Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall Cycling on the Palouse

Side-stepping wargaming for this post and turning outside to cycling.  With the return of Pacific Standard Time on Sunday comes the loss of an hour of daylight in the afternoon.  Cycling outside after work will quickly become an activity foregone.  Except for weekends, stationary, indoor afternoon cycling will soon become de rigueur.   To enjoy afternoon cycling before the sun is lost with the approach of winter, I headed out on the bike for one of the last weekday, afternoon ride of the season.  Of course, I will be out on the bike on weekends as long as the weather cooperates.

Today's ride sees me on a 25 mile loop out onto the Palouse and then back into the city.  Palouse?  What is the Palouse?  The Palouse is generally defined as a region of rolling hills in southeastern Washington and north central Idaho dominated by fields of wheat and lentils.  The rolling hills remind me a bit of Tuscany.  Spokane can broadly be defined as the northern boundary of the Palouse although some might argue against that delineation.

Back to the ride.

Residing on the southern boundary of the city, open roads are only a few minutes away and my cycling almost always begins in a southerly direction.  The rolling terrain can be a leg breaker on a long, hot summer afternoon but today with temperatures in the mid 60s F, a pleasant day, indeed!  
Farmland at outskirts of Spokane

Typical Palouse rolling wheat fields
punctuated by farms
Still heading south

More farmland as the road turns down into a canyon 
Not only rolling wheat fields!

Open road as I drop into a canyon

One of the many golf courses in the area

Six miles later, another golf course.
Yes, I must climb up the plateau to reach home.
The climb begins
Back on top of the plateau.
Home and hot shower in six more miles.

18 comments:

  1. Fabulous - really enjoyed the pics - looks like splendid cycling country, too! My cycling is pretty humble these days, but I like to get out when I can, with my son - we have many miles of farm roads which are closed to traffic. For some rather boring medical reasons I had to cut back on the mileage this summer, since cycling would potentially mess up some tests I was having, but I intend to get busy on the static bike again this winter - we have some new DVDs of the Vuelta de Espana and similar to watch while pedalling - very fine. Not as good as the Palouse, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is beautiful country, for sure. If you enjoy cycling on rolling hills, you would enjoy cycling here! There are a number of rivers and lakes in the area too that are terrific for cycling along and around. Next time I ride along the water features, I'll drop for a few photos to share.


      I hope you recover well and are able to get back on the bike soon. This year's Vuelta was a good race and should be enjoyable to watch again. I certainly enjoyed it watching it live. Vuelta might be my favorite of the Grand Tours.

      Delete
  2. Nice pics. There are times when I miss EWa and Spokane very much - autumn especially.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Autumn on the east side of the state is a lovely time and then winter sets in!

      Glad you enjoyed the photos.

      Delete
  3. That looks like big country, great cycling roads and plenty of space to think. Love it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Big country, indeed! As you can tell from the photos, there are places from which you can see for miles and miles.

      You are exactly right about plenty of time to think. That is one of the pleasures of cycling. Lots of time to ponder all sorts of topics and distract yourself from the pain.

      Delete
  4. Looks like prefect country to cycle in!

    Christopher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is! Especially good if you enjoy climbing. Many good climbs nearby. Scenery is good too. One of the nearby lakes has an old train track on trestles that crosses the lake. It as been converted into a bike path. Great fun!

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing! That is lovely country and it does have a Tuscan feel. Having moved to the Twin Cities from the foothills of Mt. Lemon in Tucson, I miss elevation changes dearly. You're quite blessed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Monty!

      My wife is from Edina and when she moved out west she couldn't believe the extent of the mountains in the area. She, too, was accustomed to the flat lands of Minnesota.

      For me, I enjoy going riding when the road turns up so this area is perfect.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for the Cycle back tour, Jon. Fine looking country!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was your suggestion that inspired me to snap a few photos on my last ride.

      Delete
  7. Beautiful if not ideal cycling country Jonathan. In the future I'll simply refer to you as the Fausto Coppi of Spokane! What bike are you riding? We have the Bianci Flagship store here in Stockholm, and those mint-colored bikes sing a siren song to me, that I someday will have to obey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Fausto Coppi of Spokane?" I like that ! Good cycling country, for sure. If we only had a shorter and more mild winter, it might be perfect.

      Currently riding a Specialized Roubaix. The bike before the Roubaix was a Bianchi but before the days of the signature Celeste Green. Enjoyed that bike very much but finally rode it into the ground. Bianchi's are excellent bikes. Why resist temptation?

      Delete
  8. I like the last two photos, look great to do water color paintings and/or oil painting...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have at it, Phil! Spokane has several architecturally handsome bridges. If your watercolor/oil landscape skills are anything like your figure painting skills, these works would be masterpieces!

      Delete
    2. Thanks Jonathan, my oil/water color paintings style similar to the French Impressionists...sometimes I sell sometimes I don't eat for a day or two.. :o)

      Do you have email contact some where on your blog?

      cheers,

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...