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Apr 18, 2015

Bicycling in Tri-Cities

We’ve been getting out regularly trying to stretch out our miles in preparation for our summer trip. We decided to spend Spring Break in sunny Tri-Cities to get in some longer, drier riding. We stayed with our niece Aubrey, Chris and their two daughters, Camryn and Carsyn. They graciously put us up while Chris recuperated from ACL surgery.

Tuesday the 14th, while Chris was in the OR, we took off for a 37 mile ride from downtown Richland to Benton City. The thing was, the wind was in our face for the first 11 miles. And I mean WIND! It was steady at 20 mph or higher. We just saw that it was gusting to 34. It made for a long, slow slog out to Benton City and a really fast flight back to Richland. We hit 42 on the smallest of downhills when we had the wind at our backs. About a third of the trip was also brutal cross-winds. There was just no escaping that force of nature. We chalked it up to a lot of horizontal hill work. And we didn’t do much other than sit still and eat when we got back. Our stats for the day were 37 miles @ 12.8 average, 1500′ of gain.

Wednesday we decided to take on Clodfelter Hill. It is an 8 mile climb to the top of Horse Heaven. We needed to get in some real climbing so this was good.

We took off at 10 and drove to Sacajewea Park to look at Maya Lin’s “Confluence Circle” installation. The circles tell the stories of the native tribes who used to gather to trade at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers. An interesting little museum there, too. By 11 we’d driven over to Kennewick to start our ride of the day.

horse-heavenWe headed up Leslie Road to Clodfelter. The sky was clear and the wind was much less than the day before. But it was up. Lots of 6-8% grades. And still it went up. We were passed by a single near a false summit, then he zipped back by us yelling, “Wheeeeee!” We still had 2 miles of up to transit. A quick pizza break (nothing like cold pizza on a ride!) fueled our last push.

Once on top we could see forever! Mt. Adams, Hood, and Rainier were all in view. We also had the full force of the wind against us again. But since it was largely downhill, it wasn’t so bad. We only could get up to 14 mph on the downhill, so you know the wind was up. Eventually we got to Webber Canyon, a 5-6% down. But we only got up to 36 on that 4 mile drop. The wind was agin us!

We looped around and headed home on Badger, but we were tired and sore. We’ve been fighting colds for a couple of weeks. We thought we were better, but we weren’t. By the time we got back to the car, we were completely wiped out. But we’d done almost 2400′ of climbing, almost our highest of the year.

We visited with Aubrey, Chris and the girls, then took in a movie nearby – “The Longest Ride”. Romantic, sweet, and an interesting way to tell the story. We slept like rocks that night.

We’d planned to do some riding on the way home on Thursday, but we were just too tired and sick to consider it. We trundled home and settled in quickly. Hopefully, these colds will pass before the good weather does.

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Jul 7, 2014

NW Tandem Rally 2014

Heat, headwinds and hills, that’s the mini-version of this report on the  NW Tandem Rally (NWTR) in Pendleton on the 4th of July weekend. It was our first big weekend of riding this summer and though we weren’t in the best condition, we had a lot of fun. We left Seattle for central Oregon on […]

Feb 23, 2014

Last days of sun

Saturday, February 22 – Sitting at SeaTac waiting for our shuttle home. What a difference a few hours makes. We used to be in sunshine and hot, now we’re sitting in an ice-cold parking garage, thankful that it’s not snowing. But first, a review of our last three days. Wednesday we decided we needed a […]

Feb 18, 2014

Riding with a Seattle transplant

Today we headed out to ride with Bridget, a Seattleite who fell in love and moved to Tucson. She was thrilled to be able to talk about Capitol Hill, lakes, Cascade bike rides, and all things Northwest. We also got to meet her husband, Tony, as he joined us on what turned out to be […]

Feb 17, 2014

Sunshine = biking as a way of life

It’s Monday, Presidents’ Day. We just got in from a 41 mile ride around parts of Tucson we’ve never seen. This time we were led by our host Steve Wilson. He and his partner Patricia are putting us up in their lovely home in central Tucson for the remainder of our stay. We spent most […]

Jul 30, 2013

Let’s get to work.

Several of us have been talking for some time about how to best use our energies to change the world. A lot of the answer depends on what you mean by “best”, “use”, “our energies”, “change”, and “world”. But does it have to be that daunting? Perhaps. But is that any reason to fail to […]

Feb 14, 2013

1 Billion Rising

Qdoba

Today was Valentine’s Day. We really rolled back the clock on this one. After a day of fussing with computers, we headed to the NE YMCA (now called the University YMCA) where Sheila and I met just over 30 years ago.  A little trip down memory lane. We went to attend a world-wide event – […]