Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cycling on the Palouse

View from Tower Mountain
With a wet and chilly spring on the Palouse, most of my cycling has been confined to the indoors variety.  By count, cycling outdoors in 2017 has only tallied to a half-dozen times.

Finally, on Wednsday, the grey clouds lightened and the temperatures warmed to near 60 F.  Seizing what was expected to be a fleeting opportunity, I grabbed the bike and headed out for a post-work work-out.
Near the golf course at Hangman Valley
This afternoon's ride would be a little shorter than usual in total miles but a bit more in the vertical direction.  My plan was to drop down off the South Hill and into the Hangman Valley following the creek until reaching the golf course.  After reaching the golf course, the long climb up and out of the valley would begin.  Climbing would not stop there, however.  After reaching the plateau, I make a right-hander and continue climbing up to near the summit of Tower Mountain. 
Today's cycling route
I last tackled the Tower Mountain climb last fall.  How would I fare after a winter indoors on the stationary bike?
The last stretch of the climb
 with Tower Mountain in background
The climb up Tower Mountain is tough on legs and lungs with some pitches reaching 22%.  Near the top, simply turning over the pedals can be a tough effort.  When sweat falls like rain in 60F conditions, you are working hard.  As seen from the elevation profile, a little over 1,500 ft in vertical climbing in five miles.
Elevation profile
As always, the view from the top is worth the effort and it is a good feeling to get the cool, fresh air cycling through your lungs.  With grey clouds returning, time to linger no more and head back home.
View from Tower Mountain

21 comments:

  1. I am jealous of your hills Jonathon!

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  2. Looks like great cycling country sir. 22% climbs? - jealous, (I think ).

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    1. Beautiful country will rolling hills, mountains, rivers, and lakes. The undulating Palouse, proper, is perfect for a rouleur. For me, the rolling terrain is a leg breaker. I prefer going up.

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  3. Nice looking country for cycling our hills are shorter but steeper 😀

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    1. Matt, the photos might be deceiving. We have steep climbing too!

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  4. Fun stuff, your desire to "turn your wheels up" boarders on the pathological.

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    1. I always enjoy a challenge. Is that a mental disorder?

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  5. Good for you, Jon. Weather in New England this weekend hit 85 degrees for Easter Sunday - even in Vermont where we were visiting friends.

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    1. 85 degrees on Easter? Unbelievable but very welcome, I bet!

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  6. Looks like lovely country, Jonathan.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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  7. Those are some challenging hills, and it doesn't look like you have much shoulder to work with. I am guessing though that the traffic is fairly light? I need to get my bike off the basement mount and outdoors, it is almost time here in ON. I put on weight (caregiver bod) that I need to lose, and fortunately things are better with Kay now that I can think about these things. Thanks for the good example!

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    1. Michael, it can be very hilly around. The roads you see in these photos are all secondary roads so not much traffic.

      We all add a bit of weight over the winter regardless of how hard we might try to maintain our weight. I know I put on extra pounds over the winter despite a daily indoor cycling regimen.

      Very good to read that Kay is making progress in her fight against her illness!

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  8. Now that the last snow has finally melted around here I've taken my bike out and switched to the bike-commute. It's a whole mile+ with only a modest upgrade but it's still a shock to the system after not riding all winter. Bravo on your physical maintenance! And I'm envious of the scrnery and the images of your ride--not a car in tye picture!

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    1. Yes, time to get on the back and ride! Good to see that you are a bike commuter. Good for you!

      Scenery here is pleasant and an afternoon ride in early spring is a perfect cure following a long, snowy winter.

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  9. Marvelous.

    Even though I have been on the wet side of the state for 25 years now, I still miss spring in Central and Eastern WA.

    Greg

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    1. Spring, summer, and fall are very pleasant on the east side of the state. On a dry day in summer, the wet, western side of the state is beautiful. Well, except for the traffic!

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    2. Correct on all counts, including the traffic, which is only getting worse as a multi-year upgrade for I-5 just started...

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