Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Flat Iron Road in June

Today, I went out and did one of my favorite rides on Flat Iron Road. I'm unaware of any road that has been more poorly named. There ain't nothing flat on Flat Iron Road. The moment one hops onto it the percent grade is immediately 15 percent and sometimes gets as high as 20. There is even one section of road that at least as you are going up it feels like a good mile and it must average around 12-15 percent.

I did not bring enough water with me on this ride leaving two water bottles on the counter when I left but I had 4 liters in my hydration pack and I just finished the majority of the climbing when I finished it. Made it home without being overly dehydrated.

Today was a warm day here in the valley and there were a couple of spots on the climbs where the heat started to get to me. It's very bad when you are moving with the wind while going up hill as you don't get a breeze at all and the sun just bakes you. Thankfully, these sections did not last long.

Due to all the rain we've had in the Inland Northwest this spring, things are more green than they would normally be.

This was a much more enjoyable ride than the thrashing the Nurse Eric gave me yesterday!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Steptoe 2010

On Sunday, Jen, Scott and I started with the bike club on their trip up to Waiwai where Nikki delivered lunch to them. However, we three peeled off at Steptoe Canyon and climbed up to Uniontown, over to Genesee and then we went down Coyote Grade.

The weather finally gave us a decent day. Heading up the river we had a nice tailwind, even on our mountain bikes we rode close to 20 MPH without much effort. The rising warming air also gave us a tailwind going up the Canyon. On top things were a bit cooler with a wind coming out of the the north. I had to put my long sleeve jersey on. Scott showed me a new road over to Genesee, Cow Creek, how I did not know about this road I don't know but I do now.

The most amazing part of our ride was from the top of Coyote Grade back to the boat launch. I was hoping we would go to Lapwai and then climb to the Orchards from there but Jen was being wimpy so we decided to go back to Lewiston directly on 12. This is one of my least favorite places to ride as there is so much traffic on this road.

So when we decided to ride 12, I got out in the lead, made sure that Scott and Jen were hooked up to my rear wheel and went like hell to try to get off that road as soon as possible. Scott and I figured that from the top of Coyote Grade back to the boat launch it only took us 50 minutes. We actually got there ahead of the rest of the bike club. With coming off of Coyote Grade and maintaining at least 19 on the highway I'm sure we averaged well over 20 MPH on this leg of the trip.

Scott, Jen and I thought maybe we ride again together in the future, but we'll see.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Lenore Ride of 2010

Here in the Lewiston Valley there are a group of 5 of us who enjoy doing some back roads rides away from all the traffic. However up until a few weeks ago we 5 have never all assembled in one place to ride. We finally did and today was part 2.

I really enjoy these get togethers as we all share this common bond and all have similar levels of ability. Today, two of my part time co-workers, Bryan and Aly joined us. Bryan is head of computer security for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Aly works most of the time at the Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute. They both have fun coming to the store and working but we consider them to be very very valuable assets that help us get through our busy times of year. So I was very pleased to have them riding with us today.

I've done a few short rides with Bryan the last few years but had never done a long one today so I was unsure how he would do. To top if off he was using a cross bike as opposed to a mountain bike like the rest of us. His bike did not have the low gears that the rest us had (Not that I never need to use low gears given my powerful tree trunk legs). He did suffer a bit on the major climbs but otherwise did well throughout most of the ride, he got tired of seeing all the uphills we could see and would let out a grown each time we saw one.

I've never ridden with Aly before but know her to be a very accomplished cyclist. She has ridden from Idaho to Montana, just came back from a bike tour in New Zealand and is also an accomplished mountain bike racer. She seemed to do just fine on the ride too. She mentioned that she was not in good enough shape to do the ride but I never saw any evidence of this. She rode as well and suffered as well as any of the rest of us I thought. Those who know Aly know her to be a very positive person and we all enjoyed having her on the ride with us as well as being impressed with her riding abilities.

We started our ride, riding next to the Clearwater river to get a warm up over several miles before we began the major climb up to the Camas Prairie of Idaho. This was about a 2000 foot climb over just a few miles. Very, very steep. Eric and I were riding up the hill which had many turns. My GPS was often reading grade percents in the low to mid teens and occasionly into the 16-17 % range. When going around a corner we'd often lean our bikes just to see if the road was going to get any less steep. One time we were looking hopefully for a break when we came around a corner to our disbelief we could see the road was actually getting steeper! We both spontaneously and independently of each other let out a laugh when we saw this. When we hit that section of road my GPS amazingly read a 20% grade that means stupidly steep. I was glad to be able to keep up with my friend going up this hill as he normally kills me on these kinds of climbs.

When we reached the top we dealt with a bunch of rolling hills (rollers). I tend to really enjoy these, I enjoy the hard effort up and then the break when you go down the other side before heading up the next one. Scott and Doug claim to hate these but today those rollers were starting to get to me, I could have done a few more but not many.

We all made it down our very steep descent safely and enjoyed a nice warm down back to the cars.

Thanks Bryan and Aly for joining us, we hope to see you again.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lee's Klemguard Ride goes well!

Lee Bauer planned a ride starting out of Klemguard Park today. He took us on a number of backroads. Carol and I were expecting a nice easy ride. When we arrived Lee told us he picked this area to ride because there are bigger hills there are
by his place in Uniontown. Lee provided us with some great scenery, plenty of trees and great views from the tops of hills. At one point we hit a dirt road which I was excited about. Turns out there was a ton of puncture vine here and I mean a ton. Mike Riddle got nailed and we had to spend some time fixing his flats. Everyone else got through pretty easily. I lost some air pressure but my sealant got me through without too much trouble.

Carol started the ride a bit before everyone else so no one would have to wait for her at the top of the first hill, which was maybe the toughest one of the day. She also spent quite a bit of time waiting for Mike and me as we had to spend the time fixing his flats. She wants it known that she had to do the most waiting on this ride!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Misson Creek July 2009

The Mission Creek ride holds special meaning for me as it was the ride that I met my wife on in 2001. The club has not done this as a group for some years now too. Mike Riddle tearing up his knee on the ride probably did not help matters. I often do it as a partial ride with my dogs, gives them a different place to go from our normal haunts with a steady supply of water for them. Last year I did this ride alone and ran into a bear and luckily learned to tell about it. I scared the bear away believe it or not.

Anway, I scheduled to take this weekend off awhile ago. When Steve Largent visited us a few weeks ago we invited him to come up this weekend to do a few of his favorite rides. Mission Creek qualifies as one of them.

Mission Creek starts off as a paved road then becomes a gravel road, then a dirt road and then a trail. We park at Jacques Spur just north of Cul-de-Sac, Idaho. Mission Creek takes you up just short of Winchester, Idaho.

This year we had a few new comers to the ride, Doug Goodenough, Scott Trost, Jen Trost and Bill Arnold (a couple of my favorite riding companions and good friends). They are always up to trying something new, exciting and adventurous. Scott, Jen and Doug were a bit wary of doing the ride as they had a huge ride scheduled for Sunday, some monster ride of 70 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing! (And people call me weird).

Anyway all the new comers enjoyed the scenery on the way up. We got to see some relatively thick forest, something unusual in this part of the Inland Northwest. Scott was taking it easy on the uphill not wanting to tire himself for the next day, he chose to walk several chunk of it. (I won't comment on his wimpiness here), his wife also walked a good chunk of it too as she was not crazy about a lot of the loose rock. She also did not appreciate getting her feet went at one of the creek crossing but into each life some rain must fall.

Steve was riding a new Superfly 29er mountain bike. This was his first time riding a 29er off road and he loved the thing. I'd been telling him for years how well these things worked but he did not realize how much of a difference they make. He also just ordered a custom Waterford 29er off road touring bike. He was riding sections of Mission Creek that he'd never done before.

Scott was riding with his GPS and figured out a new route for the trip that allowed us to get onto McCormick Ridge road from Mission Creek this was very cool. He found a new road none of us had ever ridden before. It eventually put us onto an old over grown logging road that Steve new as a boy.

Carol, my wife, who often struggles with this ride had an awesome ride. She was riding stuff she had not ridden in years and was even able to ride sections that Jen (we won't mention her wimpiness here either) was walking. We were all very impressed with how well she did.

We all made a safe return to the starting point to go our separate ways. We hope Jen, Scott and Doug had a safe trip on Sunday.