Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Bike With No Name

If you wanna go and take a ride wit me..
I'm in the habit of naming things I like, hence naming my bikes. Last two bikes were Tinkerbell and Bluebell. However, it's struck me that most things about bikes sound horse related - riding a bike, riding a pony, both on a saddle. Therefore I am naming my new bike (that I'm picking up this evening) after a horse.

I'm considering several names, after having discarded the notion of a traditional horse name. So in no particular order:

  • Odor In The Court
  • Riding Miss Daisy (a tad bit porny)
  • Pants On Fire - could be a good name for Tony Martin's bike
  • Easy Goer - optimistically named
  • Big Hurry
  • Channing Tatum - which means I can either say I've been out riding with Channing or that I have ridden Channing (I am not linking here as it should be obvious who I'm referring to)
What say ye?

Ps! Chillax, I know Channing isn't a horse, but he is a stud.

Guys In Spandex

Alright. This had to happen. Guys in bike short. Sometimes amusing, other times dangerous to ones eyesight. I bring you a selection of the best the interweb has to offer.

I think this is a somewhat famous dude, but holy moly. What is that thing at the front of those shorts? A bunch of bananas? A hamster? A bunch of grapes?

Here's another winner.

Or rather, it's more technical - also this dude is wearing his shorts inside out. I thought this would be ideal for John Bump post taco eating. It's got vent holes and all.

For the more discerning and fashion forward biker out there, I'm so glad I stumbled across this.

Not only does it come with suspenders, but the mid seam offer the boys/berries/mash a nice place of rest. It comes in several colors.

I feel this color brings out the camel toe a little better than in black. Agree?

To round it up, here's an alternative I'm not sold on the functionality of.

I wonder what happens when this dude bends over to really get some momentum. I suppose if this biking thing doesn't work out, you can moonlight as a plumber. You're welcome.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

For Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?

The time has come to swap out Bluebell for another bike. As I was doing Kitsap Color Classic this weekend, I could really feel the misfit of my current bike. The frame is too big, making it close to impossible to find a comfortable position. My team member, Dave, said he could tell that I was uncomfortable.

I've found a new bike. It's still a Cannondale but one with better parts. It's got 105s instead of Tiagra, which I was used to from my old bike the Raleigh. I'm excited about the prospect of not having shoulder pain anymore, but oddly sad-ish about trading in the bike I was so thrilled about some short weeks ago.

Melodramatic much? Nah. With the new bike, I'm looking forward to biking the shit out of every road within a 200 mile radius - and beyond.

Bye, bye, Bluebell

Monday, September 28, 2015

Busy Weekend - Volunteering And Kitsap Color Classic

WOW! I really didn't think anything could top WAVE, but Kitsap Color Classic was nothing short of spectacular. The weather was perfect, crisp, cool and sunny. I'll get back to this later in the post, but first: Volunteering for Cascade.

The event was a lunch for the big donors at their new office at Sandpoint. Gorgeous location with views of the marina and Lake Washington.

I biked to and from, being that it's a bicycle club and all. 60 miles. A good stretch in some rain. It wouldn't have been a true Cascade event without.

The view from the front

The band

Fancy bike rack

Lake Washington
I'm not entirely sure why I'm volunteering at this point because I have decided to buy a season pass come next year, which makes the "24 hours of volunteering will get you a free ride" redundant. Oh, and I just realized I haven't told you about the best part of this gig yet!

Obviously there was food at the lunch, but there was also ice cream in the form of a hired ice cream truck whose name I will leave out. I was hanging out in the kitchen during the lunch and speeches so I finished eating first. I decided to have an ice cream and went out to the truck. The first thing I noticed was the non existent skirt length of the girl in the truck. Her butt was at my eye level being that the truck was elevated. I figured this in combination with her skimpy skirt couldn't possibly be good and I was right. As she bent down in the freezer to scoop up ice cream, I found myself almost blind. The view left nothing to the imagination and I didn't know if I should tip her in singles or not.

Instead of just getting an ice cream, I got dessert and a show. I didn't tell anyone about this as I figured others would - which they did. The stripper/ice cream scooper got a talking to and had to scoop from the side.

Kitsap Color Classic

WOW! Wow wow wow. What can I say. The ride was spectacular. From start to finish.
Oddly enough, I wasn't sold on going - even the night before. But, knowing myself, I knew I would end up going anyway so I set my alarm for 6 am, giving me enough time to pack and get going. I hadn't even pre-registered, which was a first.

High spandex factor in Edmonds

The guy in blue is holding my bike

Bikes on a ferry - not snakes

Nice ferry staff

Helmets invading the ferry

Anxiously waiting the start of the ride at Kingston
Up, I got, packed my gear, and stuffed the bike in the back of the car and headed up to Edmonds. I paid my registration, fastened my bib, and headed down to the ferry dock, which was starting to fill up with riders. I have to give thanks to the ferry crew here for making the ride over flawless and enjoyable. I had planned on riding with a guy, Dave, I met at PROS a couple of weeks back, but didn't know if he was taking the ferry or driving up from Tacoma on the other side. I found him on the ferry. Or rather, he found me.
He was riding with another guy, named Eric, so the three of us rode together. Poor Eric was riding a mountain bike/hybrid and we were planning on riding a 14-16 miles pace. He decided to retire the hybrid after the ride was over. Dave was saying that a road bike would make it seem as if he was traveling 10 miles per hour while standing still compared to his current ride.
Cascade wasn't kidding when they said the ride starts as soon as you get off the ferry. I did the longest ride option (of course I did).
 Combination Hansville + Poulsbo Loop
57 miles
  • 3,844 feet of climbing

  • Order is: Hansville to Poulsbo then Ferry   


    If you love climbs as much as I do, this is the perfect ride. Incidentally, the only food stop we stopped at was the gazebo where I got married at. We took a group photo of our newly founded team.

    Turns out the man downstairs did the ride as well.

    Rider 666
    I know I've said that I'm not the stop and smell the roses kind of gal, but this time I couldn't help but notice the breathtaking scenery along the route. I regret not taking more pictures, but I didn't want to get off my bike more than I had to. I wouldn't be me if I didn't make a couple of dietary mistakes. This time it was the repeat offender hydration, but also nourishment.

    We were about 30 miles into the ride when my legs started not working well. We were at a slight incline, but not a very steep one. However, I just couldn't seem to get my legs to work properly, then it dawned on me that since we skipped the food stop at Kitsap Bank I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. Not good. I wolfed down three Cliff gels, which made it possible to make it to the Poulsbo food stop.

    I'm such a moron when it comes to eating properly while riding. Need to work on that one.

    I will definitely do this ride again. It's convenient - 30 minutes from my home, and the ferry ride is a definite bonus. We did the ride in a little under 4 hours, averaging 15 miles per hour. Yeay Team Wheels!

    Wednesday, September 23, 2015

    Slow Day At Work And A-holes on Two Wheels

    Today is a slow day at work. Not a lot of patients and the phone is oddly quiet. The office smells of vinyl thanks to the new chairs we got yesterday.

    Shiny new vinyl
    While writing my "Heroes and Zeros" segment of my blog, it looks as though the dickheads of the road are mainly sitting in cars. Sadly, they are also sitting on saddles. There's a particularly scary spot on my commute where the bike lane disappears where the road meets a drive way and the bike lane merges with sidewalk. I usually slow down in order to survive that stretch of road.

    Now, I thought about including this in the segment above, but on second thought I decided it was worth its own post - fellow bicyclists who are inconsiderate a-holes.

    As I found myself midway on the aforementioned stretch, with just enough space between me and the cars to feel comfortable i.e. a couple of feet, a cyclist blazed passed me saying "on your left" as he passed me. Ok, so I appreciate that you attempted giving me a heads-up, but saying this while you are passing me kind of makes this gesture empty. Also, you scared the shit out of me by passing me with less than an inch of clearance between you and me. Another thing that made your stunt so maddening stupid and reckless was the fact that had you only waited FOUR more feet, you could have passed me with plenty of clearance for the both of us.

    Look, I don't really expect a whole lot of consideration from cars, but other bicyclists? Come on. You guys know how scary it can be on two wheels amongst cars and pedestrians. Especially the former. You know the dangers of being ignored or simply being invisible to cars, so why are you adding to the dangers? It's not like we're doing Tour de France or are in some other race. It's not like those 2 seconds you potentially save by passing me like a moron are worth the risk.

    My point is we're in this madness together. As fellow bicyclists we should look out for each other and be super considerate. A-holes on two wheels pisses me off more than cars. Way more. And I will shame you on my blog. Relentlessly.

    It was kind of ironic too, since yesterday was a perfect day for the drivers. ALL of them were considerate and gave PLENTY of space.

    Well, I caught up with you at the intersection, and here you are in all your spandex glory.

    A-hole on two wheels

    The Epic Cleat Failure of 2015

    "Everyone" has been telling me to bike with cleats for a while now. Why haven't I? I guess I've been too chicken to do so, also I've been biking without until now and it's been fine. Why reinvent the wheel and so on. However, I put dual purpose pedals on my new bike to at least have the option to use cleats.

    Handy dandy pedals

    This is because I'm usually up for trying everything at least once, so last night I installed cleats on my shoes.

    Hubby's work

    I started out with one foot this morning and tested how to unclip. Turns out I have to turn my foot inwards to get it out. I felt like a toddler who's learning how to walk. After a bit, I felt braver, thinking I had mastered the whole unclipping business, so I put both cleats in. Hmm... well, let's just say it wasn't a success.

    I forgot I was clipped in.

    First intersection after moronically fastening both feet to my pedals, I had to stop for a car. As the bike slowed down, I went to put my right foot down for support - only it didn't move. Bike comes to a complete stop and I went down for the count in slow motion, while uttering "oh, shit, oh, shit, oh, shit" to myself on the way down.

    The driver of the car I was stopping so thoroughly for pulled over and asked me if I was ok as I was laying sprawled out on the road. I have to say I did the tuck and roll pretty well and I also found out that falling down does release the cleats from the pedals so it wasn't a complete failure. I assured her I was ok. She asked again if I was really sure. I told her yes, and that I was only testing out cleats for the first time.

    The great cleat injury
    My knee survived the cleat test but I probably won't use them on my commute. From what I can tell, cleats are great on longer rides, but on rides when I have to stop every few feet they're more cumbersome than helpful.

    Monday, September 21, 2015

    Ride the Wave 2015

    Wow! Perfect ride. The best ride so far. 65 awesome miles with some good climbs.

    Cycle the WAVE is a fully supported bike ride with four different loops to choose from. I did the Burly Girly, which was PERFECT! I guess it was a combination of things that made the ride so perfect, it was like the universe aligned and decided to make this ride special.

    I was wearing my newly purchased gaiters since the weather forecast said there was 70% chance of rain.

    It didn't rain. Instead I had wet feet from sweating. No water came out though, so it must mean this gaiter thing works. If it can hold water in, it must be able to hold water out.

    So - the weather was perfect. Overcast and cool. Just the way I like it. We headed out of the start area at Bellevue College  at 7 am. The stretch out of the start area was lined with cheerleaders.

    I found a group of women to ride with, but the first group was a little too fast. I decided to hang back and picked up a woman named Gail. We ended up riding the whole ride together. Below is the Ride with GPS stats.

    The loop we did was 62 miles of awesomeness. Just enough climbs to keep it interesting. I think I just found my new weekend ride.

    At the first stop at Whole Foods in Redmond at the edge of Marymoore Park, there were women greeting us with flowers that they put in our helmets. I ate two bananas and some chocolate croissant.

    The women handing out flowers
    The climb up to the highlands was interesting. I haven't biked from that side before and it was nice. I smelled plenty of cow manure which is a good sign of there being little car traffic. The last food stop was in Issaquah at Tibbet's Valley Park, where the firemen greeted us with Hot Tamales and chap sticks.

    The sun had started to peek out. Still no rain in sight.

    This rest stop marked the place where three of the routes met and we would all bike back to Bellevue College.

    The finish line grub was yummy. I had sliders and a taco, milk and coconut water. I'm definitely doing this next year. Come rain or shine. Oh, and they switch up the route from year to year.

    After a half hour of rest at the finish, it was time to head back home and up the 164 hill. Awesome day with awesome women.

    Friday, September 18, 2015

    Quick Post About Fenders

    I'm so exited and I just can't hide it! After yesterday's drenchfest I am soooo ready for front fenders. I felt like a drowned cat as I was riding home in a rainfall of sinflood proportions. Look, I don't care whether my torso or legs get wet, but it bothers me greatly if my feet get wet. Hopefully Gregg's can fit me in. See you on the other - dryer, side.

    Didn't get fenders. Gregg's Cycle couldn't fit me in. Besides, a besserwisser there informed me fenders wouldn't keep me dry. Que?

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

    Painting Sprees and Passive Aggressiveness

    It all started at our morning meeting. Being a transplant, it took years before I got acclimated to the favorite past time of the Northwest: Passive Aggressiveness. Some people use this quality sparingly and pull it out just for special occasions, others wave the flag proudly on a daily basis.

    This morning the Great PA (Passive Aggressive) Standoff of September 2015 started with an off comment by one of my coworkers. He said his wife thought it strange that our office hadn't been re-painted since we moved in here. Being new to the clinic, I wasn't sure how long the current paint had resided on the wall, but was quickly filled in on it only being three years.

    I suspect that comment got under another coworkers skin in a big way. Not long after, she started painting the walls - while we were running full clinic. I'm afraid to ask her why she felt the need to start painting IMMEDIATELY. If you ask me, we could have painted during the weekend. Not today. Not now.

    I'm no expert, but I don't think painting fumes are good for your health. And not at a medical clinic. I can''t write any longer. I will use my last oxygen to change into biking gear.

    Biking In The Rain (Seattle)

    "Your bike was extremely dirty. I didn't even realize the rims were white until after we wiped it down." That's what the guy at REI said when I brought my bike in post PROS - which was weird since I had washed it well. Or so I thought. I had, according to my interweb search, washed it with diluted dish washing soap - apparently a HUGE no, no as I'm supposed to use something called Simple Green. I don't know if my memory is fading or what, but I really don't recall biking being so fussy when I last biked. Clean this. Grease that. Fenders here and there. Waterproof socks or shoes or whatever.

    One would think that biking in the rain is more or less self-explanatory but alas no. What did people do before Goretex was invented? Get wet? Were people more waterproof before? But ya know, once I get a thought in my head, I can't let it go very easily so I started searching for tips online. Biking in the rain for dummies type tips. Really. One would think that the below is self-evident, but surprisingly some things are so obvious that they somehow aren't. Here is a collection of nuggets I picked up along the interhighway:

    1. Stay dry
      • Bike under large trees or find a pedestrian with an umbrella. Then bend down, pretend like you're adjusting your socks or tying your shoes and ride slowly under their umbrella. 
    Dorky for one, please?

    1. If not dry, at least stay warm
      • Space heaters are great!
    2. See and be seen
      • Highly recommended: Plenty of bright lights AND reflectors to the front, rear, and sides of yourself. Much like a christmas tree.
    3. Be aware of slippery roads
      • Watch out for banana peels.
    4. A clean bike is a safe bike
      • After your ride, take the bike with you in the shower.
    5. Stay safe
      • Bike brakes are much less effective when wet, great excuse in court when you explain why you hit the pedestrian or fellow biker.
      • Beware of bike-eating puddles!
    Why are you holding an umbrella?

    1. Pack a bus pass or bus money/beg for money
    Ps! I'm seriously hating on REI at the moment. It might be a great store to get a good bargain at, but if you're after customer service and knowledge, don't bother. I find them to be extremely pompous and judgy.

    Pps! Where do you hide your boner in spandex?

    The Slugfest Is Over

    Not sure why I would melt my own bike...
    I have a confession to make. I'm not Super Bike Chick. Monday's ride in to work was a true slugfest. My thigh muscles ached and my bike didn't seem to move very fast at all. The hills that normally don't seem very hilly, went on forever and ever and I was breathing like a hippopotamus. Not sure how/if they breathe very hard.

    So maybe I've pushed myself too hard lately. Tour de Blast was probably not the right call given the circumstances. And then the speed race on Sunday to make it to my volunteering gig. Not the smartest decisions I've made. Well, hindsight and all that.

    With Monday fresh in my memory, I have to admit I dreaded biking in on Tuesday - for the first time since I started biking this time around. But lo and behold, my thighs didn't feel as if they were about to fall off and I enjoyed most parts of the ride - both to and from work. The hill on 164 was good and I wasn't hating it like I did on Monday.

    Yesterday I took the day off from biking. I was going to a pharmaceutical dinner after work and didn't feel like biking home in the dark. I bought new biking gloves while I was waiting for the dinner to start at Gregg's Cycle in Bellevue. At first the store seemed like it was going to be yet another disappointment, where the staff only help you if you are buying a $5,000 bike, and the "do you need help?" are uttered more out of store policy rather than a genuine offer, but the second person I talked to at Gregg's turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I think his name was Steve, but I could be wrong. I will make an effort to find out because he was really helpful and didn't push me to buy anything, just gave me great advise and input.

    A wet dream...

    Today's ride in was GREAT! A little wet, but perfect in all other aspects. And the cars, all apart from one, gave plenty of space making me feel safe and not fearing for my life.

    I think the time has come to buy front fenders for my bike. I have rear fenders but it doesn't help my wet socks much. Only two more bike rides to go before bike season is officially over. That doesn't mean MY bike season is over - especially not with my new and fancy gloves. I might do my first review of them later. Not promising anything.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015

    Heroes on Two Wheels

    I'm not easily impressed - except when it comes to shoes, purses and shiny things. I am, after all, a girl. I've now finished reading about Sam's bicycling adventure from Seattle to Colorado and I am impressed Not just because of the ride in itself, but because the recap is funny and well written. Reading that blog made me want to do an item on my Bikeit list even more.

    On my Bikeit list is riding across America. Now, only time will tell whether it's a pipe dream or not. I hope it will happen but as much as I like biking alone and all that, riding with someone probably is a must. Darn matching chromosomes. The chromosome issue is just one obstacle. Riding across America takes time, and from what I can gather, a ride of this proportion takes around three months. Unfortunately, I'm not in the 1%, nor the top 10, so taking this much time off from work isn't a possibility. Even if I could, being away from my family and young 'uns for three months is a stretch. But... challenges are meant to be overcome, right? And where there's a will, there's a way? We'll see.

    Oh, and I have to cough up around $8,000 to do so. If I decide to do this ride, these are the guys that will most likely make it happen: Adventure Cycling Association. Cause I'm a girl.

    This is a good site for tips written by Ryan Sclar who did this ride in 2011. Now I've really started fantasizing. Here's packing list porn.

    The more I think about it though, the more I'm thinking I should be able to do this ride by myself. Despite the issue of the matching chromosomes.

    Monday, September 14, 2015

    Bikes and Rain El Norte

    I volunteered for Cascade this Sunday and Seattle proved to be true to form. While Saturday was beautiful and sunny, Sunday not so much so. I arrived a little late due to a combo of reading the start time wrong and being lame for doing so. First time volunteering and being late. Awesome.

    When I told my coworker last week that I was volunteering for Cascade, she responded by staring at me. Eventually she asked me why. I told her it felt great giving back. She kept staring at me so I finally admitted that by putting in 24 hours of volunteering, I would get a free race next year. "There's the Bike Chick I know", she responded. What can I say, I might not be as convincingly altruistic as I think I am.

    I figured I'd bike to the brewery I was to (wo)man the bike racks at. The weather forecast said 20% chance of rain. Just to be safer rather than sorry, I put on my goretex waterproof shoes and my wool socks so my feet wouldn't spend a day cold and wet. What I hadn't factored in was that without a front fender and being gaiter less, I was giving water plenty of opportunities to get into my shoes and zero chance of getting out.

    Great invention - if only I had these

    20% of rain, my ass. It was already misty as I rolled out from home. By the time I reached Lake Sammamish, it was pouring down buckets. My poor feet were soaking wet within minutes. I guess I can put "not a great planner" on my list of qualities. Well, I had no time to spend worrying about wet feet as I was already late. I biked as fast as I could, averaging 18 miles/hr. One hour into my 22 mile ride to my destination, I was already late so I pulled over and called my contact. She told me not to worry. I arrived 15 minutes late.

    A couple of people were already putting together the bike racks, so I joined them. I got my volunteer shirt, which was extremely orange. If I ever want to volunteer as a traffic cone, I've got the shirt for it now.

    Since the weather was pretty shitty by now, I didn't think turnout would be high. I was wrong. Not sure if it's people's craving for beer, or collective suffering, but showed up they did - in droves. I attempted to be the missing sunshine by thanking people for showing up and smiling. Both things I try to leave at work. Smiling makes my face hurt.

    The people at Cascade offered up their van for us to sit in. And so we did. I spent most of my time doing my best hobo imitation and less like a child molester in the back of that van.

    By 1:30, I was done volunteering. Hubby showed up and had a beer, then we headed back together in his car. I didn't feel like biking in my personal matching foot baths. Ah, Seattle, gotta love the rain.

    Tour de Blast - Lots of Tour, Less Blast

    Tour de Blast was a bit of a let down. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't horrible but a blast it wasn't.

    The drive down to Toutle was long, or rather it seemed long after a week with almost no sleep due to a root canal accompanied by a bad infection. I almost didn't go but sometimes I'm just too stubborn for my own good. I didn't carb load the day before and I think I suffered for it.

    At 7 am we started biking from Toutle Lake High School. I picked up my bib and off I went. The ride up to the first climb was hard. At first I thought it was the lack of sleep and the infection paired with the two different kinds of antibiotics that were kicking my ass, but I eventually figured out that the road wasn't flat. I was climbing all the way to Hoffstadt Bluffs, not much, but enough so that my legs didn't get the necessary warm-up like they did at HPC.

    My ride with GPS died less than half way through, so this is only part of the ride.

    Since my GPS app didn't quite work, here are the stats:

    Mile 0: 500 ft. (Toutle – Starting Line)
    Mile 11: 1,000 feet (Sediment Dam)
    Mile 16: 1,400 feet (Hoffstadt Bluffs – Pit Stop)
    Mile 24: 3,000 feet
    Mile 27: 3,800 feet (Elk Rock – Pit Stop)
    Mile 34: 3,159 feet (Coldwater Ridge – Closed)
    Mile 41: 4,314 feet (Johnston Ridge – Pit Stop)

    The elevation gain from the start line at Toutle to Elk Rock (27 miles into the ride, elevation 3,800 feet) is approximately 3,300 feet. From there, the highway descends 1,270 feet over five miles to Coldwater Lake (elevation 2,530 feet). Then riders will begin a nine-mile climb of approximately 1,780 feet to the Johnston Ridge viewpoint and turnaround. A rider going all the way to Johnston Ridge and back to Toutle will climb a total of 6,240 vertical feet over 82 miles (132K) including the climb back up the eastern side of Elk Rock.
    Borrowed from here.

    The weather was great but probably about 10 degrees too high. But the views... Man, were they gorgeous!

    Apart from the route itself, another reason why I preferred HPC to TdB was the riders. The people riding TdB weren't the most considerate. Well, not all, but a lot of them. I suppose this ride attracts more casual cyclists, the less experienced ones that give you zero space when they pass you, no heads up, or they simply pass you on the right - for then to hit a wall and for you to pass them later on because they started out way too fast.

    I had to dig deep to do the climbs. Not because they were that steep but because I was running on fumes. My leg muscles ached and my breathing was ragged. I just couldn't seem to find my rhythm. But to the top(s) I made it, all thanks to my hard headedness. I had these arguments in my head with one voice whispering "you know, you can always turn back now", and another voice shouting "no fucking way are you giving up now. You are not a quitter!". Guess which voice won...

    And man, was I looking forward to the pasta feed at the end of the ride. Hmmm.. Not sure what to call the below.

    The flaccid phallus looking thing on the tray is the bread stick. Hahaha. Best part of the meal was the chocolate milk.
    In order not to be hating too much on this ride, I'll give praise to what needs praising. The support of the ride was outstanding. Longview Rotary Club did a great job with smiles and helpfulness. The food at Elk Rock and Johnston Ridge was tasty - they even had hot dogs! 

    I just cannot get over the views. I so wish it had been more like this at HPC.
    Ultimately, I don't feel I can judge this ride entirely fairly. I wasn't feeling right to begin with and had I not been worn out, I believe it would have been a different story. However, I won't be back for this ride again. Too far away and not worth it in my book when there are so many other rides to experience. Ok, so I am a sucker for shiny things and missed the trinkets from HPC. I still find myself admiring my medal like a freaking five year old.

    My precious...

    Next up;

    Cycle the WAVE


    Kitsap Color Classic

    Wednesday, September 9, 2015

    PROS with COGS

    Labor day was bike riding day. The ride was Perimeter Ride of Seattle with Cyclists of Greater Seattle (or at least that's what I think the acronym means).

    The ride started out at Discovery Park with registration at 8 am. I decided to ride my bike there because I figured it would be a nice warm-up for the ride.

    The way the ride works is we ride in groups we think we belong in. I rode with the intermediate 80 mile loop group, which meant we were riding in a 14 to 16 mile pace. News of that made me slightly nervous since 16 seemed a bit fast for my liking.

    At 8:30 off we went and the pace seemed fine. There was quite a bit of climbing - my favorite and the climbs separated our group of about 50 (?). I quite liked my group with the exception of this sub group that represented everything I hate about bicyclists when I drive my car. They rode as if they owned the road and kept passing other bicyclists on the right. I almost rode into a passing car because of this. Those wild west antics got old real fast.

    About 1/3 of the way through the ride I lost the front end of my group - as well as the back end. We had just climbed a bit, so the group was stretched out. I kind of knew the way we were going, so I kept biking, hoping I would find the front end again. I had one other bicyclist behind me who was following me - talk about the blind leading the blind. I managed to find someone who was wearing a ride leader jersey and sped up to catch up with him - but man, was he going fast. Somehow I caught up and latched on all the way to the next snack stop, which turned out to be 15 miles away.

    When we finally stopped, I was thinking to myself ; "wow, that was fast!" Eugene, who was the other rider from my group, had latched onto me, and he shared the same sentiment. He told me we had been riding 20+ miles per hour - because the ride leader was the sweep from the fast group. Hahaha. No wonder he was gunning it. And little ol' me managed to hold on. I impressed myself ever so slightly.

    I'm back on my old bike today, Bluebell, because my new bike started making strange noises right as I approached Discovery Park. The mechanics at the ride had a feeling it was the wheel bearings, and I have absolutely no idea, so off to REI it went after the ride (which explains the end of my ride). I will however get it back by Thursday, so I will be riding it for Tour de Blast.

    Here's the ride with GPS (I forgot to pause it):

    I liked the ride but I probably won't do it again because I don't like group riding. This ride clinched that notion for me.

    Here's a picture from the ride. Our ride leader got a flat during our delicious sandwich stop at Leschi Park. The tire just went "pffffft" as it was laying on the ground. I suppose if you're going to get a flat, the best time to do so is when not riding the bike.

    Our ride leader changing tube
    Thank you, COGS, for a great ride. I might do other rides with you, just not this one.

    Next up: Tour de Blast!

    Friday, September 4, 2015

    No Longer Homocidal

    I biked in this morning and what a difference that makes. I don't feel generally annoyed anymore, just alert and calm, which seems contradicting. Below is my route.

    If you follow the link to my profile, you won't find much as I didn't start using Ride With GPS until later in the game. I wasn't sure how much battery it would use on my phone - not much I've found. I wish I would have documented a few more trips, but spilt milk under the bridge and all that.

    Funny though. I thought I would feel stronger after that man or mouse challenge of Monday, but my legs feel the same. I take that back. My butt does feel stronger, it's like it's perfectly molded to my seat. Which it probably is after nine hours in the saddle.

    Today I felt the first chills of fall. It was foggy, damp, and cold. The kind of cold that creeps into your bones. I really don't like downhills, which might make me an oddity. I love the long climbs that go on for miles. No wonder I loved the climbs of HPC so much, and it also explains why I'm going back on the 12th.

    On my way to work I pass by a road construction area. They've been working on this tiny intersection for over four months, which seems a bit long for something that doesn't seem very complicated to do. I believe they are replacing the asphalt and putting in sidewalks. Oh well, what do I know. I'm not a road worker.

    It's Friday. The start of a three day weekend. Can't wait until Monday and PROS.

    My route back home and the hill that made me able to do the HPC. Thank goodness for the hills of Seattle.

    On second thought, I realize that the title of this post might imply that I've been homocidal. This is not true. I think.

    Thursday, September 3, 2015

    The Joys of Primary Care

    I need to ride my bike in tomorrow. Really. I do.

    After HPC, I decided to give my body a couple of days to recuperate. But with school starting for my offspring, the two days have now turned in to three. So tomorrow I'm back on my bike. That is, if I have enough break pads left. Tonight I'm cleaning my baby - Pinkerbell.

    Work today has been all about poop. It started with a DRE (digital rectal exam) that went bad and ended with being trapped in a room with a BM obsessed patient.

    So ya, tomorrow I'm riding my bike.