Sunday, December 4, 2011
Back in the Saddle
Front Door Adventures has been pretty quite for the last couple of months; work, house projects and bad weather have kept me close to home and truthfully, at times living my life more or less by bike really doesn't inspire much creative writing in me. It is not that I haven't been riding my bike, I get up every morning and pedal to one of my jobs and try to avoid getting killed in a city where bike infrastructure and sustainable transportation in general lags decades behind cities like Portland and Munich. I thought about a blog entry titled, "What in the hell am I trying to prove anyhow?", but thought better of it. While readers of Front Door Adventures know that I like to exhort the virtue of both commuting and recreating by bicycle, I have to admit that sometimes it can kind of suck. I still strongly believe that embracing a little suffering in life ultimately provides one a Reference Point from which to recognize and appreciate comfort; but I also certainly understand how the gray, wet and cold misery of November in the Pacific Northwest can get to even the most optimistic of bicycle affectionado. It can be hard to find joy in thirty-nine degrees and rainy.
Yet I persevere, I ride through the rain, sleet and traffic because it makes me feel better about my life not to have my car shoved up my ass, and like Ghandi said We must be the change we want to see in the world.
Just when I am about to give up hope, historic high pressure returns to the Northwest and and a perfect cold, crisp winter day invites. My friend Darin came down from Bellingham this weekend and hopped in on a FDA from Seattle to the top of Tiger Mountain with only the slightest of apprehension (How do we get to Issaquah without riding on the freeway?"). Despite working 60 plus hour weeks for months and never having ridden a bike more than 30 miles in a day, Darin handled the the 50 mile ride and 7 mile stomp up and down 2500 feet of elevation gain in fine style. It was really nice to be using my bike for an adventure again and great to have a buddy along for the ride. I had almost forgot how fulfilling going on a human powered adventure could be!
Livin' the Dream
Darin, feeling like many vitamin D deficient NW residents as we emerge out of the trees and above the clouds on the West Summit of Tiger Mountain.
Darin Berdinka is my climbing hero and my friend. He is also on the cutting edge of outdoor fashion.
The High School Trail begins behind Issaquah High School and climbs steeply on an unmaintained trail to join the Section Line Trail and on to the the West Tiger Summit.
Not very warm.
Summer 2012: FDA to the top of Mount Rainer.
The city of Bellevue above Lake Washington. Glacier Peak on the far left of the photo.
Movember has come to it's sad end. My Stach is better than last year, but not quite respectable enough for full time wear yet.
Recovery meal by Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene, OR.