Monday, March 31, 2014

Thee Bike Shop Progress

This past weekend I started organizing the finished room in the garage.  It is to be Thee Bike Shop.  The black thing on the counter resembling a microwave oven is a microwave oven.  At the apartment I moved from, it did not have a microwave oven.  So I bought one.  I was thinking of selling it for a few bucks.  But now I think I'll keep it out in Thee Bike Shop.

I have these hanger things to hang bikes on the walls.  I've five bikes hung so far.  I think I need at least one more hanger.  The bikes with kick stands will stand.  The Moonlander won't fit the hanger thing.  It wall leans.

The bikes will be hung out of the way or put up against a wall sort of out of the way.  All the bike tools, spare parts, etc. will go in the cabinets.

Yes, there is a wood burner stove in Thee Bike Shop.  There's also a small, in wall, thermostat controlled, heater.  It is set on as low as it goes - 50 degrees.  Which, coincidentally, is the minimum temperature suggested to let, say, fiberglassing cure.  As in, a Pygmy Kayak fiberglassed boat.

I do still intend to put one together.  Now I have a place.  It is mostly climate controlled and out of the outdoors.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Seattle Bike Ride

Saturday I met co-worker Dan at the ferry dock in Bremerton.  He brought his brand new, shiny Salsa Fargo.  Click on the pictures to make them larger.

The game plan was to take the ferry to Seattle for a ride.

We left the Seattle terminal heading mostly west and a bit south.  We took care not to get torched by fire breathing dragons.

Our route was a combination of bike lanes on roads but mostly bike trails.  One took us though a tunnel that had several murals in it.

Our route was going to take us to Issaquah for starters.

At the beginning there were a few hills to climb and some switch-backs to descend.

We did see some colorful characters along the way.

After stopping in Issaquah for some coffee and calories we took off counterclockwise around Lake Samamish.

There the trail changed from paved to very hard packed gravel.

This is exactly what it looks like.

We entered a park area where remote controlled planes were aplenty.

These looked very maneuverable.  For perspective, I'd estimate the wingspan at five feet.

What's a bike ride without a stop at the velodrome?

Though I'm not in either of the velodrome pictures, I did do one lap on my Surly Long Haul Trucker track bike touring bike.

There was a horse show of sorts about to get going at the pointy tent thing.

Along the Samamish River trail we encountered a kayak convention.

Not too long after merging onto the Burke Gillman trail we spotted the crocodile.

And seaplanes.  There were at least 20 just hanging out.

Our route took as to the edge of the University of Washington.

We made use of naturally occurring in nature picture frames.

Right by the picture frame thing is a whole row of house boats.

In the Fremont neighborhood we encountered interesting murals.....

.....and naked chicks.

We aimed for downtown and ended up at Seattle Center.

Weird things grow there.

We made our way back toward the ferry terminal but not before we found the Popsicle.

If you're interested, the whole picture set is HERE.  For those keeping score at home, we ended up with 67 miles for the day.  The weather was about perfect.  It was approximately 50 degrees and no wind.  It was a great day for a ride.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Becoming Domesticated

It's a sad day of sorts.  I fear I'm becoming domesticated.  I have bought a lawn mower.  We live in some crazy times my friends.  I purchased this one:

It's what seemed OK at Lowe's.  I'll probably be assembling this and using this today.  It's been warm here and the grass is engaged.  A few of the flowering trees are flowering.  Spring has sprung.

Friday, March 14, 2014

May Trippin'

I received, in my email inbox, an invitation to go mountain bike in a place I've wanted to since I moved to the Pacific Northwest just over a year ago - Bend, OR.  Here's what I received (click for bigger):

I will be RSVP-ing shortly.  This looks like great fun.  In addition, I'll be going with some rollers who know the area and trails.  Having a guide for first time trail riding is my preferred.

It looks like I've already another riding along.  That means, with only a two place bike rack, my vehicle is full - sorry.  But, I promise to remember my camera.  A recap complete with pictures after Memorial Day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Monday, when I got home from work, I noticed three visitors in my back yard.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone quality.

They hung around for more than an hour just hanging out and nibbling grass.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mussels in the Kettles Recap

Let me start by stating I forgot my fricking camera.  I know, I know - you're rolling your eyes, I'm rolling mine.....

Regardless, co-worker Dan and I depart my place about 6:30 AM for Port Townsend to catch the 8 AM ferry to Whidbey Island.  After a very uneventful ferry ride we were off for Coupeville, WA.

At the elementary school we picked up our packets of schwag and rider numbers.  The schwag bag included three bottles of drinkable stuff, one sampler sized bag of some sort of chips, stick-on hand warmer things, a spray bottle of some sort of shaving cream like pain relief, flyers for upcoming events, event socks (purple this year), a map of Whidbey Island bike friendly roads, and some sort of cream goop.

At about 9 AM the course was open and we were off.  The thing starts at the elementary school and follows two miles of paved bike trail to the Kettles Trails and Ebey State Park.  As we hit the singletrack proper I shed layer number one.

This year we rode the advanced (black) course.  The trails started out tight and twisty.  They had some lung testing climbs mixed with technical descents.  At poker run card pick number one I drew a......two.  Oh well.

We continued on the trail where it stayed much like it started, tight, twisty, reasonably hard climbs, and technical descents.  Arriving at the "Clean the Kettles" section we paused to catch our breath along with several other riders.

"Clean the Kettles" is a reasonably steep, fairly long, with switchbacks mixed in, climb.  If you "clean it" - no stopping for foot dabbing, you're in the running for a bowl of mussels afterwards at the festival in town.

After watching about a 50/50 success rate of the riders in front of me I thought, "Huh.  It must be harder than it looks."  I took off in my second to lowest gear keeping "Granny" in reserve just in case.

I don't know how to build the suspense in this recap in the quite unsuspenseful climb.  I "cleaned the kettles."  More on this later.

Before we knew it we were done and on the way back to Coupeville.  I had crap for a poker hand but that's not why I was doing the ride.  After a quick change of clothes we made our way downtown for some beer and mussels.

Supposedly those "cleaning the kettles" were to get a wrist band indicating as such so they could get their mussels afterwards.  Co-worker Dan got his wrist band.  The chick taking my picture at the top of the climb I think was the wrist band giver outer.  She said nothing to me.  Maybe they ran out.  Anyway, nobody asked if we "cleaned the kettles" and so a bowl of free mussels was not in the mix.

Dan and I did each have a big bowl of mussels (at only $5 each!).  Now, I hate oysters and had not had mussels right out of the shell before.  I was apprehensive.  However, they were quite tasty and something I'd do again.

Sort of related - for doing the mountain bike poker run we were entitled to a free beer from Flyers Brewery at the downtown shin-dig.  Of the two beers available I went for the Barnstormer Brown Ale.  Co-worker Dan went for the lighter Humbles Blonde Ale.  He said it was good.

If/when co-worker Dan shoots some pictures my way (he took quite a few), I'll post them.  Otherwise, just use your imagination.  It was "epic."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dance Card Beginning to Fill

I was alerted to a summer bike festival just a bit east of here.  The Gigantic Bicycle Festival looks to be a ton of fun.

Here's the description copied and pasted from the website:

The Pacific Northwest's Music & Arts Celebration of the Bicycle. 

Gigantic Bicycle Festival is the Pacific Northwest’s annual summer celebration of bicycle culture. The two day, mid-August festival features a diverse, gloriously multifaceted and regionally representative mix of live music, hand-built bicycles, visual & performance art, film, comedy, guest speakers, sculpture, and interactive installation pieces. 

Many festival goers arrive at the grounds via bicycle along supported (and highly praised) century and 77 mile road rides leaving Seattle’s Magnuson Park in the early morning. 

Monthly art installations and film screenings begin in May, presenting previews to August and taking over venues and gallery spaces in the greater Seattle and Portland metropolitan areas.

This appears to be a great time!  Planning is in the works.  Co-workers and I are forming a "team."  The tentative game plan is to take the Friday before and the Monday after off work.  One does not drive to this.  One rides to the ride and then rides home.  I'm thinking Long Haul Trucker fully loaded.  You know, tent, gear, foods, flasks of whiskey - the usual essentials for riding loaded.

If you're from around here and want to join in the fun - contact me!  If you're not from around here and want to join in the fun - contact me!  I know, I know, August is a long ways off.  But, if you send them some (registration) money and put it on your calendar, well, excuses will seem lame AND in short supply.

Sort of related, I found a TON of bikey type things to do around here this summer.  Some will be roadie type and others will be mountain biking and others yet will be bike packing.  I'll hit on a few of those later this week.  Probably.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Saturday Loop Ride

On Saturday a co-worker came over with bike.  We departed on a little ride around of central Kitsap county.

I've an idea for a new bike to work commuting route and wanted to test it.  The co-worker knows pretty much all the roads around here and was up to check things out.  He made a few changes in the route but all-in-all it was good.  Ride time from my place to work is going to be approximately one hour.

We stopped in downtown Bremerton at a coffee house.  A roller has to load up on caffeine and sugary foods now and then.  As we departed the coffee house it began to sprinkle.

We made our way over the Manette Bridge and into East Bremerton.  We followed the water, mostly, and to Illahee State Park.

Illahee is a small state park complete with bathrooms, campsites, a beach, and guns.  Climb on a gun, have your picture taken!

We did roll down the switch backs to the beach.  There we chatted with a couple visiting from Nebraska.  The rain was beginning to pick up so up the switch backs we went.

We continued to follow the water north.  The nice, quiet backroads made for a pleasant ride.  When we made it almost to Poulsbo, we angled west and toward my place.

Even though it rained at bit, it was a nice day for a ride.  We did 40 miles.  About the right amount without another food stop and in the early season.