Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The rat race

I was looking at my mileage totals a few days ago thinking I was doing pretty well this year........until I looked at last year's to date totals. I had only done 30 miles more than last year. I've been a bit busy with life details, and most of January the ground was snow covered, but that's a pretty poor excuse.

I noted that I was pretty close to logging 800 miles for the month so I set a goal of reaching that milestone. I managed to get that with a little room to spare on my "bonus ride" yesterday.

Late this morning I was to be in Salem for a meeting. It was predicted to be WET today but at daylight it was still dry with no wind. I loaded the bike and headed towards Salem.

When I got to Keizer it was still dry! I parked, unloaded the bike, mapped a course, and took off....with a goal of riding enough miles to break the 2000 mile YTD barrier. Even earlier this week I didn't think that would be likely.

I traveled roads that were familiar to me. Low traffic and/or wide bike friendly shoulders.

In slightly under 2 1/2 hours I was back with my mission accomplished. Probably none to soon. A moderate south wind developed late in my ride and the sky was darkening.
I went to 24 Hour Fitness to shower before going to my meeting and when I exited the building it was raining!

If I had done the Berkie Brevet with my Rando buddies (stories HERE and HERE) I would have had the miles in earlier. However, not being obsessed with structure of Randonneuring, I managed to get the miles, it just took me a few more days to do it........and I had nicer weather!

I've biked 4 days in a row now, I'm ready for a day or two rest.


AND

Still thinking about the SOB SUV.
I've edited all the names and identifiable information from a copy of the police report. I'm probably going to post that here in a day or so unless I get told it's not in the best interest. It will certainly show you what you may be up against if a driver tangles with you. His lies never had to see the light of day and be proven and other cyclists will suffer because he's still out there with his "Stay off MY F$^#*ing ROAD" attitude.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............43...............0.................43
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
Year to date...1972.....+.........30.......=......2002
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Monday, March 30, 2009

WWJD? WWCD?

What would Jesus do?
What would a cyclist do?
What the heck should I do?

After a few hours of email wrangling over the current state of affairs with the blue SUV issue I tossed my hands in the air and jumped on my bike. It is predicted to be the last dry day for the week and I just figured I should take advantage of it, and simultaneously pedal off some frustration.

I took off somewhat randomly and ended up with this. It was a pretty decent route, and by far the nicest weather of the last few days.

Back to the Blue SUV thing. I contacted a lawyer who I'd spoken to earlier to confer about the possibility of a civil suit. After much back and forth it boils down to this. In his professional opinion, if I do anything to stir the pot the Marion County DA will likely pursue the Criminal Mischief 2 charges against me that he originally chose to not prosecute. He adds that I'd likely be convicted because threat of future harm does not allow for current action. He says just lie low and let Kharma take it's toll.

So folks, I get to weigh whether it's a good trade to accept a likely criminal record to pursue a guy who menaced, drove recklessly, endangered us, threatened me, intentionally hit me, fled the scene, then gave a false statement to police.

The "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few", "or the one" (Star Trek-Wrath of Khan)

But since I too am looking for paying employment (plenty of volunteer gigs thank you very much) I don't need the criminal conviction on my currently clean record.

What WOULD Jesus do?
What would a CYCLIST do?
What should I do?

I've got it, find me a well paying job that will carry me for the next 10 years even if I get a criminal conviction. I'll go to bat for my fellow cyclists and bring this guy to his knees.

Or maybe I should just go ride my bike.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............94...............0.................94
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....817.....+.........0........=.......817
Year to date...1929.....+.........30.......=......1959
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday, Snoozeville Revisited

Today was the third week in a row that a group of us has ridden the Snoozeville Populaire route, and likely the last for awhile. The sky was mostly overcast but predicted to get clearer as we shoved off this AM from CPR.

5 of us showed up for the ride today, Mark H, Mark K, Kris, Dave, and I. The wind was very noticable as we headed towards Mountaindale. Once we got to Mountaindale we started up that almost imperceptible incline of Mountaindale Road. After 21 miles of headwind with 9 being uphill we arrived at the bridge over Dairy Creek, the end of pavement and our turnaround point for the out and back section.

Mark, Mark, Dave, and I arrived first.


Followed very closely by Kris.


After a short break we began the fun downhill and tailwind roadway back to Mountaindale. At Mountaindale Kris took her leave of our little group and made her way back to CPR, the rest of us pedaled on, again into the wind.

We arrived at our western terminus, Cedar Canyon Rd and Hwy 6 with a 15.3 mph average. Slow for us, but with the wind we thought it wasn't too bad. I had bonked a bit for the last few miles coming in to this point. The rest of our group had arrived at this intersection several minutes before I did. Once there I had a powerbar, a good drink of Perpetuem, and a shot of Gu. Also adding to the outlook was a promise of a tailwind for the remaining 25+ miles.

We cruised back east on Hwy 6 at 23-25 mph for a strong mile before turning up the short hill of Stafford Road. We continued on a fast pace into Forest Grove and our stop at Maggies Buns. By the time we got there our average was up to 15.9mph. After a few water bottles were refilled we continued on our way. At this point I opt to vary from the official route a bit.
I just don't care for the roundabouts near Verboort and the sometimes dicey left turn off Cornelius-Schefflin onto Long Road. We opted for the high traffic but wide shouldered Tualatin Valley Hwy back to Hillsboro.

We took full advantage of the brisk tailwind and cruised along pretty quickly. We made our way to Connell St then to Jackson School and Evergreen Rd. We arrived back at CPR with a 16.4 average on my speedo, and a 16.5 on Dave's. Maybe call it a 16.489? ;-) No matter, we were all pleased that we had improved on the average that we posted last week, especially when we were relatively slow to Hwy 6.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............61...............0.................61
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....723.....+.........0........=.......723
Year to date...1835.....+.........30.......=......1865
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, March 28, 2009

wet, Wet, WET!


It was predicted to be wet today, it was. We were all mostly equipped and it wasn't terribly cold so, all in all, it was a pretty decent day.

Some of my social bike group joined up with Portland Velo today. There were perhaps 20-25 riders and they divided by pace. We ended up with 8 riders in our group. I thought I jumped in the 17 group, but I guess I was in the 15's, and of course with the wet roads and reasonable amount of climbing they didn't hold that. Just over a 13 mph average was all the group could muster today. I was proud of my fellow "social riders" today as we were generally the first to the tops of the hills, and waited for the others. Okay, we had some issues too, a couple of times one of us would be out in "a breakaway" and would miss a turn, having to turn around and push a bit to catch back up with the rest of the group.

The one more serious issue, IMHO, was that early in our ride as we were all riding in a marked bike lane next to the travel lanes, running about 5-10 feet apart, a car pulled up to the sidewalk from an apartment complex waiting to get on the road. Our leader motioned them out and said "go ahead". A few of us took an immediate exception to that. If we had stopped someone would have gone down. We had the right of way, and safety would say to "ride like a car" or "control the lane", either way, the proper thing to do is what the rest of us did, wave at the car in a "thank you for waiting for us" mode as we pedaled by. The car waited for at most 15 seconds as we passed by then continued on their way.

I was on the verge of bailing on the organized ride at that point. I thought if the ride was going to go that way someone was going to get killed before the day was over. As we sit around at our "post ride debriefing" I find that I'm far from the only one that had that reaction.

Here's the route we rode.

The weather wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. After the previously mentioned issue early in the ride things settled down a bit. It was a slower ride than I was hoping for, but I am leading another "training series" ride tomorrow. Just over 60 miles and we'll be riding hard enough to make up for today! ;-)

The weather is supposed to be improving so we will keep our fingers crossed.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............44...............0.................44
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....662.....+.........0........=.......662
Year to date...1774.....+.........30.......=......1804
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Reverend Martin Luther King

"........This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the Pilgrim'spride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi - from every mountainside.

Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring - when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children - black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"





I was at the Marion County Court Annex is South Salem this morning to answer the charge against me. As was communicated to me verbally, the DA has chosen to not prosecute. While not officially listed as "not guilty" it beats having a criminal record.

Once I had the paper in my hand saying there was not going to be a prosecution I was able to walk across the parking lot and get a copy of the police report. (8 pages, $14 charge!!)

I now have the driver's name and address. I won't post it here unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

The biggest eye opener to me is the disparity between the driver's side of the story and mine.

He says that all the bikes were along the fog line except for me, and I was in the middle of the lane. (I could have legally been there, many will argue that I SHOULD have been there, but I wasn't.)

He says I tried to hit his vehicle as he passed me.
(where's my helmet cam when I need it?)

He says I flipped him off.
(ditto on helmet cam, and even if I did he thinks running into me is ok??)

Looks to me like he is now also guilty of giving false statements to police officers.

Aside from that it's a beautiful sunny day here. Too bad I'm busy in meetings until mid afternoon. I doubt I'll have time for an afternoon ride here because I have to get back north for some hill intervals up Jackson Quarry with a group at 6PM.

At least I am free to ride my bike!

"free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last"

I finished up the day with a half dozen of my social bike group folks on a hill interval workout. There was a bit of a challenge thrown during the planning of this. It was billed as a "if you want to go farther ride with Kevin, if you want to go faster ride with me". Needless to say I came to this evenings ride ready to hammer! I summitted every hill first, I led the group on the flats most of the time. I felt strong and it was only 20 miles before it got dark. I can do short and fast. ;-)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............20...............0.................20
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....618.....+.........0........=.......618
Year to date...1734.....+.........30.......=......1764
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tempting Fate

There was a slight drizzle falling this morning as I shoved off on a to be determined route of yet unknown distance. The wind was out of the south, but not too bad, maybe 10 mph or so. More important than the speed was what a south wind means in these parts.......rain likely. I was tempting the weather.......and I was riding in Marion County! Yikes!

I am in Salem again for a late in the day meeting so I came down early, always enjoying a new location to ride. I parked near Lancaster Mall and rode down Lancaster to State Street then out to Howell Prairie Rd. I took it north towards Mt Angel where I figured that with 23 miles so far it was a good place to stop for a snack. From Mt Angel I rode out to Scotts Mills then turned north towards Molalla. I wasn't sure how much hill riding I would get into in this stretch but the weather was decent so far and I felt ready for whatever came. Oh, and the knowledge that I could turn around if it got too tough also played into the equation! ;-) This section wasn't too bad and I was soon in Molalla where I turned back in a generally southern direction and rode to Silverton. Arriving in Silverton with just under 60 miles was another good opportunity to have a snack and refill the water bottle.

From Silverton I rode south on Cascade Hwy to State Street where I turned back to Salem and finished up my ride.

It was a good ride, with better than anticipated weather. I had some heavy mist from time to time, but never enough moisture to make the roads splashy.

My route is HERE


I have a busy day here tomorrow. The day begins with a visit to the Marion County Court... to see if they want to play the game. Depending on how long that takes, I may or may not be in time to my second appointment of the day, a legislative committee meeting. I'll go straight from there to a hearing in the Capital Building to show support for some impending legislation related to emergency response.

Tomorrow evening it's back to the Hillsboro/North Plains area for a little hill interval work with some other crazy folks on bikes! ;-)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............75...............0.................75
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....598.....+.........0........=.......598
Year to date...1714.....+.........30.......=......1744
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Warm, mostly dry, MARION COUNTY!

Look out for blue SUVs! Argh!

I have a mid day meeting and considered riding to it, but was afraid I may get into dark before I got back home. I'm just not enough of an Oregon Randonneur yet to be comfortable with intentionally riding in the dark if I don't need to. I brought my bike with me and rode a short loop before the meeting.

It was warm today, 55 degrees on the thermometer when I got back! A very few light sprinkles early, but the road remained dry, and it got brighter the closer I got to noon.

A nice little 34 mile ride in the countryside east of Salem.

I have not received written notification that the BS charge against me has been dropped (as the Marion County Deputy had told me)so it looks like I'd better plan on being back in Marion County on Thursday.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............34...............0.................34
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....523.....+.........0........=.......523
Year to date...1639.....+.........30.......=......1669
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another wet mid ride

But pretty nice on both ends! Today's plan was to re-ride last week's Snoozeville Populaire. Since it wasn't the official ride we referred to it as our Snooseville ride since that's where it goes through. ;-)

Dave, Mark, Steve, Luis, and I showed up for the ride billed as a "training ride" for the social bike club I belong to.
Being an official Oregon Randonneur I find a certain pressure to ride to the ride, so I succumbed and rode to and from the ride, adding 21 miles to the Snoozeville Populaire's 62 miles.

There was a significant head wind for about the first 25 miles but it was dry. Prior to beginning today Steve (whom I had not ridden with before) said he was accustomed to riding in pacelines and was wondering if we did that. I figured any offer to help carry the load was good. I told him that we all had the skills to paceline safely.

We started off into the brisk wind (maybe 15 mph?) I was leading and hammering pretty hard. I was holding 18 mph and kept checking my mirror to see if anyone else was ready to lead or were dropping off the back. Nobody dropped but nobody offered to lead either! After a few miles we made the turn onto Sewell Rd and we still had to contend with the wind a bit since it was out of the NW.

We stopped at the now vacant Mountaindale Store for a rest and re-fueling from our stocks. We started up that almost imperceptible hill that is Mountaindale Rd. Luis and I traded pulling for several miles and put some distance on the rest of the guys.
Luis admitted to attending a very sumptuous potluck until late last night, that coupled with his missing last week's ride put him at a disadvantage. Before too long he had dropped back to join the others on our way to the Snooseville turnaround where we regrouped and again re-fueled.

(L to R, Dave, Luis, Steve, and Mark)

The run back down Moutaindale Rd, always a fun descent, was assisted by a tailwind today. We flew. Most of the way the speedo read 23-24 mph with most of us taking turns in the lead. Once back to the Mountaindale Store we again turned into the wind and worked our tails off until the end of Cedar Canyon Rd west of Banks. As we hit a few rollers west of Banks Mark showed his strength as he pedaled right away from the rest of us up those hills....... but Dave gave chase and eventually caught up to him! I was happy to sit back and watch them as I had expended a pretty good amount of energy pulling into the wind earlier. (oh, and the 125 miles the day before!)

Once we turned left on Hwy 6 we had the wind mostly at our backs for the rest of the ride. It had begun raining as we pedaled out of Banks, and about now it started raining pretty hard. It didn't last very long and had stopped by the time we rode into the edges of Forest Grove and took advantage of a picnic table in the new park. (Shhh...not yet open...don't tell!)



We avoided a section of the official route by taking the high traffic, but wide shouldered Hwy 8 to Hillsboro, rather than the Verboort Round-a-bouts and that ugly left turn onto Long Rd followed by the zero shoulder poor sightlined Susbauer Rd option. Once in Hillsboro we got on Main Street then took a left on Connell. We soon found ourselves back on that always smooth and tailwind (usually both directions it seems!) Evergreen Rd.

I had one motorist issue near the airport. A signal changed to red in front of us. I checked my mirror and noticed traffic approaching from the rear. As I teach in my bike safety class I pulled a few feet into the lane to ensure I was not right hooked by a turning vehicle. I was in full compliance of ORS 814.420(c). My intent was as the light turned green I would immediately move to the right and re-enter the bicycle lane. As the light was still red, a lifted 4x4 4 door Ford pickup pulled up behind me and honked a few times, followed by the driver sticking his head out the window and telling me to get out of his lane and that I belonged in the bike lane a few feet over. (all interspersed with expletives of course). I noted his license plate number and given my recent experience figured it best if I not engage him. The light turned green, I moved over, and he roared past using up his carbon credits for the foreseeable future. For future reference, I noted that he turned left onto Sewell Rd. (not that many homes there!) I had the plate number in my head for the next 10 minutes as we finished up the ride, then promptly forgot it before I could write it down. :-( His behavior may have qualified him for a violation of ORS 163.190 (menacing) but my point was not to have him cited but to have a civilized discussion on why I was in that lane. One just has to remember Brett Jarolimek and Tracey Sparling to know why it's not safe to be to the right of a potentially right turning vehicle.

The ride ended without further incident. Just like yesterday's ride both ends of the ride were pretty good but the middle was a bit wet. We managed to hold an average in the mid 16mph range for the ride. It was a good ride!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............83...............0.................83
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....489.....+.........0........=.......489
Year to date...1605.....+.........30.......=......1635
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I was almost an Oregon Randonneur today



I joined Oregon Randonneurs a few months back
. While I'm a member I just am not driven by having my name in a book in France or winning shiny medals for long mileage. My battles are more personal, as are my victories. For that reason I just don't find the need to register for rides and jump through all the hoops to get "credit" for the ride. I just ride the miles.

Today my miles were with John Henry and Joanne who were on one of their tandems.



We began from Wilsonville at 7AM, a few others started at 8AM. Our "permanent" of choice today was the 125.1 mile Scio Covered Bridges Permanent.

The weather was dry and mild as we took off. We had some really good riding conditions for the first 50 miles or so and rode through 3 covered bridges.







It began raining about 55 miles into our ride and kept it up continuously until we reached mile 88. It seemed like the kind of rain that would last all day so we were really surprised when it not only quit, but eventually cleared up!



We really enjoyed the improving conditions........as well as the noticeable tailwind.



We pedaled into our finish with a 15.4 mph average. Not shabby for this old guy.

Tomorrow a group of us are doing a repeat of the 100k Snoozeville Populaire route.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........125...............0................125
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....406.....+.........0........=.......406
Year to date...1522.....+.........30.......=......1552
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thursday, March 19, 2009

short term plans?

prepare for rain! ;-)

April 4th has been set as the date for the third annual De Ronde van Oeste Portlandia.

I've participated in both of the previous renditions of this hill climbing madness, rained both times! A new slightly longer route this year with a little more climbing. I'll be there this time too, might as well expect rain. ;-) There are rumors that a noted local television program will be there to document the pain.
The first De Ronde van Oeste Portlandia was memorialized on Youtube:


More imminent than that is this Saturday's Scio Covered Bridges Permanent with some Oregon Randonneurs. 125 miles of riding around the Cascade foothills and over multiple covered bridges. Bridges cross rivers, rivers are in canyons, getting from one canyon to another requires climbing hills. Hills in the rain seems to be the subject of my riding plans!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BEEEE YOU TEE FULL!

The weather gurus said today was supposed to be the best day this week. It surprised me (and probably them too) just exactly how nice it got. I drew the short straw and brought my mom to an appointment at OHSU today. She was told to plan about 3-4 hours and I figured that was plenty of time to go for a ride while waiting for her.

I rode along the waterfront and made my way across the river then headed north. I made it as far as Alberta St when mom called. They had moved her through pretty quickly and she was ready to go. I turned around and rode back. I had a good tour of Portland "bike boxes", green bike lanes, and bike specific signals. I didn't get very many miles, but it was the first ride this year that I had just a short sleeved jersey on, no arm warmers, no windbreaker, no winter gloves or raincoats! A gorgeous day for a ride!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............13...............0.................13
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....281.....+.........0........=.......281
Year to date...1397.....+.........30.......=......1427
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

WWJD?

perhaps turn the other cheek?

But my comment on what would the police do if THEY were the ones on the bike when a car threatened has been answered.


I'm still in Salem working on issues revolving around YOUR safety, but the weather appears to be improving slightly. In between the heavy rain showers the sun comes out a bit. If I had time (and had my bike with me!) I'd probably go out for a short ride in between the rain showers. Maybe tomorrow!

Monday, March 16, 2009

In Marion County


I'm in Salem today preparing for a meeting. As I am sitting here at my computer I get a call from Marion County Deputy Chris Helbling, the officer who responded to my incident.

He informs me that the Marion County District Attorney's Office has chosen not to prosecute the case. Evidently neither me, nor the guy who menaced my friends and I, showed a reckless disregard for life by driving closely to us, threatened me, intentionally ran into me with his vehicle, then drove away without performing the duties of a driver. The driver was never charged with violation of any of the laws I thought he should have been charged with.

I'll verify when and if I get official notification that the case against me has been dropped in writing via US Mail.

No worries cycling friends, there will be more updates coming.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

no riding, but very bikey

The organizer of the ride I was going to participate in today said it would cancel if it rained. I removed my affirmative RSVP about Thursday when it became obvious that there would be rain today......lots of rain. I volunteered for the OBRA Banana Belt race today instead.



My morning duties were driving support vehicle for Women's 4 and Masters Women. The ladies were troopers, diligently riding through wind, rain, slick roads,.....and OBRA mandated neutralization when faster divisions wanted to pass.

I'd be ticked if I had busted my behind to open a gap on the field only to have them all catch back up when the group was required to ride 10mph in double lines so the faster folks could pass.

No wonder there is a saying that the women ride 2 laps and race 1. It is a waste of energy to race too early.

In the afternoon I filled in for a no show and became a corner marshal for turn 1.

I had one "self-entitled" motorhome driver pulling a trailer full of ORV's honk at me as I was holding up the stop sign. I went back to talk to him (gee, haven't I learned my lesson yet?) I went back to tell him it would just be a minute, the racers were coming around the corner in a matter of moments.
He responded with an "Are they taking up the whole f$%^ing road?"
I didn't hit his mirror.... I just said "yes they are" and walked away.

As the racers rounded the corner he roared past me. I radioed ahead to the officials that we had a motorhome with an attitude heading their way.

The day was wet, windy, and just a few degrees warmer than yesterday.
It got windier in the afternoon and the continuous rain turned to sporadic intense showers.

No bike miles for me today, I for the most part stayed warm and dry in my pickup!

As far as the legal issue goes, Marion County Deputy Chris Helbling tried to reach me today about 3PM.... a full 6 1/2 days after I called and Marion County dispatch and they said he would return my call shortly. I was still up at Hagg Lake and cell reception is spotty at best. After playing a bit of phone tag MC Dispatch said he was off on other duties and would try again later. I don't have a direct number for him, I always have to go through dispatch, so when I'm in poor reception areas it's very difficult.

As of 8PM he has not called back.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Snoozeville Populaire


(photo taken by Tangobiker)

That it happens to ride through Snooseville is beside the point.

Today the weather prognosticators said it would be cool, windy, and rainy. They were right. It started raining about 5 minutes before the ride started.

I always say that when you are training some days are really fun, some days are homework. Today was homework.

Here I am pulling into the Maggie's Buns control. This is about 50 miles into the cold, wet, slog that was today.

Photo taken by control worker Greg


Wet, cold, windy. Not much else to add other than I was out there in it for 62 miles.
Oh, and it took 40 minutes after I stopped riding to have my fingers thaw enough to be able to type!

Yup, homework.

UPDATE: The finishing results have been posted.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............62...............0.................62
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....268.....+.........0........=.......268
Year to date...1384.....+.........30.......=......1414
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, March 13, 2009

A two ride day

Just came in from a 33 mile ride with Dave




and Erinn


It was an absolutely gorgeous day. About 40 degrees as we shoved of from OMSI at 9:30 but warmed to the mid 50's by the time we finished up. We rode out the Springwater Corridor then turned around and rode with Erinn back up Terwilliger past OHSU and then on to her home near Taylor's Ferry Rd and I-5. After our goodbye's Dave and I rode back to OMSI. This was probably my last ride with Erinn. :-( I'll miss her.

We wanted to be back to Wilsonville to meet Dave's brother who was coming into town, but as we pulled into Dave's place we were told that plans had changed and his brother wouldn't be arriving until much later in the day.

The weather is just way too nice to stop riding for the day, it's supposed to rain tomorrow. Dave and I are working on plans to go ride a bit more.

I'll update later today when we finish up.

UPDATE:

Dave and I took advantage of the last nice day for awhile and added to our ride. We rode out to Pete's Mountain and on into the little historic burg of Willamette. I've never been in that part of the country before. We had some good hills (if there is such a thing!) and a great ride.

We ended the day with 57 total miles.

Tomorrow I'm joining a few folks to ride the 100k Snoozeville Populaire that's sponsored by the Oregon Randonneurs. Just how many folks will depend no doubt on how much rain we get. It's predicted to be quite wet.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............57...............0.................57
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....206.....+.........0........=.......206
Year to date...1322.....+.........30.......=......1352
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wondering

I'm in Salem, the State Capital as well as the County Seat of ......Marion County.
My road bike is sitting in my LBS getting an estimate on how much it will cost to repair the damage caused by the guy who thinks he owns the whole %^$#^% road.
It would seem that at least some members of the Marion County Sheriff's Office agree with him. The saying "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" should certainly apply to the police as well as the public.

Sorry, I digress.

Since my road bike is in the shop my plan to ride from Forest Grove to Salem to attend a late morning meeting then ride back is scuttled. I did bring my mountain bike along with me to Salem. After my meeting I hope to press it into road service and ride part of the Peach of a Century route. Of course the fact that this will require riding on roads in Marion County is weighing on my mind. How should one prepare for riding in such a bike hostile environment? Helmet cam video? Pepper spray? 3000 of my closest bike friends riding along?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

RING RING!












Did you hear that? That's the alarm going off letting Marion County Sheriff Deputy Chris Helbling know that time has expired. On Monday I had called the Marion County DA's Office to inquire about which charges had been filed against the guy who intentionally ran into me with his SUV then fled the scene. They tell me that they cannot comment because the case has not been filed with them. They go on to tell me I should contact the deputy who investigated.

Just over 48 hours have passed since Marion County Dispatch told me that Deputy Helbling was on duty, had been paged, and would return my call shortly. No call yet. Seems unless you drive a motor vehicle you are a second class citizen in Marion County.

A motor vehicle driver can threaten you, intentionally run into you, then flee the scene evidently without facing serious charges. If you are on a bicycle and in response to a threat to your life you hit a mirror with your hand you get the full measure of enforcement.

Maybe I should enlist a few folks in joining me in spending my bicycling dollars outside of Marion County. (with my apologies to Salem Bicycle Club and Santiam Cycle)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

time is still ticking



It's been 30 hours since I was told that the deputy would return my call "shortly".
No return call yet.

I'll withhold any comment and let you come to your own conclusion.



Time is also ticking inexorably toward March 26, my day in Marion County Court.
The day has been filled with email and phone calls busily trying to get this to all come together. This unfortunate event is bigger than just a single guy on a bike. Ramifications spill over to anyone who rides a bike on Oregon's roads. I am hoping that some of the larger and more powerful bicycle organizations will determine that this falls under their roles as educators and advocates. "Share the Road" bumper stickers and license plates, when bolstered with a little publicity of what happens when drivers don't share, would present a powerful message.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Just a little snow and a small update

I wasn't planning on riding today since the forecast sounded iffy. It didn't disappoint. This morning was snowy and cold. It warmed up slightly and turned to rain showers as the day progressed but it's supposed to be really nice by midweek so I'm making phone calls today and planning on riding Wednesday.



My phone calls centered around the bike issue. I called the Marion County District Attorney's Office. The case has not been filed with them and they can not (will not) respond to any questions until it is. I called the Marion County Sheriff's Office and am awaiting a return call. I would just like to ask again why they chose to charge me with the maximum charges they can apply yet let the driver of the SUV skate away with far less than the maximum. My position is that he's not even being charged with what's appropriate given the facts.
It would seem that I've got to retain a lawyer to put pressure on the Marion County Sheriff's Office to do their duty. I've been told that there isn't enough potential for money with this case to entice a lawyer to run with this. I guess I can't blame them, it's business to them and bills need to be paid. For me it's personal.

I'm just wired differently. I spend a great deal of time volunteering. Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Bicycle Racing Association, Forest Grove Fire, Oregon Fire District Director's Association, Forest Grove School District, our local cemetery, Special Districts Association of Oregon, the Northwest Rafter's Association, and the area's hungry, all have benefited from my high school's admonition to "be a man for others".

If you've been following this blog you have read that this is not about personal financial gain. It's about making the roads safer for all cyclists...as well as for the every day person on a bike. I want this guy to know that what he did is a crime. (he will never believe that bikes have a legal right to the road but he will know that if he acts this way again he will lose everything) I want others that think the way he does to know that if they use their vehicles to attack a cyclist they too will lose big time.

I put in a call today to a very large bicycle club that I belong to in hopes that they (we) might take this case on since it fits in so well with the mission of education and advocacy.

After a week of waiting for the chance to talk with one of the lawyers I expect this to move a little more quickly now. 3 weeks until I have to answer to a judge on the Criminal Mischief 2 charge related to this case.

UPDATE:
A full 6 hours since Marion County Dispatch told me that the responding officer was on duty, had been paged, and would be calling me shortly. No call as of yet, and now I am on my way to one of those previously listed volunteer opportunities.

Protect and serve?
Yup, public service just isn't what it used to be.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like.......................



No ride around Hagg Lake today!



I am supposed to lead a ride around Hagg Lake today. It was 32 in Forest Grove this morning with snow on the landscape but the roads were mostly clear. I drove up to the lake and on the west end there is more than an inch of snow on the road, with ice under it, and the temp was 30. The Banana Belt race was cancelled, and common sense said ours would be too. I did have a herd of about 20 elk cross in front of me as I drove near Scoggin Creek, and another larger herd was down in the fields below the dam this morning. Silly me didn't get a photo of them however!



Our Hagg Lake ride has morphed into a Forest Grove to Newberg and back ride. We'll stay flat on the valley floor in an attempt to bypass the snow and ice issues.
An update to follow later today on how it all went.

UPDATE:
Dave and I rode off from the Grand Lodge and were going to ride to Newberg. We rode into a pretty stiff and cold wind. By the time we got a couple miles out I opted to turn so the wind was at our side. We took a zig zag route to Scholls Elementary School, where Reach the Beach starts then rode out Barrows Rd and a few others to get to Tigard.

We stopped by the Tualatin Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center just outside Sherwood. We both decided we should go back when we have more time to take in all the sights.
(all decked out for the rain that never came!)

We rode back to Forest Grove via Scholls-Sherwood Rd with a little turn up and over Clark Hill Rd to Tile Flat. It was a really good day to ride....who would have guessed?!!! We didn't have a drop of rain or snow on the entire ride. It did start snow mixed with rain as we sat down in the Grand Lodge to have our post ride debriefing! Coming up next week is the Snoozeville Populaire, a metric century hosted by the Oregon Randonneurs.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............53...............0.................53
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....149.....+.........0........=.......149
Year to date...1265.....+.........30.......=......1295
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Countdown


Those who've followed my biking exploits know that one of my favorite riding buddies is a young woman by the name of Erinn. She's always had a smile on her face (well, except for the time we waited for 3 hours at the airport for her luggage!) and is a good riding match for me. Sometimes she kicked my behind and a few times I managed to kick hers, but it was always a good workout. There were a few social events, but the rides were always all business. I've been able to depend on her for riding company for probably 3 years or so.

video

Riding the Monster Cookie Metric Century, Spring 08

In the last year or so I became aware that she had a boyfriend. (hey, I'm a riding buddy, not Dear Abbey!) He's a military pilot stationed near Las Vegas. I joked with her that the darn boyfriend was going to cost me a riding partner. Well, the joke's not so funny when it comes true.


Erinn is moving to Las Vegas in just under two weeks. It will be an exciting new chapter in her life and I am happy for her. It will be hard to find another riding partner as strong as she is with a flexible schedule like she had, and with that ever present smile.

Tonight a few of us who had ridden with her met at Salvadore Mollies to share a meal and a few drinks while talking about bikes and life in general.



So long Erinn, fare thee well. I hope our paths cross again.


I managed to get out on the bike late this morning for a short ride. The forecast had been for rain possibly mixed with snow.....but it stayed dry. I may not be so lucky in the morning when I am to lead a group ride. I took advantage of the dry weather and rode out to Hagg Lake and did two laps.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............43...............0.................43
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total......96.....+.........0........=........96
Year to date...1212.....+.........30.......=......1242
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, March 6, 2009

Not quite summer yet!



It is a beautiful start to the day. Some low fog hugging the river valleys, the pre-sunrise silhouetting the volcanoes on the eastern horizon, the sky crisp and clear.
I am at my final day of the Northwest Leadership Seminar, otherwise I'd be on the bike!
I am supposed to lead a group on a 50 mile bike ride on Sunday but the forecast sounds a bit ominous. Saturday is supposed to be cold rain most of the day, Sunday looks to be snow down to below 500 ft elevation. We may have to take the riders out of the foothills around Hagg Lake and stay on the valley floor, maybe out to Newberg and back.
If snow does indeed come, and falls to the valley we may have to cancel the ride. :-(

We should be riding today!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

use of lethal force

I am attending day two of the Northwest Leadership Seminar. This morning's presentation is entitled "The Science of Perception" and is given by Dr. William Lewinski. Dr. Lewinski is the director of the Force Science Research Center. The first comments he gave were that when police officers are involved in the use of lethal force it is important to have a complete and unbiased investigation so that officers are not charged unnecessarily.

Then next subject was that firearms instruction is not to teach an officer how to fire a gun, but how to stop a threat.

Needless to say, I am all ears. I have no interest in becoming a police officer. I do however have a lot of interest in seeing a complete and unbiased investigation when there is a use of deadly force.

Like I said, if that SUV driver had threatened the lives of the officers, instead of mine, there is no doubt in my mind that my current situation would be much different.

Cyclists are people too.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

everything on autopilot

or perhaps more accurately everything is on hold!

The bike issue is on hold until Monday waiting for an attorney to get out of court and be available to meet with me.

I am in Portland to attend the Northwest Leadership Seminar and have a good view of the Columbia River rolling on towards the sea. It hasn't rained all day and there is a fair amount of blue sky. Looks like there might be a possibility of a passing shower but if I had the time I'd be riding the bike somewhere.

But alas........... on hold.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What's a cyclist to do?

Most of us try to do the right thing when biking, both for our safety as well as for the non-cycling public's perception of us. Sometimes we fail, we are after all only human.

But even when your intentions are good sometimes you end up with a no-win situation like this:

(photo by Matt Picio)

UPDATE:
I did manage to get out for a very short ride between my official duties today. The weather was decent and I am sure that I will have no time the rest of the week so I was glad I got out today. I did one of my favorite short workouts, a 27 mile loop with significant climbing in the Helvetia area.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............27...............0.................27
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total......53.....+.........0........=........53
Year to date...1169.....+.........30.......=......1199
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Monday, March 2, 2009

it's all about timing

After the wet ride yesterday the sun is shining with a partly cloudy sky right now. I really wish I were out riding. But, alas, I'm busy trying to tie up some lose ends before a meeting tonight, which turns into a steady stream of fire/ems meetings and conferences that last through Friday evening.

Some of what I'm trying to get done is to keep on top of the bike issue. Since I've been cited for Criminal Mischief 2 relating to that incident it seems best to retain the services of an attorney in the Salem area who knows his/her way around criminal issues. It would be nice to have that person also know and be passionate about bike issues.

It always seems that I have these life lessons that end up with me learning far more about a subject than I really wanted to learn. :-(

It's a full time job being me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

wet


(click on photo to see full size image)
I started the day by volunteering as a follow car for the women's cat 4 race at the Banana Belt series. It's tough duty following fit ladies for 30 miles, but somebody has to do it! ;-) I was scheduled for 9 to 10AM, but it ran late.

Usually no big deal, but today I was to lead another "training series ride" for my social bike group beginning from Grand Lodge at 11AM. I ended up not leaving Hagg Lake until just a few minutes after 11AM. I called my group (7 riders) and gave them the first few turns of the route. We were going to ride from Grand Lodge to Hagg Lake via Fernhill, Springhill and Gaston. I met them as they made the turn onto Springhill. It was raining lightly as I joined them. That would be the weather of the day as it rained continuously for our entire ride. Just a note that this was more rain in one ride than I've had since the first of the year total. Not whining, just making a note of the great string of riding weather we've had so far this year.
We enjoyed our lap of the lake (in the opposite direction of the racers) and nobody had much trouble.


Kris at one point noted, "Hey, look at ME....I'm riding around Hagg Lake in MARCH!"
video
I'm proud of all those who've made the commitment to join the training series. Days like today make it more like homework, but we can all see the progress that this riding is giving us. I have no doubt that these folks will reach their riding goals this year.

I cut a few miles off from the rest by cutting over to get my pickup which was parked along Fernhill Rd as they pedaled directly on to Grand Lodge.

Luis had other commitments, but the other 6 of us went into the bike friendly McM's and had some warm food and a brew.

It was a good end to a good, though wet, ride.

A rather interesting update on "the issue".
I was riding that day with friends, and it should be no surprise that I continue to ride with them. Yesterday one of the guys who was there that day got a call from the Marion County Sheriff. Seems they just wanted him to recount the story. To see if it changed? Are they contemplating more charges? Another of the riders got the same call today. Same request.

Not sure what it all means but I will keep you updated.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............26...............0.................26
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total......27.....+.........0........=........27
Year to date...1142.....+.........30.......=......1172
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++