Saturday, November 14, 2015

Coffeeneuring Ride #7!! In the books....and in the Rain!

With today's ride, I have completed my Coffeeneuring Challenge Ride #7 today! Craig joined me as the only other rider crazy enough to ride in the rain we have been experiencing. We hit the "other" Starbucks in Redmond Town Center as we kept the ride flat and shorter given the standing water and leaves that were out today. Still it rained pretty continuously all the way through the 14 mile ride. At the start I contemplated using the pull buoy as well as wearing my swim goggles but elected at the last minute to just wear normal biking rain gear (although the goggles and pull buoy were in my panniers.....just in case.) And, here a shot of the precipitation this storm is bring us to enjoy! Most of our rivers are on a flood watch if not already flooding!

 1. where you went (From Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville, WA to Redmond Town Center & back)
Redmond Town Center West
7345 164th Ave NE Ste I147
Redmond, WA 98052-7805

2. the date you went there - today, Nov 14, 2015

3.  what you drank - a double espresso!

4. a detail or two about your coffeeneuring ride, including your assessment of the “bike friendliness” of the location - ride route is pretty flat and bike friendly was really really wet today!

5. total mileage - 14 miles

 Pull Buoy and Swim Goggles....and why not!?

 At Starbucks with my double espresso

 Craig Coffeeneuring

Heavy Rain!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Alisa and Viv Visiting! And another strong swim and bike workout day.

Today I was able to get in a quick visit with Alisa & Viv as they headed back eastward after a short visit to the Puget Sound. Both were in great spirits but needed to get over the passes before the predicted November storm arrives! Had a great chat and hope to connect again next month! Here are some pix from today! Including the front end of her car where some of the deer fur is left (the results of a slight disagreement between the Subaru and the deer on who had the right-of-way on Highway 97). And a graph of what is headed our way (which is why the visit was short!)

Starbucks Girls

The wind is already starting to blow

Subaru - 1;  Deer - 0 ...less a little fur

Residual Fur

And here's what is coming at us!

Now I can start to look at the bike workout today!  Yesterday's intervals went so well, I am thinking of repeating them and adding a few extra!   The early morning swim of 2400 yards went residual tiredness after the 3K yard swim on Tuesday.   So here is today's set of bike trainer intervals - hard to do 5X 120% FTP but hung in there for the last couple of intervals. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Swim and A Hike - the "off" day from Biking

Today I did my long swim  (US Masters Swimming - ePostal Challenge - 3K yards swim - US Masters ePostal 3K Yards Challenge ) at the Samena 25 yard pool....while still not where I was last January in terms of lap speeds, at least I could do the distance even if ever so slowly.  I realized it was going to be a victory just to complete the swim and not become a sunken pool toy!  Since this was a national challenge with rules and all, I couldn't wear my "rubber pants" and, wowsers!, did the lack of flotation show up in my times.  I knew the neoprene swim shorts were good for something like 20-30 secs per 100 yards but I also noted that my times systematically declined during the swim as my form deteriorated.  Interestingly, not only was I faster last January but I didn't have the drop off in lap times as my bride (who kept times for me) noted that I was very much like a metronome in terms of lap time consistency. 

However, not all was lost today as Vanessa and I got in another hike on the only day in sight with sun and some blue sky....and even then, only for a few hours!   This time we did a point to point hike and brought along her chocolate lab, Steve, who managed to photobomb into a few pix.  5.9 miles and 1954 feet elevation.   

At Poo Poo Point


Thanks to Vanessa for the maple bar - it didn't make the photo but here's the bag it came in.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Coffeneuring Week 6 - The Penultimate weekend!

Coffeeneuring Ride #6 for me - the penultimate weekend.   The advertised rain did show up this morning for our ride and persevered through the ride.  While wet, it wasn't windy (like last week) or cold (like it could be in the future) - so all in all, it was a "reasonable" day for a ride in the Pacific Northwest for November (or even June in some years!). 

The route today went up to Bellevue via Redmond, and we noted that the cities have really worked to clear the bike lanes of the gunk from last week's storm - maybe not so much for cyclists but certainly to keep the drains open and avoid flooding.   In any event, it was much better riding today than it would have been during the week. 

Our ride this week
Just a couple of hills

Our Rain Patrol (with moi photobombing the group shot)

And the group as it should be

At the coffee stop in Bellevue

Al with his coffee

Joni with her coffee

Robert and Deb

and if you want to know how were the riding conditions, here's a closeup of my glasses:

1. where you went (address and website, if possible), 
Quality Foods Center (Starbucks inside store) 

Address: 15600 NE 8th St K1, Bellevue, WA 98008
Hours:Open 24 hours

2. the date you went there:  Nov 7, 2015

3.  what you drank - Double Espresso

4. a detail or two about your coffeeneuring ride, including your assessment of the “bike friendliness” of the location:  Steady rain all ride - sometimes harder, sometimes lighter, but always rain.  But the local cities had cleaned the bike paths of the downed junk from the last storm and we had a great ride (although in the rain).   A very acceptable ride for a rainy November Day.....although I have made this kind of ride in similar conditions in June around here!

5. total mileage.   34.0 miles (I added a couple at the end) / 1296 feet elevation.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Another Non-Biking Event! Poo Poo Point 2015 11 04

Fabulous November day for a short close-in hike - went up Tiger Mountain to Poo Poo Point* and explored just a bit. Got to use the new trail running shoes which felt great today. By starting early-ish, there were only a few cars in the parking lot but it was over 80% full by the time I returned a couple of hours later. My first visit to Poo Poo Point and what a spectacular day for it with big views of the local "mountains" and Lake Sammamish. Too hazy to see the Olympic Mtns or the Cascade Mtns but on a clear day in the winter, they should be spectacular. Shown below are a couple of selfies at the viewpoints. Not sure why launching (presumably para-gliders, not missiles) isn't allowed when horses are present....... And, yes, it is November as you can see by the ice still present on a bench by the western viewpoint. Looks like there might be good mountain biking for the Bride and I also on the Tiger Mountain Access Road which ends up at the viewpoints as well. Future trips will hopefully clarify that opportunity as well!

* From a King 5 TV report: "Loggers used whistles to communicate from the logging tower operator to the workers down the hill. According to the Issaquah Historical Society, the whistle would be a signal that two logs were tied to a cable, ready to be towed.
The whistle made a sound like poo poo, hence the name Poo Poo Point."

Hike:  5.2 miles / 1886 feet elevation gain (Garmin Data) 

At Poo Poo Point

Presume this refers to para-gliders and not missiles or other projectiles

At Western-most View Point

Ice on bench this morning!

The route today

The Elevation Gain (and Loss)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Coffeeneuring Ride Week 5 - 31 Oct 2015

Coffeeneuring Week 5 The weather finally changed from "good" to "awful" this morning for the ride this week. The effect was to dramatically reduce the number of riders this week (from about 11 to 2)! Thanks to Wendy for joining as otherwise this would have become a solo ride.  We shortened the planned 30 mile / 1800 feet ride route to about 10 miles and negligible elevation although we still had heavy rain and big winds during the ride! [We are also filing for Rule #9 Style Points]. Double espressos hit the spot today. Stayed on the Sammamish River Trail to avoid cars, slippery downhills, etc. - we did notice that the few trail users out and about in this muck were a) very dedicated to their activity (running, biking, dog walking, etc); and, b) generally pretty cheerful to be out and about in this stuff. We went to the Starbucks at 15738 Redmond Way, Redmond, WA. 

1. where you went, 

2. the date you went there:  Oct 31, 2015
3.  what you drank - Double Espresso
4. a detail or two about your coffeeneuring ride, including your assessment of the “bike friendliness” of the location:  Steady rain all ride with big winds!  Good day to throttle back on the distance and difficulty given the tough conditions
5. total mileage.   10 miles

Ready for a Rain Ride

 Weather is pretty grim - lots of rain and high winds

Wendy and moi getting ready to ride!

Wendy with her espresso  - nice fairy in the background!

Al with his espresso

It sure is dark this morning!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Coffeeneuring Ride Week 4 2015 Oct 24

Another fine Saturday ride for the 4th week of the Coffeeneuring Challenge on our Eastside Coffee Ride! 11 of us went up Education Hill, Novelty Hill (Bear Creek Country Club side), and Hollywood Hill for a great hill climbing ride. About 30 miles and 1800 feet elevation. Started cool and dry, ending up damp and cool....but it is mid-late October and it can be much worse! A truly fine group of riders. Special thanks to Scott for sweeping today on short notice. Bruce joined us today and his cycling come back is going really well after the incident he was in this last summer! Great to see Tom, Heather, Philippe, Alfred (joined us in route), and Michelle again this week. Welcome to John, Dayle, and Jerry on this little set of rides. Hopefully you all will be join us next week....Kirkland with a little less climbing...maybe. :>) My only rant was about the loosely organized group of unknown cyclists who chose to blow through our group as we stopped at a stop sign on the descent on Hollywood Hill...they didn't even really slow down......not a good thing for cyclists in my opinion as they reinforce a negative image of all the rest of cyclists. I should add that our group was very understanding of how to keep themselves happily occupied while the Ride Leader changed his rear tire.......just some bad karma I guess.

Here are the vital stats for the Challenge:
Per the Coffeeneuring "Rules" 

1. where you went (address and website, if possible) -

Starbucks located at Redmond Ridge:
  • 23515 Novelty Hill Rd
  • D312
  • Redmond, WA 980531996 

2. the date you went there - 2015 Oct 24

3. what you drank - I had a double espresso....very nice - just the right touch for a fall ride

4. a detail or two about your coffeeneuring ride, including your assessment of the “bike friendliness” of the location - there are great trails and road routes in the area - we threw in a couple of good hills to warm everyone up! - today's ride incorporated Education Hill, Novelty Hill (from the Bear Creek Country Club side), and Hollywood Hill.  We incorporated several residential sections into our route today including Tuscany, Redmond Ridge, and Lake of the Woods - very nice homes with wide pleasant riding streets.  Fall leaf colors were in full swing today!

5. total mileage - circa 30 miles round trip with about 1800 feet of elevation gain

Our Team Today

Double Espresso

Scott (also our Sweep today)

Could he be in the Witness Protection Program?

Philippe and Alfred

And while we were out biking on our local hills, my Bride continued her work on the Tiger Project - here she is working on the painting (cue music: Eye of the Tiger )

Friday, October 23, 2015

Uh-oh! Could this be the "last" sunny weekend?.......

Just read the Cliff Mass Weather Blog (he's a meteorologist at the University of Washington) suggesting that the "summer" switch for weather is about to be flipped to the "winter" position (ie wet!)  While we need the rain, maybe it can find a timing that matches my biking and hiking needs? 

Here's his weather map for the next 15 days (after the sunny weekend) - orange is very heavy rain (maybe over 5 inches?)

For details see:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Now for something a little bike!

I had the opportunity to take a delightful 5 mile hike up to Wallace Falls in same named Washington State Park. Vanessa was my hiking companion today and it was truly a fabulous day for a fall hike for both of us - . While I suspect this trail is busy on weekends, mid-day, mid-week we had only a few other hikers on the route. Looks like a hike that can be taken pretty much all winter so this goes into the book as a potential repeater as weather and schedules permit. In the winter on a cold clear day, the Olympic mountains to the west should be quite spectacular as one overlooks the Skykomish River valley. Got to love the warning signs about falling....a great example of the art of the obvious!

The Hiking Team

Moi at the Falls

Ms V at the Falls

Talk about the obvious....a true d'oh moment!

A reasonable hike back to the car...but not a sign I would expect to see up here!

Overlooking the Skykomish River Valley

At the Falls

And yet, even more Falls!