Sunday, March 27, 2011


First up, here're more legitimate (as it were) phots from last week's Olympic Peninsula foray. Above, Port Townsend. Below, mountains, the North Cascades to be exact, shortly after sunrise. Taken from the Coupeville-PT ferry. Below that, Mount Baker from about 65 miles away. That be some big mountain!
Now to the matter at hand. The weekend riding excursion. All week, the weather reports forecast nothing but rain, wind, etc. I thought for sure we wouldn't be riding. So I went out Friday and ran hard (for me). About 45 minutes in all with a 20-minute stretch where my heartrate was consistently 170-plus. No biggie, I'd for sure be taking it easy the next day. 

Imagine my surprise and delight (sorta) when I woke to blue skies and no wind. A text, a phone call and a couple hours later, and I'm chasing the Titanium Cowboys across the windswept chipsealy landscape of the Skagit Flats, turning far more pedals in anger than I should've been. I was hanging on for dear life, in one spot of bother after another, until finally I fell into the pain cave and couldn't get up. That's how it felt anyway. But it was great fun. We did 60 miles, threw in Chuckanut Drive, Bow Hill (14 percent, that one), Lake Samish--all the goodies. And oh yeah, the single-speed mtb has made Titanium Cancellara even stronger and more impossible to keep up with. So there's that.

Great weekend for sports watching too--Fabian Cancellara wins E3 Prijs; Tom Boonen wins Gent-Wevelgem; and in the NCAAs, both Butler and VCU advance to the Final Four!  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Sure, there's breathtaking beauty over here--incredible mountains, forests, lakes, not to mention terrific road riding--yet somehow, I find myself perhaps most intrigued by these road names, all of which are just outside Sequim, in the banana belt. (Or should that be banana hammock belt?)
Saw some turkeys too!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Logging. Saw evidence of logging on trails we ride frequently. To the left would be Cedar Dust, to the right Rock 'n' Roll, both of which are closed now and for the foreseeable future. (The Wall would be straight ahead.) Also closed was Family Fun Center (see below) and the Intestine and probably a couple others as well. Good story with map of what's impacted can be found on the WHIMPS site here. Essentially, it's pretty pointless to enter Galby from the north side right now.
But the whole south side of the mountain appears unaffected for right now so the Titanium Cowboys and I made our way after a few fits and starts to the Tower road--Whoopsie Woodle-Three Pigs side of the world. Theys trails still is da' bomb over there, that's fer sure!
Saw the above, too, on the side the Ridge Trail on the way up. A pair of binoculars in a box for all to enjoy the great views of Bellingham, the San Juans and the surrounding mountains. (See B'ham and the bay below.) Thanks a lot for generously sharing your binocs, whoever you are!
Also wanted to give shout-outs and kudos to all those folks doing trailwork connecting Raptor Ridge to the Lost Lake Trail on North Chuckanut Mountain. Here's a story on the WHIMPS site. Seems to be a WHIMPS-Whatcom County Parks and Rec-Daniel Probst and his cronies production. Good on all ya'! (And if I don't have the credit right, feel free to correct me.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Hey y'all check out my story in the Northwest Weekend section of Thursday's Seattle Times on outdoorsy ideas for kicking off spring. Which starts Sunday. That's what the calendar says anyway. The weather lately? Not so much.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Area man looks fairly stunned to be standing astride a $9,000 carbon Specialized Epic (29er, of course).
All right so the weather's been unbelievably crummy for as long as I can remember blah, blah, blah. Perfect indoor weather, however, for the Seattle Bicycle Expo this past weekend and since I have a book due June 1 (Classic Road Rides of Washington) and need to scout out a bunch of routes, I combined the two. Hit the expo for a few hours, reupped my supply of bike porn, then headed down to the Rochester-Galvin-Vader- Boistfort-Adna end of the world. (In fact, I'm in a motel in Kelso as I type this.) Heading down to Vancouver, WA, tomorrow.

Below, please enjoy some expo pics.
Padauk and black walnut time trial/triathlon bike ridden and Kona Ironman last year. $3,500.

Cool wooden mountain bike at the Renovo booth. The wood is hickory and padauk, $6,700.

World champion artistic cyclists--Stefan Musu and Lukas Matla from Germany.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


At the top of the Wall, which we had the good sense not to ride, we came across Robin Smith and Tjalling Ypma, one of whom (I forget who) took the above pic. Thanks!
Saturday, the Titanium Cowboys headed up to Galby where, guess what, we ran into snow for a change. About 4 to 6 to 8 inches starting at 900 feet. Luckily, someone (or several someones) in a truck (or several trucks) had dug some nice tracks for us (see below) and staying in them as far as we could, we made it just about to the top.
Whoever made the tracks didn't go all the way so I walked the last stretch to get the below photo. The hard, crunchy, fairly-impossible-to-ride-through snow is so deep my bike is standing up on its own.
The way down was Woopsie Whoodle (which we bailed out on halfway down because of snow), the Three Pigs and the back trails at Padden which were mostly snow-free. Nice running into Cathy Crouch who I tried riding all of Galbraith with one day last October. (See below post.) She was making her way up towards the towers, taking avantage of aforementioned truck track.

Sunday, we did something we haven't done together for almost a year--fired up the road bikes for 30-some miles in the county. What larks! First road ride for Johnny Boy Clark since last May when he broke his collarbone. (Ten days after I'd broken mine.) Saw tons of eagles and swans on the way out to Wiser Lake; we rode back on Noon Road which delivers one to the Mount Baker Highway via a series of stinging hills. 

Two great days of riding! 

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Pick up the great new issue of Adventures NW--lots of great stories and photos including one story about a band of idiots who attempted to ride all of Galbraith Mountain in one day. (What a bunch of galoots!) We--I mean, they--were 50-percent successful!

Adventures NW is available free at hundreds of locations throughout Washington.