Tuesday, September 18, 2012

test subject

test body w/ picture

Sent from my beat-up old XP machine.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Post-Ride Analysis

By the numbers:


Number of miles ridden: 780 in 14 days by Mac and Dick, 660 in 12 Days by John


Number of calories burned: 111,000


Days camping versus days in motel: 7/7


Number of beers consumed: 60


Ounces of whiskey:  50


Total feet climbed: 29,003


Distribution of Category Climbs: Cat 5 – 17, Cat 4 – 7, Cat 3 – 3, Cat 2 – 4, Cat 1 – 2, HC – 0


Number of mechanical issues – 1 flat, 1 loose pannier, 1 replaced rear hub


Miles walked: 2.6


Miles ridden in construction pilot truck: 1.1


Number of spills: 3


Number of self-inflicted injuries: 1

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 12 - Cascade Locks to Portland

The last day starts out rough and gets worse as we take a Google suggested back road in an attempt to avoid the busy and narrow Historic Columbia River Highway. It is gnarly and straight up so we can ride for a 100 yards then push the bikes up 100 yards.
The road unceremoniously ends after about 2 miles at a cell phone tower. So it is back down, which also requires some walking due the extreme grade. So now we are back to square one after an hour. We borrow the Best Western computer to find a better route to Portland. We find a very nice bike path that, unfortunately, includes a very challenging walk up some stairs with a bike through obviously not designed for fully loaded touring bikes.
As the trail abruptly ends, we have only two options: the Columbia River Hwy or I-84. We opt for I-84 which at least has very wide shoulder and rumble strips (except for some very scary bridge crossings where the shoulder disappears). We ride about 20 miles on I-84 uneventfully and exit at Troutdale for a quick lunch and then some well marked bike paths for the last 20 into Portland (a very bike-friendly city as was Seattle and Bellingham). After several map checks and asking locals, we find the hotel and check in completely spent at the end of the boys' excellent adventure. We make a celebratory trek (almost a pilgrimage for Johnny) to the nearby Rogue Public House and Brewery. Tomorrow will be spent getting bikes packed up and shipped by a local bike store. None of us care how soon they make it home!

Day 11 - Eagle Cliff to Cascade Locks, OR

A nice gentle start out of camp today, then we start the two stage climb to Oldman Pass (appropriately named, no?) It is steep, then gradual, then steep again. We reach the top and have our favorite sighting: not elk, not bald eagle but the illusive "downhill truck sign"!
Another white knuckle descent for 5 miles and then a beautiful, slightly downhill cruise through with NO traffic and we are all thinking: " Now THIS is why we do this stuff" We turn towards Carson, WA & the Oregon border and encounter the ubiquitous afternoon headwinds and more traffic. We take a short stop in Carson for some lunch and then press on the last 7 miles to Cascade Locks. We go from the best riding conditions to the worst in a span of about 3 hours as we ride on Hwy 14, narrow and winding with minimal shoulders and lots of truck traffic. We cross the old, metal-grate Bridge of the Gods w/ spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge which those of us with acrophobia can't fully appreciate.
We find a campsite close to the river but even closer to a very busy train track but, again, free hot showers and easy access to food and adult beverages.

Day 10 - Randle to Eagle Cliff campground

Jerry discovers a flat rear tire as we get ready to leave the Randle motel, a short delay before breakfast at the Mt. Adams Cafe (same place as last night's dinner, great local ambiance) where Dick and I opt for the usual breakfast sandwich but Jerry branches out to a Denver omelet which is too big to finish (I tried to help him a little, being a team player). There is a very steep 2 mile uphill climb out of Randle but then some very nice cruising on Hwy 25 through the Gifford Pinchot Natl Forest. Some of the best riding of the trip. Five miles of steep climbing, then 5 of gradual and the last 4 straight up. We crest Elk Pass at 4,00 feet (the passes aren't even signed anymore so they seem almost anticlimactic).
We then head downhill to Clearwater Viewpoint, where we catch a magnificent view of Mt. Saint Helen's and meet "BMW Bill" who takes the picture and gives us some extra oatmeal. He is a rep for Ortleib bags (panniers) and Cervelo (high end road bikes) and gives Jerry a card to send us some free swag. A little more uphill follows before the hairiest downhill yet, bad sunlight, uneven pavement and 20 mph U-turns; very white knuckle. We find the only campground for miles, Eagle Cliff and check into a great big site and we are the only ones in camp. Again, the other two key criteria are met: easy access to beer and firewood. Unfortunately, Dick thinks the guy living in the converted bus (much like the one in "Into the Wild") has the potential to slice us up and feed us to his dog, so he has a somewhat restless night.

Day 9 - La Wis Wis to Randle

This was supposed to be our only rest day but we opt to book some miles as there is not much to do in camp (you may know that Jerry is a tad hyper). But since we are in no real hurry, we have the luxury of our 1st morning camp fire. We take a steep but unloaded 1/2 mile climb out of the campground and then to the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center in Mt. Rainer NP. Since Paradise has low visibility there is no point trying to hitch a ride up there (it is, after all, about 25 miles and 2,500 ft of climbing!) so we head back to camp and some PB&J's made with Dave's Killer Bread from Carrie's delivery.
We leave camp and make the 1/2 mile climb again, this time fully loaded. so we have ended up with 12 additional miles w/ the trip to the park. It's mostly downhill but with a strong headwind where we resupply from "Liquor Store Larry" who gives us a tiny funnel which he says he gives to "touristas for pasties". Next up is 15 more miles into a brutal headwind to Randle where we opt to stay in a pretty run-down hotel for $40 over the crappy campground for $15. The owner is an EMT who is out on a call and his wife works at the restaurant where we end up having dinner. We dub the owner Frank the Philosopher as he imparts these word of wisdom to us: " Some men have balls, others have Harleys"! Dick is feeling much better and has multiple beers.

Day 8 - Windy Point to La Wis Wis campground

Dick gets a head start this morning and we start a gentle climb towards White Pass. Jerry and I stop at a nice roadside cafe before the climb in Rimrock and get a great fresh-made breakfast sandwich (do you detect a theme?). It's a 7 mile climb to the top with good news, bad news: bad news is that the road is under construction with rough, grooved pavement, good news is that it limits the traffic to short spurts following the pilot truck and they give us wide berth. We make the top and find the Kountry Kitchen store and as we talk to the clerk, Carrie, about our provisioning options, she says she'll be happy to deliver our groceries and beer to our campground when she gets off work at 6 as it's right on her way home. Sweet!
On the way down we get our first Dick sighting at a viewpoint with a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier. Dick was forced to ride a bit in one of the pilot trucks, something Jerry and I somehow avoided. Dick manges to dump his bike in the soft gravel on the way out of the viewpoint and a pannier comes off. Unfortunately, it decides to come off again on the downhill, but it is easily recovered and re-attached. More construction and we have a 30 minute delay at one point but then a brisk 7 mile downhill to  another beautiful Forest Service campground right on the river. Carrie shows up as scheduled with groceries and beer and we are in biker heaven.