Sunday, May 31, 2009

Long Ride Hangover

This weekend I completed my longest bike ride of the year so far. I traveled the paved Centennial Trail from Stateline (near Post Falls) through Coeur d'Alene to the very end of the trail along the lake, 23 miles out.

On the return trip I turned north up to Hayden Lake, then 24 miles around the lake, and eventually back to the start. 85 miles for the day - more than I expected, but I underestimated the size of Hayden Lake. Although, a coffee stop and pub stop broke up the ride and made it more manageable. The loop around Hayden Lake is beautiful - mostly smooth, little traffic and scenic. And, the Aryan Nation compound along one shore has been gone for ten years - that's nice.

With bright sun, wind and 88 degrees, it was actually warmer than it felt while on the bike. I definitely got tired, but never near-collapse exhausted. During the drive home, however, and then afterwards for several hours, I felt like death - nausea, bad headache, etc. This sometimes happens to me after rides longer than a couple hours. I need to figure it out. Usually I hydrate well, and get a mix of electrolytes, but my body does not like the extended exertion. This time I was probably a little dehydrated, but that's better than the time I overhydrated during and after the super-hilly De Ronde van Oeste Portlandia Ride, and ended up in the emergency room with low sodium.

Libby tells me that I am simply old...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

First Garden Success

In March I spent ten exhausting hours double digging a small 64 square foot plot in the backyard, loosening the soil over a foot deep, removing hundreds of pounds of rocks (probably 300 or 400 pounds), and mixing in layers of compost. The effort was much more involved and ass-kicking than I expected, but now vegetables are bursting forth like I have been watering with Stumptown coffee. French-pressed.

Romaine lettuce is in the foreground above, with Red Leaf behind that.

Below is spinach in varying stages of growth, with pole beans shooting up in the background.

The sides and back of the slightly raised bed garden are constructed of 8" x 1" untreated cedar planks, and the front is 4" x 4" cedar. All is held in place with 18" wooden stakes pounded into the ground. A higher raised bed would be preferred, but the material necessary was too expensive given we are only temporarily renting. And finally, a wire fence, to keep the Mika out of trouble.

Along with lettuce, spinach and beans, there is kale, radishes and beets. Most of which typically do okay in partial shade, given most of the garden only gets about five hours of sun daily. We will see if the beans can produce in such conditions.

Monday, May 11, 2009

SPD (Stolen Picture of the Day)

Kids, always use protection. Safety first! And if something fails, it's good to have a backup plan...

Friday, May 1, 2009


Thank god it has finally warmed up. Several days in the 70's so far! Maybe it won't even snow again this "winter" - although last year it supposedly snowed in June. The fact the snow did not stick provides minimal comfort.

We were here for Spokane's latest all-time record snowfall of 97 inches. The previous record was 93 inches. I guess that is exciting, but it would have been better if the City had been able to plow out the snow berms after the first storm, rather than most streets being restricted to half-width for three months. An issue I probably noticed more bike commuting.

To enjoy the warm weather we escaped town for an easy three-mile hike on Mineral Ridge, an hour east of Spokane on the northern edge of Lake Coeur d'Alene. The trail climbs 800 feet and then travels along a spine-like ridge with excellent views of the lake on either side. This is one of the best hikes within an hour or two of Spokane.