Friday, March 30, 2007

Waiting Through the Big V

The long-awaited update on my personal reproductive heath status: I got the big V today. One perfect child is enough. Now I wait to ride. The doctor says one month. I think he's suppossed to say that. My plan: play it by the book and be super hard core with the ice pack for 3 days. Minimize the movement and maximize the frozen pea contact. From there, we'll see where we're at. In the meantime, I can think and plan about the riding I want to do this summer.

The Basics
To start, I'm going to kick up the gear on the fixed gear. Since I busted my 40t chainring, I'm going to inch up to a 42. At the moment, the smallest 110 bcd chainring I have is a 46t biopace. I've had that on there the last couple days and that's good for a vigorous heart-attack-inducing workout. I may keep it on for a while though. Keeping such a high gear on the fixed will pretty much keep me off the single track for a while, but it may be just the ticket for getting my fitness level up a bit to the next level. I'm not really a whacko about "fitness levels" but I do feel like I've been in a rut the last month or so, unable to really enjoy the longer non-fixed rides as much. It's weird because the harder I ride the fixed, the more fun and chilled out the non-fixed rides are.

The S24O and Family Camping

I think I'll start doing at least a once-a- monthly S24O in March. S24O == sub-24-hour overnighter. Grant Petersen over at Rivendell has honed a basic overnighter idea into a very compelling story with a cool name: the S24O. I did a few last year and I want to do more this year. It's still freezing at night. I think 40F will be my threshold for low temps. So we'll be good to go in a couple weeks. Last year I did Bald Knob on Mt Spokane, Williams Lake, Hunters, and a couple at Riverside State Park. There was one S36O up at Pioneer Park too. This year, I'll do Bald Knob again; I want to explore some areas on the Spokane river between the confluence and the Tum Tum area. I also want to check out a potential spot in the Badger Lake area. I'd also like to find someone who knows the Selkirk range area and get up there.

As for family camping, we'll be picking up Maddie's tandem next week, so we'll have a good bike that we can load up with equipment and do a run to Riverside State Park. I'm hoping to get some other families going this year too. So, if you have a young one or young ones and want to give a family overnighter a shot, get in touch. The ride to RSP is about 10 miles from the South Hill and this year the park will hopefully have Hiker/Biker sites available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Longer Tours
Last year I was only able to get in one longer tour. I went with a couple buddies up to Vancouver Island and had a nice ride around the southern part of the island for about 4 days. This year, we're planning on tooling around the rural highways and logging roads of Mount St. Helens for 5 days.
The picture there is our planned route. This will be a fun ride. Lots of dirt roads, lots of swimming, lots of great views and remote camping.
Liza and I are also going to try and squeeze in a 3 or 4 day ride up to BC. The idea will be to drop Maddie off at the Grandparents' Speare house up there on the Kettle River and ride up to Castlegar, then come back through the US around Northport and do some dirt roads back to the Grandparents house. This will be a "credit-card" type touring trip, where we'll stay in hotels and B&B's instead of self-contained, where we camp and stink more.

We'll also try and get a weekend or two up in Bayview where we have access to a float house. We did this last year. Although Bayview isn't our favorite place in the world to hang out, we've found a pleasant route up through Athol that puts us in Bayview for the first night. The next morning we ride down to Coeur d' Alene and spend the day tooling around the city, have a nice dinner, then ride back to Spokane the next day on the Centennial Trail. It's a nice two and half day jaunt.

Finally, there's a chance I may take a few days in September with another buddy who wants to try some loaded touring. I'd love to hit Hiway 20 that time of year, but I think we'd need longer than I'll be able to take from work at that point. I think a loop up to upper Priest Lake and over to Metaline and back would be a fun ride, especially if we could find some cool logging roads on the way back.

It'll be a fun summer.

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