Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Music for Randonneuring

Okay so its the middle of the night and you need to keep yourself amused. My friend Linda recently loaded my MP3 player with some tunes - not I don't listen to it when riding. Several of the tunes she loaded are by the Bare Naked Ladies and are especially appropriate. I've posted the lyrics here for your entertainment. Of course Jimmy Buffet is a winner also for night riding.

Crossin' the highway late last night
He shoulda looked left and he shoulda looked right
He didn't see the station wagon car
The skunk got squashed and there you are!

You got yer
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
You got yer dead skunk in the middle of the road
Stinkin' to high Heaven!

Take a whiff on me, that ain't no rose!
Roll up yer window and hold yer nose
You don't have to look and you don't have to see
'Cause you can feel it in your olfactory


Yeah you got yer dead cat and you got yer dead dog
On a moonlight night you got yer dead toad frog
Got yer dead rabbit and yer dead raccoon
The blood and the guts they're gonna make you swoon!


C'mon stink!
You got it!
It's dead, it's in the middle
Dead skunk in the middle!
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Stinkin' to high heaven!
All over the road, technicolor man!
Oh, you got pollution
It's dead, it's in the middle
And it's stinkin' to high, high Heaven

Monday, May 22, 2006

Dead Squirrel

My friend Shane sent me these pictures today. Note this wasn't Shane that hit the squirrel. Last year I rolled over a squirel's tail while commuting to work, I'm glad I didn't suck him up into the top tube like this poor guy did. I wonder how the guy is? I would think he went down with the damage to his bike. Poor Squirrel - Poor Bike - Poor Guy.
For further information on suiciding squirrel's there is a website set up to track your encounters.
For a fun google search - Squirrel Suicide will bring up more stories of the proclivity of squirrel's to throw themselves under vehicles.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ride of Silence

I first heard about this ride when I was attending Texas Hell Week in March of 2004. Larry Schwartz a very well known long distance cyclist had been struck and killed by the mirror of a school bus. Larry's fiance and a few friends organized the first Ride of Silence in the Dallas area. Not long after Ken Kiefer and Bob Breedlove were also killed by motorists. These folks had years of experience cycling and were struck down by inattentive motorists. Some say Bob Breedlove crossed the center line - I have heard otherwise most likely we will never know what happened to the RAAM legend.

Last year on a Sunday morning ride one of our own Gail Alef from the Seattle Community was struck down while doing what she loved riding her bicycle with her friends on a quiet road. This hit too close to home, this was on a ride I have attended many times and a road I have ridden on and I knew all the folks she was riding with. I just had not crossed paths with Gail. We attended Gail's Memorial Service and found out more about how special she had been to her family and friends. I was especially spooked to see all the pictures of Gail wearing bicycle jerseys I also own.

I attended the Ride of Silence last year - only 4 riders attended this year it is expected to be much larger due to Gail's death and the organization of Gary Straus and Duane Wright.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

PAC Tour Desert Camp 2006 - Video

Anna Davis one of my fellow riders at PAC Tour Desert Camp was also there to create a video. The video turned out really well follow the link below to see how much fun we all had.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Monica's 15th Annual Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass Ride

Monica and I at the Start of the Ride

The plan for this weekend had been to do the SIR 400K but the legs said no when I was commuting home one night last week. My friend Duane also was taking a pass on the 400k and was planning to do a pass ride instead. Here is the ride description:

Ramrod/Rapsody Training - Monica's 15th Annual Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass Ride
A great Ramrod and Rapsody training ride. We'll take the scenic and hilly back roads of Issaquah to Snoqualmie Falls and North Bend. Snack break in North Bend before we start the real hills to Snoqualmie Pass. We'll stay off I-90 as much as possible, including a possible scenic trip up Denny Creek (assuming the snow has melted), which will be the last 6 miles before you reach the Pass. Lunch stop on top at the Pass. Expect 4,800 to 5,000 feet of climbing on this route. There are no services on this ride, so be prepared to be self-sufficient.

Denny Creek was not open so we spent more time on I-90 then we would doing this ride later in the season - but there were some nice side roads and the new connection from Issaquah to I-90 is really nice. Coming down the pass we faced some tough headwinds and a few climbs - by the end of the ride my legs were shot. Duane and I headed to XXX Rootbeer a landmark in Issaquah for some suberb Rootbeer floats as a reward.

Sunscreen would have been a good idea

Monday, May 08, 2006

Fleche Pacifique

This past weekend I participated in Fleche Pacifique. We rode from Seattle to Harrison Hot Springs. Our team name was the Hamsters because we stuff our cheeks with food along the way and keep those wheels spinning getting lots of exercise. Team members were myself, Bob Magyar, Duane Wright and Tom Killion all on single bikes. Our route went from the Sand Point neighborhood in Seattle, Redmond, Fall City, Carnation, Monroe, Snohomish, Arlington, La Conner, Bellingham, Ferndale, Nugent's Corner, Sumas, Chillawac, and then to Harrison Hot Springs. We aimed to ride over 360 kilometers (225 miles) in 24 hours which is the minimum distance required to participate in the event. Though for seasoned cyclists this does not seem undoable the Fleche has its own set of challenges. One of the challenges is that this is a team event and you can't just do your own thing and ride at your own pace as you can on other brevets. You need to ride with your team and finish as a team. The other challenge is no stops are allowed over 2 hours in length for faster riders they can easily cover the distance in much shorter then 24 hours and get a long rest break but that's not allowed. For slower riders like me and my group a long sleep break was not on the agenda but we did take many mini stops for bio breaks and to eat. Our team took one break too many instead of a short breakfast break in Bellingham it ended up being over an hour and cutting into our riding time - then throw in a few flats and its not hard to go beyond time. Luckily we had padded our mileage and when we went beyond time over 24 hours on the road we had already done 366 km. We rode into Harrison Hot Springs around 5:20 p.m just in time to have a quick shower before heading out to a very well earned calorie laden dinner at the Black Forest a very nice German Restaurant. The next morning was the Fleche Banquet which is one of the best parts of the Fleche. You get to hear the stories of all the other teams and of course eat some really good food. This year 13 teams (59 Riders/ 57 finishers) participated (a team consists of 3-5 machines) the largest team had 11 riders on it with 2 tandems and the smallest team had only 3 members (they didn't finish with a complete team due to one member needing sleep) so its always good to have at least 4 machines in case things happen. The teams that started on Friday night had good weather, Saturdays starters could not say the same - 12 hours of rain for team Green & Gold. One team even brought a wetsuit to the banquet and said that they had wished they had worn that instead. Trophies are also given out at the banquet. The Trophies are for the most mileage, the team with a member under 35 and over 50 and the team with the oldest average age.

The Team - Hot Springs Hamsters

PAC Tour - Hip Chick Reunion and Honary Chick Greg

Monday, May 01, 2006

Share the Road - Plate 750

BK00750 is my new license plate for my car.
Sorry I'm not car free but kudo's to those of you that are. I'll get the plate in the mail this week and am excited to have done this part for bicycle advocacy.