Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

A Day At The Races March 4, 2018

Filed under: Apex Team,Bicycling,Cycling,Family,Family Photos — Janet @ 5:25 pm


Yesterday marked the start of the cycling season – racing that is.  It was a chilly and foggy morning in the valley near Auburn south of Seattle.  Here is son James about to be launched – family members are gathered round.  It was a time trial wth cyclists starting every 30 seconds.  5 miles out, 5 miles return, taking approximately 28 minutes.  Various teams were represented.  James is with the Apex Team – they were well represented in the various categories.

James start time was about 9:20 and the fog had considerably dispersed by then.  That’s me to the left trying to get him at the start.   Grandson Sean is the supporter just to the right and James’ wife Susan is there in green.


Retro Cycling Italian Style March 6, 2017

Filed under: Bicycling,Cycling,Giro,History of Cycling,Italy — Janet @ 8:01 pm

IMG_2573  Here is a picture of a book I just finished – Geronimo!  Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy by Tim Moore.  Well it’s meant to be humorous but the author’s choice of language was a bit off putting. Nevertheless, he was quite inventive in finding ways to write about very similar experiences in his cycling adventure.  I might have enjoyed the book more if I knew more about the geography of Italy.


On The Road Again June 21, 2016

Filed under: Bicycling,Cycling — Janet @ 3:53 pm

The Seattle Randonneurs are on the road again for Day 4, the final day of their 1200K ride.  Only 125 miles today to finish in Mt. Vernon.  The photos below are from Day 3.  Oh how I wish I were X years younger and able to actively participate in this sport.  Oh well I get lots of vicarious pleasure from following my son and his friends and I don’t get wet and cold.

Dry Falls

Mazama country inn Day 3


Tour de Cascades June 20, 2016

Filed under: Cycling,Seattle International Randonneurs — Janet @ 6:15 pm

Here they are – 4 days and nights of cycling.  Is it fun?  Starting and finishing in Mt Vernon – 1200 K.  Right now (Monday 11 am) they are toiling along headed for the final overnight stop in Mazama.

A refreshing stop for ice cream at Dry Falls

Dry Falls

Spectacular scenery!


Retracing the first Paris-Brest-Paris September 20, 2015

Filed under: Cycling,History,Paris-Brest-Paris — Janet @ 1:14 pm

Off The Beaten Path


The first Paris-Brest-Paris was held as a “utilitarian race” in 1891. Organized by the newspaper Le Petit Journal, the big event started with a parade through Paris, before the cyclists raced off toward France’s westernmost city, some 600 km distant.

On our way to the pre-ride bike check of this year’s PBP, Hahn, Theo and I decided to retrace the beginning of the very first Paris-Brest-Paris.


We met in front of Notre Dame. The original PBP did not go here, but Notre Dame is considered the “center of France”, and the first Flèches Vélocio started here. Left to right: Steve T. (who couldn’t join us), Hahn, Jan, Theo.


The original PBP started at the building of Le Petit Journal in the Rue Lafayette. The offices of Le Petit Journal occupied the center of the block (above), but they’ve been replaced by a modern building that attempts in vain…

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On the Scarf Front and More March 10, 2015

Filed under: Cycling,Family photographs,Knitting,Scarves — Janet @ 2:46 pm

Over the weekend I had a great opportunity for knitting and I finished Scarf Number 26.    IMG_6186


We went on the Edmonds to Kingston ferry and then on to Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula.  And it was a gorgeous day for knitting, visiting a friend from our years in Bangladesh, and cycling.


IMG_6131  leaving Edmonds

IMG_6136  rendezvous point for meeting Lyn Muench – close friend from Bangladesh days

IMG_6152  our first vantage point for viewing the cyclists

IMG_6157  another view – cyclists disappearing at speed in the distance

IMG_6156  is James in this group??  hard to tell!

IMG_6147  waiting for the cyclists

IMG_6173  after the race – James and his dad


April 18, 1970 August 28, 2011

Filed under: Cycling,Family,Family memories — Janet @ 4:14 pm

  This is the photo I found this morning – date April 18, 1970.  This little fellow had just turned one.  Add up the numbers and you can figure out how old he is now.  He just returned from France, having ridden the PBP (the Paris-Brest-Paris) premier cyclist endurance challenge.  The ride was 1230 KM – his subgroup in the Seattle Randonneurs did it in 55 hours 45 minutes.  We’re all very proud of you James!  Pleased that you achieved your goal of doing the challenge within 56 hours and thereby becoming a member of the elite Charly Miller group.  It would seem to me to be challenge enough to do the PBP within the 90 hour time limit but oh well there’s nothing like having goals within goals.

  James on the right – practising his cycling skills in Dublin


Did They See Any People Knitting? August 24, 2011

Filed under: Cycling,France,Knitting,Postcards — Janet @ 4:57 pm

  this is a postcard image from Brittany where the Paris-Brest-Paris (the PBP) cycling challenge is being held.  These women are knitting while waiting for their husbands to return to the Crozon Peninsula, just south of Brest.  I wonder when this ancient image was actually taken.  And it looks like a posed shot for the tourists of way back when.  Maybe as long ago as when Charly Miller did his record setting ride of the PBP in 1901.

There are several new members now of the Charly Miller Club.  The target was 56 hours 40 minutes.  A group of 7 members of the Seattle Randonneurs clocked in just under the wire with an hour to spare.  News from son James who was part of that group is that they just kept going for the whole 1230 kilometers, with scarcely 15 minutes to get off their bikes at the various control spots.


Only a Few More Days August 17, 2011

Filed under: Cycling — Janet @ 4:24 pm

Only a few more days to the start of the Paris-Brest-Paris – the PBP., 2011

This premier cycling challenge event is held only every four years.  The tradition goes back to 1891.     When it was last held in 2007, I was at a week-long Music Workshop in An Grianan in Termonfeckin in County Louth north of Dublin (Ireland).  A wonderful week of recorder playing with friends new and old.  And it was also the week that the Connecticut McKee’s visited Dublin.  So in the midst of the music playing, I took a day off and travelled back to Dublin via taxi and train.  I met the McKee’s in central Dublin and then we went on the Viking Tour and shouted and roared and wore Viking Helmets.  Rather fun with grandchildren – and educational as well.  Nothing like having a tour of a city where you have lived for many years.  Then back to Connolly Station and back to Drogheda in time for the evening festivities.  It had been a nice day and the music players had actually gone to the nearby beach and built sand castles etc. 

Meanwhile the Seattle McKee’s were exploring Paris and environs while James was riding the PBP.  We were all trying to keep track of him but the connections weren’t as good as I hope they will be this year, 4 years further on with technological developments.  And I hope they have better weather for this year’s PBP.  The weather in 2007 was unusually grim for the riders in that part of France.

For more statistics, etc., this is a good site.


Have You Ever Travelled to Norway? February 4, 2011

Filed under: Air travel,American Youth Hostels AYH,Cycling,Norway — Janet @ 10:22 pm

Have you ever travelled to Norway?  A question I get asked quite frequently here in Ballard in Seattle Washington USA.  My answer is yes, but it was a long time ago – and I was on an American Youth Hostel cycling tour of England and the Scandinavian Countries.  It was in 1959.  Departure from La Guardia, or was it Idlewild,  Airport, New York.  On a 4 engine propeller plane operated by Flying Tiger Airlines.  Sounds like ancient history doesn’t it.   


This is the plane in which I flew across the Atlantic from New York to London, landing for refueling in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Gander, Newfoundland, Keflavik Iceland, and Shannon. We soon flew on to London and started the cycling part of our adventure there in England.  I’ll save the England part for another time.  Today I’ll write about cycling in Norway.  By the time we reached Norway via the overnight trip on the”Vomiting Venus” from Newcastle to Bergen, our cycling legs were in good shape.  In fact the cycling in England had been very tough – usually uphill and into a headwind and trying to do 25-30 miles a day.  We were a group of 8, 4 men, 4 women plus our Danish leader Fritz.   John and Earl from Indiana, Irwin Rosenhouse an artist from New York City, Chuck Johnson from Seattle,  Scottie from the Mid-West, Ruth, Betty, and myself.  The trip on the Venus was in fact quite smooth and the trip up the fjord to Bergen was very smooth and calm.  We passed isolated houses on the sides of the fjord and that part of the trip before we finally reached Bergen seemed very long.    The month was July, the hours of daylight were long.  We stayed in the Youth Hostel high above the city and we marvelled at the light in the sky well past midnight.  We had 2 or 3 days in Bergen to enjoy the museums and the market and the eating possibilities.  One excursion was to Grieg’s home and to see a stave church.        This photo of Grieg’s home is from this site. 

 I roamed the stores, I think I was looking for handcraft materials, probably yarn.  Although this wasn’t really a phase in my life when I was doing much in the way of handicrafts, I think the latent interest was still there.

When we left Bergen, I think we must have taken a bus and our bicycles were put up on the top in some sort of carrier rack.    Once the bus reached the top of that particular segment of road out of Bergen, we got out and claimed our bicycles and cycled to a hostel on the edge of the Hardanger Fjord.  I can’t quite reconstruct the sequence here because looking at the map it would seem that we would have stayed in Voss for a night and then cycled to another hostel along the edge of the fjord.  The hostel on the edge of the fjord was nestled down on one side of the road and to do our mountain climbing the next day we just went across the road and climbed for 2 or 3 hours to some of the higher meadows.    The meals in the hostel seemed very similar – I couldn’t tell the difference between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Then back on the bicycles to go to Eidfjord where we stayed in a tiny red school house.  I think there was a small ferry crossing at some point along the way.  Then another bus trip to gain more altitude.  We reached another high point and descended from the bus.   It was snowing!  And here we were only July.  Seemed a bit cold to bicycle but the sun eventually came out and it had only been a snow flurry after all.   The cycling seemed to be mostly gently downhill along the top of the plateau to Geilo and Gol.  Very easy cycling really.  It was in either Geilo or Gol that I bought a ski sweater in the traditional colours of navy with red and white trim.  Next came a train trip to get to Oslo where again we had a few days to enjoy the museums and the various other attractions of that city.  I just loved the Viking Ship Museum and seeing the Kon Tiki raft, and then the Folk Museum, and also the sculptures in Fragonard Park.  Then on to Stockholm, again via overnight train – a most uncomfortable journey sitting up all night with no facility for leaning back.  A very stiff neck was the result.  I’ll leave the telling of the Sweden and Denmark parts of the trip for another day.


It’s not easy to read the map but above are a few of the places – Bergen, Voss, the Hardanger Fjord,  Geilo, Gol, Oslo.  I can’t seem to find Eidfjord but I’m quite sure that was the name of the little settlement where we stayed in the red schoolhouse.

Not only am I trying to construct an answer to the question “have you ever travelled in Norway?”, I am also trying, in my mind, to relate, at least geographically,  to another recent experience – the viewing of a documentary film about life as it used to be in some of the more remote parts of Norway.  That too will be the subject of another post.