Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Dalles Mt 60, version 4.5

This post is dedicated to BicycleKitty reader Holly, who is a bad ass biking babe and rode the Dalles Mt 60 on a single speed sparkle pony with her team, Dirty Fingers.
The Dalles Mt 60 was originally (dis)organized by Velodirt, but they've fallen off the map.  Quite literally, Velodirt is off adventuring away from the Oregon gravel grid they helped create.  Yet the ride goes on.  Over a hundred riders showed up for an unseasonally sunny day, and took off at 10am to head over the bridge and into Washington.

On the bridge, someone commented "your bike looks like a ferrari", triggering me to make a loud engine growling sound. I was delighted to sport a brand new steed, the Soma Wolverine.  It has the same geometry as the Soma Smoothie ES (Extra Smooth!), but room for 45mm wide tires with fenders, and disc brakes.  Aside from a few commutes, this was the Wolverine's maiden voyage.  
My riding friend started to pedal off and called to me to catch up.  I said no, I need to pace myself.  Personal growth has opened my eyes to the idea that chasing leads to blowing up.  Soon, I was all alone, and the climb hadn't even begun.
Up, up, up the hill I rode.  I rode with Brock of the Sprocket Podcast and Eric of Grilled by Bike fame.  Brock warned me that he was recording every conversation and asked for my permission to broadcast whatever I said.  I told him in no uncertain terms he has lifelong permission to broadcast anything he'd like.  After a while, they were ready for a rest stop.  I continued on, occasionally passing a rider, but mostly alone.  The views were gorgeous, the temperature a pleasant 50 degrees, with just a gentle little wisp of wind.  

The road surface was like a dream.  Like chocolate-flavored talcum powder pressed into a perfect riding surface.  Or maybe that's the Panaracer Gravel King tires talking.  I was surprised to see my odometer read 20mph on the gravel descent; this is unusual for the Bicycle Chicken Kitty.

I missed the Maryhill Loops, although I heard later that others enjoyed them.  I kept remembering the year that two gentlemen, or at least men, sat in the back of their pick up truck brandishing shotguns and warning riders to stay away.  I stayed away.
Soon enough I was in Biggs and enjoying french fries and a soda along with much of the Dirty Fingers team.  I was excited to find my own teammates there as well, and we rode out together into what should've been seven miles of headwind.  Instead, it was seven miles of tailwind.  It felt like cheating.
We turned onto Old Moody.  I have an emotional connection with this road, the first gravel road I ever rode.  Or walked anyway.  This year, I rode it in its entirety and never dismounted to walk.  I ran into some cows, or at least rode near them, enjoyed the continuing tailwind, the sweet road surface and the sweeping views.
At the end of Old Moody, where it meets the pavement, the Dirty Fingers Team was regrouping.  I said hello and one of them said "I have to ask you, our teammate wanted to know - are you Bicycle Kitty?  She wants your autograph."  Well, this made my day.  My week, really.  I said yes and introduced myself and shook hands with the nice lady who said she loves the BicycleKitty blog and reads religiously.

The Wolverine surprised me again.  It was swift and reliable, and I railed the rest of the ride back to the Dalles.  As a cherry on the cake of an amazing day, I slept in a snow cave on the side of Mt Hood at a slumber party called the Cave Rave.  Cinnamon whiskey kept the chill away, the cold kept cramps at bay, and the miles helped sleep come easy. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Thursday Night Ride - Grrrrrls Up Front edition

There had been some rumblings on the internet about the Thursday Night Ride (TNR) being dominated by men, to the point of excluding the women.  I've never felt harassed or excluded on this ride, but it's important not to discount what my sisters are saying. It's tricky when these complaints and comments come over any sort of online forum.  Some people express themselves more angrily and awkwardly in these forums than in person, and it seems to escalate an issue instead of resolve it.

I put these thoughts in my pipe and smoked them up and came up with an idea.  I put out a shout out:

Hey ladies!!! Gals, chicks, dudettes & sprockettes, young women, old, femmes, all sizes shapes colors and rainbows, let’s party at TNR. (7pm Salmon Street Fountain).  Of course our dude pals will be there too! A cool co-ed co-operative taking of the streets (politely but firmly) on our bikes. With loud music.

Minutes later, I received an invitation to lead from T.J., who usually leads and organizes the ride.  And so, I had my second opportunity to lead this critical-mass styled party ride, along with the fun of shouting "GIRLS UP FRONT" throughout the evening. To T.J.'s credit, he had purchased firewood and dropped it off at our campfire location, and he was super helpful and positive all night.
I routed us past several lady-centric sculptures and fountains.  It was a chilly but dry evening and the 15 mile route felt just right.  My odometer often showed a speed of 7 miles per hour, and we regrouped half a dozen times during that short distance.  After all, it's supposed to be a group ride and friendly to even the slowest of riders.  My hope was that this pace, along with the on-line map I provided in advance, would help prevent anyone from feeling dropped.

There was one crash.  A man in our group hit the temporary construction barrier on the Burnside bridge and went down.  We waited on the other side of the bridge and I wondered what to do.  Rider after rider would come up to me, breathless and panicked, to tell me urgently "SOMEBODY CRASHED!!!".  While I stood there, distracted and deliberating, a tall athletic lady on a fixed gear rode up and calmly offered to circle back and check out the scene.  I wanted to kiss her, but held back.  When she returned, she said there was nobody around and no ambulance either, so we continued ahead.

Many times throughout the evening, a rider (always a man) would come up to me at the front and reprimand me for something.  One guy told me I had ditched a bunch of people at Velocult.  We'd taken a super short stop there, while I sneakily snuck in to drink a quickie pint.  I had announced both indoors and out, at least five times, in a very loud voice, that we were leaving.  He continued to whine at me, so I gave him an assignment to go back and round up any laggers.

At our store stop, a man in a delivery truck backed up to unload, and started tossing his dolly and equipment onto the pavement near where I stood, and near our bikes.  He had a giant lift gate that he was lowering, with his back turned and earbuds in.  I asked that he be extra careful, as I saw an opportunity for injury.  He said we were just a drunk bike ride and if anyone got hurt, we deserved it.  I expect this sort of treatment from men, but what I didn't expect was for a woman in our group to defend his behavior.  Part of being a feminist, at least to me, is to back up other women when they're standing up for themselves.
Grant Park was closed for construction, which threw me off, as that was our rest room rest stop.  I entered the park where I could, which took us on the new running track, which we are apparently not supposed to ride bikes on.  I managed to talk riders out of doing laps and instead pull off to a grassy area on the side to hang out.  While we were there, one poor dude with a flat tire made his repair while many of us watched and critiqued.

We continued on, and I made many loud warnings about curbs and bollards and crappy pavement, which usually ended up with me shouting "NO CRASHING PLEASE!".  It seemed to work as no one else crashed all night, although I came close to crashing myself as I clumsily attempted to get on the sidewalk of the Sellwood bridge and smacked my front wheel into a curb.  Amazingly I didn't fall and didn't even get a pinch flat.

The best and worst part of the night was on the beginning of the southbound portion of the Springwater trail, where it parallels the Willamette River.  It's a 5 mile straightaway with no turn-offs and I'd been itchin to get a little exercise all evening, so I announced that I'd wait at the turn and took off.  Some riders kept up with me, others fell off the back.  

One man caught me and yelled at me "THIS IS A NO DROP RIDE, SLOW DOWN".  I apologized and hit the brakes.  I felt my soul shrinking and shrieking.  I simply couldn't do it.  So I reversed my position and said "No, I take it back, I'm not sorry.  I'm going fast, catch me if you can!".

My original intent of leading this ride was to expose that misogyny wasn't happening.  Sadly, the constant instruction and criticism I received during and after the ride alerted me that my initial thought was in error.  So, instead we have an opportunity to overcome this challenge.

There are definitely lots of great guys and supportive male riders on this ride, but there are also a lot of bossypants riders that I hope can grow into the role needed from the men on this ride.  I feel it is absolutely vital for women to show up to this ride, or any ride or event, where there might be misogyny.  It might be hard, but it's the only way we can overcome it.  It gives me great hope that so many riders came to my defense during and after the ride, and someone even made a meme for me!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

F*ck Brunch training ride

I have officially begun to dig myself out of the fitness hole the winter doldrums left behind.  It started with bike path commutes instead of town commutes, which is a teensy thing, but what else is fitness and good health besides a big conglomeration of lots and lots of little things?

Next, I joined a race team!  Team No is no more, for now anyway.   TeamAF is all about riding hard, having fun and eating snacks.  What could be better?  Our early season training series is called F*ck Brunch, which is just what I need - less brunch and more rides.
A dozen of us did a quick and dirty, well, clean, road ride with pacelining and pushing hard and even little pats on one's tush to invite another rider to grab a wheel.  While huffing and puffing along, I chatted with another rider and we contemplated the idea of competition.

Competing can bring out the very best, and the worst in us.  What about competing with yourself?  What about competing with yourself as a losing proposition?  If you've reached your peak, or are simply on a plateau in your athleticism or speed or whatever measurement cyclists are using nowadays, what then?

I used to live by the code "training is for pussies", or the more common "training shmraining".  I proudly abstained from training and instead just rode my bike, then showed up for hard events and races ready to rock.  But for the first time in many years, I don't have a hard event or race on the horizon.  Yet, I'm training like a bandit.  Gym workouts have doubled and mileage is starting to trend up.  I've become the yin to my own yang.

To underline the immense privilege I enjoy, the universe threw me a little curveball on the way home from effing brunch.  As the rest of the team headed west to return to the Breadwinner cafe, I continued homeward on the bike path.  Soon I was calling 9-1-1 for a transient gentleman who was experiencing severe abdominal pains.  At the direction of the 9-1-1 operator, I was yelling over the din of freeway traffic to ask this poor man questions like "RECTAL BLEEDING?".

The perspective gained from moments like this is priceless.  It all started pouring in as I departed the despairing scene where emergency personnel helped this poor soul   Poor me!  Worrying about what big fancy bike race I might compete in.  Poor me!  Missing out on the Swift Summit 200/100 because I have an amazing wedding to attend.  Poor me!  Lamenting that a "hard winter" has my fitness in the crapper.  Poor me!  Backed into a corner where I work on my physical fitness for no other reason than good health.

And, so, I am happy to proclaim that I'm ready to embrace a new outlook this year, and enjoy "training for training's sake!". 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Everything Old is New AF

A year ago I set my heart on an unknown race, the Swift Summit 200/100.  A double century with time cut-offs and no drive along SAG sounded like a dream challenge!  I ended up not finishing the race, missing the fourth control cut-off by a half hour.  I made big plans to return to the scene of the crime in 2018 and exact my revenge.

Then I learned that a pair of my dear friends are getting married on that very day.  As important as bikes and racing are to me, my friends come first.  This particular race has won all sorts of accolades since its 2017 kickoff and will have huge attendance, so my absence will have no effect on anyone but me.  Still, a "did not start" feels icky.

Pair this news with the cruddy dark weather of winter and the hibernation required by the flu, and your dear Bicycle Kitty has been spending way too much time at home licking her wounds.  While licking, I often check out facebook or intsagram and lo and behold - the rest of the world is having fun on bikes without me!

To combat my isolation and feeling of leftouted-ness, I joined a team.  A race team.  Of ladies who ride fast in all sorts of conditions on all sorts of terrain.  They are TeamAF and now I'm BicycleKittyAF.  While waiting to find "the perfect challenge" to replace the Swift Summit, I'll have training rides with cool riders.

I've started making a 2018 ride schedule to soothe my frazzled nerves.  Here goes:

  • F Brunch Series with Team AF - January Sundays - no idea what to expect
  • Caddyshack! Bill Murray tribute ride - Saturday, February 3, facebook event here
  • Worst Day of the Year ride - Sunday, February 11th - find me at the breakfast table
  • French Toast ride - Saturday, February 24th at 10am - email me for details
  • Dalles Mt 60 - Saturday, March 10th - tentative, I need a car ride out there!
  • French Toast ride - Saturday, March 24th at 10am - email me for details
  • Gorge Gravel Grinder - Sunday, April 8th
  • Tour de Beavs - Friday, April 20 - Sunday, April 22
  • Oregon Epic Gravel - Saturday, May 5th - tentative, I need a car ride out there!
  • Oregon Northback - May 25th - June 2nd - like the Oregon Outback only shorter 
  • Strawberry Century - Saturday, June 9th
The rest of the summer is a grab bag of who knows what.  If you'd like more details, to join any of above, or to offer me a car ride to the Dalles Mt 60 or Oregon Epic Gravel, drop me a note or comment below.

Thanks, readers and riders, and I hope your year is off to a grand start.

Monday, November 20, 2017


Team NO was hatched when pre-registering for the first race of the season.  I entered "NO" in the slot for team name, and here we are.  We have just one member and our credo is NO!, unless the question is "beer?".  Team NO jerseys are scarce, so I stuck with an O jersey instead.
The new Troll is definitely not a cyclocross bike.  It's heavy and doesn't have gears.  But it's nimble and comfortable and accommodates super fat tires.
Cyclocross is a fun way to get some exercise while occasionally drinking beer and improving your off-road handling skills. A typical race starts lining up with at least a hundred other women, of several different categories. I am in category five, which is a nice promotion from my usual category six racing.
I took last place in almost every time, except for costume day when I managed to beat six whole racers.  I dressed to match my basket that day, which must've really given me an edge.  Or mayhaps it was the whipped cream and whiskey shots fed to me at the beachy part of the course.
Race organizers use existing land formations or build new obstacles to challenge racers.  These can range from stairs to wooden hurdles to gigantic muddy rooty "run ups". The stairs at Bend, which are actually railroad ties used as landscaping, are least 20" tall, and there are a dozen of them.  Somehow I kind of managed to struggle up them on every lap instead of taking the bailout path.
The format of cyclocross racing makes it perfect for athletes of many levels.  Faster, more experienced racers are given the extra obstacle of slower, less experienced racers while everyone picks their way through gravel and sand and mud.  Racers only need to ride for forty-five minutes.  For many, that means completing five laps.  For Team NO, that translates to three laps.

Cyclocross is all about friends and strangers shouting at you, heckling you, cheering you and even pouring beer down your gullet.  Here are my favorite heckles of the season (all directed at Team NO):

"Is that bike a dog?  'Cuz you're walkin' it like one!"
"Hey honey, will get me some milk while you're out?"
"Do you have that milk in your basket" (same guy, later race!)
"You need to put some TRY HARD in your basket!"
"If you hurry, you can still make the cat show!"
 "It's weird, 'cuz she's so fast on the road" (a comment I overheard!)


Coffeeneuring is seven years old!  It's a challenge not dissimilar to the Society of Three Speeds challenge, where one must ride a bicycle, (in this case, any bicycle), to a cafe, or a park to make coffee outdoors, or a friend's home where they serve coffee.  Riders must ride at least a mile to their destination, may not repeat destinations, and may drink hot cocoa instead. This is an excellent opportunity to get more involved in the randonneuring coffee-loving community without pouring on tons of miles, or kilometers. The best part is the requirement to document, or blog the each coffeeneur ride.

Ride One - Saturday 10/14

Seven of us met at Water Avenue Coffee for Portland's Coffeeneur Kick Off, to enjoy coffee together, compare notes on our Coffeeneuring plans, and generally chit chat.  I rode my new single speed bike, which is my cyclocross bike for this season.  I chose this bike not because of its rad punk rock-looking fork with its dozen of studs, or its sexy drop bars, or even its brand spankin new bright white basket, but because the gearing is way too hard and I needed to go to the bike shop to get it changed on the way home.  I paid $2.50 for a (refillable) mug of coffee, and it was delicious.  After asking about sweeteners, the barista slipped me two yellow envelopes of splenda as if they were contraband, and put her fingers up to her lips "sshhhh".

Ride Two - Sunday, 10/22

I rode to Heart Coffee, a new cafe exactly one mile from my home, and fourteen short miles away from the cyclocross races at Heron Lakes.  I waited several minutes for a lady and her dog to do  their poop dance before I could take this photo of my bicycle in front of the cafe.  After shooting the photo, I had the opportunity to wait for them again while he peed on the bike rack.

The house coffee was pretty good, and cost $3 (no refills).  The condiment bar was austere, offering only stevia or organic imported locally-sourced free range sugar.  There's a trend at Portland coffee house to enforce their "purity" on their future ex-customers, and this place is on the bandwagon.  Not even secret splenda.  I like my coffee the way I like it, dammit.

Ride Three - Friday, 10/27

It seemed appropriate to ride the three speed Ross for my third coffeeneur ride.  The weather was nice enough to enjoy the patio at First Cup, which is situated exactly 1 ½ miles from home.  I ordered a house coffee, which was perfect.  The coffee was only $2 and the condiment bar was fully stocked with everything anyone could ever want from a condiment bar.

Ride Four - Friday, 11/3

The maroon Miyata mixte came out to play for coffeeneur ride number four.  The weather defied the rainy forecast, staying dry and sunny all day.  My destination, a mere 2 miles from home, is my favorite diner, and has not yet been found (and ruined) by hipsters.  Therefore, I am compelled to keep this location top secret.  Coffee was $2.25 with unlimited refills, which were delivered on time and cheerfully to my table by a seasoned waitress with a pink apron.  Condiment offerings were  bountiful, and the greasy spoon breakfast was perfect fuel for a fifty mile non-coffeeneuring ride that afternoon.
Ride Five - Saturday, 11/11

It was an eight mile ride on a beautifully dry and cool day to Dean's HomeStyle Cafe in Clackamas.  A house that looks like it could be your grandma's was filled with tables which were filled with families enjoying lots of scrumptious food.  No less than three people asked me emphatically if I was sure all I'd have is a coffee.  The coffee was pretty okay and cost $2.  There were probably bottomless refills but I was full. 

One of the best parts of this ride is the new bike path I found, which heads east from the 205 path and parallels highway 212.  The other best part was the old man who stopped to chat as I unlocked my bike.  He spied the "fast" sticker on my bike and pointed at it.  "Is that true?".  I said yes, sometimes.  He told me he's had some strokes and moves slowly nowadays.  He served in the Korean War and everything's been easy since then.  As he shuffled away, the time on my odometer read 11:11.

Ride Six- Friday, 11/17

I celebrated my sixth coffeeneur trip with a peppermint latte, which set me back $3.50 and was not available in a mug.  It had been a sunny eight mile trip to Bob's Red Mill, but my phone showed green blobs of rain headed my way, so I slammed my latte, grabbed my bag of wheat and hightailed it home.

Ride Seven - Saturday, 11/18

At last, my own personal coffeeneur finale!  I rode four miles to Palio Cafe near Ladd's Addition, which was also the meet point of the Wombat Alley Cat.  I don't know how much the coffee cost because after a ten minute wait I just left a $5 bill on the counter and served myself.  They had plenty of condiments, and I've had plenty of fun riding around drinking coffee.  Thanks, Chasing Mailboxes!


Monday, October 30, 2017

Three Speed October, Week Three

The third and final week of the Three Speed Challenge opened with beautifully sunny weather.  My first ride took me from home to work, for five miles.  One of my colleagues is roommates with the creator of the challenge, so it seemed perfect to include her in the photo for this ride.

My second ride took me the five miles from home to work for an eight hour layover, before continuing 3 ½ miles to Velocult.  It was sunny but chilly and the wind and slight hill made it quite a strenuous journey.  Luckily they have beer at Velocult, so I was able to recover before heading home.

My third and final ride of the challenge also doubled as my third ride of the Coffeeneuring challenge.  It may be against the rules for both challenges to combine rides, but I'll count on the double ride above as a safety net.  It was another gorgeous sunny day and I simply rode 1 ½ miles from home until I came across a cafe.  A quick sip of coffee, then home, with tailwinds all the way.

Until next time, I hope you have tailwinds too!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Three Speed October, Week Two

Tuesday's ride included a five mile jaunt, with a quick eight hour stopover at work, followed by a pleasant three mile ride with Sarah to a wine joint.  Sarah is the first friend I made when moving to Portland fourteen years ago.  We used to meet weekly for a twenty mile ride but have grown more moderate and now meet monthly to drink wine instead..

The evening was chilly and the streets were wet, but the clouds stayed closed for the evening.  After we had our fill of wine and olives, we parted ways.  My odometer read thirteen by the time I got home and put my beloved Ross in its window parking spot.

Ride two of week two was fifteen miles long in all, and pretty dang damp.  I started at home, as usual, and rode five miles to work.  From there, I rode to the Ride With GPS headquarters for the WTF bike industry happy hour.  WTF doesn't stand for what you think it does, it means Women-Trans-Femme.  It was early and there was just a small but rowdy bunch there.

I put my very wet rainsuit back on and headed out into the dark wet again, this time to meet with chess club.  I'm not very good at the game but I sure do like it.  After a few great games, I retired back to the streets for yet another pleasant ride.  It was dry by then but quite windy, as me and my three speed tooled through back alleys to find a new way home.  Once home, my odometer showed a whopping fifteen.
Ride three of week two of the challenge took me three very wet miles from home to a Ping Pong party at a friend's.  The host didn't want my dripping wet steed dribbling all over his nice carpet for a photo near the Ping Pong table, so instead I captured the garage parking spot, next to my friend's posse of sweet road bikes.  The ride home was also rainy, and featured heat lightening that turned the sky teal for just a few quick seconds. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Three Speed October, Week One

It's October, and that means it's time for the Society of Three Speeds' annual challenge.  The requirement this year is to ride a three speed bicycle three miles three times per week for three weeks.  Yippee!

My first ride was a commute to work, which may sound like no biggie, but it's five miles each way.  My antique Ross, "the quality lightweight bicycle", is suited for just up to that distance, but not much more.  This is not due to the lack of speeds, but to the antique components that barely cling to the bike. 

Last year, I had a wheel laced around a brand new Sturmey Archer 3 speed internal hub.  I was sad to lose the built-in grip shifter emblazoned with the letters "H - N - L",  or high, neutral, low, from the old Shimano system.  The new thumb shifter is quite nifty though, and operated by a very slight flick of the rider's thumb.  I knew thumbs were good for more than hitch hiking.

The second ride was a shorty but a goody.  I tra-la-lad around the neighborhood, diligently checking my odometer for the correct mileage.  Then I headed over to the tennis courts in the park near my home to meet a mom and her daughter.  The daughter is 7 years old and had been having trouble learning to ride a bike.

It is an unparalleled joy to give the gift of bicycling to a child.  After all, once you learn, you always know.  At one point, after pedaling without help for several seconds, she hopped off and ran to her mom for a celebration hug.  My heartstrings came unstrung.  Before I left, we took a lap around the tennis court together.

The third ride was to my local fabric store, to procure materials for the upcoming Bike Craft show.  I'll be displaying at the Bicycle Kitty booth and selling butt pillows (somewhere dry to sit wherever your bike may take you), buddy flaps and embellished valve caps.  For a sneak peek of fabric choices, zoom in on the pink pannier in the photo above.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Somewhere Near Rainbow

The weekend in Rainbow was canceled due to smoke, almost as soon as it was booked. I made a plan to do some other camping somewhere else, but suddenly, Rainbow was back on.  I dropped everyone and everything, shook my ducks out and rearranged them, and texted in a hell yes.  There's no way I'd miss a Rainbow weekend with the Hybrid Moments gang.

We arrived late, or at least after dark, and quickly got situated in the chilly cabin.  Since there was a fire ban, we wouldn't have a roaring fireplace to keep us warm like last time.  Thankfully, I was assigned the master bedroom, which includes two down blankets and an electric heater.

The next day we awoke to a beautiful sunrise, which was bad news.  A beautiful sunrise in Oregon during wildfire season means the fires are burnin and the smoke is thick.  Riding in the smoke can feel burny on the eyes and throat, and even limit breathing.  We were close to the evacuation zone, so adventuring on little known trails could actually be dangerous.

We piled in the car and drove to find a less smoky area to explore.  We saw some hitch hikers wearing bike helmets and promptly picked them up.  They were shuttling to the top of the trail, with plans to ride back to their parked car.  We dropped them at the trail head, then decided to ride there too.  

I had been promised a mountain bike-free weekend, and here we were on single track.  I tried to be a good sport, but the truth is I don't like single track.  I brace myself, my knees hurt, I'm nervous and staring at the roots and rocks and berms and spending all my energy trying not to fall, instead of seeing pretty scenery and having fun.  A few miles in, our leader asked how I was doing and I confessed I'd rather be at the dentist.

We crossed a gravel road on our way back to the trail head, and couldn't resist.  About five or eight miles of pretty riding later, it dead-ended and we turned back again.  Back at the parking lot, we saw there was another trial to try - the Santiam Wagon Trail.

The Santiam Wagon Trail used to be the only way to get over the Santiam Pass, before they paved Highway 20 through and covered it with cars.  The wagon trail is still alive though, hiding in the woods, and we got to check it out in both directions.  The trail gets pretty rocky and we were grateful to have pneumatic tires.  I wondered how history may have been changed if Dunlop had been around during wagon times.
Pretty soon we encountered Fish Lake, pictured above.  The lake is bone dry half the year.  A bit further on, we found Fish Lake Camp, a treasure trove of historical buildings and plaques.  We especially enjoyed theorizing about the homesteader grave of a young couple and their baby, who had encountered snow on the pass and died before making it to the safety of the Camp.
That evening we noticed an old junky-looking tandem behind the shed.  We went to work like a pit crew, pumped the tires, oiled the chain, and even wiped down the frame.  Soon the bike was rideable.  Cosmo let me captain and after several false starts, we were off!  The chain wasn't aligned correctly and our pedal stroke, instead of being in tandem, had us toe to heel on each revolution.  I'm not sure I've ever laughed as hard as I did during that tandem ride.
The next morning dawned less smoky, so we ventured out to a nearby logging road.  We waited for more Hybrid Moments riders, but no one came.  They must've been scared off by the smoke.  We climbed and climbed, and finally caught our first glimpse of Wolf Rock, the largest monolith in the state.  Further on, at our summit, we had a nice clear view of it and howled together at its grandeur.