Monday, December 28, 2009

Big Man, Little Bike

T. isn't so taken by the idea of pedaling right now since he only got the bike on x-mas, but I thought I would give it a try.

A. shows some interest in the matter and I'm lucky that I didn't hit her.

Is there a zoobomb in Seattle?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Sublime And The Ridiculous

Hard to tell which is which, but I'll let the photo below speak better.
They've really fixed the old bird up since I last biked through Chehalis. Last time, someone had poked a big hole and tried to empty out all of the pinata treats stored inside. This time, the dear Yardbird sports a fresh coat of paint and a charming sidekick in my red Surly.
To keep this thread going, you are currently witnessing the best view of Mt. Rainier from Dupont WA (exit 121, I-5). Sprawl defines us.
Next, Tenino WA when you pop out at the end of the Yelm-Tenino Trail and ride up to the main drag to find your way to points south, you are met by a very charming commercial building wherein the new tenants have no desire to show you their wares. Wouldn't it be better if everyone just left their curtains down and went about their business?
A statue commemorating WW1 soldiers that has since told the real story of the only labor riot in WA in which anyone lost a life. Some middle schooler sleuthed it out for us all.
The new movement in tree decoration, celebrate not the branches and growth but the stump. Strict constructionist arborists?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Son Doesn't Read This Blog

And how could he? He doesn't turn three until April, but boy can he ride that bike on the right. He flies over and into stuff, can balance for whole city blocks (much to his mother's consternation) and looks just plain cute as heck. The new one, that super shiny bike on the left, well, that is T's new bike. I haven't given it to him yet.
So when he started telling me that he wants a bike "with pedals, like daddy" and "red, like daddy's" well who am I to deny him? By golly, as a bicycle addicted wonk and doting father, I went out and bought him the nicest bike I could find, indeed, I bought the only children's bike to be reviewed by Jan Heine in Bicycle Quarterly.

The Specialized Hot Rock 12. Oh baby, 12 inch by 2.125 tires, fully adjustable stem and handlebars, aluminum frame, coaster brake for gnarly skids; it's the bike I would have wanted, period. I don't know how I'm going to wait until Christmas to spring it on him because my heart pumps just looking at it, just thinking about all the crazy fun this little dude is going to have. Or should I just give it to him today?

Living vicariously through my children in Seattle, Washington; Brad Hawkins signing out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yesterday's Commute

Sure, it's sunny today, but I have officially given up on wearing street clothes while riding for the month of November. I've gotten soaked more times than I care to mention since the front came in on Thursday and I am now converting to wool knickers, wool jersey, rain jacket, two sets of wool gloves, and a long brim hat. I now carry my clothing in my panniers which has really increased my commute time and necessarily my average speed because of the time spent changing into and out of the Seattle biker uniform, but I have had it with being wet and cold all day.

Never the less, I still got caught in it yesterday and even though I had a change of clothing, I never really warmed up.

I had a big schedule yesterday, teaching during the day, one lesson up on Capitol Hill at 6, and then a rehearsal in Lake City after that. Here is the route. Sure, 37 miles in urban Seattle, is a little hard, but then I was also pulling the cello, my now necessary change of clothing, sheet music, books, and perhaps 2 gallons of rainwater in the back of the trailer.

And to make matters worse, at mile 25, a spring in the rear cantilever broke, causing the rear to act as a drag brake from the end of the Burke Gilman, up to Lake City, then back to downtown. I have a replacement so that's all good but for a while last night going home (the only dry part of my riding (after midnight)), I thought I was really getting weak. I just thought it was roadway crud until I got home and inspected.

Stay safe out there and keep your bikes in good shape.

Monday, November 2, 2009

How Impossible a Journey Can Be

People seem to think that riding a bike to go places is a real imposition. I know because people think I'm crazy and I only commute 10 miles each way up to North Seattle from Downtown 4 days a week, and then out to Beaux Arts in Bellevue which is something like 13 miles each way, one day a week. Sure, I'll drive every once in a while when I need the extra half hour because of Claire's scheduling or for instance tomorrow morning, when I have to be at a rehearsal from 8:30 to 10:30, coach an ensemble at 11, and somehow get my kids across town to the friends house in Magnolia before these activities and then pick them up somehow afterwards. In these cases, a car is pretty slick.

As a side note, I never commute in those fancy duds picture above. I just included it to scare you. No, jeans, wrapped up at the ankle and my often red sweater rounds out my cycling ensemble. The fear of sweat is overrated. Besides, would you make a run to the grocery store by bike if you had to dress up for it? Neither would I.

Now, my buddy Kent has an uber long commute, something on the order of 19 miles each way. He digs it, and really the main treat of a long commute in my book is that you can wear out equipment fast enough that you can keep things interesting. Judging from the amount of perfectly good, lightly used bikes on CL, I would imagine that actual mileages vary considerably, and mostly downward.

In any event, the real point of this post is that I came upon the most hilarious route listing I've ever seen. You see, we bikers are always giving out, finding out, and seeking sage advice on the best routes to and from places. Typical routes are structured this way:

So you take 12th ave through little Saigon and follow over the bridge then up to the left past Pac Med and onto 14th, veer left onto Beacon...... (best directions to Bike Works, for instance) or similar street jargon that we gleen to keep our synapses expanding.

Then there is John Bonner. This guy Really digs British documentaries; he digs them so much that he has made is own commute route into a doccumentary. My favorite part? The bike mount. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Leavenworth to The Space Needle through the Chumstick

"You're gonna take off on a bicycle ride all day and let us drive back, Dad? What a great idea!" says T. Indeed, the Hawkins family went to Leavenworth last weekend in support of Claire's company retreat and A's need to nurse every couple of hours. I took the trip home as an opportunity to cleanse my soul after the veritable smorgasbord present on RSVP last month where I ate too much and was blown away (negatively) by the level of support, but where I never the less indulged beyond my wildest desires.

The route is something like 120 miles since we stayed at Lake Wenatchee State Park, about 18 miles nortwest of Wenatchee but definitely on the way back. Inspired by my buddy Kent's recent ride on FS 65 and 6700, I charted a retrograde course up through and then onto Hwy 2. On the way, I encountered 4 cars, only one of which passed me, the others were going the other direction and even then only close to Hwy 2 so it was a nice 2.5 hours on gravel forest roads with switchbacks before I got onto asphalt and into the big chainring.
Over here, I'm later to find out that I'm only half way up the hill, but the view was marvelous. Here I'm sporting my new shifters that my wife bought me after she trashed hers but didn't want to spend $400 on replacements. She gets a nice pair of 105's and I get to trim my front derailer again so it's a great fit. Incidentally, the bar tape is actually glow in the dark. I'm like that. Just say "no" to black bar tape.
I left at around 6 and after summitting a much higher pass than Hwy 2, then dropped down to the 2 and climbed back up. It was 9 when I got to the top and then I had a very cold drop out of the clouds, down the Old Cascade Hwy segments.....

I need to make a parenthetical remark here about wool jerseys. Not all wool jerseys are created equal and Kucharik jerseys are much LESS equal than others. Mine has long since lost any warming qualities and somehow I seem to pick it out because it fits and it's bright yellow. But seriously, if you get a wool jersey, either get Woolistic or just find something at Goodwill because it will work much better. Kuchariks are also some sort of blend because they are relatively stretchy and they itch but not in that nice "wooly" way, in some sort of polyester fashion.....

which were a delight and then I got into Skykomish and found a group of cyclists from Snohomish doing the pass that day with full private support. We traded great stories, revelled in the delight of bike riding, and I took some of their water, and was off down the hill after about an hour of hot chocolate and kibbitzing.

I landed in Sultan at the bakery and had a reuben and a maple bar, read most of a book while waiting....
and was out the door by 1:45. I took the roads less travelled until I found this wonderful bit of lawn art: not the lady with the red car but the round bale with bodies sticking out. The bodies are straw, but it does make one wonder about the relative dangers of farming and the macabre sense of humor that results. "you could die any day".
After I got serious about cello, my grandfather wouldn't let me work as closely around augers and other moving parts. He didn't want me to lose a finger... or an arm... or worse. Like any dumb 17 year old, I just told him "gramps, if I lose a finger, I'll just find a new way to play cello".

Kids are so dumb.

Stats: 125 or so miles in 11 hours making my average speed 11 mph with stops and pictures and lunch and tall tales.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Repondez S'il Vous Plait from Seattle to Vancouver?

Sure, there was some riding done last weekend, but really, this is about the food consumed and the stops enjoyed while wending my way to Canada on the 2009 version of Cascade's RSVP. Kristina from two posts below came in with an injury serious enough that she wouldn't even be my stoker. I was planning on just riding as a pirate on this one but when she still hadn't sold her ticket, I bought it off her and thus began my journey with George.

It all started off early in the morning of Friday, August 14th. George told me that he wanted to get there early so I showed up at his house for the ride to the ride promptly at 6 AM. For breakfast, I had two fried eggs, three pieces of bacon, and two pieces of toast, lovingly sandwiched together. The eggs were cooked a little hot, but I hadn't finished packing until 1 AM so I was a little out of sorts. I should back up a little bit. The pre-ride meal was actually a sumptuous meal provided by my good friend Michael Hatch who gathered us all together at the Seattle Tennis Club to help support Susan Hutchinson for King County Executive. She's nice enough but her rhetoric reminds me of vintage Phyllis Schlafley so I just smiled and got myself another helping of the best baked brie and roasted pork I've ever had. Thus nourished and prepared, I went home, put the kids to bed, and then prepped my bike for the next morning's ride.George offered me some breakfast but as I had just eaten two consecutive fatty meals, I wasn't in the best place to take on more. He cooked up some nice eggs for himself and offered me a chocolate brownie but I declined. I don't know when the fake foods shown in the foreground were consumed by George during the ride but I trust that they were. At some point after that, a little before 7, we were off and running and I convinced George to take the hilly way directly east from his house to the ride start. We were met at the ride start by the cycling equivalent of the supply depot in Apocalypse Now. Music was blaring, trinkets were exchanged for other types of favors, photos were taken, and then we were off on the ride. Found here, George is really more fun in real life than depicted in this photo. After just a little bit of riding, we ended up in Snohomish where George knew of a great pie place. Apparently, George has plans for all of the free time his lovely wife, Kathleen has during the day with only three little kids at home so he would like her to open up a pie shop. I'm sure that she doesn't have enough things to do already. If she does as well as the one we found in Snohomish, well by golly, George may be able to retire, or at least go work in the kitchen. While there, I ordered a piece of Strawberry Rhubarb a la mode and found it excellent and well balanced, but somehow lacking the love that I feel while eating pie that Claire and I make on occaission. You see Claire and I mix it up as I make the filling and Claire does the crust. Is that fair? She really makes a mean crust and mine are like concrete. After pie, we rode up to Arlington and along the way ran into Mark Canizaro who, with HAM radio mounted on his bike, was marshalling or something. Upon reaching Arlington lunch was made imminent and required and so we haggled for a while over what we would eat. Mark wanted mashed potatoes and I was dying for Thai. We settled on a diner where I found chili. It was burned. I brought along a sandwich that I had made that morning and then shared some cookies that I brought, and here is where things get tricky for the people reading this who were on the ride. I merely chose them and cooked them, Claire mixed them up. Lots of butter, Chocolate chips, pecans, and dried cranberries. Lunch took forever, like an hour and a half and the aforementioned chili was burned so I was glad to get out of Arlington post haste. The next section was a whole bunch of flat punctuated by a very nice hill up and around a lake. The boys were pretty well set up as their sandwiches looked great and the potato salad was both tasty and mountainous. I just hope that George got around to his. We stopped for water and a single outhouse in the rain, then onto the next feed zone. This one was at a school in Mt Vernon or Burlington or thereabouts and we found cookies, water, magic drinks (don't touch the stuff), and then tada! Canteloupe and watermelon. That will do. George tweeted away and we found our way to the Cascade sponsored trough. Upon arrival, George let us know that last year, he took a nap at this stop so I steeled myself up for a lengthy rest period. It wasn't too long and I found out how to work headphones on my iphone. When you take a more relaxed approach to a group ride like this, and you are helping people who are pulled over with technicals, you find that your coriders get slower and slower as well. You start to notice that the people around you don't look quite as fast as they did in the morning and then you notice that they are different people. Don't get me wrong I really dug the canteloupe, but but suffice it to say, we were not going to break any records, and the water supply was typically nearly gone by the time we got there. I ate oreos, water, some canteloupe, and just dawdled around. So be it. It was relaxing. One statistical outlier in this hypothesis was a girl we kept leapfrogging in a full HAMMER team kit. Before Snohomish, I asked her if she was going to do the whole ride on Hammer products and she said "more or less, yes". I think that she was in the same laughing grupetto that we were though so I hope that the Hammer worked. The only problem is that I also saw her eating where we were eating and I was eating too much, so I can't imagine eating while on the bike as well as she claimed to be doing. Mark is another breed of cat. The watermelon really was that great. After naps, the boys were refreshed and we were off through the Skagit valley, looking for Chuckanut Road. Just a few miles down the road, we encountered another private supply tent manned by a Bellingham race team. They were young and fun and didn't seem to have their act together so I put $10 in the donation jar and they gave me a can of coke. They were just adorable and I'm sorry I didn't take a photo. Needless to say, we made it up into Bellingham and to the endpoint for the first day, but not before stopping for the famously gorgeous lemonade girl, whose mother was doing all the work and whose little sister handed me a cup of lemonade completely unsolicited. In Bellingham, they had massage tables, repair car, more bananas and treats, and a Schwanns truck, where Mark got us all ice cream sandwiches. It was nice. After a brief pause, we three amigos sauntered on. Mark had a room waiting for him on the strip and George very nicely allowed me to bunk with him in Lynden..... in this: Oh yes, we slept in a windmill. The girl at the front desk was sufficiently guarded and reserved to make as feel as though we were truly in the Netherlands, and we searched around for some Dutch food. We ended up with Greek, but it was slathered in Mozzarella cheese and contained inside a half chicken on top of marinara noodles. Let's just say that it must be hard to really nail greek food in a dutch town in farm country in Whatcom county I slept well and had wonderful dreams of speaking at an Obama rally wherein I revved up the audience and they all went begging for a real public option in healthcare, rather than the silliness we have planned now. The next morning, We got up and went into the dutch breakfast spot so heartily recommended by everyone. There, we found a regular American style breakfast replete with scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, biscuits, and gravy; tasty but not very Dutch. Where were my Pomme Frites with mango Mayonaise? I digress. Soon, were on the road and I decided to make some brisk time into Vancouver. I just wanted to see if I still had the mojo after 26 hours of, should I say more relaxed touring. We happened upon a nice group of Canadian legal advisor who races Cat 4, a South African couple from Seattle who were in great shape but never really pulled, George, Mark, and a bunch of other pack fodder. We found some tandem rabbits to follow to the border, and then pushed ourselves up to Fort Langley where the next feed zone was found. The Canteloupe was still fresh and the Oreos were much better. We were earlier in the placing so the water jugs were nearly full and I was is good spirits. After a short stop off, I rallied the other good pullers and we set off. Mark let us know that he might not be able to keep up the pace and then within 100 meters his pedal fell apart, thus cementing his statement. He got a ride in to the end with another marshall and we were off. Well, actually, he stopped, we didn't wait because he told us not to, and we were glad to see him at the end. From there to Vancouver, we just decided to keep a good pace and keep laughing. Gloria, the legal advisor from Vancouver, was especially great at keeping us all in good spirits. Gloria also knew the way into town and had some great advice on how to negotiate traffic in Canada. We were delighted to find a huge, ratty, old Chevy Blazer with mud tires and bomb can paint job and the words "Fun in B.C." on the front right fender. This car was so polite and trust me, this type of car owner is NEVER nice to cyclists in the States. From here, you can tell that I really use my camera just to find out who is still around in the group. I wonder if Popyvich or Hincapie or other domestiques use this powerful method. In the photo you see tired me, and Flying George.

I'm still looking for the photos where we are eating the finish line meal, but first, 20 miles from the end, we had another feed zone. It was amazing. Here I had bananas and canteloupe. It was nice, I also adjusted my drivetrain which had devolved to the point that it would not go into the bit ring and it would ghost shift every time I got out of the saddle. With everything adjusted, we were off (I was the straggler this time) and covered the last 20 miles in just over an hour.

At the finish line, I enjoyed blaring music (just like the beginning of the ride), lots of spandex, and rather standard burgers with potato chips. The onions and the pickles were the highlight for me. A fun photo of George, Mark, and I around the table eating is coming from my wife's camera.

After the ride, I met up the Claire, T, A and Claire's dad Chip at Stanley Park. We found the Durhams, who had also traveled up with kids, wife, and father in law. We were all tired, T fell asleep, so we just headed back to Seattle but not before buying $212CAN of chocolate, juice, and yogurt. Party at our house!

The stats are as follows:
1st day: total mileage: 131 miles 5:30 AM-8 PM. 9 mph average
2nd day: total mileage 70 miles 8 AM-1 PM. 14 mph average

All averages include stops. Trust me this is the only average speed that matters. George may have the average Riding Speed which will look much more favorable, but I don't have a cycle computer for religious reasons so you will have to catch him here.

Food consumed during ride (not including night before meal (the real point of this blog post)):
1 egg and bacon sandwich
1 turkey and cheese sandwich
10-12 homemade cookies
1 bowl of chili
1/2 portion half chicken over italian noodles under cheese (couldn't even eat half of this monstrosity but oh so wish I had taken a picture)
1 greek side salad
1 plate of american breakfast (superfat, with jam)
2 glasses orange juice
1 can coke
2 glasses cherry coke
2 bananas
4 servings cantaloupe
2 servings watermelon
1 piece of pie a la mode
10-15 oreos
1 apple
1 ice cream sandwich
1 hamburger with everything
<5>6 bottles of water

Needless to say, I did not lose weight on this trip.

Ride well, my friends.

P.S. One gratuitous photo of my son with really cool hair:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We love the Durhams

As many of you may know, George and Kathleen Durham are made of the best stuff on earth. I know this because they also make the best stuff on earth. When A came into our lives, They arrived on the spot with a wonderful meal that we got to share. They left the dessert in our freezer and it became an instant hit with T. Witness.

It is therefore that I wish Kathleen a very happy birthday on this, the 11th day of August.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bike Touring In The San Juans With A Two Month Old

Lest your eyes deceive you, that really is Hawkins road on Orcas Island in Island County, Washington. Accompanying me on this particular foray is Jenn Nuckols who will feature prominently in this little travel summary. A fine time will have been had by all by the time you finish at the bottom, and your eyes will be opened or perhaps locked shut regarding the myriad possibilites of taking a two month old on a bike camping trip. Suffice it to say, A, our two monther has grown immensely, T, our two year old has picked up fabulous skills, and the Foley Hawkins family had a wonderful time with Jenn and Kristina. So here we go.

Claire and I took off early Thursday with the kids to have a five day trip to San Juan Island and Orcas Island. We had numerous interested parties at first but one by one, they cashed in their chips and bowed out before we could even set sail, let alone pack up. Left were two of the most powerful young women I have ever met, Kristina Westbrook and Jenn Nuckols.

Kristina met us in Anacortes and we picked up Jenn at her house in Seattle. The trip up was relaxed but we soon found ourselves 15 miles ahead of Kristina, who still had to stash her car in Anacortes and make an earlier ferry. She was intent on going to Shaw and experiencing the real wild. Jenn opted to go with Kristina and we all piled in, paid our passes, and bid the girls farewell.
The Foley Hawkins then traipsed over to San Juan Island where we saw the coolest fire engine ever (Pictured: T's favorite)

Then we went over to the Whale Museum where T tried his luck at becoming a sockeye salmon. Whales and fish are cool and we were excited to see both in the wild. T didn't really like being an orca whale but the late term, dying and ready to spawn sockeye? No problem.

We made camp and then T and I rode back to meet up with Jenn and Kristina whom I supposed had just gotten off the ferry. In reality, they were on their way up Beaver Valley Road and we met at the top of the hill near a swarm of bees (crazy). We rode back to camp and then had a nice dinner, depicted here. The first meal of the weekend was macaroni and cheese with vegetables and tuna. I could have lived on that for the whole weekend.

After dinner, I was able to snag this wonderful photo of Kristina playing with T. They were discovering flowers together and the moment was very special. I must now mention and it cannot be overstated, what a wonderful help Kristina and Jenn were on this trip. Ever helpful, always interested, excellent cyclists, strong sportswomen, and great friends. In fact, the first person T wanted to go visit as I write this is Kristina. How very nice!

The next morning, we suited up, got on our bikes, loaded T, and then headed off to American Camp. San Juan Island has a history of war between England and America that was settled by Kaiser Wilhelm deciding that Orcas was closer to Lummi Island than San Juan was to Vancouver, thus from his excellent map reading skills and the fact that the Hudson Bay Company's "businesses" on the island were a sham (akin to Microsoft company software hobbies that are designed just to pollute the martetplace), the whole archipelago was consigned eventually to the Washington State Ferry system and a bunch of rich landowners. It was a nice ride down the west side of the island none the less and we happened upon some parks and saw lots of animals and a few tractors along the way.
While English Camp on the northwest side of the island is a serene oasis of beauty and tranquility, American Camp is a windswept wasteland that reminds one of Scotland of Cape Cod. Lots of wind, not many trees, one lighthouse that looks pretty derelict. We had a picnic in the yard of the beautiful laundress who helped the soldiers out with their problems and contributed to the overall peace of the camp. Hmmmmm.....

We rode back to Roche Harbor but this time with Claire mounting her trusty LeMond Steed and riding with us from American Camp. Claire is a really strong rider and pummeled us into submission, despite giving birth to A just two short months ago. Though not depicted in this photo, Claire has offered up a consolation prize which thrills and delights the losers. Thanks Claire!

A massive squall met us in Roche Harbor so we somehow skipped the promissed showers and huddled into the van with trailer in tow. Pictured here, Jenn and Kristina make the best of their new living arrangements. Kristina is the real trooper. Jenn..... eventually came around.

After getting back into our car support, I dutifully minded the children while preparing a tasty and nutritious meal for T and the girls. I wore this Fatcyclist jersey for as long as Claire would let me in honor of Eldon organizing and fundraising $140,000 for the Lance Armstrong foundation ride in Seattle on the 21st. As a funny aside, Kristina is depicted in the same jersey and related that she was once told "hey, you are not a fat cyclist!" by an onlooker. I have enjoyed no such clarifications from people while wearing my jersey but I'm sure that it's just a communist plot.

After dinner, we retired to the beach where we watched the sun go down. A word to the wise: while the rocky, pebbly beach is a great place to see the waves up close, the field above has a much better view of the strait, the seals, the whales, and the sunset. Be advised. Don't go down the long staircase if you are looking for a nice view. Never the less, Claire takes amazing pictures and well, this is our group. I love everyone here immensely.

We made it eventually to Orcas Island I didn't seemt to get any pictures, but T showed his amazing abilities and marshalled his motor pool to great effect. The campsite at Moran was much more secluded, much more quiet, much wetter, and on an incredibly steep hill, which, if you have never biked, comes right after a long climb out of east sound. I had taken T along in the trailer, we happened into a lumberyard picnic, rode Enchanted Parkway, and did some shopping for fruits and the like. We were living like a bunch of freeloaders and T playing in the dirt at the end of the day was a wonderful sight.

Claire found some time to show off A a little here. Claire, in addition to being pretty awesome with the timer two photos ago, is a virtuosa with the "arm hold" method of photography, and in a rare, lucid, eyes open moment, snapped a great photo of A in her natural habitat: with mama. A is 9 weeks old in this photo.

T found his was onto a rock is is the king of the world. He grew so much on this trip and we were glad to put the maternity leave to good use. I think that he is about to respond to the many bird calls heard roundabouts in the trees.

In perhaps my favorite time up on Mount Constitution, the Foley Hawkins enjoyed a little rain and got to sit above the clouds. It was so peaceful and magical that the ride down the hill seemed like murder in comparison. Never the less, everyone was hip, the people who took our photo were also good lefties, and I pictured myself in the middle of an Ursula Le Guin novel. I had grown up under the impression that Le Guin had written up here on the island but wikipedia tells me that she lived and worked in Portland. Surely there must be some spillover. Anyway, my apologies to Jenn for misleading her.

After the cold descent into Olga off the top of Mount Constitution, we had brunch and celebrated both my third fathers day and Claire's birthday. Times are good.

Kristina rode off in the afternoon, ok, we carried her to the ferry dock, and then we went to Friday Harbor to see a Bill Frisell concert. I hadn't seen him in a while but Claire and I had seen him many times while we were dating so I just couldn't give up the chance to stoke some fires. Here, A enjoys a nice ride on the ferry to and from the concert. Jenn looked over the kiddies and we had a very romantic evening. Pay very close attention, A is a very serious girl and this is as full blown a smile as I have ever seen in the wild.

T got the good mommy lovin' as well and the chili that I made for everyone turned out pretty well. As it turned out, we biked something like 100 miles or so. I don't really count that sort of thing anymore but Jenn would give us daily totals and we had a nice time riding around. Orcas is much hillier and I find, more satisfying to ride on. It doesn't have any loops to speak of for riding but the terrain is super great. San Juan has nice stuff along the way and is easier to navigate, has more historical markers and the like, longer views, and more farms, but Orcas has the love of my lovely wife as well and an excellent shuttle service (contractually obliged to mention it) to boot.

We made it back to civilization eventually and had rested ourselves on the way back. I could never live on island time and am happy to to live in a city and on a bus line, but it was nice to visit a slower paced life. Jenn (pictured) was fantastically helpful and you can see that T just loves A.

The statistics for the weekend: 5 days, 4 nights, 100 miles, more descent than climbing because we got a ride to the top of Constitution, 6 people, 4 of age. We drove something like 320 miles to cover the sag responsibilities, and had a great time.