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Friday, July 19, 2019

Cycling the Palouse

Recent weather on the Palouse featured unseasonably cool and wet conditions.  For many weeks before, the Palouse experienced beautiful weather with temperatures touching into the mid-80s F.  Perfect conditions for cycling.
On one of those daily excursions last week, I chose a 25 mile out-and-back.  The journey would take me through some of the rolling farmland of the Palouse.  With the fields still green, this is a beautiful area over which to cycle.  The rolling terrain is suited to a rouleur style of cyclist.  For me, the constant up and down of the hills can be a leg breaker over sustained efforts.  I prefer a sharp climb to the never-ending undulating terrain.  On today's ride, I get my wish.  

Today's ride featured a passage through an area gutted by wildfire two years ago.  While some of the woods have been cleared of the burnt trees, most remain just as they stood.  Riding through the narrow canyon lined by burned woods on both sides provides an eerie feeling.  Will the burn ever be cleared and replanted?  I do not know.
Part of the enjoyment of this route is the switchback climb up from the valley floor to a cattle ranch near the summit.  Grades are typically about 8% for a little over a mile.  The terrain is rugged and dry.  On the descent, speeds can reach 40mph before hard braking before the hairpin turns.  Quite fun but filled with anxiety when the roads contain debris.  While the sensation of descending at 40mph cannot be translated through photos, please enjoy the photos from my part of the world.






Next up:  more painted figures.

25 comments:

  1. Looks great Jonathan......cycling still going pretty well here sometimes in the sun sometimes in the rain 😀

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    1. Good to read that you are still out on the bike, Matt! Cycling mostly in the sun, here.

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  2. Looks and sounds like a blast! My wife and I only reached those speeds with the help of terrific tail winds once or twice in Central Illinois. Oh, and the straight hill down into Stillwater, Minnesota on the St. Croix River. Now THAT'S hair raising.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. I would enjoy seeing photos of your hair-raising descent!
      Thanks for the comment!

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  3. Lovely looking countryside and weather. We had unseasonably wet weather in June, but then July has been dry, with not a drop of rain until today. At least I won't have to water the garden:)

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    1. I like the area, for sure, since it holds plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure.

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  4. Superb pics Jon - looks marvellous. 40mph down hills with gravel on the bends would make you thoughtful? Splendid - what a great area to live in.

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    1. Glad you enjoy the local scenery, Tony! Not quite the seafront view from your window but possibly more sunshine.

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  5. Nice looking spin Jonathan. I'm doing another charity cycle tomorrow - nothing as steep as 8% though.

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    1. Good to see you taking another charity ride! How long is the distance in this one?

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    2. Jonathan. It was 55km (30 miles-ish) and went well. I met some new people from a cycle club in a local town and rode around with them. Next one's in August.

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  6. Looks Iike a lovely way to pass the time amongst some great scenery. Hope you have a bike helmet on when your belting down those hills.

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    1. Cycling is a great way to combat the aging process and enjoy the scenery. Helmet is mandatory in these parts. Even if the government did not require it, I would wear one to protect my fragile melon.

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  7. As I sit here all day watching squall after squall pass over, I am rather jealous of your warm weather.

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    1. In six months, I will be thinking the same of your weather.

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  8. Lovely scenes in fabulous weather!

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  9. Great ride; would have been very challenging to do in the Northeast the past few days, with Temps and humidity both in the mid 90's! The burnout area should regrow on its own over time with limited intervention buy humans!

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    1. Temperatures are back in the 90s here this week but humidity is low. Cycling in 90s ok. Cycling in 100+ not ok. I do hope the vegetation regrows.

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