Jun 04 2012

An Urban Adventure…

After a very wet Saturday ride to Snoqualmie Falls, our team was ready for a more enjoyable experience on Sunday.  So I proposed an “Urban Adventure Ride” through the streets of Seattle.  I’ve done this ride a few times before, but am never confident about “leading” a ride until I’ve actually done it.  Even so, a group of brave riders including Bob, Janine, Hiep, Bart, Jason, Eric and Kim agreed to join me.

We met at the Albertson’s parking lot, for reasons you’ll later understand.  The route goes across I-90, then through the tunnel, which is really fun.  Experiencing the artwork and coming out on the other side feels like entering another world.  There’s a trail that leads across MLK, then follows backroads out to Dearborn.  That’s where our Urban Adventure began…

We rode down Dearborn, then jogged over to S Jackson, enjoying smells of Dim Sum as we headed towards the waterfront.  The traffic was pretty light on Sunday, and I think we were the only cyclists on the road.  When we came to the waterfront, we discovered a newly paved trail along Alaskan Way.  We cycled past Starbucks and SODO, and lots of familiar sights in the industrial area of Seattle.  The trail then continues along Spokane Street and Harbor Avenue, on a pedestrian/bike only overpass.  It’s so cool you can ride all the way into West Seattle on bike trails, avoiding the roads and traffic :)

We took the bike trail along Alki, enjoying the views of the city, waterfront, and lots of people playing volleyball and even swimming!  We past the Statue of Liberty, and arrived at our destination… Starbucks on Alki (We decided on Starbucks vs Tully’s in honor of Grace).  We enjoyed a leisurely snack stop, then returned home by the same route.

Eric and Kim lead us out of Alki along the waterfront, then Bob and Janine took over through “the Hood”.  It was so nice to sit back and follow our team on an effortless trip home.  I think we were all feeling it by the time we hit Honda Hill, but we bravely pedaled the last stretch home.  When we finally reached the parking lot at Albertsons, the sun was shining and we had worked up a sweat… the perfect reward… Baskin Robbins ice cream :)

It was a great ride, fun adventure, with beautiful views, yummy food, and a wonderful group of friends.  It doesn’t get much better than that for me :)  We hope you all enjoyed your Saturday rides too!


May 20 2012

Lk Samm & Lk WA Outer Loop – 5/19/12

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Thanks to all who participated in this past Saturday’s ride around the outer loop of Lk Sammamish and Lk Washington.  A total of 15 riders (Cho, Pen, Bertrand, Bob, Eddie, Jason, Heather, Hiep, Doug Y., Lucas, Eric, Dave, Dan, Gail, and Kary) rode 67 miles around the outer loop of Lk Sammamish and Lk Washington. The weather was a little crisp in the early morning when we started, but by mid-morning and into the afternoon ride, the weather was ideal for riding.  Compared to last week’s metal snapping, rubber popping, chain clanking, blood-letting; it was nice to have an enjoyable non-eventful  ride.  There was one flat amongst the group (Lucas) at mile 64 (3 mile from the finish).  Luckily for us we had our flat repair expert (Eddie) riding with us who got us back on the road in no time.  It was a good size group, pleasant company, and luckily we were able to stay together as a group for the most part throughout the entire ride.

Remember, the rides are progressively getting longer, more difficult and faster by design, so please don’t wait till the last few weeks to join in, because you’ll find yourself struggling to keep up with the group and unfairly slowing down those riders who may want  more of a challenging ride to stretch themselves.  Please look at the website schedule for future rides.  Hope to see everyone soon!


May 19 2012

North Loop

Remember when you were a kid and you were making Easter eggs? And you got tired of making those boring single color Easter eggs? So you decided to make the coolest, multi-colored Easter egg and spent 20 minutes (but it seemed like 3 hours) holding an egg partially suspended at different angles in the different color dyes so that it came out kind of like a tie-dyed egg? Remember how great that egg looked?

And then remember how you dropped it as you tried to put it on the drying rack?

In some surrealistic way, that memory represents our training ride this weekend.

Steve, Nancy, Sam, Troy and I met up at the Bellevue Way Park and Ride just before noon. Before starting out we thanked God for another beautiful day and prayed for safety. Then we took off up Bellevue Way, onto 112th Avenue through Bellevue to Lake Washington Blvd through Kirkland. We hit the first hill at Market Street coming out of Kirkland. No sweat!

Came down the other side and into South Juanita then started the long climb up Juanita Drive. No problem. We got to the retail center at the top of the hill and Nancy asked, “When are we going to hit the big hill?”

“Uh, Nancy, we just finished it!” Things were going well – even better than expected.


Rode down the back side of the hill, got onto the Burke Gilman Trail, and made it to our first rest stop: Log Boom Park.

Thumbs up for spam and rice












We shared some spam and rice – the only food you need if you ever get stranded on a desert island. Life is good! After refueling we got back on the trail. First time on the renovated portion of the Burke and it’s like heaven. New, smooth, and widened asphalt trail. Better visibility. Couldn’t ask for more.

Getting refreshed at Zoka












Smooth sailing all the way down to U-Village to our second rest stop: Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Company on NE Blakely Street. Iced mochas, pomegranate soda, and an iced vanilla blade! Every ride should be this good!

It’s 2:30 pm. Should be back at the park and ride by 3:30 pm – plenty of time to get to the MANDATORY STP riders’ meeting. Exiting the Burke we have a little snafu. Riding through the crosswalk I slow for an oncoming car that looks like it’s not going to yield. Nancy bumps the back of my bike, Troy slows, forgets to unclip, and hello pavement. Dinged up his finger a bit, but it’s all good. We carry on.

We continue on the Lake Washington Loop path through the Arboretum and head down toward the lake. Then the egg dropped and at 5:45 pm we made it to our third rest stop.

Our 3rd Rest Stop: The Quah Spa












Okay, so how did we get to the ER at Swedish Hospital in Issaquah (aka, the Quah Spa)?

Well, we had a bit of an incident. I prepared a diagram to help explain. I didn’t really see it so I’ve pieced it together from what we collectively figured out after the fact.












The bike ninja didn’t actually run Nancy off the road, but he passed her at a particularly bad time and obscured her view so that she wasn’t able to see and anticipate the sharp turn.

Nancy said she was leaning hard to make the turn, but just didn’t have enough room to pull it out. As she described it I had a picture of Speed Racer making that turn on two wheels. Nancy’s not Trixie, but she’s no Speed either. The whole thing made me feel like Chim Chim.

In retrospect, we should have talked about the irregular road condition prior to the descent, but when the really cool Easter egg drops, you just can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Nancy sat in the bushes for awhile. She was experiencing a lot of pain in her right shoulder so she sat there awhile until she was able to sit up. Steve stayed with her while I rode with Troy and Sam back to the park and ride. We were hoofin’ it and got there just before 4:00 pm. Troy went to the STP meeting and Sam and I loaded up our bikes and drove back into the city to pick up Nancy and Steve.


When we got back, Nancy and Steve were sitting on the curb. She was still in a lot of pain, but it was intermittent. One thing I learned about Nancy is that she’s really tough. She even laughed between the bouts of pain.

The ER was busy. We saw our friend Anna who works in the ER and she helped get Nancy admitted and into a room. She came out to the waiting room and told us that she throught that Nancy’s collarbone was broken. And you know what? Anna knows what she’s talking about. It was broken in two places.

When we went in to see Nancy she told us it would be awhile before she would be treated so we prayed for her and then left to go back to the park and ride to get her car. After dropping her car off at her place and returning to the ER, we found Nancy dressed and ready to go home! She was talking to the ER receptionists and telling them how she’s still hoping to ride the STP!

Well, I gotta tell you that she was on Vicodin, but I don’t think it had really kicked in yet so I’m pretty sure she was serious and aware of what she was saying. We went down to Walgreens to get her medication and made a stop at Starbucks while we were waiting for the prescription to be filled. That’s when we took this last picture. Have you ever seen a happier person with a broken collarbone?

She'd smile even without the Java Chip Frapp and Vicodin
















Nancy’s home now recuperating. Please join me in praying for her. For quick healing, peace, and continued joy in the midst of recovery. As for me, I’m so grateful to God for protecting Nancy by sending her into a bush instead of the guardrail, I’m thankful that she wasn’t hurt worse than she is, and I’m thankful that Steve, Troy, and Sam were there to help. God is good!


May 12 2012

South Loop

Nancy and I started at 9:00 am from the Mercer Island Community Center. The South Loop would be double the mileage from our last time out (i.e., the Mercer Island Loop).

It was cool, but the sun was out. A perfect morning to cycle! We headed toward the East Channel Bridge, through the Mercer Slough and down East Lake Washington Blvd. When we got to Coulon Park we immediately saw IJM jerseys! Who were these guys?

It was Kary’s group. They had started at 8:00 am from Sunset Elementary and we had tracked them down like panthers on the prowel, like wolves after caribou, like great whites after sea lions. Okay, so they had been stranded for an hour because Eddie had blown out his tire and someone had to ride to a bike shop. The point is: WE CAUGHT ‘EM! Nancy is developing her predator instincts!

Yeah, we caught 'em!

The group was just about ready to head out again so we all started out together around the south end of the lake, around Renton Airfield, and up Rainier Avenue. That’s where they decided to ride on ahead leaving Nancy and me to travel at our own pace. But lo and behold, when we got to Seward Park…WE CAUGHT ‘EM AGAIN!

They must have been taking some long bathroom breaks – one at a time – because we weren’t breaking any speed records. But when they took off from Seward Park, we didn’t see them again. We headed out and rode right by a friend’s house, which I pointed out to Nancy and, hey! There’s my friend! So we stopped by to say hi and chat a bit.

After that short break we took off again up Lake Washington Blvd and as we approached the boat slips at Lakewood Moorage a group of riders flashed by going the opposite direction. Hey that’s Grace…and they were gone. Yup! It was the one-dayers burnin’ up the asphalt. They went by so fast that Nancy, who was looking out at the lake, didn’t even have time to turn to see them. Amazing!

The rest of the ride was uneventful. Rode the hill up to the bridge, over I-90 and back to the Community Center. Oh yeah. Had to take a picture on top of the Mt. Baker Tunnel. You can’t see it, but there’s a stunning Mt. Rainier behind Nancy. It was a great day to be out!

On top of the Mt Baker Tunnel



May 08 2012

May 8 Ride Report Video

Ed has posted another ride video from is May 8 ride -




Let’s just say that you should not get cramps…


May 08 2012

Breakfast of Champions

Thinking about Eddie’s potaoes au gratin as a good endurance food, why not hash browns potatoes too?  Having made them from fresh potatoes and from frozen packages, let’s now try making the from dessicated form.

Costco sells these in an 8-pack so if it works, you certainly get a lot to eat.






All you need to do is open up the package, add hot water and wait a few minutes.






Yumm.  Re-hydrated potatoes!  Now, just fry them up and eat!






 Finish off with some protein and you ready to ride!








May 07 2012

5 Ways to Keep Your Stoker Happy!

Being kind of lazy I resorted to a less than full write up, but I think you’ll see that we had a great ride with Renee and Jerrold.  Tradition was broken and the tulips were in bloom, it was sunny, and we didn’t get lost. 

Thanks R&J for the invite!

5 Ways to Keep Your Stoker Happy

May 05 2012

May 5 Ride Report Video

Ed has now posted ride video – watch this for a “ringing” endorsement of this endurance supplement:



Apr 29 2012

East Lake Laps – Sunday, April 29

The invitation seemed right- a lesiurely ride on the Sammamish River Trail to Woodinville and back.  This was only about a 14 mile ride or so.  A nice ride to stretch out the legs.

Getting ready, I figured we would meet at Marymoore.  Why not just ride over?  Running a bit late I pushed the pace a bit to get there on time.  5 minutes wait, then 10 minutes wait…  Check website – oh no, we were supposed to meet at Sunset, another 10 miles back from where I just came from.  Calling Steve he said that they would leave there soon and go up Eastlake Sammamish Parkway. 

Well, rather than waiting, I’ll just go slowly and meet them on the road.  At the top of Eastlake, did not meet them.  At the middle, did not meet them.  Getting to bottom of the lake, still did not meet them.  Another call and the story is that they left late – effectively I just rode around 20 miles for not intending to ride any miles yet. 

Finally meeting up with them we proceeded to ride back up to Marymoore to Woodinville and back to Sunset for a 52 mile ride – not quite the 14 mile ride I expected!  It was good to ride with the group again and catch-up, with plenty of miles to do it in.


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Apr 28 2012

Mercer Island Loop

The gang's all here!

Doug, Jerrold, Phebe, Rene, Phoebe, Nancy, Karen (riding solo), Gail (riding solo), Kary, and myself rode the Mercer Island Loop on a sunny Saturday afternoon. After some tough mid-week negotiation, Nancy and I agreed to ride tandem (Note: If Nancy weren’t a pastor, she would be qualified to negotiate nuclear arms treaties and national labor deals). I drove into the Mercer Island Community Center parking lot with distinct feeling that our Captain-Stoker relationship had been fundamentally altered into a Captain-Admiral relationship…but I was totally okay with that. Little did I know that Nancy had her single in her car under a blanket. So after getting assembled and saying a short prayer, 8 singles and one tandem headed out from the Mercer Island Community Center.

Riding down East Mercer Way has always been my favorite part of the ride. Negotiating the turns and shifting to maintain a steady cadence keeps it interesting. As we pulled out of the S-curves and down the hill toward the south end of the island, the Admiral paid me the greatest compliment. She said she felt like she was riding with Dred as we were going down the hill. I knew she was just being nice because at most we only hit 35 or 40 mph. Dred would’ve been doing 50.

Riding single today

Riding single on a new bike!

Everyone did great – especially Gail and Karen who did a fabulous job on their singles! We pulled back into the Community Center parking lot at about 1:15 pm where Rene and Jerrold shared the best news of the day. I won’t tell you what it is – just look closely at Rene’s left hand.

Look at her left hand!

Thanks, everyone, for a great ride!


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