Friday, December 16, 2011

Slacking Off Again

The weather is miserable and as I normally do every winter about this time I've stopped riding. I guess I'm just not a winter rider. When the rain, fog, ice, and snow appear I look out the window and shudder. Oh well I will try and get a few short rides in during my winter break. I will be off from Wednesday, December 21st through January 4th a good time to get back on the saddle.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall Riding

I've been riding a lot this fall. Both September and October had some pretty nice days. I completed my third P12 this month and in fact I've been doing a lot of metrics these past two months. Four in September and so far two metrics for the month of October. I usually ride any where between 30 and 70 miles on my rides. My hope is to ride through the winter months to maintain my fitness and mileage and then really picking it up in the spring.

Riding along the Carbon River in September I pass many fishermen fishing for salmon.

My daughter and I joined CBC on a beautiful fall Sunday to Alki Beach in West Seattle.

Beautiful day riding through Enumclaw farmland.

Getting ready for October fun!

Riding with CBC from Renton to Black Diamond.

Riding with the Seattle Randonneurs on the inaugural ride of the Pie Run 100k metric in October completing my third P12. Great picture of Don and Mimi.

Beautiful autumn afternoon in October. The trees are beginning to put on their fall foliage.

The Old Fishing Hole in Kent farmland.

Farmer's stand in Kent.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

September 6, 2011

I have been getting a lot of great rides in since my last post. I have begun my P12 series again to earn the P12 Award. You can read all about the P12 Award and how to earn it here. I did my first P12 on August 20th choosing the Snoqualmie River Run route. I completed my second P12 on September 4th by doing the Pacific Rose route. Both were great rides with great people and wonderful weather. I uploaded both rides from my garmin and you can take a look at how I did here:

The Snoqualmie River Run I did with one other person and we did really well. We both rode very strong on a very hilly course as you can see. The Pacific Rose ride had 17 people show up for it. It was a ride to show how much we love and support one great cyclists who is battling cancer. When you look at him, and talk with him, and ride with him you couldn't tell that he is fighting the disease. He is all about life, living, family, friends and riding his bike!

Right now our weather is very beautiful. It's the summer we never had. Warm and sunny days and chilly nights. I guess fall has arrived. It's what you would definitely call an Indian summer. I love it. And there are some great fall rides coming up. On September 18th my daughter and I will be doing the 4th annual Cycle the WAVE. I have done every single WAVE ride and this will be my daughter's first. We are both looking forward to the ride and riding it together. On September 25th is the annual Kitsap Color Classic. A gorgeous ride through some of the most beautiful scenic parts of Kitsap county. And of course I will do many of my two bike clubs' weekend rides. One of my favorite weekend bike rides being the Tukwila to Alki Coffee Run. That's just one of many rides I love. So stay tuned for some great fall ride reports.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Summer of 2011

I have been trying to get a lot of bike rides in this summer. My winter and spring were horrible with my back injury and trying to get back in shape but finally by May/June I was beginning to feel like my good old self again. It was a long slow process but I made it. The hardest part was getting my back to heal. I won't even go into that long story because I really don't want to talk about it. It's over and I'm back and I won't ever let it happen again! To prove I am back here are a few of my favorite pictures from some of my favorite rides this summer. Of course I didn't take pictures of all my rides but the ones I did take pictures of I will share here.

What are the odds? Last year when I rode in the Flying Wheels Summer Century my bib number was 1521. This year when I rode in the event it was 1522! I can't wait to see what my number will be in next year's Flying Wheels Summer Century?
Beautiful local ride in the Enumclaw area. A cool early June ride.

Joe and went to Montana and Wyoming. A two week wonderful vacation. Here I am just outside the west entrance to Glacier National Park. We had the best time riding our bikes in the park.

A local bike ride with the TWBC. We left Sumner library and biked up to Alki Beach. Out and back was 71 miles. It was a gorgeous Sunday as you can see. We stopped and had lunch in Alki before heading back that day.

On the ride back to Sumner from Alki we passed through South Park and saw a huge fire. An apartment complex was burning down. It was on the news that night and we biked right by it.

Last year I rode in the STP and RAMROD. This year I did not. But I did do volunteer work for the RAMROD. I worked from 3:00 - 7:00 AM the day of the ride at packet pick up. It was a gorgeous day for the ride.

Besides these rides I did many many others. These are just the ones I took pictures of. My summer is not over and I plan on riding a lot more. And I also plan to keep riding this year and not slack off like I normally do when November arrives. This is the year I ride all year long!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Saturday the Day Before the First Day of Spring Ride

My ride on Saturday was pretty nice! I decided to ride the Uvillage – Issaquah 100k route (Redmond start) and I must say I wasn’t disappointed. I was riding alone so I decided to pick this route because most of it was on bike trails.

I parked my car at the free parking lot on the east side of Marymoore Park and then biked over to Peet’s Coffee about a block away. It was just about 10 minutes before 10:00 AM when I arrived at Peet’s Coffee. There must have been a group ride going on because when I arrived at Peet’s in Redmond there were about 15-20 cyclists enjoying coffee and scones and chatting away. Some were arriving on their bikes and others were leaving. With no time to waste and eager to start my ride I turned on my Garmin GPS and headed for the Issaquah McDonalds 9.6 miles south.


Log Boom Park in Kenmore

Cruising on East Lake Sammamish Parkway was a great warm up. I had nice clean shoulders to ride on and a great view of the lake and a few little rollers to warm things up. The only section I did not care for was the last mile or mile and half right after the circle intersection. The section of highway immediately after that circle was heavy with traffic. But I made it to McDonalds in excellent time. I turned around and went back the way I came heading north now on East Lake Sammamish Parkway. About a block away from Peet’s Coffee I turned left onto 65th street and cut through Marymoore Park picking up the Sammamish River Trail. The trail was heavy with weekend people out enjoying the spring weather. For the next 20+ miles I cruised on the Sammamish River Trail and then the Burke Gilman Trail which I picked up near Kenmore. Here the trail got a bit bumpy from roots that buckled the trail but nothing I couldn’t handle. I also noticed a lot of mud that had been scraped off the trail near Kenmore. I think the hill slid down covering the trail (a mud slide . . . go figure with all the rain we’ve been getting) but the mud was evidently cleaned off the trail. I arrived at University Village and it was bustling. I pedaled past QFC and then over to a little area where there were outside tables. I found a hotdog vendor and bought a hotdog and told the man to put everything on it. Fried onions, mustard, ketchup yum did it taste scrumptious. I refilled my water bottles went to the bathroom then began the trek back to Redmond. I stopped at Wilmot Gateway Park and took a picture of a fish sculpture I thought was unique then continued on. I rolled into the Marymoore parking lot a little past three when I realized my hubby tried to reach me on my cell phone. I called him and he reminded me that we had dinner plans with our good friends Jim and Kathy at 6:00. It was 3:00 plenty of time to drive back to Bonney Lake, shower, and meet Jim and Kathy. Mexican food at Puerto Vallarta never tasted so good!

Lunch at University Village
Wilmot Gateway Park

The route was 19 miles of road and 47 miles trail. It was a fun, easy, and scenic ride. I think it will be my P-12 ride for April. My last two 100k rides were pretty darn hilly and I feel a need to do a flat ride in April. But of course back to hills in May. Hmmmm now the question is when should I do my April P-12? April is pretty full in my "date" book and it looks like the only two good days are April 9th and April 23rd possibly the 30th but that’s cutting it too close. Whichever date I chose I hope Mother Nature will be kind and give me a sunny beautiful day.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

100k Spring Populaire

My back is feeling much better. Thank goodness! Today I did the 100k Spring Populaire put on by the Seattle International Randonneurs. I finally met Don aka raleighdon. His wife Mimi I've met before on a ride with a bunch of team estrogen ladies. The ride yesterday was hard. The course began in Woodinville in a park just a block away from the Redhook Brewery. We cycled north then south towards Carnation. If you've never done the course it's a wake up call especially for people out of shape. Tons of rollers and two big hill climbs. The last climb is 20 miles from the finish and it's a long three mile hike up out of the Carnation valley. It's the same hill climb on the Flying Wheels Summer Century. When I climbed it last June it was a piece of cake but today it was a total bitch excuse the language, because right now I am so out of shape. I'm surprised I finished. On the climb up my quads began to cramp horribly (and painfully). I had to stop five times or more to massage the cramps away but when I got back on my bike and pushed they would cramp again. I finally made it to the top and was thankful that was the last big climb of the day. With only 17 miles left to the finish I was determined to see it to the end.

But I did enjoy the scenic route that was picked for today's spring populaire in spite of my suffering lol. Lots of farms with scenic country views, mountain, and rivers to enjoy. Low traffic roads for 90% of the ride. It's going to become one of my favorite routes even with the hills and rollers once I get back in shape. The temperature was in the mid to upper 40s with sunshine and clouds. A little headwind coming through the Carnation valley farmlands.

The stop in Carnation at Sandy's Espresso was wonderful. Lots of time to mix and chat with other people, get a hot mocha and a raspberry scone, fill my water bottles, get a real bathroom break, and relax for 15 minutes before continuing on with the big hill coming up and only 28 miles left to do.

This ride gives me number two in my quest to complete 12 consecutive 100k rides this year to earn my P12 award from the randonneurs. So 2 down and 10 to go! They should get easier as time goes on.

Mimi and me before the start of the ride.

Happy to be on my bike on a great ride.

Majestic spectator along Lake Sammamish.
Control in Carnation at Sandy's Espresso.
The start of the 3 mile climb on the Issaquah Fall City Road.
Don and Mimi with matching socks. Aren't they a cute couple?! :)
Along Lake Sammamish. Look at that sky! It was a glorious day!
The finish at the Redhook Brewery. Don, Mimi, and me.
Mimi and me with our hard earned 100k pins.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

First P-12 In the Bag!

Today I did my first 100k to earn my Randonneur P-12 Award. To earn your P-12 award you have to complete twelve consecutive 100k rides. One per month to earn it. Today's ride was a little over 100k it was 104K. The route I chose for my first P-12 ride was "Southern Exposure" which started in Kent continued to Green Valley, up to Black Diamond, to Ravensdale, onto the Cedar River Trail, into Renton, returning back into Kent. It was a sunny blue sky day but it was also a cold windy day. Starting temperature was 32 degrees with a nasty headwind the entire ride. There were also three big climbs and a lot of rollers on this course. Needless to say I was exhausted when I finished. One down and eleven more to go.

Joe was waiting for me and we went to Pete's BBQ for dinner.

First control at Green Valley Meats.
Finish at Safeway in Kent.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

2011 A New Year With New Challenges

Last year I finished seven cycling events. Accomlishments which I am very proud to have participated in and complete. They were the Daffodil Classic (65 miles), May Day Metric (75 miles), Lewis County Historical Ride (72 miles), Flying Wheels Summer Century (100 miles), Seattle to Portland In One Day (202 miles), RAMROD Ride Around Mount Rainier In One Day (154 miles), and Cycle the WAVE (44 miles). This year I joined the Randonneurs and will be attempting to complete a P-12.

Before I explain what a P-12 is, I think a short description of randonneuring should come first. Randonneuring is long-distance unsupported endurance cycling. This style of riding is non-competitive in nature, and self-sufficiency is paramount. Participation in randonneuring events is part of a long tradition that goes back to the beginning of the sport of cycling in France and Italy. Friendly camaraderie and perseverance are the hallmarks of randonneuring.

RUSA (Randonneur USA) has a new award program this year called the P-12. Modeled after the R-12, this award is for members who ride a sub-200km randonneuring event in each of 12 consecutive months. Being new to randonneuring I thought it best to start off with the P-12 and next year go for the R-12. The R-12 Award is earned by riding a 200km (or longer) randonneuring event in each of 12 consecutive months. The counting sequence can commence during any month of the year but must continue uninterrupted for another 11 months.

So beginning in January I plan to ride a 100 - 199km ride per month. And if I complete this task I will receive the P-12 Award at the end of the year.

Besides the P-12 rides I would love to try out a few other randonneur rides this year. A few of their 200km, 300km, and yes maybe even a 400km this spring/summer when the days are longer and the weather a bit more pleasant.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

WTS Redmond to Carnation and Back

A big turnout for the first WTS ride.

I joined the Seattle International Randonneurs on their first WTS (Winter Training Series) ride today. We met at Sammamish Valley Cycle for an 8:30 sign-up, an 8:50 briefing, and a 9:00 start. The day was a typical January day in the PNW. Wet, chilly, windy, but the sun popped out half way to Carnation. It actually turned into a pretty decent day to be outside and on a bike.

We left the bike shop's parking lot and maneuvered through the streets of Redmond. We turned onto East Lake Sammamish and cruised for six miles before turning left onto Thompson Hill Road. The run on East Lake Sammamish was a nice warm up but Thompson Hill Road was a challenge. The grade on this hill is 9.5% and a few riders I passed were walking. Hey it's early in the season and why kill yourself on a training ride in January? I took my time and made it without having to get off my bike and walk but I sure was huffing and puffing as I ascended the hill. Once on top it got a lot more pleasant. The rest of the ride to Carnation was flat with a few rollers. One particular part of the ride I totally enjoyed was the descent down Duthie Hill. What a ride! Entering Carnation I rode along wonderful back country roads with very little traffic. The road that runs along the Carnation golf course was one of my favorites. Finally at mile 22.5 I arrived at Sandy's Espresso in down town Carnation, this was our rest stop.

At Sandy's I ordered a tall mocha which I thoroughly enjoyed. I took my time drinking it relishing in the warmth and taste of this wonderful beverage. After I finished my mocha, took my bathroom break, and refilled my water bottles I was on my way back to Redmond. On the ride back I set a moderate cadence and enjoyed the pastoral scenery. There was quite a bit of climbing again and another thrilling downhill to enjoy. And before I knew it I was back at the Sammamish Valley Bike shop.

Sandy's Espresso in Carnation