Nancy Cycles!

Nancy Cycles!
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ... Yogi Berra

Monday, September 29, 2014

Another fall Cyber ride (3) Summer turns to Fall

Earlier in September, written September 18, 2014

One of my neighborhood rides just before school was about to start. No big things to report except that yet again we had gorgeous weather. As I cycled along I thought of summer ending and fall beginning. I realize that though summer is my favorite season (my birthday is in the summer when family would always be celebrating outdoors; school, as a student and then as a teacher, was out for a couple of months; all my favorite activities are so welcome in the summer; the daylight hours are nice and long; the sky is so blue for so long; the heat of the sun would tan me and make me at least appear healthy as well as warm me when I emerged from swimming all day in the river with cousins; all, or most trips happen in the summer; etc. etc. etc.), fall runs a close second to summer.

I love the colors of fall -- the orange pumpkins in the fields and piled up at Safeway, the rich earthy tans and browns that cover the pastures and farmlands, the bright multi-colored leaves falling from the trees to line our walks, the variety of gourds and mounds of hay displayed at outdoor stands. And the change of weather feels good on my skin. The refreshing slight chill in the air still requires only light clothing, and the air and sky remain clear and clean.

So I bid farewell to this summer season, and welcome in these glorious days of fall. We'll see what I do with winter!

A sure sign of fall is the beginning of school and as I cycled on the trail that wanders through the various fields of our high school, there were the signs.

Girls' soccer team begins practice for the upcoming season.

Boys' football team starts practice sessions

The marching band gets ready for homecoming parade and football game.

The "brass" shines in the sun and the players continue to wear shorts for their practice session.

I had a good ride on this day (seldom do I have a bad day in the saddle), and liked having you with me.




Cyber Ride 2

Ride taken in August, but just written on September 29, 2014


At an attempt to "catch up", here is a cyber report of a ride I did a few weeks ago.

A friend and I discovered this wonderful (Russian we think) cafe that serves not only great pastries, but fantastic crepes and excellent Borscht soup!! It may be a family business as all the employees have an accent and appear to be part of the family. It's really cool!

We discovered the place while on a group bike ride with the local bike club as one of their stops on a route they do periodically. Once we discovered the crepes, we have made this a breakfast place to meet once in a while when there is nothing else on our calendar. An added benefit is that I can bike there from home.

While biking there on this day I was in thoughts of how fortunate I am and have been in my life. I had an idyllic childhood and upbringing (and continue to miss all of them whom I have lost, and I have lost all of them); I have had rather good health and strength to do my activities that I love; I live in a gorgeous part of the country; I have the best and most caring friends that I can share time with over multiple different interests; I have a warm and loving family life; there are lots of nice places to bike, and I have chums and good friends to bike with; I have my cyber friends that help to keep me inspired, and who fill some of my "quiet" times with writings, thoughts and encouragement; and this day was sunny and beautiful for a bike ride!

Here is what has become a Breakfast spot for me and my friend Bette-Ann. The crepes are sooooooo good! And if we decide to go at lunch time instead, the borsht and meat or veggie pastry do the trick.

Quite a choice of sweet pastries -- hard to pass up, and hard to make a choice! They have an abundant choice of good teas as well. Next time I am there I will try to remember to take a photo of the wall display of tea choices. And the tea is the loose leaf type, not tea bags. I have become such a tea snob!!!

In addition to sweet pastries there are lunch choices of filled buns and rolls, as well as freshly baked bread. My friend bought a loaf on one of our outings and ended up giving me half so that she would not eat the entire loaf to herself!! Mighty good, that fresh baked bread. I too have a weakness for bread and can basically make a meal of it.

After parting with Bette-Ann, I headed home and took a little spur road off my route, as this day was too nice to stop riding. This road takes me, for a mile or two, onto roads through the "Snohomish County Airport" and some of Boeing plant. The larger plant is a couple of miles away, but there is some work done here apparently. I have since taken a few more rides through here and always see this FedEx airplane. Interesting to ride so close up to such a big plane.


Another beautiful bike ride with my cyber friends.

My Cyber rides this Fall

Monday, September 15, 2014

I have a few friends who live in other states, and we have formed a small "cyber bike club". We try to do a little report of some of our rides "together" and it helps educate each other about where we live. I have thought I might include some of my reports in my blog -- hence, here is one.

I have actually done several cyber club rides, and am way behind in reporting about them. This is my most recent one -- I did it yesterday, and you were my motivation to do it. I drove myself to a trailhead of a trail I have done many many times, but today would be a little different.I pushed myself out the door for this solo ride. As the farmer says, I have to make hay while the sun shines, and I know our gorgeous weather will not last much longer. I rode this trail with a small group a couple of weeks ago, and one of the members took us on a spur trail that led to a new part of the trail into the town of Redmond. It was a nice variation of simply riding the trail even though it was only about 2-3 miles to get to our lunch stop and re-enter the trail. An added attraction was that we did not have to backtrack to the trail but could continue on the new part to reconnect at a different point of the trail. This in essence made more of a "loop" than an out and back ride. We of course would retrace much of the trail, but the loop was nice. I am leading the senior center bike group on this trail at the end of October, and wanted to retrace the new route to ensure I knew where to go. Good thing too, as I took a couple of incorrect turns! Found my way though, and now I feel confident to lead.The trail is named Sammamish River Trail and glides next to the, well, Sammamish River. It seems more a slough than a river, but offers a nice backdrop to ride along. Canada Geese seem to have found a cooling off spot in the 85 degree day!

As I rode along that new trail in town, I came to this sculpture -- if that is what it is called -- and have no idea what it is made of or meant to be. I walked all the way around it to see if I could find a plaque or sign explaining it, but there was nothing there.

The parts looked almost like hinges, but not quite. This is a rail trail, so I am wondering if it has something to do with rail or train parts. I don't know.

(My friend John, an avid railroad fan writes this to me: Hi Nancy –Those items on the railtrail are tie plates. They would go under the rail and above the wooden tie, and the four holes are for spikes to attach the rail to the tie. It makes sense to spread the many tons of weight over slightly more area than would be the case if the rail sat directly on the tie. - John)

I knew John would know what these are, and thank him for letting us know ;'-).

Here is a view of the trail as I am heading back after my tea stop (photos will be in the next email). It was a gorgeous, clear, sunny day. We have had a lot of these days this summer and early fall and try to drink up every ounce of them to last us through the rain season!

Midway in the ride I had my tea and crumpet stop. Here is my "poor man's" lock. I did not have a lock with me, and would be within eye distance of my bike so I used the helmet trick. I only use it in a secure place and mostly when I can see it. If someone wanted to ride off with my bike, I would not be able to catch them by running out of the shop. This way they would be stopped, or at least slowed down and I would see them before they could take off. Helmet strap is wrapped through spokes and front fork, as well as my front rack since it is there.

Peet's is one of many favored coffee places around and their tea is pretty good too. I had my tea and bagel with cream cheese as my lunch, and bought a biscotti for later! Gotta have my "crumpet".


It was a fine day of riding and I found I really enjoyed doing it on my own. I did the pace I wanted to do (slow) with no need to feel I had to "keep up" with faster riders, I could take as long as I wanted at my tea stop, and I could stop and take photos anytime. I may have done the ride on my own, but I was not alone, as I had you, my cyber bike riding friends, all right there with me.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mini Day #6 Sidney to Home

Our final day for this Fall, 2014 Terrific Trio Mini Bike Tour.

A couple of Maps to orient readers a bit.

This is the island of Vancouver BC
The lower right hand corner of the above map

In the second map you can see Port Angeles (and Sequim actually) at the bottom -- not attached to the island. Pt. Angeles WA is where we caught the ferry to Victoria BC. To the left of Victoria is Sooke, and above Victoria is Sidney where we will catch the ferry to Anacortes WA.

A lazy morning as our ferry does not depart until noon. We each did our "own thing" in our own time -- uber early motel provided breakfast for me, morning shower and coffee/breakfast for Gerry, later morning walk to find espresso for Vickie.

We had a pool side room, but for this one and only time I would have used it, I am not sorry that I didn't pack a swim suit.

Door to our room is open.


Aboard the ferry waiting for departure I see a couple of kayakers in what looks like a bit rough water.

A full 2-3 mile bike ride today as we make our way to the ferry with a coffee stop along the way. The two hour ferry crossing gave us some nap time if we desired, and at the least a relaxing "cruise". Last leg was the drive down Whidbey and we were at..

The End (the elusive bike glove)


Monday, September 8, 2014

Mini Day #5 Sooke to Sidney BC

Sunday September 7, 2014

Yesterday -- I neglected to post my opportunity to be a "road angel". Riding along the trail I spotted three cyclists looking down at one bike, the one with the panniers on the ground next to it. I stopped to see if they were ok -- they were not quite. Mom and her pre-teen daughter and young teen son were finishing up their first ever tour, and son had a mechanical issue. A bolt on his rear rack had fallen out and he would be unable to carry his panniers any further. They (mom) did not appear to have one tool with her as she asked if I had a hex wrench (that would not help without a replacement bolt). They were at least 20 miles from home in Victoria. I rummaged around in my tool bag to come up with my little bag of screws and bolts and lo, I found one to fit his rack. With my trusty hex wrench I was able to fix them up and they were, after many thank yous, on their way. Feels good to be a road angel.


On to today. This was the first day we started out wearing jackets against a bit of a chilly morning. At breakfast, we had watched some misty, and then thick, fog roll in off the lake. That fog brought some chill with it. Within an hour of cycling we had lost a few feet of elevation and, with the sun, the temp had risen enough for us to then strip those jackets for the day.

We had very few hills -- unless you count those two treacherous ones we walked up (and down)...

Walk down one
Walk up the other side


Keep walking


To the top

By photo, these "dips" do not look nearly as bad as they are. Once past these dips, we cruised fairly easily for the remainder of the day. We stopped at "our lake" -- which by the way is Glen Lake -- for lunch again today. Intriguing was the swimming raft that a couple had attached a small motor to for cruising the lake.

Just like being on your deck at home


Better view of Glen Lake. Our rocks served for lunch setting once more.


Along the way I spotted one I had missed yesterday...

Once near Victoria, we took the trail to Sidney, actually bypassing the city. Now on Lochside Trail

Part trail and part bikeway on surface streets

It has been many years since I have biked this trail -- enough so that I remembered none of it. I do think it has changed some, and there is more actual trail than there was back in the day! When leaving the trail and following along on streets and roads, it is very well marked all the way.

Board walk bridge across a bog
Gerry and Vickie have a chat with Farmer Roy
Nice view from the bridge

The feel of fall was there as we passed farmland and animals. I realized that summer is my very favorite season, and fall is a very close second. I love the colors and the crisping feel of the air requiring still, only light outerwear.

By the time we were within ten miles of our destination, we (mainly I, it turns out) were in need of a tea and crumpet stop. We spotted the only one along this way and were not even sure there would be any as the sign indicated it was a Market. All those other bikes parked around every corner led us to believe it was more than a market, and we were correct. There was "Adrienne's Tea Shop" which was much more than that. All day we have seen many more cyclists than yesterday, but this place was the motherlode. It seems the place for families to bring their young cyclists for an ice cream stop, as well as to get their own espresso. Rather refreshing as well to see folks riding bikes for fun and not as in a race or mimicking racers (we saw lots adn lots of those too). Many dressed in normal clothing (no tight skinned shorts, racing shirts or special shoes), and all smiling and having a grand time.

Back on the road we had a few of those signs of fall...

Pumpkin fields add such color to the day

I wondered if this next "farm" was where they grow "caution, keep out" signs..

Maybe this was to keep out birds of prey from the ranging chickens? Seems a better explanation.

I take pictures of cows and sheep and horses and alpaca, but seldom do I see a pig...

Being the pig that she is, she nuzzled this chicken out of the way and started to graze her area
Big girl. Could use a bath says Vickie

And then we were entering Sidney...

Way over there is a slight view of Mount Baker


The ferry that will be coming in to fetch us tomorrow

This would be our final cycling day, and at dinner we did some dreaming about next year and perhaps a longer trip -- mayby two weeks? It is hard to end a nice trip like this, but I am ready for home, and I think my cycling buddies are as well.

Tomorrow we will be on the ferry heading to Anacortes and home.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mini Day 4 Victoria to Sooke, BC

Saturday September 6, 2014

I must have been quite the spectacle this morning out on the patio up against the wall cleaning my bike and lubing my chain (Kristi, I cleaned and lubed my chain). A gentleman approached and asked if I did as good a job at tuning up the machine (me) and I responded that that is the hardest part. Afterwards I was sitting down putting on sunscreen when I looked up and noticed a woman having breakfast with (apparently) her husband, looking out the window at me. She gave me a thumbs up and motioned on her face about the sunscreen. I'm not sure if she was telling me that I was smart to apply it, or that I needed to work the cream into my face better. I worked it into my face better. Then as the three of us were leaving, I looked in at her and she waved, gave a huge smile and a two thumbs up. A neat morning and great way to start out the day.

We rode (of course) downhill to a convenience store to get food supplies as we know there will be no opportunity on the trail. Then we rode (of course) up that hill to get to the trail.

The beginning of today's adventure
The Galloping Goose and the Lochside trails

I am hoping you can enlarge the photo of the map above. The red is The Goose; the blue is Lochside. These trails are former railway lines. The Goose (as the locals affectionately call it) was named for the gas-powered passenger car that carried passengers between Victoria and Sooke during the 1920's. Beginning in 1917, The Lochside ran a daily 74 passenger General Electric gas car that transported passengers and freight between Victoria and Swartz Bay.

You will see Victoria at the right bottom of the red path. That is where we started today. Sooke is over on the far left side near the bottom. That is our destination. We will ride back on The Goose and continue on Lochside tomorrow. We will get to Sidney -- the very top of the map, and a bit hard to see -- after about a 45+ mile day. Phew.


There are several Rest Stops along the paved part of the trail that have interesting art sculptures


A caboose sculpture



An interesting Bike Repair shop along the trail. We did not need this (yet)

After about eight or so miles of paved trail it becomes unpaved but very hard packed gravel.

Not too bad of a transition which stayed nice for riding.

This transition spot was a little tricky. The trail was right in front of us but the sign pointed to the sharp left. The sign looked official and we went back and forth about what to do. The guy we asked was very friendly and assured us we continue straight ahead on the trail. He has lived right here for 50 years and he knows that is the Goose. We took his advice and within about a quarter of a mile we could see the continuation of the trail across the very busy highway-like road. We were directed to the left (again) to the crossing at the traffic light -- where we would have gotten to had we taken the first left turn sign. Oh well, the guy has lived here for 50 years but must not ride a bike. We got where we wanted to be.

Just at the time that lunch time was calling we came upon a perfect spot.

This is either Lynne Lake or Glen Lake (I must check the map)

The woman who came down and hopped in for a swim before having to go to work told us the name of the lake but I am not clear about which name she said. Her swim looked tempting and if it had been hotter or later in the day when we felt closer to our destination, we may have jumped in ourselves.

Parked our bikes at the top of the stairs


Sat on the rocks and had our lunch with a view

After lunch we continued on the tree covered trail and through miles of tree tunnels. A beautiful forest surrounded us.

Tunnel of Trees
Nearing Sooke

There were two places on the trail that involved a very very steep, more gravelly, downhill to meet up directly with a very very steep, somewhat rutted, uphill at bottom. These were "hairy" places to bike, as I witnessed when I did not dismount early enough for the down part!! I got to the bottom safely, but am not sure how! Pushing up a semi-loaded bike on the other side was WORK!

Then we got to the highway that would take us through Sooke and to our hotel. The hills and traffic were not fun. What a way to end a day. Gerry had the eagle eye to spot the sign that read "Seriously Coffee". Our bikes veered off the road and to this fine little cafe where we could fortify ourselves for the remaining mile!

Once fortified and assured that our hotel was about a ten minute bike ride away, we were pumped! Off we went. For about 100 yards. Then ...

This happened.

An inch long screw had embedded itself into the tire and out the side wall!! Here is where we could have used that cute little bike repair shop. Looking at the holes that this screw had imposed, a new tire seemed to be needed. I went into the nearby bakery and got directions to a bike shop that was a 5 minute walk behind us. Vickie walked up there with her wheel and bought a new tire and tube and had them do the work of installing it. Returned to the scene and mounted the wheel and we were again on our way.

Our digs for the night are more plush than I am accustomed to (more expensive anyway) and the deep, smooth sided, tub with comfortable curved back rest was a perfect way for me to ease my used and abused muscles.

Tomorrow to Sidney.