Sunday, January 31, 2010


I'm certainly not complaing about this winter's riding weather--last year we rode in snow from November through March, it seemed--but this weekend was by far the muddiest. Had a huge Team Unattacked turnout for Saturday--five of us, Mellow Johnny, Titanium Cowboy, the Professor, GG Tri Guy and myself--for the 25 mile (or so) Lost Lake loop; Interurban Trail first.

One of those days in which, from the first pedal stroke, I know I'm not 100 percent but I did what I could. We'd planned on doing the Samish Loop into the heart of Chuckanut-Blanchard No Man's Land and return via Pine and Cedar lakes, but I whimped out. That big climb out of the Mud Lake hole a-frighted me, I was soaking wet (it had been spitting rain the whole time), and not to be one of those big phonys about it like everybody else is nowadays, but I think I was a little despressed about J.D. Salinger having just died and all. ("Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.")

Mud was crazy thick especially on the descent into Lost Lake, but you get to that point where you can't get any muddier or wetter and you're not freezing cold (yet) and you're having the time of your life with a great group of guys. And this is what keeps me coming back again and again and again. Three of us stopped for a cuppa at Woods Coffee at Boulevard Park on the way back where we scored the coveted outdoor fireplace seat. (That's me, the Professor, and Mellow Johnny.)

Sunday, I was feeling even worse at the start and came close to cancelling on Johnny Boy, but I fired up the single-speed and we headed up for a two-and-a-half hours on Galbraith. Tried some new downhill trail parallel to the Three Pigs; I wouldn't say that it was made for a rigid fork 29er but it was fun nonetheless. Muddy as heck though.

It's no mystery why I felt so crummy both days: these past two weeks I've been doing two-a-day run-bike intervals on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (Essentially, four interval workouts in three days.) Then riding long-ish back-to-back on weekends. Anyway, I think it caught up to me so my grand plan to take it easy this week. ("Grand. There's a word I really hate. It's a phony. I could puke every time I hear it.")

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Looking for the 2010 Indie Series ( schedule (not up yet) I came across a couple interesting tidbits. One, that Lisa Miller was leaving the series--great job, Lisa; you'll be missed--but that shes' started this cool, new site (, as a centralized website for all mountain bike events. Also has a forum too.

Though the Indie Series schedule isn't up yet, I've heard that the first event is early May at Silver Lake Park near Maple Falls, about 26 miles east of Bellingham, just off the Mount Baker Highway. Yea for that 'cuz I live up here!

Still planning on opening my 2010 race season with the Feb. 21 race at Dash Point State Park. (

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Friday, took me sister down to the Skagit Flats area to see snow geese by the thousands. A couple bald eagles flew by and sent the geese skyward in a tizzy. (Whereupon various hunters, unfortunately, took aim and brought down a few. Seemed a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, if you know what I mean.)
Saw a couple dozen bald eagles too, including this regal eagle high above the banks of the Skagit River.
That was Friday; Saturday Mellow Johnny, the Titanium Cowboy and I rode together for the first time since TC broke his scaphoid in the late '50s--I mean, August. Took the Interurban up to Fragrance Lake Road to Burnout Road, which boasts the best Samish Bay-San Juan Islands viewpoint on Chuckanut Mountain. (Saw our trail angels Laura Todd and Val Thompson on the way up.)
Scott turned around here, John and I continued up where things get nasty--four really, really steep pitches, the last of which is unridable now because of some huge drainage ditch-culvert thingees that've been dug into the road. Walked our bikes that last bit then had the fun, screaming descent partway down So Easy before detouring over to the Dictionary, the Lost Lake Trail and back through Arroyo Park.
Sunday, Steve "Professor" Vanderstaay joined Mellow Johnny and I for a couple hours on Galbraith, me pretending I'm hard-core by riding the single-speed. Mega-fun. (In the afternoon, Clark and I saw the Cody Rivers Show which, again, was brilliant.)
Shot of Mount Baker from the Skagit Flats.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


The Lost Lake Loop is turning out to be this winter's favorite, it would seem. Each week we do some version of it. Above, Mellow Johnny Boy powering up the Lost Lake Trail from the Larrabee State Park approach: Fragrance Lake Road to near the bottom of the Chinscraper, turn right and head up. Some more. Early on, downtown was in a fog which we escaped in riding down the Interurban. All was sunny and still in the Chuckanuts. When we got back to town two-and-a-half hours later, the fog was still there. See below, on the Taylor Dock.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Ten-year-old Baker McQ shot a video of my reading at last night's Chuckanut Radio Hour. Here it is on YouTube:

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Saturday's forecast was for rain (not showers), temps in the 40s, and a fair amount of wind so it's a no-brainer; I'll stay in. Turns out to be 62 degrees, mostly clear skies and only the gentlest of breezes--D'oh! I missed out. Luckily, Sunday turned out to be close to as nice so I hit the Lost Lake loop with Mellow Johnny Clark, Professor Steve Vanderstaay and nice guy newcomer, Dave, who's last name I quickly forgot. Saw Ryan Stiles and friends at the Upfront last night. Hilarious, and when Stiles asked Baker (our 10-year-old) to come up with a name for a made-up fairytale, Bake says "The Enthusiastic Screwdriver." Hilarity ensued, that's sure. Saw Cody Rivers' latest show this past Thursday--indescribably brilliant, is all I can say. (
Me, Dave, Clark and Vanderstaay. Below, a pileated woodpecker we saw just as we got back into town.

Lastly, on Tuesday at the Chuckanut Radio Hour, I'll be reading a humorous (hopefully) essay I wrote about trying to play "Purple Haze" at my high school talent show before I'd learned how to play guitar. Pretty silly. It's at the Leopold Ballroom in downtown Bellingham. (

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Bellingham, WA (AP) --Team Unattacked today unveiled the official hairdo they'll be sporting on roads and trails this upcoming season. Along with being quite sporty, not to mention fetching as heck, the coifs will hopefully protect team members from falling branches, limbs, tree trunks and the like.
Above, TU's Mike McQuaide who, despite being clobbed by an assaulting alder tree two months ago, still resembles a younger, fitter-looking Johnny Depp, models the blonde, inflatable, That-Girl-ish bouffant.
"I'm diggin' it," said McQuaide. "It might not be super aero but aero isn't all it's cracked up to be. Besides, I'm more into turning heads than riding fast."

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


(OK, I know, it makes no sense--a photo of Mount Shuksan right under a photo of Mount Shuksan. But it's a purty pic, innit? All black-and-white-like 'n' all.)

Anyway, I was up at Mount Baker Ski Area Sunday taking photos for an upcoming Times story. Always beautiful up there. Saturday, Mellow Johnny Boy and I ran--yes, ran--for over 90 minutes on the winding up-and-downsy trails toward Lost Lake. Should've been riding, I know, but I needed to get in a couple long-ish runs if I was going to do the Orcas Island 25K in early February like I'd been kinda, sorta, was thinkin' about planning to do, maybe. Possibly. But then Monday, I read on the R.D.'s facebook page that it's full. So I'm not doing Orcas.

What I am planning on doing is a few of the BuDu Racing mountain bike races ( in February and March. I'll try at least one on the single-speed and keep my fingers crossed that I don't embarrass myself too much. Hopefully, they're like the Indie Series ( which I thoroughly enjoyed last summer. Great spirit; great people; great fun.

A few fun performances coming up: Cody Rivers on Thursday, Ryan Stiles and various UpFronters on Saturday, me own thing with Chuckanut Radio Hour next Tuesday.