Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pretty Darn Close!

Paul Huttner (of the Updraft Blog) defines Indian Summer as: "A period, in mid- or late autumn, of abnormally warm weather, generally clear skies, sunny but hazy days, and cool nights." If today didn't qualify, it was pretty close - Dave S and I road for three hours (the week before Thanksgiving!) and didn't even need winter shoes. The highlight of the day for me was this vista from the far west (gravel) end of Skyline (though the tasty treats Dave brought along were a close second):

Good news on road conditions as well - much of Skyline has fresh pavement this year; you can now get across W 40th on Skyline; Beck's road has new pavement; the Willard Munger has been repaired, though waiting for a new layer of blacktop. West 40th itself is still closed but passable by bike. The hunter's gunshots in the distance were a bit disconcerting, but we never heard them close.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

West End Updates

The colors are fading fast, but after I negotiated the Merritt Creek washout on the gravel portion of Skyline west of Spirit Mountain I found that the remainder of the gravel to Beck's road has been graded and the many smaller washouts repaired. There are a few soft spots, but overall it's in great condition; perhaps the best news is the the barriers are still up on the west end, so I had it all to myself today.

I've posted a similar shot to this before, but still think it's one of the most scenic locations in the area:

More good news - at the end of this stretch Becks road is now paved. I crossed Becks, cut over to the Munger trail on Mission Creek Parkway and found that the Munger is quite passable, with only a few, short gravel sections.

Oh yeah.....cross bikes are wonderful inventions!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Fine Line

There is a fine line between Fantasy and Hallucination
Sometimes, we jump over that line

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Adventures in the West End

I saw our regular crew off this morning at the start of the Heck, then rode through town and out Grand Avenue. Beck's road is now open  (though partially gravel). The far western section of Skyline remains closed but is no problem on a cross or mountain bike:

There's been no progress in repairing the washout at Merritt creek: I'm thinking we might have to wait a bit on this piece. The steep climb to the top of Spirit afforded some glimpses of the new downhill mountain bike trail. The new upper lift station at Spirit Mountain is nearing completion:

Seems hard to imagine that the lift would be in operation in time for the fall color change - the new haul rope is in place but the chairs are yet to be mounted:

A bright spot on the return trip was the discovery that the section of Skyline between Highland Avenue and Haines road (40th Ave West) has been repaved; unfortunately the short jog required on Haines to continue north on Skyline is completely impassable due to construction. The descent of 40th to continue north is no simple matter either, given the magnitude of the flood damage.  It's always an adventure......

Monday, September 17, 2012

The End . . .

It was a great few years
All the best in the future

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's amazing what you learn!

That only boys lick batteries!
Not sure why that is?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

He Ain't no Chicken!

The Last time we saw Peter .  .  .  he was cleverly disguised as an Easter egg
(it was Easter after all)
Today's Peter, through the fog . . .
Valiantly crosses the water hazard
Mounts up
and proceeds to ride his "NEW BIKE" up the rocks...
He ain't no chicken!
I'm sure you're all wondering just how he did that . . . 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Go out and ride your bike

Monday, September 3, 2012

Annual Style Issue

"If you ain't got these . . . You ain't got no style . . ."
A "true man of style" always matches his bike, valve covers and nipples
Our very own "MAN O' STYLE"  Rick!
(sorry, no style points . . .)

Friday, August 31, 2012

It's a sorry sight!

Yes Virginia . . . It's a sorry sight . . .

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

3 Studs?

Not much to say . . . other than note:  the author is not included
 . . . and a new bike . . .
On a "way fine" early morning 
gravel ride

Monday, August 27, 2012

Trumped Up Charges

If you weren't with me, and you weren't, you have no idea what I am talking about.
My third time!
I'm a marked man!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Today's Bit of Adventure....

Looking for a relaxing morning ride, I pedaled west on Skyline to the top of Spirit Mountain, then decided to extend the ride a bit by continuing west on the gravel section of Skyline. The gravel section that was washed out during the flood stranding several families has been repaired, but a bit further along, things are looking a bit rougher:
The pretty old stone bridge over Stewart Creek in the background; the good news is that you can walk across the washout to the bridge itself. The section of road after the bridge is in rough shape but rideable and the view from the turnout is still spectacular:

Not quite out of the woods yet....Beck's Road is closed for construction and required walking a couple of short stretches over some culvert repairs. To be truthful, these signs don't bother me too much any more:

I'm curious about the Munger Trail - I understood it was closed after the flooding, but the section that I saw from Beck's Road looked passable - anyone tried riding it lately?

All in all, a morning well spent!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Family Album

Since Rich seems to have abdicated responsibility for this blog of late (and I have the password), I thought I'd regale our faithful readers with some Maron family photos.......

My brother came down from Anchorage, Alaska in late June so we dragged my old Jack Taylor tandem out of the shed. I certainly wouldn't ride one of these every day (even on the off chance that I could find a willing partner), but they make for a nice change of pace. For anyone that hasn't ridden alongside one, they're a bit slow on the climbs, make for a powerful partner in a pace line, and just plain kick ass on the descents.

Dave S is just biding his time, waiting to hop on the wheel when the big rig goes by:

Think we'd go faster if he trimmed that beard?

Not exactly the height of cycling fashion perhaps.......but we kept it moving pretty good nonetheless:

Moving on to another family member - late this spring my daughter expressed an interest in getting a lighter road bike - we found an old Cannondale R500 in Lakeside on Craigslist; we're still tweaking her position and components. We've done a half dozen rides (her favorite stretch of road is the descent of Lester River Road) culminating with a ride from Brighton Beach to the Moose and back last Sunday morning with Rich (for a bit) and Dave. She's comfortable taking pace and hung with us on average 17-18 mph ride.

Proud papa!!

I'm thinkin' you'll be seeing more of this young lady.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

There's Your Problem!

There's a lovely stretch of good gravel road that goes east from Berquist to Homestead and crosses Big Sucker Creek. Seems that the creek got the upper hand during the recent flooding:

Unlike the Jean Duluth road washout, the creek not only took the fill from around the old culvert, but it created a whole new streambed next to the old culvert.

I suppose you could walk around, but it would be a long, wet, walk.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Most Excellent Adventure!

Rich and I achieved our goal today to ride the entire length of Pioneer Road from Lavaque road to Berquist road. Overall a lovely, low traffic, beautiful and varied contryside kind of day. And for those intrigued by the possibilities of gravel road travel, Rich managed the distance on skinny, high pressure, road tires.

There were a couple of challenges along the way:
Road Closed #1 - Rice Lake Dam road, due to damage from the flood - easy to walk around the piles of gravel blocking the road for 100 feet or so immediately below the small dam.

Road Closed #2 - This one was a bit more challenging. Rich convinced me to try the stretch of Old North Shore road from Berquist to Ryan, where a dilapidated bridge (available only to cyclists and snowmobilers) once existed.

Starting down into the ravine:

The phrase "bike assisted mountaineering" comes to mind:

We were successful in the end:

And I even got home on time!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

And You Thought the Jean Duluth Road Washout Was a Problem....

At least you can ride (or walk) around that one - no such luck on Evan Road just north of where Doe Road turns east:


That's Rich polishing his cyclocross skills at 6:30 this morning.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Superior Vistas

The usual suspects
No idea what Russ, Wayne or Dave are looking at . . .
(Due to the ongoing Hatfield & McCoy fued, Joe is not pictured)
Must of been Penny
How many colors can a gal wear?
apparently . . . a lot . . .
"Can we please just get going?"
"Ladies, now pay attention . . . "
Momentarily putting the fued aside . . .
Joe reappears
(no idea who the woman is)
Then the rain came . . . darkening the camera
20 more miles to go
Like a wet rat . . .