circulation on the French Monarchy, as well as the reason that the Hapsburg empresses had so many children (No TV back then!). The highlight of the tour, the only time we left the bus, was a visit to the Schoenbrun Palace, the Hapsburg's answer to Versailles.

In the afternoon, the band took about a 45-minute bus ride into the countryside to the little town of Matzen. After the sound check we took a walk through town and had dinner with some folks from the Mayor's office and the musical director who arranged the visit. We toured the town, about 10 km from the border with Hungary, which was described as the Iron Curtain. The arrival of the Soviets here at the end of the WWII was still fresh in memories, and much of the village suffered damage during that assault.

The weather was quite warm gig last night at Matzen, but the band was hot. They brought down the house, particularly during Feetbone. Scott Brown was among the soloists on that tune, borrowing Andy C's trombone and blapping his way into the hearts of the audience.

Two encores including American Patrol, another crowd pleaser!

Next up is the gig at Marienkron, then on to Slovenia.

More photos of the gig and the day are here.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Europe - Day 1

We thought we were early, or at least on time, but no. When we arrived at the airport, Yale and Brown were taking care of business. Despite the slight hassle with Lufthansa over luggage, group numbers and reservations, all went smoothly at check-in at Seatac. Long-line at security and then lunch with parents and Brown at Anthony's. The Luthansa flight was long (10 hours!) but comfortable, with fresh towels, good service, meals in flight, entertainment.

Watched Up in the Air, with George Clooney and Jason Bateman, glad that I'm not in corporate America nihilism selling BS while ruining lives, and glad that my job is not helping the rich keep their money and maybe steal a bit more. Glad that I'm not a road warrior living out of airports and hotels, eating franchise food and staying inside that bubble.

Arrived at Frankfort airport, not having seen a sunset or any darkness except inside the plane, was herded through a confusing maze to passport control, wrong turn to get to outside and then back inside to area, so boarding passes needed to be checked, and then through luggage screening, where I got special attention because I hadn't emptied water bottle. Let it be said right now that I packed too much, brought a wrong case (REI TourLIte is not, it's heavy, awkward, too many straps, not enough pockets, a poor design...) and too much stuff (won't need a jacket, unless I get seated underneath the vent on the plane, again, too many clothes, could have used another different pair of shorts.

Shuttle flight from Frankfort to Vienna and arrived at a sparkling new and clean airport, shops, Starbucks, well-signed and organized. Met Anna and Colin, young, energetic, sense of humor, easy-going, Anna has special place in her heart for C (so do I), loaded gear onto Marco Coach, and off we were into the heart of Vienna. Beautiful countryside, not littered, windmill farms, even the industrial areas seemed well placed on the landscape.

Marco parked the bus in front of the Opera House, and we disembarked, strolling up Kartner Strasse, the main pedestrian drag. Loads of Viennese out walking, sitting in cafes, eating, coffee, ice cream, beer, Hot Dog Stands, mimes and street performers, all comfortable and at ease, despite throngs of tourists, no litter. Bank machine transactions easy, free wi-fi outside McDonald's, and ducked inside St. Stephen's Cathedral, beautiful old Gothic structure under renovation, but dark inside intended to put fear of God into the congregants. We met back up at the Opera House in time (all present and on time!) but also had enough slack to peek into the foyer (Baroque foo-foo) while the opera crowd were gathering for the evening's Wagner performance.

Dinner at Hotel (dorm, Hotel Atlas), spartan InTourist design, it's fine, but noisy on the busy street and I'm all jet lagged out, so writing at 3:30 a.m. local time. Dinner consisted of Kix soup (Kix cereal in some type of broth, no I'm not making this up), schnitzel (Viennese chicken-fried veal steak), and a pretty good salad with butter lettuce, plus dessert. No coffee, that's extra. (Boo.) Stroll after dinner through Rathaus Park and Volks Garten for a beverage with the parents and Scott, then back to hotel and time to crash.

Great first day, all seems well, looking forward to the tour, the band playing and watching this all unfold.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Magnuson Children's Garden

One of my favorite walks starts at the Magnuson Children's Garden and then heads through the Dog Park down to Lake Washington. On the day before the Euro Jazz Adventure, Brownie and I ventured down to check things out.

I was stunned and saddened to see the notice that the Whale Eye had been stolen.

This crime took tools, time, planning and pure evil, to destroy an artwork in a children's garden. What are we coming to? What sort of society do we live in? Sadness.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Free floating anxiety

So, how do you deal with the free-floating anxiety associated with all that needed to get done before the trip, the RHS Jazz Euro-Adventure? Get it all done? Remember all the details? Like, where IS the toilet articles kit that I wanted to wash? And, why wake up at 5:30 to remember that one? Deal with the fretting moms, lists, organization that no one will pay attention to once we are underway? Pack, repack, buy the essentials and non-essentials and the superfluous. Once we shove off, get on the plane, much will subside, replaced by other trip-related anxieties, no doubt. Got to remember that others will suck up the leadership role, and I can comfortably slip into a role.

Part of how I deal with it is, get on the bike and ride. Lance was right, the bike is a source of zen comfort, healing a way to get those demons back in line. This year, I just haven't ridden as much as in the past, part of not having a big century for which to train, part because of a crazy schedule, teaching lots of classes, the OCL project (the reporting requirements to get paid are a stupid hassle), GR, QM and all the other very good stuff I'm in the middle of at TLF. And, the youngest one graduates, getting ready to go North of the Border, and the middle one shows up with a keeper (!), and C is busy with real estate, so life is good and busy, and somewhat full, and fulfilling, but still, not enough saddle time to arrest the free-floating anxiety.

On the current Notes to Self list:

* Yoga, yoga, yoga-- Stretch, breathe, stretch, breathe
* Ride more. Drive less.
* More salad, less sandwiches
* Less poetry, more problem-solving.
* Less TV, more reading, more films!
* Keep it simple.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Kent drops out of Tour Divide, a ride underscored by tragedy. Oil continues to flow into the Gulf and stupidity reigns. The national debate, narrative is depressing. World Cup is a mitigator. Tour de France will be on during our trip. Lots of other news may be adding to the FFA, and maybe it's time to unplug a bit, get away from the tweets and FB updates, certainly the Bb world, and get back into the Zen. The bike is good for the Zen.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

GVB's Bike Rant

Looks like GVB has taken up a new blog documenting his running activities. Here's a link to his rant about the ongoing struggle with those who travel via the internal combustion engine......

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Whinefest, retweeted

Ross, who I met at the Chilly Hilly finish line back in February, posted this lament on his FB page.

Having my riding curtailed for other reasons, including full calendar of other events and responsibilities, weather wimpiness, travel and other factors, I've begun to feel out of shape, lazy, lackadaisical....Sure, I get my gym time and stationary bike trips in, but it ain't the same. And, the lack of a long ride to train for this year takes the motivation out of the midweek training trips.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Grant predicted that I would never get a flat with my Schwalbe Marathons, but I picked one up today as a pedaled by Green Lake.

First one in long time, and I was almost overjoyed to be ready for it, with tube, new pump, etc. Conveniently, I was close to Gregg's, where the air is free.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Atlanta is a strange and interesting mix of old and new, brand spanking modern high-tech new, with miles of fibre optics, steel and glass towers, technology buildings, CNN Headquarters, vs. old memories of South, The Confederacy, racism and civil rights struggles.

Aggressive panhandlers, slightly scary first time on MARTA, ranting and raving, wanting to engage, shouting and swearing, but I walk away and ignore, just the same strategy as with the Invader from Mars.

MARTA to Fivepoints, can't get to Eastbound to King Memorial, so I walk through Underground Atlanta, where another street guy spies me eyeing a map. He asks, "What you looking for?” but this guy smiles, doesn't seem crazy, so I get directions to the ball park, and when he asks for money, I give him some and he seems pleased. Stroll past the State Capitol, statues of great Georgians (including Jimmy Carter) but also plaques describing the heroics of Confederate Army leaders during Sherman's occupation, destruction of the city, and then the March to the Sea, right there, on the Capitol Mall.

Turner Field was locked up tight, so I peer through the gate at a modern (retro) facility where KevMck and I saw a playoff game some ten years ago. Old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium footprint is directly outside the Braves' home, and is marked with a blue wall, now serving as a parking lot.

Returned via CNN Headquarters, remarkable as a huge atrium, with food court with all the usual suspects of fast (and bad) cuisine, adjacent to basketball/hockey arena. The building opens up to Centennial Olympic Park, a civic jewel with fountains, open spaces, artwork, monuments to 1996 Olympians, lots of people using, walking, touch football, both Atlantans and tourists. Decided to forgo World of Coca-Cola ($15 for more diabetes!) and worked my way northward.

While stopping to snap a photo of an old Carnegie library, still another street person comes up. This time, the line is, "Are you an American patriot?" I reply, "I'm an American....," and the pause cracks him up...he claims to be a gulf war veteran, family man, on food stamps, kid at home......I tell him I'll give him a dollar, and he's pleased. On my way again, passing Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles restaurant.

Instead of waiting in line, hoofed it to the Varsity, an Atlanta institution that serves two miles of chili dogs daily, or so they claim. Gut bomb time. Great pictures of famous eaters, including Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Roy Blount, George Bush Sr, Evander Holyfield, Warren Buffett...."What'll ya have?" Fed my face and digested by walking around Bobby Dodd Stadium at Georgia Tech.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chilly Hilly 2010

Chilly Hilly on Sunday, circumnavigating Bainbridge counterclockwise with 6000 + of my closest friends, plus a few pirates from point 83 who didn't see fit to pay the CBC man. Weather was dry and spring like and while hilly, definitely not Chilly. total mileage = 55+ but I think that that Garmin included the ferry ride to and fro, so a little overstated. For February, I clocked 169 miles, down somewhat from January.

But, the Bleriot was also in the shop for a week, as I popped a derailleur cable on President's Day and decided to have the good folks at REI do a complete 'performance tune,' including washing all parts. They scratched up the rear Shimano Ultegra derailleur, so that got replaced free of charge. With the coupons from the State of Washington Health Survey, the total was quite reasonable for what now rides and shines like a brand-new bike.

Also cutting into the miles was the weekend trip to So Cal for Auntie Char-char's memorial. Since I missed three-hour tour on the White Light for Joe's service, I got another opportunity. Williams family members, shirt-tail relatives, Macdonalds from hither and yon, including France and one Invader from Mars attended on a sunny but blustery day. The cruise route took us out of Newport Harbor, passed the bell buoy populated with sea lions to a spot a few miles off shore. Poignant words, voices, ashes and flowers overboard and then a return trip that stopped at Pirate's Cove for some visual memories. Great lady with a complicated life that touched many and now gone. One last link to a past, the last of her three siblings, and now we'll see what happens to the family bonds. Those bonds were severely tested a few days after my return to Return Address Space on America's envelope when the stupid and crazy Invader from Mars chose to engage in a flame war where he managed to dis me, my family, my family's culture and our intentions, plus the memory of my father in a ridiculous email exchange that ruined my good feeling about the reconciliation that had occurred, that we had managed to create, over the previous weekend. I'm done with that one.

Back to cycling mode after family rant.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog Spring?

Went down to the Magnuson Dog Park this warm Groundhog day afternoon and heard the distinctive call of the red-winged blackbird. Looking up in a tree that was almost ready to burst into bloom, and I saw the blackbird and a robin.

It's spring, I tell you.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Totals

Today's 37 mile North Lake Loop raised the January total to 254 miles. Damp roads, cool temperatures, and sinus/phlegm issues didn't help, but a fine ride nonetheless.

Riding across Lake Washington on the I-90 floating bridge is always fun, with great views, sounds, and just the experience of being on the bike out in the middle of the lake making it an "E" ticket. But, at the overlook, a Starbucks Racing Team speedster pulled up angry, as he had just collided on the way down with a rider climbing the steep ascent to get to Lake Washington Blvd. He complained that the group was in the left lane. They complained that he took the drop at about 30 mph and didn't watch where he was going. Slow down, people, and pay attention to the rules of the road!

On the way back, stopped to assess progress at the Husky Stadium Light Rail Project. They have a ways to go.

And, I also came across another sure sign of spring!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dueling GPS Systems

30 mile loop to Golden Gardens, Locks and Magnolia Loop this afternoon, in what continues to be an unseasonably warm and spring-like January.

So, which is the better GPS system, the Garmin 305 that sits on the handlebar, or My Tracks, the Google Ap on my new Droid phone?

The Garmin has the cool player feature, showed an elevation gain of 1553 ft, some calorie statistic, and the time. I can export it to Google Earth with a converter, and can also keep track of all my rides, mileage, time, etc.

My Tracks has the advantage of being able to send to Google Earth with no converter software, and adds more Google Maps detail, including photos, videos, Wikipedia References, Transit and many other useful (or useless) facts that adds to the dork quotient. My Tracks shows an elevation gain of 3,454 ft, and I don't know why this is different from the Garmin Stat. But, there's more detail here.

I'll continue to use both, and then select the data I like better.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

No Ride Today

So, no, I didn't ride this morning. Thought about it. Intended to. Checked out the bike yesterday. Made sure that bike clothes were laid out, wool socks paired up. Woke up early. Had the good breakfast, eggs and toast. Orange juice. Coffee. Even made the second cup.

But, I didn't want to. I woke up tired, and with a bit of a sore throat and a stuffy nose. When I stepped outside to get the Sunday paper, it felt cold, damp and smelled like rain on the way. When you've lived in Seattle long enough, you learn to recognize the smell of oncoming rain after a few dry days. Checked the King 5 weather radar, and sure enough, showers are creeping up from the South. Maybe we could have made it around the lake before we got wet, but maybe not.

Rather than going for it, I called the riding buddies and wimped out. Went back to bed.

I'll hit the gym later, he thought, lazily. The Eastside loop will be there another time.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Rode up the BGT to Sheridan Beach to check out the damage and destruction wrought by Mother Nature (or property owners with inadequate drainage systems) at about 145th and the BGT, where a landslide blocked the trail. Riding north, the whole hillside to the west of the well-traveled trail seemed saturated, with numerous little slides noticeable since last week's spin.
Took some photos, and turned around, heading out to Ballard to see more effects of the daily rain that we've experienced since New Year's.

On the return, along Shilshole, I stopped to snap a few photos of the Ballard Terminal Railroad locomotive, the Lil' Beaver.

The engineer remarked that they had come out to the Salmon Bay Cafe for a cup of coffee. I smiled, waved, and headed on, wondering if this was another one of the reasons that the BGT Missing Link was being delayed, along with the lawsuit from Ballard Business Owners.

Cumulative mileage in first two weeks of January is up to 150 miles, remarkable given the lousy wet weather this winter and no commute rides. But 2010 is off to a productive start.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First of the year...

44 miles around Boeing Field, with stops to see the Dreamliner, the Merry Go-Round at Westlake Center, and Pioneer Square for a Zeitgeist break.

Off to a good start toward a goal of 3,000 miles, and without either the STP or the RSVP.