I did the ride up north the hard way today. I knew it would hurt, but I made it thru the ordeal. Beautiful day. Will post some pics if they turned out.
In an attempt to get out for a quick ride today, I chose the MTB. I found reasonable trails even in the winter in the Trillium Park on Whidbey Island. I headed up the eastern edge on mostly damp leafy single track until I reached the access road on the north end. After the climb, the real fun starts. There were a few trees down that I had to stop and hop for, but it was a good flow, nevertheless.
On the downhill nearing my favorite twisty section, I ran into a hiker who warned me that it was “wet up ahead”. I soon ran into a pond where the trail should have been. Being at least a foot deep with no way around, I abandoned and headed home.
The Kona was impressive as always. After a nice wash and oil, it’s ready for the next adventure.
I recently explored a newly opened forest area on Whidbey Island that happens to be close to my house. After an easy 2 mile ride there on the mountain bike, I had high hopes that the trails would be single-track and awesome. They were, and it was!
Late January rides are hit or miss in the Northwest, but when a nice day comes along, they may be the best time to be on the roads. Little traffic greeted me a few weeks ago on a winter ride on Whidbey Island.
This one was to have some hills, and my bike was a fendered island bike – an old Miyata RidgeRunner Team. Not the lightest bike, but it seems to go as fast as I can go on anything this time of year. I have ridden a few of these hills recently, but wanted to try out Swede Hill on the south end of Whidbey.
As the elevation graph shows, most of the big climbs were done in the first half of the ride. A couple were quite steep. Swede Hill hit at about the 12 mile mark. It went straight up from a picturesque beach area into a forested ridge. No real views west, but this picturesque farm awaited me at the top.
The next scenic stop was just past Clinton at the 20 mile mark. This area of the island is mostly high bluff. You can see Camano Island peaking out on the left.
The mountains were out, and I had great views of the Olympics and the Cascades, but I find most roads on the southeast side of the island are buried in dense forest with sporadic scenic stops.
This stop overlooked Baby Island – a small refuge where Holmes Harbor meets Saratoga Passage. It is on a small dirt road with a mean, steep hill up to the main road near the end. Very secluded, it offers a great rest stop and views north and east into the Passage.
The next time out, I’m going to reverse the course and see how it works out. It felt like a lot of work too soon going counter-clockwise.
I shaved about 10 miles off what I had planned when the route got a little too close to the cabin. I was done. The hills had taken their toll…
This was an odd year. A year where my wife and I turned 50. A year that a new nationalism is taking hold in the world. A year of great loss – it seems that a lot of folks relevant to my generation passed away. This was the first time for me that “a year” has had a felt impact on me and many that I know.
On a personal front, it wasn’t so bad. Business is good, I had some memorable vacations and trips, and I ended it out better than at the beginning.
“The Crash” that curbed my cycling activity at the end of the year turned out ok, after all. I even got my bike back the weekend before Christmas.
I received a call from a woman who said “I have your bike. Your helmet, too!”. After I picked it up, the new replacement frame I had ordered from the Toussaint boys showed up, so now I will have two bikes in place of one. Hmmm – a nice porteur would be a great bike to have around… I feel extra lucky to have come out of that mess the way I did!
As far as stats this year, I rode 2156 miles in 254 trips. Average distance was 8.5 miles with an average speed of 13.5mph. Unlike past years, there was no dip in the summer months – I did more riding in the nice weather this year than I have in the past. My May Bike Month was the tops at 372 miles in 85 trips, but there were 8 months over 200 miles. The vast majority of this was commuting. No rando events, and only one S24O bike pack to Fort Ebey.
I’m looking forward to getting back into bike fitness in the new year, and will try to start out with more interval training early on. I want to do the winter training series that the Cascade folks put on with help from SIR. Hopefully the schedules work out. There are also a lot of backroads in WA that need exploring, so I look forward to some good times ahead.
Happy New Year!!