September 17th, 2009
Time between posts and memories of experiences get muddled.
On Monday Randy installed new drawer latches to replace the wooden rods I used to hold them shut. Additionally he installed a piece of plywood on the wall covering up the spray on insulation behind the bed. He is happier now w/ my accommodations. Thanks Randy. I tested the drawer pull strength driving back from MT Spokane. Worked well until I pulled a G out turn and the cookware drawer sprung open. We now know that 7 pounds of pull is insufficient.
Earlier Monday I met Dennis, manager of my $, for a beer @ Fast Eddies in downtown. Great free ranging subjects on economy and socialization.
And earlier I had my first PT w/ body fixer Jeff helping my hip. He knows where and how hard to poke me for greatest pain and his enjoyment. I liked it so much I made more appointments. Jeff described his 3 day backpacking trip @ Glacier w/ 2 other guys. One was david pendergraft, aka Pendo, a past GU star B ball player. I admired him and would really like to meet him. To have spent 3 days backpacking might have been wonderful. They took the train from Spokane to West Glacier and back. Fun on the train.
Tuesday Rick & I rode MT Spokane the very hard way. The park road is being repaired after spring rains and traffic is managed to support construction. We pedaled up to entrance and were greeted by a flagman who told us we weren’t allowed to pedal into park because of lack of visibility. Our decision was to ride back down the road and ride up trail 115, aka the Secret trail that is a steep downhill. What fun. I witnessed a super human feat when Rick rode it all. Me? I pushed my bike more than I rode. Rick has a granny gear spin that allows him to climb steep and long climbs. I asked if the technique is teachable and he said yes but few follow. Like Tommy. I learned that he lets go of the handlebar and relaxes and goes to a Zen state. I was able to loosen my grip and drifted off for short time. Kind of steer my bike from my butt instead of arms. I just can’t make granny gear work for me as there is no meat under my pedal stroke. A bigger gear allows me to muscle a move using the pedal resistance. His granny has no resistance but he makes up for that w/ persistence. We did a less than summit ride. we rode out to Beauty Mtn to a sweeping vista of turning colors. the sky was clear blue, the light was fall angled. Just gorgeous. Rivals New England and stands on its own.
Later Tuesday was a gathering @ The Elk for TCS people to visit. Small core of die hard supporters showed. More people wished me goodbye than welcomed me back. 3 beer day and I was drinking h2o.
Ran into Tom Viegland who is part of the Rick shrinking cadre of riding buddies, those of us who say hello to a tough ride. Rick, Tom, & I have issues w/ knees that eliminate hiking as a sport, bikes we can pedal. Long live long exciting rides.
My fork had been spewing a ring of dirty oil on the left leg where the dampening oil resides. I took a picture and sent it to PUSH. Their answer was sent it in for repair. Wed I worked w/ Bicycle Butler, my former LBS, who loaned me a 3 ” travel fork and UPS’d my fork to PUSH. I have a bike to sort of ride. I might drag my road bike off the rack and make it work for road rides.
Jeff is making a bit of progress on making my hips work eliminating my pain. My knees hurt, my left elbow hurts, my back talks to me. I have some kind of constant pain and I still choose to buckle my helmet strap and pedal on.
This early AM I was awakened to gentle rain on the van roof. Another quick effort to cover the bikes. Several showers fell for much needed moisture.
I am just putzing around Spokane finishing up my 3rd week here.
Mel is setting up a Loppers Ball festival taking place of the real deal when we cut brush @ 49 degrees North, our ski hill. This year they all bought passes and I won’t be here to ski. Us guys w/ time on our hands and plenty of adult beverages in a remote location. Stories and goofs will run amuck. Good times predicted.
And that is it.
September 13th, 2009
Thursday ended up a rest day, don’t remember what I did to occupy myself. I spent the night @ Bill & Jen’s.
Fri AM I met an 8:00 AM appointment for the refrigerator service. Warranty requires a service in year 2 of ownership to maintain warranty coverage. Tech discovered that burner was almost completely blocked. He cleaned it making the frige more efficient. During the test light he discovered he had a loose propane fitting. Ohh, not good, we stopped it before the fire took hold.
Met Rick, a long time buddy, old in age 2 years younger than me and the reason he beats me is he is younger. Rick has Beacon dialed. He promised me a 3 hour ride. We made 2 1/2 hrs of hard riding. There are more miles of new trails cut in than when I last rode. And Rick knows how to put a whopper together. Many challenging miles just outside Spokane city. We sipped a cold beer in the shade @ Esmeraldo Golf course parking lot. And then drove out into the valley to Mars house for dinner and friendship w/ Rick & Mars. They just returned from a Crested Butte 2 week bike vaca. Mars destroyed her shoulder during a freak fall and learned that she severed 2 of 4 rotator cuff tendons and a partial on a third. Rider down. She is grounded w/ future surgery repair. We sat around in Mar’s house telling & listening to eachothers’ stories. I slept in the street out front of her house.
Sat was a rest day and we just hung around the house visiting. Mars & Rick enjoy ice cream by buying this time 2 pints of Haagen Daaz and sharing w/ me. We ate all of it. And they won’t have ice cream for several more days. They say if they have it in the house they will eat it so the solution is to eat it all at one time.
Sun we settled on the full meal deal on MT Coeur d’Alene. Mars would hike & Rick & I would do ride. Today we rode the same as Andy and I did but continued down into the “Hole” and rode out. We found an incredible patch of Chantrell mushrooms.
I picked what I could fit in my pack pocket. Wow, what a patch. There are 2 nasty steep climbs riding out, they create an O2 debt that isn’t paid until either a blow up or gaining the road another 2 something miles, all of it uphill. Just as the trail steepened there was a traversing bypass that wended it’s way uphill ading more ride distance but mitigating the severe O2 debt. And there was a bypass @ the next steep section. It is still a serious hump out. Nice trail. Mars’ hike finished and she met us @ the road. Rick & had the downhill portion of 257 ahead of us, it was almost all downhill back to Beauty Creek where Mars met us now for a cold beer. 14.86 miles, 3220′ climb in 2 hrs 37 mins. Hurken ride.
We stopped @ Capone’s pub in Post Falls for pizza & beer. Capone’s bought a vacant brew pub. Mars told me that the owner’s competitor opened a pub near buy and visited Capones one evening. He got drunk, came back around 3:00AM and set fire to the place. Evidence had the guy dead to rights, he is out of business and in jail.
Dave & Georgie joined us @ Capones. Dave is from back East like GA. We told stories of our common experiences back there. Dahlonega.
Back & Mars’ for another night of camping on the street. We will prepare the chantrells tomorrow night.
Monday is hip PT and a beer w/ Dennis, the guy managing my $. Cool.
Enjoying my time here. Just about everybody i know here works making visiting time in the evening. Rick has freely living time and we are planning another hard ride but on MT SPokane. Huckleberries there are past prime.
September 10th, 2009
Yesterday was an Idaho day. I picked up Andy @ his house and assured Jen, his wife, that I would return him after our MT Coeur d’Alene ride. She let him slip from her grasp trusting me to my word. No assurance was made as to his condition.
I offered to drive w/ the swaying point that at the end of the ride there would be properly chilled beer in the frige. Andy said he usually waits until he gets home. I welcomed him to my home and we set off.
We parked @ the big cedar tree on Beauty creek rd and pedaled off. The trail drops off the road and crosses a small rock strewn creek. Rides past i walked the log carrying my bike. Today i was full of myself and 5.5″ suspension rolled over the rocks & thru the water to the other side. Successful!. I found several chantrel mushrooms just uphill from stream and marked them for harvest on return. Nice almost entirely smooth trail 257. Nothing technical about it other than it was narrow. Tread was tacky and the tires carved. We rode “somebody’s” new trail over to the Scaraboo trail, aka caribou ridge and then up to 227 dropping down towards the hole. We shortened the ride short of the hole and rode the logging roads back to 257. I was pretty sure of the road to take out but it lacked the remembered tire ruts. At first i was sure, then seconds later I doubted but when I saw the intersection where a log landing had been and where once I surprised a black bear w/ it’s back end exposed I knew I was correct. The FS finally able to keep 4 wheel traffic out of drainage. We pedaled & pedaled thru knapweed, a noxious weed, back up to the ridge to the sweet smooth 257 down.
Trail description that makes it sweet: smooth tread, mostly less than 10% gradient, slightly bermed turns, narrow, some restricted sight lines, just us on it, tread damp w/ no dust and tires gripped, shade, small bumps for hip turns. No technical challenges. A best trail is in what kind of trail you like: the conditions the day you rode it, the number of different trails you have ridden, closeness to home, your bike, your riding ability, acceptance of fear, plus your ideas. I enjoyed this trail for what it is. Best ever? It was when I was riding on it. Next ride will be another best ever trail.
Jen prepared vegetarian lasagna that Andy’s roll was to put it in the oven before we joined her @ the c d’a farmers market. I reminded Andy of his responsibility which he had forgotten. Never mess up a cook’s food when you are entrusted w/ an agreed upon task.
Jen makes soap and sells it and tonight she was at the market. I wanted to go to the market to soak up what might be happening, kind of like Kerouac’s digging of musicians. Short block of vendors. Right beside Jen’s attractive stand of artistic bars of real soap was Hoa from TCS selling produce.
I found a booth that sold aprons and I found a lycra tights, wool hat type of apron that I just had to have. Pink flamingos in dayglow on a pink polka dot back ground. I just flipped and many vendors had this wonderful smile on their faces enjoying my selection. What a hoot. So many people to turn into an audience.
We loaded Jen’s wares in her rig when the market closed and drove to their house. They are hosting me and how wonderful it was. The lasagna properly cooked was mustache licking good. She is a great cook in this big kitchen which is bigger than the kitchen dining room I had in my old house. I showered using a bar of her soap. I learned that real soap is made w/ lye as during the making of soap a chemical reaction occurs that breaks down the raw material fats. Real soap lacks detergents that strip the oil from your skin. She said that companies that make detergent soaps also make lotions to replace the oils their “soap” stripped off. She sent me off w/ 3 bars of different fragrances. Sweet smelling van.
Jen made blueberry pancakes for bfast. More conversation and I bid adieu.
I have a physical therapy appointment @ U District next Monday to help my right hip that still bothers me.
I stopped @ Tate’s Honey farm and bought a jug of honey. Honey farm was started by Jerry’s dad, a survivor of the Bataan Death March and has since passed. Jerry and I go back to first day of Boeing Spokane. Jerry has a cute picture taken years ago w/ him and a grandson both in white bee suits working on handling bees.
I picked up my mail @ Mead PO and bumped into Charley ( I forget his last name), an old biking, skiing, and lopper bud from the past. He invited me to Lake Chelan where he has a place for 5 days. I declined as I already rode there. i gave him my Steve Barnett Falcon Press guide book and told him i did not want it back. Pox on the book.
Tomorrow is a ride w/ Rick & Mars of their choosing.
Thanks to your birthday wishes. I spent it riding an old trail and spending it w/ new friends.