Mt. St. Helens 2021

I really enjoy riding Mt. St. Helens. I’ve done it a number of times now — at least three previous times that I can think. This year, after 2020, I’ve felt really, really fed up with riding on all the same old roads around my house, so this week while Ian and Benji were gone, I took Wednesday off work and arranged to ride Mt. St. Helens again. It’s a good use of time, since that activity takes all day and usually has a huge impact on the family.

However, there’s some backstory on this St. Helens ride. First of all, I emailed a group of biking friends to see if anyone wanted to join me. One recent biking acquaintance, Simon Snoeck, said he’d like to join me. It’s always good to have a ride buddy on a remote activity like that, so I was happy. Continue Reading >>

Building Character, One Mile at a Time

Yesterday, Dad and I rode Mt. St. Helens. I last did this back in 2011, also, and I remembered beautiful views and difficult climbing, with stiff headwinds on the way back. The roads were nicely paved, though. Yesterday was similar but also very, very different.

So I’ve been thinking about how to approach talking about this ride, because it wasn’t quite the ride I planned on doing. As you know, I normally don’t even mention my rides unless they’re really exceptional. Our St. Helens ride certainly was noteworthy. Yesterday I was going to talk about what went wrong, but after sleeping on it, I’m going to talk about what went well first.


  • The weather wasn’t too hot. This may seem like reaching for good things, but actually, we are normally scorched. Yesterday it was cloudy and high 50s for much of the ride, and then later the sun did come out, but it never got above 70. I actually wished I had my vest for most of the time.
  • A couple other people showed up! We didn’t actually expect anyone, so when two other guys showed up, we were pleasantly surprised. One of the guys was a little slower, but it worked out fine.
  • When the clouds cleared, we got some phenomenal views of Mt. St. Helens, and there were some really pretty stretches of road with nice scenery. One of the really amazing things about this ride is that as you come around corners and over hills, you get these stunning views of the mountain. Here are the pictures I took at the top. They actually weren’t the most beautiful views; some of the viewpoints along the way offered those, but I didn’t want to dig my phone out of my bag to get them. Continue Reading >>