Category: Cycling

San Juan S24O

Westside Preserve

Out of the saddle, grinding the pedals slowly…my bike inched up the impossibly steep wall of road in front of me. Common knowledge says the San Juan Islands are hilly, but this was insane. As I crested the hill, my husband was about 50 feet ahead of me. “Nick!” I wheezed. “I think [gasp] we may be going the [gasp] wrong way!”

The cycle map of San Juan Island that we brought didn’t have much detail for how to get out of Friday Harbor, so we pulled out the phone to check the Oracle of Google. Sure enough. Wrong way. Thankfully, what goes up, must come down, so we sped back into town to look for the correct road that would take us to our night’s camping destination.

Air time

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You could hear it in the woods that afternoon. Around the corner, obscured by the forest.

“Whaa-hoo!”

(A scream of joy? Or terror?)

July = breakfast with bike racing

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It’s safe to say, you’ll find us (people + cats) glued to the computer screen every morning for the next three weeks, watching some of the most elite athletes in the world “dancing on the pedals” around the French countryside.

Life lessons from the seat of a mountain bike

P1010985Nick and I spent 4 days in the Methow last weekend exploring the trails on two wheels with our friends Dale, Ed and Jennifer. I’m not a natural mountain biker by any means. It’s a sport I have to work at … *really* work at … to avoid being a total klutz. Even after all that effort, I still have loads of room for improvement.

Some of the best life lessons come from doing the hard stuff, though. Here are some of the things mountain biking is teaching me:

17. Ups are followed by downs.

16. Sometimes the best way past an obstacle is straight through it.

15. Boldness pays.

14. The hardest parts are also the loneliest.

P101097913. There’s fresh horse poop on the trail ahead.

12. Balance is first among the virtues; momentum is second.

11. Success requires confidence, but cockiness invites failure.

10. Some people are lucky at some times; nobody gets lucky every time.

9. It’s all about the being and the going, not the having and the arriving.

P10109848. It’s tempting to focus on the immediate problem to the exclusion of the big picture.

7. The thing that nails you is the one you don’t see coming.

6. It’s worth stopping for a breather to see where you are.

P10109765. Thousands of tiny decisions shape the ride.

4. Fun starts when you push your limits.

3. You can get hurt, heal, and try again.

2. Practice makes you better.

1. No quitting allowed.

Cutthroat Pass

Bombing down Cutthroat Pass

They said:

“It’s absolutely my favorite trail.”

“It’s like two rides in one!”

“Go early to avoid the hikers, mostly so you can bomb down the trail with wild abandon and not worry about running into anyone.”

“It’s got a bit of everything – rivers, big alpine bowls, gorgeous views. I think it’s the kind of trail that people from Colorado would love.”

“If you could only ride one trail in the Methow, you should ride this one.”

So we rode it. And it was awesome!