Friday, September 30, 2016

Chasing Summer

The forecast calls for rain later tonight. While there will certainly be nice days yet to come, it is the time of year when Oregonians cherish dry days. They won't last forever.

I took the mountain bike out to Banks, Oregon to the trailhead for the Banks-Vernonia State Trail.
The sky was blue, but Fall was in the air.  The low this morning was 37 degrees, and the high would only reach 69, despite the blue sky.

I pedaled along toward Vernonia, never planning to ride that far.  I hoped to get to Tophill.  Obviously, it is the high point, and more importantly I was hoping it would get me enough miles to break 100 for the month.  Hardly a worthwhile goal, but it was the best I could hope for.  At least the view was nice as I pedaled along.




I came along a little piggy, who hadn't gone to market, and was not quite ready to go "wee wee wee, all the way home".


After a few minutes, and some coaxing from me, he did squeeze back through a nearby fence and rejoin a few other piglets and 10 or so adult hogs.

I continued along my way.





Soon after crossing the LL "Stub" Stewart State Park boundary I saw a sign for a view point, and a dirt/gravel path leading away.  I figured it had to be worth a measly two mile round trip to see what there was to see.


After less than 100 yds the gentle grade turned a corner and headed UP. I've got slicks on my mountain bike, a left over from when I used it on the Furnace Creek 508, for the very rough Kelbaker Rd section.  They weren't the best choice of tires for this little side trip.


 The single track would tip upward steeply. I was standing on the pedals in my lowest gear when suddenly my rear tire lost traction.  Not fun to have forward momentum stop dead as my pedal drops to the bottom of it's revolution.  After a couple of times of that happening, I decided that walking the steeper sections wouldn't be that bad.


The trail had a few forks that were unmarked.  I reached a dead end with no view.


I didn't have enough time to take all the choices so I rode back down the hill. That was another crazy thing to do on slicks.  The back tire was sliding most of the time, and I didn't dare pull the front disc brake on too hard for fear of sliding the front tire. (not a good thing when trying to remain upright)
I eventually got back down to the much more secure feeling paved path.


This is a rails to trails pathway, so the gradient was gentle........ for the most part.  One of the trestles has been removed so the pathway must drop into the valley and climb back up the other side.  Grades in that section reached 11%.  Even with the low gearing on my mountain bike, it was noticable, but at least the slick rear tire maintained traction!

I reached the top then turned around. The air was getting noticeably cooler.  I put on my windbreaker over my long sleeved jersey.  It was still a cool ride back down.  I was rolling along at 20-22 mph without pedaling.  I felt better about my slow ride up there! After a few miles the gradient become more shallow, but I was still easily maintaining the high teens.



I got back to the Banks Trailhead and noted some big puffy clouds had rolled in across the previously all blue sky.


I loaded my bike, grabbed a drink of water, and read a sign board.  Before I left, rain drops were falling. Not a lot, but I wasn't going to hang around to find out.

I thought I easily had enough miles to get 100 for the month, but as it ended up, I was lucky to get just enough to do the job.

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ..........27................0..................0.......................0............27
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....................0......................0...........100
YTD...... 2198.............0...................0.......................0..........2198

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Another Thursday

I took advantage of a nice sunny day and rode Portland's 40 mile loop late this afternoon.  I was going to be in Portland for the Thursday Night Ride anyway, so I just arrived a bit early and went for a pedal.  I finished up a bit early.  As I made my way toward the TNR meeting point, I happened upon TNR participant, Vincent, working on a tire change for his fixie bike. He lacked a pressure gauge, so I offered my pump that has a gauge.  Having done my good deed, I pedaled along toward Salmon Street Springs.

The Thursday Night Ride has been going through a bit of strife lately.  It seems that some guy has been too pushy with some of the ladies present. In exasperation, (and perhaps a bit of burn out) the ride leader cancelled the event late in the day.  Still, 100 of us showed up, just to ride our bikes.  Co-founder of the TNR, Marianna, took over leadership. The phrase "I just want to ride my bike" was heard often among those present.

I posted this to the group's FB page with "I'm just here so I don't get fined"

After the long days of summer the Thursday Night Ride rode mostly during daylight. With daylight now taking up less than 12 hours of the 24, we are back to a more appropriate setting.


Marianna skillfully led our group around town.  She and Nathan both have this down to an art, managing the large unmanageable group, and the traffic signals with ease.

Our midway break was at a donut shop on Alberta Street in N Portland.



Following the break, we were proceeding back to the Willamette River, rolling down Sandy Blvd, when I heard from behind me the sound of crashing bikes.  It sounded like one of those crashes in the pro pelotons.  I shouted out to the leaders that we had a problem and looped around back to the cause of the sounds.  I could see a pile up of bikes and people.  As they picked themselves up it became obvious that two folks had tangled up and gone down, the rest had run into them.  Most got up, brushed  themselves off, and cleared the street.  Before long most proceeded down Sandy.  The leaders shouted out their destination and said to meet them there.  5 of us stayed back to determine the best plan.  The two who collided were a bit scraped up.  They were in good spirits, claiming mutual responsibility.  It seems that they were visiting while riding closely together, each look to the opposite side, then back to each other, bike and unicycle following the lead of the eyes.  The unicycle's pedal caught the front spokes of the bike, they both went down like rocks.

After 10 minutes of assessing damages, we rode carefully along.  The two involved in the crash turned off after 3/4 of a mile or so, heading toward home.  The rest of us employed safety in numbers and continued down Sandy Blvd.  As we neared the Willamette River, one of the gals riding with us peeled off to the left, deciding to call it an evening.  Ray and I continued over the Burnside Bridge and pedaled back to Salmon Street Springs, where the remaining participants were milling around a bit and visiting.  No campfire tonight, no "picnic".  I visited with Marianna and updated the information on tonight's crash.

I had parked once again near Sellwood Riverside Park, so I made my way back there.
Fall is in the air, and there was a definite chill as well.  By morning it would be 39 degrees. I was glad I had long pants on and a wind breaker.  It was a beautiful night for ride though.

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ..........65................0..................0.......................0............65
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...........73..............0....................0......................0............73
YTD...... 2171.............0...................0.......................0..........2171

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The times they are a changing

I haven't been biking much lately.  Crew chief duties have been taking much of my time, and playing catch up when I've been home taking up the rest of my time.  That is going to have to change.  The Old Goats 4, the 2008 Race Across Oregon 4x 50+ record setting team has decided to emerge from retirement and enter the 2017 Race Across Oregon as the "Older Goats", a 4x 60+ team.  The course is rumored to actually go across Oregon, but is not yet finalized, despite promises that it would be set months ago.  If it doesn't get set, there is an option to race in Utah instead on the Hoodoo 500.  Either way will be okay with me, though racing in Oregon is a lot less expensive.  Either way, expect to see some older goats traipsing across the landscape next summer.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thursday

I started today off with a ride to Fred Meyer to get some supplies. I got my supplies, and 4 miles.

This evening I joined the Thursday Night Ride, this time on my mtn bike.  It was a beautiful night for a ride.  I wished I had brought my real camera along, but alas, the cell phone's camera would have to suffice tonight.

As we were preparing to roll out, the moon made its appearance.


We rode mostly north tonight, and ended up on the bluff overlooking the Willamette River.


After a short time I began the ride back to Sellwood.  The ride along the Eastbank Esplanade was beautiful.




By the time I got back to Sellwood I had another 18 miles.

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ..........22................0..................0.......................0............22
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...........48..............0....................0......................0............48
YTD...... 2106.............0...................0.......................0..........2106

Friday, September 9, 2016

Reno

I had a bit of extra time today, and had hauled a bike all the way to Reno, might as well go for a bike ride!

Well, not much of a bike ride before I was called back.

I rode Reno's River Walk, and a little bit around the local area.  I ended up with a paltry 7 miles, but it was a nice day.

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ...........7................0..................0.......................0.............7
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...........26..............0....................0......................0............26
YTD...... 2084.............0...................0.......................0..........2084

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thursday Night, and a new month

Well, August ended up as a very low mileage month for me.  There was a lot of bike activity, just not much pedaling for me.

Today is September 1st, and I at least got on the bike.  It is Thursday and time for the Thursday Night Ride.  Tonight's theme as Alice in Wonderland.  We were all issued oversized spoke cards.


As we pedaled out a light rain began. It would continue for the duration of our ride.

 The Mad Hatter and Alice were in attendance.


 It was only fitting that at the post ride bonfire that a tea party ensued.


TNR's founder and usual ride leader, Nathan, was off cycling the world so volunteers have stepped up to fill the void.  It has led to some interesting routes, and examples on how leading large group rides is not as easy as one might think. We did however make it safely around tonight.

As the ride ended, right on cue, the rain stopped.

I pedaled back to Sellwood and called it a night.


.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ..........19................0..................0.......................0............19
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...........19..............0....................0......................0............19
YTD...... 2077.............0...................0.......................0..........2077

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Do you Hoodoo?

We do!

This morning at 7AM a few folks will be starting from St George Utah to compete in the Hoodoo 500/300.  Emily Burrows and I will be supporting Donna Braswell (#1107) as she competes in the Hoodoo 300.  You can follow our progress via satellite tracking.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Diamond Lake

This was supposed to be the annual Crater Lake/Diamond Lake cycling weekend. In the past I've had up to 28 people join me.  This year I had 14 "maybes" but no actual attendees. No matter, I had the campsite paid for so Julie and I decided to go camping! I brought the carbon bike, thinking I might still want to ride around Crater Lake.  However that is a nearly all day endeavor and beyond Julie's comfort level, so instead we rode around Diamond Lake.





Mt Thielson



On Saturday we drove around Crater Lake instead of cycling around it.  We did run into a couple who had pedaled across the country to get here, and were going to be continuing on down the California coast. Their story was fascinating.


It doesn't look like I'll get many miles this month. I'm crew chief for a Hoodoo 500 racer and that will keep me busy and off the bike.  Glad to help, but sad to ride so few miles.

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ..........13................0..................0.......................0............13
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
YTD...... 2058.............0...................0.......................0..........2058

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Hot day, cold beer

Today was 96 degrees.  What better way to beat the heat than to ride the fixed gear bike to the Wilsonville Brewfest.  This is the second year for this fledgling event.   Security gave me a quizzical look when I asked where secure bike parking might be. I finally just asked if there was anyplace that they DIDN'T want me to lock up.  I locked up to a staple rack that was in the park where the event was held.  I was there just after the gates opened, but already the people were beginning to fill the place in.


It was my sister's birthday, so she and her adult kids joined me today, but they drove rather than pedaled. Slackers!  ;-)

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ..........6................0..................0.......................0............6
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.......27.............0....................0......................0............27
YTD...... 2045.............0...................0.......................0..........2045

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Back on the saddle again

But barely.

I am buried under preparations for the Hoodoo 500.  If I were racing, preparations would involve riding long and hard. Instead I'm crew chief, and my job involves a lot of computer work, booking arrangements, and rental reservations.  My job this time is made more difficult because of moving targets.  I had the route all programmed into my on dash navigation systems, only to have the route change, so I got to start all over.  Oh well, this is fun......  right?

At any rate, after 11 hours on the computer today I decided that I earned a night off to ride bike.  Off to the Thursday Night Ride I went.

The temperature reached 94 today and the evening was still quite comfortable.  Our fearless leader is on an around the world bike ride, so we have rotating guest leaders,

The crowd was not quite as big as normal, but there were still quite a few bikes ready to take the streets.



We rolled out, not surprisingly, on a different route than we frequently ride.  We rode across the Broadway Bridge then turned north on Williams Ave.  We traveled on that until we reached Alberta St then headed east.  When we got to 33rd Ave we turned south.


We stopped at a Fred Meyer store to gather snacks.  While there a cat got a chance to stretch its legs.


By the time everyone got their supplies gathered, it was getting dark.
There was plenty of bike bling though. There were a couple of bikes that had programmable spoke lights that displayed patterns as the wheels turned.  This bike had stationary lights attached to the spoke nipples.

                              

I had been up early this morning and was tired, so as the group settled in to the usual picnic spot, I pedaled back toward Sellwood, where my pickup was waiting.  Along the way I paused to get a photo of Tillicum Crossing, wearing magenta tonight.

It was a great night for a bike ride.

.........Road Bike.....Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .........21................0..................0.......................0...........21
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.......21.............0....................0......................0............21
YTD...... 2039.............0...................0.......................0..........2039