The other night while riding my bike after work, I realized that I ride one of two routes almost every day. I had never really thought about it before, but for some reason it really bugged me. I have “alternate” routes for when the trails are too muddy, or if it’s really snowing and cold, but usually it’s the same ride all the time.
I kept thinking about it, and before long I had a solution: I could create a database of all the rides I can access from work and setup a cron job to send a randomly selected ride to me every day. It was a long ride, though, and the more I thought about it, the more features I came up with. Before too long I had a whole list of features, and it started to seem like a really cool idea.
So my new project is going to be a website, After Work Rides.
I spent most of today setting everything up so that I can get started. I decided to make the site using Python3 and the Bottle web framework. Dreamhost provides MySQL databases, so that decision was made for me. Unfortunately, I had to install Python 3.2, Bottle, and the MySQL DB connector myself, because Dreamhost only provides old versions. Not difficult, but it had to be done.
After the hosting was setup I signed up for a Google Maps API key, created a new repo on Github and setup a simple landing page.
Finally I can get to work on the interesting part of actually developing the site…
I just got a great deal on a single speed mountain bike at the Trek store in Louisville. They’re giving $100 off every bike in the store for the entire month of May.
Despite the great deal, my decision to get a single speed was somewhat spur of the moment. I spent a good portion of the morning cleaning the chain and derailleurs on my regular bike. Like usual, I spent the entire time making a mess and hating it. This time it bothered me so much I decided to do something about it. Single speeds are simpler mechanically, and are supposed to require less maintenance.
I plan on keeping my regular mountain bike for longer trips and for serious mountain riding. But for my daily commute and after work rides, I’ll probably stick with the single speed. Rumor has it that single speeds make your legs stronger, so that may be a nice bonus.
After reaching my goal of skiing 50 days during the 2010-2011 season, I’ve been having a hard time motivating myself to go anymore. I still think about going, and I keep telling myself I’ll go again, but I really don’t know when. The super nice weather isn’t helping much – 75 degree bluebird days just aren’t skiing weather. I’ve been dying to go camping or on a backpacking trip, but unfortunately there’s still too much snow in the mountains.
That means it’s the perfect time to spend the weekends mountain biking. The last few weekends I’ve been doing some variation of this loop.
It’s a really great loop because it can be as long as I want it to be, and it covers all kinds of terrain, from the road to single track. Maybe best of all, I don’t have to drive to get to it. Sunday’s ride was the longest variation I’ve done, and is shown in the GPS track above; a 51 mile loop with ~3000 feet of elevation gain that took about 4.5 hours. the only thing that would make the ride better is if there were more trails and fewer roads. I’ve been looking for ways to do that, but haven’t had much luck.
Also over this last weekend, I rode out-and-back on Westminster’s Big Dry Creek trail, from my apartment to I-25, and back. It’s only ~18 miles, so I added a loop around Standley lake. It’s not a very exciting ride, but I get so bored riding on the street to and from work, it’s a nice change to ride any kind of trail.
The next few weekends I may actually drive out to the foothills and do some biking there. Usually, I don’t like driving to go for a bike ride, but I’m really anxious to get out on singletrack this spring. I think next weekend I’ll head over to the Walker Ranch Loop. A friend and I hiked around it a couple years ago, and it looks like a great place to ride. I might even go crazy and ride all the way to the trailhead, do the loop, and ride home, but that’d be a pretty long day. Guess I’ll see how I feel next weekend..
Today I skinned up A-Basin from the parking lot to the upper section of East Wall, then skied down North Chute, back to the parking lot. To get a feel for backcountry skiing, I was wore a full pack, including my avalanche beacon, probe and shovel.
It was my first time skiing with a pack on, and in retrospect, it was probably a mistake to ski a 45Â° slope right off the bat. It went okay, though, and once I got to more mellow terrain everything went great. Tomorrow I’ll try without the pack.
This video isn’t the greatest, but it shows the view well enough:
And the GPS track of the skin up and ski down…
A couple weeks ago I bought a new helmet cam to use while skiing and biking. I haven’t made anything interesting yet, but I created a Vimeo account, and uploaded a couple videos to try it out:
I’ve never done any video editing, but Rob suggested Kdenlive, and so far it’s working out pretty well, but it’s taking a little time to figure everything out. The two clips I’ve posted so far didn’t really take much editing skill…
In any case, I’m working on some tree skiing footage that should be a little more interesting to watch, but it’ll probably be a few days before I get it good enough to upload.
When I climbed Mt. Sherman first time I also climbed Mt. Sheridan and White Ridge. I wanted to get Gemini Peak, too, but didn’t get a chance.
Two years later, I finally got back around to it. It was weird trip in a way, because it was my first time up Gemini Peak, second time up Mt. Sheridan, and third time up Mt. Sherman. It was also the first time I hiked Mt. Sherman when it wasn’t snowy.
Other than that, it was a typical 14er/13er hike. I took a few pictures, but I don’t think they add much to the collection I took the last time I was up Sherman.
Here’s the GPS track.
This is the second time I’ve meant to hike Mt. Powell, and the second time I’ve ended up hiking something else instead. This time I made a wrong turn and ended up on Pt. 12709, “Corner Peak”.
Here’s the GPS track
And here’s the route I should have taken, in green:
The mixup that led to the wrong turn is kinda funny. I lost track of the trail, so I started following this couple (the only 2 people I saw all day) ahead of me. I caught up to them before too long, and asked if they were on their way up Powell, just to double check. They told me I missed the turn off, and that we were headed up Peak C. I figured instead of backtracking, I might as well just climb Peak C instead, so I thanked them and kept going. It wasn’t until I looked at the summit register that I realized they were just as lost as I was. Oh well, Mt. Powell will be there next weekend…
Hiked my first 14ers in the Elk range this weekend with Castle and Conundrum Peaks. It was a really long day (14.8 miles and almost 5000 ft of elevation gain), but I had a great time. The Elks have amazing views.
The rest of the pictures are up on Flickr.
And here’s the GPS track.
I was planning to hike Mt. Powell up in the Gore Range this weekend, but once I got up there I had kind of a bad vibe about it, and I couldn’t find a camp site, so after driving all the way past Vail, I called it off and rushed over to Mt. Elbert. It’s not the most exciting hike, but I was pretty sure I’d get a campsite, and I hadn’t done a 14er in like 4 or 5 weeks.
It was pretty close finding a campsite. I think I got the last one in the entire area, but I DID get one, so it worked out.
The hike itself was a lot of fun. It was crowded, but could have been a lot worse. Since this was a repeat and it was crowded, I didn’t waste much time or take many pictures. Basically just some random summit pics, and this panorama:
The 9.35 mile round trip took 3:09, including 15 minutes to eat lunch and take pics at the summit. So far it’s my fastest time on a 14er, but I think I could do better if I had brought my running shoes and a smaller pack. Maybe next time…
In anycase, here’s the GPS track.
Skipped hiking and camping last weekend to avoid the 4th of July crowds. I heard I-70 was so bad they were “metering” traffic at the Eisenhower tunnel. Instead I did a bit of exploring around Westminster on my bike.
This weekend was back to the mountains, though.
Did a scramble along the east ridge of Pacific Peak, from the book Colorado Scrambles: Climbs Beyong the Beaten Path, and decided to grab “Atlantic” peak while I was there. To date, this is the most difficult scrambling route I’ve done.
Here’s a picture of the full ridge, from near Atlantic Peak. The route goes right along the top of the ridge.
And some of the terrain:
The rest of the photos are on Flickr.
Here’s the GPS track.