Thursday, December 29, 2011

biking down a volcano

Would you believe this is the only pic I snapped while biking down Mt. Haleakala on Maui?

The ride was quite twisty and steep initially and in the flatter portions, it required both hands on the handlebars due to potholes and deteriorated asphalt.

If you plan to go, I have no complaints with the company we used. Haleakala Bike Co. in Haiku.

Good points about this company: they use quality MT bikes, not cruisers. The bikes are Gary Fisher (single speed) bikes with front suspension forks and disc brakes - both good to have on this ride.

Also, this company is a "good at your pace" self-tour down the hill versus a "stay together" ride. Other companies might force you to creep along with the least-skilled rider in the lot.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Another Examiner article on UW bicycling

Here's another article on the University of Washington and bicycling.

Yeah, Huskies!

UW gets "bike friendly" recognition

The University of Washington (my current employer) just received a recognition for its bike-friendly programs and facilities.

The Examiner states: "the University of Washington is a note-worthy partner with the city of Seattle in the effort to increase bicycling as transportation. In addition to promotion and classes, the U has a network of repair stations across campus and provides a variety of secure parking facilities."

The UW recently added a series of Dero Fixit bike repair stands (complete with tools) on campus.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

totally rode in the rain today

Saw a raccoon that was the epitome of the term "face plant". Poor guy.

I rode 25 wet and cold miles one-way to work. Felt good at the end though. (Duh!)

Bike commuting lessons learned:
1) the wool hiking socks were good choice this morning - they got completely soaked but my feet stayed warm

2) good call on double bagging my clothes and cell and wallet in my backpack - the backpack is lousy in rain and terrible waterproofness

3) loving my DiNotte helmet-mounted light - bright and puts the light where I am needing it most

4) not paying attention to your speed, miles, data, etc. can make the riding more fun - in other words, you needn't track the data to know you're having a good time

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


For about the past ten years, the University of Washington, where I am currently working on an interim basis through February, has a November commute contest for bicyclists.

Ride in the Rain!

Participants track the number of one-way bike trips they make between school or work on campus and their home, making special note of when it is raining. Participants report their ride statistics on a weekly basis during the scheduled reporting periods, using a tracking form for a given week that is only available during the scheduled Reporting Window for that week.

The contest advises cyclists to be smart and ride smart and safe: "Experienced riders know that weather conditions throughout the year can pose unique challenges. The Ride in the Rain challenge connects bicycle riders with the resources, information and training they need to ride safely all year round."

Monday, October 3, 2011

trail riding

I have a lot of friends who like to go to this trail, Duthie Hill, but I wondered why places like Cougar Mountain do not allow bicycles.

I could not find a quick link about this on the King County website (but I only looked for a few minutes). I just wanted to know what the policy was regarding this. I can see both sides of the issue - bikes in parks and bikes not allowed in parks. I just wanted to know what the county criteria was.

Help your park system out! Volunteer!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm still around

Great things have happened for me career-wise, despite a layoff in March of 2011. I am earning much less than I was in a prior position but the good news is I have a killer-long bike commute (24-25 miles one-way) and I am working within a very bike-positive community and workplace.

I'll reveal more eventually, but just wanted to let folks know I am doing OK and intend to blog more.

The past year has been a very up and down year for me on a personal note and career-wise. Cycling has consistently, along with other aspects I may choose to reveal at some point, the better part of my transitional period.

I am down to four bicycles now - two nice road bikes (carbon Roubaix and an aluminum Cannondale) and two steel less-nice bikes (27" wheeled road bike and a department store MT bike). If I had space to do so, I'd set up another home workshop and maybe build a few more project bikes, but I've been busy in the job search lately, so maybe that is a winter project for me.

More soon... which might be late 2011, but who knows?

~ NJ

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


What do you do out of "cycling season" (some of us go all-year) to stay in shape? I never downhill skied before (I x-country skied one time last year) and I went to Mount Baker last weekend to try it out.

The drive up to the mountains

The ski area

Another view of the ski area

Ready to ski (?)

Heading down the (beginner) slopes

Overall, I'd try it again. I was sore as I'd expected, but I think cycling has improved my overall conditioning in general so I wasn't as sore as I could have been if I'd not been cycling.

What do you do out of the saddle for fitness? I'd also recently caught on to racketball. More on that another time.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Notice anything about this derailleur on my old Raleigh rain bike? Why might the chain be skipping..?

Hint: look at one of the pulleys, specifically the lower one. (A good diagram of derailleurs can be found here).

Can't find it? Neither could I. Lost it on a ride recently! Had to avoid inclines and muddy, soft surface areas so I could maintain peddling. Did that for 5 miles!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Ever check out BING MAPS?

There was a Tour De France app added last year for the 2010 Tour. I just discovered it. Hoping it gets updated for 2011.

Some screen shots...

The main view...

A sample aerial shot - happens to be the finish line

I think when the tour is active BING goes link crazy and send you related cycling hyperlinks to click to your heart's desire.

oops CBC

Earlier this week, Cascade Bicycle Club tried a new online registration system for their rides.

They probably planned it out well, I know they made announcements well in advance about trying out a new online system and also had people do test runs (I participated in that effort) to "beta test" the new system.

But still problems happened. The Executive Director, Chuck Ayers, posted this statement about the situation.

Of course, the past few months have been tough for CBC, which has been hammered by ill will after the CBC Board fired Mr. Ayers, who has many supporters amongst the ranks.

I'm not leaping into the politics of it all, but I hope they got the kinks out of the registration process so I can sign up for some rides this year.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

keep your bike yours

Thanks to Kent for posting about this topic, locking one's bicycle.

Keep that new bike from Christmas yours as we venture deeper into 2011.

I've known one person who in 2010 lost their bicycle due to theft.

We hate you, bike thief!