Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Just Ordered A Dynohub! Never thought I'd see the day...

Years ago, when I first stumbled upon Sheldon Brown's wonderful world of bike knowledge, I used to chuckle at the clunky-looking hub-generators. Who would use such an ungodly hub, it looks like it weighs a ton!

Well things have changed since my earlier days of cycling, and with dark winter commutes already happening, and long (possibly riding through the night) Brevets coming my way, I think it's time.

Once you decide to go with a "dynohub," the hardest part is figuring out which one you want. Schmidt SON28, or the smaller SONXS100? Or what about Shimano's dynohub? 32 or 36 spokes? And then there's lights: Schmidt E6 (supposedly the best/brightest), or the Lumotec Standard? 3 watts with one front light, or a 2.4 watt front bulb with a .6 watt rear one? Hell, you can even have two lights in the front, one as a backup.

Is your head spinning yet?

What I ended up choosing:

  • Shimano Nexus hub generator - apparently weighs in at 735g (~1.5 lbs), ouch. $89
  • Schmidt E6 main light - the best one, by all accounts. $110. ouch.
  • Caliper-brake mount for the E6, backup bulbs: ~ $20
Apparently there aren't that many places in the U.S. to get these hot items, but Harris Cyclery has everything except Schmidt Dynohubs, they only carry the Shimano ones, go figure. Well the Schmidt hub is like $250, and only about 100 grams less, so I would've bought the Shimano anyway. Peter White Cycles carries the Schmidt hubs, but they don't have an online ordering system, for some odd reason.

Then I'll need a wheel built around the hub, of course. I might try my hand at building my first wheel, why not? Although the idea of rolling out on the first time on it is a little daunting to say the least.

Either way, I'm gonna be so brightly lit it'll be ridiculous! Unlike tonight's 30km commute home, in the dark, from Redmond to Capitol Hill. At least I've got reflectors on my fenders, but that was about it! Thank allah for car & street lights! (Before you get your reflective vest & helmet light in a knot, I forgot my light at home, OK?!)

When it's all said and done, it should look something like this, except on my Bianchi Eros:

Yeah, it'll be a little heavier, and has a tiny bit of drag, but hopefully this will save me from buying tons of batteries over the years. And if I ever do a 1200k (gulp!), I won't have to carry spare batteries! Bring on the night!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Future Brevet Bike, I Hope

Today I got the idea to take my Miyata fixed gear, and de-convert it back into a road bike. It has more clearance for wider tires than the Bianchi, and the classic look (e.g. flat top tube, lugged steel) that I just can't get away from!

Here's what it looks like now:

That's just a skeleton of a bicycle, really, but here's what's on it currently:

  • Shimano 105 rear deraileur
  • Biopace (yeah, the one's that aren't round) small chainring, no-name 52-tooth ring (more or less round)
  • Shimano "Exage" cranks, front deraileur, and brakes. They don't even make that model anymore, guess those will be the first that get replaced!
  • downtube shifters! yeah, I'll be rolling in style
  • Original handlebars, I forget what model
All I need to get it rolling again are a few cables for the brakes & shifters, some tires & tubes, and a chain. I'll probably get some nice Mavic Open-Pro's, with classic spokes - something easy to fix on the road, unlike the Mavic Ksyrium wheel you see on it here. That wheel is the one that doomed last year's "Flying Wheels" century! It was a good wheel, but uses hard to find spokes.

For the Brevets I'd like to have a bike that's as simple as possible, and as fixable as possible! I can handle downtube shifters, you just gotta plan ahead on the hills. When it's all said & done this thing may weigh in at 24 lbs or something, but I think it'll do just fine.

Mercer Island Loop & Some Random Snow

This was the scene yesterday on Mercer Island: (the last part of the video was me trying to turn the camera off, sorry)

The ice patch was luckily abnormal for the day, go figure. This was just off the I-90 bike trail on Mercer Island. It was cold, but a great day to do another loop on Mercer Island. Got caught by two racer-types, but held their pace for a while. I think the handlebar bag gives me the advantage of surprising people when they try to drop. (Not that I'm the fastest kid on the block, but I like to try not to be dropped anyway)

Total Disance: 40 km
Distance this year: 637 km

Saturday, January 26, 2008

SiR Winter Training Series #3: Camano Island Loop

The Seattle Intl Randonneur group held another of their Winter Training Series rides today, way up in Stanwood, Washington. It was a loop around Camano Island (not Camino Island), so we were excited to take in some new scenery.

Here's a map of the route:

It was great - 80-something kilometers (50-something miles) of rolling hills. It was picturesque: gray skies, but no precipitation, open fields, views of the Puget Sound. I didn't bring a camera, so you'll just have to bear with me on this.. The winds were decently strong, and the temp was supposedly 40 or so, but there was ice all over the place, on the side of the road. Camano Island is kind of like the Mercer Island Loop, except the trees are taller, the hills are bigger, and the houses are fewer and further between.

The only thing was that we started 30 minutes after the peloton, which always rolls out at 9:00 AM sharp. I thought we'd be able to catch up to them, but we only caught one other rider, who started when we drove up. We leap-frogged him a few times and eventually passed him shortly after the southern-most point. We saw two other randonneurs coming up the steep hill out of the beach park, and we never saw them again. I think the are two riders that have already done the 1,200 km/750 mile PBP, so this was more like a walk in the park for them. We never saw them again.

There's one insane downhill, after the State Park, I'm sure we hit 45+ mph on it. But then there was an almost equally large climb, it was like a gigantic half-pipe. The legs felt good, and although I didn't have an odometer on the bike today, Dennis said we were at 20 mph on the flats, although I'm sure the average came out to more like 14 or 15 mph, it was that hilly!

You can see the rolling hills in this elevation profile:

Distance: 81 km
Gain: 988 m
Start time: 9:30 AM
End time: 1:30 PM

Total Distance this year: 594 km

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Night Ride Up And Over Queen Anne, Capitol Hill

I just got the Ciocc back from the shop, now the steering tube is cut flush with the frame, taking off a good 1". I hadn't actually touched the Ciocc since last year, according to my cycling log! Definitely time to take it out for a spin, even at 7 PM. Did I mention it's about 32 (F) degrees outside?!

I bundled up with shorts, knickers over those, a sweat-wicking shirt, long-sleeve wool jersey, then another long-sleeve jersey over that, gloves, wool glove liners, wool socks - talk about layering! It's ridiculous how many pieces of clothing/accessories I wear on the bike, but that's what you've gotta do when it's this damn cold out. In the summer I'll shoot for three or four items at most.

Starting at Broadway & John, I bombed Denny over I-5, heading towards Queen Anne. You know you're going fast when you're passing cars on the flats! Must've been doing 35+ mph, but then a damn stoplight held me up, of course. Then there's another big steep downhill section by the Whole Foods, I'm sure I hit 40+ mph there, didn't have time to look. Made all the lights up to Fairview, even held a steady 20 mph on the slight uphill coming up to Dexter.

When it was time to turn off Denny, I toned it down to get ready for the climbing portion: Queen Anne! Passing Key Arena, took a left on Mercer, then a quick right on Queen Anne Ave. It's great to look up at the ~10 blocks of steepness that awaits. I dropped into the 39x23 and went for it! You can bet it's a tough haul at that gearing, but it feels even easier than the triple on my heavier Bianchi.

I turned off for the view of downtown at Kerry Park, it's like a post-card. Quite the reward for the climb.

After a little breather at the park, I continued up and over Queen Anne, towards Fremont. After crossing the Fremont bridge I took a right, towards the U-district. At one point on 35th St. I was holding pace with a dude on a scooter! Probably about 30 mph or so, of course that didn't last too long.

I avoided the Burke-Gilman trail, since it's so damn small & dark, plus there were some patches of ice here & there. I'd rather be on well-lit streets with cars & a little ice for sure. Once In the U I took another right, on Eastlake over the University Bridge. Then it was a left up Harvard Ave, for a nice little climb I like to call home: Capitol Hill. The Harvard/10th Ave climb is tough, but I swear that 39x23 really pushes you faster, the only other option is grinding at a slow RPM. Each pedal stroke is just smoother and just plain easier (than on my Bianchi Eros). Like butta, they say.

Distance: 14.99 km
Time: 45 min, 42 secs
Avg speed: 21.5 km/h
Top speed: fast! (~65 km/, hopefully more)
[Route Map]

Total Distance this year: 514 km (log)

Elevation profile of the route:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ride Report: SiR Winter Training Series #2

Yesterday I made it out to the 2nd of SiR Winter Training Series. A 71 km loop starting about 20 km away. They're a fun group to ride with, and seem to know some great back-country routes! Even without a ride down there, and a slight cold, I was determined to make it.

I rolled out from Capitol Hill (from about Broadway & John) at about 7:40 AM. A little later than planned, but since the ride wasn't starting until 9 AM I figured I had time. Google's driving directions said it would take 36 minutes, so I figured I could handle it in 1hr & 20 minutes. Granted, I'd never ridden to this particular Starbucks (where the ride was starting) down in Southcenter, but I figured at worst I'd try to catch up to them.

Since it was so early, Airport Way was just about empty, and the same with Meridian Ave. Normally these would be iffy roads, but at 8 AM on Saturday you can pretty much own it. I never did hook up my cyclocomputer, so I can't tell exactly how fast I'm going on these flat surface streets, but I'm thinking about 32 km/h.

In a few spots there was construction that forced me to detour, but since I at least new which general direction I needed to head, and had a little map of Seattle, I knew I'd still make it. Once I got on Highway 99 ("Tukwila Blvd" is what they call it in the Tukwila portion of it - jesus, that road has like 100 names!), I was pretty much home-free. Highway 99 isn't too bad, at 8:45 in the morning. I'm sure it's different at 12 PM, but I'll keep that route in mind for my next Southerly tour.

After a few more turns, I was at the corner of Strander Blvd & Andover Park W. I'm looking for the Starbucks on the corner, but all I see is a bunch of Mall. Each corner is a bunch of big-box stores, and of course parking lots. Where's that sea of yellow I'm looking for?

Ah, here's a Starbucks, but nobody's there. Granted, it's 8:56 AM, but they haven't left yet, right? After riding in circles for a few minutes and cursing, I look up to see the Seattle Intl. Randonneurs rolling out from across the street! Leave it up to the Puget Sound to have a Starbucks on facing corners. They're like churches in the South; everywhere.

The ride itself was good, a fast-paced jaunt down around Federal Way & back to Southcenter. It felt really nice to hit up some new roads, it's been a while since I've ridden somewhere new.

We could see Tacoma from across the bay, as well as smell it. Smells exactly like Mobile, Alabama: paper mill, I'm guessing. Sorta like sulfur. There were some decently long climbs, and a few short but steep ones. Again, Bob on his singlespeed was always one of the first to the top. One of these rides I'd like to see if I could hang with the front of the group, but we were mostly in the middle.

We finished just behind the front group of 10 or so riders, out of the 50-60 that started. Then it was a slow pedal back up north to my apt, accompanied by Robert & Joby, who live in South Park. Once I got to downtown, going up Yesler's hill was almost killing me, but the fact that I could even do it at that point, was reassuring.

Another good ride with SiR! The next one starts on Camano Island, talk about out of the way.. I'll definitely have to bum a ride to that one, or skip it. If only the "Seattle" Intl Randonneurs would start their rides in Seattle.. but even so, it's a great group, and they hold great rides too.

Total Distance: ~110 km
Total Time: 7:40 AM to 1:45 PM (~6 hrs)
Rain: not much!
Flats: 0
Total Distance this year: 486 km

Friday, January 18, 2008

SiR Winter Training Series #2

Tomorrow I'm gonna get up really early again (about 6:30?), and pedal down to a Starbucks in Southcenter! That's where the Seattle International Randonneurs are holding the 2nd of their "Winter Training Series."

I did the first one last week, and what a ride! Even though I missed a turn, it was a great group, and a tough ride. They certainly aren't afraid of hills! Or going fast up hills. And neither am I, so it's a good match. I'm sure it'll be a bit different on a 400k Brevet, but for now these are basically hammer-time rides! Which is exactly what I want, since I plan on giving a few crits a go this year. And maybe the PBP in about four years.

I've ridden down to Southcenter before, but only once or twice, so this will be interesting. I think it's about 22.5 km to the start, and then the ride itself is 72 km. Then 22.5 km more kilometers on the way back, for a total of somewhere around 117 km! Sure, I could take the bus, or bum a ride, but that defeats the purpose of the day: to ride my bike!

And the forecast for tomorrow? Rain of course! Well I've got my full fenders, and lots of wool, so I'm set.

Here's the route - looks to go down to Federal Way, loops around it, then back up to Southcenter. Damn, I'll practically be in Tacoma!

To get down there I'm gonna use Google's driving directions, which happens to put me on Highway 99 Aurora - is that ridable down there? Well I'm gonna find out! As long as it's a surface street it's game!

Edit: Here's the route on a Google Map. And here's the elevation profile:

(from my mapping site, veloroutes.org)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Commute WIth A Little Ice On The Side

I commuted to work on Monday, and when I left my office to head home, there were little white flakes coming down! Those of you up in the mountains or in the mid-west are probably rolling your eyes, but we don't get that much snow here, maybe a few inches a year. I've got all the layers I need to stay warm, and my slick 23's are fine in light snow. I love riding when it's snowing, until the roads turn icy that is. Since it slows down traffic, it usually means smooth sailing for cyclists.

But by the time I got rolling (after maybe 10 minutes of puttting on layers, gloves, setting up lights, etc) the pretty snow had turned to ugly freezing rain. I didn't have proper booties or QFC bags, so you can bet my feet were wet & frozen! Even the wool socks weren't really doing anything for me at that point. But I pushed on, thinking of how the current pain would somehow make me a stronger cyclist at some point in the future. If nothing else, it (suffering in the cold rain) builds mental character. Right?!

I still pedaled the 8 km or so from NE 40th St. & 148th Ave to Evergreen Pt. When I got on the bus to go across 520, my glasses were foggy as hell, but it didn't really matter. The 545 was crowded as usual, so I was just standing in the front anyway, no need to really see. I could see just enough to make out my Bianchi bouncing around on the bike rack the buses have - those things are scary to watch! You realize how little is actually holding your bike on the rack.

Today I rode back into work, and all of the roads were bare, with maybe some black ice on the shoulder, but not in my way. White snow covered the grass on the side of the roads, which added a nice touch to the ride. On the way back it was cold, maybe 36 degrees F, but once I got warmed up I felt great, and took the long way home: via I-90. I didn't see any ice or snow in Bellevue, and luckily there wasn't any ice on the I-90 trail, that had long melted away.

All in all they were pretty standard commutes, luckily no highlights like a crash caused by ice! If this snow keeps up, I'm gonna go down to the LBS and just buy a $50 used mountain bike, some some studded tires, and shred it up! So bring on the nasty weather!

My Overall Ride Stats:
Today's Distance: 40 km
Total Distance this year: 376 km

Saturday, January 12, 2008

SiR Winter Training Series #1

The day started with me getting up way earlier than usual, at 7 AM! Why? Because I was about to go do a little 61 km spin with 50 or so close friends, the Seattle International Randonneurs. Before we get into the Brevets, they hold a few rides to train, introduce, and generally get the riders ready for a bunch of really long rides. And since this is my first season in the rando scene, I want to make sure I can hang!

Don't be fooled - if you look at some of SiR's photo albums, you'll see some older, graying riders - but don't forget what they're riding for! This is a strong group, and a great group to ride with. Everyone is super-nice, and I didn't see anyone get yelled at, which is the way it should be. (Some group rides will yell at you for not pacing right, or jumping into a paceline.. screw that, I'm out to have fun!)

It was steadily drizzling, and the Internet said it was 42F outside! Ahh, the Pacific Northwest in January! That didn't stop Dennis & I from turning out for the ride, nor did it seem to stop anyone else. A lot of people in this group have already done the Paris-Brest-Paris ride multiple times, wow.

The route was a Redmond-Carnation loop, with two ~400-foot climbs.

The Ride:

We rolled up to the group at Sammamish Valley Cycles at 8:55 AM, just in time to sign in and roll out at 9 AM sharp. More people than I expected, but light rain & 40-degree temps are the last thing that'll hold this group back! So we rolled out, the large group taking up full lane, snaking through 'downtown' Redmond. So many yellow reflective jackets you'd think they were SiR standard-issue. But this is also a safety-conscious group, with lots of reflectors and the like. Which makes since if you think about the mileage they put in!

About 1km into the ride, a red light split the group into two, with Dennis & I in the back half. Dammit! It was one of those looong lights too, so by the time we were rolling again the other part of the pack was nowhere to be seen. We started cruising down E. Lake Sammamish at a nice clip of 32-34 km/h, pacelines starting to form, trying to catch up to the main group. For once I'm riding with full fenders, but some in the pack are still working on that, which means a splash-fest of water/dirt on your face. Fun!

Still trying to catch up to the main pack, we're blasting along, and finally see them at the bottom of Thompson Hill Rd, although we missed that light so we had to wait a bit, again. When it was green it was time to climb, which of course strings out most group rides. Dennis & I are still laboring to catch the pack, so I'm pushing uphill at 16-20 km/h, even though this hill is probably 5-10%.

At one point in the climb I stood up to 'jump,' only to have my rear will give out on the slick tar-stuff they squirt onto roads to fill in the cracks. Damn that shit is slick! So my rear wheel gives out to the right, my bike leans heavily to the left, and I over-correct and lean into the rider next to me! At that point I'd totally lost my balance, but we're still rolling (uphill, no less) and finally I re-gain balance, and all is well. We never stopped rolling, and I never clipped out, but dammit that was too close! Next time I'll look at what my tires are on before I decide to drop the pack on a wet climb... And thanks to Bob for being such a good sport about the whole debacle!

We finally caught up with the pack on some rolling hills at the top of the climb, and descended Duthie Hill Road, which is short but fun. On 202 we went right/East, out toward Carnation. After a kilometer or so on 202, we broke left onto those flat country-roads in between Redmond & Carnation. The wind was pretty heavy, so pacelining was a must, and we were holding a good 34+ km/h pace through those flats.

Once in Carnation, we stopped for coffee at some little espresso stand, and I run into some other riders I met on the first SiR ride. We rode with them the rest of the way, and going up Ames Lake Rd. I missed the turn on Union Hill Rd! And I happened to be leading 5-6 people, so we all ended up going all the way down to 202! (Probably 1-2 km out of the way). I've been on these roads before, but the cue sheet said "Union Hill Rd." while the street sign says "40th St." Funny thing is, they're the same thing!

We ended up coming in at the back of the pack, for sure, but it was a great ride overall. Here's to a great season with SiR!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Now THAT'S Steep!

I saw a post on bikeforums.net about an insane climb out in Italy. Makes Cougar Mountain look like a warmup!! (the good stuff is about 2 mins in)

Stats on the "Malga Palazzo - Besenello - Via Scanuppia" climb:

17.6% average grade for 4.7 miles. 26% grade for almost an entire kilometer... [source]

Maybe one day I'll get to give this a shot, or something like it. Anyone know of any comparable Northwest climbs? I'm open for suggestions, ready to get to the next level of climbing!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Ride Report: Capitol Hill To Everett & Back

I ventured out with the goal of riding North, and with light rain and temps around 45 or so, it was a perfect day for it! Since I was on the Bianchi, w/ a handle-bar bag, I could carry more food than usual, a rain jacket, and my camera! I wasn't out to break any personal speed records, just to get some miles in, Randonneur style.

Distance: 109 km
Rolling time: 4 hrs 48 minutes
Avg Speed: 22.5 km/h
Start Time: 11:55 AM
End Time: 5:30 PM

Here's a series of photos, starting with me on Capitol Hill at about 3 km into the ride: (I-5 is the big road in the center)

15 km into the ride, at 5th Ave NE & 130th St

Not as fast as the Ciocc, but the full fenders & handlebar-bag make for a comfortable ride! I slapped the Brooks on it, since the original Bianchi seat is horrible, just horrible. This is at a little quickie-mart at 5th Ave NE & 165th St, 25 km into the ride:

Once I hit 76th Ave just North of Shoreline, I started seeing signs for the Interurban Trail. It goes about 20 km from Lynnwood to Everett more or less, but I've always had problems finding it. Well eventually the signs stopped, and there I was, in the middle of Lynnwood without a map. What I do at that point is to find the nearest Ave (North-South) that isn't a "dead end" and just take it. I did that for 5 km or so, and eventually ran into the trail!

This creepy drive-up movie theater looks abandoned, but was apparently working as recently as 10 years ago. Interurban Trail is on the left:

Eventually some construction ended my joyride on the Interurban, and it was back to the streets. I knew at that point that Aurora was my best bet, so I headed towards it, and eventually found it.

Aurora Ave/Highway 99 (called Pacific Highway at this point) - this is where the traffic really gets crazy, but there's at least a turn-only lane that allows bikes! But a painted bike lane? Check back in 20 years, maybe then.

Rolling into downtown Everett, about 55 km into the ride:

Finally, some rest! This was at the little park off of Grand Ave in Everett, with Marysville in the background.

Looking North-East into the Cascades - looks chilly!

Looking West over the bluff:

Heading back towards Seattle, this is "downtown" Everett, WA:

Now back on Aurora, at about 75 km into the ride:

Ahh, Seattle! This was from the top of Capitol Hill looking West towards Queen Anne. Crappy pic but you get the idea:

Next time I'll probably bring some actual maps to avoid getting thrown off-course, but then again, getting lost is entertaining! And educational, I'm really getting to know the backroads of the Puget Sound!

A Ride North To Marysville & Back, Just For The Hell Of It

I start back at work on Monday, so today's my last day as an unemployed cyclist for quite a while. I threw my Brooks saddle & handlebar bag on my newly fendered Bianchi, my new rando bike. Where to?

Today I'm gonna see how far North I can get - I know I can at least hit Marysville, which is about 40 miles away. I did it this summer on my fixie, but it doesn't have an odometer, so I don't know exactly how far it was. The question is how much night riding do I want to do?

Check the map on veloroutes here.

The route, roughly:

1) Head north on Broadway Ave
2) Keep heading north through the U-Dist, on 12th Ave N
3) Left on 75th St, quick Right on 5th Ave N (next to I-5)
4) Left on 185th St, another quick right on 5th Ave (now on the West side of I-5)
5) Left on Highway 104/Ballinger Way
6) Right on 76th Ave W
7) Intersect with Highway 99, Aurora Ave/Pacific Highway/Evergreen Highway, if you're feeling adventurous, and don't mind lots of traffic. (But the right lane is turn-only, except for bikes, so it's actually not that bad once you're outside of Seattle proper)
8) Follow 99 ~16km to Everett, turns to Broadway Ave
9) Left on 20th Ave
10) Right on Grand Ave (next to the waterfront, nice views)
11) get on Highway 529 (there's a tiny sidewalk on the bridge, the rest has large shoulders. Use caution!)
12) After a few scary miles on 529, you're in Marysville! Kind of a let-down to arrive there, yeah..
13) Possibly take a left on 4th/Marine Drive, a rolling road that I've done once in the dark
14) Reverse!

I've got these directions scribbled down on a piece of paper, screw a map! Hopefully I can do this one again from memory, and at worst I'll be asking for directions.

But dammit, it's 11:30 A.M.. I'm not an early-riser, oh well. There'll be some night-riding involved, but I've got a camera along this time so the next post should be fun.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Full Fenders For You & Me

Now that I'll be doing more group riding (with SiR), full fenders w/ "buddy flaps" are a must-have, especially because we're in the wet Northwest. I've been riding with "race blades" (smaller removable fenders), which kinda work, but also soak your feet. You can buy pre-made flaps with cute logos, some of which look kinda cool. But I wanted to ride in the rain today, not wait 3-10 days for shipping of tiny flaps!

So I went the DIY route: a bottle to cut up (using little wire-cutters), nuts/bolts to hold them on, and a screw-driver to make the hole and turn the bolts. Oh yeah and electrical tape.

Here's the rear extension:

The extension is a large water-bottle chopped up, with the bottom of the bottle taped on with black electrical tape. It's got about 2" of clearance, which should keep road-spray off of anyone behind me.

On the front I've got a 'race blade' fender with a water bottle/tape extension that's about 1" off the ground, which means the only water that's hitting my feet is that from above! (As opposed to coming up off the ground, deflecting off the frame on onto my feet).

Here's the front, with electrical-tape extension:

So I took my new rain-bike out for a 42 km spin around the South end of Lake Washington. It was a classic Seattle day: two colors: grey & green, with no sight of the sun. And light rain, with soaked roads. My feet were actually dry after the ride! And no QFC bags needed, sweet.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Day Group Ride

Dennis told me about an annual ride that happens each new year, starting from Enatai Beach in Bellevue. It's been going on for 37 years, so it sounded interesting. So we rode over I-90 this morning and found the group of ~100 riders rolling out - sweet, we made it!

I guess it's a mainly a team thing, as most of the riders were wearing full kits of the local race teams: Byrne-Invent, Zoka, Hagens-Berman, and a bunch more. It was a slow pace, and a cool route to Evergreen Point that I hadn't done before:

Once the group got to Evergreen Point, we ended up on that tiny trail parallel to 520, which really strung everyone out. But we caught back up on the steep descent, and then passed a bunch of people climbing up Northup Way. Once we got to the top of Northup, some riders went right, some stopped, and the ride seemed to be breaking up. We wanted to get in some climbing so we took a left up 24th, a 100 meter climb.

Here's a link to the route: Seattle to Bellevue & back

And here's the e-mail I was forwarded about the ride:


It is almost time for the New Year's Day ride. Will there be ice and
snow or sunshine??

Shake off the dust and mud and bring your bike out and start off the
New Year with a bike ride (rain, snow or shine??). This is the 37th
New Year's Day Ride. We all start at NOON from Enatai Beach (The
Bellevue side of the I-90 East Channel Bridge) and head north towards
Evergreen point and beyond... This a rather short (about 20 miles - it
could be shorter for me if the weather is disagreeable!!) social ride.
For most that is "plenty far" on the day after, but for some it is a
nice warm-up for a little more exercise later on.

Many of you are too anxious and start a little fast!! Do try and stay
talkable for the first 20 miles and then you can try the big ring.....
That means easy on the flats and the hills – otherwise I will be way
off the back.......

See ya all there.

Jerry Baker

It was a fun ride, although we broke off in about the middle of it to do some climbing. I guess I'll be seeing some of those folks at the FrostBite Time Trial on Feb. 25th!