Sunday, December 19, 2010

Drumroll please....

Presenting the improved Super Stella! New front fork, wheel with a generator hub, disc brake and generator powered headlight! Stella has had so many things replaced/upgraded that if she were human, she would be the Bionic Woman. The only original parts are the frame, cranks, front derailler and chainrings, headset, seatpost, rear brake (but not pads, of course) and rear rack. I suppose after 17,000 miles that's to be expected.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again!

Okay, so it wasn't a very long ride today but, I did it. After cleaning Stella and putting new rear brake pads on (actually, the old ones weren't completely worn out but, decided to put new ones on anyway), I SLOWLY and CAREFULLY swung my leg over the saddle and climbed aboard. The pedaling was no problem (not a surprise there since I did finish the ride after crashing). Stopping was good. Getting off was a bit dicey. Determined that getting off on the other side worked better. After the "test" ride, I rode to Debra's to play Mah Jongg. I find myself riding fairly cautious. That's probably not a bad thing.

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!

Another title for this post could be, "Great Ride...Until I Crashed." I'll get to that.
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