Sunday, December 19, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Back in the Saddle Again!
On the way home, I went through the neighborhoods and came out at the Chehalis Western Trail bridge over Yelm Hwy. I went over the bridge and as I was coming down the other side I saw something white sitting on the side of the trail. As I got closer, I shined my headlight (it was dark) and saw it was a snowy owl! It was about the size of a cat. I stopped Stella and watched it fly off into the trees. I thought to myself, this is why I ride!
Next week I'm ordering a disc brake for the front of Stella. I'll take a picture and post it when she's all fixed up.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Ah Ha! There are Two Ferry Terminals on Vashon Island!
Today, the day after my 49th birthday, was an excellant day for a ride. Leandra and I drove up to Point Defiance to the ferry terminal. We met Leandra's friend, Shawn, and caught the 8:25am ferry (just barely) over to Vashon Island. I've ridden on Vashon once before for the "Ride for Ultrasound" that Dayle and I did a few years ago (pre-Stella). I didn't remember too much of it because it was very foggy that day. Anyway, we got off the ferry and started the long climb up from the water (that part I DID remember). We worked our way toward the other end of the island, stopping in the one larger commercial area of the island for a snack. Shawn said we only had about 15 minutes back to the ferry. I thought to myself that was a pretty short trip! Turns out we were going to a different ferry. Apparently the Southworth and Fauntleroy ferries (Fauntleroy serves West Seattle and Southworth ends up further south). The plan was to take to Southworth ferry and ride back to Pt. Defiance on the mainland. While on the ferry we all bought food (haven't had a hotdog in a very long time!). Just as I unwrapped my dog and put condiments on it, we started to pull into the dock. Leandra and I quickly wrapped our dogs and Shawn grabbed his bowl of chowder and we returned to our bikes. We walked the bikes off the ferry and went into the waiting room where we ate our food. After we finished eating, we, again, climbed a long hill away from the water. We were doing some rollers and then went up a really steep hill. After that a few more rollers then we started a long curvy descent. I was doing well, until I hit a bumpy patch of pavement. I was trying to slow down, but it wasn't happening. Then, the road turned. I was still trying to stop when I got carried onto the shoulder. I couldn't stop and finally Stella couldn't stay upright any longer. We went down on the left side with my shoulder and hip taking the brunt of the fall. Skidded along the shoulder for a bit then stopped. Good thing I wear a helmet because that was skidding along the ground too. Anyway, Shawn helped me up. A couple of other people stopped to see if I was okay. I figured I was okay just sore. Stella seemed to be fine. I just had to pull the brake hood back into place. After shaking off all the debri, I got back on Stella and rode the remaining 20 miles through Gig Harbor, over the Narrows Bridge and back to Pt. Defiance. Leandra and Shawn helped me off Stella and Leandra backed up the car so I could get in.
I don't think anything is broken, but it sure hurts like hell.
Except for the crash, the ride was lots of fun. I'd like to do Vashon again. I also think it would be a fun way to get to Seattle.
Total miles: 44
Total crashes: 1
Sunday, November 21, 2010
In the Snow, In the Snow, In the Snow (or Are We Idiots?)
But outside it is frightful.
We've got a few miles to go-
In the snow, in the snow, in the snow!
Stella and I and Leandra and Miss No Name braved the snowy weather for a 40+ miler in the snow today. It wasn't really supposed to start snowing until this afternoon. When will we learn to not trust the weather forecast?? Actually, except for the cold fingers and toes of Leandra, it wasn't too bad. AND...I got to use my new camera (it's waterproof, coldproof and shockproof--yep, it did not appear to be shocked at all that we were out riding in the snow!).
We did the same route that I did a few weeks ago (see previous post "A New Discovery and a New Road") except we took the road back into town instead of the trail. We stopped at a little coffee place in Rainier and had Peppermint Hot Cocoa and these sinfully delicious chocolate/cookie dough/caramel bars. YUM! Then when we got to Yelm we had a late lunch at Puerto Vallarta. The thing about riding in COLD weather is that you need to stop and warm up more often (or is it really just an excuse to eat???) Leandra's sister texted her and asked if we were idiots. Hmmm...hard to say.
I enjoyed the ride and had fun taking pictures. I noticed the buttons on this new camera (btw it's a Pentax Optio w90) are easier to push even with heavy gloves.
Here is a microscopic look at the delicious bar!
Me and my "Ninja" riding partner, Leandra.
Snow covered plastic flowers.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
The Maiden Voyage!
Stella and I and Leandra and her nameless baby headed out Madrona Beach Rd. to Hwy 101. We exited 101 at Hurley Waldrip and rode over to Hwy 108. We followed 108 to McCleary where we stopped at Subway for some lunch. After lunch we worked our way over to Hwy 8 and rode to Ranch House BBQ for some delicious Bourbon Pecan Pie. From there it was home via Old Hwy 410 back into town. By the time we got back to Leandra's, it was pretty dark. Leandra was in her usual, not so bright, black (although it was a very nice new Gore Wear jacket). She rode in front of me so I could have the tail flashers on and my headlight lighting her way.
Total miles for Stella and I: 59.8
Total miles for Leandra and Miss Noname: 50
Never a bad day to ride!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
A Momentous Day!
One of the people I would love to tour with is my friend Leandra. We do a lot of day rides together. She is always game for any route I cook up. We have also done STP and Courage Classic. She works a full time job (J-O-B The three-letter four-letter word) and doesn't always have time to train yet, she will still go out and ride 60+ miles with me.
Anyway, today, we set out north on the trail in the rain. Leandra rides a Felt roadbike that doesn't have fenders. Needless to say, I don't ride behind her. We rode to Woodard Bay, then came back to downtown and stopped at Old Town Bicycles. They were having a sale on their floor stock bikes. Old Town doesn't typically have sales. Leandra wanted to get new tires for Maggie (her Felt). They had a couple of Cannondale t2 touring bikes in stock. They had a green one. Patrick fit Leandra on the green one. And...(drumroll please)...she bought it!!! Leandra bought a touring bike!!! Now we can tour together! I'm so excited! I know she won't be able to do super long trips, but definitely we will do some shorter tours. AND...she got fenders!
Never a bad day to ride!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
It's Almost Like Summer!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
A New Discovery and a New Road
Today I headed south on the trail. At Rainier, I got off the trail and headed east on Centre St. Centre becomes 148th not too far out of town. As I was riding along 148th, Mt. Rainier was looming straight ahead. It seemed so close (and yet so far)! I finally got where I had a pretty clear shot for a picture. As I was preparing to take a picture with my iPhone, I was lamenting the fact that there isn't a zoom. Then I thought, maybe if I tap the screen, it will make it bigger like when I am looking at pictures and want to see a closer view. Lo and behold, a slider comes on the screen so I can zoom in! How is it I've had this phone for almost 2 years and I'm just figuring this out??? Geez! What else don't I know? Maybe I should get that book IPhone for Dummies! Anyway, it's a great discovery for me.
After I took the photo, I continued down 148th. I passed a road called Morris and thought, hmmm...I wonder where that road goes? I decided to find out. I kind of had an idea because I was almost to where I would have turned left onto Vail Rd. Morris seemed to parallel Vail. Another good reason for going on Morris was because the last time Leandra and I had ridden Vail we just about got wiped off the road by a stupid truck (truck not stupid--driver stupid). There was much less traffic on Morris. I figured it would spit me out somewhere in Yelm. That was good because I wanted Subway for lunch!
Sure enough, Morris ended at Bald Hills Rd. in Yelm; the same road I would have turned onto after Vail.
I went to Subway then took the trail back to Rainier, where I got off and went the other way on Centre. Then, I took the road home.
Total miles: 43.9
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Donuts, Friends and Caterpillars
We took our donuts to Jill's (Dawn took one for her) and we ate them in her front yard. Then we headed back. Amy needed to get home. She peeled off at her street and Tony, Dawn and I continued to Rich Rd. Tony and Dawn turned off to there street and I continued on. At that point we had ridden 16 miles. That's not enough when I've eaten 2 donuts! I rode over to 99 then up McCorkle/113th to Littlerock Rd. From there I backtracked slightly to 110th then headed to Delphi and up to Waddell Creek Rd. on 105th. It was on 105th where Stella met her new friend. Stella seemed to feel a kinship as she considers herself a workhorse. After some petting we got back on the road.
After riding past all the gunslingers on Waddell Creek Rd. I headed back down to Delphi. At 62nd I stopped to call Lorraine. Since she was home, I rode up to her house. That meant going up Cedar Flats which is anything but flat. The last time I rode up there I was considerably heavier and riding my hybrid. I about had a heart attack. This time I managed to make it up the steepest part of Cedar Flats without getting off my middle ring! Of course, when I got to the gravel part of Maple Valley Rd. I was down to the small ring and having a tough time getting traction. I made to the bottom of their driveway then walked up the gazillion % grade that is their driveway.
We had a nice visit (Lorraine's parents were down from Bothell) and I left there and headed for home (I hit 40 mph coming down Cedar Flats).
Made it home by 6:00. 58 miles!
Oh, as for the caterpillars. They were everywhere on the road--the black and orange fuzzy ones. Tried not to hit any, but for some it was too late. Why did the caterpillar cross the road???
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I've Been Counted...4 Times!
After dinner I had a meeting that I, of course, rode to. On the way home, on a different route than I had gone earlier in the day, I was counted yet again! So, four times in four different places in one day! Not bad! Now, if everyone would get out on bikes and be counted, think what message that would send to the people responsible for planning bike friendly roads and trails!
Never a bad day to ride!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
A Beautiful Full...I Mean Fall Ride
We rode south to my favorite take-myself-to-lunch place, Berry Fields Cafe in Centralia. We both had what I like to call the "side-ache" sandwich. It's actually the crab and provolone on sourdough. It's a grilled sandwich and is oh so delicious. I call it the side-ache sandwich because it's so rich that I always get a side-ache when I'm riding home. Of course, the maple nut cake for dessert doesn't help!
After our massive lunch, we were riding back on 507 and we decided to go up Zenkner Valley Rd. I've only gone that way once and from the other direction. It was a beautiful alternative route if not a bit hilly. We both felt the effects of our big lunch on the hills! No hurling occured though! The photo was taken from the top of one of the hills looking down into the valley. The ride down Flumerfelt Rd. was fun. I'd remembered that was quite a climb up the last time I was on that road.
Since it was such a nice afternoon, we took the trail back which made the ride 65 miles for me and about 73 for Leandra. to think, we weren't going to even go...
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Back to Night Riding
For the first time in all my nighttime riding, I had a dog come after me barking (I think it was a German Shepherd). At first I just looked at him (or her--it could be a her) and just kept riding. When the dog kept chasing, I yelled in my super-loud-I-mean-it voice, "GO HOME!!!". As what usually happens, the dog pealed off and turned around. So far, that has worked every time.
Anyway, it's nice to be doing more night riding (well, except when it's raining...). #
Never a bad day to ride!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Not Quite What I Planned (or Check Another Subway Off the List)
My first change of plans came when the RAPSODY route turned right onto Washington Blvd. Instead of left as it had the year I did it. I thought, oh well, I'll see where it went this year. I remained on Washington Blvd. until a left onto, I think, Interlaken. I followed Interlaken as it wound around and went over the Interlaken Bridge (kinda cool actually). It finally spit me out onto Mt. Tacoma Dr. Which took me toward Bridgeport Way and Gravelly Lake Dr. At this point, the route took another left. Since I was hungry and I'd already ridden 25 miles, I decided lunch would be good. I used a new app on my phone to find a Subway ( .36 miles away on Gravelly Lake Dr.) and rode there. After lunch I decided to head home. Besides, it was stil overcast and only about 55 degrees. So much for the nice weather!
I rode Gravelly Lake Dr. to 112th then cut over to Bridgeport Way (don't ask me why I got off Gravelly Lake. I knew it would take me to the exact same place. There was no bike lane on Bridgeport (cyclists are allowed the full lane on Gravelly Lake). There was, however, a newly paved bike lane on Pacific (which I turned onto from Bridgeport). Anyway, I got on I-5 at Gravelly Lake. Got off at Thorne and rode Union Ave. to Berkeley and got back on I-5. I rode past Ft. Lewis (now the JBLM) and got off at the Dupont/Steilacoom exit. After eating an ice cream cone (chocolate dipped, of course) in Dupont (or is it called Northwest Landing) the sun finally came out and I was able to switch to the sunglass lens and take off my jacket. I rode all the way in on Pacific to the trailhead at Woodland Park. Then I took the Woodland Trail to Chehalis Western and rode home for a total of 54.4 miles. I didn't quite make it to the two trails. Guess I'll save that for another day (perhaps one where I start a little earlier and the weather is a little nicer).
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Why I Love Riding
I pulled into the Subway in Tenino. When I walked in this older couple was standing at the cash register end of the counter. Of course, at Subway, you start at the other end, order your sandwich and work your way to the register. Once the couple understood this they came down to the other end where I was standing waiting to order. I told them they could go in front of me as they were there first. They said no, they were in no hurry. Then they were trying to decide what to have. They mentioned the ham. I told them they could get a footlong ham for $5. They said that would be too much to eat. They just wanted a 6". I ordered my footlong Veggie Delight. Jim (although, at this time I did not know his name) says to me, "You going to eat all of that?". I told him I was and he said that would feed him for a week. In my defense, I told him I had already ridden 30 miles on my bike to get there. When they were trying to order, the sandwich gal was having a hard time understanding what they wanted. I told her they just wanted a 6" sandwich cut in half (you know, Subway is not a good restaurant for the indecisive--6" or footlong? Kind of bread? What kind of cheese? Toasted? Veggies? Sauce? Wanna make that a meal?). Anyway, they got their order and were looking for a place to sit. As I was sitting alone, I asked if they would like to join me. They did and we had a very nice conversation. Turns out Florence and Jim are just friends. They used to be neighbors until Florence's kids put her in a "nursing home" (really an Assisted Living facility). She is still not happy about that. Jim has 6 kids and, he thinks, at least a couple of grandkids. So now that they are no longer neighbors, Jim periodically picks up Florence and they go for a drive and lunch.
So, I titled this blog "Why I Love Riding". It is meeting people like Jim and Florence that make riding so enjoyable. It is also the advantage of riding alone. If I had been with someone, I would probably not have engaged them in conversation let alone invite them to eat with me. It is something I noticed while solo touring this summer. People were much more likely to approach me and ask me questions then when I was with someone. Plus, as a solo tourist, I am more inclined to seek people out.
Anyway, the weather was perfect as was my lunch company!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Wet Day 2 of MS Ride and Pics
After the lunch stop at Larrabe State Park, Tony commented that Chuckanut Dr. should really be called...well, substitute another letter for the "Ch" and...you get the picture. Still, I could see how the scenic the road would be if it weren't for the rain. Guess I'll just have to do it again on a nicer day.
At the last rest stop Jill rejoined us for the last 10 miles. I finished before everyone else (just ready to be done and I guess not that much of a team player).
Weather aside, it was a good two days on a VERY well supported ride.
Here's some pictures. Most from the first day since my camera doesn't like to get wet.
Just a few people at the start of Day 1
Tony and I before the Deception Pass Bridge
One of the "Biking Vikings"
Guy on the ElliptiGo--a stand up, 8 speed bike.
The view from Chuckanut Dr.
The Day 2 Finishers Amy, Anne, Jill and Tony
Saturday, September 11, 2010
MS 150 Day 1--The Long One
The ride started in Mount Vernon and went over the Deception Pass Bridge...twice! Many of the roads I had been on with Kyle last summer. However, the hills were much faster this time without all the panniers! There were all kinds of team costumes and jerseys. The Biking Vikings all had Viking horns on their helmets. The Garden Gnome team had fake beards (even the women) and little red pointy hats on top of their helmets. Favorite jersey has to be the Free Beer team. They are a drinking club with a
cycling problem. Also saw a new form of bicycle called an Elliptigo. Basically, the rider stands up on a sort of Elliptical machine with wheels. It looks like running.
As I am writing this, I am sitting in my van (note to self: next time bring a chair). Soon I will retire to my tent and promptly fall asleep. Except for the large number of trains that go by, the tent "city" is pretty good. The gal next to me has an even bigger tent than mine and she is the only one in it.
Today, Tony and I pretty much stuck together. Amy and Jill did the 74 mile route and Anne did 59. Tomorrow we are all supposed to be doing the 70 mile route which will take us along Chuckanut Drive near Bellingham. Could be pretty if it doesn't rain. Weather forecast says 50% chance of rain (that's a failing grade if you ask me). It is starting to rain now. 70 miles in raingear--what a treat!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Super Stealth Biker Woman!
The four of us did Boston Harbor, Fishtrap Loop and the trail back. Jill and Kevin departed at the junction of Chehalis Western and the Woodland Trail. Amy and I continued on the Chehalis Western to the bridge where I saw my friend Bonnie walking her dogs. Said goodbye to Amy and stopped to talk to Bonnie. After awhile Bonnie and I continued on the trail, her walking, me riding slowly. We got to Horizons where I was going to turn for home and she was going to turn around. As we were talking, Tim came onto the trail without so much as a headnod. So, of course, I decided to follow him and see how long I could go before he noticed me. He was going the same way I had just come from. I caught up to him at the bridge and, for much of the time, was right on his rear wheel. When we got to the junction, I thought for sure he would look back and see me. Nope. When we got to the hairpin turn up to the I-5 bridge, I thought for sure he would see me behind him. Nope. We got all the way to Woodard Bay where he pulls over and eats lunch (Really? After 10 miles? Time for lunch? It was 11:00am.). I'm just hanging back about 20 feet. Still doesn't know it's me. He goes into the potty shack. I move so I'm directly in his line of sight. Still doesn't notice. Now he heads out on the road. I follow. Once again, I am about 18 inches off his rear wheel. It was nice drafting! We end up on Woodard Bay Road. I'm still following right behind him. He has glanced back a couple of times, but still doesn't know it's me. Even when we stopped at Boston Harbor Rd., he doesn't look back to see who is following him.
I followed him all the way to Eastbay Dr. As I was coming up to the turn to go around the bay to the Farmers' Market, I heard some Soba noodles call my name so I turned and went to the market. Tim continued on, oblivious.
When I got home, I told Nolan and Dillon. Nolan immediately told Tim. He said, "I knew someone was behind me." The question I have is: if you know someone is following you (for a rather lengthy time), wouldn't you turn around and say something? Or, at least get a good look at them? Maybe I am just Super Stealth Biker Woman!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Super Tuber Women!
We got our tubes (very nice with nylon covers complete with back rests and beverage holders). We also were provided with paddles (aka frisbees). We decided to float from the headwaters at Lake Wenatchee to the bridge at Plain. Rob would have picked us up, but we parked the van at the bridge and drove Annette's car to the tube place. Rob said it would be about a 4 hour float.
Off we went down the river. It was warm with clouds (just as forecasted). Well, we floated along for awhile. Annette decided we should play frisbee with the paddles. I was NOT for that idea and neither was Lorraine! But still, Annette threw the frisbees at us! When I threw it back she didn't catch it and had to flail after it.
As we continued to float, more clouds rolled in and in the distance we could hear thunder. GREAT!!! Then, it rained abit. ALSO GREAT! After we got past the tubing company take out place the river had moments of picking up speed. The tubes we were in were pretty stable. What was also nice was the fact that our butts weren't sitting in the river. Don't get quite so cold (the river was 62 degrees according to Rob).
As we were floating, Annette angered the rain gods by saying it would probably come pouring down right as we got to the van. BUT NO! It decided to pour right then and there! Did make the fish jump though. Annette was for pulling off for abit, but I just wanted to keep going (WHAT! Was I afraid of getting wet?).
Soon enough it stopped raining, but the thunder continued (fortunately, never saw lightening). As we got closer to the bridge, the water got more rapiddy (that's a word right?). As I was manuevering my way through some fast water, I didn't see this big dip coming until it was too late to go around it. I was saying, "No, no, no!" then, SWOOSH! Down the dip I went and due to the stability of the tube, managed to stay on it (albeit with a good soaking wave washing over me). I paddled over to the side of the river at the bridge and hauled myself and my tube out of the river (most important to flip the tube over and empty the water out of it). Lorraine came in next and got out without problems. Annette came in and, having lost one of her paddles, had to flail madly to make it over to the bank. It was touch and go, but she did it. Of course it was raining again, but we were done after 3 1/2 hours on the river.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Photos from CA to Mexico and train back
Heading toward the redwoods and into the fog out of Crescent City.
Now that's a big tree! Avenue of the Giants. Burlington Campground
The gang at dinner. Carling, Mike, Werner, Joan, Christian and Jess. Burgers across the street from Standish-Hickey State Park.
Woo Hoo! Top of Leggett!
This market had a little bit of everything! I had a slice of carrot cake there!That's Stella and Carling's bike. Christian was there too.
Seaweed Dancers in the Mendocino 4th of July parade
More beautiful scenery (south of Mendocino).
Which way do the other deer go?
My first attempt to cross Golden Gate (I found a better way).
All the rules
Before going across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Hang glider at Fort Funston outside of San Francisco
Pigeon Point Lighthouse
At the end of the boardwalk in Santa Cruz I had to walk my bike across this trestle. Two local guys had told me about this short cut to New Brighten. It really was a short cut!
"Catch a wave and you're sittin' on top of the world!" Santa Cruz surfers.
The beach at New Brighton in Capitola (just south of Santa Cruz).
Just "a few" sealions next to Fisherman's Wharf.
Fisherman's Wharf. Had a great lunch at Crab Louie's on the wharf.
Cannery Row in Monterey
Moon Jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
My favorite, the green turtles!
The Carmel Bakery
Cannolis at the Carmel Bakery
Moss hanging from the trees like tinsel at Point Lobos Natural Reserve
The area they call Big Sur
Stella and the marigolds
Palm trees at Refugio State Beach
Tar on the beach from Carpinteria. It just oozes out of the ground.
The Beach Zamboni
Santa Monica Pier
Stella on the Coronado Ferry
Border Field State Park. The end of the Adventure Cycling route.
Across the big fence...MEXICO!
Mexico!!! End of the line!
You can't go any further Stella!
At the Santa Fe station in San Diego after going to the border.
The day and a half train ride to Vancouver then home via my dad.
Stella waiting for her box in San Diego.
The massive LA train station.
Mt. Shasta from the train.