Sunday, July 28, 2013

Some Kettle Crest

Matt came up for a day ride. We tooled around on a new-to-me trail just north of Boulder pass. And we did a tiny section of the Kettle Crest at Boulder.

We figured out a great loop that allows you to do a short loop by climbing an old fire road and riding down the KC trail. It was about 4 miles up and 3 back. 

Top of our loop. The way back was all KC single track. Good stuff.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

this is a song with no words, no words ladies and gentlemen. faster faster faster.

Evening ride with friends. Steph, Barney, Liza. Mike, Beth, gNate. 

Steph is leaving in a few weeks. 

Spokane River.
I took a dip here this morning. Not a bad spot. River is perfect temp right now. Swimming in the Spokane River kind of freaks me out -- from a contaminate POV -- so my by "dip," I mean:  Dive in, full submersion, crawl out.

I'm heading up to the other river tomorrow for a few days. Black lines are the rides I want to take. If you feel like a mountain/exploration ride on Tuesday, show up by 7 AM or Monday night.  I really need a buddy/comrade/partner for some of these deeper forest rides. Contact me if you are interested.
Some stuff:
  • Mountain bike has been reworked with the original stem. That short one was too short. It was great for standing climbs, but too twitchy and weird otherwise. I had a front-wheel washout on my ride this morning that I'm blaming on the stem. Yep. I am.
  • Midnight Century "training" is pretty lame. Maybe lamest ever? I'm about 96% certain that I'll be on the Elephant. I'm compelled to remove fenders and lasher rack. I probably will when I get back from the river.
  • I still can't believe how great the Northwest Topos map set is. Man it's great. I've had good map karma lately. I found a lost stash of Colville Nat'l Forest and Ferry County maps this morning. I'm set.
I had a birthday this week. 42. Good number. Maddie gave me this righteous card:
Click for big. There's a lot of detail there to like. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Midnight Century is August 3rd

Every year, during the first week or so of July, I'm surprised by the fact that the Midnight Century is only a month away. I'm like a goldfish that way.

(Btw: The route has been tweaked to end at Central Foods. That's where the clipboard will be to sign in for your time and where we'll have food, coffee, and beer. More info here

FBC Jeff and Coffee Joe are working on a finisher's poster. With some luck it will be done in time. I still have a bunch from last year if you've not gotten yours.)

Even though I'm not working, I'm not riding huge miles. I'm doing a bunch of other stuff and my riding is pretty much utilitarian or some mountain biking. I'll start piling on some miles this week and a few more the following weeks, but I'm not setting out beat my best time this year on the MC.

Last year I was similarly prepared (which is to say, not really prepared at all), and I had a pretty shitty ride because I was running hard trying to maintain a good time. I rode it all solo. The year previous, I also rode a lot of the ride solo.

This year, I plan to fall in with some friends and ride it out as we did in the earlier years. It was a spirited pace, but it was great to roll over the hills with friends to chat with. In 2009, I rode with Willy and we connected with Sully, Ron, and Michael. I don't think I knew any of those guys before riding with them that night, and I don't hang with any of them.  But ever since that ride, when I see any of them, it's a cool connection. Same with Jake and Jonathon, who I see more often. But finishing with them in 2008 was right up there in the top-20 best days of my life.

It's silly to try and recreate the past, but a guy can identify the essential element that makes for such great experiences. So this year I'm going to glom on to a person or group. I'm guessing this will happen around Liberty Lake.

I still need to get some miles in and figure out which bike I'm going to ride (Options 1-3 pictured), but I know for sure I'm going to find a person or group to hang with for the majority of the ride.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Best free maps for your Garmin with super trail support... wait for it...

Why yes, that is the Jungle Hill Trail. And the Wapaloosie Trail.
Perhaps everyone already knew this, but for those of you, like me, that are not enlightened, check out Northwest Topos from

I've been trying to find a mapset for the Garmin that includes trails and is free. There's a lot of free map stuff on the internet, but none that I've found have good trail support AND are downloadable. This Northwest Topos has both free and trail features. The trails are amazing. Even the HD trails are on there. And more importantly, the feeder trails to the Kettle Crest are also on there.

F yeah. Oh yes. Verily.

Even though this reads like an infomercial, I got no horse in this race . In fact, I plan on paypal'ing a small donation to the Topos people as soon as I finish typing this.