Thursday, March 8, 2012

Return of the Heron

This time of the year is very disheartening for someone who rides a bike. The snow is generally gone from the roads however, the cleanup crews haven't removed the sand and gravel from the shoulders of the highways yet. That's fine on the rural roads because there's not much of a shoulder and I generally ride in the travel lane. It's not so fine on the State Highways; taking the lane with cars going 60+ mph is not something I want to do. So, I'm fairly limited in my selection of routes to ride and they tend to get boring after a while. One of my staple rides is out to our local gravel pit; it goes past some ponds
where there is usually some type of water fowl. Today I saw a Great Blue Heron; I've seen it there before however, I didn't see it last year and I thought it had either fallen prey to a predator or found a different nesting area. It surprised me today, so I'll have to be better prepared to get a picture of it.
*edit--drove out today (Sunday)and got the picture.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Teanaway drive

Yesterday was sunless and grey with off and on snow showers; not a good day for a ride.  Since I was feeling a bit of cabin fever, I decided to go for a drive out the Teanaway.  As I went out Airport Road I missed not having the big black dog come out to greet me as he usually does when I ride by. But, by the time I got to the curves of Red Bridge Road
and I could see the hawks soaring above me, my spirits began to lift, even though I was inside a car.  I found Teanaway Road

to be fairly clear of snow and ice and the shoulders are as clear as they will be this summer.  I was somewhat surprised that the Teanaway Mercantile

was closed--it's generally open on weekends for the snowmobilers (who I saw later in the trip) but, perhaps they're only open on Saturday and Sunday.  The store is a bit over 14 miles from town and is a pleasant break--the restroom was always open, even if the store wasn't.  There was a 'For Sale' sign on the store; I hope it remains in business.  I continued out the North Fork road and began encountering areas of snow and ice across the roadway and a lot of sand in the curves and hills. 

Finally, at 21 miles from town, I came to the end of the  (paved) road. 

It was a nice journey and this morning, when I awoke to find 3" of new snow blanketing the landscape, I was glad I made the trip.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


The day dawned bright and cloudless; the rising sun gave promise of a delightfully warm day--at least I guess that's the way it began, as it was a pleasant 40° when I rolled out of bed at 9:30.  After a leisurely breakfast and perusal of several on-line newspapers, I set off for a ride.  My travel took me past one of the places where I'd taken a picture of the fall colors. 
There's an absence of color today; however, the contrasting black and white of rocks and snow presents its own beauty. 

Farther along, I encountered the turn-off for Mohar Road which starts with a fairly steep, curvy uphill. 

The weather has been warm enough that I was certain I wouldn't encounter any ice on the road, so that's the direction I headed.  After rounding the first curve I discovered that it wasn't ice I had to worry about.  The road crews had used such a copious amount of sand to give traction for cars that there was too much to provide traction for me; halfway up, I decided I wasn't going to fight it anymore, and retreated until the sweepers get out and remove some of it.  I went around to Peoh Point road and made that climb--about the same elevation but fewer curves and thus, less sand.  I finished off the day's riding with a trip up swimming pool hill to Safeway.  I guess 'swimming pool hill' will soon be (if it's not already) a generational name since there is no longer a swimming pool in town.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mystery flat

I went out to the garage today to get the trike out for my first February ride only to find a flat tire!  I'd aired the tires prior to my last ride a few days ago, so I figured I'd picked up a nail or rock chip during that ride.  I wheeled the trike to the front of the house to catch the warm rays of the sun during the repair.  After removing the tube from the tire, I inflated it but wasn't able to find the leak: even after submerging it in the bath tub.  After reassembly and inflation I went out Airport road, stopping periodically to check the tire--no discernible leakage.  There was just enough of a headwind to make the wind chill quite uncomfortable, so I only rode out about three miles.  The return portion of the ride was quite nice, as the headwind-turned-tailwind was negated by my speed and it was as though I was riding in a bubble.  The tire held air throughout the trip--no idea what I'll find when I go out for my next ride.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I can't believe it's been nearly two months since I added to this blog.  Of course, it's always hectic over the holiday season and besides not having time to ride, there's also the weather factor.  I haven't been keeping track of my rides as religiously as I have in the past--I basically ride as far and as often as I'm able.  This year actually started off well as I was able to ride on three of the first five days of the month; then some crappy weather hit, and I messed my back up a bit which curtailed my riding.  I was able to get out for a nice ride on snowy roads last week

and today was really nice: 44° and sunny.  The only problem was, the warmth turned my favorite hard-packed snowy road into slush

so I had to go a different direction.  I know I've lost some of my conditioning however, as long as I can still go ten miles at a reasonable speed I'm quite satisfied.