Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I don't know about you, but I can't tell these two apart--can you?

(Thanks to seattlebikegurl's Photostream for the top pic from Sunday's Fort Ebey race.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Headed south to beautiful Fort Ebey State Park for the SingleTrack Cycles West Side Mountain Bike Series race number 4. Part of the BuDu Race Series. First race since what, last August or so, and first single-speed race ever. (Hope it won't be my last.) Extremely, extremely hard.

There was one heat for all single-speeders regardless of class or age. Thus, I finished a sparkling 9th out of 12. Doesn’t sound great but my time (1:28) would’ve put me 5th (out of 22 or so) in the 40+ sport (geared bikes) category. So I’m not sure what to make of that. (Jump into the sport 40+ race on my single speed?) Looking down the line of SS bikes at the start, I saw some Niners, Gary Fishers, and a couple Felts; nobody was rockin’ the low-end steel bike with rigid fork like me. (Is it obvious that I'm attempting to make myself feel better for finishing 9th out of 12?)
'nother thing: the flyer implied the race would be about 50 minutes but the course was two laps of 7 miles, with 1,000 foot climbing in each, so it took me almost 90 minutes. (Single speed winner was like 1:11.) Kinda like showing expecting to run a 10K but finding out you’re running a half-marathon instead. (Not really, but again, I'm trying to make myself feel better.)

All that said, it was great to race again! And Fort Ebey has some amazing trails--twisting, winding and narrow with lots of steep climbs and descents. But they're pretty darn dry, sandy almost in spots. Must be the rain shadow effect. And race organization was tops too!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


The Titanium "Scott Young" Cowboy and I got out for our first hundred miler in a while on what was our first road ride since maybe last June or so. (We've been riding mountain bikes almost exclusively for a while now so it felt great to get out on our sleek elegant machines.) Super fun, super great. Weather couldn't have been any better and in fact, I think this is the first time I've ridden 100 this early in the year.
From B'ham, we headed south on Chuckanut Drive to the Skagit and over to Samish Island. Throughout the day we probably saw 50 eagles, 100 or so swans, countless great blue herons and even more countlesser daffodils and tulips. It's OK that I took photos of the purty flowers and even one of Scott in front of the flowers, innit? (See at the bottom of this post.)
From Samish Island, we continued south to La Conner--see pic of Scott drinking coffee whilst eyeing Rainbow Bridge (which is also the title of a Jimi Hendrix album I once had)--and then points inland and upland and though we tried like heck to avoid it, we eventually found ourselves climbing Bow Hill Road.

From there, up to Lake Samish, which we lapped twice because we realized we were a little short on mileage, and then back to B'ham. A hundred miles in 5:47. And now I eat. And eat.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Check out my story in The Seattle Times about the new Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park. See it here.

Monday, March 15, 2010


'Nother killer weekend of MTB behavior. The Galby on Saturday, the Lost Lake Around on Sunday. Each ride about two hours 45 minutes. Sunday's was especially killer--first time I've ridden the single-speed to the top of Fragrance Lake Road--Lost Lake Trail: 1,400 climb in 3 miles, a couple stretches of which were darn slippery and thus don't exactly make the climb any easier. Had the jimmy legs hamstring shake on one section but was able to make it through. (Comparing mountain bike climbs to road bike climbs is like comparing apple pie to orange juice, but for those of you scoring at home, the steepest part of the Mount Baker Hill Climb race is the Powerline Hill which climbs roughly 600 feet in about two miles. In other words, this is a helluva lot steeper!)  

Above, Mellow Johnny maneuvers up through Arroyo Park, just moments after breaking a spoke on his front wheel for the second ride in a row. (I think he's trying to challenge me for the spoke-breaking jersey.) And just moments after starting the descent into the Lost Lake basin, I got a flat tire. And just moments before our Woods Coffee-Boulevard Park stop, the Titanium Cowboy almost lost his back wheel hopping off a curb. Eventful ride, that's sure. 

Lastly, I wanna thank DK Reinemer for a really fun eight-week Improv 200 session at the The Upfront Theatre. He's a hilarious performer and a great teacher too!

Monday, March 08, 2010


Well, I had grand plans to race a few of the BuDu mountain bike races and though the weather's been really good, my grand plans so far have come to nothing. Already I've missed two races including one yesterday. 
Not that I've not been riding: Saturday, we did what I've come to call the Dictionary-Pine and Cedar-Long Around route. About 30 miles with 3,500 feet of climbing including the killer long steep one up the back side to Pine and Cedar--just an all around nasty and inappropriate climb followed almost immediately by my favorite descent around here, the Hemlock Trail. (It was Mellow Johnny Clark, the Titanium Cowboy Scott Young and Doctor Professor Steve Vanderstaay.) Then Sunday (single-speed Sunday) was Der Mullet, Der Three Pigs, Der etc., so I'm getting in the bike time, that's for sure.
I guess it's just hard to justify a two-hour drive for a 50-minute race that starts at noon followed by a two-hour drive home, which is what most of the BuDu races would require of us Bellinghamsters. So much easier and more pleasant to roll out of bed at 7:30 a.m., be riding at 8 with the Team Unattacked squad, and back home with the family by 11-11:30-ish. (Though it looks like the March 28 race in Coupeville starts at 10 a.m. so that's a possibility.) More likely I'll wait for the Indie Series races starting in May; I think their Sport/Single-Speed races start at 10:30 a.m., not quite the all-day killer that a noon start is.
Also on my radar, sorta kinda, is the High Cascades 100 mountain bike race in August down in Bend, Ore. Though I have no aptitude for the ultra-long stuff, I do feel the need to do at least one 100-mile race in my life. And I've always wanted to see Bend. 

Monday, March 01, 2010


'Nother great ride on Chuckanut Mountain yesterday--super challenging as it included the Ridge Trail and Hush Hush, which has perhaps more roots per capita than any trail around here. Here's a video of our adventure on YouTube: here

Saturday, the family and I headed up to Vancouver to see the torch (es) and all that. Pretty inspiring. ('Cept for that ugly chain-link fence they had surrounding it.)