Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to stay sane | Brain Pickings

How to stay sane | Brain Pickings:

Not bike-related directly, but somehow, it fits.....or as Vonnegut said, "Be careful of the lies you tell yourself," or something like that....

Sunday, July 28, 2013

July Rides

End of July weekend, and 110 miles over two days.  The first ride was on one of my ordinary routes, over the Ravenna ridge and up the Ravenna Boulevard, one of the best bike lanes in Seattle in the middle along the tree-line divide, to south side of Green Lake.  Then, over to Sunset Hill Park, Golden Gardens, across the locks, where the king salmon are now swimming upstream. Then, the Magnolia Bluff, which never fails to impress, especially on these warm afternoons with the summer breezes from the North.  It's been a spectacular summer, and reinforcing why we live here.    Down the Centennial Park bike way to the new Thomas Street Bridge, through Seattle Center and up Dexter to the BGT.   Nice way to burn off the week's administrative doldrums.

Day two was the big one.  Started out to ride with the Cascade Bike Club on the Marymoor-Snohomish loop, but got on the trail about 1/2 hour late and took 90 minutes to do the 20 miles to the Marymoor start point.  So, turned right instead, went toward Issaquah and then up over Newport Hill to Factoria. Followed the bike trail to the west side of Coal Creek Parkway and that worked well, getting to the Lake Washington Bike Trail without the traffic drama under I-90 and 405.   Southbound, and past the Seahawks Training Camp, with all the 12th Men visiting to watch the wind sprints and push ups.   Lunch at Ivar's at Gene Coulon Park and then down through Renton and Tukwila to hook up with the Interurban and Duwamish Trails.

While crossing the West Seattle Low Bridge, I stopped to take photos, and also to visit with a bike traveler who had a fully loaded rig.   "I've got everything I own on my bike!"   He had started from San Diego, rode to the Canadian Border.  "Followed the coast to Florence, Oregon, then up the Willamette Valley, and rode the PTS route, STP in reverse."  Now he was on the return trip, headed back, and was planning to get to Auburn that night.  "Spent last night sleeping in a cemetery!"  I'm impressed and a bit of envious of his adventure and his true freedom.  Not tied down with responsibilities, family, career and otherwise.

Finished up my ride by avoiding downtown, the Torchlight Parade and tourist crunch along the waterfront, and instead returned via I-90 tunnel, Leschi, Lake Washington Blvd, Arboretum.  By the time I started the climb up the 39th Ave NE Greenway, I was running on empty, but encountered more traffic on that new piece of bike infrastructure than I've seen before, six or seven other bikes!

78 miles, warm, great new route.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

BicycleKitty: STP

BicycleKitty: STP:

Nice STP write-up.    I rode with these two for a bit, but didn't recognize them.  Key quote, 'Instead of looking at it as a bike ride, I view it as all of humanity coming out to spend a couple days riding bikes.  As always with a huge tidal wave of people, there are the scuffles and irritations that can happen in crowds.'

Still nursing a sore lower right leg.  Strained muscle, ligament, something while walking (Walking!) on Monday after the ride, and have been deliberately inactive since.  Looking forward to getting back on the bike today.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

STP 2013

Finished STP on Sunday, and you couldn't have asked for better conditions.    Cool and clear in the morning, warm enough on Saturday, breezes from the north that translated into warm tailwinds, a friendlier and more well-behave peloton than Flying Wheels, all in all, a fine ride.

What went well:

Saturday, in retrospect, was easy.  If I had made other plans, I could have gone farther than the 102 miles from Seattle to Centralia.  Started off watching a wannabe sprinter crash into a tree in front of Hec Ed pavilion, no more than 150 yds from the start, but then saw no further crashes throughout the day.   Starbucks at Leschi, Subway for lunch in Spanaway, long Tenino trail, and was in to the midpoint by 3:30.    Massage, hot tub, La Tarasca, and a DQ Blizzard, and I was done.

Sunday a bit tougher, but in no way the schlep it's been in the past.  Started out at 5:30 after 1st hotel breakfast, second in Winlock after rolling through farmland south of Chehalis with terrific views of Mt. St. Helens.  Crossed the mighty Columbia, and then had a good tailwind down US. 30 into Portland. Again, finished by 3:30.  Average rolling speed = 14.8, compared to 14.2 the day before.

No problems with Bleriot, save handlebar tape unravelling a bit, and old gloves finally wearing out.   No flats either, although saw many on the thinner tires of others.    A ride ref reported that there had been tacks on the road near Spanaway and Puyallup.

Things to consider for next time:

CTS was well worth it.  I was in road shape, and ready to ride long distances.  

Second day was hot, and I ended up eating poorly, maybe too much, and felt dehydrated toward the end.  I gained weight on the ride.

Avoid the REI stop.   Loud music, crowds, not pleasant or restful.

Similarly, the Finish Line festival in Portland was loud, a bit obnoxious, and after two days of riding, I wanted to just get cleaned up and out of there.

Four days later, I still have some discomfort in right quad and right lower leg.   Recovery not as easy as I expected.  Maybe more and better sleep a couple of days before, maybe more mid week rides?   Maybe I'm not as young as I used to be?   Maybe better core and upper body conditioning?  Or, maybe don't sweat it, cause the important thing is to enjoy the ride, the scenery and the group experience!

A big 'we'll see' about next year, or maybe it's RSVP.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Am I ready for STP?   57 miles today, and Newport Way was easier than I expected, much more so than a year ago.     Raised seatpost about 1/2 an inch, and it helped.  Knees fine, legs good, minor and very sporadic back pain during ride.    Fix that by stretching.   Watch what I eat, stay hydrated, ride within my limits, and use the gears.

CTS rides were well worth it.  Will consider ride leading, but maybe that's another task where I've got to be the adult in the room and is not what I'm up for.  Big we'll see.

1,160 miles YTD.  53K feet elevation gain, whatever that is worth.

Will do a bit more riding this week, along with getting enough rest and keeping a positive focus.

But, I'm ready.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Wasn't in Lynne's Plan

Over the years that I've been riding, I've come to admire Lynne for her long-distance adventures, her persistence, and her writing that emanates good cheer and positive vibrations.   So, when I read her latest, it was with more than a twinge of sadness:

Lynne's Mostly-Cycling Blog: This Wasn't The Plan:

I hope for her sake that these are temporary setbacks.