Saturday, January 31, 2009

woo HOO!

Dave and I had planned to join a few folks for a 40 mile ride from Vancouver to Kelly Pt Park today but a last minute plumbing issue delayed our start and forced us to make our own ride. We opted for a 10:30 AM start on a preview ride of my 54 miles birthday route. It was foggy and cold as we started off but within the first 10 or 15 miles we rode into blue skies. We had a great day and Dave ended up with a 1 day maximum mileage. We ended back up at Butteville and I decided to let Dave take my pickup back to his house and I'd ride back via a bit of a circuitous route to bring my miles up to the magic number for the month. It was just too nice of a day to stop without reaching the 500 miles this month. Of course, with all the snow and ice earlier it ended up that I rode most of those miles in the last week!

With Super Bowl issues for many I've scheduled my birthday ride for NEXT Sunday. I hope the weather is as good as it was today, but given the time of year I'll be amazed if it's any where near as close.

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531

Friday, January 30, 2009

excuses, excuses

I haven't been on my bike since Monday when I commuted a 103 mile round trip to Salem. Tuesday morning did indeed end up snowy, just like predicted. I drove to Salem for my commitments there and didn't see the asphalt for the first 35 miles! Though they make studded tires for bikes, I prefer the safety of 4 wheels and a protective cocoon of steel around me when there is snow and ice on the roads!

(sorry about the radio on the background, forgot that I was taking audio as well as video!)

Wednesday I had a full day of real life issues.

Thursday I had my bike with me in the afternoon as I drove my upcoming 54 mile birthday route and marked the course with some discreetly place "graffiti" on the pavement. It took a bit longer than expected so I didn't have time for a decent ride.

Today was icy and foggy until well into the day. My afternoon was busy but even if it hadn't been it was just to cold and wet to have me get too enthused about riding.

Tomorrow however I will be out there. I've got two options for rides with friends. I'm sure one will pique my interest! It would be nice to get enough miles to bring my January total to 500, but neither ride will do that....... I might have to add a few miles on my own if the weather is nice!

Monday, January 26, 2009

"commute" meeting "commute" meeting

With a meeting in Salem that began at 11AM and not having to be back to Forest Grove for another meeting until 7PM it looked like a commute by bike was possible. This morning was a bit chilly but the roads were dry so I took off towards Salem with the temperature at 25 degrees. The sky was cloudless and traffic reasonable light since my normal route to Salem involves mostly rural roads. It was a bit cold but the tail wind helped move me along faster and minimize wind chill. My legs were fine after the hard workout and 127 mile ride on Sunday but there was a bit of "saddle interface issue" with my new ISM Race saddle. Just not enough miles on that to have me entirely comfortable on full century rides yet.

After my meeting, that included a few slices of pizza (Thanks Court Street Consulting!)I made my way back, taking a few alternate roads so I would be sure to get in my full 100 miles. My normal round trip would leave me just shy of 100 miles.

As I was pedaling through Salem I was glad that my normal riding position is at the white line on the edge of the traffic lane, and not in the center of the bike lane. If I had been any closer to the woman in the car who opened her door without looking I would still be in Salem somewhere. Other than that it was a nice return ride. There wasn't a very tight time schedule, though there was a head wind, it wasn't imperative that I get back quickly. It did warm up a bit if you consider 38 degrees warm!

I arrived back in plenty of time to get cleaned up and attend the second fire related meeting of the day.

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Jan total.......430.....+.........30.......=.......460

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My first ride as an Oregon Randonneurs member

I got my Oregon Randonneurs membership in the mail yesterday and promptly took off for my first ride with them as an official member today. I was too late to ride the Wetlands and Prairies Permanent as a registered rider dashing my chances for the first check mark on my R12 quest. Then again, I'm not sure that's important to me. I just like riding with folks who aren't afraid to put in some miles.

About a dozen of us began the trip this morning in Newberg and headed south at 7AM eventually arriving at the Gallon House Covered Bridge.

From there we turned around and returned to Newberg via Mt Angel and Gervais. We made reasonable time even with the stops to answer control questions. We arrived back in Newberg with the first 60 miles under our belt by 11AM. From there we headed west on Hwy 99 before turning NW on Mineral Springs Rd then west on Gun Club Rd eventually turning north on Hwy 47 and making our way to Forest Grove. Arriving in Forest Grove with about 105 miles we were pleased to find that Maggie's Buns was open until 3PM, and we just made it under the wire. Most had a bit to eat, but I often find that if I eat "real food" on rides I get bloated so I stuck to my liquid supplements. As we pedaled back toward Newberg on Springhill Rd we were riding pretty quickly hoping to finish up before dark. Around 115 miles into the ride I found myself running out of energy. Not eating enough coupled with a ride at least twice as long as anything I've done in the last few months had almost done me in. I stopped for just over 5 minutes and took a good drink of Perpetuem and had a granola bar, a few shot blocks, and my favorite....a snickers bar! I got back on the bike and continued on my way. I never caught back up with the 5 others I was riding with. They are strong riders and I just didn't have it in me to catch up with them today.......give me a couple of months! I did turn on my front blinky with about 8 miles to go. (ran rear blinkies for much of the day) It never did get dark enough to make me think I needed to stop and set up the HID light. I pulled into the parking lot marking the end of our ride about 5:15PM. I was ruing the fact that on my first Rando ride as an official member I had come in dead last...but had come in. Cecil Anne reminded me that there were others still on the course so really I was just last of the fast group.
That Cecil, she's a glass half full kind of girl!

It was a good ride, and a great group of folks to ride with. With RAO, FC508, and multiple 12/24 veterans (and record holders!) in the group it's right where I need to be.

Not sure about riding tomorrow yet. We started out in the low 40's as we pedaled away this morning, it got colder as the day progressed and we in the upper 30's at 5PM when we finished. It's supposed to continue to cool down tonight with the likelihood of a little snow in the morning. We shall see.

I do have a late morning meeting in Salem on Monday and may just commute by bike (just under 50 miles one way)if the weather cooperates.

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Jan total.......327.....+.........30.......=.......357

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's official

Today a packet showed up in the mail. It contained a welcome message and a membership number (#5314) Looks like when I show up at Newberg in the morning to join some folks on the Wetlands and Prairies Permanent I'll be an official member. Will I ride any better? Will I have more fun? Who knows, but I will be an official Oregon Randonneur!

I observed the change of status by swapping out my lighter and faster tire/wheel combo with the 11-27 gearing for my slightly heavier and slower setup with my bullet proof Continental Gatorskin tires and the 12-24 cogset. A flat route with winter road conditions makes me think it might be the best way to approach this ride. My Rando brethren aren't nearly as concerned about speed as they are persistance. The next thing you know there may be a generator hub on the horizon! ;-)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A change in the weather

We've been enjoying some beautiful weather recently, frosty mornings but clear blue skies. The east wind through the Columbia Gorge has been keeping clouds and morning fog at bay. That wind has moderated and today the clouds are back. The weather guru's say that we are likely to see some sprinkles this afternoon and are very likely to have a wet Saturday, possibly even some snow by Sunday. I'm planning on riding 200k on Saturday with some friends so I'll be keeping a close eye on that.

In the meantime, maybe it's time to brush up on chain lubing technique?

The right way to lube a bike chain

In the afternoon I took advantage of a little lull in the action and went out for one of my recent favorite short rides, albeit with significant climbing.

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Jan total.......200.....+.........30.......=.......230

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

meeting, meeting, short ride, meeting

That's how my schedule goes today.
I had about 90 minutes in the early afternoon to take advantage of the beautiful weather and get a short ride in before cleaning up and attending an early evening meeting. Short available time required a close to home short ride.

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Jan total.......165.....+.........30.......=.......200

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What a difference a week makes

Just a week ago 7 of us rode a 37 mile route in honor of Shawn's 37th birthday, some a few more miles, some a few less. Today 4 of us returned to reprise the ride. Since I sent my membership application in for the Oregon Randonneurs I figured I should do the rando thing and ride to the ride. There was a construction road closure so what should have been a 10 mile commute one way ended up as 12 but no big deal.

Today was a bit colder than last week with frost on the roadway in the shady areas in the early parts of our ride but the sun was out and the air was absolutely clear. There was less debris on the sides of the road as well. I took a short video of our ride today at the same location that I took one last week. Note the much cleaner roads!

We avoided the flat tire issues of last week and kept a better pace. Last week we ended two hours late because of those flat tire issues as well as a generally slower pace. This week we ended up right on time!

Shawn had his road bike rather than his cross bike this time. Oddly his road bike has better gearing for the hills we rode today. All of us enjoyed the better weather today with smiles all around.
Here's Steve:

Shawn and Kris:

and myself and Shawn:

For our "post ride debriefing" we ended up at a Vietnamese restaurant where a couple of the folks who rode last week but opted out today joined us.

It was a great day to be on a bicycle!
By the time I commuted to and from, and our little side excursion for lunch, I ended up with a respectable 63 miles.

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Jan total.......143.....+.........30.......=.......178

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ah, the sun is shining!

I drove down to Salem for a meeting this morning. There was quite a bit of ice on the road in places but the sun was shining brightly. I did have my bike along hoping to get a ride in after my meeting. As I got into Salem I started seeing a few "serious" type bike folks all gravitating towards the Capitol Building area.

As I got within 2 blocks of my meeting location I stumbled upon the parking area that was the drawing force for them. It seems that a good size group was going to embark from there around 10AM.

I wished them a good ride and continued on to my meeting that also started at 10AM.

I'm finished up with the meeting and hope to get back to the northern part of the Willamette Valley so that I can ride around in the Logie Trail/Skyline/Rock Creek area again before it gets too late.


I drove the return leg of my birthday ride loop that is coming up in a few weeks. There are a few gravel roads in the area and I wanted to make sure we were avoiding them. I didn't find any gravel but did note one nasty RR crossing so the trip wasn't a total waste........ and it was mostly on my way home. However, the little dilly dallying took enough time that it's too late to go for a ride.
What a waste of a dry week in January! I haven't been on the bike since last weekend. Tomorrow I'm going for a hilly route of about 55 miles. A good workout, but hardly a strong week!

That will all change soon, it's time to get back to being serious about this riding stuff. I will know if I've been accepted to ride the Furnace Creek 508 in just a few short weeks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bikes, Borgs, and Brew

I'm sitting here THINKING about riding bike when I really should be out there RIDING bike. I'm justifying it because I rode the last two days and my backside is still getting used to the new saddle. I figured a day off might be a good thing. In the meantime I was looking at the route for a 200k ride I'm likely to do in a few weeks with some of the Oregon Randonneurs. I followed some of the links and ended up on John Kramer's blog. He's proposing a challenging ~850 mile ride over a week in the rather hilly part of NE Oregon. The route covers some of the same country we rode on last Summer's Race Across Oregon, and ends up with about the same 40,000 ft we tallied on that event. If I don't get accepted for the Furnace Creek 508 I may have time available to do this instead. Really, if I am riding the Furnace Creek 508 in October I SHOULD do this as part of my training but probably need to conserve available time and dollars to put towards an all out effort on the 508.

Oh, and this:

I sent my membership application to Oregon Randonneurs this morning. They shamed me into joining them with their constant smiles, quest for more miles, and invitations to join them on rides even though I'm "not one of them". Just like the Borg, they've assimilated me! :-O


Finished up the day at the Gemini in Lake Oswego with some active members of one of my more social bike groups. It was a ride leader meeting for those who'd like to plan and lead group rides. We had a great turn out, 11 of 12 who said they'd be there. We should be able to come up with a good variety of rides geared to just about everyone's skills and abilities. Now we just have to get out and ride!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Short and sweet

or perhaps a better title would be "Short but still a good workout!".

I took the morning to pedal around the Tualatin Valley side of the West Hills a bit. (I think they are technically called the Tualatin Mountains, but the proximity to Portland means they can pretty much call them whatever they want!)

I started (and finished!) at McMeniman's Rock Creek Tavern. From there I took West Union Rd to North Plains then up Shadybrook, down Jackson School, across Mason Hill Rd, down Jackson Quarry, up Logie Trail, down and up Beck Rd, over on Skyline a bit then back down Rock Creek Rd, to Old Cornelius Pass Rd, and finally finished up back where I started at.
Here's the route

It was a good ride!

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Jan total........80.....+.........30.......=.......115

Sunday, January 11, 2009

felt good to be back on the REAL bike!

Today was Shawn's birthday. Here is the birthday boy at our post ride "debriefing".

7 of us braved a January day to join him on a planned 37 mile ride in honor of his 37th birthday. (he's such a youngster!)

It was par for the course for winter rides, especially with the recent snows and all the debris left behind. Our little entourage battled flat tires. Since I had my share in December I was spared today. Or maybe it was the new Slimelite tubes I was running? At any rate our group had 3 flats today. Steve was the unfortunate recipient of 2 of them. Here was his first.

Steve and I thought we had enough get up and go to catch up with the rest of the group so we sent them on ahead as we tended to the repair. Unfortunately, as we pedaled to catch up I missed a turn (I had selected today's course!!!!) and ended up a long way from where we were supposed to be and done a reasonable amount of up and down climbing to get there! We ended up riding to North Plains where the plan was to hook back up with our group and have very near the same miles they had at that point. What we didn't know at the time the plan was hatched was that the remaining riders would have tire issues of their own. Steve and I ended up riding the course in reverse until we met up with them, adding ten miles to our planned ride. No real problem, the bikes were already filthy, what's a little more grit to wash off tomorrow!

We were now regrouped and continued on our way. Here we are just ready to cross Hwy 26 in the Roy area. Those who ride the Snooseville Populaire will recognize this location.

It wasn't too many miles after this and Steve had another flat. Just to keep things interesting he had it on the front this time.

We all stopped and waited, some helped, as Steve got the bike ready to ride again.

We finished the ride without incident, and ended up back at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse where we spent a few hours celebrating Shawn's birthday.

All in all, it was a good day. Rain on the commute there this morning, but nothing more than a few drops on our ride.

I would have gone out for another 3 miles to bring me to an even 50, but it got dark.


Okay, there was this discussion going on between the little bike pansy on my shoulder and myself.

Me: "I should go ride 3 lousy miles to get my 50 miles for the day in".
Bike Pansy (BP):"You already rode 47, that's enough for this time of year, besides, it's dark."
Me: "I have a light, and I'd really like to be able to tally this as a 50 mile ride at the end of the year"
BP: "But it's late"
Me: "It will take less than 15 minutes to do this including getting back into bike clothes"
BP: "But in the grand scheme of things 3 addtional miles don't amount to diddly because............."

I didn't hear the rest of the arguement. I was putting my bikes shoes back on, a windbreaker, and attaching my HID light to the helmet.

It took me a bit longer to do that than I thought, but it wasn't too long before I was back with my three miles!

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Jan total........53.....+.........35....=...........88

Saturday, January 10, 2009

the "miles" trickle in

I look out the window and just can't get too enthused over riding in these conditions. It isn't raining, it's not terribly cold, but there is still a lot of gravel and other debris just to the edge of the travel lanes. To top it off, today we had fog most of the day. Tomorrow I will get a bit more enthused as I am joining a few folks on a short ride to celebrate a birthday. In the meantime today I at least rode the pretend bike for a short while. I'm going to have to get serious about mileage soon if I am to realize my summer goals. If Dave is right I might just be able to get this party started.

Weekend's weather forecast

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Jan total.........3.....+.........35....=...........38

Friday, January 9, 2009

"life issues"

This blog is here to fill you in what's going on with me as far as biking goes. Like everyone else I have a life outside of biking and today it's in the way of what I should be doing......riding my bike in the sunshine!

Maybe tomorrow? I'd sure like to get out and ride a few miles on my new ISM saddle before joining some folks for a ride on Sunday just to make sure it's set up right.

No miles and no smiles today. :-(

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Riding with the King

The roads are still yucky.... so this is as close to bikey as I get today. I stopped by REI and picked up a micro breathable jacket, bright yellow, water repellent, wind resistant, reflective. Not as good as the Showers Pass jackets that my rando friends rave about, but considerably less expensive, and probably good enough for this mostly fair weather rider.

After getting the new riding jacket I proceeded to the Lucky Lab Beer Hall where I was planning to meet with a member of my record setting Race Across Oregon team, J Murray. Lucky Lab is where the Hottest Day of the Year Ride ended and they have inside bike parking so today qualified as bikey even though I didn't ride. While there, totally unplanned, a third member of our RAO team stopped by, J Michael. We had a good visit, talking RAO, FC508, STP. Just crazy bike stuff by crazy bike people. I sent a few other text messages to other bike people but it ended up just being us. It was a good evening.

"Riding with the King" is the title song of a CD by Eric Clapton and B.B.King. I didn't ride with them today, but I hoisted a brew with a couple of kings!

Hat's off to J Murray who had commuted to the event (and work that day) by bike.
I'm just a bike pansy I guess!

Monday, January 5, 2009

one small step for mankind, but a giant step for man

We had another 2" of snow last evening. Still an inch of it around this morning. While looking out the window at cars creeping along on the ice and snow I've been thinking of hot desert bike rides.

gulp..... just got this back in my email:


Hello Athlete-Adventurer!

Thank you for submitting your application to compete in the 26th Anniversary Furnace Creek 508 on October 3-5, 2009. This is a bold step you have taken and we salute you for the commitment it implies!

Due to the high volume of qualified applicants, it's unfortunate that it is impossible to invite every athlete who applies, including some race veterans. Thus, we appreciate your understanding if you are not invited this year. If that’s the case, we encourage you to support another cyclist, or team, in the race as The 508 could not go on without dedicated and competent support crews.

According to the timeline outllined on the website, we will notify you via email whether you are, or are not, confirmed to compete in the 2009 Furnace Creek 508. If you, or you and your team, are accepted to compete, you will be emailed the two-page Entrant Contract and Personal Waiver. You will have just seven days to submit the paperwork and entry fee to AdventureCORPS in order to secure your spot on the race roster.


Now the wait begins. Will the organizers deem me worthy?

Friday, January 2, 2009

the tally begins

I had sort of a mixed media day I guess. I spent a few hours this morning fiddling with my bike. I finally got around to installing my new ISM Adamo Race saddle. I also put new SlimeLite tubes (with the 48mm stems!) into my Hutchinson Kevlar tires on the Bontragger RaceLite wheels. I now have SlimeLite tubes in both sets of wheels. I took another inch out of my handlebar height in search of an even more aerodynamic riding position. I rode a couple of miles in the process of tuning saddle position.

Later today I made a trip to the gym and put the first miles of the year on the Lifecycle.

...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Jan total........3.....+.........20....=...........23

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Membership has it's privileges

Even though I live over 200 miles from Seattle, I am a member of Seattle based Cascade Bicycle Club. I am a member because I believe in and want to support their efforts. Improving the conditions for cyclists in an area improves the conditions for cyclists in the larger region so I don't feel my membership fee is "wasted" even though most of their efforts are understandably based in the Seattle area.

Beginning last year my membership has given me an additional benefit. Members get a jump on the general public for event ride registration. For popular rides like RSVP it will likely make the difference between being able to participate and having to watch from the sidelines.

STP registration will be cut off at 10,000 riders this year, not likely to sell out for many months. I do like to register early however. There is the whole issue of wind resistance on a 4 digit number vs the wind resistance against a 3 digit number. Oh, and the 25% savings in weight attributed to ink. ;-)

Actually, it's just a statement. I know on January 1 that I'm going to be riding my bike from Seattle to Portland in July. No wondering if I will be ready or if friends will be able to join me. I can do this!

So today I used my Cascade member status to register for STP!

I was planning to ride bike today with a group of folks to celebrate the new year. However the weather is just ugly today, storm warnings and the whole shebang. The ride organizer wisely decided that there would be safer days to ride.