Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekend Recap

We're back! Michele and I had ourselves a fun filled Spokane weekend too.

Friday we rolled out pretty early in hopes of getting into Spokane in time for a quick ride. Of course it's only a four hour drive so even after a lunch at Huckleberry's and a crazy debacle with regards to getting into our accommodations we still got onto the trail before four. We did a simple 7.5 mile figure eight out of the Seven Mile lot. It was a good ride even though my old arch nemesis, the singletrack climb out of the burn area, got the best of me. Really, I could have made it except it's really loose and once again the fact that the WWLTs are not meant for the back of a bicycle. It's always easier to blame the equipment, isn't it?

Post ride refreshments at the Elk where the was a pretty nice example of a '06 Kona Humuhumu-Nukunuku-Ahua'A(one of my favorite cruisers) out front. Later we had dinner at Gordy's, Michele's favorite resturant, and I suspect the real reason we drove across the state.

Who need luggage when you have a laundry basket?

Michele and the river, two of my favorite things.

Saturday I got up early and rode downtown to meet up with Len at the South Cedar Rocket for another ride. I made a stop at Hoopfest on my way just in time to catch up with Dallas' younger brother Jimmy before his 8:00 AM game. I still got to Rocket in plenty of time to finish my breakfast before Len showed up. We drove from downtown to Seven Mile to start and headed North looking for Deep Creek trails.

Len had never ridden Deep Creek and the last time I'd ridden the trail I was looking for I was riding with my dad back when we both still lived in town. Needless to say, we got a little lost and ended up at the bottom of Deep Creek rather than the top. As long as we were there I though we could at least check out the climbing area before heading uphill again. After screwing around for a little while we headed uphill looking for the top of the ridge. Turns out Len hadn't ridden trail since the last time I was in town and decided we needed a rest after ~400ft of vertical. I was feeling the climb a little myself and welcomed the rest. We didn't get a while lot further up after that but took full advantage of the decent on our way back down and screamed all the way down to the Charles Rd. trailhead. We rode the road back to Seven Mile and caught the river trail from there towards Bowl and Pitcher. By the time we got the the bathroom above Devil's Toenail Len had had enough and Michele was calling in that she had just finished her own ride. Len headed straight back down on the road while I bagged my favorite little half mile loop before turning North towards the lot.

All three of us went for post ride at some Elk owned pub on the South Hill. Later we met up with Jen and Jessie at Picabu for dinner(nice looking Masi fixie with some questionable spokecards parked out front).

Spokane has it's own under the freeway park.

I don't skate, but I have it on good authority that this could quite possibly be the worst skate park ever constructed with public funds. Of course, I'm not counting the Clearwater, KS skate park(see item #8) as a skate park.

Deep Creek bridge.

Climber in Deep Creek.

Len, the snake charmer.

More Deep Creek.

Ahh, love that ribbon of dirt.

Yesterday, Michele and I headed out yet again from Seven Mile. I had talked of Beacon Hill if Michele didn't go but I don't regret missing out on riding there. We started out with the first seven or so miles of the 24 hour course. They have added some fantastic singletrack in the years since we left between the airstrip and half mile hill and I enjoyed every bit of it. Nothing difficult in Riverside, not even Devil's Down, but still a great place to ride.

I'd say Spokane now tops Michele's list of places to live post-residency alongside Hood River. It's also on my list for sure, but definately falls below Prescott and Bend. Couple more years and then we'll just have to see what happens.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spokane, Here We Come

Tomorrow morning we hit the road for Spokane. I'm going to do a little mountain biking, Michele's going to do a little mountain biking, we're going to eat some food, see some people, and do everything in our power to avoid Hoopfest.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

So Much For Two Miles...

My route to Whole Foods is 5 miles round trip. "My route" is the key phrase. The extra mile adds a couple hundred feet. Really it's nothing to get excited about but I just found it a little interesting considering how far inside the circle Whole Foods falls.

I mounted new cheap meats on the budget backup wheels a couple of days ago. Mounted up much better than the Continental 700x28s I tried to get on there for the Urban Assault ride. The El Mariachi's gearing limitations come up a little quicker and the ride is slightly harsher but for the moment it seems like I made the right call.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Solstice

Michele and I rode down to Tilth this morning for breakfast with Paul and Sean before the solstice parade in Fremont. Easily the best breakfast I've had in Seattle to date. I'm stopping short of saying that it's better than Matt's but it's definitely on par.

We got to the parade route about 15-20 minutes ahead of the naked riders and found a decent place to view the parade with an obstruction free view. If you're curious about what you missed, I took a bunch of pictures and a few of them are now up on Picassa.

Good times, Michele thinks we should ride next year and seems half serious when she says it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Illusion Of Speed

Taken this afternoon at St. Eds. Nice little after work hour and a half ride. Same as last time, down to the water, around the seminary, over to Finn Hill, and back.

Not as fast as it looks, seriously.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

South SeaTac, With John And Eithne

We started the morning rather late(by my standards) with brunch at BluWater. After a decent yet greatly overpriced breakfast we walked home and I got right to work on preparing bicycles while John and Eithne showered. We spent about an hour total out on the trail before calling it a day. Of course we needed to leave ourselves enough time to grab a meal and still allow John and Eithne to catch their plane. It was a fun visit and Michele and I are both looking forward to the next time.

To The Park!

John and Eithne came back to town last night, just in time for us to make it over to Paseo and actually get to eat this time too. Post meal we headed off in search of dessert. After much discussion the decision was made that we would go to Cactus in Madison Park. It's not exactly close by, but the best dessert we've had since getting to Seattle by far. It's turned out to be a no-go, why in the hell should there be a 30 minute table wait at 9:30 at night, it makes no sense(to me anyway). As we turned to leave somebody noticed a zipline in the park and it was on.

Good zipline, but certainly not a great zipline.

In addition to the zipline the park was also equipped with some fantastic ways to make a person sick. Here's Eithne showing how to get some speed up on this standy/spinny thing.

John getting things done on this sitty/spinny thing. Holy crap did this thing fuck me up. It may not look like much but neither Michele or I could stop ourselves once we started spinning and without help I'd still be there this morning.

There was also a crazy huggy/spinny thing that put me over the top. No pictures, thankfully.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Technically Speaking

I went out to Soaring Eagle today, it's not Ed's or SST for a change yet still close enough to home to not feel too guilty about fuel. Got to save the big driving for days when I have more time available for riding.

It's been a couple of days since the last rain yet there was still plenty of mud on the trail making the El Mariachi a little more exciting than it needed to be at times. One of these days I'm going to pull the trigger on a Mountain King 2.4 for the rear, but today's not the day. Maybe when winter rolls around again. Anyway, the trail was pretty wildly overgrown in places and had lots of mud holes making it a slow ride, even by my standards.

The slow pace yet easy riding gave me an opportunity to analyze my riding style a little bit. There's some thing that struck me about the way I ride, as I've mentioned before I climb on my geared bike the same way I do on my single speed. That brings two things to mind right off, a higher climbing gear and the lunge. If you're not familiar with the lunge, it's a move that comes naturally on a single speed and everyone figures it out pretty quickly. I'm kind of getting off track a bit here, what I noticed today is a move that I've been doing for a while but never really paid attention to, when approaching uphill obstacles I pull a wheelie. It's strange that it never stood out to me before but it's a pretty cool move when I think about it. The best I can describe what I do is this, mid climb as I approach an obstacle(or 3) I pull my front wheel up and hold it ~3" of the ground and keep it there for about 4-5 feet and drop it back down once past whatever's in the way. I wonder if anybody else does this?

At the start of the ride, notice how I don't have any mud on my face.

Flowers out for all to see.

Terror Trail my ass. That's the problem with letting boy scouts name trails.

Ok, maybe this little guy might terrify some, but still, terror? Really?

Ahh, my lovely bicycle.

This is what happens to shitty ladder stunts, don't build shitty ladder stunts.

News From The Heartland

Well, it's happened. The murse knocked up my sister. Michele and I got her crafty little notice in the mail today and the new addition is scheduled to arrive sometime in late November.

The murse:

My sister:
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Sunday, June 8, 2008

John and Eithne, Now In Washington!

John and Eithne came into town late Friday night(early Saturday morning really) I was long gone by the time they got to the house so I didn't really get to see them until Saturday Morning. With pretty lousy weather we opted for non outdoor activities such as The Blue Onion Bistro, Seattle Art Museum, Pike Place Market, and the Olympic Sculpture Gardens. Later we ended up at The Copper Gate for a couple hours before ultimately ending up back at the house for some Tutta Bella. Mucho alcohol was consumed and a good time was had by all.

Michele and Eithne exploring their centurion side at the S.A.M. kids play area.

S.A.M. shop, everyone liked the chairs.

Even me.

Pike Place view.

New installation at the sculpture garden.

Today we started with the traditional S&M household guest breakfast of crepes. Amazing that we've been here for nearly a year and this is only the second time I've made them since we've been here. After our food settled we headed out on an exploratory ride. Thanks to the fact that Pat has not come and retrieved his bike yet we were able to supply gearies for all. From home we headed over to Ballard to hit the locks, stopped at Dutch Bikes in Ballard, and then up to 42nd and Fremont in an attempt to eat at Paseo(closed on Sunday), straight down Fremont to Dad Watson's for lunch and spirits. Post lunch stops included the troll, Gasworks, cross the Eastlake bridge to a closed dessert shop, UW campus to make our presence known in the quad, Ravenna Park for zipline fun and back home. 6.5-7 hours and 16.5 miles between departure and return home including the many, many stops.

We found the conference bike at Dutch bikes and even got to ride it around the block, it was awesome.

Thinking about what's important at Gasworks.

Fooling around at Gasworks.

The Ravenna Park zipline. This thing is awesome.

Check out the look on Michele's face, priceless.

The mother of all bike lanes. wide enough to ride four across if you so desire.

John and Eithne are off to do some climbing during the week and will be back next weekend for even more activities.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Here's The Deal...

I've started five posts in the last ten days and just couldn't make it happen. I've got a few things to cover so I'm just going to throw it all out there without any rhyme or reason.

1. John and Eithne are coming to town tomorrow night, they'll be here for the weekend before they head up to the Vancouver B.C. area for the week and back here the following weekend until they fly back to Detroit. Michele and I are both really excited about seeing them and we're looking forward to some sort of touristy activity.

2. My heel is still fucked up. I've been trying to keep my weight off of it as much as possible, sometimes it hurts, sometimes it doesn't. Some people are concerned that since I'm ignoring doctor's orders by not using crutches I may end up needing surgery. Meh, we will see. I'm going back for another x-ray next week, I'll report back post visit.

3. Michele's headed to Sequim for all of July and August. As of right now it sounds like she'll be staying in some "friendly to the program" doctor's condo right on the Dungeness Spit. I fully expect that this situation will kick serious ass and I'm looking forward to weekend visits. I'm especially excited about the prospect of going back to Lake Ozette for the first time since I was a boy and to find out if the hike lives up to my memory of it.

4. Wii Fit. Yeah, that's right we've now got a Wii Fit. I like it a lot except for the fact that there's a few things that I can't do with my heel in it's current state but soon I'll be back. Michele's got a longer list of complaints but I'd say even for her the pros outweigh the cons.

5. The 2 Mile Challenge, I found this via another blog and I find it quite interesting. In my two miles I count ten grocery stores, four QFCs, three Safeways, Greenwood Market, HT Oaktree Market, and Whole Foods. There's also two movie theaters and more restaurants than I can count. I'm not going to promise that I'll cut out all of my two mile trips but I'm going to start making a conscious effort to ride more for my short trips. Here's the map, not actually centered around the house- close enough to get the picture and far enough away to convince my wife that one of the four unsavory readers of this blog who doesn't already have our address won't break in and steal our cat.

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Well, I think that just about covers it.