Sunday, January 31, 2010

3 in a row!

The Training Series I lead for my social bike group has had 3 events in a row now with dry pavement........in January in Oregon! That's two weekends in a row of official rides, and one group midweek "homework" ride. That string of luck can't last forever but it's nice while it's happening!

This morning I started off by joining Paul's Scholls Sunday Summits ride. We covered 15 miles with 1394 ft of climbing. The roads were wet at the early hour but no rain fell. The day improved as it went along. Some photos of this event are HERE

By the time we got out to Hillsboro for the Training Series at noon the roads were dry. Today's Training Series covered 21 miles with 1246 ft of climbing. It was a good workout for most of the riders. Some photos of this event are HERE. We'll continue to add miles each week as we work towards our goal of being able to ride the organized centuries of summer. For many it will be their first 100 mile bike ride. It's nice to be part of that accomplishment.

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......36...............0.................36
Jan........618...............0................618

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Never complaining about wet and cold again

Social bike group buddies Mark and Jim invited me to join them today on a bonus mile plan to ride from Beaverton to Madison's Grill on the east side of Portland where we'd join a few more members and pedal to the Columbia River. The purpose was to cheer on some folks who were going to jump in the river on a chilly January day to raise money for the Special Olympics.

The temperature was in the mid 40's as we pedaled off into a light rain. It continued to rain for our entire commute to the east side of the Willamette River. We climbed up and over the West Hills via combination of bike paths and residential streets roughly along the Sunset Hwy corridor. We got to the zoo then climbed up through Washington Park before dropping down through downtown Portland and crossing the Hawthorne Bridge.

Once at Madison's Grill we were joined by 5 more for a more relaxed pace to the Columbia River near the Portland Airport to cheer on those participating in the Polar Bear Plunge. I am almost afraid to admit that I knew some of those partaking in this craziness (albeit for a good cause!)

Watching the folks come out of that water I've decided that I will never again complain about being wet and cold while on a bike ride!

Mark posted a few photos of today's adventure HERE

The woman in the pink pj's at the end of this shaky clip is our own Kristina! Way to take one for the team Kristina!
video

After cheering on the swimmers we pedaled back to Madison's, had a bite to eat, then the three of us pedaled back over the hills to Beaverton. It was a bit dryer on the return back, I don't remember having any rain at all.

Jim is the one noted for bringing home baked cookies to rides, today Mark one upped him. Mark brought along a large container of banana nut bread that he had made the night before.

Good guys to have as riding buddies!


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......41...............0.................41
Jan........582...............0................582

Thursday, January 28, 2010

homework was never this good!

I lead a "Training Series" for my social bike group. It's designed for those that want to ride longer distances such a centuries and double centuries by summer. Most at this time of the year struggle a bit with 20 miles and just roll their eyes when I say that in just a few months they'll be riding 75-80 miles with ease.

They also thought I was kidding them when I said that in addition to our weekend rides I was assigning "homework". I assured them that I was not! I expect them to ride 1/2-3/4 of our weekend mileage as a midweek workout. One of the participants put together a "homework" ride tonight and invited the rest of us along. :-)

I'm all about riding more miles so I showed up tonight as well! We rode a good route for evening riding. We rode two circuits of Evergreen Parkway. Evergreen, for those not familiar with the Hillsboro area, is a two lane each way, wide shouldered, well lit, and after evening commuters are home sparsely traveled, stretch of buttery smooth pavement.

Two laps of Evergreen Parkway from Cornelius Pass Rd to Glencoe Rd and back gave us 20 miles. It was perfect weather for a January evening. Over 50 degrees, light breeze, clear sky, dry roads. Ya, it was dark, but the street lights made visibility good, both for us to see, and to be seen. All showed up with good lights, and all had a good ride!

So despite memories of toiling away on arithmetic and spelling.........sometimes homework is just as much fun as a bike ride!


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......20...............0.................20
Jan........541...............0................541

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fast company

3 of us rode the Wilsonville Century route today. It actually measures 100.81 by gps. It has 4152 ft of climbing, most of that in the first 40 miles.



The weather was cold and foggy to start with. It was 33 as we pedaled off and stayed below 40 until quite late in our ride. The fog stayed with us until about 40 miles in. By the time we made the turn northward near Keizer the skies cleared and the temperature rose a bit.

Steve and Ken joined me. Both strong riders. They pushed me today...well, actually pulled me along. I did take my turns on the front but it was definitely a fast pace for me. We ended up with a 16.9 mph on bike average, and more importantly a 16.0 true (clock time) average. I also finally managed to break the 500 miles for the month barrier today.

UPDATE: this evening a Google search shows that Steve is(was?) a Cat 1/2 bike racer. No wonder I was struggling to keep up! Surprising in that most bike racers I've ridden with can smoke me for the first 50-75 miles, then the whole endurance thing kicks in. Not today, he could have left me in his dust at any time I think!

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today......101...............0................101
Jan........521...............0................521

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Howdeedodat?

On our last social group ride a guy showed up with a Cooper and his bike. Nobody could figure out how he got the bike to our start since there was no bike rack. I had seen him drive in so I knew the secret.

Today Bill and I rode the Keizer Metric Century route. It was perfect weather to ride a bike. We rode the slightly less than 62 miles at a 16.7 on bike average. Not bad for this old guy in January. It was Bill's third attempt at completing this course, third times a charm! He did well and finished strong.



I couldn't twist his arm hard enough to have him join me on a planned century ride tomorrow though. It's January! He'll be there soon enough.

and.... now the secret of how to transport a bike in a Cooper!

video


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......61...............0.................61
Jan........420...............0................420

Sunday, January 24, 2010

wet and cool

That was the weather. Warm and inviting would be how to best describe the company.

11 of us met up at 8AM this morning for Paul's "Sunday Summits" ride. Every Sunday the ride takes off from Metro Perc near Scholls Heights Elementary School and rides for a few hours up and over a selection of hills in the area. Today as we assembled it was cool and raining. It was to be the condition du jur.


Our ride leader had other commitments and needed to be home by 10 AM so we cut the ride a bit short today. With the rain falling there weren't too many complaints for a shortened version.

Most of the group did do one more hill after Paul had to take his leave but we all reassembled back at Metro Perc before too long.

I've had nicer weather on rides, but rarely better company.

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......20...............0.................20
Jan........359...............0................359

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Training Series starts for the season

I lead a series of rides designed to get folks in shape enough to attain their biking goals for the season. Today was the first ride. Since many of the riders haven't biked much if at all in the last year we start out easy and ramp up from there. Today's ride was 15 miles with a goal of finishing in an hour.

15 miles is a long way for many of the participants, for more seasoned riders it's hardly worth the drive out to ride so few miles. In an effort to appease all I offered a 20 mile "preride". Today's preride offered some good hills in the Helvetia area. 6 hardy souls joined me for this little adventure.



With the preride finished I gathered the huddling masses together, gave a short talk assisted by Mark who covered things I didn't even think about... like the importance of calling out debris, signalling turns and stops, etc. I forgot that not all of today's riders just wouldn't be familiar with group riding etiquette.

I got busy with my leader duties and failed to get a photo of the 22 folks in attendance. I am happy to report that all finished the ride, 18 within 2 minutes of the hour goal. 2 riders bonked and two sweep riders held back with them. I failed my ride leader duties by handing out cue sheets at the beginning.....but failed to notice that I was riding the route the way I normally ride it, rather than the way I had it cued. :-( So my two stragglers, and the two sweeps became somewhat confused and lost when they tried to follow the cue sheet.

They did finally find their way back by back tracking, ie the way the cue sheet made sense.

We all ended up at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse where we had lunch and a chance to introduce ourselves and share our reason for participating in the Training Series.
I talked a bit about the mechanics and expectations of the series before we all headed our own directions.

It was pleased with today's event. I expected far more people to not be able to hold 15 for 15.

A good ride!



............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......37...............0.................37
Jan........339...............0................339

Friday, January 22, 2010

and then there was one

I posted an invitation on my social bike group's e-board for anyone who wanted to ride a route we call the "Keizer Metric Century" today. I had two folks bite.

Mike had work commitments that kept us from starting until noon. That late start time coupled with short daylight meant we'd have little time to tarry. Marcie rides a bit slower so her plan was to shortcut the route at some point so that she could still get back before daylight dimmed.

It was a wet day. It was raining as we prepared to ride and continued to rain on us throughout the ride. It's Oregon, it's January, any questions?

We pedaled along from Butteville basically following the Willamette River until turning east towards St Paul. At that point Marcie had the option to cut miles and head back to Butteville but said she was up for more miles. Her plan was to join us on our ride south along River Rd then take French Prairie Rd back. She'd end up with 30-35 miles. Mike was tiring of our slower pace and said he really wanted a workout. With our slower start I was concerned about riding the entire 62 miles and still getting back in daylight. I offered to cut off a few miles to make it easier on us, but he assured me he wanted the workout.

I led out of St Paul into a slight wind. I was able to hold 17-18mph, but I was expending some energy to do it. That's okay I told myself....after all, I'm the Desert Coyote! Mike stayed with me for about 5 miles then fell back. At first I thought it might have been to stay out of my rooster tail. (I had brought my fenderless Elite today) Pretty soon he was nowhere to be seen in my mirror. I knew that he wanted a workout, and that I wanted to finish the 62 miles before dark. I kept the power to the pedals and held my 17-18 mph to Keizer. I dallied around a bit in Keizer, refilling my water bottle and grabbing a snack to chow on. Before long I figured I couldn't wait much longer and hopped back on the bike.

There were a few miles heading east then I turned northward and got to enjoy a tailwind back to Butteville. I pedaled along at 22-23 mph the entire way back and arrived just shortly after 4PM. When I arrived back at Butteville I noted Marcie's car was gone, as expected. I also noted Mike's car was gone. That I did not expect.

Looks like I was the only one going for the full meal deal today.

Rained lightly the entire time. I was okay because I had my wet weather gear on and it wasn't cold, just wet.

A good ride, good workout.

Tomorrow I lead my first "Training Series" ride of the year for the social group. I have 35 planned attendees! The forecast is for a drier day so that will help attendance. We'll see how it goes!


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......62...............0.................62
Jan........302...............0................302

Thursday, January 21, 2010

a good luck charm

I'm not sure Luis would like that description but I'm going with it anyway! The last two rides that Luis has been on have been by far better weather than was predicted. Anytime you can have sunny and dry days in Oregon in January it's good. If one of those days is on the coast even better!
(L to R: Greg, Luis, Marcie)

Today 4 of us rode a short ride in the Helvetia area. It was a nice ride with some climbing. Nothing too serious, about 1083 ft, but a fun ride none the less.

If I'm going to break 500 miles this month I need to start riding!

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......22...............0.................22
Jan........240...............0................240

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

step by step

Decent weather but no riding today. It might seem like October and the 2010 Furnace Creek 508 is a long time away............. but it really isn't. The sign up period is less than two weeks away. I need to start riding and training like I WILL FINISH this year soon. Today I visited the local Enterprise car rental establishment to price out rental vans and see what options are available. It was consensus in `09 that while the Highlander worked, we'd benefit from a larger vehicle. Found out just what that entails today. Shouldn't be a problem.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

search and rescue mission

As a post script to yesterday's ride I found out that Marcie had misplaced her cell phone somewhere after the midpoint of the ride. Neither of us were sure but we *think* she had it at the end of the ride. We are both sure she had it at Keizer. I looked all around in my pickup but it wasn't there. So today I rode bike back to Butteville with my eyes on the roadside and ditches just on the outside chance that it was placed on a roof or bumper of a vehicle and forgotten as we drove off yesterday.

I didn't find it, but did leave a business card with a local walking her dogs in case she found, our heard of someone finding, a cell phone.

All that I really accomplished was getting in 21 miles on the bike without rain. Not an insignificant feat in Oregon in January.

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......21...............0.................21
Jan........218...............0................218

Monday, January 18, 2010

8 days

That's how long it's been since I've been on a bike......and 8 days ago wasn't a long ride. Luckily I still remembered how to ride. ;-)

The morning started out dry and reasonably nice. I was itching to ride and luckily some others were thinking the same thing. By 10:15 AM 3 of us started out from Butteville. Consensus was that 62 miles sounded good, and that our Keizer Metric Century might be as good as any, though there was some talk about modifying the route a bit. I wasn't the instigator so let Bill lead. As it ended up, despite what he stated earlier he really didn't know where he was going! So we found ourselves riding on a busier than optimal road through Woodburn. I left for the ride this AM on very short notice and failed to lube my chain. I had cleaned it after the last ride and was going to re-lube it after it dried. I had chain lube along, but with the rushing around, I forgot until I was about a mile from the start. I stopped at the Bi-Mart in Woodburn and picked up a bottle of penetrating oil and applied it to my chain. Marcie's chain was in dire need as well so I lubed her's too. From there I jumped in the lead and led us east out of town and out of the traffic. We turned south and trekked to Mt Angel, then over to Keizer. (click on map for full size)
At Keizer the sky that had been darkening on us throughout the ride finally started to drip. I had my goretex raingear along as well as my shoe covers. I stopped and put them on. The others admired my preparedness........and wished they had thought to bring wet weather gear along. We pedaled back northward. We had about 2.5 hours to cover the ~25 miles. I thought that should have been plenty of time. But alas, my Marcie was running low on energy. I tried to pull her along by having her draft me but she couldn't even draft along at 13 mph. About half way back to Butteville I finally decided the best course of action would be to ride on ahead, get my pickup, backtrack and sag them in. Bill, being the chivalrous guy he is, held back with her while I rode on.

I got to Butteville at 4:30PM, time to be off the road with the cloudy skies and rain contributing to generally poor visibility. I quickly racked my bike and drove back along the course. I found them still out about 4 miles.

Loaded Marcie and her bike, Bill said he wanted to ride in.

We all reunited at Butteville at 5:05 PM, high time to be off the road.

Marcie had a flat within the first two miles but other than that no delays, just a slower pace than we should have had with a 10:15 start to get back in at a reasonable time.

Even with those issues it was a good ride today. Felt good to be back on a bike!

video

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......63...............0.................63
Jan........197...............0................197

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A social ride

I wanted to join a hill climbing workout this morning led by a member of my social bike group but got messed up about the start time and missed it. Luckily, my social bike group has a pretty full calendar so I joined Art's 11AM ride instead. We did a loop along both sides of the Willamette River then retraced the "Midnight Ride" route. A good turnout with 14 of us in attendance. The social bike group is nothing if not social. We stopped at Mississippi Pizza for a bite to eat then 6 of us rode a few more blocks to a bakery for some real goodies (and hotsy totsy coffee drinks for those that drink coffee) So by the time it was all said and done, no rain, 31 miles, and two, count `em, TWO social opportunities. Not a bad weekend for riding bikes in Oregon in January!


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......31...............0.................31
Jan........134...............0................134

Saturday, January 9, 2010

3 Capes

37 miles of 69 done. At Pacific City and not a drop of rain today!

(posted via cell phone)

Over half of the folks who had expressed an interest in riding the 70 mile Three Capes Scenic Loop today backed out. Most were scared off by the prediction of a 70% chance of rain, winds to 15 mph, and a high temp of 49. The weather folks missed the prediction and those who backed out missed a great day!

Luis, Lauren, and I had not a drop of rain today, sunshine from time to time, only the slightest of breeze, and a high over 60!

I was dressed for the rain and cold so overheated a bit today but it was still a great day to be on a bike. My riding partners were both good strong riders who were up to the rigors of this ride. It made the day go so much easier for all of us.

We made such good time that we rewarded ourselves with over an hour lunch stop at the Pelican Brew Pub in Pacific City. Maybe not the smartest thing to do since we still had 35 miles to ride! We made it back to Tillamook well before dark, it was just a bit hard to ride after eating real food.......and drinking a small glass of real beer! :-O

video



............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......71...............0.................71
Jan........103...............0................103

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 1

I woke up in La Jolla, CA early this morning, having gone to bed early presuming correctly that the new year would happen whether I was awake to observe it or not. ;-) I hopped on the bike and rode 32 miles just to take advantage of the nice weather and to kill some time in hopes that I would have company to join me for brunch. That was not to happen so I loaded up the bike and have begun my extended trip back home via a 500 mile side trip to see a few sights.

I'll get the last few days of cell phone blogging straightened out and embellish the entries with more photos and commentary in the next few days.

Hope you all had a good New Year's Day!

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......32...............0.................32
Jan.........32...............0.................32