Monday, December 10, 2007

The Cyclists Dream Couch

Scarabike, a bicycle producing company - which offers customized products -presented a sofa and a stool made of bicycle seats.

From 2007 Tokyo Designer’s Week.

I found this on Marlow Harris's website unusuallife. It's pretty cool.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ben Kweller @ Neumos - Seattle, Wa

Of course being the NPR junkie - I discovered this guy through World Cafe instead of through the normal channels. This was an interesting show - it was put on by Miller Beer and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Part of the show involved interviewing Ben and asking him about growing up in a small Texas town and getting his first record contract at 15 - he is now 26 and looks about 17.
After the show we got to meet Ben, I told him that he would be a fun guest at dinner and would keep us all entertained about his alternate career choice a very important fisherman or a VIF.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween - Pumpkins and Orange Bikes for the Holliday

Last night we rode around Seattle but did not see any ghosts or goblins but this morning there was a giant bannana at the espresso stand and a very small lion came to the workplace.

When I was a kid I wanted to be a sailor when I grew up.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Wheels on the Bike go Round Round Round

No they Do Not!!!
Somebody had way too much time on their hands to do this to a bicycle.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Virtual Interbike - 2007 - saddles.

Interbike - 2007 - saddles.
Originally uploaded by McBomb
Have you ever been to Interbike? For those of you not familiar its the big cycling trade show held every year in Las Vegas. I'm truly scared of these saddles. I've been a few times helping out my friend Charlie he runs Draftmaster and ATOC. You can also virtually attend Interbike - it used to be the exhibitors did not want you snapping photos at their booths but now I think they realized all the folks like me are waiting with baited breath about the new products for next year. Some of my fellow bloggers are attending in person this year and blogging reports check out the velo orange blog for the latest on what he is going to stock at the store including some odd folding bikes. David Bernstein at the fredcast is also attending Interbike and has posted some podcasts from the show including interviews about new products from Garmin - yes the new Edge 705 will be out soon. Sheldon Brown also has his Interbike report up on his website. I'm also excited about some of Raleigh's new bikes including a new touring and single speed. No I'm not in the market but the price is right and I'm sure to recommend them to some friends that are on a budget - like the Salsa Cassarole from last years Interbike.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bookcrossing - an off the bike adventure by Orangecomo

So you ask what is the story with this little running friendly book? He is the icon for Bookcrossing is a coolwebsite which allows you to track books which you set free in the world for others to enjoy. I've been part of bookcrossing for several years now and its pretty fun. Last night I released some books at Tully's near UVillage and today I got email back that someone had already claimed one of the books. Sure alot of books go missing never to be heard from again but the ones that do go into the hands of new readers are worth it. Last year at Bike Expo I let loose several bike related books in the beer garden - I haven't heard back from them but themed releases are part of bookcrossing also - leave your favorite Irish themed book at a bar on Saint Patricks Day its sure to find a new home with another Guiness drinker.

So if your bookshelf is full - Free your Books.

Bookcrossing is International and has Mirror sites in many countries.

Monday, September 03, 2007

PBP - Abandonee

Just a quick note to let folks know about our ride. I'm very disapointed that we did not complete PBP 2007 but am very happy that we gave it a go. This years ride had the worst weather in the past 40 years. We are not the fastest riders to start with and throwing in the bad weather on the first night of the ride really slowed us down. I also had some sickness the first day out which also slowed us down. By the time we reached Tiniac we were just at the time cut off and in need of sleep. We caught some zzzz's and caught the train back from Rennes in the morning. We did about 400 km including the ride to Rennes so still got in a very challenging ride. I would like to attempt this ride again in 2011. The abandonment rate on the ride was 30% this year its normally 12%.

More information about our ride - it was an experience to remember. Paris Brest Paris is a one of a kind type of ride. Some of the highlights of our ride. The townfolk directing us around traffic circles so we wouldn't go down. Meeting many Randonneurs from around the world, our hotel was also the base of Rando Brazil - both Bob and I came home with Brazil Jerseys and a few Seattle Jerseys went to Brazil. Waiting in line at the start with Jack from San Francisco - what a wack job he is but he kept us relaxed and laughing. What do you expect from a guy that sends this out as his post PBP picture.
I also met Machka - Charlene from Canada who I knew from the list serves for several years - I think we would make good riding companions on one of these stupid rides because we covered about the same territory in the same amount of time. She completed PBP in 2003 - but alas this year the weather blew her and her friend from Down Under out of Contention also. Charlene's PBP report can be found at her website.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Only 2 Days until the big ride - very cool here at our hotel is the Brazil contingent and we have met several russian riders also. I am very excited to begin the journey to becoming an anciennce

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Excited about Paris

Just thought I would share some photo's I took on my last trip to France in 2002. I think on that trip I rode about the same amount of miles I plan on riding on this trip but over a 2 week period not 90 hours.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Olympia 300 km Brevet

Getting my card signed at the second control of the day

Bob and Amy on the Road

We had a really good time riding this brevet on many familiar roads. I kept having strange feelings of dejavu - of course I've been here before which I had. One out and back that I hadn't ridden before was the route to Steamboat Island which gave us a chance to see many of the riders and figure out how many miles up on us they already had - sometimes its tough to be at the back of the pack but then we get to enjoy more of the brevet then they do and sometimes I think its just our control times that put us there. After Steamboat Island we enjoyed Omelette sandwiches at Subway which really hit the spot and kept us rolling for quite awhile. We caught up with Duane Wright at the next control and would ride with him and Ken Krichman who we found fixing a flat. We wished we would have had a camera along to take pictures of giving Ken shot blocks - he looked like a homeless man he had already had several flats and was a bit grimey and looking alittle wild.

Many of these rides roll through small towns with limited services (ie no nice grocery store) this ride the small grocery store that gets my "Nasty" award was in the small town of Rainier at mile 174 so not far from the finish we ate some yougart and filled our water bottles. The last few miles went quickly on some quiet side roads with a few steep descents that could have been a rude awakening if I hadn't been here before.

We finished the ride at around Midnight so were out for 17 hours - to complete 190 miles with about 7500 feet of climbing. The last 300 km ride we did took us the full 20 hours so you could say we are getting faster but I think this one was just a friendlier route without the Tahuya Hills.

Peg greeted us with some awesome local pizza - but then the Bob Brudvik came in to hang out and gave us the bad news about one of fellow Rando's - Steve Hameister was dead. All of us quickly went into a state of shock - Steve had helped Bob and I out on the 400 km this spring and had prerode the event with us. Just another reminder how short life can be sometimes. My thoughts are with Steve's family at this difficult time - his wry sense of humour will be missed he was a good road buddy. Here is a picture of us picnicking on the 400 km this spring. That's Steve in the orange looking a bit annoyed.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photos from the 300 km courtesy of Greg Bleakney

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fit Doesn't Have to mean Thin

Another interesting article from the NY Times (click the blog title to acess the article) - though I know as a cyclist less weight does make the hill climbing easier, the bigger riders take longer to get up the hill but always pass me on the way down. The article makes a point about there not being a "typical" body type for cyclists. I think this is true of the recreational cyclist but untrue of the racer set. For fun picture your cycling friends in a police style line up - could you pick them out as cyclists? Hint no looking for funny tan lines. One of my friends looks like he should be hanging with Babe the Blue Ox out chopping wood - not doing a 155 mile ride on his fixed gear bicycle.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

80 Years Young and Riding PBP

One of my co-workers has actually figured out what I'm up to and forwarded me an article in the NY Times today about LeRoy Varga who is also riding PBP this year. I'll be 40 and he will be 80. My Dad's comments on this was "Holy Moly" now thats what I call an Iron Man.
Here is the Text of the Article

Many years ago, LeRoy Varga took a bike ride.

Using an old, gray, single-gear bike given to him by a neighbor who had gone off to join the Army, he left his home here in northern New Jersey and headed off one morning for a summer place his aunt and uncle ran in the Catskills.

He left at dawn. He got there before sundown. It was about 125 miles away. He was 12 years old.

“I don’t know,” he says, thinking back. “It was just something like Mount Everest. It was there, and you felt you had to do it.”

In August, Mr. Varga will take another bike ride. It’s known as the Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur, and it begins outside Versailles, then winds through the French countryside to the port city of Brest and back to Paris. It covers 750 miles. It has to be completed in 90 hours. He’s 80 years old.

It’s hard to be sure what to make of Mr. Varga, a retired mechanical engineer with three children and five grandchildren, who lives in the same house, full of ceramic busts of family members made years ago by his mother, that he and his wife have lived in since 1963.

Uncanny bionic combination of good genes and epic willpower, or slightly scary example of a new breed of hyper-fit seniors you see frequenting health clubs with their ripped abs and weight-lifting belts?

As he sat in his un-air-conditioned home on Monday, seemingly oblivious to the killer heat, you thought it had to be some of both.

Mr. Varga has a full head of hair the color of steel wool, and a wiry frame seemingly devoid of body fat. He was wearing a white T-shirt, burgundy Bermuda shorts, black socks, black shoes.

He talked in a calm, reedy voice about his attempt to become the oldest man to complete the
Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur like someone who had taken an engineer’s slide rule to the whole thing and figured it was worth a shot.

He did, in fact, complete the event, held every four years, in 1987, 1991 and 1995. He tried in 2003 but didn’t make it, though he’s not sure how much was mechanical failure on the part of the bike and how much was the frailty of flesh.

“I don’t know if it’s stupidity or something else that’s driving me,” he said, sounding as if it didn’t much matter. “I give myself a 50-50 chance of completing it. But I’m going there with the idea I’ve done it before, and I can do it again, and that either way, this is my last hurrah. I wouldn’t consider it after this.”

Mr. Varga had long since stopped riding bicycles when he read Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper’s first book on aerobics about 40 years ago. Mr. Varga tends to do things whole-hog, be it his 25 years as a scoutmaster, or the marathon income-tax counseling he still does as a volunteer. So he decided to get serious about aerobics.

But running was tough on his knees, so he dusted off a three-gear bike that had belonged to one of his two sons and tried that. Soon, with better bicycles, he took to riding to work, taking longer and longer trips, joining the Morris Area Freewheelers bicycle club.

He and two friends biked across the country 15 years ago. Now, when he needs to stay in top condition in the winter (and when his wife is not home), he rigs up a stationary bike, turns off all the heat in the house and pedals for hours and hours on end. To stay in shape, he does a 125- or 150-mile-long ride twice a week, out Route 513 toward Frenchtown, and then north or south.
Julian Orleans, who cycled cross-country with Mr. Varga, said he’s not surprised that Mr. Varga has become the consummate two-wheeled marathon man.
“LeRoy was never one to do that much sightseeing,” he said. “Once I wanted to stop at an Indian reservation. He just kept going on. He’s the type who never wants to stop until you get there.”

Out in the garage is Mr. Varga’s 27-speed aluminum frame Trek 2300 bicycle. It has a black silicon foam covering he added for gripping the handlebars, a two-cushion seat, an electronic readout that measures altitude, distance, height, speed and temperature, and another that serves as a heart monitor.

He’s done it before; he knows the drill. So part of him looks forward to the rigors, and the hoopla, of the ride. And most of him is thinking about getting done what needs to be done.
“It’s like a jail sentence right now,” he said amiably. “I have to gauge what I do based on whether or not I’m doing what I think I have to do.”

I posted this to the RANDON List - and was told more about LeRoy here

"Last time PBP was held in 2003 there were 2 76 year olds that completed it
For those with a 2003 PBP Results plaquette at hand, or know an ancien/ancienne with one, Roger Martin, a long-time ACP member, describes his 2003 ride on pages 52-53— his 9th PBP. Nice article. Yes, he was 76 years old and did the ride in as many hours as he had years— but it turns out he was not the oldest, by a couple of months. The ACP lists Rene Gaillard (84+ hours) with a birthday of Sept. 24, 1927, while Mr. Martin was born on December 26, 1927. " - Bill Bryant

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Gotta Love Frazz

Frazz is a comic strip where the main character is a cyclist. Today it struck me as particually funny. Do not ask a long distance rider what they consider a short ride - you will get an answer any where from 40 miles to 125 miles. One of my friends was told by her Doctor to only do short rides while she rehabbed - luckily the Dr. saw the glint in her eye and asked her to define a short ride - I think she defined it as 80 miles.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Slab of Beer

On the Randon list Peter Matthews stated that one of the Aussie riders had hit a wombat on a ride and stated that a wombat was about the size of a slab of beer. I had to ask Peter to define a slab of beer.

Adrian Hands piped up with the information
A measurement of amount of beer, specifically 24 tinnies or stubbies (500ml) on a cardboard pallete. If it's a box of large bottles of beer, it's called a "carton". This is what people bring to parties. Reputedly, some truckies measure the length of their trips in slabs or cartons. If you're driving on Queensland roads, this is probably something you didn't want to know.

Peter said that stubbies are about 375ml and that the truckers are not drinking as much on the job anymore but you probably still don't want to encounter a "road train" while on a brevet.

More information on talking strine can be found at talk-queenslandish.

So your Going to PBP - What to Read on the Plane

You have a long flight ahead of you to a foreign country. I thought I'd take this opportunity to suggest some books for your trip that you might enjoy.
My friend Narrayan recomends:

I'm a big fan of the following books:

Travel Guides
Don't you deserve this after PBP
- Learn about what you don't remember riding through

Or at the movies before you go:
La Vie En Rose

Do you have any reccomendations for me?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ditty Bops on Tour

I've written about these singer songwriters before I heard about them last year on NPR.
They are going to be playing in Seattle at the Triple Door on Friday August 10th of course this is the night I have tickets for Young Frankenstein the Musical so I can not attend both - GRRR.
Please come out and support these talented, singer songwriter and cyclist ladies. They may be in your home town soon.

Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre
6126 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

Showtime: 8:00 PM
Cost: $20 (+ fees)
General admission seating.
Tickets onsale now @ Ticketmaster.
Community Concerts @ Todos Santos Plaza
Intersection of Grant St. and Salvio St., Concord, CA

Showtime: 6:30 PM
Cost: FREE
Freight & Salvage Coffee House
1111 Addison St., Berkeley, CA

Showtime: 7:30 PM
Cost: $18.50 (+ fees)
Tickets onsale now @ Ticketweb.
The Attic
931 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, CA

Doors: 6:00 PM, Showtime: 7:00 PM
Cost: $15 (+ fees)
Dinner available at the show.
Tickets onsale now @ Ticketweb.
W.O.W. Hall
291 West 8th St., Eugene, OR

Showtime: 7:00 PM
Cost: $15 (+ fees) Advance, $17 (+ fees) Day Of Show.
Tickets onsale now @ Ticketmaster.
The Triple Door
216 Union St., Seattle, WA

Showtime: 7:00 PM (Doors: 5:30 PM)
Cost: $15 (+ fees) Advance, $18 (+ fees) Day Of Show.
Tickets onsale now @ Ticketmaster.
The Triple Door
216 Union St., Seattle, WA

Showtime: 10:00 PM (Doors: 9:30 PM)
Cost: $15 (+ fees) Advance, $18 (+ fees) Day Of Show.
Tickets onsale now @ Ticketmaster.
Aladdin Theater
3017 S.E. Milwaukee, Portland, OR

Showtime: 8:00 PM
Cost: $13.50 (+ fees) Advance, $15 (+ fees) Day Of Show
Tickets onsale now @ Ticketmaster.
Snowmass Village Free Concert Series
Snowmass Village, CO

Showtime: 6:15 PM
Cost: FREE
Snowmass Village Free Concert Series
Snowmass Village, CO

Showtime: 7:25 PM
Cost: FREE
Rocky Mountain Folks Festival
500 West Main St., Lyons, CO

Showtime: TBA
Cost: $40 Fri., $105 3-Day, $165 3-Day w/ Onsite Camping
901 O St., Lincoln, NE

Showtime: 9:00 PM
Cost: $15 (+ fees)
Ages 18+
Tickets onsale TBA @ Etix
Mad Art Gallery
2727 South 12th St., St. Louis, MO

Showtime: 7:40 PM
Cost: TBA
Mad Art Gallery
2727 South 12th St., St. Louis, MO

Showtime: 10:40 PM
Cost: TBA
Old Town School Of Folk Music
4544 North Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL

Showtime: 8:15 PM
Cost: TBA
Tickets onsale now @ their website.
Old Town School Of Folk Music
4544 North Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL

Showtime: 8:15 PM
Cost: TBA
Tickets onsale now @ their website.
The Ark
316 S Main., Ann Arbor, MI

Showtime: 8:00 PM
Cost: $17.50 (+ fees) General Admission, $22.50 (+ fees) Reserved
Tickets onsale now @ Ticketmaster.
Capitol Theatre
77 S. High St., Columbus, OH

Showtime: 9:00 PM
Cost: TBA
Southgate House
24 E. Third St., Newport, KY

Showtime: 8:30 PM (Doors: 7:30 PM)
Cost: $12 (+ fees) Advance, $15 (+ fees) Day Of Show
Tickets onsale now @ MusicToday.
Mr. Smalls Funhouse
400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale, PA

Showtime: 7:00 PM (Doors: 6:00 PM)
Cost: $12 (+ fees)
Tickets onsale now @ Ticketweb.
World Cafe Live
3025 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA

Showtime: 7:30 PM (Doors: 6:00 PM)
Cost: $12 (+ fees) Advance, $14 (+ fees) Day Of Show
Tickets onsale now @ their website.
3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA

Showtime: 7:30 PM
Cost: $19.50 (+ fees)
Tickets onsale now @ Ticketmaster.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Flying Wheels on an Alternate Day

Sunday morning we got up early to meet up with our friends Steve and Denise and their friend Keven to ride Flying Wheels on the day after the official event. Well the good news was the porta potties were still en route the bad news was yesterdays nice weather was gone and we got to do another century in the rain. We stopped for lunch at the Hitching Post Cafe in Monroe breakfast served all day and Denise let us in on the the secret nice bathroom by the Hawaiian restaurant in Duvall. Yes Duvall has a Hawaiian restaurant and I'll be eating some yumi poi there on another day. Steve called for a stop at Sandy's espresso in Carnation Washington - a late day shot of espresso got us finished with the last 25 miles.

Cascade Bicycle Club set up the route with options which go like this.

50-mile loop - Redmond to Carnation to Fall City to Issaquah to Redmond - three climbs between 1/2 to 1 mile in length. Perfect preparation route for the two-day Group Health STP rider.

65 - mile loop - take the 50-mile loop and add in Duvall and one more 1-mile climb.

100 - mile loop - take the 65-mile loop and add Snohomish and Monroe and another 1 mile climb for a total of 5 good climbs. Finish this route and you will be ready to ride Group Health STP in one day!

Okay but does this make me ready for PBP? Well not yet but we ended up doing this a bit slower then I would have liked but had a really nice day riding around scenic Snohomish and King County. And it was Keven's first century ever so he is now more then ready for a 2 day STP with an overnight in Winlock home of the giant egg. I need to decide if I'm going to ride STP - either that or do a 200k permanent that weekend.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oregon 600 km Brevet - Hot Springs and Dunes

Waiting for the start - chatting with Joel from - Joel was riding a stunning classic Jack Taylor. He has a lot about Jack Taylors on his website.

Susan France gives us the preride briefing and send off - most important part of her brief do you all have rain gear? It's going to be a wet one.

Hot Air Balloons at the start - I want to do this next year when we are in this area for the NWTR in McMinnville Oregon.

More Hot Air Balloons - Vista Balloon Adventures is the Company.

Detroit Lake

Trash at a control - lets see Ensure, Chocolate Milk and Water - yes a herd of rando's have been here.

Us at the finish - yes I'm now a SUPER Randonneur and qualified for Paris-Brest-Paris.

Photo's courtesy of Clyde, Lesli, Cecilanne, Lynn my fellow adventures of the weekend

Here is the ride report my husband wrote up - I would add to it - thanks to Nate for pointing out the Deli in Amity Oregon they had awesome breakfast burritos for $1 each I think I could have kept eating those all day but alas just one there and one 20 miles later from my front bag. It was a wet weekend so glad I was prepared but should have had my Outdoor research overmits with me and even my Burley jacket didn't cause me to overheat as it usually does.

The Amy and Bob report:

The Hot Springs & Dunes 600K was discussed by some as being a less difficult 600K. On the first day one should have just had a gentle climb up to Breitenbush and a shorter one up to Elkhorn, then on the second day, over the Coastal's to the ocean and then back over the Coastal's to the finish.

With a 25% percent DNF rate, I guess it wasn't an easy one.

On day one we started off into a nice stiff head wind, Mr Head Wind made us work extra hard all the the way to Breitenbush and mixed in with the wind there was some wet and cold rain, and the Breitenbush climb was rather gentle, heading back it started to get very wet, and then we started up Elkhorn, but heading up to Elkhorn was a bit more work, and there had been some road wash out and one section of the road, so we had deep gravel for a mile. Adding to the fun, a white SUV went racing up the small road doing about 90, he went by me three times on the way up, he turned around once to try driving down a dirt road, but he couldn't, so he drove by again, 20 minute later the sheriff drove by, but the sheriff failed to find him, on our return down from Elkhorn, when we were returning on the gravel section, the crazed SUV passed us on the gravel doing about 60, it was a shame that he didn't slide off the road. As we headed back to Newburg we discovered that Mr. head Wind had gone to bed, so didn't get any help from a tail wind, but it was still wet out. To prevent a sleepy attach I had Amy do a Caffeine Hammergell at 1:00ish, this helped her stay perky for the rest of the way into the overnight control.

We managed to get 2 hours of sleep at Newburg, but slow packing up meant we left the control about 25 minutes down on the clock, but the first control of the day was 70 miles out on the coast. We found some good breakfast buritos at a deli in Amity which helped get us through the first 70 miles, since we were heading west, Mr head Wind was coming from the west this time, and with the wind there were dark clouds and made us wet, so it was a slow wet push to coast and over the top of the Coastal's, the last ten miles to the ocean was nice as we dropped 700 feet of elevation, of course going down large descents that you know you need to go back up, are the best for moral, some one said that they were going to need a helicopter to get out of there. But we made the control with enough time to spare to sit down and have some good breakfast food to stoke the turbines. We stopped at a very funny place in Pacific City that proclaimed its self the home of the Giant Chicken Fried Steak we did not eat such a beast. Then we have to good 4 miles out to the information control then it was back up the climb. We made steady progress up the climb, then once we crested the top, we had a tail wind, with a little help from the tail wind, we were able to put over a hour on the clock as we headed back and even have nice bite on the way in. We ended up finishing in just under 39 hours.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

NWTR 2007 - or Tandem Rallies not just for Tandems

Number one question asked us at the Northwest Tandem Rally - where is your tandem? Well the sad story is our tandem was sitting at home and we were at the rally on our single bikes. Because we are training for a big ass event on our singles we needed to keep up the training and couldn't break out the tandem even for a weekend.

Why not just stay home and do training instead of travelling to an event for tandems. Because the rally was held in Yakima which is in Washington Wine Country, lots of our friends were going and frankly a weekend out of town over Memorial Day was a good thing.

We had a really good time riding with the big bikes on Saturday we rode 75 miles and visited several wineries. The rally folks the Kiwana's club of Yakima would pick up people's purchases at the wineries so no need to carry wine on your bike. Saturday night a group of 12 went to an excellent Italian restaurant called Gasperetti’s.

Sunday we got in 60 miles but had to deal with riding in some wicked headwinds. We were going about 8mph riding into the wind and once we turned around our speed went up to over 20 mph without pedaling. Sunday night was the banquet which can be hit or miss. This year it was a hit the food was good, and because the rally had been sponsered by Wine Country of Washington their was some nice wine to go with dinner.

Monday we had breakfast with friends and drove to our favorite winery Portteus which is at the top of a hill with a long gravelled driveway. Did some wine tasting and took home some purchases from there.

If you think our weekend sounded fun you should consider going to a tandem rally even if your not a tandem rider; or if you just want to go drink wine in Yakima do the Kiwana's Wine Country Trek which is held the last weekend in September. If you decide to go explore wine country don't forget to buy yourself the wine passport its good for discounts at many of the wineries.

Monday, May 07, 2007

SIR 400K Preride - Arlington Loop

The Route - commented on at breakfast that it was a big boot with a spike that was going to kick our asses.

Ubiquotos Breakfast at Denny's - I highly reccomend you bring your own coffee.

The second control - note the V-8 - Yum Yum

Control #3 Lunch in Sedro Wooley Ahhh - The side walk is wider then my saddle - feels good. Note the lunch of brevet riders sandwiches and Ensure.

Tom - Is it true what they say about big bags? Your bag is certainly bigger then my mini bag. I think you can fit some beer in there? Too bad you didn't today.

Yes - I officially need to get my head examined. I think riding a bike for 23 hours is fun?

Photo's courtesy of Kent Peterson

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Group Health Commuter Challenge

Yes its that time of year again - time to put my money where my mouth is and actually ride my bike to work. It's easy to do at this time of year when the weather is nice and darkness at 5:00 pm is just a fading memory.

I had organized a team at work last year so it was easy to start the process to organize a team this year. I just sent out an email to my team members from last year asking them to participate again and also if they knew of any other bicycle commuters. Wham - more folks then I could handle. This year the company has two teams - the Perkins Peleton and the Perkins Echelon.

This year should go really well for our teams - with new bike racks in the building it has become a friendlier place to bike commute to. People don't realize that even a small change like this can bring folks off the bus or out of their cars and onto their bicycles. Oly bikes had a really good post about bike racks recently.

So are you ready to take the challenge?

Don't worry if you can't scare up a team you can even register as a solo commuter.

If your in the Seattle area - take the Challenge

And best part of all of being a team captain - a free t-shirt stating this fact and an invite to the Pike Brewing Captains Bash.

Pike Brewing is run by cyclists - I met them on the trail riding home from work one day and they gave me free beer :-).

Friday, April 27, 2007

Testing at Cycle U

Yes - Virginia there is a Cycle University.
Located in the Sand Point Neighborhood of Seattle Washington. You go there to futher your education in cycling. I had previously taken a road racing class and a cyclocross class there and would like to take their spin classes for cyclists also.
Yesterday I took their performance test to find out my "true" heart rate numbers so I could make good use of my heart rate monitor and train effectively. Here is the description of the tests that I went through.
This is a test for an individual or a group that gives you key physical metrics to build your training on and measure progress. We start with weigh in, calibration and full explanation of the tests, then we have you do 2 endurance time trails followed by a short .2 mile sprint. All 3 tests give us valuable data on your endurance, system development, pacing and peak abilities. We start all of our athletes with this prior to coaching, here is more detail on what you receive:
Performance analysis
Threshold heart rate and wattage
Heart rate zones, 5 for heart rate, 5 for power
Maximum sprinting wattage, 1minute, 5 minute and Functional Threshold power information and analysis
Watts per Kilogram information on these times for Power Profiling
Body Fat caliper test
Bike fit check
We give you immediate feedback on what these numbers mean as well as a prescription on how to use this information. This is critical in building an effective training program and determining your strengths and weaknesses. This diagnostic baseline gives us the data to monitor improvement, overtraining and under-recovery. You will receive a full print out of all data with coaches recommendations. It is also a great workout!
Performance Testing sessions are held at the Cycle University Training Center at Magnuson Park and costs is $135 for an individual. $80 per person for groups of between 5-8 the testing generally takes 2 hours. This is great for riders of any level, please contact us to setup a time for you or your group:
Adrian who administered the test was very helpful in explaining the results to me and even gave me some information on doing some interval work which I will begin incorporating in my training next month.
And my numbers are:
Zone 1: 111-137 - recovery
Zone 2: 138-151 - endurance
Zone 3: 152-157 - tempo
Zone 4: 158-168 - threshold
Zone 5: 169-185 - VO2
Zone 6: 186+ - Anaerobic

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Daffodil Classic

Bob and I went to Orting Washington today to ride the Dafodil Classic.

It is one of the few organized bike rides that I hadn't ridden in the Pacific NW.

We had a really good time riding the 63 mile route and decided not to do the additional 40 mile loop and get home to Seattle at a descent time.

We had a really good time and the route was challenging enough without being overkill though I'm sure some novice cyclists considered it overkill.

This is a good route to ride any time of year and there are plenty of mini marts etc. to ride it unsupported.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

SIR 300K / Tahuya Hills

Umm make that Tahuya Hell - no not quite that bad.
We caught the ferry over to Bainbridge early Friday evening and had a nice dinner at the Harbour Pub. After dinner we rode past Pegasus Coffee where a folk singer was playing, I wish we could have stayed and listened, (Pegasus Coffee is my daily cup of choice at their downtown Seattle location at third and union) then up the hill and stayed overnight at the Best Western. This was a really nice hotel (5 down pillows on the king size bed, kitchenette, Pegasus coffee in the room, big screen tv, big comfy chairs, high speed internet) - and I'd like to go stay there again when we didn't have to get up so early for a big ride.

We woke up to the sound of rain - my hopes of doing this ride on a beautiful day were dashed. After a quick breakfast in the room we headed down the hill to the Bainbridge Island Bike Barn where the riders were gathered to depart. We picked up our brevet cards and paid our fees and headed out - we quickly saw all the yellow jackets disapear up the hill. We spent the morning riding in the rain and I was cold. We saw our friend Knox at the Hood Canal Bridge - we were not sure if he was afraid to cross the bridge or just taking pictures. When we got to the first control at Port Hadlock, I got some work socks and heated toe warmers which made the difference for the rest of the day - unfortunaly I also got in the slow check out lane - reminder to self - if self check out available to use it.

From here at least the weather improved we headed to Quilcene where we found Tom Mage - who I did not expect to see since he is a zippy rider. Tom - had earned a DNF (Did Not Finish) for the day his bicycle only had one crank. Tom was waiting for a pick up - we wished him well and headed up Walker Pass. This is a pass and does take a bit to get to the Summit of a whopping 727 feet but we had started at close to sea level.

After descending Walker Pass you ride through a series of rollers and past many RV parks, Campgrounds and Scuba sites. The Hood Canal is known for its excellent diving. We reached Hoodsport (Control #3) and took a short break to eat sandwiches and refill our water bottles. The we proceeded around the hook of Hood Canal to begin the part of the ride I don't like.

Control #4 found us at Kays Corner - where the SIR folk were doling out cups of noodles and fritos to get us through to the end. It is deregur to eat a cup of noodles on an SIR ride - without one the ride doesn't seem complete. They are packed full of sodium goodness. We turned on our lights for the first time and headed up Tahuya River Road at Twilight. It was snowing pollen. This road is really tough because it hilly and has no markings so its hard to tell how long the hill is. We made it though - I flatted on the next stretch of road, Bob fixed my flat and we headed back up the road - another really tough stretch of hills Dewato Road and Holly Road. I made the mistake of stopping and had a bitch of time getting started again. About this point Bob flatted - he told me to continue on without him.

Control #5 - The Seabeck store - Oh My this place was a hoot. I was good on food and water but did need to use the facilities. Lucky me I got to use the inside facilities all the guys had to use the green box outside. While waiting for the facilities I got to look at the taxidermy that was on display and talk to the propriotor of the store. One of the displays - a big momma goose and her little yellow goslings (Happy Easter - poor dead little goslings). Anderson Hill which has a bad reputation was next - I had learned my lesson earlier about stopping on the hill and powered through.

Paulsbo - I got called a bitch by some folks standing by their car - Oh Joy - I'm getting nervous about time but am confused by the way the route goes through town. I'm anxious to be back on 305 where I know I just have a straight shot to the finish. At this point Dan and Patti catch me and Bob catches me also - we all put the hammer down and get past the Casino and over Agate Pass. I don't know why I was thinking it was all downhill from here because it wasn't - we pushed hard and made the turn onto High School Road - looking for the hotel where the ride finishes. We both expected the hotel to be right on the road not tucked back into a side road - so we rode past it and turned around and found it when we realized this was the case - pulling in at 3:00 am. That's right - this ride had lasted us 20 hours. Lessons learned - be better prepared clothing wise so no shopping needs to be done on route, don't stop on hills, more endurolytes so less bio breaks, if the water isn't hot - forego the cup of noodles (sad), pay closer attention to the time.

This year was great with the ride ending at a hotel so we ate Pizza, grabbed a nap and caught the second ferry back to Seattle. I spent Sunday near comatose and feeling toxic from too much sustained energy and too many powerbars.

Ride #2 completed towards Paris - Brest - Paris - next up the 400 km

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Preparation for the 300k

Just another reason that I married the right guy - emails like this one.

You should plan on washing your rear tire (with scrubby & soap), so you can switch it for the gatorskin, check gatorskin first, cog and new chain. Put in front rack and switch LED lamps, with the front rack, I think you can use the little rack bag,and switch to a littler seat bag.
Weather seems to be improving for Saturday.
Ride Plan Thinking: Carb Drink - sip every 15 minutes - maybe we should set a reminder alarm for this? more later

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cycling Pod Casts

I recently got a new mac computer and an ipod and what can I say it is fun fun fun.
You would not believe the amount of cycling information that is out there in Pod Cast form.

Chris Carmichael - website has some cool training podcasts you can use while on your trainer - called do a stage of the tour stay at home. These initially are free when the tour (the tour being the Tour de France - what other "tour" is there" is broadcast and can now be downloaded. They provide a good workout and are pretty funny with comments by Bob Roll.

Iamplify - has many pod workouts you can download I have several on my ipod but have not yet had a chance to use them. The workouts are led by Matthew Reyes.

The Fredcast - Just a great place to catch up on the latest news in cycling, race results, etc.

The Spokesmen - A podcast on bicycle issues discussed in a roundtable format with well know folks from the bicycle world.

The Bike Tourist - Live vicariously through other folks tours. Last week he featured Tim and Cindi Travis who have been on a tour for five years. Bike touring has become their life not just a vacation. They have a great website Down The Road.

From the UK - another reader of the ibob list (Bridgestone Owners Bunch) suggested I check out this one. The Bike List

Monday, March 19, 2007

No Spin Class

Okay just thought I would vent.
Yesterday after going to the Fremont Sunday Market we stopped by Mieko's Gym in Lake City which is where I work out. I just quickly asked our buddy at the front desk about signing up for spin class in the morning because it sucks to get up and go and have all the bikes be full. I signed up and set the alarm to go off at 5:15 am giving me a few minutes to get dressed and drive over there. I walked towards the back of the gym and spotted the spin bikes - only 2 had handlebars and saddles on them and only 6 bikes were there instead of the usual 12. We asked at the front desk and no explanation was available as to why no bikes and why didn't they say something when I stopped by yesterday to sign up. Of course I got in a workout - did an hour on the eliptical trainer and then spent some time stretching before having to head off to work. I just was hacked because since I thought I was going to spin class I hadn't brought my ipod with me so I had to listen to very bad muzak at the gym. I may be looking into getting a punch card for spinning at prorobics again soon. I'm planning to ride to work 2-3 times a week and go to the gym on the other mornings.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

SIR 2007 200K Brevet

Ride #1 completed towards the quest to ride Paris Brest Paris. We completed the 200 kilometer 126 mile ride in about 12 hours. This ride is a challenge starting in Kent Washington going down towards Tacoma along the Browns Point area and then moving out towards Mt. Rainier National Park with a turnaround point at Greenwater before descending back down 410 Mud Mountain Dam, and Climbing out of the Valley back to Kent. We arrived at the start line about 15 minutes before the scheduled start we got the bags and wheels on the bike before going to sign our waivers at the sign up desk. Just as we were finishing registering the huge crowd of riders rolled out never to be seen again. We headed out about 10 minutes later and I quickly found out I was overdressed with my heart rate hitting 170 and my bike not dropping into the granny gear (since the bike had only been reassembled yesterday upon returning from Spain this wasn't a huge surprise) I got the front derailleur adjusted so the rest of the days climbs would be kinder to me and my heart. I didn't have a chance to shed my Craft wind stopper long sleeve craft undershirt until much later in the day would have been good to strip right there on the roadside (reminder to self - that shirt should only be worn in the coldest windiest of weather. A quick stop at the first control a grocery store in the Brown's Point area to get our cards signed and have a bio break - alas the bio break room was out of order? I went down the strip mall to the diner and wish I could have stayed for some hash browns and coffee. I almost did stay as I couldn't get out of the rest room - oh that sign next to the light switch says how to open the door - why not just fix the door knob for gawds sakes instead of giving me an apoplexy. We headed out towards the second control which is at the Black Diamond Bakery - a popular destination we got happy St. Pa tricks Day Cookies and Chocolate Milk and I shedded the dreaded Craft undershirt. We started catching up with familiar faces from past rides including one familiar face on a not familiar bike - one of the guys we had helped out on the Olympia 200k with tubes had a new Heron - it was very spiffy with lots of carefully chosen parts. I said Hi to him and reminded him who we were. He said thanks again and if the ride went well for him all tube debts would be re payed. Talking with another rider on the Greenwater climb made it go much quicker but I did take some time to observe the damage done by the windstorm last year there were lots of trees down in the forest and the river was sporting a new berm just before reaching Greenwater. I also stopped to put on my rain gear - I looked mighty fetching in my black and gray illumilite rain coat and my rainlegs. Patty Austed wanted to mug me for my rainlegs - they keep the top of your thighs from getting wet but because they are chaps they don't cause you to overheat. Sometimes I catch the straps on the saddle which can be annoying but the protection they give is well worth this minor hindrance. We scored at Greenwater - because the earlier hoards of riders had cleared out their packaged in plastic triangle sandwiches the staff at the Greenwater quickie mart had gone next door to the restaurant and bought some ready made sandwiches just an hour before we got there and they were yummy. The rain picked up which made the descent down to Enumclaw a bit treacherous but we made it to the Circle K control with time on the clock and time for a scary Boston creme pie cappachino from a machine - it hit the spot and we headed out for one more big climb out of the Valley and back to Kent. We arrived at the ride organizers house at 7:00 p.m - changed into dry clothes and enjoyed the chili feed and Guinness beer (It was St. Patty's day after all). I also got a chance to chat a bit more with the riders we rode with today and met Knox Gardner I had seen his blog before but hadn't met him. We were home around 9:00 pm and in bed by 10:00 pm. I'm feeling tired today in a good way but managed to get some stuff done around the house and will go to an early morning spin class tomorrow and need to get back to weight training my arms are also sore.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

OC Book Report - Spain Book

When I travel I like to bring along a book that will educate me and entertain me about the area I am traveling to. For this trip one of the attorneys at the law firm I work at suggested a book called Driving Over Lemons: An Optomist in Spain by Christ Stewart.

Chris Stewart an english sheep shearer who also once played drums for the group Genesis purchases a rundown farm near Grenada Spain the adventure begins. Though this wasn' t set in the area of Spain where I was traveling I really enjoyed it and it brought me some insite into the Spainards obsesion with all things pig. My husband thought long and hard about bringing home a cured ham hock including the piggies little foot and then realized we didn't have enough room to pack it in with the bike but he wasn't too worried about us being busted by customs with the little piggie.
The book is available at

Happy Hour Cycling

Don't you think it's time we all became more physically active? Beginning this month, I and a few friends will be riding five miles each day. If any of you would like to join our Bike Club, please let me know and we can make arrangements to swing by and pick you up!

I think it would be appropriate to ride somewhere between 4:00 and 7:00pm. We can call it happy hour, if it will make you say "Yes".

Monday, March 05, 2007

Buenos Dias from Espana

Further news from Spain - Greg and Ruth Sneed take the Bull by the Horns

We had a great time at the Vaulta de Valencia and got to draft Alessandro Pettachi to the start of the race. We watched the start and then headed up to the feed zone to get another view of the racers and to snag some souvenirs. We got several musette bags one even had a bannana in it which Bob ate along with a few containers of Enervite which is much nicer to suck down then gu. The next day we rode through the feed zone again and scavenged several more water bottles I almost wrecked when Bob stopped in front of me to grab an eusketel bottle he had spotted on a rock. The riding here is great but its kinda a strange place with lots of retired brits over here every other place is a faux british pub and our hotel had a british breakfast every morning I am so ready for pancakes and some yummy american sausages sorry I´m not a fan of bangers. Our friends Greg and Ruth have joined us so along with a guy from Stratford upon Avon we tackled the climb to Gudalest which has many switchbacks and then a screaming descent. I´m enjoying the riding over here and we will ride one of the cols again this week before heading back to the land of rain. I´m feeling more psyched now about the upcoming brevet season.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Greetings from Albir Spain

We are on Holiday at a Graham Baxter Sporting Camp doing some lovely riding up lots of hills and past many beaches and hill towns. Tomorrow we attend the Tour de Valencia and hope to get some good pictures of the racers we saw the team cars for Discover and CSC in town and have heard Valverde is planning to race. This isn´t really a training camp for the less serious set ie not racers but they have been very accomodating and tell us good routes that take us intersting places we arrive back later then the other folks but have done less miles, fewer hills but have probably had a nicer time then having our hearts jump out of our chests. I´m the only woman here. Most of the guys are planning to ride le tour l´tape which is riding a stage of the tour de france 8000 riders do it every year there are time cutoffs and huge passes to ride so they are riding the cols (passes) in the area. One of the Cols is the Col de Rates which we plan on riding before we return back to Seattle.

Monday, January 29, 2007


My hubby competed in Ergomania on Saturday January 27, 2007.
He uses erging or indoor rowing as his offseason training for cycling. We own a concept 2 rower and many gyms also have the rowers. Concept 2 is a very cool company sponsering events like Ergomania and also holding on-line Challenges. Between Thanksgiving and X-mas they hold the Holiday Challenge if you get your rowing in your holiday calories are burned off and you can get through the holidays without gaining a pound in fact you might loose a few. Bob is a PBP Ancienne and is planning to ride PBP 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

Weight Training for Long Distance Cyclists

We are not like those no upper body Tour de France riders we need to be fit all the way around. I recently started weight training at the gym so I will be able to complete endurance rides in the future. Wednesday night I found myself drawing a blank about what I was there for and what I was doing. I spent some time today putting together a cheat sheet to use for weight training I need to add neck exercises to it so I don't end up with Shermer's neck. But its a start- If you weight train let me know some good additional exercises. I don't plan on doing all of these every time I lift.
I found a good page that has exercises choose the ones that work for you

Dumbbell Stepups
Dumbell Squats
Dumbell Side Lunges
Leg press
Hamstring curls
Biceps curls
Bicep Hammer Curls
Tricep Kickbacks
Triceps extension
Triceps Bench Dips
Low back extensions
Reverse crunches
Dumbbell chest press
Lat pulldowns

Monday, January 22, 2007

Paris Brest - The Pastry

Have you ever had one of these?
My blogging was a bit sparse in November and December because I was on a 16 day cruise with my parents. Due to a gym onboard and spin classes I came back with only an extra lbs or 2. It would have been very easy to come back with many more lbs due to the great food - yep they had Paris Brest the pastry on the menu.
Here is an awesome link about making Paris Brest the Pastry.
I found another awesome link about making Paris Brest the Pastry they even suggest which vintage french wine to pair it with.
Glad to know I'm not the only fixated on this pastry. David has some more to say about it. Vist his blog here.

On Your Bike!!!!

Or not.
Please be careful out there - I got an email on Saturday afternoon that said one of my regular ride partners was in hospital with a broken femur and was going to be having surgery. His plans for the year included Paris Brest Paris - no more PBP for him. He is going to be AOK, the surgery went well I feel really sorry for his wife to have to take care of this cranky guy for the next few months. He normally works out some of his crankiness by riding.
If the weather outside is frightful - don't chance blowing your big adventure. The weather in Seattle finally was good this past weekend and I was able to get in 2 short rides so a 80 mile weekend to get me started.
Also don't forget if you haven't done long distance riding in the past it stresses your body more then anything you have ever done before. Be sure to eat healthy, take your vitamins, work on flexibility and building up those small muscles you will need in the wee hours of the morning to keep your head up.

Friday, January 19, 2007

87+ Hours on a Spin Bike - UGH

I heard about this on NPR and my first thought was that this was someone riding a life cycle not a spin cycle. I don't know why I thought that - after all I somehow have found myself to quote Lon Haldeman living among and being one of the "Exceptional Cyclists". Sometimes I think that means - those of us that have a screw loose and aspire to big events like PBP and more craziness like Race Across America. Yep - its a guy training for RAAM 2007. He got in some good training and raised $5,000 for the American Diabetes Association. Cheers to John!!!
John Jurczynski

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Paris-Brest-Paris Blogs

Yep - that is the goal this year. I'm glad to know I'm not alone with this goal - I've discovered a few cycling blogs of other folks who also have Paris Brest Paris on the agenda for 2007. Follow us as we train for this incredible event. I'll update the links as I find them. If you find any links let me know.
About the Bike
Higher Gear Coaching
Road to Paris Brest Paris
Slightly Lost in the World
Little Circles
John Kramer aka Kramer Cosmo
The Big Fix
My Life on a Bike
David Kenning
Cat Trike

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow Tires for your bicycle

If you haven't heard - we have snow in Seattle and it has not gone away like it usually does. My hubby is a shopaholic and bought snow tires for our bicycles. This weekend he got around to putting them on the bikes. My Soma Doublecross is now sporting a pair of the 700x35 studded snow tires. Yesterday I rode up the Burke Gilman trail which is covered in packed snow and ice - it was really fun and a good workout. I rewarded myself with a hot chocolate at Starbucks at Lake Forest Park - by now it was getting dark and I had left home without a light. I need to figure out where to mount one - my Doublecross has interruptor levers on it which limit handlebar space. I hopped Metro back to Lake City and rode home from there on Sandpoint way which is better lit then the Burke Gilman Trail. Hopefully tonight I can find a light mount that will work and I can commute in on my studded bike. If your looking to get a pair of these cool tires - they are stocked on-line at Peter White Cycles.