Sunday, June 4, 2017

Cycling the Palouse

Spokane River and Falls
With life returning towards normalcy following 10 days in Switzerland, good weather on the Palouse led to increased outdoor cycling.  From the calendar below, miles in the legs have increased to near 200 miles over each of the last two weeks.  Still had a few days confined to the stationary bike but the move to more outdoor cycling is most welcome.  As weather improves, eliminating the indoor sessions is likely.  Two hundred miles per week is at the upper end of the range for me unless mileage on the weekends increases.  Twenty-five to thirty miles during the workweek is about all I can muster given the constraints of time.  Mileage beyond that must be picked up on the weekend.   
On Memorial Day, Nancy and I loaded up the bikes and set off for the Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes' trail head in Plummer, Idaho.  We both enjoy cycling along Lake Coeur d' Alene in the summer especially since the old railway bridge allows a crossing of the lake on bike.  
Lake Coeur d'Alene from trestle bridge
View of Lake CDA from Harrison
View of Lake CDA enroute to Harrison
The climb back up from the marina to the trail head is a long, constant eight mile grade.  Given that, Nancy usually drops me off at the trail head and I ride the eight miles down to the marina to meet up with her.  From the marina, we set off together for the small town of Harrison on the east side of the lake, eight miles away.  The ride along the lake is relatively flat making for an enjoyable and not too strenuous exercise for Nancy.  
Plummer to Harrison Round Trip
Plummer to Harrison RT Profile
After reaching Harrison, we often stop for refreshments and sometimes lunch.  Water, nuts, and energy bars were our limited refreshments this trip.  After riding back to the marina, Nancy's bike is loaded onto the car.  I then set off in time-trial mode to see if I can beat Nancy (in car) back to the trail head eight miles away and all uphill.  Did I beat the car, this time?  No, but it was close.
View dropping into Hangman Valley
Twice this past week, one of my typical weekday rides was extended by about six miles in order to cross over to the north bank of the Spokane River and tackle Doomsday Hill and the climb up the South hill via Southeast Boulevard.
Spokane 30 Mile Loop
Spokane 30 Mile Loop Profile
On the Thursday, extended ride, I stopped for a few photos of Spokane Falls from one of the many bridges criss-crossing the river.  Even though the water levels have decreased since the heavy runoff in early Spring, a lot of water is still pouring through the center of the city. 
One of the Spokane Falls
Lastly, I new tool was introduced into my cycling repertoire this week.  Nancy gave me a GoPro camera for Christmas that I had yet to use.  Needed  to make the device operational were working through the instructions and finding a mounting bracket.  Both tasks were accomplished this week with a small bracket arriving from Western Bike Works and a quick read of the Quick Start Guide.
Dirt road under High Bridge
GoPro
More Riding on Dirt in High Bridge Park
GoPro
The camera was not a vanity play to capture my wanderings on bike. Nancy's motive for the purchase was meant as an insurance artifact for use when I am found along the road.  With frequent announcements of death and injury to cyclists, she is convinced that sooner or later, I will become one of those statistics.  To that end, I took the camera out on two rides this week.  
Approaching Monroe Street Bridge
GoPro
The GoPro camera takes surprisingly good photos with no detectable motion or jiggling in the photo.  Mounted just under the left handlebar, the camera is out of the way and does not interfere with changing to multiple hand positions.  Even rough roads and riding out of the saddle did not diminish the photo quality.
Monroe Street Bridge from Centennial Trail
GoPro
With a photo snapped automatically every few seconds, I arrive home with thousands of snapshots.  Most are quite boring but some are worth saving.  A few of the GoPro photos are included as examples (noted as "GoPro" in caption).
Spokane Clock Tower in Riverfront Park
GoPro
Lots of stuff in work on the painting desk and thousands of Switzerland photos to curate.  A BatRep for the 1800 Battle of Montebello remains unstarted as does a solo replay of Montebello.  

17 comments:

  1. How can you be that fit and still be a wargamer :-)

    Looks like a fab holiday.

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    Replies
    1. Ha! good question :))

      great looking trip!

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    2. Good one! I guess I am an outlier...

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  2. Looks just wonderful and that camera is quite remarkable!

    Christopher

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    1. Christopher, the quality of the camera is a pleasant surprise. It does tend to get a little fish-eyedness near the borders.

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  3. Great pictures, and great stamina! I sincerely hope you do NOT ever become a statistic!

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    1. Yeah, I try not to become a statistic every time out.

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  4. It is good to see that the river is calming down a bit!

    I have to agree with Nancy about the GoPro, unfortunately. Be careful out there.

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    Replies
    1. Greg, I am defensively riding cyclist. I know the vehicle ALWAYS wins.

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  5. Ah, good to see you have found the secret to cycling success - the turbo trainer.
    If you can record wattage, you can set intervals which will drag your fitness up in leaps and bounds.

    You can vastly increase fitness with 120-130 miles per week on the trainer.

    If it's of any use - try this little book:
    https://www.amazon.com/Time-Crunched-Cyclist-Race-Winning-Fitness-Athlete/dp/1937715507/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496583231&sr=8-1&keywords=time+crunched+cyclist

    (earlier editions are much cheaper and also on Amazon)

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    Replies
    1. Indoor training during winter is a perfect means of keeping one's fitness level high. It makes the spring transition back outdoors much easier.

      Thanks for the book recommendation.

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    2. This site is also very useful and addictive for Winter. Results can also be uploaded to Strava.
      http://zwift.com/

      Your turbo will have to be ANT+ compatible, i.e. it 'talks' to your pc, but it's a great idea for indoor training.

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    3. DdG, this looks pretty cool! Thanks again for another interesting link.

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  6. Beautiful scenery. Thank you for sharing. Your an inspiration to me to get up and move!

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    Replies
    1. That is great to read and motivates me too! Thanks!

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  7. Agree with the above you are motivating me to get of my bum and ride more 😀 But that will mean less painting argggghhhh dilemma

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    Replies
    1. That is great, Matt! Think long term...perhaps, keeping oneself fit will increase the NUMBER of years to paint?

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