Roadie Gets Dirty on the Stinky Spoke Ride

Stinky Spoke Logo 2

Last Saturday I decided to try out the Stinky Spoke ride starting out of Redhook Brewery. A friend of mine did the ride last year and told me about how much fun it was riding in the mud. As a self-described roadie, going mud-side was definitely something new for me. I was able to find my old, trusty Specialized Stumpjumper in the shed. I haven’t ridden a mountain bike in over ten years. After a bit of dusting off, the Stumpy was ready to go. With a huge grin on my face after doing the Stinky Spoke ride, I fell in love with my mountain bike all over again. Continue reading

Winter Means Indoor Bike Trainer Time

Winter Time, Trainer Time

Well, that break went a little longer than expected. After finishing Passport2Pain in September, I decided to take a break from the bike and the blog. I find taking time off the bike helps me to re-focus and get some energy back. With the days getting darker and colder, it’s time to log more time on the indoor bike trainer and get excited about 2015. Continue reading

Good News – Cycling Tweets of the Week

Here’s something new I want to try. It can be very easy to find bad news and news that can definitely bring us down. Everyday, I see news about cyclists getting hit by cars [I can’t wait to see this become a less frequent issue], drivers hating cyclists, local city governments being “bullied” by the “cycling lobby”, and so on. As an antidote, I like to collect cycling tweets of the week that put a smile on my face. I’ll try to make Good News Tweets a regular thing on the blog! Continue reading

A Scorching Ride in Wenatchee

Top of Mission Ridge on the Wenatchee Ride

Top of Mission Ridge on the Wenatchee Ride

A couple of weekends ago, three of us from the Native Planet Cycling club headed out to Wenatchee for a day of riding. Naturally, we timed the ride for one of the hottest days and during what would turn out to be the beginning of a large fire in Eastern Washington. The plan for the ride was to start out from East Wenatchee and ride up and over Badger Mountain and back. Then ride up Mission Ridge before heading out to Joe Miller Road for the Stemilt Loop. This is a route covering about 120 miles and nearly 15,000 feet of vertical. As we had a couple of friends doing the Death Ride in California, this was our way of joining our comrades in suffering. Oy! What a day it turned out to be. Continue reading

Lake Chelan Century Challenge 2014

Heading out on the beginning of Loop #2 (McNeil Canyon)

Heading out on the beginning of Loop #2 (McNeil Canyon)

OK, this post is a bit late. That’s what happens when life gets busy in the summer time! I recently did the Lake Chelan Century Challenge a couple of weeks ago and had a great ride. I’ve heard a lot about the ride from friends and I decided to do it this year. The Lake Chelan Century Challenge covers about 108 miles with 9,000 feet of climbing. The “main attraction” is the McNeil Canyon Climb, which climbs about 3,000 feet in 6.5 miles. Brutal! The ride is a great change of pace from cycling in the Seattle area. Chelan offers great roads, beautiful landscapes, warmth and plenty of sunshine. The support and volunteers for the Lake Chelan Century Challenge were outstanding and truly made the ride special. Continue reading

Gran Fondo Leavenworth 2014

Gran Fondo Leavenworth - Close to the Top of Climb #1

Gran Fondo Leavenworth – Close to the Top of Climb #1

Last Sunday, I had the (mis)fortune of doing the Gran Fondo Leavenworth. The ride is part of a series put on by Vicious Cycle. The Gran Fondo Leavenworth is ~90 miles with 45 miles on non-pavement (gravel, forest roads, dirt, etc.) with ~8,600 feet of climbing. The ride covers 3 climbs, each with their own personality. The mix of vaired and rugged terrain, extensive climbing, remoteness and unrelenting heat, this was one of the toughest rides I have ever done. Continue reading

Review: ‘Cycling Sojourner’ – a Great Touring Guide for Cyclists in WA

As a cyclist in the Pacific Northwest, I am continually impressed by the hidden gems of cycling nirvana that exist in Washington state. Washington offers a breadth of beauty and riding experiences. A rider can ride the cool rainforest environment on the Olympic Peninsula to the hot desert roads in Eastern Washington to the majestic Cascade Range. Have you ever wished you had a companion who could take you on a gorgeous and inspiring new route? A companion who knows enough of the details to help you be as prepared as possible while still leaving the thrill of discovery? Ellee Thalheimer has just written and published, “Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Washington” providing riders with a great companion guide to some of the best rides around Washington state. Continue reading

Gravel Grinding Up To The Snoqualmie Tunnel

I was feeling the urge last week to put on some more gravel miles. The John Wayne Pioneer Trail has been on my list of trails to ride and riding up to the Snoqualmie Tunnel always sounded like a great idea. You can learn more about the trail here. Last week, I took a Friday off with a buddy of mine and we decided to try out the trail with the Snoqualmie Tunnel as our goal. We started from Cedar Falls, which is a short drive off of I-90 near North Bend. The weather was holding up pretty nicely with some clouds and the sun peeking out every once in awhile. Once we got to the trailhead and started unloading, the skies darkened and rain started coming down. And then hail. My friend, in his typical Candadian way, looks up and says, “Oh, it will clear up”. We put on our rain gear, including waterproof booties. Putting on the booties turns out to be wise decision once we reach the Snoqualmie Tunnel. Continue reading