Sep 23

LongDistanceThe Long Distance Cyclists’ Handbook, by Simon Doughty ★★★★

I purchased this book from Powell’s Bookstore. It is written from a British perspective, easily seen on the cover where the cyclists are headed towards you on the right side of the road. Doughty covers the whole gamut of long distance cycling, with touring being only a small aspect of that. He discusses bicycles and equipment, training, nutrition, and safety on the road. The book is well written and well organized, but not oriented around a specific type of cycling, thus is not a book that applies to many people. There are more specific touring books or long-distance road racing books that better. It is nice to see things from a British perspective, which is slightly different from the contents of a cycling book written in the USA.

 

Tagged with:
No Comments »
Sep 17

SierraSampler-24

Sierra Sampler with the Adventure Cycle Association

(Note – click on individual photos to see larger views of them)

06SEPT2013-Jonny and I were able to leave Puyallup at 1700, arriving in Roseburg, Oregon at 2300. Traffic out of Puyallup was horrid, being stop and go until past Olympia. Portland also had  bad traffic through Wilsonville.

07SEPT2013- we followed Google maps advice, avoiding Sacramento, and arriving at Donner state park at about 2:15. After unloading our stuff, we headed  with our bikes up Donner Pass to the ski area, where we parked our cars and then rode our bikes back to camp, about 7 miles. The view of the lake was fantastic, as well as the  railroad that could be seen with its many tunnels. The Garmin data are below…

Jon on Donner Pass with the rail in the background

Jon on Donner Pass with the rail in the background

On Donner Pass looking down onto Donner Lake

On Donner Pass looking down onto Donner Lake

First day introduction

First day introduction

The food line-at Donner State Park

The food line-at Donner State Park

Jerry showing us how to wash dishes

Jerry showing us how to wash dishes

08SEPT2013 – Truckee to South Lake Tahoe.  This was a little more uppy-downy than I expected, but beautiful. It started out freezing cold, and became quite hot by noon. Fortunately, the ride was completed soon after noon, and all of the riders (33+) all did well and had a great itme. Beer never tasted so good after such a ride. The meals were also catered and were quite delectable. I worried about gaining weight on this venture! The Garmin data are below…

Squaw Valley Ski area

Squaw Valley Ski area

Jon grinning like a hedgehog

Jon grinning like a hedgehog

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Jon taking a very brief rest

Jon taking a very brief rest

Lake Tahoe (again)

Lake Tahoe (again)

The mountains around Lake Tahoe

The mountains around Lake Tahoe

Lunch stop on the ride to South Lake Tahoe

Lunch stop on the ride to South Lake Tahoe

Am Stand bei Tahoe See

Am Stand bei Tahoe See

09SEPT2013- Luther Pass- because of the fire, the decision was made to do only the first pass, then turn around. We were then shuttled to a small resort (Virginia Creek Settlement). The climb to Luther Pass started like the day before, quite chilly at first, with the fingers feeling frozen until about 9:30 am. The ride otherwise went well. The shuttle bus ride took us through Topaz, and then south on 395 down to Bridgeport.

Luther Pass?

Luther Pass?

Übernachten hier. Blick droben am Dach - gibt es einen Mann im Fass so dass  du kannst die Fussen sehen

Übernachten hier. Blick droben am Dach – gibt es einen Mann im Fass so dass du kannst nur die Fussen sehen

10SEPT2013- VCS to Lee Vining via Bodie. We were given three options regarding rides before going down to Lee Vining. Jon and I went to Bodie, which is now a ghost town, but once had a population of 15000.  It is now a state park.  The ride was quite a climb, but three miles before the town of Bodie, the road turned into gravel. Unfortunately, the gravel was loose and irregular, making it very challenging to travel on.  Jon and I got shuttled to the town, but on return, the bicycle rack came loose, so we rode the last 50 meters of gravel. Quite a few people actually rode the gravel. The last 19 miles was a ride south to Lee Vining, a small town just below Mono Lake.   The only obstacle was Conway Pass, made most difficult by roadwork, giving large trucks and bicyclists the same lane to contend with.

Where the road to Bodie turns to gravel

Where the road to Bodie turns to gravel

The church in Bodie - as dead as the town

The church in Bodie – as dead as the town

Main street USA

Main street USA

The mines of Bodie

The mines of Bodie

The upper class part of town

The upper class part of town

Conway Summit

Conway Summit

Mono Lake view

Mono Lake view

Another view of Mono Lake more easterly

Another view of Mono Lake more easterly

11SEPT2013- Tioga Pass. This was a there-and-back experience. The climb was a little over 3000 feet, putting us right at the entrance of Yosemite Park. It took us 2 hours to climb, and a most beautiful experience. It was a steady 6-7% grade with a good road surface and adequate shoulder.  My only regret was that we didn’t continue riding down to Tuolomne Meadows, another 8 miles and 1500 feet of elevation back. Oh well. I had done the Pass from the other side on the Tacx trainer, and remember it more difficult than our experience today. It took only 1/2 hour to get down, also an awesome ride with minimal traffic.

The start of Tioga Pass

The start of Tioga Pass

The summit of Tioga Pass off in the distance

The summit of Tioga Pass off in the distance

A Lake near the top of Tioga Pass

A Lake near the top of Tioga Pass

Tioga Pass Lake

Tioga Pass Lake

Jon and I at the summit of Tioga Pass

Jon and I at the summit of Tioga Pass

The Sedona Kid (Norm) also makes it up Tioga Pass

The Sedona Kid (Norm) also makes it up Tioga Pass

12SEPT2013- Lee Vining to Mammoth. This included an appendage 1200 ft 5 mile climb up to a series of lakes sitting north of Mammoth. We took the scenic route into Mammoth, rather than the highway. Since we arrived in Mammoth early (about 11 am), Jon and I decided to head up to Lake Mary. It started to drizzle once at Lake Mary, and so returned to the RV camp in Mammoth where we were staying.

Lake on the June Lake Bypass

Lake on the June Lake Bypass

Deadman's Pass

Deadman’s Pass

Lake Mary

Lake Mary

13SEPT2013- Today was exploration out of the town of Mammoth.  Our first venture went toward the Devils Postpile, but stopped where one entered the park, where there was a great view of the Minarets. Afterwards, Jon and I decided to return to Lake Mary, and go beyond. Oddly, the climb today now seemed much shorter than yesterday, and we had the wonderful opportunity of Tom S. giving us a guided tour of the entire area around Lake Mary, including Twin Lakes, and Horseshoe Lake. Horseshoe Lake was unusual, in that seismic activity has caused carbon dioxide to come up from the ground and kill many of the surrounding trees.

Wandblumen

Wandblumen-Tom, Pete, Norm

Wandblumen at Horseshoe Lake

Wandblumen at Horseshoe Lake

14SEPT2013- The trip home. We were shuttled back to where our cars were parked today. The bus trip was a 4 hour venture. Jon and I promptly loaded our cars and headed home. We arrived in Puyallup at 0130 the next morning, a 13 hour drive through Susanville, Klamath Falls, Bend, Government Camp, and up I-5 to Puyallup. We were tired but had a great time.

Thoughts on the trip:

1. It was a delight to have time with Jon. We need to do this more.

2. The Adventure Cycle Association could not have done a better job at running this tour. The staff were all quite enthused about cycling, and the organization was impeccable. We had to make some unfortunate serious changes to the original route plan. This was in our best interest, and worked out quite well. I can highly recommend this trip (or any trip with the ACA). Special thanks to Melinda, Meredith, Cammie, Jerry, Don, and Bob, you all were fantastic!

3. Camera – The problem with the Canon EOS M camera is that in bright sunlight, it is impossible to see exactly what is being displayed on the screen. I guess I’m too used to looking through a viewfinder. Also, a better variety of lenses is imperative. I’m thinking that this camera is my best option for road biking. Perhaps the new Canon SL1 (super-light slr camera) with 18 mpx and a 18-135 mm zoom would be a lighter option for when I’m on my CoMotion. I’m not going to rush out and buy yet another camera, as I love my Canon 6D, but it is heavy, and best served with a tripod to give the best possible landscape photos.

4. Arriving back in Puyallup, I’m in the rain and again fighting cancer. It’s hard to return to reality. I always rode by bike in the rain and snow when I was a kid, so why is it a problem now?  Does everybody become soft when they become an old fart? This morning, I did the TacX trainer ride up the west side of Tioga Pass and konked out at two hours, drenched in sweat. I think I need another bicycle vacation.

Tagged with:
No Comments »
Sep 17

IronHorse-3Iron Horse Trail over Snoqualmie Pass –

The Iron Horse Trail goes across much of Washington state, though it has its interruptions in various spots. The trail is a converted rail track, and is almost entire gravel, thus best meant for mountain bikes or fat tire bicycles. There are a number of tunnels on the trail, including the 2.5 mile tunnel under Snoqualmie Pass.

East side of tunnel

East side of tunnel

West side of tunnel

West side of tunnel

The trail goes over some of the existing railroad bridges. The sights are a beauty. The only problem with the trail is that it parallels I-90, so that one is always able to hear the roar of traffic off in the distance. Except for that, the condition of the trail is excellent, and it never goes over a 3-4% grade. One does need headlights for the tunnel, as it is pitch-black inside. The day that I rode the trail, the weather was good, and so there were many people on the trail. It appeared as though parents would drop groups of children off at the top of the trail (by the tunnel) and then pick them up at the bottom. Those poor children never had the opportunity of what was most enjoyable about the trail, which is the joy of riding UP the trail.

Railroad bridge

Scene of the mountains from the Iron Horse trail

Scene of the mountains from the Iron Horse trail

The Garmin data are as follows…

By the way, I also saw a number of touring bicycles going over the pass. I’m sure they were headed for the distant eastern Washington. I wish them happy trails in their journeys.

Tagged with:
No Comments »
preload preload preload