Saturday, June 28, 2014

Missoula Bikes

While in Missoula I also checked out some of the cycling scene. First of all, Missoula has bike lanes all over the damn place. And they're being used, even during the rainy days I was there. Missoula is about one-third the population of Spokane but has a far more extensive bike route system. I also found tools and air at the public library and the bus station. How cool is that?

 Tools and air at the public library.

 Bike boxes.

 The former parking area is now a bike route.

 Bike racks are everywhere downtown.

 Like I said--everywhere.

 Buses hold three bikes.

Bike parking at the bus station. Covered area, tools, and air.

Rattlesnake National Recreational Area

Steph had her freshman orientation at the University of Montana in Missoula last Thursday and Friday. I went with her but I went mountain biking while she signed up for classes, etc. I checked out some of the trails at the Rattlesnake National Recreational Area. Like Spokane with Riverside State Park nearby, Missoula has Rattlesnake within easy reach of the city.

Since I didn't know the place, I just went exploring. One of the trails I stumbled across on the first day, Wallman Trail, totally kicked my butt. It went up and up...and up some more...and then some more. I finally had to get off and walk for a while. Not knowing how much farther the trail went I decided to do the much more fun descent from there. Afterwards I found a long piece of single track closely bordered by tall grass and lots of bushes. Everything was wet from the rain and my shoes would hit the wet grass while I pedaled. They ended up soaked from the constant wet brushing. On the second day I just followed the main Rattlesnake Trail. It was a long gradual climb with lots of scenic creek crossings. There were deer and rabbits about. The rabbits were more skittish than the deer. After crossing Rattlesnake Creek, the trail took a steep climb. But it was very soggy and had water flowing down it so I followed the rules about not creating ruts on a trail in this condition. The ride back went quick since it was mostly downhill.

I look forward to visiting the trails again while Steph is attending school there for the next four years. Maybe I'll get strong enough to ride Wallman to the top--where ever that is.

Climbing Wallman Trail. 

Wet grass on both sides made my shoes soggy.

 Rattlesnake Creek.

 Crossing Fraser Creek.

 Pilcher Creek.

 Beeskove Creek.


Geoff and Josh joined us for a family trip to Banff a week ago Friday. First of all, Kootenai National Park and Banff National Park are absolutely beautiful. I saw lots of touring cyclists loaded with gear. I'm adding that to my list.

We caught a few tourist traps. There's a Glacier Skywalk that just opened last month. It's a glass-bottomed walkway that protrudes over a canyon. It's not as high as the one in the Grand Canyon, but it was really cool. We took a ride onto the bottom of the Athabasca Glacier. Make that the receding Athabasca Glacier. The whitewater rafting trip was fun. Our guide was from Peru and he was cool. He had us spinning the boat through rapids and standing on the side of the boat while going through some waves.

While out running one morning, Kathy came across a bear cub not far from the pedestrian bridge. A local educated her on what to do when confronted by a bear. Bear activity in and near Banff was at an all time high while we were there. Authorities had to reroute the Banff Marathon, held last Sunday, because of bear activity on the trails. Scary.

The view from the gondola going up Sulphur Mountain.

 Ordered her first legal beer. NBD.

What remains of the Cosmic Ray Station.

 The gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain.

 The Glacier Skywalk just opened last month.

Getting an ice cold drink. 

Interesting cereal selections at the Banff Safeway.

Zen photo op. 

Rafting down the Kananaskis River. 

I'm about to be immersed in freezing glacial runoff.

 Pedestrian bridge in Banff.

 Kathy's bear sighting.

 If you ever see Bacon wrapped Bacon Lollipops on the menu, order them.

Atop Tunnel Mountain overlooking Banff. 

Where we stopped to eat in Cranbrook. Get it? Do you get it?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

That Picture Looks Familiar

A couple days ago I happened to look at the Spokesman Review web site and saw a familiar looking photo. It was one I took during Street Music Week. I had posted all my photos on Facebook. I thought it was cool the Review used my photo and I appreciated that they attributed the photo to me, but I was curious as to why they used it without asking me.

After a couple of back and forths, I received this from Alison Boggs, the online producer.

In our Facebook post, to which you responded by posting your photo albums, it said that some of the information posted by people responding would be used online or in print.

Ah, so that's it. I had posted a link to my photo album in the Review's post asking people to share their photos of Street Music Week. I went back to the Spokesman Review's Facebook page to have another look at the language in the post but it has disappeared from their news feed. Alison said they did not delete it. So how does it disappear?

Next time I'll be sure to read the small print so I won't have to pester anyone with questions that could have been avoided had I read the small print.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Parkways

The weather did a 180 and the sun came out just in time to greet the walkers, runners, and cyclists who turned out for Summer Parkways in the Manito and Comstock Park neighborhoods this evening. I ran into a few old friends and made a couple of new ones. That's always cool. A boatload of photos are on Facebook.

 The bike decorating contest judges confer.

 The big honkin' snake was a big honkin' hit with the kids.

 When is a tall bike not awesome?

 Little girl, what could you possibly be in such deep thought about?

The smoothie bike was hard work but it paid off.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Therapeutic Ride

All this last week a cold has been kicking my butt. It hit my lungs the last two days and I've been coughing like crazy, which gives me a never ending headache. I woke up with a headache today and decided to get out of the house so I went for a ride at Riverside State Park, headache be damned. After 15 minutes on the trail I felt so much better. I was coughing up crap during the next two hours but I still felt good. Just what the doctor ordered.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Spokane Indians Game


 Foul ball.

 Run, Gene! Run!


Wild throw.

Didn't hang on to it.

Caught stealing.

We need a live rooster to take the curse of off Jose's glove and nobody seems to know what to get Millie or Jimmy for their wedding present.

 Kelly Hughes Band right outside after the game.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Spokane City Bike Helmet Citations

I have yet to meet someone who has received a citation for not wearing a bike helmet. I see people riding without helmets in the city all the time. So I asked the city how many citations have been written since the law took effect in 2007. It looks like they're lightening up a little for 2014.

Pull Over!

On my ride home going through Hillyard, some guy on a mini crotch rocket was in front of me. Two cops were at an intersection we went by and they lit him up right away. I didn't stick around to see why. I thought the bikes were legal as long as you were wearing a helmet.