Long, LONG ago when Michelle convinced me (and correctly so) that I wanted to be a blogger, the Mountainstroh blog was called 10,000 miles of Experiences, Adventures and Thoughts! Somewhere along the line I made the rule that I would change the name every 5000 miles. Now at the time, I thought it would be a LONG assed time between name changes!
As we all know, I am cold and callous, it works well for me. I am not quite a “HEY YOU KIDS! GET OFF MY LAWN!” curmudgeon, but I am taking lessons to get there!
That being said, when I am on the bike, riding for fun, a training ride, or a commute, I always ask the riders changing tires or fiddling with their bikes if they need anything. Over the years it has become a automatic reflex. Most of the time I ask on the fly, and keep going when I hear “NOPE!’ or “I’m GOOD!”, so it was a bit of a surprise when I heard “YES I DO!”…. Continue reading “Paying it forward”→
My apologies for the PG-13 language throughout this post,
As we know, I am cold and callous. No really, its true. Ask anyone I know they will tell you. I will out and out lie to get out of a work social gathering. Once, in Portland, I told a Co-worker Pam I was meeting up with the friend so I couldn’t do dinner with a group from the office. I had a subway sandwich and watched Netflix. It was a great night.
I told her when we got back to Seattle and received an excellent stare of death in return (She does it well!) She make sure to MAKE me go the next time. (She got even too, it was a bigger group and had mucky mucks with them! I had to be on good behavior!!)
I tell you this because it spills over to my cycling. I ride alone. Even on the Seattle to Portland with 10,000 of my best friends, I ride it solo. I chat with people in passing, or at food stops, but otherwise it is just the bike and I. In the last post I wrote about the Last DST ride, but I didn’t mention the conversation I had at the very end…. Continue reading “Epic Shit Could Happen!”→
The Mountainstroh blog is almost 4 years old. In that time, I have done only 2 posts that I consider political. Both of them involved a representative from my state (Washington) who believed that cyclists pollute the environment due to the CO2 they exhale when they ride. The harder we ride, the harder we breathe and the more we pollute… (Dumbass!)
A week ago yesterday, I started a new job, returning to the company that laid me off 3 years ago. No hard feelings, I am coming back to a position better suited to me, and I’ve learned a lot in my absence from the company. Its been fun running into people I haven’t seen in quite a while, and getting back into what I like to do.
However, after a week, it was time to start taking advantage of living much closer to work! Yep, time to commute by bike! This is something I’ve only done less than 5 times in my past, and I want to make it happen more! To get used to the process, I decided to ease into it a bit. Since my wife and I work at the same company, we commuted into work together with the bike on the bike rack.
However, she gets off work before me, and I hate to make her hang around and wait, hence the reason for the bike ride home! Combine it with a second sunny day in a row, it was the perfect day to try.
The plan hit a bit of a hiccup early on though, I noticed that I had a loose spoke on the back wheel, and it was a bit out of “true”. I am embarrassed to confess that I honestly have NO idea how to fix this myself. It’s on the list to learn, but like everyone, there is only so much time in the day….
So I snuck out to REI to see if they could fit me in for a quick truing. They told me no. With the great weather EVERYONE has had their bikes out and bringing them in for some kind of work or another, they were already overbooked. I can’t complain, they have ALWAYS helped me in the past. He did take a quick look and tell me it wasn’t overly bad (wasn’t even rubbing on the brakes) and riding home would be ok, as long as I wasn’t going stump jumping. Then I could call them later today to see if they could get me in. Since today is my third anniversary (I’m a lucky man) I can leave the bike overnight.
Back to the good part! I was in the locker room at 4 sharp, changing into shorts and biking jersey, and on the road at 4:15. OK, there was a serious rookie mistake. I left the full water bottle on my desk! Suck Ass! Oh well, I work in downtown Seattle, you are ALWAYS within spittin distance of a Starbucks! One quick stop and I was back on the road again!
My route takes me on a fairly busy, but heavily bike traveled Eastlake Ave, heading north to the University of Washington. This is always fun, as UW is cross state rival of my Washington State University Cougars.
Since the trail goes right through campus, I make a point of wearing my Cougar Jersey!
Ok maybe I am a little ornery!
The downside of this trail (more so than just being in Husky territory) is that the sun brings out the coeds who seemed to be dazed by the bright yellow orb in the sky. Coeds bring out college guys who are dazed by other things that have been hidden under down coats all winter! Therefore I had to do a bit of an obstacle course to get through. Those cat-like reflexes came through again!
After campus though, it was wide open, I took the Burke Gilman north to Lake Forest Park, then up the 3 mile hill to home.
All in all, it is 17 miles from work to home. It is mostly flat, or uphill, so it means I have to pedal the whole time, an excellent work out! It only took 75 minutes, including the stop for water! The next day or two are not allowing a bike commute, but if I am lucky I will commute to and from work on Thursday!
Bout time I get my butt in gear and combine working out with commuting home!