Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Small Bike in the Big Mountains

Yeah, the picture is blurry. My life tends to be rough on cameras and I killed another one, so the photos in this report were shot with the junky camera in my little Archos Android device. I had a US Bike Routes meeting in Twisp on Wednesday afternoon with some of my pals from the Bike Alliance of Washington and had to be back in Issaquah for my real (paying) job by 10:00 AM Friday. Barb, Louise and Andy were headed to Spokane after the Twisp meeting, so while I'd hitched a ride with them to get to Twisp, my plan for getting back to Issaquah involved pedaling my little Dahon for 214 miles.

This is not a course of action I'd recommend to most people, but I have a background in randonneuring and doing other stupid long rides, so the idea made perfect sense to me. Fueled by baked goods from the Cinnamon Twisp, I rode part way back Wednesday evening. I saw lots of deer in the Methow Valley and at 8:40 PM I pulled into the campground at Early Winters.

After a good night's sleep, I was ready for a very long day of riding. There is really only one hill between Twisp and Issaquah but it's kind of a beast of a climb. Going up, I was mostly thinking this:

Going down, I was mostly thinking this:

I was also thinking that those little wheels spin quite fast on the descent and I worried some about overheating the brakes. I took some more blurry pictures. I ate a bunch of food. I rode against headwinds. I saw lots of bike tourists going the other way. By the time I got to Lake Stevens it was raining pretty hard but that's what raingear is for.

I had a great time. Here's a slideshow with some more blurry pictures:

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


dexey said...

It's been awhile coming this post but I knew it would be worthwhile.
Thanks Kent

ha1ku said...

OK I've been considering long-distance trips and thinking "I need a bike with bigger wheels" and then I read about you and your Dahon doing long trips.


Joe P said...


fatbob29r said...

The lake/river view was amazing, Kent. You must have been at some serious elevation to still be in snowline in the middle of June. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

Micheal Blue said...

Kent, very nice pics; their quality is good enough for the displayed size. What an amazingly beautiful nature, and what a blessing to be able to bike through it. How are the 16"-wheels on such a relatively long journey? Do you get rattled a lot?
Do you find that cracks in the pavement tend to direct your front wheel to a direction you don't want to follow? I take my 20"-wheel Dahon for country rides sometimes, even on dirt roads - they can make the bike jump like a kid.

Kent Peterson said...


The Curve is very well-mannered, even on fairly rough roads because I have fairly wide tires on it, 16*1.95 Maxxis Hookworms. These are a BMX tire that have a very round profile. I like 'em quite a bit. That said, the little wheels do not ride as smooth or hold their speed the way bigger wheels do.

Anonymous said...

Your post a couple years ago led me to the Nokia N800. This winter I replaced it with an Archos 43, so I was amused to see that you are using the smaller A32.

You also inspire me to ride my Dahon Mu P24 with your tales of riding the little Dahon you have!!