Sunday, December 4, 2016

A lunch ride with PWTC

I have to learn to check the ride calendar sooner.  I am a new member of the Portland Wheelmen Touring Club. I haven't yet got into the habit of checking the online ride calendar.  The forecast today called for decent weather, and I needed to ride.  I was mulling over where I should ride, and finally decided I should check PWTC's online ride calendar. Sure enough, there were two rides offered today.  Though the first one was longer, faster, and closer to me (better for me) I was already too late to make it to the start on time. That left the second ride, which was a slightly slower and shorter ride, and involved a drive across Portland to get to the start.  I quickly assembled bike gear and took off.  There was a bit of mist falling, but blue sky was predicted by afternoon.  I arrived in plenty of time.  The ride leader was waiting there, and shortly more folks arrived. The mist had ceased, and the roads were rapidly drying off.


 One more cyclist arrived after I took this photo. There would be 7 of us total today.

The ride leader informed us that the planned lunch stop had unexpectedly closed 3 days ago.  We were at his mercy for routing to an alternate location, in the opposite direction. He said he expected the ride to be about 25 miles, but was not sure. His route brought us out next to Pier Park. I believe this was the first time I've ever been to that park. It is always nice to see new areas/roads. After 16 miles of pedaling, we arrived at Panera Bread.  There was a line waiting to order that stretched out the door.  I figured they didn't have anything on the menu worth waiting in that long of a line for, so I staked out a chair at the table and waited. One other cyclist joined me.


After the others finished lunch we hopped back on the bikes and pedaled out. I wish I would have brought my camera, it is much handier to take photos with as I ride,  but I did the best I could with the phone.
The sky had cleared up nicely.










I was thinking that with 16 miles to lunch, that we'd probably end up with about 30-35 miles.  That seemed just about perfect for a nice day.   Alas, we took a more direct route back, and ended up with 24.4 miles.
I was considering going for some bonus miles, especially considering that snow and freezing weather are predicted in the next couple of days,  but the phone started ringing and life got busy.

It was a nice ride, I just wish it had been longer.



.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .........24................0..................0.......................0..........24
Jan...............0................0...................0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......559................0..................0........................0..........559
May.........414...............0..................0.......................0...........414
June........337...............0..................0.......................0...........337
July........310...............0..................0.......................0...........310
August.......40.............0....................0......................0............40
Sept..........100..............0...................83......................0...........100
Oct.............29...............0....................0......................0............29
Nov............600..............0......................0......................0...........600
Dec............63...............0......................0......................0..........63
YTD...... 2830.............0...................83.......................0..........2913

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Walking to school up hill both ways

We've probably all heard the stories of our parents walking to school, rain, snow, uphill both ways.

Today I really did ride against the wind both ways!

I got a late start and missed the chance to ride with the Portland Wheelmen. I texted a few friends to see if they were available to ride. It seemed I was striking out on all options today, except for going for a ride by myself. The weather was nice, a lot of blue sky around. It couldn't be that bad!

I started out on Portland's 40 Mile Loop. I've been on it a lot recently, but I was near my usual starting point, and knew that if I didn't hurry up and get on the bike that darkness would catch me!

As I started out, I heard the familiar sound of a steam whistle, and the puff, puff, puff of a steam engine.  Before I could get in a good position, I caught sight of the famous Southern Pacific 4449 moving through the trees.


I had seen this engine with it's red, white, and blue paint scheme during the nation's bicentennial celebration. It drew crowds then, and continues to do so today.  It is a pretty awesome piece of machinery.

Have spend a bit of time watching the steam engine I finally started northward, into a 10 mph-ish wind. I pedaled along the Willamette River to North Portland then across to the Columbia River on the Peninsula Trail. By the time I got there, the wind was subsiding.

I rode eastward along the Columbia River and noted that rather than subsiding, the wind was changing direction. By the time I got to the Glenn Jackson Bridge it was blowing from the opposite direction.  I'd be riding into a headwind again!  A north wind usually means dry weather in these parts, and a south wind means rain.  That was the case today. Mt Hood was visible as I started my ride.  Here, along the Columbia, Mt Hood should have been quite a sight.  The south wind brought heavy low clouds in with it and obscuring the mountain.  You can even see some rain showers in the distance.


I pushed through the wind until I reached the Springwater Trail where I turned west.  When I had about 6-7 miles to go, it started raining.  Luckily I had my rain bike, and a raincoat along.  One thing about the clouds and rain, the air temperature was at least 5 degrees warmer than when I started out.


Despite the wet end, it was a nice ride.

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .........39................0..................0.......................0..........39
Jan...............0................0...................0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......559................0..................0........................0..........559
May.........414...............0..................0.......................0...........414
June........337...............0..................0.......................0...........337
July........310...............0..................0.......................0...........310
August.......40.............0....................0......................0............40
Sept..........100..............0...................83......................0...........100
Oct.............29...............0....................0......................0............29
Nov............600..............0......................0......................0...........600
Dec............39...............0......................0......................0..........39
YTD...... 2806.............0...................83.......................0..........2889

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Day 30 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

Well, all good things come to an end.  Today is the last day of the #ridingeverydayinNovember cycling challenge. The challenge was to ride a bike outdoors at least 1 mile every day in November.

I, and many others, were successful in that endeavor.  This year was a bit easier than past years.  There was no snow on the ground for most of us, there wasn't even any frost for those of us in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  There was some rain, but if one had a flexible schedule, it was for the most part avoidable.

I set off today with the goal of riding 48 miles.  I mapped out a route to do just that and pedaled out about 11 AM.  The sky was mostly blue, and temperature was in the low 40's.  Radar showed a few showers around so I wore my rain coat.

I started from Butteville, near Champoeg Park, and pedaled southward. I was traveling through prime agricultural land, just outside Oregon's pioneering Urban Growth Boundary.

rye grass for seed
The first little town I came to was Donald.  I was pedaling against a noticeable head wind.  The near flag was wet and wrapped around the pole, the flag farther back shows the effect of the wind.



I continued southward through the agricultural land, and into a wind that kept my speed to 12-13 mph.
Nursery Stock
Filberts (marketed as Hazelnuts)
Blackberries to the left, Red Raspberries to the right
Turf (instant lawn)
I got to Woodburn, the largest city I would ride through today.  The Jesse H. Settlemeir House  was built by the founder of Woodburn in 1892.

A little farther south I came to Bauman Farm. Not as old as the Settlemier House, but all decked out for the upcoming holiday.


I turned westward on Waconda Rd, at the historical site of Parkersville, finally eliminating that pesky headwind.  As is common with south winds in this area, it predicted rain.  My number was finally up as I pedaled along Waconda Rd.  I could see the northern edge of seasonal Lake Labish.


 I finally ducked under a big fir tree to let a heavy shower pass.


 I found out that I was very near the site of long gone Deweyville!
The shower finally let up and I was on my way again.  I rode through another long gone town, Waconda.  In a few more miles I finally got to turn northward and put that wind to my back! There were some heavy rain showers in the area.  I put the wind to good use and picked up my speed, thinking ending this ride sooner rather than later might be a good plan.  There was a very dark cloud just dumping heavy rain just to the south of me.  I didn't want it to catch me.

I managed to stay ahead of that heavy shower, and it slid around to my right as it moved up the valley. There were plenty of other showers in the area though. Every now and then the roads would be wet, but I was lucky enough to never have more rain. With the big dark rain cloud no longer a threat, I stopped for this photo showing what had happened to the blue sky of earlier.



Tall Fescue for seed

I continued on northward using the wind to keep me scooting along pretty quickly.  As I neared Champoeg there were 5 Black Tailed deer feeding near the road.  By the time I could get stopped and get the phone out, the deer had decided that maybe they should retreat to the nearby trees.  If you look carefully you can see 3 of them as they were walking away.


Before long I was back in Butteville and finished with the ride today.  I managed to get 600 miles for the month of November, my highest monthly mileage this year.  I also managed to ride every day in November.  Another successful challenge complete!


.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .........48................0..................0.......................0..........48
Jan...............0................0...................0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......559................0..................0........................0..........559
May.........414...............0..................0.......................0...........414
June........337...............0..................0.......................0...........337
July........310...............0..................0.......................0...........310
August.......40.............0....................0......................0............40
Sept..........100..............0...................83......................0...........100
Oct.............29...............0....................0......................0............29
Nov............600..............0......................0......................0...........600
YTD...... 2767.............0...................83.......................0..........2900

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Day 29 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

Today was the 29th day of the #ridingeverydayinNovember challenge.  It was going to be a great day!  I planned to ride Portland's 40 mile loop before joining others at Portland International Raceway's bike night.  However, I couldn't find a group that matched my needs, they were either riding too slow and short,  I wasn't welcome on their ride (too many people already, not our kind of people, blah, blah, blah)  or they weren't offering a ride option for the group.  Having seen the lights many times now, I decided that if I couldn't partake in the social aspect, I wasn't going to go solo.

Instead I rode a few bonus miles. ;-)

I started off from Sellwood Riverfront Park late in the afternoon.  The morning had been nearly cloudless, but by mid to late afternoon some dark clouds were rolling in.


By the time I got to downtown Portland, I was beginning to rethink my decision to not bring raingear.


I still rode a loop of Portland's waterfront though, before continuing on the 40 Mile Loop route.
I pedaled reasonably hard, both because I feared a change in the weather, and because of my late start, and early impending darkness.  While I had not brought raingear, I did bring a light, thinking that I might yet decide to join others for the holiday lights at PIR. By the time I got along the I-205 Bike Path, the sun had set in the west.


But Mt Hood was doing it's best to stay visible.


I continued along to the Springwater Corridor and rode about a half mile before stopping to put on my headlight.  It was not yet dark, but added visibility to other riders on the trail was advisable.
I had just got moving again when a commuter pedaled up to me and complimented me on my bike, and more importantly, on my way more than adequate headlight!  We chatted a bit, then got into  friendly testosterone poisoning.  He was on a geared bike, I was on my fixed gear bike.  We held a solid 18-20 all the way back to the end of the trail. (just beyond the crossing over Hwy 99E).  I was just about at my limit, but didn't want him to know that!

I got back to Sellwood just before it became dark dark.

It was a good ride.  I was especially pleased that I could keep up with the commuter on the way back west!


.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .........43................0..................0.......................0..........43
Jan...............0................0...................0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......559................0..................0........................0..........559
May.........414...............0..................0.......................0...........414
June........337...............0..................0.......................0...........337
July........310...............0..................0.......................0...........310
August.......40.............0....................0......................0............40
Sept..........100..............0...................83......................0...........100
Oct.............29...............0....................0......................0............29
Nov............552..............0......................0......................0...........552
YTD...... 2719.............0...................83.......................0..........2852

Monday, November 28, 2016

Day 28 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

Today was the 28th day of #ridingeverydayinNovember.  There are only two days left!

The weather is crisp and dry today.  A perfect November day to go for a bike ride, but I've got a busy afternoon, so only had time for a short ride.  Rather than take the time to transport the bike somewhere, I decided to ride around locally. I went on a self guided neighborhood tour. The first stop was at Kerry Park with a view of Elliot Bay. I had gently descended to this point.


I rode less than a mile to the next overlook.  A net elevation loss, but a mildly undulating route to get there. Smith Cove is in the right side near foreground.


The sky was beginning to lighten up.  The view westward showed some clearing that would be working it's way here soon.



From here on I started earning the miles.  Grades in excess of 15% were common.  In fact, on the west side of Queen Ann, you have to really be picky about routes to keep grades below 15%. If it had been open countryside, I might have thought I had been transported to Belgium.  The E/W streets are often paved with cobble stones.


When the streets would get too steep for cars, they would revert to staircases.


Even the N/S streets showed the effects of steep terrain.  Adjacent lanes are often separated by 20 ft or more of elevation change.


I was out of time so had to bring my exploratory ride to an end.




Just under 9 miles, with 702 ft of elevation gain.  No sustained grades, just a lot of short and sharp up and downs.


.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .........9................0..................0.......................0...........9
Jan...............0................0...................0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......559................0..................0........................0..........559
May.........414...............0..................0.......................0...........414
June........337...............0..................0.......................0...........337
July........310...............0..................0.......................0...........310
August.......40.............0....................0......................0............40
Sept..........100..............0...................83......................0...........100
Oct.............29...............0....................0......................0............29
Nov............509..............0......................0......................0...........509
YTD...... 2676.............0...................83.......................0..........2809

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Day 27 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

Today is the 27th day of #ridingeverydayinNovember.  It was drizzling this early this morning and the forecast said drying out, possibly even a little clearing by mid morning, then hard rain beginning by noon.  Not much of window to ride in the dry.  None the less, I took off at 10:30 from Gasworks Park with just a bit of mist falling.  I rode toward Golden Gardens.

When I got to Fremont I noted a "farmers" market going on.  The weather was a bit cold and damp, the lack of crowds reflected that.


I continued on to Golden Gardens.  It was quite cool and still there were a few stray drops of rain falling.  When I got to Golden Gardens the view across the water showed me that it was going to rain harder soon, before it ever would stop and clear up.


I pedaled back to Gasworks quickly.  It was raining lightly as I loaded up the bike.
I rewarded myself with a drive back to Fred Meyer to avail myself to the sale on pumpkin pie.


By the time I was back home, it was raining hard.  So much for the partial clearing!

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........12................0..................0.......................0..........12
Jan...............0................0...................0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......559................0..................0........................0..........559
May.........414...............0..................0.......................0...........414
June........337...............0..................0.......................0...........337
July........310...............0..................0.......................0...........310
August.......40.............0....................0......................0............40
Sept..........100..............0...................83......................0...........100
Oct.............29...............0....................0......................0............29
Nov............500..............0......................0......................0...........500
YTD...... 2667.............0...................83.......................0..........2800

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Day 26 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

Today was the 26th day of #ridingeverydayinNovember, and just about a 180 from yesterday's weather.

I awoke to the sound of rain on the roof.  It would continue to rain as I geared up for a wet ride.

I drove to Gasworks, to avoid the slippery descent off of Queen Ann.  Even the pickup slid around a bit going down today.

I unloaded at Gasworks and headed northeast under a steady rain.  There were a just a few people out walking dogs, and even fewer riding bikes.

I kept the pedals spinning as much because I had an afternoon appointment as I did because I was afraid I'd get cold if I stopped too long

I did stop a couple of times to quickly get a photo.



It continued to rain as I pedaled northward along the western shore of Lake Washington.


"Cold hearted orb that rules the night, removes the colors from our sight.  Red is grey, and yellow white, but we decide which is right, and which is an illusion".  But the moon had made its journey across the sky and the sun was out there somewhere trying to add color back into our lives.

It wasn't going to happen today.  I reached the end of the Burke-Gilman Trail and turned around.  I pedaled back to Gasworks, loaded my bike up, and headed back up Queen Ann.

Despite the rain, it was an enjoyable ride.


.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........30................0..................0.......................0..........30
Jan...............0................0...................0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......559................0..................0........................0..........559
May.........414...............0..................0.......................0...........414
June........337...............0..................0.......................0...........337
July........310...............0..................0.......................0...........310
August.......40.............0....................0......................0............40
Sept..........100..............0...................83......................0...........100
Oct.............29...............0....................0......................0............29
Nov............488..............0......................0......................0...........488
YTD...... 2655.............0...................83.......................0..........2788

Friday, November 25, 2016

Day 25 of #ridingeverydayinNovember

Today was the 25th day of the #ridingeverydayinNovember challenge, and what a beautiful day it was! My friend Julie has not been on a bike since mid October and has been indicating that she'd like to ride to Alki Beach for well over a week.  With the unexpected blue sky this morning, it was time for the rubber to meet the road.  She was a bit slow in getting going, but once out there she did surprisingly well.

We started from Pier 91, saving a few miles, and some elevation gain.  A few days ago I rode along Pier 91.

The weather was nicer today, and the water smoother.


Julie and I continued our way along Elliot Bay which meant navigating through the construction on Alaskan Way.  Julie is a trooper when it comes to vehicular cycling.  We took the center of the right lane, and when it narrowed to just one lane, we took the center of that lane as well.  There was no room to "share" the lane.  For us, share meant first come first served.  We were pedaling near the speed of traffic, and in this case, we were the traffic.  The few cars that followed were patient and understanding.

Having safely passed through those few blocks, we accessed the multi-use path.  We worked our way around the south end of Elliot Bay, finally stopping at the Duwamish River (aka Duwamish Waterway) to take a photo and watch some sea lions frolicking.





We continued over the West Seattle low bridge.  Julie was concerned about being able to pedal up the bridge's gradient, a "gnarly" 6%! ;-)  She made it just fine.   We continued along the water's edge, pulling into Jack Block Park to take in the best view of Seattle.



While there we were entertained by a half dozen sea lions catching fish.  We also noted a juvenile Harbor Seal hauled out on the rocks just below us.


After spending some time watching wildlife, we continued on around Alki Point.


We turned back northward and as we rode along Alki Ave we  could see that the recent rains had fallen as snow in the 7000-8000 ft Olympic Mountains.


As we rode through Myrtle Edwards Park we saw a pair of Bald Eagles sitting in a tree.


In addition to the wildlife, we found a woman's wallet and a 500 watt inverter.  We sleuthed down the wallet's owner with a Facebook search and a 15 mile drive.  The inverter had an easier disposition.

It was a nice day for a bike ride, and nice that Julie could join in, for what she called her "#ridingmyonlydayinNovember" ride.  ;-)



.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........24................0..................0.......................0..........24
Jan...............0................0...................0.......................0............0
Feb..........124...............0...................0.......................0...........124
March......277................0..................0........................0..........277
April......559................0..................0........................0..........559
May.........414...............0..................0.......................0...........414
June........337...............0..................0.......................0...........337
July........310...............0..................0.......................0...........310
August.......40.............0....................0......................0............40
Sept..........100..............0...................83......................0...........100
Oct.............29...............0....................0......................0............29
Nov............458..............0......................0......................0...........458
YTD...... 2625.............0...................83.......................0..........2758