Springtime: A Time to Rediscover


Every spring as we head into the mountains again, it is exciting to rediscover the roads that we love. For us, each season has its particular routes. The spring rides are some of our favorites.


Heading to Index for the first time of the year is special. Index lies deep in the mountains, but its elevation is low enough that it is snow-free most of the year.


We head out on roads that we know well, but haven’t ridden in almost a year. It’s wonderful to rediscover these old friends.


After the relatively flat base miles, it’s fun to stretch our climbing legs again.


We usually have the little backroad to Index to ourselves, but on this day, we met a train on its way up Stevens Pass.


Index itself is a little town offset from the highway. It is surrounded by mountains and seems worlds away from the big city of Seattle.


On this day, we had planned to arrive in Index by noon, and we were pleased that our randonneuring skills survived the winter break intact.


When you rediscover favorite places, you always wonder what has changed. This time, things are changing for the better: The long-abandoned Bush House hotel and restaurant is being remodeled. I look forward to being one of the first guests here.


Currently, we get our lunch at a small convenience store. The beautiful setting makes up for the lack of food choices.


As we head home through sun-dappled forests, it’s hard to believe that it’s still winter. We enjoy every minute of this ride, since quite a few more rainy months are ahead before it will be summer again.


We swoop down into the valley as we head back toward Seattle. The joy of riding our favorite roads stays with us all week. These mini-vacations restore our spirits during the gray winter months. We try to take as many of them as we can fit into our schedule.

About Jan Heine

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Rene Herse Cycles, that turns our research into the high-performance components we need for our adventures.
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22 Responses to Springtime: A Time to Rediscover

  1. Christopher Grande says:

    Decided to not take the new Herse out?

  2. Rod Bruckdorfer says:

    Your writing about riding in the mountains portrays a romantic journey to a time, when the world did not move at the speed of an electron. It is refreshing to know one can enjoy cycling without wearing Rapha, riding to Strava or race training on a carbon fiber machine through cold and rain all day in the mountains then drinking chocolate milk after “going to hell and back” – refreshing indeed. Thank You.

  3. David Gaible says:

    Awesome riding (and I love that you have the same Ibex gloves as me). Can you post a link to the course? Happy riding!

  4. DummyDiva says:

    Nice! Love the photos. I’m heading for a ride today I haven’t done in 21 years!

  5. Daniel A says:

    I noticed you’re wearing a Timex and not a vintage mechanical watch. Thoughts? 😉

  6. Alexey Merz says:

    “…a romantic journey to a time, when the world did not move at the speed of an electron.”

    …and the speed of an electron in a 1mm copper wire at 3A of DC current is about… 0.001 km/h!


    • Rod Bruckdorfer says:

      This 0.001 km/h drift velocity is negative, i.e. -0.1 m/hr, whereas “By comparison, the Fermi velocity of these electrons (which, at room temperature, can be thought of as their approximate velocity in the absence of electric current) is around 1570 km/s.[1] 🙂

  7. Joel Niemi says:

    Bike Route Toaster does have a bicycle selection in the auto-routing section, and it usually knows about bike paths. I don’t recall if you can switch between bikes and cars and pedestrians while you are making a route.

    • You can switch between “auto-routing” and not while making a route, which is nice. When I was drawing the course, the software (which is using Google Maps as a base) didn’t recognize the trail… but maybe that has changed now?

    • Bill Gobie says:

      Yes, you can switch BRT between cars and bikes and peds while drawing a route. Routable bike routes have to be in the map database. Sometimes it routes onto mountain bike trails, or makes crazy detours to reach bike routes. Editing routes drives me nuts — correcting a mistake usually requires redrawing the whole route. I wonder if this a browser problem.

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