Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A New Discovery and a New Road

Finally, a sunny day! I know I shouldn't complain about the rain since we had such nice weather in September and the first part of October. However, it was nice to see the sun again.
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

Another stellar Fall day for riding! Met Amy, Tony and Dawn on the trail at the bridge at 10:00. We rode north on the trail to the Woodland trail where we headed downtown. When we got to the "Homeless Bathrooms" we decided to ride up 4th Ave. to Twisted Donuts, get donuts and ride over to Jill's and have a "Donut Picnic" in front of her house since she bagged off riding with us. Since I couldn't choose just one, I had a maple old fashioned and a chocolate with maple drizzle donut. YUM!!!

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!

Yesterday I was riding around town (well, to the Westside and back in a big loop) running an errand on Stella. As I was on my way home, coming through downtown, I rode over one of those things they put across the road to count cars. Only, this was just in the bike lane. I thought, "Cool, they're counting bikes!". After going through downtown and heading onto the I-5 trail, I rode over another one. Then I got on the Woodland Trail and rode over another one! Now, I've been counted three 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

Today was supposed to be 90% chance of rain. Well, that means 10% chance of no rain. That, in my book, is a failing grade. But, as you can see from the photo, the day turned out to be nice. Of course, that's because Leandra and I wore full raingear. At least I was able to remove mine and be quite comfortable.
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

In order to save up for next summer's adventures, I am trying to ride Stella as much as possible. For every mile I ride instead of drive, I put away $.50. Consequently, I've been doing some night riding to various meetings. I used to ride at night all the time when I was teaching at the Y. I had forgotten how much I like riding in the dark. It's quieter and typically, there is less traffic. I have, not one, but two really good headlights. I also have two rear strobe flashers and, of course, all the reflector stuff. I've been told I'm pretty visible.
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!