Archive for August, 2010

The Opening Week in Washington

August 9th, 2010 by MTBBill

Last week was really busy.     While work was plenty busy, I did have enough time to get out and about on some trails.     After starting the week out by finding out with my bike being stolen, I was able to get my hands on a rental hardtail on Tuesday.    Wednesday after work I hit up Banner Forest.   I had hiked a small slice of this area in December of 2008 but this was the first time on the bike.   This places is a lot of fun.  Lots of the twists and turns and quick up and downs on nearly all singletrack.   Quite the fun XC playground.

Wednesday was supposed to be a quick afternoon ride at Green Mountain near Bremerton.     The trail was billed as well marked out-up and back-down.    Just a few miles into the climb I spied and sweet looking narrow singletrack heading off to the west and someone had made a wooden arrow on the ground pointing to it.   For those that know me, know what happened next.   Yes I took the sweet looking singletrack that was not on my map.   This was indeed a really awesome singletrack saw much less traffic the the one I started on.  This trail lead to another and another and the next thing I know I was much futher out than I had planned on being.   I had to dust off  some orienteering skills that I had not had to use so thoroughly in quite sometime.  When all said an done my 12-14 miles afternoon spin ended being a stout 21 miler that ended in the waning moments of the day.

 

 Saturday it was raining the Seattle-Tacoma area so I headed inland to the east of Mt Rainer to ride the Ranger Creek and Palisades trail.   The 20 miles of pure singletrack did not disappoint.   I am going to get back here when the sun is out.

Sunday I headed out to the Olympic Pennisula for a ride that is considered a Washington Classic/Epic.   The Lower Dungeness to Gold Creek Trail loop. For much of the ride I was in the clouds which made the fantastic singletracks take on a primordial rainforest feel. The cloud ride in thick old growth woods was sometimes spooky and I often found myself whistling so as not to surpise any critters further up the foodchain.

I’ll get some proper ride reports put together when I get some downtime, but for now it will just be the samplers.

Celebrating the End of the Day

August 2nd, 2010 by MTBBill

There is nothing like a little celebration and the end of an awesome day.  It is great to reflect on day well spent with family and friends. One of my favorites is when there is a bit of great mountain biking in the mix as well.    I have been really fortunate to have lots of those days.    Today the celebration was for different reasons.

The day started off like some of my other work trips that have had some awesome mountainbiking through in as well.   Asunrise communter flight to LAX to catch a connector.  The connector in this case was Seattle and I have plans for a good bit of riding during my month long stay up here.   Once we got about the marine layer I was treated to pretty pictureque scene below.

 

 One of the other guys I will be working with on this project was going to drive up versus fly.  He has plans for some post-work vacation/roadtrip.   He offered to drive my bike up so I was more than happy not have tear in down, put in the bike box and lug it around the airports.   Shortly after getting off the plane in LAX and into the terminal things started turning for the worse.    I got a phone call from by work bud.  My Intense 6.6 had been stolen off the back of his truck.  Somebody in Kelso WA cut the fairly beefy cable lock and took off with my cherished rig.  I did have a long enough of a layover that all the phone calls were taken care of with the Kelso Police Department as well as make a few points online about the event.     Needless to say I was good and bummed.

My Baby when she was new (The shock has seens been replaced with a Cane Creek Double Barrel coil shock)    The setup of this bike is fairly unique and considering that “Works” translucent paint allows the unique weldmarks to show through, the underlying marks on this paint is a vittual fingerprint for this bike.

Hopefully this along with frame serial number will help it recovery.  I don’t expect I’ll see the bike again.  

Needless to say that I was not in a good mood when I got on the flight to Seattle.    I was however fairly comfortable in seat 5C.   Short BEFORE take off, the little five or so year old “princess” in row 8 started screaming crying and wailing.      It was freaking blood curdling and I could see the tightening shoulders and clinched jaws of everyone within my view.  Mom made good effort to try and calm the little princess down….for all of about five freaking minutes, then she just became pretty oblivious to her little freaking scream box urchin.    We were given the okay to use the portable electronics you should have seen the mad scramble everyone was making to fire that those things up to try and drowned out that the baby terrorist cell.   The scramble was enough that the flight attendant actually smile and had to hold back some snickers.    Even with the music pumping you could still here the screaming.   Now I know the difference between a kid in pain and a kid being a pain.  There was not ear ache, no upset stomach, this kid was just an urchin.  Come on Mom, do something, NyQuil, Sleeping Pills, Pillow across the face,  sock in the mouth, something!    The descent was pure torture once we had to turn off our electronic mufflers.   I was fit to be tied when I got off the plane,   luckily I have a couple hours of driving to do and was able to chillax a little.

Because of the length of my stay here I was able grab a condo rental for the same price as a hotel stay.   I was pretty freaking stoked with the accommodations and location.  It was well into the afternoon by the time I was finally able to set down and relax for good with a tasty Pacific Northwest cold one.    Somedays you celebrate a day well spent, today I was simply celebrating the END of this day.    The good news about this Monday is there are a lot of people out there who had something truly tragic happen today and I was not one of them.     Thanks everyone who acknowledged the bummage of my day and offered encouragement and help.   You guys Rock!