Sunday, September 03, 2006


So I've been slacking some...for the month of August I rode what I normally do in a week to a week and a half. Shameful? No way...I have excuses like I was studying for my RN boards scheduled near the end of the month, learning a new job at Gritman Medical Center, and there has been some serious smoke in the area from localish forest fires in SE Washington. The smoke is the big reason for not riding later in the month and now...I don't find pleasure inhaling 50 packs of cigarettes worth of smoke during a short 2-hour bike ride. Riding in smoke is not for me so I grump around, tinker with my bikes, work on the money pit (the house), and do other "stuff" waiting for the fall rains to start. In other words I'm going insane right now waiting for the right wind shift to ride.

I did get a short break once this week when the area was clear of smoke... Of course I powered up the steepest stuff I could find on my shamefully new LeMond Poprad cross bike...Hmmm. I found it to be tough duty though climbing 3000+ feet up 10-18% grades on gravel with170mm cranks and a 38x27 for a lowest gear. Let me just say that the initial 2000 feet up was a real two leg burner.

After reaching the high point of the ride some 30 miles into it I was not happy to see a massive plume approaching from those worthless, inconsiderate field-burning spud-heads. I could see the Idahole smoke plume drifting on the horizon throughout the day, but a small wind shift brought it right towards me. I hoofed it towards home in a hurry once I realized the Idaho smoke monster was coming to get me. I was too late though in my homeward assault and got swallowed by the smoke plume 17 miles out. Even with soft pedalling and mostly down hill efforts I was overcome and puked by the time I got home. Yuk! So shorter trips are in order for anytime the smoke clears again - if it ever does that is.

The RN boards? Let's just say that now I am an RN! And please remember...Nurses are here to save your ass not kiss it!

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