Monday, October 27, 2014

After The Storm

Wapato Lake
In late October, the weather around here seems to have a split personality. Hard to believe that just the night before, the Seattle metro area was under a storm advisory, with winds reaching 60 mph. I peeked outside my window during the hight of the storm to see sideways rain and leaves hanging on for dear life. Naturally, I didn't think I would be going for a ride any time soon.

The following morning, my only plans were to run errands and work on chores at home. But throughout the day, the sun must've really wanted to make an appearance, fighting its way through the cloudy sky. By mid-afternoon, calmer winds moved the clouds along and the sun prevailed for the remainder of the day.

I saw this as a sign to take my new Rivendell Sam Hillborne for its first ride.

As I was riding through the neighborhood, I really enjoyed seeing all the leaves that had fallen the night before, now matted along the streets in all their various autumn colors. Several people were outside working on their lawns, taking advantage of however long the break in the weather would last. There was just one more more hour of daylight as I rolled into Wapato Park, but people were still out and about, enjoying the last bit of calm before the next storm rolls in. A couple sat on a bench waiting for the sunset, a family and their two small children waving at the ducks, an elderly couple walking the one mile loop around the lake. And dogs. There were lots of dogs.

I came across a narrow bridge and lost my balance about a third of the way in. I guess that's what happens when I don't ride for months at a time. I got spooked by the gaps between the planks, I thought large enough for my tires to sink into. My confidence and handling skills needs improving. Bar-end shifters will take some practice.

While I didn't see any rainbows, the pink clouds lit by the setting sun was just as amazing, especially seen reflected from the lake. I regretted not getting out earlier, but there's something beautiful in riding on a late autumn afternoon.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Begin With The End In Mind

From Port Townsend to LaPush - 130 miles
Damn it. I need a goal. Disappointed that I didn't ride much this year. No more excuses, then. I've decided to ride the Olympic Discovery Trail next year. By August. No later. Between now and then, I will plan, stay in shape, and stay motivated. Oh, and ride. of course, ride.

There was a time when I rode my share of club events: Seattle To Portland, Tour De Blast, RAMROD, RAPSody. Then stuff happened. I rode less and less. get the picture. All of those events were good times. I met people, took selfies before they were called selfies, put in lots of miles and was healthier for it.

But those events cost $. And they were crowded. Even more so now. I'd like to try one on my own. Self-supported, that is. I have no desire to camp, so I may not be saving any money. The cost of an event's registration fee will just go towards lodging. At 260 miles roundtrip, I'll need to figure out how many days to spread out the trip. Don't see myself riding all the way to the coast in one day. I could. I would rather enjoy myself, make stops along the way, visit town to town, take in the scenery.

I'll worry about the logistics later. Right now, I'm feeling excited about this goal. It is as worthy as any I've aspired to make.