Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekend of rides

Finally got out on a outdoor winter 'long' ride with Mike and friend (Jim). We met near the Vet clinic in Fairhaven and road out the interurban trail and then up, up, up Cleator road to the top. I put on two pairs of socks, leg warmers, three shirts, thick skull cap covering my ears, toasty warm gloves and I was still cold. Once underway, I was able to warm up by working hard, and boy was it hard. Climbing the 3.6 mile Cleator road we climbed about 1500 feet in the 3.6 miles, which is tough, but still a bit deceiving as about 1 mile of this is a flat section about half way up. I ended up having to walk a bit just to gather some more strength.

Once at the top Mike took a couple photos and we ate an then after getting cold, started back down. This was not nearly as fun, lots of pot holes and pretty fast going downhill so had to keep on the brakes and this was tough as I got colder and colder as we descended as I did not need to pedal, nor could I really as I was pretty much just standing and holding onto the handlebars and brakes as I rattled over the many small divots.

Back on the interurban it was nice to be able to pedal and start to warm up again. All in all a very nice 2 and half hour ride from home to top of Cleator and home again.

Road with Jacob on Sunday, we left mid morning and road to the bike jump park near the skate park. We road along some roads, but road the trails through Whatcom Falls park and really did not have much traffic to deal with, Jacob did great staying to the side and on the sidewalk when necessary. Jacob wore his fingerless bike gloves and within a mile asked for the full finger gloves I offered at the beginning.

The bike jump park wasn't really as much fun as we expected as it was quite muddy and actually the jumps were too big for Jacob and I to jump. So we tried to ride a couple of the smaller jumps but just ended up getting mud all over our shoes and tires.

The ride back home we got most the mud off our tires as it spun off and up our backsides and some onto our fronts as we gained speed on a couple downhill sections on the way home.

Great weekend of cold riding!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cyclocross and more

I went and raced another cyclocross race this weekend. This weeks race was up in Lynden racing on the fairgrounds. Ryan, from, really setup another great course. This course felt much more like my first cyclocross race (at WWU) with lots of tight turns around trees, zig zagging back and forth over slick wet grass and under big pine trees and all the nice soft (slippery) pine needles underneath. The course also included a fast (long) descent on a gravel road transitioning (at speed) onto some long unkempt grass, with more twisting and turning under big trees. The run-up was very tough run up loose dirt with the final 15 feet or so at a much steeper pitch than the first 75 feet. Had to use a big push to get up and over the top each time.

BUT, the course include two unique sections that helped to make this course very memorable. Ryan sent us on a twisting loop with a hairpin turn at one end through some soupy mud in the grandstand area where they hold concerts and the demolition derby during the fair. This section went from soupy mud to more solid ground and back and forth until your bike was just caked in mud and dirt to a short section with a small spiral to ride into one of the barns. This was not just a way to get from one side to the other, this barn has a skateboard park setup inside and Ryan sent us up and over one of the jumps. Very fun!

This was the last event of the 2007 season for Ryan and I hope he can find more venues and open weekends in future seasons, cyclocross is a lot of fun, you can ride on a moutainbike if you want, so come on out and get some exercise and get a bit dirty next fall.

Drove out with good friend Mike and he took some pictures and wrote about his experience at the race too, check out his blog here:

I also worked on a cabinet I'm making for my parents, I got most of my dado's and rabbit cuts done and was able to dry assemble the cabinet, it is looking good. It has been a lot of work, but hopefully be done before Christmas. Still need to cut slots for the sliding doors and assemble the doors themselves. I did stain up a couple scrap pieces to show my parents over thanksgiving to see what they like. I like the no stain area, this mahogany is very nice wood.

I was also able to finally get the roofing on the tree house (I'll post a blog with lots of pics soon now that I'm done). Jacob, Alex and the rest of the neighborhood seem to like the tree house. I may need to rework the ladder as the current rope ladder is tough to climb.