Monday, November 26, 2012

2013 Ride Planning

2013 Cycling Ride Planning - a draft look at what just might happen next year

Cycling offers so many really fun rides to do.....but they are often only fun if you are physically and emotionally ready for them!  Great rides often involve epic challenges and climbs and, to do those well, they require foresight and planning.   Accordingly, I have been contemplating the 2013 year and have had to make several hard decisions already.  First, the Northern California leg of the Pacific Coast Route (Crescent City, CA to San Francisco) just won't fit this year with my bride's schedule (she is the SAG after all!) and other high priority riding commitments - so that moves to 2014.  Also it is too quick to set up a good Jasper, Alberta to Waterton, BC tour ride and so that is contemplated as a 2014 ride although my bride and I plan to scout it this 2013 summer.   Since our son is planning on a one day STP (Seattle to Portland) this summer, I will incorporate that ride into my planning as well for the first time since 2007!  And although we were able to do Mt St Helens in October of 2012, it is an even more fabulous ride in late June or early July when the snow melts and the spring flowers are in bloom (at elevation).   And, we did not get to ride up to Paradise and really sample Mt Rainier in 2012 - an oversight not to be missed in 2013.   So I have drafted out a general cycling plan by month (more details to come as the calendar moves forward) to get the lay of the land relative to cycling opportunities and commitments.   Here is what the 2013 schedule wants to look like in late November 2012 (this assumes I continue the indoor training at Cycle U through the middle of March):

RATROD - Ride Around Tatoosh Range in One Day - a Packwood-Skate Creek Rd- Ashford-Paradise-Grove of the Patriarchs-Packwood loop with an optional run up to Cayuse Pass.
BOMROD - Best of Mt Rainier in One Day - several routes which include Sunrise, Paradise access from the East, and Chinook Pass.
WACANID* - this would be the 2012 route for the WACANID from which I had to cancel - would be a fun 5-6 ride with some folks done as a self-supported hotel-to-hotel ride around the Selkirk Loop in Idaho, Washington, and Canada.
STP - Seattle-to-Portland ride (STP) - this would be a planned one day ride for the double century (200 miles)

The "Hill Climbing" notation is a series of rides planned for the East Side (from Seattle) from mid January through late March with a progression of rides with increasing elevation and distance - the intent is to run multiple paced groups on the same route (which will vary from week to week) to provide a winter preparation training avenue.  Distances will likely be from 30 miles to 50 miles and elevation gains from 2500 to 4500 feet or so.

The "Getting Ready" rides (January through March) are a concept to provide a pre-season riding opportunity for adults who ride at lower paces but who want to be able to enter the riding season (April) and do the Cascade Training Series (CTS) for the STP or do Daily Rides with more confidence in their capabilities.  The broad concept would be start with short (15 mile?) flat rides and grow progressively in difficulty and/or pace to 25-30 mile rides with some hills. 

To this, we will need to factor in the 2013 Master Gardener commitments, the Yellowstone Gang Fly Fishing Travels (circa Sep 24 - Oct 5 or so), a vacation jaunt with my bride to Alberta, my bride's travel to the home country, and things that just come up in life!  But in any event, the 2013 cycling calendar looks to be filling up quickly!!  Woo Hoo!! Let the fun begin!

November Ride Updates

November Ride Update - Where does the time go?

Here we are already after Thanksgiving!   It's been a month and I haven't updated the blog!  Bad on me!   But we've been busy but somehow just didn't create the priority to get this puppy updated.   This time of year the outdoor rides are less frequent and more time is spent indoors in cycling classes and working on next year's plans.  So here is some quick catch-up items for us!

Ride Updates: 

Lake Roesiger Loop - 11 Nov 2012
Since the ill-fated Lake Roesiger downpour on Oct 19, we went back and tried it again on Nov 11 - and surprise, it rained again on us - a little less intense but now with the occasional snow flake mixed in!  So we collectively elected to shorten the planned 58 mile loop to 47 miles - still a good ride and fun folks.  Here we are at the start in Snohomish on a cold November morning - still dry at this point but that would change.  

Here we are with the Lake Roesiger Store proprietor - really a great fellow and they are very friendly toward cyclists!

Lastly, this is a store that listens to the "customers" - they even have Gu on the shelves!!  I always be sure we buy some things from these good folks.

Redmond Cycling Club - the Dim Sum Ride  - 04 Nov 2012

 Pete and I joined the Redmond Cycling Club for their annual Dim Sum ride - now this is a ride that is designed to kill some time before lunch - we headed from Chiang's Restaurant in Seattle over to Seward Park and back (circa 30-ish miles) with the goal of arriving back about 12:30 - any ride with inexpensive high quality eats tends to really draw the cyclists!  Here we are at the start (Bill Chiang, the owner and RCC member, is on the far left holding the bike but not in a biking kit):

Here are a few candid shots at the Seward Park turnaround - I noted that there were a lot less Gu and Shotblox biker candies being consumed than normally I see - I suspect everyone is looking forward to lunch already.

Despite the wet appearing pavement, we didn't actually get rained on!!

And, Bill and his team put on a fabulous (and really authentic I might add) Chinese lunch for us - it's been a couple of years since I was last in China but it felt very much the same as the time I spent there.  Several folks at our table had spent a fair amount of time in China and commented the same - i.e., the dishes and presentation were classic Chinese as one would find in China!  Very cool indeed.  This ride is certainly on my schedule for next year already!!

East Side Chic Bicycling  - Mercer Island Loop - 18 November 2012

This is a group that one of our riders has been nurturing and she asked me to see if we could provide some assistance and evaluation.  It is not a Cascade Bicycle Club or Redmond Cycling Club sponsored ride but just an organic series developed by people through    Here we are at the start for a loop of Mercer Island -
Now this was a group of beginners, somewhat experienced, and experienced cyclists - a tough group to do a "stay together" ride - so we ended up splitting the group into a couple of like minded segments and provided leaders for each segment.  This was a very durable group however as we did most of the ride in the rain - particularly at the start.  At least one other ride was going to leave from the same location and they cancelled......but not us!  We headed out and ended up riding in the sun for a while (followed by more rain!) - a great group with a stop at Starbucks on Mercer Island.  We are still developing our 2013 plans for how to interact with these fine folks!

Thanksgiving Day Ride - the 4 Hill Fun-Fest!! - 22 Nov 2012

So who would want to ride on Thanksgiving Day?  Turns out that a fair number of folks do!  We planned an early morning departure (0830) with the intent of having the ride done in time for kick-offs, tip-offs, family get-togethers, etc.    A short (34 miles) but hilly climb up 4 hills - Sahalee, Ames Lake, Union Hill, and Education Hill.  Here is the route we followed:

And, here's the elevation profile:

This is the kind of ride you can do and later smugly take a second piece of pumpkin pie without guilt!!   And here are the pumpkin pie eaters:

And here we are at Starbucks preparing the last little hill to climb!  (We had lost two riders unfortunately to a mechanical issue and a time issue) - in order of photos below - first Jack, then Joseph, then Kris, then Peter, and finally Rick.

I'm going to let Jack tell the sock story on his own - but it is the first time I have had a rider leave the group to go buy socks during the ride........

So that brings us up to date on rides this last month - the frequency of the rides is decreasing with the poorer weather but the quality of the riders remains at an all time high!! Yay!

Stay Safe out there folks!

Currently I have two rides scheduled for December - a Saturday community ride on 15 December and a Boxing Day (that's the 26th of December for those that don't follow public television) ride up to Edmonds.   I will see if another ride or two might be needed to help some of our new ride leaders get in their check rides.