Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Ride

Jackie and I did a 30 mile ride this morning. We started at 10:30 AM and finished just before 1:00 PM. We stopped half way for a snack and bathroom break. The weather was cloudy and humid. It was in the mid 60s. Jackie and I both felt great on today’s ride. After the ride we both agreed we could have done 60 miles easily but we had a barbecue to go to this afternoon so we did the 30 and headed home.

This Sunday, June 1st is the Tacoma Wheelmen’s annual Peninsula Metric in Gig Harbor. Jackie and I plan to do the 44 mile loop. The peninsula is very hilly. We will need our climbing legs for the Peninsula Metric! It's a very hard course because of all the steep rolling hills.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Start of Memorial Day Weekend

This morning when I woke up I was greeted with blue skies and sunshine. A good sign that today was going to be a nice day. And it was!

I was up at 6:00 AM. I started the coffee and within ten minutes Joe and Jackie were up and walking into the kitchen. We sat at the kitchen table and enjoyed our first cup of coffee together. We talked about where we should ride. I wanted to do a long 60+ mile ride but Jackie had afternoon plans with friends so we decided to do a 30 mile ride and save our long ride for Monday. I made breakfast while Joe got the bikes ready. We were out the door at 9:00 AM. It was a glorious morning. All mornings should be like the one we had today. The sun was warming the air up nicely and within a few minutes we were sweating.

We rode by rivers, meadows, and fields listening to the late morning early afternoon sounds. We passed a park where we saw children playing. The sounds of their laughter carried on the air. They were also enjoying this gorgeous day. After riding for 18 miles we stopped at an espresso stand where I ordered a cold lemonade, made with freshly squeezed REAL lemons and strawberries while Joe and Jackie just sipped on ice cold bottles of water. Refreshed we continued on our ride. We finished at 11:00 just before it got really hot.

Tomorrow we hope to do another ride and on Monday, Memorial Day, we hope to do our 60 mile ride. I hope the weather will cooperate and be as nice as it was today.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Much Cooler Ride

Yesterday was HOT! But last night the winds picked up and brought with them a wonderful cold front. Mother Nature’s air conditioning! It felt wonderful after the hot day we had yesterday! Remember we broke a record; we saw 91 degrees yesterday! So believe me when I say the cold air coming in last night was a Godsend. I took full advantage of its coolness and opened all the windows in the house. As the evening wore on the temperature inside the house began to come down to a more comfortable range. Sleeping last night was great! There’s nothing like a cool breeze coming through your bedroom window to make sleeping heavenly.

This morning Joe and I decided to go for an early morning ride. We had breakfast at 7 AM and we were on our bikes by 9 AM. It was chilly at the start but after a few miles we warmed up nicely. We did our country/back roads and farmland ride. Normally there is very little traffic on these roads but on Sundays there is practically zero traffic. We were lucky if we saw two cars on our ride this morning. We did see a lot of cows and calves, horses, sheep, dogs, and 4 dead possums. Of course our constant companion on our ride, Mount Rainier, was out this morning sporting a nice white cap today. It’s always a pleasure seeing the mountain. I never get tired of that magnificent view!

Joe and I got a nice 25 mile ride in. We finished in 1 hour and 37 minutes. It was a nice short ride. I wanted to do a much longer ride today but Joe and I had to go to our daughter’s Honors Ceremony at three this afternoon. So we had to cut it short on this perfect day. On the bright side, I rode on Thursday, Friday, Saturday (hot hot day), and today Sunday. Four straight days in a row! This coming weekend I definitely want to do a long ride. Joe and I plan on doing the 65 mile Headwater Century loop. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. I think it will! I truly believe that our nice weather has finally arrived.

Tomorrow is Monday. I do so hate Mondays. Joe and I have decided to go to the gym tomorrow instead of ride. I do need to work on my upper body strengthening. Believe me I need it! I’ve never seen such weak pathetic arms!

The day is coming to an end but there is still a few hours left before calling it a day; so I think I will go and relax with Joe and watch some Sunday night TV.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Evening Ride

Today was a very hot day. We set a record reaching 91 degrees! I could tell it was going to be a HOT day the moment I woke up this morning at 7 AM and saw that the outside temperature was already 78 degrees! Joe had some things to do in the morning so we planned an afternoon ride. He left around 8 AM and returned home at noon. The temperature was 89 degrees when he walked through the door! We canned the afternoon ride and decided to do an early evening ride instead. It was definitely way too hot for a ride in the middle of the day.

So I did laundry and cleaned the house up a bit. I started dinner early, around three so that we could eat before our ride. At 6 PM we decided to get ready for our ride. The temperature had begun to drop and just like the weather report predicted a cold front was moving in. Of course that meant there would be wind on our ride this evening but that was okay with us. We just wanted to get out and ride. We were on the road at 6:30. The sun was still up but not directly overhead. Big difference! The winds were picking up and the temperature was dropping. It was 84 when we started our ride.

We followed the Carbon River for about 10 miles. Allowing the wind to blow off the chilly glacier fed river and cool us off. It felt wonderful! At mile 15 we left the river and headed inland. The slowly setting sun cast long shadows. We entered a wooded tree lined road and the scene was surreal. We past pastures saw great views of Mount Rainier, and sparkling sunlight dancing off the river. We got 30 miles in and finished our ride around 8:30. It was still light out (I love this time of the year with the long days) and arrived home happy that we got a ride in on this hot day.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Beautiful Friday

This morning I woke up to another beautiful day. The sun was out, the sky was clear and blue, and the temperature at 7 AM was already in the 60s. Excited about a second beautiful day I called in to work and told them I would not be in. I just could not help myself. I rarely do anything so impulsive and selfish but today I just could not help myself. It had been a long cold, wet, miserable winter and spring. My spirits have been so low but with this gorgeous sunshine and the opportunity to ride my bike again my spirit meter has risen to extremely happy! So with my call to work out of the way I started my coffee and popped an English muffin into the toaster. After breakfast I changed, got my bike ready, and was on my way. I initially was going to ride the 45 mile Enumclaw to Black Diamond loop but at the last minute changed my mind. Instead I drove to the trail head of the Orting Trail in Puyallup next to the tulip farm. From the trail head to South Prairie it’s 15 miles. So out and back makes it a 30 mile ride.

The morning sun was warming the day up nicely. I did not need a jacket. To take full advantage of the sun I wore one of my sleeveless tops. First time this season! When I rode by the Carbon River the air coming off the water was cold. The river is fed with ice cold glacier melt. It felt so nice! Today I just wanted to enjoy the day, my ride, and the views. So my pace was not fast but not slow either. It was my “spinning” ride. I practiced my spinning. I did do some sprints on some really beautiful straight sections of the trail. In about an hour I was at the end of the trail. I stopped at the Jump Start Espresso and ordered a nice cold green tea ice tea. I found a nice shady spot and relaxed while I drank my tea. Refreshed I started back for the Puyallup trail head 15 miles away. I finished my ride at 11 AM. I felt great!

Joe has been out of town on business all week. He flies in today at 6 PM. I have to leave around 4:30 to pick him up at the airport. Tomorrow he and I and maybe our daughter too will be doing a ride. This will make three in a row for me! I am really taking advantage of this glorious weather.

It’s supposed to start cooling down by Monday but not bad. It will be more seasonal, in the 70s which is fine with me. Better than the 40s and 50s we had been getting these past few months.

So 30 miles this morning for me! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Beautiful Day, Great Ride After Work!

When I woke up this morning I thought the weather people on my local news station were wrong again. It was gray and gloomy. I was hoping to see sunshine when I woke up this morning but instead I was greeted with mist and grayness. But it did not stay this way. By the time I got off work at 2:30 the sun was shining brightly, the sky was the bluest blue, and there was not a single cloud in the sky! It had turned into a pretty awesome day after all. With this great weather waiting for me after work I did not waste any time getting home. I pulled into my garage, ran into the house and got into my cycling clothes, filled my water bottles, and out the door with my bike I went. I pedaled past Lake Tapps and headed down into the valley towards Orting where I picked up the Orting Trail. The trail ends at South Prairie. By the time I reached South Prairie I had covered 18 miles. Before jumping onto the road I stopped at Jump Start Espresso for a nice cold green tea ice tea. It hit the spot. I filled my water bottles and was ready to continue my ride.

After my rest I jumped onto the back country roads of South Prairie and Buckley. The scenery was magnificent! Mount Rainier was out in all its glory! The mountain was white from the winter snows. The pastures were green and alive with birds, cows with their new calves, horses, sheep, and farmers cutting hay. I felt wonderful! My legs felt strong and I climbed every hill with ease.

I got 35.73 miles in today. Not bad for an after work ride. I look forward to tomorrow and the weekend. The weather is supposed to be even better than it was today, if that is possible.

I took along my camera and shot a few pictures. To give you an idea of what kind of day today was just take a look at my pictures.

My bike on the Orting Trial
Mount Rainier as seen from the town of Orting
Mount Rainier
Orting Trail
My bike
Refreshing drink
St. Aloysius Church in the town of Buckley
Cows in a beautiful pasture with Mt. Rainier as a backdrop
Lake Tapps two blocks from my home

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hum Drum Day

I woke up this morning expecting to see sunshine but instead I was met with grayness and mist. So much for sunshine today. But tomorrow the sun is expected to make it's grand entrance! Temperature is predicted to get into the mid 80s and they say 90 on Friday! I have hope for tomorrow! I believe I will be on my bike tomorrow afternoon say around 3:00 PM enjoying a wonderful ride! Earlier if I skip work but I won't do that. No, I will save that option, skipping work, for Friday! But back to tomorrow's ride, I plan to write about it tomorrow evening so do check back!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rain rain go away!

Well today is indeed a wet one! It began last night and it continues today. The rain has been coming down non stop! But according to the weather reports today is the last of it for a while. I sure hope so! Wednesday it begins to clear and Thrusday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday look phenomenal! Next week is looking pretty good too!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Will It Rain?

I can't believe that I have not been on my bike since last Sunday! This spring has been a total washout as far as weather and bike rides go. And even I myself have hindered my own riding. I have been busy with work and meetings and kids and a husband and parents. But I knew that soon, soon my time will come. The stars will align and the cosmos will come together and it will be my time. And my time finally did arrive. Or did it?

This morning the sun was out and the sky was clear. GREAT I thought, finally a nice day! So with a smile on my face I left for work knowing that when my work day ended at 2:30 I will finally get to ride my bike! 2:30 finally arrived and wouldn't you know it, clouds had rolled in. Between going to work this morning and getting off work this afternoon it went from a clear day to a cloudy one. How dare those clouds come uninvited to ruin my plans! And they were waiting for me. Waiting for me to get on my bike! Waiting until I was half way into my ride. Then they would release their droplets of cold wet rain onto me. The clouds were taunting me! A lesser cyclist would have succumbed and gone home. But not me. I decided to take a chance and go for my ride even if it meant getting a little wet. So I went on my ride. And I had a great ride! And you know what? My decision to go paid off! It did not rain! I got 15 miles in and not a drop of rain fell from those cumulonimbus browbeaters. And here it is 2 hours after my ride and it's still not raining. Those clouds are still out there, waiting to release their droplets of water but not on me; not today.

And good news Wednesday marks the start of a warm, sunny, weather pattern. They (weather people on my local TV station) are forecasting temperatures in the 80s! Something not seen here since last August! Oh I do hope they are right!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

May Day Metric . . . Sort of!

Today was the annual May Day Metric hosted by Phil’s South Side Cyclery. I had planned on doing this ride but slept in! I had a good reason. My hubby had a 6:00 AM flight this morning. I was up at 3:30 AM to take Joe to the airport. When I got back home I thought an hours sleep would be wonderful. Well, I didn’t get up until 9:00 AM! Way too late to get to Federal Way before registration closed. So trying to make the best of this beautiful day I had my breakfast, got dressed, got on my bike and left my house to do my own ride. I headed down into Orting and caught the May Day Metric trail! I incorporated parts of the May Day Metric 70 and 100 mile routes into my ride and ended up getting 63 miles in! Not bad.

The weather was a bit cool at the start. There was cloud coverage but the sun did its work and about an hour into the ride blue sky peeked through along with the sun. I had a great ride. I tried to keep to the back roads where there is very little traffic. I had beautiful views of fields and meadows. Sadly I did not see Mt. Rainier on my ride as it was hiding behind clouds. The only clouds that seemed to resist the suns rays and the winds efforts to rid the sky of them.

Oh I did have a run in with a mean dog. I thought for sure he was going to bite me. He came charging after me snarling, with lips curled, teeth showing, and barking up a storm. I stayed calm and slowed down a bit and looked directly at him and said in the most authoritative voice I could muster, “NO! GO HOME!” and he did stop! I was so relieved. Usually Joe handles the dogs. He always tells me to show no fear and to carry my mace when I ride without him but of course I forgot my mace so I had to depend on myself. I'm glad I didn't panic and stood my ground!

In my rush to get out the door this moring I forgot my camera. But I did have my cell phone and so I took a few pictures with it. They're not as good as my camera's pictures but I think they came out okay.

About 15 miles before the end of my ride I stopped at Wally’s Drive-In restaurant in Buckley for a hamburger and lemonade. I was famished. After all I hadn't had a thing to eat since breakfast hours ago. I did stop at the Starbucks in Orting at mile 16 and had a tall mocha but nothing to eat. Needless to say that hamburger was the best hamburger I had ever eaten! I was famished! With my stomach full and a nice little rest too, I was feeling good again and ready to finish the ride. I finally rolled into my driveway exhausted but happy that I did go out for a ride on this beautiful spring day.

I got 63 miles in and my average speed was 14.3. The course had a lot of rolling hills and 4 BIG MAJOR CLIMBS! One must have been 10% I swear! I did pass people walking up these hills! But I made every single hill.

Dan Henry . . . May Day Metric
I followed the 70 and 100 mile routes.
Cows in a beautiful meadow.
Barn and silo.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

After Work Ride

I went on a Tacoma Wheelmen's Bike Club ride today after work. The ride started from the Sumner Library parking lot. We rode on West Valley Highway into Auburn picking up the Interurban trail. We turned around at the Super Mall. The ride was 15.5 miles. It was a beautiful day. The views of Mt. Rainier were gorgeous. It was a good ride and I had a wonderful time. Any time I can get out on my bike is a bonus!