Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail

Thursday, August 28, 2014

China research

Laughable I know, but I'm studying 2 books from the wonderful Seattle Public Library. One a memoir from about 10 years ago, the other The Rough Guide to China. I am taking my Lonely Planet guide with me. It gives me something to start with. I use books from both famous adventure travel presses whenever I travel abroad. Coincidentally, In 2011 I met a retired British man in the Adelaide YHA. He told me his son is a writer for LP's China book. Sort of a small world at times.
I leave on Saturday.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Something new in Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park

I haven't ridden along downtown waterfront since spring, so this addition is an arresting sight. No sign with caption to identify it, as far as I could see, so it must be a brand new installation. Generally I avoid this popular route in summer as it's crazy busy with out-of-town pedestrians who suddenly step in front of the bike, plus out-of-control toddlers in pedal cars that are guaranteed to turn right into you, so you have little choice but to go over your handlebars and crash to avoid killing both sets of obstacles.
Still, on this "bluest blue you've ever seen" day in Seattle it was fun.
This is the last time I'll be riding in Seattle until 2015. I'm off to China next month to teach English. This time, my suitcase will carry teaching swag, not a bike. But perhaps I'll get to rent some wheels once I've settled into my new digs. Once upon a time the #1 transportation device was the bicycle. Given all the tales I've heard of persistent air pollution, maybe one day they'll be smart and go back.
Since 2010, I've had the opportunity to travel outside the US every year. This teaching gig wasn't something I knew about until mid-July, so the decision to head out has been a lot faster than I usually like. Chances like this are "once in a blue moon" events. I reinvented myself as an English language teacher so that I had options to combine biking and meaningful work for which there's near term sustainable demand. Check, check. I sincerely hope it's a wonderful trip where I acquaint myself with the real China, teach some smart teens, and learn enough Mandarin to be able to get around with grace and confidence.
Access to the internet will take figuring out, plus I'll be working 5 days. No worries. My blog will continue.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lopez Island from Sperry Island

What we all dream of in in San Juan Islands bike vacation. Get an eyeful of Mt Baker. Yesterday's weather. Hope it comes back soon.

My favorite part of San Juan Island

Weather's not ideal today but this part of SJI not that far from Friday Harbor never fails to please. Years ago it was unpaved. Views to the Olympics very nice today. And not a car in sight.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bike commuting traffic very heavy for a Saturday

It's the solstice parade in Fremont

It's time for the annual parade of incomprehensible floats, musical cacophony, at least one speedo clad exhibitionist riding a longboard and lots of bicyclists dressed in p body paint and big smiles.
Fantastic weather today is a bonus. But I sort of miss the bad old days when the police used to try to arrest the nudists who used to gate crash the event to the hoots and hollers of the crowd.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The cure for "Juneuary" weather in Seattle

Weather is forecasted to be gray and grim for the weekend, depressing weather, as often happens, a week before the summer solstice hereabouts. So I've driven to the sun of Eastern Washington for a bike ride. I've enjoyed one heck of a tail wind ioutbound so that means I'll be fighting it all the way back on the Naneum Rd.
So I'm having a lunch break at the Thorp Mill before I turn my handlebars into to wind.