Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FLT alternative

For days that I can't go the long way home from EWU, I can still get a bit more trail and dirt by taking the trail that parallels chunks of the FLT north of Marshall.
You can see the FLT below.

Monday, September 24, 2012

First INW CX race happened

And I didn't race.

Here's why:
- My back hurt.
- I'm slow.
- My head had too much stuff in it.
- I was cooking omelets.
- I didn't get my bike squared away.

It wasn't a priority.

Anyway. As Hank raced, I borrowed his camera and took a few photos. Here's 3.

Taylor is quick to smile. Even when suffering. He's the most Buddha guy I know. Second place would be Glen. Who happens to be looking on here.

Mark. With half a new Elephant bike.

Mark again. I like the dust in this pic.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Did stuff

I wish that I had a tag/label for "bill's ass" on this blog. His ass is definitely over -represented here. Some day when I'm bored, late at night and I want to feel productive by doing something mindless and really not productive, I'll go through and find all the pics of Bill's booty, and label those posts. Won't that be great.

I pump-tracked at Pat's this week. That was the first official session for me this year. Which is sad, because that track is holding up and it's still fun.

Bill's bum in these pictures was located on Chatcolet Road, which is a nice dirt alternative to the busy paved roads between Rockford and Worely.

Worely, being in Idaho, has cheap booze. For example: Red State bourbon for $13. For $13, it's not awful. A good option after you bring out the nice stuff and just want to sip into the night. Ice is recommended.

Bill's and my ride to lake CDA via Worely was about 50 miles. After a lot of not riding much over the last month or so, it didn't feel awful, but it wasn't effortless and rad.

Transition is still taking up most of my brain-power, so once a week blogging may be the new norm. We'll see. In any case, expect the review-to-post ratio to increase, as I figure out how to maintain my bourgeois lifestyle on my meager graduate-student TA wage. For those following closely, I decided not to do the vending thing with the software world. I'm a student and a teacher. Only -- I'm going all in here. And I'm jazzed about it.

Here's something that caught me by surprise: Inland NW CX series starts next weekend! And not only that, but it's the Expo event at 7-mile airstrip. Elephant Bikes will be representing: Glen's bringing a bunch of bikes and I'm going to do the omelets again. We need to find some beer too. Anyway. Yep: that's next Sunday the 23rd. More at www.emdesports.com.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bikey love fest

The Twilight Crit was a crazy success by my reckoning. It was really fun to watch the racers blast through downtown.

I really hope this is a tradion that can be maintained and grow with SpokeFest.

Check out Councilman Snyder.

Click for big. Yes that's a pink Elephant.

Those who don't know Jon or who may be cynical about the motivations of all politicians might assume Jon would only race in a crit as for the purposes of seeking publicity. They would be wrong.

To be clear: Jon is one of those guys that jumps into bike races because he truly thinks it's fun. He can't believe that I'm not out there and more people aren't out there. He's raced cross and he's done the Wednesday Night Mountain Bike Race a few times. He's for real. He goes out and kills himself and smiles the whole time. I totally admire Jon for that. Hank too -- same attitude and same smile. Those guys rule.

Another guy I admire is Scott Proost -- who won the Cat 4 race last night. He's just a focused tough bastard and I'm looking forward to watching him at cross this year when he starts in Cat 3. And buddy Scott McSpadden. Scott raced the Cat 4, came in 2nd, puked ("unloaded," as Mr. Main put it), then raced in the Masters category. Solid work. Well, liquid too.

Anyway it was frigging awesome to hang out with buddies and run into every bikey nerd I know in town.

Which brings me to a couple notifications that I need to put up here.

Kids Bike Races
Michael and Marla Emde put on a bunch of bikey events all year long. My favorite is cross -- they do that and it's a bunch of work.

They're partnering with a bunch of organizations to put on some free kids bike races this month:
-- Sunday Sept 16th at Shadle Park
-- Sunday Sept 30 at Mirabeau Park Meadows

More here.

Mount Spokane Trail Plan
There's a dedicated group of mountain bike folks doing a ton of work -- and doing it well by partnering with a bunch of other strategically connected groups -- to formalize a huge network of trails on Mount Spokane.

They need input. There's two reasons they really need it. The first is obvious: they want to make sure what they're proposing is useful to other mountain bikers. But the second, and perhaps more important reason is to illustrate to various standers-in-the-way, partners, money-holders, allies, and foes -- that there is a significant and broad base of interested trail users that want to see the network come to life.

Go here. Spend a few moments reviewing the plan, and then click the "one-page survey" link to tell them what you think. This is one of those low-hanging things you can do to make a difference. So do it!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thoughts on the FLT

The Fish Lake Trail is normally a route I avoid. With the exception of the dirt bit between Scribner and Fish Lake, it's basically a flat and boring ride. Before it was paved -- the part from Sunset Highway to about Marshall Cemetery was all dirt. And it was interesting dirt: some rocky parts, some single-track, some deep water sections during spring that turned to mud. Good stuff all around.

In fact, a couple years ago, I was sort of grumpy about it getting paved. That changed as soon as I saw how many kids and families and people started using it. And they jumped on it immediately. Hard to be grumpy about that.
The FLT in 2007. Before it was paved. This is right at the intersection of FLT and Marshall Road. It was always that quiet, even in the middle of the summer.

So I'm not really annoyed by the pavement any more. The crowds and the pavement also forced me to explore all the little feeder trails and dirt paths and old roadways that connect into the FLT, which, of course, it's a good thing.

Anyway. I've spent the week out at EWU, riding the bus to Cheney in the morning and riding home in the afternoon. Two of the days I rode the single speed chiller Shogun and two of the days I took the cross bike.

On three of the four days I ended up taking the trail. My mind is in the process of getting overwhelmed with school stuff. And school hasn't even started yet. Jumping on the trail, zoning out, and processing the brain-cram is a fantastic way to wind down. It's still a boring ride, but I've got my thoughts to keep me occupied.

As it turns out, I think I'll be taking the FLT frequently over the next couple years.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Even more messed up

That shanked section of the HD trail I noted a while back is way worse. Super worse.

I want to fix it, but I think doing so will take a couple things I don't have: knowledge and muscle.

I ran into a member of the "Friends of High Drive Trails" the other night and he suggested sending email to their listserv. I'll do it.
There's plumbing and concrete slabs and stuff popping out of the side of that hill.

I don't like walking this section of trail. It must be corrected. Verily.

In other news, it looks like I'll be able to do the commute home-bound from Cheney on M-W-F afternoons, at least until the snow flies.

I rode the FLT home yesterday. That's not ideal, when there are so many great dirt roads between that burg and home. Bringing the CX bike today.

In final news, there's a pedal powered bar car thing here in Spokane. Looks interesting. I'm no weight-weenie, but seems like some pretty low-hanging weight reduction could be had pretty easily around the wheel and solid wood bits... Everyone's a critic though.