Saturday, October 25, 2008


Great morning at Cornwall Park: the return of Belly Cross, a Mark Peterson produced cyclocross race through the forests of open fields of Bellingham's oldest park. Above, the start of Class C race, wherein we took off LeMans style--run around the crazed maniac in the skull mask and yellow wig, then hop on our bikes and get going. I was in the Master C category but more on that later.

More interestingly, Baker jumped into the Youth race and won it! Below is the podium, as it were, from left to right, first, third and second. The second-place kid is named Liam, but I've no idea what the middle kid's name is. (Sorry.) Kind of funny, right before his race, Mark asked me if I would ride ahead of the kids to show them the course. I really wanted to watch Bake race so I almost said no, but since he was in first or second the whole time, I got to watch his whole race unfold. Below, that's me in orange vest with Bake just behind. I really had to push it to stay ahead of these guys. Bake and the two others broke away from everyone pretty quick, with Bake and Liam going back and forth for the lead. It was thrilling. At one point, Liam bounced off a rock and hit one of them big, hard, green things that are real tall--a tree, I think they're called--and Bake got ahead to stay. (Liam was OK.) Below, Bake crosses the finish. That's gotta feel good. As I said, I did the C race, Masters C for dudes in their 40s and above. Right off the bat, I got tangled in the tape and one of the gates. Konked on the head too as riders zoomed by. Kind of set me back quite a bit. I made back some ground but for much of the race I was in no man's land by myself. Still had a great fun.
Check out my spiffy shirt and socks.
Finally met Dessa of Dessa's Days, a Seattle cyclist's blog I check often. Nice guy. I think he finished fourth.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


On Friday, I'll be pinch-hitting for Alan Rhodes at a live taping of the Chuckanut Radio Hour at Bellingham's Leopold Ballroom. Northwest treasure Ivan Doig is the featured author and for those unfamiliar with the program, it's kind of like B'ham's own "Prairie Home Companion." There's live music (the Quickdraw Stringband), a Poet's Corner (Emily Warn), another episode of the Bellingham Bean, and yours truly reading a humorous (let's hope) essay. It's a terrific show; I did it once before in April and had a great time.

Tickets are $7.50 and available at Village Books and at the door, I believe. Show starts at 6:30. (Or 7, I better find out.) For information, go here:

Monday, October 20, 2008


Le Towers, Le Evo (sehr scary), Le Woopsie Woodle, Le something through the woods (but not to grandmother's house), and finally, Le Last Call. (Above are Bake, Kyler, and Kyler's dad, Ed; you can just barely see Mount Baker in the far right corner.)
Here's a tip: if you're new not only to riding a 29er, but riding a 29er with clipless pedals, don't make Evo the first trail you try.
First time to Le Towers for most--Jimmy, Jacob, Kyler, Bake--probably 1,200 feet of climbing in less than 4 miles. Killer! First day also for Bake on his new Norco Wolverine and me on my Felt Nine, a 29er. The McQuaide boyz is very happy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


BELLINGHAM, WA (AP)--In a stunning decision to help stimulate the local Whatcom County economy, area boys Baker and Mike McQuaide scored two new bikes from Fanatik Bike Co. For Baker, 9-1/2, it was a Norco Wolverine, his first ride featuring 26-inch wheels, disc brakes, and some really cool graphics of little guitars that look to be Gibson SGs, if we were to venture a guess.

Mike, the elder McQuaide, who's a rather boyish sort, took home a 29er, a Felt Nine Pro which, with its oversized wheels, looks to him like something a giant might ride. Say Hagrid, from the Harry Potter books.
After Bake's schoolday, the McQuaides hurried to the 100-Acre Wood where they jumped and rolled over all sorts of logs, rocks, and roots, all in name of stimulating the economy thing.
In other news, please peruse Mike's story in Thursday's Seattle Times on places to see the alpine larch turn their golden autumn glow. Places such as the Enchantments:

Monday, October 13, 2008


Here's a couple shots from yesterday's duathlon. Above is the sassy John Clark. Below, I'm the blur in the background wearing orangish-brown. I must've been going really fast.
For more images, go to

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Yes, another epic day on Galbraith but before we hit the hill, I did the mountain bike duathlon at Lake Padden this a.m. A lot of you have asked (actually just my sister, Kath) how me ankle's been. Been fine. It's me left knee that's been barkin' fer about 10 days now.I suspect the dread IT band thingee syndrome stuff. No matter, it was fine for the the couple jaunts 'round the 2.6-mile lake loop and once up and down (and up) the expert mountain bike course.
I was done in 1:07 'n' change, about nine minutes behind the ever-sassy John Clark who took seventh overall, I believe. It was great fun and oddly (kinda) the first event I've done all year that involved running. In two weeks, I plan on the Belly Cross cyclocross race at Cornwall Park.

I wanna thank Kelly Mielke for the duathlon photos he took. Look at the way I run. I look like a freak. I lean so far back I look like the "Keep On Truckin'" dude from the R. Crumb comic. Right, so after the duathlon it was onto Galbratih with Baker, his schoolchum Kyler and dad Ed, and Kyler's friend Logan. Great ride (as usual). From the Birch St. side we did Miranda (where we saw the ubiquitous Galbraith rat, Steve Noble), Ridge, Cedar Dust (twice), Family Fun Center, Road 1200, SST (where the above and below pics are from), and back to Ridge-Miranda.
The above video is from Karma, which we threw in at the end of the ride. First rider is Bake, then Kyler and Logan.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Kids ride on Sunday afternoon. Bake and five others headed from the north side up to Cedar Dust, then up the dreaded Wall to get to the good stuff. Above, Bake finishes off the killer climb.
Hit the Cabin Trail, so-named because well, there're remains of an old cabin up. Saw nice guy Steve Noble, famed Bellingham chirodoctor, who we somehow always manage to come across when we're up on Galbraith. Kid riders were (and I'm not sure of everyone's name) Jacob, the Twins, Baker, Jacob Gervais, and Caden, I believe. Carin Carter, Glenn Gervais and I were the elders leading and following them about.
Then onto the Three Bears, the group having split in two by this point, and SST which, with his screaming fast descents, high-banked berms, and rolling humps and bumps, is now everyone's favorite. Glenn Gervais, the other semi-adult leader, and I wanted to follow a map which showed a little-used trail leading right to where we parked. Little-used is right as the photo below shows. It required a bit of bush- and branch-whacking, but ended up working out perfectly.
A great ride: like two-and-a-half hours!

Odd sidenote. Yesterday morning, I turned my ankle on the Sunday morning run but thought nothing of it. Finished the run with no problem. Then rode two-and-a-half hours with the kids and started to feel it whenever we took a break from riding. Last night, I could hardly walk. Weird. Hope it doesn't keep me out of the mountain bike duathlon next Sunday.