Monday, November 12, 2007

Last Day of Three Day Weekend

Today is the last day of my three day weekend. Today is Veterans Day. Of the three days I rode on only one, Saturday. Saturday was beautiful. It was warm, sunny, and mild. I started my ride at 10:00 AM and finished by noon. It felt wonderful to get out in the sunshine and to feel the sun and wind in my face. It was more of a leisurely enjoy the day ride. It was the best day of my three day weekend. Today is the worst. I woke up at 4:30 AM to the sound of wind. HIGH wind! I thought my roof would come off. Following the wind came the rain. It is, to use a cliche, raining cats and dogs out there right now. Oh well it is winter here in the pacific northwest. To ride in the winter you have to be an opportunist. You have to grab those nice days and get out and ride. So here's to those "nice" winter days. And here's to spring, summer, and fall 2008!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another Beautiful Day!

What more can a person ask for? Two beautiful weekend days! Yesterday a fun mountain bike ride and today a great road ride. Joe and I waited until the temperature got a little warmer. It was only 31 degrees F when we woke up at 8:00 AM. So we waited until the sun had a chance to do it's thing and it sure didn't let us down. Around 11 AM it was in the mid 50s. Perfect! We drove to our favorite starting spot for a nice 20 mile ride. I think I over dressed a bit because I was sweating 10 minutes into the ride.

The day was absolutely picture perfect. We rode through the back roads of Enumclaw's farm country. The trees were decked out in all their gorgeous fall foliage. Mount Rainier was out and white as a white snow cone. There was no traffic, no headwind, just a nice steady ride with beautiful scenery for a backdrop. I did not want it to end. How often (especially here in the pacific northwest in the fall/winter) do you get two back to back gorgeous days on a weekend?!

What a weekend!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mountain Biking at Banner Today

Joe and I went for a mountain bike ride today. The weather was beautiful. It was 31 degrees at 8:00 AM but the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful blue. Cyrstal clear! By 10:00 it was warm! So we loaded up our mountain bikes, stopped at Starbucks for a mocha and a piece of pumpkin loaf and then drove to Banner Forest in Port Orchard. We crossed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the view was awesome! We arrived at the trailhead and off we went. The trails were sweet! The ride super fantastic! After three hours we returned to the truck for the trip home. We stopped for a late lunch in Puyallup. We also stopped at Blockbuster Video and picked up three movies for tonight. We got a cowboy pizza at Pappa John's Pizza. Now it's time for a little relaxation. What a day!

If the weather tomorrow will be as nice as it was today, then Joe and I are going out for an afternoon road ride. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed for a repeat day like today!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weekend Recap

Saturday no biking was done. We had a ferocious windstorm on Thursday and one of our trees was taken out by it. So on Saturday Joe and I cut it up, placed it onto the pickup and took it to the waste and recycle drop off. We also did some shopping and went out for lunch at Famous Dave's. It was a strange day. But today, Sunday, more than made up for yesterday. Joe and I went mountain biking and had a BLAST! We rode for three hours at Sawyer and hit all of our favorite trails. There were a lot of vehicles parked at the trailhead but once we got on the trails we saw maybe 5 people all afternoon. It's amazing how big Sawyer is and how many trails are out there! It was FUN!!!!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Weekend of Mountain Biking

Weekend recap . . .
On Saturday, October 6th Joe and I helped our club with "Take a Kid Mountain Biking". We had 30 kids sign up. We divided the kids into small groups according to ride ability and assigned adults to each group. We had fun! Both the kids and the adults! We had some gutsy kids too. We found a steep hill and the kids all went for it. We stayed at the hill well over half an hour. Going down and then climbing back up to only go down again. After the ride we went back to the staging area where we grilled up hamburgers and hot dogs. We had assorted chips and an ice chest full of sodas. After lunch we went and watched some awesome demonstrations of jumps and bike tricks by some pretty talented and well coordinated riders. No rain just lots of fun!

On Sunday Joe and I went out alone to ride. We had a blast at Lake Sawyer. The trails were great. The ride sweet. Didn't want to see it end. Again no rain!!!! Great weekend!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mountain Bike Ride

This morning Joe and I left the house at 9:00 AM and drove to Black Diamond. We parked near the trailhead of Lake Sawyer and entered the woods for a 2 hour fun fest of mountain biking. The trails were great. No mud (yet) but not dusty either. The little rain we had this week just compacted the dirt and made the trails wonderful. We met perhaps 2 or 3 people while we were out there this morning. It was just a great ride. We returned to the truck tired and hungry but elated. It has been a long time since we rode our mountain bikes. August 18th I believe was the last time. It's a totally different ride experience than road riding. We packed up and headed for home. I'm glad we got out.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Weekend Ride

Here it is Tuesday already! I was so busy these past few days I never posted my Saturday ride. To be honest it wasn't that great of ride. Initially we (Joe, Jackie, and me) were going to ride the John Wayne Trail, a 40 mile ride. 20 miles out and 20 miles back but after thinking it over Joe knew he would not be able to do it. He realized that his massive overtime this summer, which left zero time for riding, has left him completely out of shape for anything longer than 15-20 miles. So we changed our plans I believe on Thursday and decided instead to ride our 25 mile Enumclaw loop.

Well Saturday arrived and Joe got the bikes ready. We started from the Enumclaw High School parking lot. It was overcast and grey but it at least did not rain. We had a headwind for most of the ride but Jackie and I felt great. After 13 miles Joe said he didn't think he could finish. So we turned around and by passed the rest of the ride. We returned to the high school with a total of 16 miles. Joe said his work is cut out for him. He is going to try and rebuild his bike endurance but we are going to have to start slow. So that was my big weekend ride.

On Sunday we went to the Puyallup Fair. We had a good time. We visited the exhibits and displays, saw the animals and ate elephant ears. We got rained on and rode the extreme scream machine. I bought my official fair "mug" which I have been collecting since we moved here in July 1997. So this year makes 11 official Puyallup Fair mugs that I own. Joe's going to have to build a case or cabinet for them one of these days! I'll just add it to his honey do list.

This Saturday we won't be able to ride because Joe, Jackie, and I are driving to Cheney to move Aaron back into his dorm. His last year! He will graduate June 2008! Only one more to go! Jackie graduates winter 2008/2009.

I guess Sunday will be ride day. Depending on the weather . . . either mountain biking or road cycling. Jackie is praying for nice weather because she only rides her road bike.

Well that was my exciting weekend. I am back at work and my days have been draining all my energy. I come home tired and ready to vegetate in front of the boob tube. Hopefully I will adjust and my energy will return.

The weather doesn't help. It looks just the way I feel. Grey, dreary, and chilled. I don't even want to go to the gym. Sigh . . . I hope it gets nice again.

Finally finished my slideshow with pictures of the MS 150 ride from the weekend of September 8th and 9th.

Check it out here:

Slideshow of 2007 MS 150

Monday, September 10, 2007

What a Weekend!

It was the best weekend in many ways. First, the weather was absolutely perfect. A bit chilly in the mornings but by noon it was in the mid to upper 70s. The sun was out on both days and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. It was a typical autumn morning. You know crisp and clear. But the best thing about this weekend was the ride. My daughter and I rode in the annual MS 150 in La Conner, Washington. Our weekend began on Friday afternoon as we left our home for La Conner. A 99 mile drive to the north. The traffic was horrendous but the pay off was worth it.

It was a two day event. The first day, Saturday, Jackie and I woke up at 5:30 AM and had breakfast at our hotel. My hubby Joe and our son Aaron also came with us to La Conner for the weekend. Not to ride but to support Jackie and me. We drove to the MS village where we met our fellow team mates. We had our team photo taken at 7:30 and then we all went over to the start line. The atmosphere was electric! People were cheering and dancing and many of the cyclists were dressed in costumes. Some of the costumes were pretty funny and original. There was music blurring and well wishers gathered along the streets. The teams were going out in waves. An announcer would say the team’s names and then people would cheer and off they would go. Finally, our team approached the start line. I can’t describe how excited I was. It was something you would have to experience for yourself.

Saturday’s ride was very hilly. Did I say it was hilly?! It was HILLY! But the scenery was gorgeous. We pedaled along the water on our way to Anacortes. The views along the sound and of Mount Baker were breath taking. Our first rest stop was only 9 miles into the ride but Jackie and I stopped for water and to chat with our fellow team mates. It was all about having fun too. I took pictures ate a banana and then we were off again. One of my favorite memories of day one’s ride was crossing Deception Pass . . . with a MOTORCYCLE escort! The motorcycles would escort groups of cyclists over the bridge that crossed Deception Pass. I felt like I was in the Tour de France! And the view! It was the best part of the ride.

After we crossed Deception Pass we had a thrilling downhill! Jackie and I were going over 37 mph! At the end of our exhilarating downhill was our lunch stop. They had turkey, tuna salad, and veggie wraps along with assorted fruits, cookies, and power bars. We grabbed lunch and sat down on the grass and ate. We met some of our team mates and they joined us and we talked about Deception Pass. With our stomachs full and legs rested we finally started off on the last leg of our ride. Wouldn’t you know it after lunch and with full bellies we had to CLIMB! Oh yes, awaiting us was a long climb. But Jackie and I made it without stopping! We had one more rest stop about 10 miles later and we finished the last 15 miles with ease! Elated we crossed the finish line a little past noon. Not bad! Joe and Aaron were waiting for us. We drove back to the hotel and showered and rested until 4:30. We left a little before 5:00 to meet some of our team members for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. After dinner we returned to our hotel room and went to sleep ready for tomorrow’s ride!

Again, the alarm went off at 5:30 AM and Jackie, Joe, and I got dressed and headed to the MS 150 village. Aaron stayed in bed! LOL He was tired. We went to the start line again and it was a repeat of yesterday. The excitement and enthusiasm was still there. People were cheering, dancing, and yelling their support. The atmosphere was still electric. Our team approached the start line and again the announcer called our name as we began our ride on day two. Sunday’s ride was not hilly BUT it sure was WINDY! Yes, windy! We had one hellacious head wind on Sunday. When I asked Jackie would she rather climb or pedal with a head wind she said she would take hills any day! I agreed with her. It felt like we were pushing against a wall at times. But the scenery that morning was surreal. The sun streaming through the cyclists as they pedaled along the country roads was just something to see. I don’t think a camera can capture what the eye can see sometimes. It was just beautiful. We started again about the same time as yesterday about 7:45 and finished at 12:07 PM. We stopped at the rest stops and lunch stop. Again they had wraps for us and power bars and breakfast cookies. The cookies were the best! When we crossed the finish line on the second day they presented all riders with a medal! And on both days at the finish line there were people cheering for us as we crossed the line!

We did it! We had fun, we raised money for a good cause, and we met some pretty nice people too. The MS people had a special lunch waiting for us. They had hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, cookies, pudding, fruit, and all kinds of drinks. There was a beer garden and a band playing. But Jackie and I could not stay for the festivities. We had a long drive back home. So we said good bye to our team mates and friends and headed for home exhausted but happy.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Three Day Weekend = One Day Painting and Two Days Riding

The weather here in the pacific northwest this Labor Day weekend was absolutely beautiful. It was perfect for riding AND painting. Yes, painting! After months of putting it off, hubby, our kids, and me finally got the exterior of our house painted on Saturday. It was a family affair. We started early, around 8:00 AM and finished at 5:00 PM. We taped and covered all the windows first then Joe spray painted the entire house. We allowed it to dry over night. The next morning Joe and our son painted the trim while Jackie and I went for a road ride. Jackie and I had to ride because next weekend is our MS 150 event. We had to get some last minute training rides in. So with the house finished, except for the trim, we went for it. Joe did not mind and said to just pick up lunch on our way home.

We left early, around 8:00 AM and cycled throughout Enumclaw. My legs felt tired for some reason but they managed to finish. We were back home by 12:30 with lunch. We stopped at Wendy’s on our drive home. Joe and Aaron were finished with the trim and were cleaning up as we pulled into the drive. Our house looks fabulous. A warm “latte/creamy light brown” color with a cream colored trim. I would describe the trim as lightly burnt marshmallow. I also went to Home Depot with Joe and picked out some new outdoor light fixtures. Joe placed two on each side of the garage door and one by the front door. It was a lot of hard work but in the end it was worth it. But the next time we have to paint our house we are hiring someone. We are getting too old for this manual labor stuff. And by the time it needs to be painted again we will be even older. So yea, we are definitely hiring a painting crew the next time around.

This morning as Jackie and I were drinking our coffee we decide to do another ride. The weather was still beautiful and so another ride was in order. We left around the same time as yesterday and practically retraced yesterday’s route. Our ride was so peaceful and enjoyable with very little traffic that it was like being in cycling heaven. Today my legs felt like their good old selves again. Full of energy and strong. We cruised on the flats at 21-22 mph and ascended the hills pretty quick too. One very steep and long hill did slow us down a tad bit but our average speed was almost 15 mph at the end of the ride. To be exact it was 14.97 mph. And this with all the steep and roller coaster hills! Jackie and I were solid!

Well tomorrow I return to work. It’s the first day of school for my school district. Oh I can picture all the students’ happy faces as they walk through the school doors. My face will have a smile on it too but inside I know where I truly would rather be, outside on my bike with the air, wind, and sun on my face! I guess its back to the gym on the weekdays. But I will certainly be looking forward to my weekends.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Afternoon Ride

Today my daughter and I were supposed to do a 20 mile ride when she got home from work. But when she walked through the door a little past noon she said that she had a really bad headache. She also said that her fall allergies were starting up again. So I told her to rest and take a nap. She didn't need to ride in today's heat feeling the way she did. And it certainly was hot this afternoon. In fact according to this morning's weather report today would be our hottest day this week. But I wanted to ride. So I decided to do a short quick ride alone.

I quickly got dressed and got on my bike and out the drive I went. It was warm at 1:03 PM when I left, 82 degrees according to my house thermometer. I filled both water bottles and hoped that would be enough for my ride. Here is my route: Out my door to Alan York Park, left onto Bonney Lake Blvd, then left onto Locust. At the traffic light I went left onto Old Sumner Buckley Hwy until I reached Angeline Road where I turned right. I went down the hill but instead of going into Orting I went towards Sumner. When I reached the on ramp of 410 (near Riverside Ford) I pedaled onto the the ramp and started cycling up Eli Hill! I made it to the top and stopped at the Park and Ride behind Wendys for a water break. Downing one and half bottles of water I continued home. I reached my driveway at 2:08 PM and got 14.26 miles in. That climb up 410 (Eli Hill) was 1.91 miles! It was HOT but I kept on pedaling. Traffic was pretty heavy and there was a lot of debris and glass on the shoulder of the road. I don't think I will ride up this hill again! I wouldn't recommend it to other cyclists. There are plenty of other hills that are better and safer and with less rubbish on them.

Tomorrow I think I will do my Sky Island to Orting, Buckley, and back home route. About a 35 mile ride. Jackie said to just cycle in the morning without her. She said it's better to ride before the heat of the day. So I think I will. But she has Friday off and we plan on riding the 45 mile Headwater Century course before the heat of the day. The problem is where to park. Enumclaw High School, our usual start point, is in session. Yes, they went back to school today. Maybe we'll park at the Enumclaw QFC.

Late Afternoon Ride . . . HOT!

Because I had to work yesterday that meant no morning ride. But I did get a ride in plus I finally got to meet another cycling addict who lives only a few miles away from me! We have been corresponding right here on my blog page.

We met at the local park at 4:30 PM. The lake in the park was full of kids swimming, lounging, and hanging out with their friends at either the lake or the skateboard park. I guess they are trying to grab those last few summer days of fun before school starts next week. And just like them I was doing the same thing, trying to enjoy my last days of summer, because I start back next week too.

But anyway back to my ride. We met in the parking lot next to the Snack Shack and introduced ourselves. He is a very nice guy who rides a nice Specialized bike. Yes, I always notice peoples’ bikes. In fact when Joe and I talk about someone we have met on a ride we will say something like, “Yea, you remember that guy on the Giant, what was his name?” We remember the bike he/she was on but not their name! LOL

Introductions done and both of us eager to ride we left the park and pedaled around the south end of the lake then headed east towards Buckley. The traffic was pretty heavy and the county I live in, in my opinion, has the worst county roads in the state. No shoulders and chip sealed roads. The course was rolling. There were a few steeper hills thrown in to keep it entertaining. I do not know how many miles we got in as I forgot to start my cyclometer when we left the parking lot. I only noticed that it was not on when we reached Old Sumner Buckley Highway. It felt like I may have gotten in about 17 or 18 miles. And my friend probably got a bit more mileage as he lives a few miles away from me. But I did have a fun ride! And I was very happy that I got out for a ride especially after being inside all day long.

Today, Wednesday, my daughter and I are supposed to go for a ride when she gets home from work. She gets off at noon and is usually in the door by 12:30. Then she will have to eat and then we will load our bikes and drive to Black Diamond because she likes to ride King County roads. We are planning on doing our upper 20 mile loop starting from Black Diamond. It’s going to be even hotter today so claims the weathermen. Maybe even 80s! I’ll post a report on our ride tonight.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

No Bike Rides This Weekend

This weekend was a washout as far as mountain biking or road cycling goes. I did neither and I am very depressed about it. But my husband and I had "house" chores to do and they had to be done. But I did get a new bright neon green Canari cycling jacket. People should see me coming from miles away. It's so green with reflective piping along the sides and sleeves. The sleeves can be unzipped and removed turning the jacket into a vest. I like it a lot.

I have a full day of work tomorrow. On Tuesday I only have to go in for a morning meeting. My summer break officially ends next Tuesday the day after Labor Day. Yes, another school year begins in a week. This time of year always depresses me. Not because I have to go back to work (okay, maybe it's one of the reasons) but because right after fall is winter, which is my least favorite season. The cold, darkness, and gloom are so depressing. I am a sun person and the lack of it really affects me. But I seem to get through it every year, even though it seems to get harder and harder with each passing year.

On the bright side, on Tuesday afternoon Jackie and I plan to do a road ride. We are thinking about doing the upper 20 mile Black Diamond Loop. Wednesday I am not to sure about at this point. I am debating on either doing a morning ride (about an 8:00 or 9:00 AM start) or an afternoon ride (about a 3:00 or 4:00 PM start). Thursday another afternoon ride with my daughter and Friday a possible club ride. Cascade Bicycle Club has a Vashon/Maury Island ride scheduled for 9:00 AM. We are to meet at the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal where we will catch the 9:25 AM ferry to Vashon. Once we are on Vashon we are going to circumnavigate the islands stopping to have lunch before returning by ferry to the mainland. Whether I ride with the club on Vashon or with my daughter one fact is certain, I will have fun! And hey after all isn't that what it's all about?!

Point Robinson Light House, Maury Island, Washington

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Beautiful Day . . . Great Ride!

This morning my daughter and I woke up at 7:30 PM. What greeted our eyes when we looked out the kitchen window were sunshine and a clear blue sky! So we quickly ate breakfast and then got ready for a bike ride. I pumped air into our tires, lubed the chains, and filled our water bottles. I stuffed a few power bars into my back jersey pocket, packed my gloves, sunglasses, bike shoes, and helmet into my tote bag and off we went. We decided to start from Enumclaw and ride to Black Diamond and back.

We arrived in Enumclaw and parked and then we got ourselves ready. We were on our way by 9:30 AM. Jackie wanted to wear her jacket but I told her in 10 minutes she would be hot and then she would have to carry it for the rest of the ride. She listened to me and left her jacket in the car and sure enough I was right, by the time we completed our first mile she was warm. The morning air was nice, the pastures were beautiful, and the roads quiet with hardly any traffic on them.

I was initially going to follow the 45 mile Headwater Century route. The Dan Henry markings were freshly painted on the roads for the upcoming September 9th Headwater Century. But Jackie did not want to go down one particular hill. It is a steep and winding hill that drops you down into the valley and takes you to Flaming Geyser. She had a terrible crash about 1 ½ months ago on a similar steep and winding hill and she said she just couldn’t handle a hill like that just yet. So, I had to change my plans. When we came to the left hand turn that would have taken us to the steep winding hill we instead continued straight and crossed hwy 169. We climbed a steep hill and came down a steep but straight downhill that placed us at Veazie-Cumberland Road SE. We turned left onto Veazie and after pedaling for 2 miles we reached Nolte State Park, our first rest stop. After refilling our water bottles eating our power bars and visiting the rest room we were ready to continue on. Jackie and I were really into our ride. Before we knew it we were passing Kanaskat Palmer State Park then we were crossing the Green River. This part of the ride was very hilly. Like a roller coaster, up and down. I think it's a great route for building up the strength in your legs. I absolutely loved it! After about 4 more miles we reached a “T” in the road where we turned left onto SE Retreat Kanaskat Rd. Shortly after passing Retreat Lake we turned left onto SE Kent Kangley Rd. which took us into Ravensdale where Jackie and I pulled into a park for a rest. We decided to turn around here and go back. Jackie was getting tired and did not want to continue on into Black Diamond which was only 4 miles away. So, we turned around and went back the way we had just come.

By the time we got back to our cars we had cycled over 40 hilly miles. If we would have continued on into Black Diamond we would have done over 50 miles. Oh well perhaps on another day we will do the 50 mile ride.

Well, we left at 9:30 and we were back by 12:17. After we got the bikes loaded and all our gear packed up we were ready for food. We were both very hungry. I suggested we have lunch at “The Mint” in Enumclaw. Jackie thought that was a great idea so off we went to the Mint. The food tasted so delicious. Isn’t it amazing how hard exercise enhances the taste of food?! And the ice tea was so cold and refreshing. I’ve never tasted a better glass of ice tea! After our delicious lunch we drove back home. We pulled into the driveway a little before 2:00 PM and we both agreed it was a great ride!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Last Minute Change of Plans

This morning Joe and I were planning to do a 25 mile road ride. But at the very last minute Joe changed his mind and said, "Let's go to Lake Sawyer and ride our mountain bikes instead." I agreed and said, "Ok!" The last time that Joe was on his mountain bike was Saturday, June 30th when we rode Tiger Mountain with a bunch of friends. The last time I was on my mountain bike was on Thursday, July 26th when I met a friend and we hit the trails at Banner Forest. So today turned into a trail ride instead of a pavement ride!

I remember summers when Joe and I rode every single weekend! One day of the weekend we would mountain bike and the other day we would do a road ride. I remember epic rides, all day rides, riding with a dozen friends, and campouts. This summer has been a very sad one when it comes to mountain biking and road cycling. Hopefully we can get this "very little riding" turned around and back on course to “lots of riding!”

But we sure had a lot of FUN this afternoon! I forgot how much fun the dusty, rooty, rocky, steep, sweeping, technical, forested trails can be. It's a totally different experience and a different workout then road cycling. Oh don't get me wrong I love road cycling but I also love mountain biking. Each has their own unique and special qualities. And please don't ask me to choose between the two because I won't be able to do it because I LOVE doing both.

Ok back to the fun! Once we entered the woods we headed straight for our favorite trails like Black Bear Trail, JLG Trail, Ed’s Woods, Toy Trail, and Mistress. As we were swooshing along the trails we ran into some friends that we used to ride with. So we stopped to chat. They asked us to join them but we declined. We did not want to hold them back. Remember it’s been quite some time since we did any mountain biking and these guys were pretty good and in better shape than Joe and me. They would have killed us! We told them that we would ride with them when we were back in shape again. So we said good bye and continued on.

Finally after 3 hours of riding we left the woods and returned to the truck. We were very tired but also very happy. It was a great ride. I'm glad we went.

I wish we could get a road ride in tomorrow but I know we will be starting our "big house painting" project. Until that task is finished there will be zero mountain biking or road cycling on weekends. Sad, sad, sad but sometimes sacrifices have to be made because of other obligations. But I'm calculating that by the time we finish our house painting project Joe should be starting his new job which should mean more time to ride! So once we are finished painting the house it should all be good!

And I still have two weeks left of my summer break before I return to work. I will definitely take full advantage of these remaining days and ride my road bike as often as I can. In fact I'm thinking about leading a couple of training rides for my MS 150 Team this week. I'll probably ride on Tuesday and Thursday morning. If no one shows up, oh well, I'll still ride. There are only three weeks left until the MS 150 Ride. I'm ready! I hope the rest of the team is also ready. I would love to do the 75 mile course.

Here are two pictures that I shot today with my cell phone's camera. Sorry they are not that great.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Morning Ride With My Daughter

The weather report called for a chance of rain. But when I looked outside my kitchen window this morning it said otherwise. So, Jackie and I got our bikes and went for a road ride. And it turned out to be one of the best rides of the week. We rode through Enumclaw on beautiful back country roads that were almost traffic-less. We saw maybe a half dozen cars the first two thirds of our ride. And on the last one third maybe a tad bit more. We rode at a leisure to moderate pace. The course we rode on this morning was hilly and even so our average was still 14 mph. Both of us felt strong. We both agreed that we could have done a 50 mile ride easily. About a mile before we finished we stopped at Starbucks for venti iced teas. It really hit the spot. Then we finished the last mile and headed for home. It was GREAT!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ride Report

It's almost midnight and I thought I would quickly compose a brief recap of today's ride. First off it was much nicer than yesterday's ride. The reason it was nice was because I started the ride before it got hot. I left my house at 8:20 AM and was home before noon. The first half was all downhill into the Orting Valley. The second half was all uphill. The scenery on this morning's ride was beautiful. I rode past the Carbon River with fantastic views of Mt. Rainier, fields of corn ready to be picked, and fields of diverse and bountifully colored flowers. There were also the familar cows and horses grazing in lush and overgrown pastures. Very picturesque.

I rode 36 miles today. I would love to get a longer ride in this weekend but it does not look like it is going to happen. Hopefully I can get a 50 miler in next week. Probably on Tuesday or Wednesday.

If you've been reading my blog you know that I am riding in the MS 150 that is scheduled to take place the weekend of September 8th and 9th. I would like to ride the 75 mile route, but more than likely it will have to be the 50 mile route. I just haven't been getting enough training rides in these past few months. But I do feel strong so I'll just have to wait and see how I feel on the day of the MS 150. I will also have to take into account that my daughter is also doing the ride with me. And she really has not had the opportunity to ride. She has been busy with her summer job and working as a counselor at summer camps. So we will probably ride the 50 mile course. But it's all about having a good time and raising money for a great cause. I am looking forward to the event very much.

Tomorrow I am taking a day off from cycling to spend it with my son who is home from college for the summer. A good mother son day. He will be going back to EWU in September to finish his last year. He graduates June 2008!

On Thursday I want to get another morning ride in or perhaps a late afternoon/early evening ride. On Friday morning my daughter and I want to ride about 25-30 miles. She has Fridays off from her summer job and is also home for the summer from college. And like her brother she will be returning to school, CWU, in September. She graduates the year after her brother.

Well I guess that about sums up today's ride. It's now past midnight and I am very tired. So with that I am signing off with a good night and happy trails tomorrow!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Early Autumn! What was I thinking?!

Yes it was warm and sunny today, yes I said it felt like fall, yes I said the breeze felt cool BUT I was not riding my bike at the time when I made these statements.

I left my house today at 1:30 PM and 30 minutes into the ride the sweat was running down my cheeks as the sun baked my head, back, arms, and legs. The 25 mile route I had planned on doing turned into a 19 mile ride. Why you ask? Because my two bottles of water were empty, drained, depleted, dry at mile 18 and the sun was just too hot. I guess I am not conditioned for warm weather riding this summer as in previous summers. This can be attributed to a bad cycling year for me. Yes, 2007 has not been a good biking year for me but hopefully it will end better. Tomorrow I will go for an early morning ride. Oh well to be positive I at least rode my bike!

Early Autumn?

Today is Monday, August 10th isn't it? It feels more like September 10th to me. A day with clear blue skies and white fluffy clouds drifting by. A slight cool breeze. The sun is warm on your skin but the air is chilly and when you walk into the shade there is no warmth. The humidity of summer is gone. It's dry. There are other signs too. My butterfly bush has had dozens of hummingbirds surrounding it these past few days. All hungrily attacking the purple flowers and chasing at one another. I believe they are stoking up on energy for a long flight. But one thing is clear, it is perfect weather for a bike ride. So let me end here for now so that I can get ready for a wonderful afternoon bicycle ride. I will post a report of my afternoon ride later today. I hope everyone else is enjoying this gorgeous day.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Exactly Two Weeks Since My Last Ride!

Yes, it's been two weeks since my last bike ride. To the day! Finally, this morning I got to ride my bike again, Yippee! Initially I was going to do my regular route. The one straight out my door down into Orting to South Prairie into Buckley and back to Bonney Lake which is between 30-40 miles depending on different loops and streets I take. But I felt adventuresome this morning so I winged it and let my bike take me where it may.

I began my ride following my regular route. Which is straight out my door to Alan York Park to Locust and then across 410 to Sky Island and down the hill. But instead of going left at the "Y" which would take me to Valley Ave (Hwy 162) and into Orting I went right and pedaled towards Sumner. I passed Riverside Park continued on and found myself riding by the Texaco station (which has great soft serve ice cream by the way) and Corliss' on the right. At the traffic light I turned left and continued riding until I reached Valley Ave. in Sumner. I turned right onto Valley and cycled by Fred Meyers and Sumner HS. At the end of Valley I turned right onto East Valley Hwy and then turned left at the next traffic light which took me into the Sumner Industrial Park. I meandered through the Industrial Park and came out in Auburn and saw Pacific City Park on my right. I knew I was close to the Boeing Plant in Auburn and sure enough came to the light where I turned right. At the next light I turned right again and was on A St/East Valley. When I reached Auburn White River HS I turned left and started the long climb up Lakeland Hills Way East. I wish I would have looked at my odometer because I would like to know how long that dang climb was! But I made it without stopping. I continued through Lakeland Hills until I came to the traffic light that intersects Lake Tapps Parkway. Craving a mocha and water I stopped at the Lakeland Starbucks for refreshments, rest, and a potty break! After my rest and a lovely chat with a very nice older gentlemen and his beautiful dog, which he said was a Shiloh Shepard, I started off again knowing I only had about 6 or 7 miles left until I was home. I turned left onto West Tapps Dr. E. and as I bicycled past Crestwood School I noticed that the road was very bumpy. The chip seal was terrible. Next time, I thought to myself, I will go to the next light and turn onto South Tapps Dr. East instead. I did not get my 30 miles in like I had planned. I only got 26.67 miles BUT that climb up Lakeland Hills Way East more than made up for the missed miles! In fact I really enjoyed today's ride. I plan on riding it again next week.

Tomorrow my daughter is off so she and I are going to drive to Enumclaw early in the morning and do a ride starting from the Enumclaw HS. So I will have two good rides in by tomorrow afternoon. Sunday Joe, Jackie, and I are going to drive to Tenino and ride in the TRYBR. I hope the weather will be nice. The countryside there is beautiful!

Hey NO headache after today's ride. I took advice from a friend and ate protein plus I drank a ton of water. I feel pretty darn good right now. Too bad I have to go and do laundry now.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Great Ride Yesterday!

Yesterday I started my ride from Enumclaw High School's parking lot and pedaled my way 35 miles up 410. I stopped in Greenwater for a rest, a chance to use the bathroom, and a refill on food and water. Then I continued on my way. At 35 miles, just short of the park entrance I turned around and returned to Enumclaw. I started early, 8:00 AM and was back in the parking lot a little past 1:00 PM. I noticed a ton of people, trucks, tables, being setup for the RAMROD which is today. I am leaving in about one hour to help at one of the rest stops. Unlike yesterday, which was sunny and clear in the morning when I rode, this morning it's quite foggy! The riders started at 5:30 AM about 1 1/2 hours ago. I hope they are being safe. I'm glad I went out and did my ride yesterday. I really needed it after our week of gloom, rain, and chilly temperatures.

Tomorrow my daughter is off and we are going to do our 45 mile Enumclaw ride. We plan on starting early, probably around 9:00 ish. First a stop at Starbucks for our mochas. :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

MS 150 September 8 & 9, 2007

My daughter and I are participating in this year's MS 150 ride on September 8th and 9th. If you would like to make a donation we would greatly appreciate it! The ride will be held in beautiful LaConner, Washington. I will give a report, with pictures included, after our ride. I will post it on my web site.

Thank you!

Sue and Jackie

Follow link on MS logo to make a donation.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lots of GOOD riding this summer!

I noticed that I have not submitted any new posts since June 4th! Well, there is a good reason for this and that is I have been doing a lot of mountain biking and road cycling! Hey isn't that what summers are all about?! I even did a 40+ road ride on one of our hottest days (a record breaker here in the pacific northwest). I started my ride at 9:00 AM when I really should have started riding at 7:00 AM on that hot day. I finished a little past noon with the thermometer reading 93 degrees! Yesterday I went out with a friend who is training for this year's RAW (Ride Around Washington). And today I had an awesome mountain bike ride at Banner Forest in Port Orchard with another friend. This Thursday and Friday my daughter and I plan to road ride. Thursday's ride will start at 1:00 PM when she gets home, we will do our favorite 20 mile route, an out and back. On Friday she is off so we plan on doing a 50 mile ride. Another favorite route. Also on Friday, Friday evening at 6:30 PM, I am meeting a few friends for a mountain bike ride! Friday will be a kick ass riding day! I can't wait!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Awesome Ride!

Yesterday, Joe, Jackie, and me woke up at 6 AM to do the Tacoma Wheelmen's Annual Peninsula Metric Bicycle Ride in Kitsap County. On our way to the ride, which started in Gig Harbor, we stopped at Starbucks and ordered their delicious English muffin breakfast sandwich and mochas. We arrived at the start at 7:45 AM. We registered, got on our bikes, and began our ride.

It was a beautiful morning. The sun was out the sky was blue. The weather report for the day was HOT! The first 17 miles of the ride were wonderful because the route was along shady tree lined country roads. Plus the early morning air was still nice and cool. It would have been a perfect start except for a bee that hit Jackie's helmet and got stuck in it not 3 miles into the ride. It stung her. She was a real trooper and continued on. After a while she felt better. Lucky thing she is not allergic to bees. Usually I am the one who gets stung. And then there was the crazy squirrel! Jackie and I were coming down a steep hill and a squirrel ran out onto the road. It does this twitchy back and forth dance, like it can't decide which way to go before it finally darts off towards the left side of the road. Jackie and I were both scared that one of us would hit it and crash. It was sort of funny and scary at the same time. But anyway we arrived safely at our first rest stop at the Southworth Ferry and enjoyed watermelon, oranges, all sorts of cookies, bagels, peanut butter, jelly, potatoes with Johnny seasoning (need that salt), water, gatore aide, and so much more. The people working the rest stop were friendly and helpful.

Refreshed we set off for the next leg of the route, which followed the shoreline and offered us magnificient views of the sound! On this section of the ride I saw two bald eagles, herons, boats, and a fisherman hip deep in the sound casting for fish. The air coming off the water was refreshingly cold. It felt wonderful! But soon our ride turned inland and the HILLS appeared! Steep roller coaster hills! Up and down. Each one steeper then the last one! We would pedal up one hill, sweat dripping down our noses and backs, wishing we were at the crest, when we finally did reach the top of a hill our relief was short lived because waiting for us was another HILL! Finally, after climbing what seemed like a hundred hills we rolled into the second rest stop dripping wet from our climbs. Yes, the Kitsap peninsula is notorious for hills! If you want to train for any kind of mountain or climbing event I would say ride the Gig Harbor area for some great hill training!

We stayed at this rest stop a good 30 minutes sitting underneath a shady tree and taking in food and liquids. Finally we decided to move on and began the third leg of the route. The next rest stop was only 13 miles away. But the heat was beginning to take it's toll. I have been riding after work, two or three times a week, for the last month but Joe and Jackie have not. So the hills and heat were really starting to get to them. About 6 miles away from the last rest stop they bonked badly. Luckily a sagwagon went by and offered to take both Jackie and Joe to the next rest stop while I continued on alone. My legs felt great, I felt great, I finished the last 6 miles and 4 steep hill climbs in record time, beating Joe, Jackie, and the sagwagon to the rest stop! I passed them as they stopped to help a cyclist with a flat tire!

The course we were on was a 68 mile course. Joe and Jackie told me that they just could not finish. So Joe asked the guy driving the sagwagon to take him back to the start so that he could pick up the truck and come back and get Jackie, me, and our bikes. I was happy. I got 52 miles in and Joe and Jackie got 46 miles. They did awesome for not riding in such a long time.

On our drive home we stopped at Burger Kings for burgers and fries, then we stopped for ice cream cones. When we finally arrived home we put the bikes away, showered and crashed. The ride, heat, and hills took it's toll. I did get a little too much sun on my shoulders but other than that I feel great. Joe and Jackie felt great this morning too! We all agreed that the ride was a lot of fun!

Here are a few pictures of yesterday's ride . . . .

Pictures of Joe, Jackie, and me riding the Peninsula Metric

As you can see it was a great ride!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Two Good Days

On Tuesday the weather was great. After work it was in the mid 80s. When I got home I changed quickly into my cycling clothes, grabbed my road bike and headed out the garage for a 30 mile ride. On Wednesday it was cooler, only in the 70s, my daughter talked me into climbing Mount Peak. That is one hellacious hike! It's very very very verticle! Climbers preparing for Mount Rainier climbs or summer hiking come here to begin their fitness program. If that climb doesn't kill your legs nothing will. Great for getting the old legs back in shape. And great for your cardiovascular system. I was huffing and puffing one minute into the climb. You start climbing the moment your feet hit the trail! And the pay off, the most fantastic view from on top. I'll have to take my camera along next time. But that's extra weight . . . hmmmmm. LOL And the descent is just as hard. You are constantly braking and fighting gravity. Quite the workout! I will add this into my fitness regime. One day road cycling, one day climbing, and one day mountain biking. I should be fit as a fiddle by July!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

30 Mile Ride

Today Joe and I left our house a little past 10:00 AM for a road ride. We headed down the long winding hill behind Sky Island into the Orting Valley. We rode through Orting and headed towards South Prairie where, at a little over 18 miles, we stopped at a coffee stand for mochas and cookies. We parked our bikes in the bike stand and sat underneath a nice shady gazeebo and enjoyed our drinks and cookies. Refreshed we got back on our bikes and began the long long winding climb out of the valley back to the top of hill. We had a terrible headwind for the fist 18 miles but once we crested the hill it seemed to die down a bit. But when we turned onto Old Sumner Buckley Hwy it was waiting for us! Undaunted we cycled on and returned home tired but very happy that we got a nice 30 miler in this afternoon.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Busy But Riding . . . Beautiful Weather!

Although I have not been posting I have been riding! I participated in the 4 Hours of Adrenalin Mountain Bike event on April 29, 2007, went out on an awesome mountain bike ride with hubby and friend last Saturday, and I have been riding my road bike after work all week long. This last week has been absolutely picture perfect as far as the weather and too nice not to ride. Here is a link of my recent rides:

Fun fun fun!

Monday, April 23, 2007

After work reward

It was so hard going to work this morning. The sun was out and shining brightly. The sky was the most brilliant blue. A perfect cycling day was forming but alas, I had to go to work. The hours at work just dragged. I would look out a window and think how much fun it would be to be on my bike enjoying this day. Finally 2:30 arrived. Quickly I shut down my computer, turned off my lights, locked my door and ran out the door. I drove home, dressed into my cycling clothes, opened the garage door and got my bike off it's rack. I checked my tire pressure, put lube on my chain, clipped in and off I went. I had a great ride. Wow, two rides in two days! I don't think three days in a row is going to mesh out. The weather man says rain tomorrow. Leave it to him to ruin a good thing! But to make up for it, he predicts a great weekend!

What a Day!

It was a typical spring day. It began with clouds, mist, and the temperature a tad bit chilly. But as the day went on the weather improved . . . and changed continually throughout the day. When I first woke I looked out the window and thought to myself what an ugly day to ride. So I hung around the house, went to the store, came back, when my husband and daughter got up we went out for coffee, came back, hubby had work he had to do, daughter had things to do so I went on the computer for a bit. As I was typing something to my friend I looked out the window and noticed breaks in the clouds. Blue sky showing through and the sun appearing. I decided right then to ride the Daffodil Classic straight from my house!

It was 1:30 when I left my driveway. I picked up the upper loop of the Daffodil Classic about a half a mile from my home and headed down into Orting, about 12 miles away. I arrived in Orting, which is the start of the ride, and was amazed at all the cyclists in town. And the weather just kept getting better and better. The sign in was closed. Oh well, I guess I would just ride and enjoy the day. Most people were finishing up and here I was just starting. But the weather at 1:30 was a lot more pleasant than it was at 7:30.

Enthusiastically, I continued on. I left Orting and headed towards South Prairie and then up the STEEP climb into Buckley. At mile 25 I was famished. Only bringing water I decided to stop at Wally's Drive In and ordered a hamburger and ice tea. That burger was delicious! It was the best burger I have ever had! Refreshed and feeling much better I got back on my bike and pedaled through beautiful farm country. Passing pastures full of cows grazing contentedly and meadow larks flying and singing cheerfully. Finally, I was at the edge of Bonney Lake and soon would be near my neighborhood. I did a little loop around a peninsula and watched quads racing in the muddy bottom of Lake Tapps. In another month it will be full of water again for the summer season. Finally, I was home. I'm glad I decided to go out and ride. It was one of best rides I have had this year. I slept soundly last night. I'm looking forward to more rides just like the one I just had. I rank this ride A++++

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wet, Windy, and Cold

On Saturday my daughter and I drove up to La Conner, WA to ride in the 26th annual Tulip Pedal. I did this ride in 2004 on a beautiful sunny, warm, mild spring day. This year was the exact opposite. It was cold, wet, and windy. Because of the weather we decided to ride the 20 mile route instead of the 40. I got sprayed by a semi and was covered with water and road silt. But the tulips were beautiful and once we started pedaling we began to warm up. I must admit it wasn't the most fun ride I had but we did have a good time. Hopefully next year it will be nice just like the ride I did in 2004.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Weekend Outlook

It's Wednesday morning and I just finished watching the morning weather forecast for the rest of this week and it doesn't look good. But I've learned a long time ago that the weather here in the Seattle area can change on a dime. I've seen predictions of raining all day turn into a day of sun breaks and vice a versa. So I am keeping a positive outlook for Saturday because it is the annual Tulip Pedal up in La Conner. I have done this ride only once in 2004 and that year the weather was absolutely gorgeous! Sunny and warm with clear blue skies and the colors of the tulips were stunningly brilliant! Proof . . . here's a picture . . .

I just hope it will be nice again this year. In 2004 only my hubby and I did the ride. This year it will be my hubby, our daughter, and me!
They offer two routes. A 20 mile and a 40 mile. In 2004 Joe and I did the 40 mile loop and it was beautiful. However, with so little riding this winter and spring I'm thinking the 40 may be too much?! I believe I can ride it but I'm not sure about hubby and daughter.
I guess we'll just have to see how this weekend meshes out. So stay tuned . . .

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Nine Days Without a Ride

After work on Friday, March 30th Joe and I flew to Pittsburgh for my Dad's 90th birthday party. It was great seeing Dad and Mom and all my sisters, brother, cousins, and family and friends. My Dad looks so good! The things he has lived through! The stories he tells! At 90 he is still so full of life. He is active and his mind is still as sharp as a tack. I only wish I will be just as good when and if I should ever reach 90. My sisters fed me so much food. I think I gained 10 pounds! I got to eat all my favorite foods but could not find a good cup of coffee! I've become a coffee addict since moving here and Starbuck's sumatra is my favorite. But I some how managed. Finally on Wednesday, we flew back to Seattle. I had one day of rest (if you call doing laundry all day long rest) before driving over to Cheney and Eastern Washington University to visit my son. Joe and I spent all day Friday and Saturday with him. We saw the movie "Grindhouse" went out to lunch and dinner, walked through a park and went shopping in the malls. This morning a little after 8 AM Joe and I drove back home. And tomorrow I go back to work. So I went nine days without riding either of my bikes. Sigh . . . but for my Dad and my son that's ok. But now I'm back and the weather is getting nicer and nicer. Summer will be here and when school is out for summer break I am going to get up early every single weekday and get on my bike and ride. Oh I can't wait!

I can barely keep my eyes open. I am so tired but I just had to write something here before I crash. And crash I mostly certainly will do. I have never felt so tired. I'm probably babbling but that's ok. I will read this tomorrow and laugh. I had a great nine days, I'm looking forward to a great spring and summer. Here's to all the tomorrows!

Good night!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Just Hubby, Me and Our Bikes

Well, I did not get my road ride in this weekend. Not after Saturday's torrential down pour! But my husband and I did go mountain biking on Sunday. The rain finally stopped and the sun started to break through. By late afternoon it was gorgeous! But back to our ride yesterday morning/afternoon. The trails were muddy. And that is an understatement! We crossed "lakes" that are usually "puddles" . . . but we had fun! We met a friend on the trail and the three of us had a great ride. And of course this morning, Monday morning, the sun is shining and the birds are singing, a perfect day for a road ride but I have to go to work. Sigh. Why is it, weekends always seem to be bad weather days? And come Monday morning the sun pops out and the weather is beautiful? A cruel spring joke by Mother Nature! Ha ha . . . and just my luck this coming weekend will be beautiful because I will be out of town. Just you watch!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sad In Seattle

Last Friday, March 16th, was the last decent weather day here in the wonderful pacific northwest. Since last Friday our weather has gone down hill. I mean it has literally deteriorated! It's raining!!!! All forms and types . . . misty rain, steady rain, off and on rain, pouring rain, fog and rain, you get the picture. I guess I should not be surprised (taking in the fact of where I live) but if I don't get another sunny day like last Friday's very soon I'm going to scream! Just venting. But not all is lost. Yea, I can't ride my road bike but I can ride my mountain bike. Rain and mud are good things when I am mountain biking! Makes me feel like a kid! But bad things for road cycling. You see, I have this event in June that I want to ride in and I need to increase my miles until I can ride 100 by June 9th! At this rate I am wondering if I will be able to do the 50 mile course. Hopefully April will bring better weather but that saying "April Showers . . . " looms in the back of my mind.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Spring has sprung!

I can tell it's spring here in the pacific northwest. Lots of rain, sun breaks, rain, sun breaks, rain . . . you get the picture. Being a cyclist in this area in the spring time you have to be an oportunist, ride when you can and know that summer is coming with gorgeous days ahead.

My daughter and I have been meeting after work for some great rides in the afternoon. Oh and I can't do the STP this year. My niece is getting married on the same weekend as the road event. Oh well, that's life. There are other rides that I will be riding in this summer. In fact my first ride of 2007 will be the beautiful Tulip Pedal in Skagit County Washington. It's on April 14, 2007 this year. It will be great. Hubby and I did it in 2004 and now this year it will be hubby, our daughter, and me. Can't wait.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

My work is cut out for me!

I signed up to do the 2007 STP, Seattle to Portland Bicycle Ride this July 14th and 15th. It's a 204 mile ride starting at the University of Washington in Seattle and ending in Portland, Oregon. So I guess my work is cut out for me. I hope to begin my serious training the end of February/first of March. The weather here in the pacific northwest has been, putting it mildly, crappy! Since November we have had flooding, ice storms, snow, and high winds that had me without power for four whole days! It is a bad winter for cycling. But I have a positive out look and believe, fingers and toes crossed, that by March all this bad weather will pass and at least the weekends will be nice!

I've created a training "calendar" and hope to stick to it. My training calendar begins the first weekend in March. Until then I will try and get rides in on nice days. On bad days I will hit the gym and do some spinning. Every little bit helps.

So here's to goals, rides, and a great season!