Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Orcas Island Campground Search

Last Wednesday afternoon Mike P and I drove to Anacortes and took a ferry over to Orcas Island to meet up with the Young Men that were on their high adventure. We arrived right on time to catch the ferry but when we got there we heard an announcement that the ferry that we were going to catch was going to be an hour late. This was actually a good thing because it gave us enough time to get our tickets and pay a trip to a real bathroom before we headed off to the land of camping.

Once the ferry arrived we rode on and tied our bikes up in their allotted places. This allowed us to wander upstairs and sit with the rest of the passengers. It was a nice ride over to the island.

Once the ferry docked at Orcas we pedaled off and headed out to the campground on the other side of the island. The ride starts with a short uphill section followed by a pretty decent descent. It was nice to fly down the hill as all of the traffic sped by us. For some reason they let the bikes off first and then let the hoards of cars after. This meant that all of the cars that were on the ferry passed us while we were riding. It probably would have been better to let the bikes off after all of the cars but it worked out anyway.

The next hill of the ride was a killer. It wasn’t that bad of a hill but for some reason once I got into the meat of it I was really sucking wind. At this point I thought I was really in trouble but by the top of the hill I was starting to recover.

During the ride we looked over into someones yard and saw three deer. Two of them were bucks. Mike P told me that they were 2 pointers. I’m not sure how that works but I’m sure that he does.

As the ferry was an hour late we were riding later than we had expected. During the end of the ride it started to get dark. This came on really sudden and before we knew it we were riding in the dark.

We found the campground but couldn’t find the specific site. After riding around in the dark we had to knock on someone’s door to ask where the biker/hiker sites were. They pointed us in the right direction but after a second or two we were lost again. It’s easy to get lost in the dark on a bike.

Lucky for us the Bro W had come out looking for us in his car and led us to the campground. Mission accomplished.

14 miles
~1500 feet of elevation gain

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Another Trainer Ride

Since Jenny and the two older kids were at the Stake dance I rode on my trainer tonight for an hour. It was a pretty uneventful ride. While I rode I watched “Wild Hogs”. Can’t say it was my favorite movie of all time but it was a distraction. My goal these days is to ride at least 3 times a week with a stretch goal of riding 4 times. This week I rode 4 TIMES. I’m feeling pretty good about that.

Next week I’m going to be riding with the Priest and Teachers on part of their high adventure. On Thursday we are going to attempt to ride to the top of Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island.

Here's a description of the mt.


I understand it’s one nasty steep hill with ~2400 feet of climbing in 5 miles. We’ll see how that goes.

Miles: 15
Avg HR: 155
Max HR: 172
Max Speed: 17

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pushing It

Last night my riding buddy (you know Jenny) and I went for a quick 20 mile ride while the kids were at mutual. It sure is great to have older kids. Since we were only riding 20 miles and we had to go to a dreaded scout committee meeting after mutual we both agreed that we would push it and ride as fast as we could.

The ride started out at our house and we headed straight up the hill on 64th to highway 9. This is typically a pretty miserable hill to climb but it wasn’t too bad this time. I’m not really quite sure why. It might be that we had BBQ ribs for dinner right before we rode. You never know, that could be the new energy food. Probably not though. Anyway, on the way up the hill I actually passed someone. OK, he was riding a heavy mountain bike and he was wearing jeans and had a backpack on but I still passed him.

Once we made it to Centennial Trail Jenny and I tried to keep up a good pace. We didn’t do too bad and it helped that the trail to Machias is slightly down hill.

When we reached Machias we stopped to fill our water bottles and took a quick rest. There were a couple of wannabe pro cyclist standing there that we listened to try to one up each other telling stories. It was pretty funny. Both of them had full racing uniforms on which looked pretty goofy but they had really nice bikes. I guess I’m a pretty big bike nerd when it comes to knowing what people are riding. I can’t help myself.

On the trail back there are tons of false flats so it’s a mentally tough ride. We really pushed it and kept our speed up although there were some long slight uphill sections. We passed a lot of other bike riders so Jenny and I practiced doing “The Look” by Lance Armstrong.

If you’re not sure what that is check out this video. You’ll recognize it.


I know, kind of dorky but it was entertaining.

We were able to finish up the ride in just over an hour and a half. This beat my time on this route by about 10 minutes.

All in all it felt really good to push it on a shorter ride.

Miles: 22
Duration: 1:33
Avg Speed: 14
Max Speed: 33
Avg Cadence: 78

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Arlington Loop with my Buddy

Today I woke up early and was on the road with my favorite riding buddy by 7:00. That’s right Jenny and I went for a bike ride this morning. Today we rode from Marysville down to Arlington then over to Granite Falls and back to Marysville again. It was a great 30 mile bike ride through some very rural roads with some great scenery.

Fresh Riders

We started the ride in our jackets but after 4 miles and the first hill of the day both of us shed then and in my front carrying case they went and stayed for the rest of the ride. The weather for the ride was nice and warm but not too hot. This is such a nice change from the winter riding that we did only a couple of months ago with cotton stuffed in our ears just to endure the cold. I’ll take warm weather over that any day.

The ride into Arlington is my favorite part of the ride. It’s about 10 miles to get there and the last mile or two is all down hill. Because it was so early in the morning there weren’t any cars on the road on the descent so I was able to get in the center of the lane for much of the down hill. This makes me feel a lot more comfortable when you’re going 35 miles an hour. Once we got to Arlington they were setting up for a street fair but it wasn’t open yet. We rode our bikes through the middle of the street fair checking out the vendors as they set up their booths.

The ride out of Arlington into Granite Falls is very beautiful but there are a lot of up hill sections where I did a lot of huffing and puffing. On steep hills when I get to my lowest gear and can’t go any lower that’s my cue for the pain to begin. A number of times I had to stop to wipe the sweat of my eyes because it was stinging so bad I couldn’t see anymore. I’m not a big fan of hills but I guess you have to climb them in order to enjoy the downhill sections.

By the time we got to Granite Falls the weather was starting to heat up but we only had a few miles left to go at that time. This section of the ride is basically up 84th St. back to Marysville. From the beginning of this section it looks like a lot of nasty hill climbing but the ascent is pretty gradual so it’s not as bad as it seems. You just put your bike in the low gear and grind away for 3 miles and before you know it you’re back to the car and the ride is over..

Today was a great ride. The weather was nice and warm, no dogs chased us, the route was fun, and most of all I got to go with my favorite riding partner. Jenny and I have a blast riding together because when there isn’t much traffic we get to just ride and talk. It’s amazing the great conversations you can have in the middle of nowhere on your bike with your buddy.

Triumphant Jenny at the end of a successful ride!

Ride Stats
Miles: 30
Avg Speed: 12.6
Max Speed: 37
Total Ascent: 1318 Ft.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Indoor Riding during TDF

Today I rode inside on my trainer while I watched the Tour de France. It was beautiful weather outside but I’ve been sick for the last week and I wasn’t sure how far I could ride so I decided to stay at home and ride instead. All in all I rode for an hour although I had my doubts after 20 minutes. I didn’t push it too hard but it felt good to ride again. It also helped to be watching some bike racing while I rode as well.

Ride Stats:

Duration: 1:00
Max HR 171
Avg HR: 152
Distance: 15.2 miles
Avg Speed: 15.2
Max Speed: 17.2

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Top 10 Reasons Why the Tour De France is the best sporting event of the year

I haven't ridden outside this week so far so I don't have a riding update for you. But I'm really getting excited for the Tour de France to start on Saturday. Here's my top 10 list of Why the Tour de France is the best sporting event of the year.

1. Bob Roll’s pronunciation of Tour-Day-France
2. Crazed fans are allowed to stand so close to the riders on the mountain stages that they can run along the side of them and pat them on the back.
3. Watching the Tour de France increases your vocabulary with words such as Peloton, Domestique, Maillot Jaune, and Musette.
4. Wild sprint finishes – Cycling’s version of roller derby.
5. Displays of sportsmanship – if one of the race leaders gets a flat the rest of the leaders will wait for him to catch up before they start racing again because they don’t want to win on a technicality.
6. Crashes – busted carbon fiber, torn spandex, and road rash! Good times.
7. No cheerleading squads, cheesy half time shows or ticket scalpers to be found anywhere.
8. Punishing mountain stages
9. Watching Bob Roll constantly talk with his hands
10. It’s a lot easier to ride the bike trainer in the house if cycling is on TV.