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.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Whitman Cycling: Most Improved Woman

As a freshman on the Whitman College Cycling Team, I was chubby, fresh off of knee surgery, and bore relentless enthusiasm. That summer, I entered a stage race so over my head that the race organizers let me start an hour early. (Then it became more of a stage RIDE than RACE, I guess). But that didn't budge my enthusiasm one bit. I was a happy clam! I was riding my BIKE!

By the time my sophomore season rolled around, I was 4 pant sizes smaller (14 to a 6). My goal was never to lose weight. It would take me an HOUR to eat enough breakfast to make it to mid-morning snack. I just really, REALLY loved riding my bike.

That spring, I made it onto our Nationals squad-- and we won the women's team time trial, the team omnium, podium'd our girls in the criterium and Mara won the road race.

At the year-end team party, I was awarded a skin suit to recognize my vast improvement.

So to the next Most Improved Woman on the Whitman College Cycling Team:


Just keep riding!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Surly Long Haul Trucker $650

FOR SALE!: EDIT: SOLD!! Glad to know that this bike will be touring the Pacific Coast!

Happy tours, my ol' friend!

I rode this Surly Long Haul Trucker with an Xtracycle kit for about a year (March 2008-May 2009) when I was living in Walla Walla. It was AWESOME.

Ever since I left to go on a cross-country tour on my Trek 520 (June 2009) then moved to Seattle-- it has been parked, unused.. shivering.. wanting happy legs to pump it over hill and dale. My 520 has been getting all the action because it's what fits on the bus.

So I've detached the Xtracycle (which will go to my pregnant sister! Yay!) and offer you this rad touring-commuting-adventure steed for a good deal and to a good home.

Size 50cm frame, fits about 5'3" to 5'6". I'm 5'4". My 5"6" friend got the same size. Really it depends on your proportions. The top tube is longer compared to other touring bikes, which is how my taller friend ended up on the same frame size as me. I've put a stumpy stem on it, because I assume this bike will go to a shorter person.
Custom build. All parts were picked out piece by piece.

26" wheels, too! Stronger for their size, little or no toe-overlap, and a lot more tire choices!
Go street or knobby! (OR STUDDED! ;)






(It's on TOP of the clear coat)
Sticker over it or keep scratchin'!



The only real dings on this bike are where the Xtracycle attached to the frame on the kickstand/fender bridge. You'll end up clamping the same spot if you use a kickstand anyway.
Dab a little nailpolish- and TA DA: not a big deal.

So get a Surly LHT that spec'd a bit nicer than Surly's full build, with stronger hand-built wheels and only been ridden for a year-- for $650.

Available to see in Bellevue, WA. NO SHIPPING. Cash only.


And do pass along to potentially interested friends!

The Adventure Errand

Ah, yes-- it's been too long since I've had the chance to bike to the grocery store and surprise a cashier. So when icy streets prevented my mom from driving to the grocery, I quickly volunteered to ride!

Rolling down the neighborhood streets, a woman calls out--

"You be careful out there!"

"It's okay, I've got STUDS!"

" !! Oh! ha ha ha!"

I carried a 12 pound turkey, another 10 pounds of potatoes, and while I was there-- I thought I might as well grab some winter ale, too.

And YES, all the parts of my Safire have been transferred to a Salsa Ala Carte and Surly Instigator Fork! More on that soon..

Instead of driving and stressing out about getting a car stuck or struck-- I just hopped on my bike and had a ton of fun!

..Though studded tires, hydraulic disc brakes, mountain gearing and a sweet steel mountain frame did make it EXTRA enjoyable. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Riding to the Shot

My camera and my bike are truly intertwined.

I was riding and I was riding and I was riding-- and it wasn't "a RIDE" until..

..until I got a shot.

Okay, it's a Ride now.

A glowing tree..

A distant pasture..

That was a RIDE.

Evening ride with mom and dad.

There are definitely enough bikes in the house for a family ride!

A chilly, but beautiful time of day.

We saw eagles soaring over the lake.

This scene accessible from our local Centennial Trail!

Enjoy autumn bicycling!

Rain Ride

I paced around the house all morning-- and finally, I just suited up and did it. Rode in the rain.

I knew the wet wouldn't bother me once I got moving. Actually, I knew it would be fabulous-- peeking out beneath a cycling cap, rain dripping down my cheeks, my legs warm and resilient.

And I would punctuate the halfway point with a hot coffee and a treat. Ride home. And slip into some dry jammies for the rest of the day.

I dare say, rain can make a ride even more refreshing.

*The photo of the cookie n coffee is foggy due to the condition of my camera at the time. I found that it also reflected my own condition. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nature's Tripod

Because not EVERY timed-self-portrait should be taken from bug's-eye-view.. sometimes you need nature's tripod:

Riding into the Zone

Due to culture, infrastructure and who knows what else-- Snohomish County can be a strange place to be a cyclist. The country roads are attractive-- but then a black SUV buzzes you and leaves you frightened instead of meditative. The key to good riding is just getting farther and farther out of town.

Today, these are the zones I experienced:

Zone 1: Suburbia
Zone 2: High volume, 2-lane highway
Zone 3: Quiet, wide, separated bike path
Zone 4: Country roads and ugly motorists
Zone 5: Beautiful country roads and less motorists
Zone 6: Quiet, beautiful, narrow country road..

and that's this:

Next up is Zone 7: Gravel fire road.

But soon.. I'll be moving to a place in King County where I can get to Zone 5 immediately and Zone 8: Singletrack, real quick! YES!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mid-ride Cinnamon Roll

I had been craving a mid or post-ride, ooey-gooey cinnamon roll for weeks! Late at night, I'd tap at my laptop keys, searching, SEARCHING for that "BEST CINNAMON ROLL EVER."

And here's my first discovery: the Snohomish Pie Company makes cinnamon rolls!

While their pies looked ready to floor me-- there is no fighting a craving. So for 5 bucks, I had me a warmed cinnamon roll and diner coffee. And it was.. pretty good. It satisfied my craving, but it wasn't a bull's eye. It should've been a little hotter. The gooey center was delightful enough to make me pause, but what gooey cinnamon center wouldn't? The bread was lacking-- just a little too stale on the outside, and lacking that bold, yeasty flavor that I like. And I prefer pecans. So it was good, it was worth it, but just not super-amazing.

Winter is a great time to warm up mid-ride with a pastry reward-- so I just might embark on a quest this winter for:

the perfect mid/post-ride cinnamon roll!!


Deadwater Slough

Steel fingers, running out of (into?) the city, slithering through the slough.

More will come.

They are but roadways for water,

such as the roadways for motor vehicles,
on which I ride.

The vehicles don't like me there,
and they bully me.

But my blood pressure is lower than theirs.
My heart pumps stronger than theirs.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Foldy Fits (some more)

Foldy Fits

When you need to grab a quick burger before the show-- foldy fits.

When you gotta park 'im in your friend's apartment-- foldy fits.

And when there's no bike rack, but only the trunk of the car-- foldy fits!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

2010 EcoVelo Photo Contest Entry

Over at EcoVelo, Alan just wrapped up his annual photo contest-- with an incredible prize list, including a Civia Midtown as top prize!

This was my entry:

When I hop on a bike, it’s like stepping into my very own secret room where my very best invisible friend lives. Even when the world seems like a terrible and lonely place– my bike is there to hold me, and say, “it’s okay, you’ll feel better. Just keep riding.” And I keep riding.

And we ride until all my frenzied thoughts float away like shiny red balloons– up, up and away– away from us. Together we are lighter and we fly. We fly over the land and feel it inside of us– feel the rollers roll in us, the ascents ascend in us and there is a unity between the earth, the air and us– creating a marvelous, euphoric energy. And I keep riding.

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