Friday, March 22, 2019

I am in Castroville Texas, 25-30 miles west of San Antonio. I am crew chief for Chris Davies as he challenges the 512 mile Texas RAAM Challenge. The race begins at 5am local time (3am Pacific) on Saturday. You can track our progress HERE.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Update

I have not been riding a real bike following the most recent incident with an inattentive driver.  It just takes the fun out of riding when there is a real possibility of being killed while out there, and the drivers aren't even cited.  I have been riding the pretend bike in the gym a bit, but it is boring and isn't worth blogging about.  I am approaching bike race season, and will be crew chief for Chris Davies as he competes in several races this year.  The first race will be the 500 mile Texas RAAM Challenge beginning on March 23rd.  I'll be posting satellite tracking info and other race details for all races this year as the dates approach. Stay safe out there folks!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

More pretend biking

I went back to 24 Hour Fitness and rode the pretend bike again.  Still no traffic there.  ;-)   I set the machine to level 9 and held a 85-90 cadence and a 130-140 heart rate for 1 hour.  The little fan outlets on the machine could not keep up with the heat I was generating.  That's what happens when one is out of shape!

........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total

Today .......................0..................0...................16.............16

Jan........................... 0................0......................16.............16

Friday, January 4, 2019

Another year, hopefully better than the last.

After getting hit twice in 12.5 months I'm a little shy about riding on roads.  It is just something about seeing a truck bumper go over you as the front tire comes to a stop 18" from your head that will do that.  Neither of the drivers was cited though both were clearly were at fault. :-( When asked why the drivers weren't cited, the responding officers said that the first driver was polite and remorseful, the second incident wasn't witnessed by the officer.  Whatever.

Today I rode the pretend bike in the gym.  Boring, but no chance of getting hit.


........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total

Today .......................0..................0...................11.............11

Jan........................... 0................0......................11.............11

Friday, November 30, 2018

Day 30 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

Well, the #ridingeverydayinNovember challenge ends today.  My plan was to get 34 miles, enough
to push my monthly mileage to 508 in homage to my Furnace Creek 508 finish.  I drove to Sellwood Riverside Park to start from,  as many of my rides this month have. I'm still a little timid about riding with traffic after last November's issue and I have good access to the Springwater Trail and good parking options, restroom, water, etc.

As I was preparing to ride a rain shower arrived.  The forecast called for increasing rain with up to a half inch falling during the afternoon.  I was hoping this wasn't an early arrival of that weather system, but I did have the rain bike.

That shower soon stopped, and a little blue sky appeared between the swirling clouds. It was time to ride!  I considered riding out and back on the Springwater the appropriate distance to reach my goal, but I prefer to not ride out and back.  I also had the option of riding Portland's 40 mile loop (actually 38 miles) and by using the Williams Ave option could cut that to 34, just perfect for today's goal. It would still be mostly on paths with the remainder being on well marked bike lanes.

I went for the loop tour!

I started off northbound.
Tilikum Crossing

I was enjoying the ride, being pushed along by a brisk south wind. I was aware that this was a loop route and I'd eventually have to be riding into the wind.



The path was dry and as long as one was looking the right direction the sky looked blue!

Steel Bridge, Broadway Bridge, and if you look carefully you can see the Fremont Bridge as well.
At the Steel Bridge I climbed away from the river and got on Williams Ave.  It is a designated bikeway with good markings.

As I neared the Columbia River the bike route on Williams gets moved over to Vancouver Ave to access a bridge over the Columbia Slough. Vancouver is a busier street, but has a marked bike lane.

As I approached Columbia Blvd the traffic light was red, and there where a few vehicles in the lane waiting for the green light. As is my normal procedure, I exited the bike lane and got in line with the cars.  My mantra has always been "never get to the right of a car than can turn right".  Getting in the lane eliminates the dreaded right hook, and also makes a few motorists mad because they think you should be in the bike lane, not THEIR lane.


Soon I had other cars line up behind me.  I could feel their eyeballs on my back. The last time I was at this intersection I was behind a few cars as well.  I ended up not making it through the light when it turned green.

I looked at the two cars and one garbage truck ahead of me.  There were no turn signals on indicating that any of them intended to turn right.  I cautiously moved back to the bike lane and moved forward while watching for last minute signals.  My plan was to get ahead of the truck that was the first vehicle in line and stop on the crosswalk and wave and make eye contact with the driver.

Never quite made it that far.  As I got about to the passenger side door of the truck the light turned green.  The driver was prompt at getting started and be darned if he didn't turn right.  I slammed the brakes and tried to turn right but the driver was turning close (as he should, instead of swinging wide into the left lane)  I had nowhere to go.  I clearly remember being on the ground watching the bumper of the truck going over me, and seeing the front tire rolling toward me.

I am thankful that the driver had quick reflexes (and didn't have radio playing loudly).  He said he heard a hit and slammed on his brakes coming to a quick stop.  The rear of his truck was still blocking lanes on Vancouver.  I'm glad he choose to keep blocking lanes rather than proceed forward then get out to see what he might have hit.  He was very remorseful and said he rode bike too. I was legally in the bike lane but  I should have listened to my own advice and stayed in the lane with the cars, but he should have signaled, and should have checked mirrors before turning across a bike lane. He said he didn't see me, but I respond that he didn't look.  There are enough bikes on streets in Portland that one always has to presume the likelihood of a bicycle in a bike lane.

The bike has some serious damage and is not ridable.  I'll bring it in to my LBS and see if it is fixable.

On the plus side, I'm still here typing this, I got my 5 mile personal minimum, and completed the #ridingeverydayinNovember challenge.


Remember kiddos, never ride to the right of a vehicle that can turn right.


........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total

Today ......9.................0..................0....................0.............9

Jan.........26................ 0................0.....................0..............26

Feb.........7..................0................0.....................0...............7

March.......5.................0................0.....................0...............5

April.......0.................0...............66.....................0...............66

May.........0..................0..............79......................0...............79

June........2..................0...............0......................0...............2

July........64.................0...............0......................0...............64

August......11..................0...............0.....................0...............11

September......0..................0................0.....................0................0

October........0..................0...............0......................0................0

November.......483................0................0......................0...............483

YTD........589...............0...............154.....................0.............743

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Day 29 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

I started off the day with plans to get some (for me) big miles.  I wanted to be within striking distance of 500 miles for the month.  That would mean getting 75 miles in the next two days..  Today was predicted to be dry, so I wanted to get as many of those miles as I could today. I had some morning errands but was on my way to the Springwater Trail by 11 AM.

I attached my lights since I was planning on joining the Thursday Night Ride when I was finished riding the trail.

There was a bit of an east wind blowing as I made my way eastbound toward Boring, on a slightly uphill rails to trails path.


After a slight uphill struggle, and a bigger headwind struggle, I reached Gresham and rested a bit while taking in the "Welcome to Gresham" information.





I hopped back on the bike and continued my easterly trek.  I arrived at the paved trail's terminus, at the community of Boring, which was named for a Civil War soldier. (Union)  In Oregon we don't really honor the traitorous confederate soldiers. As close as we get is South Albany High School which was divided off from Albany Union High School in 1971 and took the mascot of Rebels and adopted the colors red and gray. They took that one step farther and had a confederate flag hanging in the gym until it was removed in 1989.


There are many reminders that railroads and street cars were once king around here.


At the Boring Trailhead there is a map showing the extent of the street car and passenger train lines that opened this former frontier to development (and logging)


I had planned to join TNR (Thursday Night Ride) tonight, so I had my Light and Motion Stella 300 headlight along,so I wasn't too concerned about the fading light.  I stopped to take a photo of the sunset.  As I was taking this photo a female commuter came from the opposite direction.  She saw that I was taking a photo, looked over her shoulder, then exclaimed "Clearly, I'm riding in the wrong direction!".  Indeed she was.  Not only was she riding against the wind and uphill, she was missing the show!

.  

Unfortunately, I soon found that my headlight would not work.  Not sure if the battery failed or the light itself.  I'll have to look into that later. For now I took the Planet Bike Turbo Flash tail light off the back and held it in my hand facing forward to increase my visibility to oncoming cyclists on the dark unlit trail. It was bright enough to hit the reflective markings on the bollards at various locations and keep me from running into them. I wish that dark clothing walkers not carrying light also had reflective markings. They weren't nearly so easy to see.  More than one required a last minute maneuver for me to avoid collision.  I reduced my speed considerably.

When I got back to Sellwood I stopped by my pickup and grabbed a flashlight and my spare Planet Bike Blaze headlight. This little light doesn't hold a candle to my Stella, and wasn't designed to, but I was at least legal now. I shoved off toward Salmon Street Springs, the meeting point for the weekly Thursday Night Ride which has been happening for several years now.  I had not attended in over a year because...... well, because I haven't been riding. :-( I was going to remedy that tonight.


I arrived early, just as the crowd was beginning to assemble.


The crowd was a bit smaller than I've been accustomed to and there were still a few stragglers riding in as we shoved off after waiting 10 minutes beyond the advertised start time.  No problem, there is an online tracker for the event so those who dally can find where we are.

TNR is about socializing and not miles or speed.  We had two store stops to stock up on "supplies". I used the first stop to get new batteries for my headlight which was struggling with batteries that were several years old.  Good move, light was mucho más brillante with new batteries.

As usual, there were a lot of fixed gear bikes.  I'd normally ride mine, but came prepared for rain today.  TNR is all about bike culture. One can spend a good deal of time just reading stickers!

Yup, the bike is a fixed gear
We shoved off from our first stop and I was waiting for them as they exited the parking lot.

                      

We stopped at Laurelhurst Park. In 1919 this park was named the most beautiful park on the west coast.  Tonight it was ...........dark.  It did however make a perfect location to use up some of the consumables that had been acquired at the last store stop as we milled around the lake shore.


We made one more store stop, where firewood was added to the rolling party.
The group pedaled to a beach under the Fremont Bridge to burn a little wood and consume the remainder of the party supplies. Being an old guy, I decided to forego the late night socializing and call it a night.  I would get home after midnight as it was.

I pedaled south on Interstate Ave making my way to the Steel Bridge and accessing the Eastbank Esplanade which would take me to the Springwater Trail and my pickup at Sellwood Riverside Park.



It was a nice night for a ride, and was successful in getting me within easy striking distance of my 508 mile for the month goal tomorrow. It was also my longest ride this year, by far!



........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total

Today .....59.................0..................0....................0............59

Jan.........26................ 0................0.....................0..............26

Feb.........7..................0................0.....................0...............7

March.......5.................0................0.....................0...............5

April.......0.................0...............66.....................0...............66

May.........0..................0..............79......................0...............79

June........2..................0...............0......................0...............2

July........64.................0...............0......................0...............64

August......11..................0...............0.....................0...............11

September......0..................0................0.....................0................0

October........0..................0...............0......................0................0

November.......474................0................0......................0...............474

YTD........580...............0...............154.....................0.............734

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Day 28 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

Well, we finally got November weather in NW Oregon, though not as cold as one might expect.  Today it rained non stop during my ride.  Being an Oregonian, I have good rain gear, so it wasn't bad at all.

Quality rain wear by Showers Pass   ;-)

I had limited time to ride today since I had "mom duty".  My mom no longer drives (a good thing) so my 3 sisters and I take turns carting mom around. Today was my turn, so my afternoon was booked.

I took off on the rain bike just a couple hours after sunrise.  According to my home weather station the temperature ranged from a low of 46.3 to a high of 47.1 during my ride. I rode from home since I wanted to spend my time riding, and not commuting by car to ride.  I chose to head for a residential neighborhood near by. There was some hill climbing to get there.  Over my gasping for air you can hear the rain hitting my phone that I was holding with one hand while trying to steer the bike with the other.

                        


I came across tiny Tranquil Park and of course went for a tour of the trail there.


I continued riding around the neighborhood in search of miles. I'm kind of hoping for 500 miles in November.  It will be a tall order since I had 100 miles yet to go as of this morning, and not a lot of time each day to ride, and even if I did, 100 miles in 3 days would be tough for this old out of shape guy.  I rode by an elementary school and noted that kids aren't concerned with a little rain when it's recess time!

I didn't hear any quacking, but these little Oregonians had to have webbed feet.
I was noting that while still quite comfortable despite the continual rain, that it was time for me to start making my way back home.  I rolled back down to the wetland.  I stopped to read the informational signs, and took a photo of them.

If you'd like to read the sign, click on the photo to view a full sized version.



I even saw three deer.  They were right against the chain link fence that separated the wetland from the road as I saw them, but by the time I stopped and took the phone out, they had moved a bit away.

Columbian Blacktail deer


I thought that 15 miles would be a good goal for today, so as I neared the end of my ride I did a couple of repeats of a relatively flat road. The wind was more of a factor than the slight rise in the road in one direction.


467 ft of elevation gain never looked so gnarly.



It was a fun ride, even with the rain.


........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total

Today .....15.................0..................0....................0............15

Jan.........26................ 0................0.....................0..............26

Feb.........7..................0................0.....................0...............7

March.......5.................0................0.....................0...............5

April.......0.................0...............66.....................0...............66

May.........0..................0..............79......................0...............79

June........2..................0...............0......................0...............2

July........64.................0...............0......................0...............64

August......11..................0...............0.....................0...............11

September......0..................0................0.....................0................0

October........0..................0...............0......................0................0

November.......415................0................0......................0...............415

YTD........521...............0...............154.....................0.............675

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Day 27 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

I woke up early to the sound of rain pounding on the roof.  The forecast called for showers this morning changing to steady rain by afternoon.  I loaded up the rain bike and headed for Sellwood Riverside Park planning to ride at least 35 miles.

I'm still very reticent to bike near traffic.  Something about being hit twice by cars, neither time was I at fault, will do that.

As I got to Sellwood and was putting on bike shoes and helmet, the rain stopped.  I took advantage of the situation and pedaled off.

Within 0.8 miles I came across a coyote standing right at the path's edge.  By the time I could get stopped and get the phone out to take his photo, this is all I got.

See the coyote?  Me neither!
I waited around a bit hoping to get a photo of the coyote but eventually continued on. I arrived at the floating walkway (at 1200 ft, the longest in the U.S)



There was quite a bit of blue sky around, but what clouds were there looked like they might be cooking up something.




I exited the Esplanade and rode on up to Williams Ave.  It is one of Portlands Neighborhood Greenways.  It used to be a two lane one day street, but now is a one way one lane street with the other lane relegated to bicycle use.



Whenever a left turn for motor vehicles is allowed, a turn lane appears to share the lane with bikes.  It worked well, and cars would wait for me to pass before entering the turning lane.  All that is except for the lady who didn't quite have that figured out.  I saw a car slow and come to a stop about 100 ft in front of me at a location that allowed a left turn.  Cars began to line up behind it.  As I approached I raised a hand to thank the driver for being so considerate, but just as I got to the rear fender, she started turning across the bike lane.  Since I already had my arm extended, it was pretty easy to slap the rear fender and give a good shout.   She immediately stopped, at right angles to the bike lane, and directly on top of it.  I rolled up to the passenger side. She rolled down the window and started apologizing profusely.  I told her I just wanted her to pay better attention before crossing a bike lane. I told her that I had been hit twice by cars in very similar situations and was a little touchy about having drivers not be paying attention.  She was obviously very shaken up.  A loud pounding unexpectedly to the fender might do that! Hopefully she is more careful in the future.

We both continued on our way.  When I got to the Columbia River I turned upstream.  When i got near the airport it was raining all around me,  I could hear thunder rumbling from time to time, but I had blue sky above me.

Two sets of 4 military jets took off with a loud roar.  They were so fast and following each other so closely as they took off that I didn't get any photos.

I turned south on the I-205 path.   Portland, like many cities, has a homeless population. As I approached I wasn't sure if I was seeing a forced eviction or perhaps a medical emergency.  As I got closer it became obvious that today City crews were cleaning up the mess.  The residents had their valuables in piles across the street watching the progress. It was pretty obvious that as soon as the crews were finished and moved on, that the homeless would reestablish their camps.



Shortly after taking the above photo I got a flat front tire. I set about repairing that, then pedaled on.
I was pedaling against a slight wind, but was making reasonable time.

I made the turn west on the Springwater Corridor trail and enjoyed a bit of a quartering headwind here too.

I took a loop through Cartlandia feeling just a bit hungry, but didn't find anything that struck my fancy.  I guess I really wasn't hungry after all!

I arrived back at Sellwood  with 33 miles.  I was aware that I had 365 miles before my ride today, and could do the math.  I needed 35 to roll over 400 miles for the month.  That is a good goal for today.  I rode down to the wildlife area overlook and back, then added one lap around the parking lot to get the 35 miles. ;-)


The was 1018 ft of climbing.

I felt lucky to never get even a drop of rain while on the bike today, and with the temperature 60F, I was definitely dressed too warm.  But it was a good ride.


........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total

Today .....35.................0..................0....................0............35

Jan.........26................ 0................0.....................0..............26

Feb.........7..................0................0.....................0...............7

March.......5.................0................0.....................0...............5

April.......0.................0...............66.....................0...............66

May.........0..................0..............79......................0...............79

June........2..................0...............0......................0...............2

July........64.................0...............0......................0...............64

August......11..................0...............0.....................0...............11

September 0..................0................0.....................0................0

October 0..................0...............0......................0................0

November 400................0................0......................0...............400

YTD........506...............0...............154.....................0.............660

Monday, November 26, 2018

Day 26 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

After yesterday's record setting ride, I was pleased to be able to ride well today.  It was raining moderately, but was 13F degrees warmer than yesterday.  At 5 AM it was 41, the heater in the greenhouse wasn't even running!  I took my rain bike out for a spin, for the first time in over a year.  I have a clip on rear fender for the fixie, but there is nothing quite so nice as having full fenders. My rain bike has that as well as buddy flaps front and rear. That keeps the bike's drive chain much cleaner, and my feet dry.

I pedaled out and one of the first things I noted was that for the first time in over a year, I was able to coast.  The fixed gear bike spins pedals at 300 revolutions per mile... mile after mile, continuously.  After a few miles of riding in near silence, it was noticeable when I'd apply the brakes. It was also nice to have the choice of gearing for the little hills around here.

I pedaled out to the outer island and made a lap.


I then just rode around the neighborhood.  It was raining continuously, but it was like Oregon rain, not Panama rain.


 I had taken the time to get in full rain gear and even though I soon had my own personal minimum of 5 miles in I rode longer, just to make it worth my while.


I was dry and comfortable and could have biked longer, but I have a busy schedule today.  10 miles would have to be enough.



........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total

Today .....10.................0..................0....................0............10

Jan.........26................ 0................0.....................0..............26

Feb.........7..................0................0.....................0...............7

March.......5.................0................0.....................0...............5

April.......0.................0...............66.....................0...............66

May.........0..................0..............79......................0...............79

June........2..................0...............0......................0...............2

July........64.................0...............0......................0...............64

August......11..................0...............0.....................0...............11

September 0..................0................0.....................0................0

October 0..................0...............0......................0................0

November 365................0................0......................0...............365

YTD........469...............0...............154.....................0.............623

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Day 25 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

The mountain was out, so I decided to go for a longer ride today.


Cascade Volcanoes are beautiful, but most present a real danger of lahars, none more so than Mt Rainier, which holds more glacial and permanent ice than all other Cascade Volcanoes combined. I would spend the day riding in the danger zone of this 14,411 stratovolcano.

I decided to drive to Puyallup and ride back up to Buckley on the Foothills Trail.  I had biked the segment from Orting to Buckley a few days ago, but today would be my first time on the lower section of this trail.

There was a historically significant and unique bridge along the way.







That I was in potential danger of a lahar was never far from my mind.  There were evacuation sirens scattered throughout the valley.



The former railroad grade was never far from consciousness either.




I had to chuckle when I saw this sign. I realize that the intent of a lahar evacuation route usually involves getting elevation off the valley floor, but it seemed odd that it would be labeled as a dead end.


I had been spending a lot of time taking photos, but I finally arrived at Buckley, my turn around point for today.


With a bit of a tailwind, and a descending path, I made pretty good time on the return trip.




                       

My longest ride in the last 12 months, and then some.  Making baby steps, but still making them.


........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total

Today .....43.................0..................0....................0............43

Jan.........26................ 0................0.....................0..............26

Feb.........7..................0................0.....................0...............7

March.......5.................0................0.....................0...............5

April.......0.................0...............66.....................0...............66

May.........0..................0..............79......................0...............79

June........2..................0...............0......................0...............2

July........64.................0...............0......................0...............64

August......11..................0...............0.....................0...............11

September 0..................0................0.....................0................0

October 0..................0...............0......................0................0

November 355................0................0......................0...............355

YTD........459...............0...............154.....................0.............613