Forest Thinking

I note it is a thing to use a social media platform to express concern about how social media platforms and posting of events (running) has taken over just enjoying oneself.

Things that resonate with me this morning: The point on being drained brought this out of my stack of things to read, but what I am working on is #5:

“What do I need to do to get myself to where I’d like to be?”

I am a little put off about the short time frames, but as I approach the one year anniversary of the beginning of what turned out to be an unplanned year and change in life force … I am thinking about steps to take in the direction of where I want to go.

That leads me to outside, and the forest.

Unexplained phenomena: I find the most fun in the fact that part of my regular loop, the very first part, makes it super hard to get started. Other parts are just fun for familiarity. Why run a regular route. To make it easy on myself to take a small step in the direction I want to go and when I am more ready, I will run more unfamiliar trails and locations.

12 Types of Trail Runners

Training is lonely. With a plan. Without a plan. Track Nights. Speed Workout. Tempo Runs. Long Slow Distance. Recovery Runs. Stair Workouts. Hill Repeats. Intervals. You do these often by yourself. Sometimes with a running buddy and conversations are then held under the cone of silence rules.

Then there is the Group Run.  These are some of the folks you will undoubtedly meet there.




They read maps and grok elevation profiles like everyone else does Game of Thrones.  The know the Gorge, the Coast, and especially Forest Park like the partner it is.  Any picture, any season, they know where they are. They leave piles of rocks and rumor has it have Hansel and Gretel memorized.

If you show them the picture above they know exactly what trail it is and how many miles you cut off the Wildwood by using the shortcuts, and they have run all of it.  They know it is Balch Creek, the proper name is the Witches Castle (not the Stone House), they know where the Giant Owl is mounted on a tree, where the wood teepee is maintained as well as the trail closure web page.

It is a role that falls on a veteran member of the group, they’ve run every one of the routes many times.  They will let you get lost if you are having a good time, and they will point the way if you sound tentative, and they watch the front and the back of the group.  Measure how good your group is by these runners.  Great ones check to make sure you get back and go back and get you when you are lost.  A GPS or a trail sign are a wonderful thing, but hold these runners closer than that.



If it isn’t on Strava, it didn’t happen.  They wave a hand in the air like a pink flamingo raises a leg.  They won’t budge until the satellites lock in.  Their annual bucket list includes a run where the Strava route draws a shape.  They also have the best run titles and will loan you a file when your run doesn’t record.  It won’t bother them you look identical.

The technical ones know where the why your phone records differently than a Garmin, and can spend hours discussing the waypoints different watches and phone operating systems utilize.  They can be spotted with a smartphone that isn’t playing music as it is secretly recording and one or more wrist devices as well as a heart monitor.  When the apocalypse happens they will be purchasing a Garmin for their dog who is well behaved and has their own Instagram account.  They never turn on Beaconing.  They could get lost in the running store.

Then there are the hunters, who are not the sheriffs.  They run whatever pace it takes and sprint like mad over a segment to prove something and you hear from them over post race coffee.  If you are tempted, save it for your training runs.


Speed blur

They are fast on road runs.  Concrete.  They run so precisely they slow when they step on lines on a track.  On a trail they go nuts.  They are easy to spot as they look constantly at their watch and are sure that real running happens at faster speeds.  They struggle uphill and run downhill like a Prius.

They will catch on, they are runners.

Until then they are a pain in ass.



This is usually a sub group, running slowly near the back of the pack if in touch with the group at all. If there is a regroup point, they can’t make it before everyone is shivering and needs to move on.

They are friendly and buzz with conversation amongst themselves.  You will not get to know them: you weren’t dancing with them last night, weren’t injured at the same time, didn’t do the last race with them.

You may not see them again, even at a post run coffee or beer.


This one has never run with a group or held a conversation.  They run the group run like a training run and go as hard as they can.  There may be people with them; however, they are so far above Tempo they can’t talk.  They compare Strava times at the end and freeze while everyone else comes in much later.  They show up to a group run for the social connection.  They are fun after a beer.



Announces themselves as an Ultra.  Thy are insulted when you call them a runner.  Mentions that they shouldn’t have done those hill reps before the group run.

They measure runs in hours.

They usually run a Half to get to the run, and you will never see them again.


They know exactly what is wrong with your running mechanics that caused the problem you are having.  They have had it before, repeatedly.

Not to be confused with the ER Doc or DPT who is running with the group,  these folks have no idea what salt is for but have a portable rolling device for whenever you stop.


They are up on all the latest treatments, methods, and shoes and you will have to probably let them tape you up.

9. The always late RUNNER




This is what waiting looks like. (Credit: Jesse Wild)

Try telling only them that ride starts at 8.45 when it really starts at 9. Their sixth sense for lateness will probably leave you waiting til 9.20 anyway.





Leave the big rings to Roger

Just because you’re riding a 54×42 chainset around the South Downs, it doesn’t make you Roger De Vlaeminck.

11. The TRI




Leave the big rings to Roger

12. The PACK




Leave the big rings to Roger


14. The FAST GUY




Leave the big rings to Roger






Leave the big rings to Roger


Inspiration for my bit of group humor from Cycling Weekly.  I hope they accept it with grace for all the group rides I have done.

I am sure I left off your favorite, contact my legal department.

Tidbit: Subpar Parks

Tidbits are just small little things that I run across. Today, Day #11 of Social Distancing is supposed to also bring us other restrictions and be called something new. In addition to everything else, the State Parks are closing today.

This site: Subpar Parks, reminds me of an old NPR broadcast of CarTalk where an 11 or 12 year old wrote in and complained that the show was horrible 🙂 I will have to find that and re-listen to it, the letter was priceless, for now, realize that a lot of what you see in life depends on your perspective and enjoy the humor in Subpar Parks.

This Summer is NOT Last Summer

Arrived Lost Lake yesterday PM, no boats available, while sitting watching everyone I realized that this summer is NOT last summer, and my Subaru has flat bars which fit my Yakima boat mounts and my Kayak.  The same Kayak I left sitting in the garage. 

Mounted them to test and mentally lock in that they work and I can take the Kayak!

Camping IN my Subaru

The image demonstrates a working prototype of a concept on camping inside the Subaru. I was working on the idea of how much clearance I would get if I wanted to leave room for a 7″ box, featured in picture and create a level or near level platform.

Two things happened.

First, I bumped the rear hatch light and as I use my bicycle to commute everywhere during the week, I ran the battery down.

Second, I realized that with only one person I could drop the sleeping platform to the floor, shim it for level, make it 26″ wide and then use the remaining 16″ for storage on the other side of the car.

I am hoping to create 1.0 in the next three weeks, use to camp over Spring Break at least once or twice and then adjust as necessary for the summer.

Three New Bridges in Forest Park


Three new bridges are supposed to be opening in 2017 and I can’t wait.  Find more information at the Forest Park Conservancy web site here.

        • The Maple Trail bridge is 32 feet long. Construction began in early July and completion is scheduled for the end of September.
        • The Lower Macleay bridge is 78 feet long. Construction began in mid-June and scheduled for completion at the end of September. Lower Macleay Trail is the most popular trail in Forest Park and experiences thousands of users per year, making this bridge replacement project a top priority.
        • The Wildwood Trail bridge is 40 feet long. Construction has not yet started but is anticipated to begin early September and be completed by the end of October.
        • The new bridge design was a collaborative effort between PP&R, a community focus group, and the consulting design team: Environmental Science Associates (civil and environmental engineers), Fieldwork Design & Architecture (architects), and Grummel Engineering, LLC (structural engineers).
        • PP&R is planning a grand opening celebration for the new bridges. Watch for more details and other project information coming soon.