Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Late Spring Cycling on the Palouse

One of the pleasures of living on the Palouse is the variety of terrain over which to cycle.  With a mix of canyons, rolling hills, forests, rivers, and lakes, an afternoon ride can encompass all of these features in less than a two hour spin.  Late spring is especially colorful with the rolling hills of young wheat and the bright yellow of rapeseed (used in making canola oil) in bloom .

After being off the bike for more than two weeks while on vacation and with temperatures hovering in the mid-70s to low 80s F, I was anxious to get back out onto the bike.  Sunny skies and warming temperatures make for enjoyable afternoon rides.  

Monday's ride highlights the yellow blooms of rapeseed on my way south of town, up a steep switchback to the top of a canyon, and then back.
Rapeseed in full bloom


Monday's ride has an elevation profile (shown below) highlighting the lumpy nature of the Palouse. 


Turn-around at top of the climb and heading back to town
Nearing the top of a climb out of the valley

Descent into a valley
Rolling hills can be leg-breakers

16 comments:

  1. Beautiful landscape. That's a lot of elevation for that long of a ride. I'll have to pack up the folder and get out there to ride.

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    1. I am quite fond of the rolling hills of the Palouse. Each season offers rolling hills of a different color and good bicycling through much of it..

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  2. Beautiful weather and great scenery, good exercise - two thumbs up!

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  3. The "Eddy Merckx" of the Palouse is back - a timely reappearance with less than three weeks to go before we kick off the annual Tour de France! Beautiful scenery Jon, almost Tuscany-like or Alsacian with all the yellow rapeseed fields! So, now comes the defining question, who is going to win the Tour in your opinion? Nibali, Froome or will Quintana strike a decisive blow in the Alps... (Unless Contador starts eating "special" Spanish meat again, he will not be a yellow jersey contender in my opinion.)

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    1. Many compare the Palouse with Tuscany so you have a good eye!

      As for the Le Tour, that makes for a difficult prognostication. This year, the route favors the climbers, I think. Any of the BIG FOUR could take the price. I certainly would not count out Contador. When he first arrived on the scene, I could see that that young man had great natural talent. He still does!

      Froome looked determined in his last minute win at the Dauphine and Quintana has not been much tested yet. Quintana can climb, for sure!

      My order of likely winner would be:
      Contador
      Froome
      Quintana
      Nibali

      It really may come down to which man has the best team surrounding him in the mountains.

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    2. You're right Jon, the team-factor might very well be what will play the decisive part. With that angle, I'd put my money on Astana - Saxo-Tinkoff smells too much of transition. I think Contador looked very lonely in those Italian mountain climbs. I love the upcoming French generation too - especially Ag2r, with riders like Bardet challenging the GC-contenders in the mountains. One thing is for sure, if they all survive past the "pavé" of the early stages, we're in for quite a duel this year!

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    3. Dealing with the 'pave' is one reason I did not rank Quintana a bit higher.

      Contador did look isolated at times at the Giro but he is made of tough stuff. I have never seen a rider "dance on the pedals" quite like him. Astana certainly showed their dominance in the Giro.

      For the French, having a few young guns with big potential is a refreshing change. Pinot and Gadret could make waves too.

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  4. What a beautiful landscape to ride in!

    Christopher

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    1. Yes, it is! Christopher, next time I ride along the lake, I will bring the camera. You would enjoy those photos too especially the old train trestle crossing the lake that has been converted for cycling.

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  5. I could see hiking it, but not biking it.

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    1. Jim, if you enjoy hiking, stay tuned for a photologue from the Peruvian highlands.

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  6. I just started catching up on your biking posts. Are you considering doing the Tour de Lentil?

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    1. Tour de Lentil? I had not heard of it before. I must investigate!

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