Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sweet slice of country in SW Boise

(Route map cropped from the "Boise Road Cycling Guide")

If you're a powder hound, this endless string of beautiful sunny days we've had lately is a bit depressing. But I learned long ago that in drought winters, you've simply got to adapt ... so on Saturday afternoon, I jumped on my road bike and rode a 28-mile country tour on the outskirts of Southwest Boise. It's really quiet out there, the pavement is in good shape, and the great big expanse of country makes it feel as though you're a long ways from town.

The route I took was a combination of George's Tuesday Night Ride and a few snippets of the Boise Half Century Ride for a two-hour ride (pretty major headwind). These rides are featured in a new waterproof bike map I published in December called the Boise Road Cycling Guide.

I started at the junction of Gowen and Pleasant Valley, and then rode south on Pleasant Valley. The southeast wind was right in my face on the way up the Pleasant Valley grade. Big gravel pits are peppered along the grade. At the top of the hill, I went right on Ten Mile Creek Road, a beautiful route along a ranch and creek bottom. Then, I went south on S. Cole to Kuna-Mora Road, again in the wind. But I had the route to myself ... no cars in sight for miles.

At Kuna-Mora, I turned right and rode several miles west into a warm afternoon sun. Then, heading north on Cloverdale, I had a nice tailwind and flew back toward Kuna at 22-25 mph. Instead of riding back over to Pleasant Valley via Ten Mile, I went straight on Cloverdale, and then cut over to S. Cole on Lake Hazel. There's a nice parkway along Lake Hazel east of Cloverdale. Lake Hazel comes to a dead-end, and then you turn left and ride on a couple of small streets in a subdivision to reach S. Cole.

Back into the blasted head wind, I rode S. Cole to the Peregrine Fund turnoff and turned left on Hollilyn for the home stretch back over to Pleasant Valley. There's a lot of open sagebrush between that southern bench and the Boise Airport. Great spot for mice, rabbits and hawks. I saw several red-tails patrolling low, just hovering above the ground.

Anyway, this country tour is a beauty. And it kicks your butt hard enough that you'll be hungry for dinner! Try it sometime. -SS

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fair weather skiing at Bogus

Last Saturday, we had the privilege of skiing under sunny skies at Bogus Basin with a bunch of friends. I brought my video camera and took some shots as we yo-yo'd a great off-trail mogul slope to the skier's right of upper Paradise.

Here's a link to the video.

We all love to ski in the sunshine, but lately, I've been praying for snow. We need a fresh coating everywhere ... sounds like we might be getting the storms coming through this weekend, just in time for the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Bring it on! - SS