Wednesday, January 21, 2009

GALBRAITH MOUNTAIN TOWERS '09

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Bake and I commenced a joint MLK-Inauguration Day celebration by mountain biking to the top of Galbraith Mountain for the first time together in '09. Weather, for about the fifth day in a row now, was just about perfect--not a cloud in the sky for seemingly hundreds of miles. Contrast this with below posts detailing the month of shite weather we not so much enjoyed as endured. Bake was, as per usual, awesomely strong. (Is awesomely a word? If so, should it be?) And on the way down--Wonderland (still too much snow to ride), Mullet, Cheech and Chong, Meth Lab--picked all the best lines making my tentative, old-man descent a breeze.

Above, Baker and Baker. Below, Baker and what's-his-face. Below that, Baker and the last, evil stretch to the Towers. Man, that's steep!


Because no one has been clamoring to know, here are my tentative race-type plans for the first part of '09. At the end of March, John Clark and I are road-tripping down to Northern California for the Boggs IV 8-Hour Endurance Mountain Bike Race. (www.bikemonkey.net/?page_id=57) I actually don't know a whole lot about it, 'cept that it's eight hours long. The other thing I know is that I've never done a mountain bike race before so there's that. I'm also doing the Test of Metal mountain bike race in Squamish on June 20 (www.testofmetal.com/) and in between those two, I'll probably do the Mount Constitution Hill Climb on Orcas Island (www.islandathleticevents.com/). They've moved the date of this last one to May 17 so that it no longer conflicts with Ski to Sea, also known as Bellingham's World Championships. (Or much ado about nothing, one of the two.)

For inspiration, interest's sake, and fun, I'm also working with a coach, Daryl Smith, who coaches triathlon stud Damian Hill and MTBer Brett Bauer. Three months ago, Bauer successfully completed the La Ruta mountain bike stage race, often referred to as the toughest race in the world. (He coaches ultra-cool Glenn Gervais too, who's training for Ironman Coeur D'Alene.) Daryl's a great guy; here's his website: www.advantagemultisport.com

Also, I'm registered for Ironman Canada at the end of August but hmm, I'm not sure about that one. I've been having so much fun riding this 29er, I just can't see myself putting in the required pool time. But I've still got a while to decide.

Friday, January 16, 2009

CLEATOR-GALBRAITH IN ONE DAY

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In a move that impressed absolutely no one save for himself, area boy Mike McQuaide today rode his bike to the top of Cleator Road. Declaring that not to be enough, he then headed for Galbraith Mountain and rode to the top of the Tower Road. He then made it back in time to pick up Bake at school with a quick stop at Starbucks on the way. Total stats: 41 miles, 4,800 feet elevation gain.

Above, the sun finally breaks through the fog. Below, a huge washout from the recent floods, about halfway up Cleator Road.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

LANDSLIDE ON INTERURBAN TRAIL

Post-flood mountain biking in Bellingham redux again part II the second.

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Today, John Clark and I planned on riding out the Interurban to the top of Cleator Road. No dice, again. (There seems to be a definite lack of dice lately.) A massive slide off Cleator Road has completely closed off the Interurban about a quarter-mile north of Cleator. Kwazy. (Seems to be no lack of weather kwaziness however.)We rode the road (Chuckanut Drive) for a while, then headed up Cleator. Several spots have slumped significantly and/or washed out. We made it to about 1,450 feet before heavy wet snow turned us around.
Still, it was a great ride made even greater by the presence of John's new orange gloves.

Friday, January 09, 2009

POST-FLOOD MOUNTAIN BIKING IN BELLINGHAM

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Headed up to Galbraith today cocky and confident that all this rain would've washed away all the dern-blasted snow we'd been hit with first. No dice. From about 1,000 feet and above, it's deep, solid Cascade Concrete.

Re: the recent flooding, the Padden Gorge trail now has a stream running down the center. North side isn't bad though: Miranda, Ridge and Cedar Dust--they're about all that's ridable right now.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

MORE BELLINGHAM FLOOD VIDEO

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This is "Bellingham Flood Video II", the sequel to the wildly successful "Bellingham Flood Video" which smashed all box-office records when it came out eight hours ago. Below are more pics. All shots and vids are from Squalicum Parkway and Creek.


BELLINGHAM FLOOD VIDEO

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

THE GREAT FLOOD OF AUGHT-NINE

Though I can't say as I know what's so great about it. Seems damned annoying if you ask me. Above and just below, Squalicum Parkway makes more like Squalicum Lake. In the bottom photo, just beyond the bridge, you can see a white Mustang that's not going anywhere. Kwazy.Schools were closed. Ski areas closed 'cause of landslides, high winds, avalanche. Worst of all, I can't get out on my bike. How am I going to train for this 8-hour mountain-bike race in Northern California that Clark and I just signed up fer?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

MEET THE NEW YEAR!

Same as the old year!

On New Year's Day, I registered for June's Test of Metal mountain-bike race up in Squamish. I've not done a mountain bike race before so it should be a gas. It's about 40 miles long and quite burly from what I understand. Check out (http://testofmetal.com) for more info. Spots are still available and registration reopens Tuesday, if you're interested.

Still considering July's Cream Puff, a 100-mile MTB race in Oregon. That sounds ultra-burly. Hot too.