Monday, September 3, 2012



Labor Day weekend;  If you don’t work retail you probably got a day off this weekend.  We did, and rather than jet away to Cancun or Icefields Parkway, we had a stay at home holiday. 

Saturday we went Kayaking out of Boston Harbor.  As you can tell from the photos the seas were rough, and the weather was intimidating:
But we dared to brave the elements anyway.

Sunday I had made (last minute) plans to ride a permanent, but they were a little too last minute.  Not to worry, friend Brian came down and w did a JRA (Just Riding Around for you non cycling fans) permanent from the house.  It was by all accounts a great ride, and ended up being 105Km.  Pefect!  Truth is, this would make a great winter bail out perm: Lowland riding, low traffic roads, and TONS OF GREAT NEW CHIP SEAL(!) so that even if it the roads do get icy it would still be like riding on a gravel road.

 It was actually chilly at the start; I ran back in and rummaged for leg warmers waiting for Brian to arrive.  I guess it is September.  We went out to the Bee Hive in Montesano for breakfast.  From there back east to McCleary, and then home by back roads through Malone, and Porter. We finished at just about the time I was done.

That chip seal is special stuff, and out here in the sticks we don't do the messaround. I think Grays Harbor County gets what's left over after King County, and Pierce County buy the good stuff, but at least we spread it over most of the butter smooth asphalt shoulder.
Left to right: New chipseal, old chip seal, narrow band of smooth black top, and then swept gravel on the ditch bank, ending in a ditch full of pond scum.  You pay attention to where your wheels are in this situation!

Then Monday, we (Mrs. Dr. C and I) took the long bike
(ain't she beautiful ... the wife I mean!)
down to Bill & Beas in Centralia for burgers. 
This was a nearly perfect ride.  The bike was faboo on the way down, we had mostly tailwinds, the sun was smiling on us, temps in the low 70’s.  For me it just does not get much better, PLUS: the stoker did all the work!
Of course when you roll to Centralia on credit you can expect that a payment may be demanded on the way back. That tail wind had turned into a headwind (SHOCK!) but even so, the stoker kept moving us along, much better than if I had been left to my own devices. 
Well that performance enhancing mushroom swiss burger and fries may have had something to do with it.
I love the little paper bag with the grease stains.  Just hope the USADA does not come knocking in the next 48 hours.

OK, less than perfect.  As we were nearing home we got a flat just outside the Lucky Eagle Casino (Chehalis tribe).  We came back across the Res because, judging by the traffic on hwy 12 (a main route to and from the Ocean) you might have thought it was the end of a 3 day weekend or something.  No sweat, I found a shady spot and worked my flat fixing magic.  Clouds of doubt drifted in however, as I found a smallish/largish hole in the tire which matched up with the hole in the tube.  At this point we’d ridden about 35 miles and had maybe 3 miles left to get home.  So in with a new tube, say a little prayer, and off we go on our merry way.  As we are tuning on to Elma gate road the rear goes flat again.  OK, about a half mile from home, I hoof it and the stoker stands guard over the long bike.  Half an hour later I return with the truck (cold soda in hand for the stoker) and rescue the tandem  lovely damsel.  Funny thing is, I’m totally OK with it, we had such a wonderful day, and a wonderful holiday.
Thanks to all you laborers.  If you delve into the provenance of Labor Day you learn that it was not originally created as an excuse to go shopping.  In a time when our national UI rate hovers in the neighborhood of 8% it may be hard to contemplate celebration.  What galls me is that, sandwiched between two national political conventions, the politico’s seem bent on using this time for finger pointing and road blocking each other instead of throwing their differences aside and working together to try to solve our problems.  Yes, we can do better, but will we?  

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