Monday, July 31, 2006

Nice Ride - Pictures and a very brief report

On Sunday we had mixed weather for the "Nice Ride for Dave Nice." You can read a bit about the ride and see pictures here:

Keep 'em rolling,


Monday, July 24, 2006

Nice Ride Info

The picture above is from last year's ride on this route. Doesn't it look pretty? Doesn't it look like the riders are having a good time? I think everybody did have a good time on a good route, so we're doing this ride again. Here are the details.

What? The Nice Ride for Dave Nice. Dave is a pal of mine who was racing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race this year when he got his bike and stuff ripped off while he was taking a nap. Yeah, major bummer. Dave learned a valuable lesson -- check out this post on his blog:

So what is this ride? It's a ride mostly on gravel rail-trails and gravel roads from North Bend to Snoqualmie Pass and back. It's a bit over 60 miles (just under 100 kilometers) and it's just a fun ride, not a race or anything. The route is rideable on a roadbike with fat tires, a cyclocross bike, a hybrid or a mountain bike. You probably don't want to do this on 23mm skinny roadie tires, however.

There is a couple of mile long dark and spooky tunnel up at the pass. You'll need lights for the trip through the tunnel. It's cold in the tunnel as well, so you might want to bring along an extra layer.

Why? Even though various of Dave's pals scraped together cash for a replacement bike, he still has to replace his gear and finance his race for next year. Dave's a good guy who had some bad luck and I came up with this scheme to help him out. We're doing this ride and we're collecting donations. This ride is FREE but anything you want to donate will be sent to Dave.

When? Sunday July 30th, 9:00 AM.

Where? We're meeting at parking area at the corner of North Bend Way & East McClellan Street in North Bend. I'll be riding up from my place in Issaquah. If you want to get up early and have a longer ride, drop me a note and we'll work something out.

What about food? I don't know how many people are showing up for this and I have no idea what kind of food people want or how much to bring. So let's do this. Bring what you'd like to eat and some food to share. It'll be kind of a potluck. We'll picnic up at Hyak.

Do you have a route sheet? Yep. I'll have copies of the cue sheet that I'll hand out at the start, but you can preview it and/or print your own copies of the route sheet here:

I also used Bikely to map out the route and you can check that out here:

OK, I think I've got the basics covered. If anybody has any questions or comments, email me or use the comment feature of the blog.

Keep 'em rolling.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Coffee Mug For Your Bike

I'm really not much of a coffee snob. I drink expensive foofoo coffee and cheap coffee and coffee that's too hot and too cold and bitter coffee and coffee with loads of cream and sugar. Most mornings at home I drink cheap instant coffee and I've really grown fond of it. I'm also fond of good coffee served by cute baristas at places like Zeitgeist in Seattle.

I don't really like throwing away paper coffee cups and for quite some time I've been looking for a coffee mug that would work well and that would fit in one of the waterbottle cages on my bike. My pal Tarik reviewed Trek's Soho Coffee Mug here:

and the definitive Bike & Coffee site is here:

A few weeks ago, while roaming through various stores in a quest for just the right garbage cans to use to make a set of panniers, I found an OXO Good Grips LiquiSeal Travel Mug at Linens-N-Things. Ten bucks and it looked like it had a good seal up top. I vaguely remembered the OXO name being mentioned favorably on the bicycle coffee systems site, so I bought the mug. It turns out Linens-N-Things also has the pricier ($20) stainless mug but the $10 mug I bought has the same seal and works great.

The cover really is spill-proof. It has a clever little push-button up top that opens and closes the seal. When the lid is closed you can flip the mug upside-down and nothing leaks out. The mug slides in and out of the my plastic down-tube mounted bottle cage OK but I worried about the tapering shape of the bottle. The mug never popped out of the cage, but I could envision the bottle working loose. I also got to thinking that the mug could be insulated just a bit better, so I modified the mug slightly.

I wrapped the bottom half of the mug with a layer of old cork handlebar tape. This adds a layer of insulation and makes the mug a bit more of a straight cylinder instead of a slightly tapered cone. I then covered the cork tape and the rest of the body of the mug with a very stylish layer of black duct tape. The modified mug fits perfectly in the bottle cage now, snug enough to stay put but still easy enough to slide in and out when I want to take a drink.

That's it. No solution to global warming or profound insight into the human condition. Just a coffee mug that does a pretty good job and isn't too pricey. And it's made better with duct tape.

Keep 'em rolling,


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bikely: A Bike Route Mapping Tool and Library

Thanks to Todd over at Cleverchimp for the heads up on Bikely. Bikely is a route mapping utility geared towards bicyclists. Anyone can map out a route but the great thing is the routes are stored, shared and searchable. So it's not only a handy tool for mapping your own routes, but as more people use it, the library will become more and more useful. So head on over to Bikely at:

Also, if you are at all interested in cargo bikes and or electric-assist motors for bikes or just plain general bikey stuff, check out Todd's Cleverchimp blog at:

Keep 'em rolling,


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Monday, July 10, 2006

VanIsle Pictures

It'll still be a while until I get the story written, but I've posted some pictures from the VanIsle 1200K here:

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Back from VanIsle

I had a great ride up on Vancouver Island. 1200 kilometers in 83 hours 2 minutes (including some pretty decadent sleep breaks). Lots more pics and details once I get all the photos cropped and sorted and I take some time to get the whole story typed up.

-- Kent

Sunday, July 02, 2006

VanIsle 1200K

I'm on the road again. I'm riding up to Port Angeles where I'll catch a ferry over to Victoria BC. I'll then ride the Vancouver Island 1200K before returning home so I'll be gone for a bit over a week. Christine has made me promise to "not get eaten by bears or other different bad animals." (This was the way my friend Hermine expressed her concerns about cycling in Alaska!). I should have some good stories and pictures when I return.

Keep 'em rolling everybody,


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Ride Announcement: A Nice Ride for Dave Nice

OK Seattle area folks, save the date of Sunday July 30th, 2006. We're going to have a fun ride and raise some money for a good guy.

As many of you know, Dave Nice had to drop out of the 2006 Great Divide Mountain Bike Race when his bike and gear were stolen in Montana. Dave has vowed to come back next year and various of his pals have already raised some bucks to get him a replacement bike and some gear. I was thinking about how I could help and came up with this idea.

Last year a lot of my pals put together a 100 kilometer mostly off-road ride from North Bend up to Snoqualmie Pass and back. It was called the "Not a Nutrional Role Model" Ride and donations went fund my 2005 Great Divide Race. Everybody had a great time and now Dave's misfortune gives us a great excuse to run the ride again. The ride will be basically the same route. There is no fee for the ride but we'll take donations and the money will be sent to Dave.

I'll post more details when I get back from The Van Isle 1200K, but to get a feel for the ride see my report and pictures from last year's ride here:

BTW, if you can't make the ride or want to help Dave right now, Paypal any amount to

Keep 'em rolling,

-- Kent

Great Divide Race Photo Gallery

The good folks at the Adventure Cycling Association have a nice gallery of pictures from the first day of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race here:

They've got terrific shots of each racer's bike and some nice trail shots. You can follow the day to day action on the GDR here: