Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mount Baker

Yesterday I climbed Mt Baker, starting at the ranger station just prior to the National Forest Boundary.

Looking up the climb just beyond the ski area parking lot, you can see where the road switchbacks up. It actually ended at the tractor visible in the upper left of the picture, as they are working on clearing the snow out of the way.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Spring Showers

It has been an unusually wet spring, even for Seattle. But last week I rode every day except Friday, and I started out this week on the good foot, riding into work. There were a couple of brief soakers on the way in, as well as the kind of misty rain that makes me feel that I'm riding to just moisturize my skin or something. It's easy to forget how much fun it is to ride in the rain, and now that I'm at work, I feel totally pumped by this morning's ride.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Weight

For my entire life, I've never really had any problems with extra weight; however, recently that has changed. Not that I'm fat, or anything, but there are aabout 5 extra pounds that came back over the course of the winter that seem this spring to be stubbornly attached around my midsection. Last season my goal was to be in the 150-155 pound range, and the pounds simply melted off as my spring mileage increased.

This season, though, despite upping my mileage, I remain firmly in the 157-158 pound range. What I have found that helps, is limiting my pace during rides to the low end of my aerobic range to train my body to burn fat, rather than glycogen. This agrees with much of what I've read on the subject, but I think that with having a job this year, my training time has been compressed, and I've tried to fit in more high intensity training in my limited time, without having as many longer, less intense efforts.

So, right now, even though I'm in a Build, I'm going to sacrifice a week of the higher intensity to try to get down to that 152 or so at which I feel my best.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Yesterday was the Constitution Hillclimb event, and today I am still very pleased with my results. My goal was to take 9 minutes out of my previous time over this route from 2 years ago, and I fell 57 seconds short of that goal. Still, it feels good to be that much better at 39 than I was at 37, and doing some math on the results reveals that I have improved my time by 17% over those two years. It's really validating to see concrete results of all the time and miles on the bike pay off, and it makes me want to sign up for other events.

I will post a photo of some views when I get home.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rides in the Sun

One of the great things about riding a bike to get around is that you experience the world on a more human scale than from a car. For instance, today I noted that there is something beautiful about the way sunlight catches a woman's hair.


I rode this event two years ago. It's the Constitution Hillclimb TT. This is early in the morning looking from the ferry to Orcas Island, and Mt Constitution is the one on the right. The stats on it are that it's a 7.6 mile ride with 2,475 feet of elevation gain. I did it two years ago in 54 minutes when I was just getting on the bike.

At one point, Carolyn ran next to me shouting that I was fast as she passed me. :-| That was right around the part that I almost lost my cookies.

The climb starts straight up from the line for about the first mile then follows a lake around for another mile or so before kicking up in earnest for about 3 miles, and finally easing to a false flat the last 2.

I registered for this today, and my goal is to do it in under 45 minutes, which I feel is ambitious but attainable if I am successful in metering out my effort so as not to blow up. Time will tell.


Which of these is the better value?

A: A dedicated bike stand with adjustable clamp, approximately $150.


B: A loop of rope, hanging from the ceiling joists, from which you can hang your machine by the seat, about 50 cents? Hey, I just noticed that there isn't a "cent" character on my keyboard! What's the ASCII code for that? I guess they've become obsolete.

To my mind, the clear choice is B. After all, given that I live in a world of limited resources (note the somewhat dingy basement in example B), how much stronger, faster, or lighter will either choice make me or my bike? The answer, of course, is none.

That is what this is about.


So today, after having the blog for more than a year, I finally decided to post something on here. Welcome to my blog!