Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bike Culture - The Local Scene

In my last post I offered a brief, disjointed observation of bike culture in Wa DC. There was plenty more to say, but I was typing in an airport, an uncomfortable seating situation and at the same time struggling to stay awake. It wasn’t my best writing, and did not do justice to the bike scene in our nation’s capitol. Upon my return I had occasion to become re-acquainted with our local version of bike culture. My weekend was mostly about recovering from jet lag. But I also did some yard work, some laundry, and knocked off a couple items on the continue-to-fix-up-the-house list, and I got a little bike ride in.

In July I will host our club's summer populaire, and our newsletter editor sent me a note asking if I would be willing to submit a teaser article. It was my good fortune that she sent the note: The notion that I have to do some work to prepare for this event bubbles to the surface of my mind occasionally, but I find that if I wait long enough the thought passes and I return to the ‘blissful ignorance’ state. I took this as a sign; I delved into my computer files and found several old versions of the cue sheet. I printed one off and headed to the Fish Bowl brew pub, the place we have always used as the start finish location.

It was late in the afternoon so I was not planning to ride the entire course, Just to the first controle in Rainier. This stretch is where housing development has been taking place so I figured if the route would have to be adjusted for new road development it would probably be here. There are a few changes, but they are mostly good. Some of the poorer roads have been resurfaced so the riding is a little better. I’m not talking about new chip seal, but butter smooth asphalt! (There are some benefits to riding in urban areas)

The seven mile stretch along Rainier road is just as beautiful and serene as ever, no new roadside clearcuts thank goodness.

The esprssso/H-burger/pizza shop is still there in Rainier. This is a place where lots of leisure riders hop off the Chehalis Western Trail for refreshment.

As I was ‘carbo loading’ on french fries and an iced Americano doppio three comfort bike riders pulled in. I can’t help looking bikes over, and I thought theirs represented the wave of the future I have been reading about in bike industry mags.

Probably not candidates for randonneuring, however on closer inspection I noticed that Madame’s bottle cage held a Perrier! Perhaps there is hope after all!

As can be seen by some of these shots, here in the Olympia Area we too have some degree of Bike Culture. I particularly like this bike rack. Note that the brewpub must close by 2:00 am however their patron parking is reserved for the true believers 24/7!

Here you see the primary transport for a brewery worker. Perhaps the trailer is for keg deliveries to local establishments.

Well, we’re pretty green too. I am always stricken by the irony of the ‘green’ trailhead salle de bains, … surrounded by asphalt. While I appreciate paved parking lots, asphalt is in my opinion the antitheses
of green infrastructure.

And of course there is the ubiquitous microbus: one to drive and one for parts.

The Fish Bowl brew pub can fairly be said to be the Birthplace of Dr Codfish. No, I wasn’t born in a Brewpub, but in my drinking days I was a regular. There is a story here, but it’s not very clever. Come on down to Oly for the summer populaire on July 12th and I’ll regale you with the boring details over a pint of your favorite beverage after the ride!

PS: Keep an eye open for opportunities to expand your skills.


  1. I was going to offer to preride it with you, but I read you've already taken care of that.

    I'm kicking around riding the 200k with you on my single speed and taking my time. Sound like a plan?

  2. Dr Codfish6/3/08, 9:28 PM

    If your riding with me on a single speed you may need to put on training wheels, or risk tipping over. Sounds like fun I look forward toit.