Wednesday, April 30, 2008

a decent day for a bike ride

Unfortunately I'm going to be real busy working on a project with a close deadline, and not getting the necessary support from county offices. I've got to have major progress before I feel good about taking the weekend off to ride.

I did take the early morning and ride out and around Hagg Lake from McM's Grand Lodge before all the offices opened. It is going to be a nice day, it was real tempting to just turn the other way and keep riding.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............27...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1771....+.......720....=.........2481

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Monday, April 28, 2008

quick little ride

I have an early afternoon meeting in Salem, thought about riding my bike there but there are just too many logistical hurdles to jump over. Instead I took advantage of a warm and dry (for now) morning and rode a quick little ride on my 22 mile Verboort/Greenville/Roy route.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............22...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1744....+.......720....=.........2464

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Monster Cookie Metric Century.....plus

Well, the plan was to ride a "double cookie". Erinn and I got to the start at 8AM. My Race Across Oregon teammate John showed up with his tandem and his daughter Olivia tapped for stoker duties.

By the time we picked up packets and such we didn't shove off until 8:25AM. The tandem team did what tandem teams do best on flat courses........they flew! John and Olivia led us out at 22-24 mph.
video

I latched onto their draft and held with them for a few miles, but Erinn, being a Triathlon competitor is not as well versed in tailgating. She and I were planning on doing a modified cookie so I decided to drop off the back and regroup with her so we could talk strategy.

Not too many miles into the ride emergency vehicles came up behind us with sirens on. It didn't take long for us to confirm that it was in response to a cyclist accident.
I'll try to find out what happened, but here's what it looked like as we rode by.

video

Before long we got to the 1st rest stop at the Bible college. Salem Bicycle Club puts on a good ride, and this rest stop was no exception. Monster Cookies of course, but much more. We had warmed sufficiently to remove our windbreakers by this point. The helmet cam shows its limitations in this clip, or perhaps it just shows how much I move my head around!

video

One of the cyclists today was really happy that they even had macaroons!
video

Erinn was thinking that 100 miles would be the most she'd want to ride today, and I learned long ago that a lady is always right. Plus, my bike pansy was all in favor of a shorter ride today. We took a more direct route to Champoeg Park, staying on French Prairie Rd saving us about 3 miles. We figured two laps of about 50 miles would give us a good 100 mile ride, and still hit the rest stops if we just cut out a few of the side trips that the official route took.


We pulled into the Champoeg Rest Stop where John and Olivia soon joined us. We had more cookies and shared a turkey sandwich box lunch.
video

We soon remounted our wheeled steeds and began heading back towards Salem.
Erinn was leading our little band and followed the Dan Henry's out Matheny Road. Our plan was originally to not take this little side trip, but we did, and it was fun!
Here we are making our way along Matheny Rd, heading towards Wheatland Ferry.
video

and this taken from the "handlebar cam"
video

John and Olivia were both doing a season record 1 day mileage and it was beginning to wear on Olivia, and John no longer had it in his legs to take up the slack. They fell back as Erinn and I pressed on. As I mentioned before, she is not comfortable riding close enough to draft.......... I have no such qualms and took advantage of the 30% reduction of effort as we pressed on at 20-22 mph.
video

We climbed a short steep hill out of the flood plain and I lost momentum because of heavy bike traffic as well as a couple of vehicles working their way around us. I shifted into a lower gear and winched my way up. As I was doing this I felt the twinge of the beginning of a cramp. Upon topping out I pulled to the side, popped a gel and drank some water. Before long John and Olivia came by and I buddied up with them on into Salem.
video

We met up with Erinn at the finish and had our cookie desert. I took the opportunity to take a picture of John and Olivia and conduct an impromptu interview.


video

We arrived back in Salem in 3 1/2 hours, just shortly after noon and could have ridden a second time at a slower pace and still finished by the 4PM course closing time. But it was a good day for visiting and just soaking in the "bikeyness" of it all. Erinn said she really wanted more than the 62 miles of the Monster Cookie and suggested that 75 miles would be good number...... and as I mentioned previously, a lady is always right. We started off on our second trip around the route with the plan to loop back around when we reached our mileage goal.

video

We followed the Monster Cookie route until we reached Perkins Road, just past Volcanos Stadium. Perkins Rd turned into Chemawa Rd which intersected with the return leg of the Monster Cookie route. As we pulled back into bike traffic we remarked how different these riders were from those we had rode with on the first time around. These folks didn't always look back or check a mirror before pulling around a slower rider....and right in front of us. Often there would be bottle necks when someone wouldn't go around a slower rider and everyone would bunch up 2 wide behind, and the pace was slower in general. We did however make it back to the finish area with 77 miles for the day........and another cookie! ;-)

It was a good ride and very nice weather. My pickup's thermometer showed the temperature in the low 70's.

Once again Erinn proved herself to be a great riding buddy. John and Olivia earned a tip of the hat, and Dave and Laura did well too. We didn't see them because we started a little earlier than they did and rode a little faster but we were in contact via cell from time to time during the day.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............77...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1722....+.......720....=.........2442

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, April 26, 2008

We went for a bike ride and look what we found! Oregon Garden Brewfest!

It didn't take us long to figure out what to do there.


Dave called last night and informed me that the Oregon Garden was the site of a brew festival today and that maybe we should ride there and partake. A bike ride AND beer? I'm all over that. ;-)

I drove to the Oregon Garden early this morning and dropped my pickup off so we'd have a ride back after the event in case it was dark, or in case we were full of brew and brauts! I rode my bike back to near Wilsonville where I met Dave and Laura and we made our way back to Silverton and the Oregon Garden. Day's don't get much better than today. Sunny, light breeze (tail wind!) and 70 degrees! I averaged 17 mph to the meeting point, and we held better than 20 most of the way back to Silverton. It was a fun little warmup for tomorrow's Monster Cookie Metric Century, which I'm riding as a "double cookie", making two circuits of the route.

It would have been a nice day to rack up a few more miles,we were in the pancake flat area of the Willamette Valley and the weather was perfect, but we had to sample the brewer's offerings..... they went to all the work to bring it there. It wasn't a totally "non bikey" afternoon. Notice this coaster!

While there we took the opportunity to take a walk around the Oregon Garden. There has been a lot of improvements in the last few years, but there is still a ways to go before it gives any competition to Butchart Gardens. It was very much worth the trip however.




The plans are still coming together for tomorrow's Monster Cookie Metric Century. One of my Race Across Oregon teammates is bringing his daughter and the tandem. They are riding the route once, but there are a surprising number of folks planning on the unofficial "double cookie" option. Tomorrow should be a good day for a bike ride.

With the rain, snow, and hail of April I note that I'm am low on miles. Even with the the double cookie tomorrow I will not match what I rode last month. Oh well. Nicer weather is bound to be just around the corner. ;-)



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............44...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1645....+.......720....=.........2365

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

good call!

The wind was blowing about 25-30 and rain falling sideways when I left home this morning. I got over the pass without problems. It was 27 and icy but no issues. I'm now in Sisters and it's 43 and dry. Looks like I will get my ~70 miles in today on dry roads! :-)

UPDATE:
Bend was dry, as expected. I knew that my intended ride would be a gradual uphill route heading towards LaPine. What I didn't know was that it would be uphill AND against a 25+mph wind! ;-) At least it was dry. I wasn't sure if the shortness of breath was because of the elevation or if it was caused by the amount of energy I was expending going up that slight grade and fighting a substantial headwind. No matter, I just kept spinning the pedals.

It was nice to be on dry pavement and I knew there would be a lot of gravel because of the sanding operations. I just wasn't quite ready for the AMOUNT of gravel. On the secondary roads it wasn't too bad because I could take the edge of the travel lane and the vehicles had it pretty well blown clean. I did have to take about 7 miles of Hwy 97 and that was a little nasty. There was a wide paved shoulder all along however there was a rumble strip taking up the section of the shoulder I'd normally ride. That left riding right on the fog line (I don't like doing that on roads with that much traffic) or staying almost 3 feet from the fog line......... right in the copious gravel debris. Take a look at the video below and note the surface about halfway through the clip when I stop to show the falling snow. That shot was taken near Lava Butte where the elevation was near 4500ft and there was a lot of gravel.

I didn't have to fight it long because I turned west and took a parallel road as
soon as I was able. They also sanded these roads but there was no rumble strip and I was able to ride closer to the travel lane or in some cases it was safe to ride on the edge of the travel lane itself.

It took me longer than expected to reach LaPine because of the headwind, but I made up for it on the return to Bend..... minimum speed on the return= 27mph, maximum speed= 36mph. The BIG chainring the whole way. :-)

It was a fun ride. Would be even more fun when we start getting more seasonal weather! (I drove over 12 miles of packed snow on the drive over Santiam Pass on the return trip home!)

from the handlebar cam:
video

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............73...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1601....+.......720....=.........2321

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rain, hail, snow, wind, cold.........

.......perfect weather to give the bike pansy an advantage. :-(

I need to be in Bend tomorrow mid-afternoon, I'm thinking it's a perfect excuse to take the bike along and head over early. The dry side of the Cascades and a chance for a little high elevation training beckon. I hope to get in 60-80 miles beginning mid-morning. Hopefully the hail, snow, rain, AND bike pansy will be stuck on this side of the mountains!

Big goose eggs today. :-(

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today.............0...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1528....+.......720....=.........2248

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cherry of a Ride........

...and a pretty darn nice day too!

I had the bike fully outfitted with cameras, but alas......
I took a lot of video with the helmet cam including the ride along the River Front Trail, a run through the Mosier Twin Tunnels, and the screaming descent from the summit of 7 Mile Hill to Chenowith Creek, but somewhere during the last segment something happened and all the day's video files became corrupted. I did get some video from the handlebar cam, but only from the first quarter of the ride. I also got some stills with my digital camera, and Photobucket tech support finally found a work around to Blogger's problems so the photos are now posted at the end of this entry.

It was a great ride! The Dalles lived up to it's dry side of the state reputation. We started under mostly blue skies and the day continued that way. The forecast was for 27 degrees, a 25 mph wind, and 30% chance of showers. It was 30 when I left Forest Grove but warmed to 39 by the time I got to Hood River but dropped to 36 as I entered The Dalles. It was better than the predicted 27, the sky was almost cloudless, and the wind was barely noticeable as we began.

The ride began by heading east on Hwy 30 then began climbing away from the Columbia River on 8 Mile Road. We continued our climb through the rolling green wheat fields
(and a vineyard!) on Emerson Loop, about 600 ft vertical in 2.5 miles. Back on 8 Mile Road we continued our ride past wheat and cherry orchards for several miles until we arrived at the first rest stop at the intersection of 8 Mile Road and Hwy 197. At this elevation it was still freezing. The orchard fans were running and sprinklers spraying water to provide some protection for the cherry blooms. Climbing kept me reasonably warm, except for finger tips and toes, but descents were cold indeed!

After refueling at the well stocked rest stop we crossed Hwy 197 and did a 7 mile out and 7 mile back run on 8 Mile Road to where it turned to gravel. A quick stop at the same rest stop upon our return then a long run downhill following 8 Mile Creek to The Dalles.

From the handlebar cam:
video

Once back at The Dalles we worked our way out to the River Front Trail which we followed west to The Gorge Discovery Center. There was another well stocked rest stop along the path.

Once we got to The Gorge Discovery Center I was in familiar territory as I had ridden this section several times before. We headed west and made our way up the Rowena Loops. By now there was a noticeable wind, perhaps 20 mph blowing in our faces.

We rolled down from Rowena Crest to Mosier where there was another rest stop manned by the ever friendly volunteers. We continued west to the Mosier Twin Tunnel section of the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway and followed it to the terminus of the hiker/biker only section at Hood River. We retraced our route back to Mosier.

Being unfamiliar with the route I did not know what awaited me otherwise I would have stopped at the Mosier rest stop again for some refueling and a bit of a rest. We immediately started up the locally infamous "7 Mile Hill". After more than 75 miles of riding we start a climb that would take us from Mosier (121 feet) to the summit of 7 Mile Hill (1800 ft) in.......7 miles.

There was another rest stop near the top of this climb where more friendly volunteers congratulated us and offered us gatorade and goodies!

From there we dropped down the steep descent to Chenowith Rd. I set a new speed record on my bike of 48 mph on this stretch, even though I was using brakes regularly.

The 100 mile route took leave of the 80 milers by following Chenowith Creek up to the Brown's Creek Rd intersection where we got one more chance to use some low gearing before finally making our final descent back to St Mary's Academy, our starting point.

Total ride today was just over 100 miles with 7900 ft of climbing.
Really much more enjoyable than it sounds.......
especially when the Willamette Valley was getting rain, snow, and hail!
The route was well marked, rest stops well stocked, friendly volunteers, good weather, and a good cause. I'll be back next year!

On my return drive I hit hail and snow just beyond Cascade Locks and by the time I got to Multnomah Falls the freeway was running at 30 mph because of the ice on the road. The hail continued until Troutdale.

Welcome back to NW Oregon!

One thing I noticed after returning home was that at 100 miles and 7900 ft of climbing this route was about 1/5 of our Race Across Oregon route both in distance and elevation gain. I only have to ride this 5 times in 48 hours and I'll be well prepared for the RAO! ;-)




+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........100...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1528....+.......720....=.........2248

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hammer Time!

Partly because I had about an hour to ride today between a board meeting in Salem and an awards banquet back near home. The plan was to hop on the bike ....which I conveniently carried with me to Salem ;-).... and hammer out a few fast miles before having to get cleaned up for the banquet.

..... and partly because I also got hammered by hail!



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............22...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1428....+.......720....=.........2148

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, April 18, 2008

Remembering Brett Jarolimek

(click on title for more information)


I was busy volunteering at our local fire station today, no biking. Too many pieces of equipment to haul to consider commuting to the event by bike.
Tomorrow I have a fire meeting in Salem, I would think seriously about commuting to that (100 mile round trip) if it weren't for the 100 mile ride the next day with significant climbing.

I really should go for a short ride yet tonight...........but as I type this it's hailing........ and of course that bike pansy heard the hail pounding on the roof and is now raising a ruckus. So I'm likely to be off the bike until Sunday.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............0...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1406....+.......720....=.........2126

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A nice route today, but no peaches

Erinn emailed and suggested we ride the 100km Peach of a Century route beginning at Jefferson today. What a great call! We began our ride at noon and had really good weather. There was a noticeable wind out of the north but it just added to the workout of the first half as we pedaled mostly north. We had nice roads, low traffic, and great views. The temps were in the upper 60's and the sky had a smattering of white clouds. No threat of rain. I had 4 cameras in the pickup (if you count the cell phone as one) but didn't get any of them on the bike so you won't be bothered with photos or video today. ;-)

We rode an out and back version today, from Jefferson to Stayton then towards Salem until we got 30 miles then backtracked. Well, backtracked except for a few blocks of "exploring" in Stayton that added just a bit to our route. The return trip was a blast. What had been a bit of work into the wind turned into a speed fest on the return with a trailing wind pushing us. I rarely saw below 22 mph.

We came back to our vehicles with a good ride behind us and not exhausted. I think we both would have been up for more miles, but there will be other days.

A good day, good company....... a good ride. The only thing keeping it from being classified as a great ride was there wasn't any peach cobbler waiting for us at the end!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........62...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1406....+.......720....=.........2126

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Daffodil Classic

Dave, Laura, and I made our way to Orting Washington late yesterday in preparation for today's Daffodil Classic put on by the Tacoma Wheelmen's Bicycle Club. We couldn't resist beginning our stay up there by having dinner at "Famous Dave's BBQ" where our server's name was Ryan.... the same name as Dave's son.


The TWBC puts on a real good ride. The course was well marked, the "Dan Henry's" even showed us where the goodies were at the end of the ride! (click on the photo for a larger version)


Support was excellent throughout.

As with most of the rides in the state of Washington that I participate in, there seemed to be a LOT of chipseal. Nothing like 50+ miles of chipseal to drain you!
The scenery was nice. We had many views of Mt Rainier, and we were close. We traveled along the shores of several lakes too.
video

After having seen the power of mudflows from the Mt St Helen's eruption it doesn't take much imagination to see the risk to the folks in the communities we rode through today. A clear shot to Mt Rainier only 30 miles away and situated in valleys that will funnel the lahars right to their front doors...and on through to the back doors.
This picture should have been gorgeous, but alas, in my hurry I didn't take into account the shutter delay.


Here's a few photos of the Eatonville rest stop:





Here's a little video as we rode away from the rest stop.

video

Here we three musketeers take our chances stopping for a photo op in the gunsights of a lahar.



With a bit of a late start, the jarring ride of chipseal, and a bloated feeling it didn't take much for the bike pansy to escape from my bike bag. It crawled up on my shoulder and began the litany....... "This is far enough.", "You don't want to make Dave and Laura wait while you ride another 40 miles.", "You rode a hard ride on Friday.", "You're too old to do this!". I listened and obeyed.

We followed the last Dan Henry to the strawberry shortcake desert. :-)


The soils in the area seemed to be very rocky, there was very little traditional agriculture. The farms we did pass appeared to be cow and pasture operations that had seen better days. There were a lot of rock and gravel pits. Some were still active while others had been converted to industrial land and housing. There seemed to be a lot of growth in the housing market in the area with many subdivisions being under construction or recently built.

Dave commented that one of the things nice about going on these rides is getting to see areas that you wouldn't normally see in travels up I-5.
Sounds like a good subject for a bumper sticker........
"See the country--Ride your bike!"

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........64...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1344....+.......720....=.........2064

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, April 11, 2008

A good day for a bike ride!

Ah, what a day for a bike ride. 71 degrees, light breeze, nuttin' but blue! I began at McMenamin's Rock Creek Tavern on Old Cornelius Pass Road, not so much that it's a good place to start but rather it's a GREAT place to finish! ;-)

I went up Old Cornelius Pass Road to Skyline and followed Skyline to Cornell where I took a right (following the DeRonde van Oeste Portlandia route) and descended to Miller where I took a left, then another left on Brynwood. Yup, it was just as steep today as last weekend, but the weather was nicer today!

My back tire slipped a few times, but not near as often as last weekend when the road was wet. Today it was when I'd hit a bit of small gravel or sand type stuff. The problem today was that my front wheel picked up. As you'd expect, it was when I was really putting some power on. As the wheel came up (of course not going very fast) I was standing and giving it some pretty good effort. The handlebar turned because of my pulling on it to get leverage. When it came back on the ground......pointed sideways.... I went on the ground too. A little road rash to show for it, but I'll survive.

Once I hit Skyline again I took leave of the DeRonde route and made a right on Skyline following it toward the Sunset Highway. Skyline earns it's name as the views were stupendous.


It is also a popular location for broadcast towers.


When I came to the Sylvan interchange of the Sunset Hwy I crossed over to Hewett. As usual, I ended up at Council Crest.


Today, after making the loop on Council Crest I continued on Council Crest Drive until I came to the KGON tower.

Since the road ended there I decided it was as good excuse to begin my way back as any. I dropped down on the Portland side and followed that road for a ways before taking a left and climbing up a pretty decent hill to get back to Council Crest Drive. From there I pretty much retraced my route back to Rock Creek Tavern.....but did not abuse my brake pads and rims by descending Brynwood! ;-)

Along the way I stopped at the Willamette Stone.


It was a good ride today, a nice warm up for Sunday's 100 mile Daffodil Classic.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........40...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1280....+.......720....=.........2000

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thursday, April 10, 2008

lack of motivation

I just couldn't get in gear today. There were a few showers around but as the day progressed it looked like we've finally turned the corner as far as weather goes. For some unknown reason I was cold all day. The outside temperature was in the low 50's but with the bit of breeze I just couldn't get myself to hop on the bike.

So instead I took off the brake pads and thoroughly cleaned them after last weekend's grit fest. I adjusted my front wheels bearings that had just a bit of slop in them. I was running low on chainlube so I followed a suggestion to make my own. (3 parts odorless mineral spirits, 1 part synthetic motor oil) Supposedly the mineral spirits thins the oil and works as a carrier to help the oil penetrate into the places you need it to be, then evaporates leaving just the oil. I'll give it a shot and let you know how I like it. It certainly is cheaper...... I made 1 gallon of the stuff for about $14. That should last me for awhile. Hope I like it! ;-)

Tomorrow I'll get on the bike for at least 40 miles. I've got my first century of the year coming up on Sunday and I'm 40 miles short of 2000 miles for the year. Those two facts along with the improving weather are good enough reasons to get back on the bike.

Hmmmm.....maybe I should ride back up to Brynwood St and give it another shot!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............0...............0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1240....+.......720....=.........1960

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

another LifeCycle day...........Argh!

I had a meeting in Portland all morning. I sat by a window and could see showers from time to time. By afternoon those light showers turned to torrential downpours with hail. I opted for the gym again. I repeated the "fast as I could go for 1 hour" routine, this time managing 24 "miles".

On the way back from the meeting today I drove the section of the DeRonde van Oeste Portlandia route from Cornell back up towards Pittock Mansion. This was the next big climb after the Brynwood climb. I had my helmet cam along and took some video as I drove up. I added that video to the DeRonde ride description.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............0...............24
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1240....+.......720....=.........1960

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

a real bike rider....................

...........would have been out on the bike today. A bit drippy but REAL bike riders aren't concerned with such things. Bike pansies are though.

I opted for the artificial bike, TV, and ability to be in the shower within minutes after finishing.

My natural best fit seems to be moderate paced rides for long distances. DeRonde van Oeste Portlandia showed me what I already know....... there are a LOT of riders stronger and faster than I. My Race Across Oregon team is leaning hard towards one hour pulls, so today on the artificial bike I pedaled as many "miles" as I was able to pedal in 1 hour in an attempt to recreate what I will be doing during RAO.

I'm definitely going to have to do more practice on this..... I'll have to find the balance between having too much left and burning out.

I managed to log 23 "miles" in the hour. I took a little diversion on some of the other equipment then came back for a more laid back effort and logged another 10 "miles"

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............0...............33
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1240....+.......696....=.........1936

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A lap around the lake....post DeRonde

I wasn't sore after yesterday's hill fest, but could feel that I'd worked the muscles yesterday. I opted for a ride from Forest Grove out and around Hagg Lake just to loosen up a bit. A couple of showers, but not all that bad.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........27................0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1240....+.......663....=.........1903

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, April 5, 2008

only 47 miles today...................

........but most certainly a workout!

I joined a few folks today (about 220 by my rough count) and rode the DeRonde van Oeste Portlandia. (The Tour of West Portland) It was a tough ride as expected. Every rider came prepared in their own way. This guy set his bike up with a 20-43 if I remember his description correctly.


There were folks who had replaced the rear cog set and deraileur of their roadbikes with sets from mtn bikes and all kinds of modifications all designed to make the hills just a little more doable.

This little video was taken just a few minutes before the start. Notice near the end the guy with one arm... and only half of a traditional handlebar. A definite tip of the hat to him! I have since learned that the rider's name is Jim Henry and that he finished in an awesome 4.5 hours! Congratulations Jim!
There was also a team on a Calfee tandem that completely dispelled the notion that tandems don't climb, they finished in about 4 hours. I'll try to find their names as well.


video

Everybody came to ride, no pansy riders in this group!

Here's a photo taken by Dave Roth as we started out. I'm in the middle background in a bright yellow jacket. (used with permission)
You can see the rest of Dave Roth's photos HERE.

Here's the official route for this unofficial ride!


From the start at Pyramid Brewery the group rode on out to Highway 30 and headed west for a few miles at a 19-20 mph pace. That brisk pace soon fell by the wayside as we turned up Saltzman Rd. A sign at the beginning of Saltzman said "dead end".... perhaps they were trying to tell us something? Saltzman starts out as a narrow, steep, and somewhat paved residential street that "ends" at a gate....which we went around and continued on the road which now turned to packed dirt and gravel. As far as gravel goes this was good stuff. No problem riding with skinny little road tires but the recent rains and now heavy bike traffic turned it into a sloppy, muddy, mess.

Here's the group as we ascended Saltzman Road from the Willamette River to Skyline Rd, perhaps a 10% average grade for about 3 miles.
video

We turned left on Skyline and continued on our way. The road in this section can best be described as "undulating", no major climbs or descents. We turned right on Cornell and made our way down towards Beaverton then left on Miller Rd. Coming up to the traffic signal at Miller I had the first chance to use the brakes....with all the grit picked up on Saltzman it sounded like filing away aluminum wheels with a course rasp........ which of course it was! With the wet and gritty roads it was a sound we'd all get used to today.

We turned left onto the infamous Brynwood St. and CLIMBED back up to Skyline. From there we descended down Cornell towards Portland. After gaining some speed down Cornell (and whizzing through the tunnel!) we braked and made a right turn climbing back up a series of various roads with Vista in their names that switched back and forth up the hill. At this point The Beatle's tune "The Long and Winding Road" was going through my head. ;-) Here's a video of most of that climb taken a few days later from the comfort of my pickup.
video
The secondary streets we traversed were rarely smooth and add to that being wet from rain made for dicey descents. After the sometimes brutal climbs up we could rarely enjoy the fruits of our labors by letting the bikes roll down the hills. It was just too rough, too slippery, too twisty, and too many speed bumps to let the bikes fly.
There were some places so steep today that my rear wheel would spin as I put power on the pedals. Wet roads, steep roads, reasonably low gears, and rough pavement will do that. At times the route brought us tantalizingly close to our end point at Council Crest....only to turn away at the last moment and head down the hill, and then to have to climb back up again. Today was not at all about the shortest distance between two points.

If we weren't working so darn hard getting our bikes to go up the hills we would have noticed some nice views from time to time. This one is from Skyline looking west over the Westslope/Beaverton area.
video


I did manage to hit 42.5 mph on the descent of Burnside (and had to backtrack when I rolled past the turn up into Washington Park at the base because I couldn't stop!) Most of the day was spent MUCH slower however as I averaged 9.7 mph.

Here's another video sweep of the view from one of the high points on our route. This one overlooks downtown Portland. Who says I don't take time to stop and smell the roses? ;-) (actually catching my breath after a climb!)
video


Here's a photo of me as I finished at Council Crest. (thanks again to Dave Roth for reprint permission)



Congratulations to all riders today. Fast or slow, finish the entire course or not, you all deserve a big pat on the back.



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........47................0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1213....+.......663....=.........1876

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

life

Despite the subject matter of this blog, I do have a life outside of biking.......and today it got in the way of riding. It's 63 degrees, sunny, and a very light breeze as I type this. A perfect day to be out on the bike...... but alas. We've all been in this situation before, but it doesn't make it any more tolerable knowing that.

I attended a presentation by noted bicycle attorney Ray Thomas this evening on the subject of bicyclists' rights and responsibilities. This event was sponsored by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. There were 25-30 folks in attendance. It was an overflow crowd for the space.

Ray Thomas is a great speaker and knowledgable about the subject. He wrote "Pedal Power", a book outlining rights and responsibilities of cyclists along with cites of the laws pertaining to bicycles.
He talked at length on proper lane usage and the laws concerning lane use. He also stayed after and answered any and all questions we had. If you ever get the chance to attend a presentation by Ray Thomas I highly recommend you do so. Also pick up a copy of "Pedal Power" available from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.
I have a very busy afternoon tomorrow with meetings in Salem. I hope to get out on the bike for a few hours in the morning but with the frosty mornings that will remain to be seen.

Hope you all get a chance to get out and enjoy the weather!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............0................0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1166....+.......663....=.........1829

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Blue sky, warm.....Spring Break must be over!

After a Spring Break week of snow, hail, and rain, today turned gorgeous! I rode the bike from the Lake Stop Store up to Hagg Lake and around twice and then back to the store. 55 degrees with about an 8 to 10 mph wind. Beats hail in the face any day!

This coming Saturday is De Ronde Van Oeste Portlandia........ come on out, see what you're made of! If you see me collapsed on the side of the road at least wave and give a shout out as you pass by!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........24................0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
YTD...........1166....+.......663....=.........1829

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++