Thursday, May 31, 2012


Click here for my Seattle Times story about cycling in Chelan and Wenatchee, also known as (to me, anyway) Chelanatchee. (Or Wenatchelan.) Excellent pedaling over there, that's sure. 

Monday, May 28, 2012


Yesterday, whilst all the Bellingham world was Ski and/or Seaing, myself and a handful of others (six?) did the Rabbit Ride. Great fun, made a couple new friends--Brian Bressler of PainCave Cycling fame and someone named Scott, who's last name I didn't get--got in a great workout and, always important, set a couple Strava PRs on the Colony Road loop. Gotta love that! Please enjoy the above vid of said ride.

Chuckanut Drive

W. Lake Samish Drive
 Shout-out of congrats to Titanium Cowboys John Clark (mountain bike) and Titanium Cancellara (road bike) whose Ski to Sea team, Aven Construction, won the the Whatcom County Mixed division at Ski to Sea. Check out the mega-trophy!

Friday, May 25, 2012


If, like me, you're not doing Ski to Sea on Sunday, consider doing the Rabbit Ride, a fun sorta race(ish) ride that follows the 32-mile Colony Road Loop. (Hey, that's in my new book!) Here's how it works: every Sunday riders leave from Fairhaven Bike and Ski between 8 and 8:30 a.m. with slower riders leaving closer to 8, and faster ones closer to 8:30. Groups of no more than five leave every three minutes, the idea being that faster riders will eventually catch slower riders who, in turn, can hopefully hang on to the faster group. I've done this ride only once but had a great time and plan on being there this Sunday.

John Hauter, who owns Fairhaven Bike and Ski, told me he's also trying to grow the Tortuous Ride (Tortoise, get it?), geared for slower riders and/or those new to group rides. Whereas the Rabbit Ride is for those who ride in the 15 to 21 m.p.h. range, the Tortuous Ride is for those who generally ride 13 m.p.h. and under. Torturous Riders leave at 7:45 a.m. Sunday and basically ride the Lake Samish Loop, about 20 miles.

For more info, contact Fairhaven Bike and Ski or John Hauter.

In other news, I want to thank Village Books, Mount Baker Bike Club, Everybody Bike—not to mention the super terrific audience!—for a fun time at last night’s Chuckanut Radio Hour!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


It's probably too late to start training for this Sunday's Ski to Sea race (prolly), but you've still got three-and-a-half months if the 10th Annual Mount Baker Hill Climb (Festival 542) is your goal. And with the D.O.T. announcing that this summer they'll plow the road all the way to Artist Point, R.D. Charlie Heggem and the hundreds of riders who make this their Bellingham World Championships have got to be stoked.

This year's race--24.5 miles from Glacier to Artist Point with some 4,200 feet of elevation gain; 3,000 of that in the last 10.5 miles--takes place Sept. 9. But as the name implies, Festival 542 is more than just one race. There're cyclocross races out at Silver Lake Park the day before (Sept. 8), as well as an 8.5-mile running race (mostly uphill) later that same afternoon.

Sunday's offerings are myriad too. Along with various divisions: recreation, competitive, etc., there's also the 100-mile U-DUMB (Up Down and Up Mount Baker)--Glacier to Artist Point and back. Twice. (Yikes!) Check the website for schedules and registration fees. Then, get training!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Just in time for Ski to Sea--and myriad other outdoor rites-of-spring/summer--is the appearance of the new issue of Adventures NW, available pretty much everywhere in Northwest Washington. It's the first issue helmed by John D'Onofrio and looks (and reads) great! Even the Q and A wherein bike book author Mike McQuaide interviews himself isn't bad. (I shot the cover photo too!) Pick one up today!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Shout-out of appreciation (is that redun.?) to the Bellingham Herald and Michelle Nolan for showin' the love with this story pimping both this Thursday's appearance on the Chuckanut Radio Hour and my new book, "75 Classic Rides: Washington."

Something I like about the above shot is that my truly grimy white handlebar tape still looks pretty clean. In real life? Not so much.

And something I'm curious about in these days of instant commenting on newspaper stories: will anybody remark on the fact that in the above photo, I'm riding on the left side of the road? But I have an excuse--photograher Phil Dwyer had me climb the same 25-yard stretch of the Mount Baker Highway over and over until he got the shot he wanted. (It's pretty much the exact spot where I shot the book cover of Scott Young, btw.) I'd climb, then turn around and coast back down; climb, then turn around and coast back down. Guess what: they used a shot of me coasting back down. On the left side of the road. Oh well, I saw maybe five cars the whole three hours I was up there. (Since I was there, I figured I'd get in a climbing workout too.) Here's the workout:

As long as I'm getting all Strava on ya', here're a couple great routes I rode this past weekend with the Ti Cowboys--road bike on Saturday, single-speed mountain bikes on Sunday.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Starting today, for Bike To Work and School Day I’ll be giving away three free copies of "75 Classic RIdes: Washington" on my Facebook page here. Contest runs through the weekend so be sure to check out my page to find out how to win a free copy!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Just a heads up, tomorrow for Bike To Work Day I’ll be giving away copies of my book on my Facebook page, here. Contest goes live at 7 a.m. tomorrow, so be sure to check out my page to find out how to win a free copy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Did a quick up and down at Galby yesterday on the 'cross bike. (Still feeling the effects of Saturday's Skagit Century.) I rode Ridge Trail to Cedar to well, Rock 'n' Roll doesn't seem to be there anymore, to various dirt roads and out the Padden side. Madone, but the trails were dry. This hot (for us) sunny weather has them seeming all Winthropy, if you know what I mean, almost dusty. No precip in the forecast 'til at least Sunday. Get up there if you can!

In other news, June 8 and 9 Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance’s annual Mountain Bike Festival at Issaquah's Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park. This year's event will also celebrate the completion of the park after three years and some 12,000 hours of volunteer labor. The festival is free. For more info, go here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Absolutely perfect day today at the Skagit Spring Classic. Headed down with Ti Cowboys John and Scott for 104 miles of whole-grain pedaling goodness. Met a real nice dude, Shawn from Vancouver, B.C., all six-foot-four of him (finally, Scott had some he could draft off of), who rode with us for the last 50 miles, sort of as an unofficial Titanium Cowboy. Interesting tidbit re: above photo. Just moments after shooting it I dropped my camera and then rode over it with my back wheel. But the camera still works! As evidenced by ...

... this post-ride shot!

Things started out chilly--perhaps 50--but soon enough we warmed up as we headed north up Chuckanut Drive. Always amazing, that one! After skirting B'ham, we headed down toward Lake Samish and Whatcom and Sedro-Woolley and well, check my Strava file below if you want the route. Along with temps that eventually climbed to the mid-70s, here're some things stick out in my mind: the rather inappropriate mile-long Grip Road hill at the 63-mile mark, the even more inappropriate Bow Hill (westbound) at mile 82 (though at least there, someone in a devil's costume provided comic distractions) and the afternoon Skagit Flat winds that wreaked havoc upon your author.

We'd been riding for five hours, hammering for the last 2-1/2 after Shawn joined us and at mile 93, I had to sit up and concede that I couldn't hold on to these 22 mile-per-hour wheels anymore. So we brought it in a little slower (thanks, guys!) and were beat but pleased with our 5:32 ride time.

B'ham's Richard James with the Devil.

We met some real nice people today including Tom from Edmonds (I think), who bought my book yesterday from a shop in Anacortes. (Thanks, Tom!) He said he's thinking of trying to ride all 75 rides this summer. That'd be cool (as well as 4,800-plus miles!). I wish I'd gotten his contact info so that I could keep tabs on his progress. So Tom, if you read this, please contact me.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Tomorrow I'm heading down to SkagitLand to ride the Skagit Spring Classic, always a great event with year's ride looking like it'll be blessed with beautiful blue skies and abundant sunshine. I'll also be selling my book! That's right, a case showed up today so if you're interested, look for me--I'll be the guy wearing the above jersey but more than likely, not wearing that oddball visage.


Hey y'all, Mountaineers Books wanted me to let everyone know that the free downloadable cue-sheets mentioned in your copies of "75 Classic Rides: Washington" should be available very soon. They’ve encountered some technical difficulties but should have the cue-sheet download page found in your books up and running by next week. They’re really sorry for the inconvenience and hope you enjoy the cue-sheets once the url is repaired. Thanks!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


On this day four years ago, me da' passed and I generally like to mark the anniversary date by getting in a ride or run or hike that tips my cap to him for among other things, influencing my love of the outdoors. (Here's a link to something I wrote a few years ago for the Seattle Times about that very subject.)

It being the middle of the week, I didn't have time for anything epicish (i.e., multiple repeats up the Mount Baker Highway, which I've done in the past) so instead, I broke out the single-speed--which I haven't ridden in a while--and headed up to Galbraith with the intent of setting some personal bests on Strava. (Which I did; amazing how much faster one can go when it's dry.) 

Check out the above Lord of the Rings-ish tree with its roots spidering across the top of a boulder; I'd not seen that before. (Of course, with all the logging up there lately, I saw lots of stuff I'd not seen before.)

At the top, I met some downhiller-freerider types from Victoria, B.C., who were in the midst of an epic mountain bike tour of the Northwest (Wash., Oregon, Idaho, etc.) with their final destination being Moab, Utah. Sounds fun! I, of course, took the time to pimp my new book, showing off my sandwich board-esque bike jersey:

Speaking of my book (we were speaking of it, weren't we?), I heard from Seattle's Adam Morley who just received his copy of "75 Classic Rides: Washington," which he ordered through Mountaineers Books--so I guess it's now available! 

Anyway, another terrific ride, another terrific day in the great outdoors--thanks, dad!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Hey y'all, Mountaineers Books is giving you a chance to get 30% off my book before it hits shelves. To get your hands on the discount code head to my Facebook page and give me a "like."  After you've declared yourself a fan be sure to click on the Mountaineers Books link to head to their site where you'll find the 30% off discount automatically applied to your order!

Thanks, much, and happy pedaling! 

Saturday, May 05, 2012


The big diesel engine that is Titanium Cancellara (Scott Young) had a birthday yesterday and in true Titanium Cowboy spirit, he put in about six hours on the bike. The first three on 'cross bike following our Ronde von Blellingam route that we never got to ride together last month, the last three on mountain bike. We were even able to find a patch of cobbles (maybe 30 yards worth behind Skylark's in Fairhaven) to make it seem Ronde-ish.

(I look like I have short, stubby 18-inch legs in the above pic.) A great time, a great ride. Johnny Boy Clark joined us at the three-hour mark and I cut out just before five hours.
Here's our route:
Happy birthday, Scott!

Friday, May 04, 2012


Shout-out of congrats to Bellingham’s Rusty Dodge who took fifth place in last week’s Washington State Road Race Championships (Cat. Pro/1/2) down in Brady, WA.  (He’s the red-sleeved dude in the above pic from a Donut Ride last year.)
Rusty, who races for B'ham's Fanatik Bike Co., is a great guy whom I see all the time at the Y. In fact, a couple days ago, we got into an embarrassingly sloppy 5-minute game of one-on-one basketball. Despite my hard fouls and all-over cheating, Rusty schooled me 1-nil. Neither one of us was exactly shooting the lights out. Must’ve been pretty hilarious for anyone who witnessed a couple of endurance dudes trying to shoot hoops.
Great job at the State Championships, Rusty!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Last week during my Chelan-Wenatchee trip, I took the Lady of the Lake (or Lady Express, I'm not sure which) to Stehekin, the tiny 80-some resident community that's the very definition of off-the-beaten path. It's located 50-plus miles up the incredibly beautiful Lake Chelan gorge by the headwaters of said lake. (Interestingly, Stehekin is less than 15 air miles from Washington Pass and much closer to Winthrop than it is to Chelan.)

The mountain views are tops--reminds me of the Inside Passage minus the orcas and humpback whales.

The boat trip was 2-1/2 hours each way, with an hour layover in Stehekin. During the summer (or maybe even right now since it's after May 1; see info here), there's a slower boat that takes four hours each way with a 90-minute layover.

One of the countless waterfalls streaking down the mountainside.

Cool reflection.

Very Alaska-y, as I said.

We saw a bear! Hold on, I'll zoom in ...

... OK, it's blurry, but it's still a bear.

Mountains near the Port of Holden Village, a religious retreat.

A bustling hub of activity at the Stehekin dock.

Some of the rolling hills that make for great riding above Manson, as seen from the boat. The prominent bump there in the center is where Echo Valley ski area and the Echo Ridge trails are. I was able to ride my 'cross bike to just below the summit of that hill, elevation: about 4,000 feet.