Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ride to Roslyn

Weekends are the busy time at the bike shop, so I take Mondays and Tuesdays off as my virtual weekend. I figured out years ago that I like riding my bike, so I've managed to set my life up in such a way that I get about 38 commuting miles in each normal workday. While this gives me a decent base of miles, practicing for the Tour Divide is something that requires some longer days in the saddle. For example, in setting his amazing 19 day single speed record this year, Chris Plesko averaged close to 150 miles per day. Every day. For 19 days. No matter what the weather. Through mud and rain and heat and flooded roads. You don't get ready for something like that by just riding back and forth to work on suburban streets.

I've been dialing in the Monocog Flight, riding it on my commute, tweaking the luggage and packing in some morning rides on Grand Ridge and Tiger Mountain. Monday I stayed close to home, squeezing in 20 miles on local trails while Christine was at work, but Tuesday I took the bike out for a something a bit closer to Divide Conditions. The weather was too nice and the air was too thick, but the Cascades are the best approximation I have for the Rockies. And they are in my backyard.

I was out the door at 5:00 AM and back home by 10:00 PM. My trail took me up and over Snoqualmie Pass to the little town of Roslyn and then back home. Roslyn has a great network of trails north of town and yes, it is a dead ringer for Cicily, AK. Even though this was just a day trip, I rode with my Divide gear, including my sleeping bag and bivy. I ate Divide-style, pouring food in at mini-marts and cafes. For the record, the ice cream cones at Cafe Cicily are even better than the cheeseburgers at Snoqualmie Summit. The trail dust clung to my sun-blocked skin and on my return home Christine commented, "you're like a kid: you're dirty so you must be happy!"

174 miles under ideal conditions doesn't begin to approximate Divide riding, but it's a start.

Keep 'em rolling,



Yeti said...

Nice! Glad to see you are getting some decent rides in. I am still trying to nail down a rig but for now my Stumpjumper will do. Can you post up your packing list for TD?

Good training man!


Kent Peterson said...

Yeti, I'm still dialing in the packing list. Updates eventually.

Andrew Davidson said...

What I want to know, intrepid rider, is how you manage to take all those nice photos in addition to riding all those miles?

Whenever I am riding long distances, I always see lots of things I want to capture (I used to say) on film, but never feel like I also want to break the riding momentum to stop and take the pictures.

I tried mounting a camera on my handlebars and even on my helmet but the results were disappointing.

Do you have a secret?


Linda said...

Kent, I really, really enjoy your blog and photos. I live on the east coast but someday I hope to visit the northwest. So for now I bike vicariously through blogs of those that live and bike there. Thanks for sharing so much of your adventures.

Kent Peterson said...


I have a little camera holster on the shoulder strap of my hydration pack or my belt loop. I can get the camera in and out pretty quickly. Also, I've gotten pretty good at taking pictures on the fly, so I don't even stop to take some shots.

fatbob29r said...


Once again, thanks so much for sharing. One of my favorite shows in the 90's was Northern Exposure. Neat to see where the show was actually filmed. Thanks for the flashback Kent.

Andrew Davidson said...

Clearly then I need a better camera (or more probably, more practice), since my grab shots are always less than satisfactory.

Michael R pdx said...

One tough thing to work into your practice rides is heat. Are you just OK with hot in general or do you have a plot to practice that aspect of the GDR?

NobbyNick said...

Very cool Kent. I'm very excited to follow your training and race next year. I have the same bike, just a year earlier and I love it! Thanks for sharing! Cheers. Nick

Lee said...

So, did you ride through the tunnels?

Great photos!

Kent Peterson said...

You have to ride around the big tunnel at the top of Snoqualmie Pass -- it's sealed up. The one between the pass and Easton just has no-trespassing signs, but there were a bunch of official-looking folks with big earth-moving equipment. There is a very rugged bulldozer track that switchbacks around the tunnel on the north side of the trail.

Dr Codfish said...

Day two of the ride to Roslyn could be up Hywy 903 toward Salmon la Sac,then east over the ridge and dropping into the west fork of the Teanaway. Then down to the river to hwy 970 and by back roads to Cle Elum and then, well, you know ... I lived in Roslyn for 12 years, lots of great riding in the area, but I'm sure you know that.

Sounds like fun!

Kent Peterson said...

Dr. C,

That was actually what I was thinking of doing when I shake some more time loose.

Kent Peterson said...


The heat was one of the reasons I headed over to the dry, hot side of the mountains. Things cooled down to 88 degrees by 8:00 PM when I was back in North Bend.

Jill Homer said...

Wait a minute ... you're training for the Tour Divide? Wicked! Way to get an early start. I didn't even decide I was definitely going to ride this year's race until June 11. ;-)

Anyway, great to see you're having fun with it. And with 174-mile days, seems like you have a pretty tough record in mind. Good luck!

Bob said...

I got a laugh out of Jill's comment above. So far as I can tell from her blog she never trains - she just rides up and down every mountain, road, trail, or frozen river she finds interesting.

I'll never forget looking at the Tour Divide leaderboard the day before the race started; there were a few Spots down the trail (people scouting out conditions), lots of Spots in Banff (people chilling out and preparing) and Jill's Spot at the peak of a mountain overlooking Banff.

I guess if you ride a lot all the time you don't really need to train ;-)


brad said...

Delightful ride report. We definitely need to help you find tougher friends. Not that we want to disavow ourselves of your fine exploits mind you, and not that we want you to stop inviting us on these very fine rides, for for one am mighty charmed whenever I receive an email from you that starts "so I have this idea....", but dang, more people should have the luxury and good fortune to ride with you.

Slob boy said...

Kent are you wearing that helmet
bonnet style?
We depend on those frontal lobes of yours for your great writing.

Dan O said...

Cool ride, great post and pictures.

Good luck on the continued training.