Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring break

Here are pics. Perhaps I'll fill it out later with some description.  But perhaps not.
The place: Orcas Island.
The people: Rory, Alex, Jon.
Jon leading.
Trails were in great shape. I was expecting more mud. But as everyone told me, Orcas is in a rain shadow. There were a few moments where the scenery and flora resembled some of the Nat'l Forests around here.
Kona waiting.
This was the end of the descent on day one, which was mostly non-technical single track. Fun stuff. 
Jon pondering.
I took this from the lookout tower at the top of Mt. Constitution.
Yes, we rode to the top. Part road and part trails.
Rory photo'ing.
I didn't do a very good job of capturing the severity of this section. The "severe" part would be hitting this turn too hot. It's a cliff.
Alex climbing.
On day two we rode fire roads up to Mt. Pickett.
There were a couple mighty steep sections of this road that were satisfying to climb... in that slow and painful way.
Rory gazing.
This is the road up to Mt. Constitution. If you tell any bikey person that you are going to Orcas Island, they'll tell you that you MUST go to the top of Mt. Constitution. Done.
Kona posing.
The signage in Moran St Park was great.
Mountain biking is only allowed on the fun trails from Sept 15 to May 15, and the signage was super clear about which trails were open to which kinds of vehicles.
Jon climbing.
You can see a bit of ocean there. Taking the ferry from Anacortes is about $40 a car +  $12 a head. So we left Liza's truck in Anacortes and packed into Rory's bitchin Westy. That was a good plan. 
Rory approaching.
While the single track we rode at Moran St Park was non-technical, there is a section we didn't ride that is a bit technical. Generally: there's not a ton of trail here and from Spokane, this is a huge trek. But I say it's worth doing. And the next time we do it, we'll stay an extra day. I'd advocate for a daily routine that looks something like this: doing the Mt Pickett loop (~1.5 hrs)  in the morning; back to camp for giant breakfast; chill; fishing; hanging; light lunch; Mt. Constitution loop (~3.5 hours); dinner; beer; bed -- repeat that three days.
Rory and Alex sitting.
Bikes congregating.
Bike stats:
  • 75%  had internally geared hubs (of which 66% were Rohloff)
  • 75% were shod with 26" (559) wheels
  • 25% were made of titanium
  • 100% were hard tails with suspension forks (50% Rockshox, 25% Fox, 25% Marchozzi)
Alex slowing.
This was the end of the Pickett descent. Even though it was only about 5-7 minutes, it was my favorite section of the trails. Lots of long roll-outs down smooth swoppy trails. It was so much fun that I was all aflutter for about 20 minutes after the descent.
Alex and Jon wishing.
After we got back to Seattle, Alex took Jon and me out on his boat, where we  wished for wind. Alex was able to eek out a couple knots from the slightest puffs of wind.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

River check

It's still there.
Spring run-off has not started.
Many slash-piles were a'burnin' in the 'hood.
Need to burn some of my own slash.
We've got a few downed trees and some other winter bullying to clean up.
Otherwise, I predict a fine fishing, biking, beering, hanging season at the river this year.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

S. Trainor Ave

I'm finding some satisfaction by commuting via the new route. Henceforth, I shall refer to the first leg of this route, from Cheney to Four Lakes via Murphy Road, as The Caudel Cutoff.

Closer to home,Trainor Ave, as clearly evidenced by the pictures, is a fine, fine road. It's only about 1/2 mile and that's a crying shame, but you take what you get.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Midnight Century finisher posters are ready

Please contact me. John at phred dot org.

They're really cool. You gotta come by and pick them up.

I would mail them, but that would require folding or tube purchase, neither of which are something I want to do (unless you are Pat Rick). If you can pick yours up, perhaps there's someone else on the list below whose you can also pick up? Hmm?

Each poster is numbered according to finishing time out of 39 finishers:

1 Tom McFadden 5:15
1 Tom Ryse 5:15
3 Bill Bronson 5:48
3 Jake McBurns 5:48
5 Tom Hungerford 6:16
5 Eric Ross 6:16
7 Dale Cook 6:34
8 Eric Erikson 6:47
9 Joseph Yacker 6:51
10 Sarah S 7:10
10 Andy L 7:10
12 Dan DeRuyter 7:14
12 Will Stone 7:14
14 Daniel Addington 7:15
14 Cody Gamble 7:15
16 John Speare 7:25
17 Rick Cadwallader 7:30
18 Jess Troyer 7:34
19 Justin Becker 8:00
20 Greg Schauble 8:10
20 Jeff Donovan 8:10
22 Sean McLaughlin 8:15
22 Rheanne Garrett 8:15
22 Jeremy Tanner 8:15
22 Dan Garrett 8:15
22 Blake Longacre 8:15
27 Craig Hill 8:20
27 Chris Stein 8:20
29 Hank Greer 8:24
29 John Greer 8:24
31 Cassandra Goode 8:25
31 David Goode 8:25
33 Simon Hartt 8:30
33 PatRick Sullivan 8:30
35 Doukhobor 8:40
36 Brian Kelley 9:10
37 Bryan Rennick 10:03
38 Ben Bray 11:14
39 Peter Michalowic 11:49

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Midnight Century finisher posters

...are nearly finished.

Art by Bill. Design and pressing by Coffee Joe.

If you finished the ride and you are on the 2012 list, you get one.

Contact me.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

FLT between Cheney and FL trail head, on Tuesday

I want that thermos.  It's a 15-hour'er.
I don't want to pay $33 for it.
I want to find it used at a thrift store for $5 or so. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Trail, road, and path report

I gotta raise that saddle.

Bill and I rode a few dirt roads of the Palouse on Sunday and found the roads to be in that mythical, once-a-year state of firm perfectness. There's just enough moisture in the road to feel confident when leaning into turns, but not enough wet cause your wheels to sink or slide. Plus, the snow/ice melt has smoothed out the washboards.

Nice stuff. So nice, that I didn't take the time to grab a photo for proof. If it doesn't snow or rain this week, we should see similar conditions next week.

Thorpe Road: that's smooth and lovely riding there.
As for HD trails: they're fine on top. I didn't go into south maze, but judging by the looks of the cyclists I saw coming out of there, who were clean and tidy, I'm thinking the trails are all mostly good. Certainly, there's no harm of big damage. Party on. For now.

The Fish Lake Trail from Fish Lake trail head, through the rubble, to Scribner and to Thorpe is all ridable. There are a handful of typical sections where you need to pick your way through some residual ice and snow, but it's just a patchy 1/2 mile section or so.

FLT at Thrope.
Here's a pic from the same spot a month ago. And here's one from 1.5 months ago. And here's one, taken across the road from this spot about 5 years ago when the trail was more to my liking.
I ran into Cyclocross-SS-Elephant-riding Jeff on the HD trails and he mentioned that Riverside State Park was pretty much clear outside of the shadow cast by the giant rock cliff/wall. All the trails by the river are in good shape. So there's that.

All-in-all, it's feeling like early spring. That's no guarantee against more snow of course.