Definition of Insanity

Doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Yesterday I rode the MT Coeur d’Alene again. I expected the climbs to be more gentle. Not so. AM I insane? The trail was tackier this time from some light rain. Another satisfying ride. I didn’t expend the same amount of effort, I attempted to enjoy the pain. It’s just  old school hiking trails that are either up or down depending upon your direction. All by myself but I did here rifle reports and chain saws somewhere in the near distance. No chantrelle mushrooms down in the hole that I attribute to lack of rain. 257 down just screams speed and I heeded the siren.

I slow way down when my sight line is shortened to prevent a horrible crash. I dropped out onto Beauty creek road for the .48 mile roll to the van. The road drops just after getting on it which makes for coasting speed back. A rider was climbing up. I slowed and he flagged me down. He started w/ maybe you don’t remember me… and I called him by name, Tim. He showed me the route I have ridden since he showed it to me maybe 3 years ago. We chatted for many minutes: he staring his ride and me hearing that cold beer in my fridge calling me. We bid adieu.

Evergreen bike club was hosting a micro beer tasting social gathering last night per their web site and a notice in the paper. This was to be my socializing w/ local bikers. I needed a shower first and a bite to eat. Shower @ Anytime and a soggy pizza @ Capones. I followed gps routing to location that is way out far south hill. Once there the place was dark. What? I called up their web site where they posted “cancelled”. That fixed the socializing so I drove to another Elk  place and watched the Mariners and the Cougs, both victorious. Drove back to my former neighbors’ driveway.

Today was another gorgeous fall day just begging to be outside. I decided on a less than anaerobic ride @ Riverside from 7 Mile. Today I rode south way out to Indian Springs canyon. I rode some newer trails inside the park. Anyway it was a ramble including perhaps a mile to railroad ballast on right of way. I hung in the parking lot after my ride enjoying the weather and listening to the Mariners win, but Oakland won eliminating the Ms from post season.

Friday I rested after a hard ride the day before @ Riverside going north to Sharp Stick. I worked it. I rested on Friday. Dinner @ The Elk w/ Les and Gloria.

I lived here in Spokane for 18 years, 16 @ my log house across the road from where I am staying.

Tomorrow is off west. Plan on riding Sage Hills above Wenatchee then on to Devils gulch.



Mt Spokane Summit

Yesterday I went back to MT Spokane SP w/ intent to ride to the summit and ride down the rehabilitated trail 140 from the summit. I made the parking area right across the road from the CXT outhouse. Intermittent rain showers were happening, not enough to make much of a difference but I would have been a bit damp if I was caught on the pavement. I waited one out then pedaled off. I prefer riding about 15 mins of pavement to avoid the hike a bike (for me) start in the dirt. I stayed dry. I could learn the trail numbers to pass on. OK, I rode up 110 to the Saddle jnct. I dropped onto the dirt where the trail all but kisses the pavement and rode to a picnic spot on the Kit Carson loop rd that I rode last Sunday. Next was the big hump up to Saddle jnct and the Kit Carson outhouse.

huckleberry bushes turned; mt spokane near ccc
huckleberry bushes turned; mt spokane near ccc

I like this trail for its grunt challenge and single track.  From the outhouse a bit of old double track lead me to the road switchback @ Cook’s cabin then the road ride up to the summit. Part way up a squall line became visible heading my exposed way. And Les called me on the phone to ask about my ride, I’m short of breath and racing the possible rain. I made the summit b4 the rain.

looking @ rain squall to westTrail 140 goes from the summit all the way down to Bear Creek Lodge, a coaster geek joy ride. The upper part has been corrected to eliminate sustainable issues that were more fall line and chunky. The new trail is just like lift assisted downhills: hard banked bermed switchback then traverse w/ some rollers in between. It’s their joy, not mine. It is shuttled, no lift service. Lots of brake bumps before the turns and dusty.  2700′ in less than 5 miles drop. One and done. I no longer have a desire to expend my effort for the gravity reward, there are other routes that offer more of the single track I enjoy, Just saying.

My campspot plan was the small XG up on the mountain at Bald Knob. I did not see any XG closed signs. I drove up to the deserted XG. I parked where I could see the summit out the windshield.

mt spokane XG

I hiked a piece of trail 130 from the XG. A short distance in the trail turned from old skinny single track to a freshly groomed wide single track. Crud, this trail was a lot of fun to ride, just enough challenge to stimulate me. I continued thinking about the new trail condition and that’s what it is: new. Perhaps it will weather back in. The $ must have run out because work quit and I was smiling back on the older condition.

Bunch of years ago I and a mountain lion looked deeply into each other’s eyes to see who was going to blink. Fortunately I won and the lion did a 180 cat like move and sprinted away. We were so close I could not have stopped before landing at its feet. My thought in those milliseconds of time was that I would use my body as a projectile to fight the cat. I revisited that spot today. I counted 15 steps between when we first saw each other.

ski pole is where cougar lay, taken from where I was
ski pole is where cougar lay, taken from where I was

More fall colors

fall colors along trail 130Quite night.

Today I drove back down. Just after starting downhill the check brake light icon lit up. Shit, about 2,000′ of drop awaited me. I use my brakes judiciously all the time. I never felt the wear strip on the brake pads. What’s up w/ this? I made it down w/ as much brake as I needed. I stopped @ park office and visited w/ Steve, the ranger whom we have known thru the friends of mt Spokane.

Back in town. Randy and I were going to ride High Drive near his house but his employment changed his free time to, well, work. I dilly dallied in town. I stopped by the pot store which was closed, sign said no inventory, try Thurs.

I now have a brake appointment tomorrow days earlier than my planned Monday as cancellations created an opening.

Randy is fixing salmon just caught last week on his Alaskan fly fishing annual escape.

I have a 10/3 appointment in Renton to have a Propex model 2211 installed. This is a forced air furnace that will be mounted underneath the floor then vented into the interior under my bed. Runs on installed propane and doesn’t produce water vapor or CO. On the way over starting Monday I will ride Devils Gulch etc outside Cashmere, WA., Applet and Cotlet home.

Off to dinner.

One earned, one given

Still in Spokane. Sitting in Yokes parking lot here in the valley. 80s @ 8PM. And I have a terrible headache.

Yesterday I drove over to Beauty Creek off Lake Coeur d’Alene to ride a loop around namesake mtn, one of my favorite rides.I drove a ways up the creek so to speak and parked under cedars shading a pull out. I ride up the non maintained old paved road about 1/2 mile to where the road and trail 257 intersects this gives a little warm up b4 257 climbs away from the creek. Dry, no rain, but few riders to chew up the dirt. I will attempt to link the garmin connect web route later. (Garmin Connect doesn’t play well w/ WordPress. If  you have a free Garmin Connect account you can view each of my rides, my user ID is craigbierly) The trail is classic old hiking trail that can be mtn biked. 257 climbs up and intersects w/ a logging road, a short gravel road ride connects w/ the continuation that drops 2.5 miles down to intersect w/ trail 227 climb out that connects w/ trail 79, Caribou Ridge, before the Scareabou section a well used trail snakes  down to join an abandoned logging haul road to intersect 257 part way down and then back to the pavement. The ride is only 13.28 miles long but climbs 3119′; an 0.83 mile piece climbs 924′. Lots of push a bike uphill but the downhills are so sweet. Incredible effort required. To me this is what mtn biking is all about. 257 is all rideable both up and then down, however, 227 lacks deference to gravity but every step uphill puts a rider closer to the intersection w/ Caribou ridge and the start of almost 6 miles downhill. I have sweat equity in this trail. Moose bones are now hidden by the trailside brush on 257. 3 years ago perhaps a winter kill moose took its last breath and collapsed almost on the trail. The first year smell alerted its presence. Finally this year just weathered bones. I encountered one group of hikers on the way up and a couple on Caribou who wondered if anybody rode the trail. They are mtn bikers from Spokane and had no clue.

Caribou ridge drops off the mountain side w/ plenty of exposure. Its nickname Scarabou captures the sense. I have never even hiked to it to learn first hand. The little side trail was created to maximize the downhill on 79 but exit before the scary. The trail is purpose built mtn bike trail. The overgrown haul road was brushed out to create a turny traverse on a single lane road.

Back @ the van I rinsed off the wood grime and blood from several scrapes then continued eastward on I90 to Fourth of July Pass area for the night. Today I earned the gravity assist, tomorrow I am going to ride lift serviced downhills @ Silver Mtn using a gift ticket from Devon @ The Bike Hub in Spokane. Devon and I go way back to Bicycle Butler days. Maybe 9 firewood cutters passed my camp spot on their way out of the forest. Last night the sky was filled w/ stars preceded by a red sunset.

Today I drove the remaining 22 miles to Kellogg and the gondola. Except it wasn’t running. I learned a power surge blew out the telephone communication system necessary to run the gondola. It was closed yesterday also. There were maybe 25 riders all in full on downhill bikes and gear milled around hoping for a shuttle up. I scored a ride from a maintenance crew driving a crummy up. 7 riders and bikes were crammed in. The road up is the road skiers took before the gondola upgrade back in 1990. One lane steep loose rock first gear climb. No wonder hardly anybody skied here. Rule was road was uphill only till lunch then it was downhill only. Scary and a long time up. I was the only rider w/ less that 6″ travel bike and no pads or full coverage helmet. Chair 3 was supposed to be running that would provide shorter runs but it was shut down prolly because of the gondola. I was adopted by a female Helena rider for a short drop to 3. She saw my van in Helena during my last visit. Another rough truck ride back to the mtn lodge. I was done, I have no interest in this kind of riding. The trails traversed across the hill to a massive berm turn, repeat left right left right. Tread is dry and loose sharp edged cobble. From the summit lodge I rode blue square trails to the bottom. total descent 4092′ I skied the mountain a bunch of times in my past, quite different descending on 2 wheels instead of snow cover on 2 free heel skis.

the old ski area
the old ski area

I will return the unused lift ticket to Devon.

I’ll pant and sweat any day on mt cda than this lift riding.

I drove back to C d’A and an Anytime Fitness for a shower. Location  was correct but the site is being built. Continued to Post Falls for clean up then drove back to cda to Moon Time, a sister pub to the Elk and Ginos. I sat at the bar and watched Seattle Seahawks score first in overtime against Denver and win. Thrilling. Seahawks defense let Manning pick them apart but the offense was spot on.

Cooling off.

This week will be frenetic cramming in chores and appointments in preparation of my next Monday departure. I get stressed out.