What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bike to Yoga

When others discover that I ride my bicycle to get around (as opposed to one of those motor vehicle thingies) I try to emphasize the enjoyment of it or even how 'enhanced' my life feels. Riding to and from my yoga class is a wonderful example. Yoga has been lovely for restoring happiness to my back after riding so much over bump-ba-bumpity cyclocross courses and such. The class is even lovelier when I arrive and depart on my bicycle. My blood is moving and my nose chilled when I walk in the door. When I ride home, my shoulders drop and relax and my back is cheered.

Riding to and from yoga is just such a wonderful addition to the class-- I would be sad if I had to sit still in a car afterwards.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Laziness averted!

The other day I had to set up our first indoor team practice for my junior cycling team. I had to haul 2 trainers, 2 rollers, 2 spare wheels, my bike and my laptop.. I figured it would be easy to "cop out" and borrow the Suburban from Debi and Jim. Well, I peeked out the window and-- no Suburban! Looks like my scheme to be lazy wasn't going to pan out.

Loading up the trailer went remarkably smooth. I made a sort of bicycle and blanket layered cake. And once I started rolling down the street in the delicious Fall air, I was glad that the Suburban wasn't there-- because I would have been missing out.

Monday, November 17, 2008


A short slideshow/video of the race can be seen HERE!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


  • Woo! I won the Washington State Cyclocross Championship race!
  • It was weird. 
  • I went into the first barrier too fast as usual.
  • Got back into the group and thought, "I can go faster than this."
  • I took off.
  • The course was super fast and played to my strengths.
  • Crashed twice.
  • Each time I fell a passing racer asked, "are you okay?"
  • The second time my handlebars twisted 30 degrees out of alignment.
  • Yanked 'em back.
  • Finished the last lap with my handlebars 10 degrees off.
  • Dropped the Cat 4 field by a minute.
  • Caught all the Masters Women that started 30 seconds ahead except one (then I crashed).
  • I ripped my favorite knee warmers!! BOO!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What you think you're doing

Don't let what others think you are doing

affect what you think you are doing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee Agenda

BPAC Agenda
November 12, 2008

Call to Order

Approval of the Minutes

First Order of Business: Gary Mabley, special visitor

Review of Bike Plan, Walk-Through for Instituting Changes, Work Session Format

Old Business
A. Bike Map 10 Minutes
Walt Keyes

B. Bike Racks 5 Minutes
Downtown Locations

C. Audible Signals 3 Minutes
Progress Message from Frank Nicholson 

New Business
A. Bike Licensing 10 Minutes
[If this topic is not covered in Bike Plan work session]
Proposals / Suggestions from WallaWalla2020 (copied below)

1) Make licensing voluntary. The Bicycle Alliance of Washington has determined that licensing is restrictive and acts as a barrier of use. Enforcement of mandatory licensing is an undo burden on law enforcement and not having a license does not pose a safety risk.

2) Make licenses available, as a service, for $3 for a three year period. Licensing has helped law enforcement return abandoned bicycles. Limiting the license to three years allows information to be updated.

3) Establish a Bicycle Advocacy Fund that is funded through multiple local grants on a matching fund basis, i.e. $1.00 per license.

4) Designate Bicycle Ambassadors to distribute licenses and safety information, i.e. Bicycle shops, qualified individuals.

5) Leverage Bicycle Advocacy Fund through application to state/federal grants taking advantage of local participation scoring on grant applications.

6) Limit Bicycle Advocacy Fund to a three year trial focused on a specific project, i.e. improvements to Mill Creek Recreation Trail which has been established as the top priority by the BPAC.

7) Establish a goal of 1150 licenses for trial period.

[Gary Bainter] Regarding item #1, making licensing voluntary, this would take away an important tool officers have when we suspect that the bike may have been stolen. Additionally, as I stated previously, the licensing process helps us return bikes to their owners and the cost for a bike license is not much more than a latte.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cyclocross in Ephrata

Cyclocross is weird. This weekend was totally unlike the last. There were so many hairpins (or hazards, depending on how you look at it) to slow you down, I could barely even begin to work hard. And while last week my "hammer" outweighed any gains the other women made in the corners, this week the scale tipped the other way. That's the beauty of cyclocross. I got served and it's time to 'round these corners with more HUTZPAH.

HUTZPAH! I think that's my new "race word."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pursuit of by-product

"Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities."

-Aldous Huxley

Friday, November 7, 2008


I came across this in Aldous Huxley's novel, Island.

Context: Will, the main character, asks Dr.Robert why he, a doctor, was working in the fields earlier that morning.
"I do muscular work, because I have muscles; and if I don't use my muscles I shall become a bad-tempered sitting-addict. With nothing between the cortex and the buttocks. Or rather with everything-- in a condition of complete unconsciousness and toxic stagnation. Western intellectuals are all sitting-addicts. That's why most of you are so repulsively unwholesome... Spongy seats for spongy bottoms-- at home, in the office, in cars and bars, in planes and trains and buses. No moving of legs, no struggles with distance and gravity-- just lifts and planes and cars, just foam rubber and an eternity of sitting..."

A little poetry for a fall ride

Fall Time by Bicycle

Fog dewing face
November chilling cheeks
Ears glowing red
Legs pumping warm

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bike Lights

I'm a big fan of Planet Bike's red rear bike light, "Super Flash" (or better yet, "Super Flash STEALTH"!). It's got the best everything (flash mode, brightness, mount, long battery life) and a reasonable price ($30). Also, Planet Bike gives 25% of profits to bicycle advocacy AND, more importantly, 4 of their 5 employees ride Xtracycles. AND I just got some SICK (that means "awesome") winter gloves by Planet Bike that I'm really excited about. Review pending.

And if you really want to Geek Out, you can watch this comparison of 3 different rear lights, including the Super Flash:

I have yet to come across a front light that I would recommend (that doesn't cost a ton of money). I did find it quite ingenius, or maybe obvious, that Planet Bike included this information on their website:

(Just a sampling..)

Yeah, before you get excited, that last one costs $400.

Okay, yes I did drop $100 a few months ago for a Down Low Glow.. but that was for SIDE visibility and so I could be COOL.

Also, while we're on the topic- there is a light I'm interested in that runs on MAGNETIC power. You may have heard of DYNAMO lights: lights that get power either from a reel rubbing against your tire or a special hub installed in your wheel. The main disadvantage of these has been that they would turn off when you stop riding (but you still need to see! ..or be seen) but this problem has been worked out and dynamos now usually know how to store power for while you're stopped. The magnetic light has this figured out as well, with the added plus that there is no increased friction from a reel rubbing your tire! Hoorah! However, I don't know much about how BRIGHT these lights are. It's a Danish product and those Danes are more about practicality than about overkill like us Americans.

More from Spokane

A musical slideshow from last weekend's race:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cyclocross Race Report: Riding Fast in Spokane

The most fun I've had on a 'cross course yet. Probably because it played to my strengths. Comments I heard afterwards, "that wasn't a cyclocross course, that was a criterium!" or, bleary-eyed, "that was a hard course.." and gasping, "that was FAST."

Yes, so I liked the course. There was still fun singletrack, crazy bumpy twisting corners, sandy turns, two barriers ON the run-up and more... but there was also a sweeet uphill stretch of pavement. Excuse me, roadie coming through.

I also felt like I was playing "Cops and Robbers" for the entire race. I was in a group with two other women and we kept trading the lead like dice rolling out of a Yahtzee jar. As time wore on, though- any lead that was won by smartly maneuvering a corner or barrier was eventually outweighed by the hammer that struck on the run-up and the pavement-- if I may be modest. That was, needless to say, deeply satisfying. Previously a cop, hunting down the fugitives, I was now the robber making the escape. I couldn't become complacent, though. I kept pushing hard on my strong sections and played it safe in tricky sections. Riding slow in a sandy corner is a far less risky investment than riding it fast and eating it.

I also caught one of my junior riders, Phillip, who started 30 seconds in front of me in Men's B. Phillip has been a real challenge for me in hard workouts, and I think the only reason I caught him was because I was playing with two rabbits and he had none. It was a highlight of the race, though, when we tore up the run-up side-by-side with our local crowd on top of the hill encouraging us all the way. But then we hit the pavement and ol' coach's endurance paid its dividends.

I quite like this sport. I still have a LOT to learn, which only adds to the appeal. I only hope that I can carry this renewed vigor into road racing as well.

Photo Right: Alex, Phillip and I pose with our JAMIS Supernova cyclocross bikes.

Visit Bikery Racing: CCY Junior Cycling Team

A video/slideshow from the weekend will be posted there soon!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The other things that happen at practice

Jake and Joseph, members of the CCY Junior Cycling Team, were captivated by a Quite Large orange spider during practice and obligingly posed for the camera.
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