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Monday, July 26, 2010

A Ride To The Cabin

We are still in Montana.  I had a great ride on Saturday, almost 60 miles, four hours plus, and about 4,000 feet of climbing.  Hamilton to Skalkaho to Stony Creek.

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I rode the new bike.  The one with gears.  Yeah, I know, it's heresy.  But, I must admit, I forgot how to spin, and that is bad.  When on a singlespeed, you do whatever it takes to keep from bogging down.  Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down.  What ever it takes, just keep spinning.  I stayed in 36x19 for a while.  When I tried to just sit down, I bogged.  No problem.  Cick.  36x22.  Did I say it was steep?  Again, I could not just sit and spin like I once did, 12 years ago.  Click.  36x25.  Float, toes forward, high cadence, use the hamstrings, calves, and ankles, and just spin.  Yeah, I remember this.  Not as fast as 36x19, but a lot less effort on a long, steep, 4000 feet climb.  Yes, a singlespeed will make you a better rider.  If all you ever do is singlespeed, so will a geared bike.  Yeah, I know.  Heresy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Here is a map to the cabin if anyone wants to come visit this Friday through Monday afternoon:  Robin, Greg and Heather, J.B., etc.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

While I'm On A Roll

Gub'ment agencies
Deaf to results of their work
Because they fear blame

Just because it's my blog.

Right Turn, Clyde


 You can't stick your right hand out of the passenger side window while driving a car.  Fine.  Put your left hand out and point up.  Ah, forget it.  Nobody uses hand signals in a car, they hardly ever use their blinkers anyway.

On a bicycle, it's a different story.  If you put your left hand up, nice folks are just going to wave at you.  Then, smack.  For Pete's sake people, when you come to an intersection, make eye contact, and then dramatically point to where you are going.  If you've been doing it wrong for 20 years, it's still wrong today.  Rant over.

Friday, July 16, 2010


The not-so-famous at all Logan Thursday Night Ride was a lonely event last night.  It was just me, Venus, and the moon.  Next Thuesday at 8 pm, if anyone wants to join me, show up at my house.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Growing Old

It seems my life has entered another stage.  Childhood, young adult, and the thirties are all well behind me.  As I've said before, I've watched my parents die and my child being born.  I've worked, lived, lost, gained, and loved.  Now, at 45, I feel like I have lived a full life.  The constant refrain in the back of my head of "what are you going to do with your life" is becoming much quieter these days.  At this point it just does not really matter what I'm going to do.  If we move to Portland some day, sure, I'll probably go to P.A. school.  Perhaps not.  I still have goals.  I still have a plan:  work hard at being a great spouse and father, and continue to work on Patty's projects.  And, do the dishes and laundry.

What about the bicycle?  I did a 4.5 hour long ride/hike/bushwhack with Greg and Heather yesterday on the cross bikes.  It felt fantastic to be up in the mountains.  I will never stop riding bicycles, but I'm sure not feeling very fast these days.  The pain in my back, knee, and left arm are constant.  Sometimes, going up Green Canyon with Greg and others, I don't even feel the need to reach the top first.  Sometimes.  I still plan on doing the cross races at the end of the year.  My dream is to go to them all with Lupine.  Her interest in bicycles and bicycle racing is limited.  Perhaps I've pushed too hard.  Daddy and daughter race days sure would be fun though.  If I focus on fun rather than fast, will it be enough?

I wonder if Lance Armstrong will begin to feel the same way soon.  Today he lost any hope of winning or even a high placing at this year's Tour of France, losing nearly 12 minutes.  He is old, almost 39.

I'm going to do the dishes now and put a load of laundry on the line.  Then I'll make a healthy lunch.  After that, I'll go for a long ride.  Growing Old.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ride Of The Day

I pedaled with John B. up Smithfield Canyon to the wilderness boundary today.  It was sure hot.  We soaked our hot heads in the cold waters, turned around, and coasted all the way back down.

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The Secret Portal?

Yesterday, I finally made it up Canyon "X" in the southern part of Cache Valley.  I'd been looking at it on the maps for some time, The Secret Portal, a slow easy climb into the Bear River Range, doable on the fixed gear cross bike, 48x22.  I found the road near Avon.  It was completely unmarked, gated, gated, and gated again.  The maps all say National Forest but the signs all said "Private Property."  On the other side, the signs didn't say a thing. The canyon walls were covered in flowering Arnica and big tooth maple.  I stopped for at least five minutes to watch a young golden eagle do the most absolutely amazing thing.  Fly.  At the top of Canyon "X" the road turned north.  The area was overrun by cows, the road covered in their droppings.  At the end of the canyon the road switched back up and over the mountain, and down I went into Canyon "Y" hopping fences, exiting just north of Paradise.  That's Paradise, the town.  The next time I'm in Avon, I'm turning right on West Canyon Road.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pacific Northwest Reflections

 Until last week, I'd never been to the Olympic Peninsula or the Oregon Coast.  Seal Rock, Nye Beach, and Highway 101 were fun.  Quinalt was magical.  Mt. Shasta was Mt. Shasta.  Being an environmentalist tree-huger, I've read and leaned quite a bit about forestry products, marbled murrelets, and spotted owls.  Seeing dieing towns, clear cuts, and log trucks with skinny little Florida size trees brings tears, shame, and anger.  And, it brings a haiku.

Hoquiam, Aberdeen
Tomorrow for forever
Is a foolish trade

Sunday, July 4, 2010


It is difficult to appreciate the familiar and comfortable routine of being home until you have been away on the road for weeks at a time.  I've missed my bed, toilet, shower, and couch, even though I never even thought about them while I was gone.  I've driven 4,000 miles in three weeks:  Montana, southern Utah, Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula, the Oregon coast, northern California, and the width of Nevada.

I think I'm going to stop strapping my bicycle on the back of the car for these work trips.  My bike went over 4000 miles, but I only rode one time.  I may start running again.  I said that a long time ago.  Dave Parker and I were sitting at the kitchen table of our tiny apartment after a long ride, talking about the expense of maintaining and riding bicycles.  "Why not run," he said.  "All you need is a good pair of shoes.  No more bike parts, tubes, tires, shorts, pedals, shoes, jerseys, jackets, gloves, or helmets."  That was 1990.  I still haven't started running again.  I probably never will.

We are headed for Montana in a few weeks.  We will be up there for at least two or three weeks doing extended field work measuring landscape variables at the wildlife crossing structures.  I'll have my bicycle on the back of the car.

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