Author Archive | jim

Mt Tam Ascent

California Dreaming

by / / 32 posts

I’m in California this week on a family trip, from which I stole a morning and did the classic ride up and around the Marin County’s Mt. Tamalpais. The climb started in the dark forest, eventually opening into the sun-drenched hills that buffer the Pacific Ocean. The metaphor was clear: I was climbing out of…

Summit of Mont Ventoux in October 2013.  Note rime ice on rocks.

Le Mont Ventoux: The Windy Mountain

by / / 42 posts

Legends are central to any culture, ours perhaps more than most. The Ventoux is a French legend, rising 1912m above the rolling hills of Provence. The road is thick with the paint of Tours past and the names of giants. The grade is 7%, on average, though 10, 11, and 12% are routine throughout the…

photo 1

Irreverence: Shift Indicators

by / / 154 posts

This is possibly the most offensive piece of gear I have encountered on a bike. Do you really need a little orange wand to tell you what gear you’re in? There is only one gear to be in: the hardest one at which you can still make the pedals go around in something resembling a…


Come the Rain

by / / 45 posts

The northwest has just experienced a spell of dry weather over two months long. It’s been enough to make a man sick. That’s all over now, thank Merckx. Commuting home today, I was caught off guard. No jacket, no gloves– nothing. A few drops hit, heavy and plump like ripe fruit. Then the drops became…

Screen Shot 2012-09-10 at 11.39.27 AM

Old Blewett Pass

by / / 28 posts

Last week, I rode through a bit of history and came out thinking of the future. I rode over Old Blewett Pass, which used to connect the Washington towns of Leavenworth and Cle Elum.  Old Blewett Pass was decommissioned in the 1950s and a new road (US 97) was built through Swauk Pass — now…


The Team Car

by / / 32 posts

With the Tour underway there are many things to envy. One that always gets me is the team cars. This, to me, is the ultimate luxury (coupled with the relentless suffering, but hey, these guys are paid for this). No need to stuff your jersey with eight kilos of food and spares. A new wheel…



by / / 91 posts

Yesterday, Seattle was dark for 15 hours 34 minutes and 37 seconds. Let us not count how much it was light– it is of no use to us. I rode to work in the black, and in the black I rode home. The darkness is good to me. It shields my filthy chain from those…

Team Garmin Felt F1

A New Decade

by / / 57 posts

A new decade is here. Not the one that started Jan 1st, but the one marked by my new bike. By habit, this bike will occupy the #1 spot for 10 years, give or take, until another bike happens. That’s the way of bikes– the best ones simply happen. I don’t go shopping, or even…

racing at the Marymoor velodrome

Friday Night Lights

by / / 66 posts

Took my 2-yr-old son to the last of the Marymoor Velodrome summer series races tonight. He rode his tricycle up to watch from the top of high-bank turn and sat there, transfixed. It was a perfect late summer evening– dry and warm, with a lingering sunset. The Cat 1&2 races were fast and precise, and…


From A to B: A Commuter’s Manifesto

by / / 74 posts

With the spring racing season upon us, there is a lot of talk about the pros– what it means to be pro, how to look pro, and so on.  There are two things that distinguish the professional cyclist.  The first is talent, which is a mysterious thing and best left for another discussion.  The second…

Since I was unable to get my iphone out of my bag fast enough, here is a stock image from

La Vie Northwest: socks, sandals, and snow

by / / 23 posts

It’s snowing today in Seattle, which a full 78% of the population is not able to deal with, even though it happens every year. I rode in, as always (I commute, therefore I am) and on my way I passed a fellow cyclist in sandals and wool socks.  At least they were spd sandals.  Merckx…


Dear Thule: GFY.

by / / 10 posts

Spoiler alert– this post has nothing to do with professional cycling or racing. This post is about trying in vain to get existing bike trays to fit on a new car. Given that we put a man on the moon and all, this seems only modestly ambitious. WRONG, says Thule. It can’t be done! At…


TT Toledo

by / / 5 posts

Coming to you live from stage 20 of the Vuelta, and reporting whilst still marginally sober. Racers are coming in fast on the 30+ min time trial, with several overlapping at the finish. We’re parked at a beer garden along the last little stretch, having run the last 10 km of the course earlier this…


Rock Hoppin’

by / / 2 posts

In keeping with the retro thread from Frank and his MB-Zip, here is the bike I spent my weekend on: For those of you squinting, it’s a Specialized Rock Hopper, circa 1988.  This museum piece is my ride of choice when visiting my in-laws in Boise, ID.  It’s perfect for the miles and miles of…


Why we watch

by / / 3 posts

The tour has been over for a week now, not that I really noticed.  And that should have been a capital ‘T’ in “tour”, right?  Mea culpa.  And a yawn. Don’t get me wrong –I have nothing against the tour.  I even think the route was fine (they rode their butts off around France, what more…


Round and round

by / / 0 posts

I just rode around Lake Washington on my single speed. “So what, you pussy?” I imagine you are saying. Fair enough. But what if your brother-in-law is keeping the pace at a brisk 24 mph on your 9-spd Cannondale, hills and all? My knees are numb and my quads feel like jello. I will never…


Stuff it

by / / 0 posts

I spent Memorial Day weekend in Boise, and on the actual holiday I headed out for a big ride with my brother-in-law. We started at 2800″² elevation, and ended up at the local ski area, Bogus Basin- where the parking lot is a mean 6200″². It was a great ride, until the skies opened up…



by / / 2 posts

This morning was one hell of a shiny one in Seattle. It snowed/sleeted/rained/somethinged last night, and every surface was a sheet of ice. Undeterred, I rode the trusty steed in to work with my brethren (yes, many other cyclists were out and about). A few near misses ensued, but then I had my moment at…

Skip to toolbar