Read First and Watch Second

Aside from riding the bike, hiking mountains and spending time here sharing stories with you, I am also an avid reader.  If I am sitting, I am reading.  If I am standing in line I am reading. It’s been that way since the 4th grade will be so forever.  Shoot, if by some off chance I end up at the pearly gates someday, I’ll probably be reading the Kindle waiting for St. Pete to call my name.  (Somehow I think it will be a LONG wait, better sit by a power outlet….)

Today though, I was reminded why I like to read the books before I watch the movie (or the series… Continue reading “Read First and Watch Second”

How do I Know Biking is Right for Me?

I’ve had a couple of conversations lately, one in person, and one here on my blog, that reminded me of a post I read back when I first started this blog. It was in a post from King of the Hills in which he asked the question, “Are you an externally motivated runner, or internally motivated?” The difference, in his opinion, was whether or not you needed music when you ran. He loves running for the running itself, and therefore doesn’t use music.

A good blog post, in my opinion, is one that you continue to think about long after you read it. I can only hope that I have at least one post that has someone out there thinking about it even now.

This one resonated with me because I have done many things to stay in shape. I was an avid runner for quite a while. My greatest accomplishment was finishing the Seattle Half Marathon.

I ran well enough to complete my one and only Half a thon, 13.1 miles in just over 2 hours!
I ran well enough to complete my one and only Half a thon, 13.1 miles in just over 2 hours!

I will guarantee to you right now though, I ONLY ran without music (discman or iPod) when the batteries were dead! And every time it was a lousy run! I didn’t run for the joy of it, I ran because I didn’t want to get fat. I don’t miss it, and I am not sure, even if my legs would let me, that I will ever run again. I like walking 5 Ks with my wife, but the running days are over!

However, not all exercise for me is like this. When I was a hiker I NEVER wore earbuds for music, I liked hearing the birds and water and wind.

Carbon River Mt Rainier
Carbon River Mt Rainier

Snow shoeing was the same thing, its way to peaceful out in the snow to ruin with music

Chinook pass
Chinook pass
Pratt lake
Pratt lake

With biking, it honestly depends on the ride. On the rollers in the shed, I’d be dead in the water without a movie to watch. I don’t have the concentration nor desire to focus solely on my riding. This is why I finished Game of Thrones season 2 tonight after riding 16 miles during the last episode.

Outside though?  When I rode the Oregon Coast, I rode everyday for 5 days, and only used the iPod for the last 10 miles to my final hotel. I needed the boost! The STP, the first 120 miles, no music, chatted with other riders, and just enjoyed the ride. It wasn’t till I knew I had to kick it up some that I broke out the iPod.

My regular training rides, it just depends on the day, and whether I remember to grab it. I’ve had great rides without it, and sometimes I’ll even bring it and not use it. To me this means I ride for the joy of riding. It has the added benefit of keeping me from getting fat, but after all these miles, it’s still fun. Even on my training routes that I have done time and again, I still look forward to the rides.

I don’t need the music, it’s a nice to have(sometimes) but it is simply not a necessity!  I don’t begrudge anyone who uses iPods while riding, to each his own!  But, since I continue to have great rides without music, I can confirm that Biking really is right for me!

Ride it like you stole it folks!


You know, day-to-day, ride to ride, it’s the little things that matter. We all know that nothing is perfect all the time! I am willing to admit that some of my posts might not be as exciting or as fun as others (OK, they one or two might even be kinda boring!) That movie you have REALLY wanted to see, may not be that great. That meal you decided to splurge on, not that yummy. And not all rides are those memorable experiences we all hope for.

This being said, I like to share when I feel I have done something noteworthy. Tonight was one of those nights.


Yep, tonight the odometer on the bike hit 11000 miles!  Now I really wish I could say I hit this mark while touring the Oregon Coast, or crossing the finish line of a double century.  Hell, I wish I could say I was outside in he fresh air riding anywhere.

Nope, it was raining, already dark, and I was watching Prince Joffrey get hit with horse crap as he made his way back to the castle (Game of Thrones, Season 2 Episode 6, while riding my Cycle-ops rollers)

Now I knew I was only 7 miles from 11k, and I considered skipping my rides till this weekend.  But that would have been forcing it. Trying to make something special happen, that is not my way.   I hit the milestones when and where they happen!  I hit 9800 while on the STP last year, 10K was during a quick 20 mile run on the Burke Gilman Trail.  It is no less exciting!  I look around and I can count, probably on one hand, the people I know who have ridden this far or farther.

I honestly can not tell you any of the stories for 1000-9000.  No idea where I was when I hit those.  BUT, I can, and WILL share the overall stories of my journeys getting to where I am today.

Theres been wind, rain, snow, ice, sunburns, epic crashes, WAY too many flats, slow up hills and tear inducing downhills, rookie mistakes, and epic (at least to me) endeavors.  I have pedaled each and every mile that is on that bike, and I have at least as many left in me!

I hope Pope Francis will forgive me for stealing some of his thunder today, but I do want to thank all of you who read this for sharing it with me!



Endeavor to Persevere

One of my favorite movies of all time is “The Outlaw Josey Wales” starring Clint Eastwood.  Its one of the movies my dad had me watch as a kid.  It’s a great shootem up western, taking place right at the end of the Civil War.

The Outlaw Josey Wales
The Outlaw Josey Wales (Photo credit: csullens)

Don’t ask me why, but the most memorable line to me as a kid came from the old indian chief, played by Chief Dan George.  He said he had gone to Washington DC, and was told to “Endeavor to Persevere!”

Of course I had to ask what it meant.  My dad said it means to “Try and keep going even when things are tough!”

So what the heck does this have to do with riding the bike?  Well if you saw yesterday’s post, the weather here sucked!  I was relegated to riding in the shed.  Granted I was able to watch an episode of “Game of Thrones“, while riding, but it’s still NOT as much fun as outside.

The forecast for today was MUCH nicer.  OK, not “MUCH” but at least it was supposed to be drier.  However, Sunday is rarely a day of rest around here.  I had errands, and chores to do, plus finding time to blog.  So a plan was hatched,  I would get up at the “butt crack of dawn” as we call it in this house, get the fire started, make breakfast for myself, do the Starbucks run for my lovely wife and the kid, then crank out a fast 40!

I jumped in Lunar (He’s our Volvo, so named because he was purchased the night of a lunar eclipse, and the thermometer read 35 degrees, and it was misting.  I gave serious consideration to crawling back into a warm bed!  I know the Chilly Hilly is next week, but come on!

However, and I kid you not, this old indian’s voice entered my head and said “Endeavor to Persevere!”  In other words, “SUCK IT UP PAL!”  Well, I stuck to the plan, and cranked out a hard 40 mile run, with plenty of hills to work the legs.  At the bottom of the long hill up to my house, I had averaged 13.5 moh for 35 miles.  Not bad at all for this time of year.  On the downside, I saw the biggest FATTEST road kill rat I had ever seen!  Almost ran over it!  UGH!!!

Winter riding can suck, but here Washington, we don’t have the snow and ice issues of many of the rest of you do.  Ours is doable, with enough gortex and fleece, its just not the most pleasant riding ever.  However, with my riding goals this year, I need every mile and hill I can ride to get in shape.

This means I need to “Suck it Up!”  or as it was said before, “Endeavor to Persevere!”