Saturday, December 31, 2011

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 151st phonecast



I am still in Southern California and will get back on here and add photos, spruce up the stats, and eventually even add some video.

In the meantime here is.............


The year end total:
.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........59..............0.............0..........0..........59
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec........1113..............0.............0..........0........1113
YTD.......10316..............0............87.........47.......10450

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 150th phonecast

Friday, December 30, 2011

SDCBR day 5, Hemet to Fallbrook

Today we started from Hemet and rode toward Fallbrook. Our defacto ride leader, Ralph, loves an "organized critical mass" group start, so we took off in a group.








After our short Starbucks stop we began climbing a hill. Before long we were looking down across Temecula as we continued to climb.


I've got a 30 minute video of the descent from this hill down through the De Luz canyon but at nearly 5 GB it is way too large for YouTube so will have to look at other options. In the meantime here's a still photo of this scenic canyon.





After dinner in Fallbrook we had the "Reverse Hotseat", where ride participants got in front of the crowd and were praised/roasted/and teased, then got to pick out a t-shirt from the t-shirt exchange. Before that all started though we had a little entertainment supplied by "The Magic Mushrooms"! :-)



I've got a lot more numbers, photos, and videos of today and the rest of this trip to post. It will make it up here as time allows.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

a short ride before the big ride!

I drove down to San Diego today in preparation of tomorrow's San Diego Christmas Bike Ride. I got checked into my room then rode my bike to a nearby restaurant for dinner.
I got a whopping 3 miles! Probably plenty since I've been awake for 36 hours at this point! :-O

.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today.........3..............0.............0..........0...........3
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........728..............0.............0..........0.........728
YTD........9941..............0............87.........47.......10065

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 141st phonecast

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Caroling by Bike, Part 2

8 members of the social bike group gathered to sing a few Christmas songs to some Portland residents while using bikes to move from place to place.

We started off from the Steel Bridge and went south on the Eastbank Esplanade.

Butts on Bikes rides Portland's East Bank... by Desert_Coyote
(my first attempt at GoPro video, yup, should have had all the extraneous stuff edited out, but until I figure that all out what I saw is what you get!)DRAT! The jerkiness of the video comes from the hosting site, the raw video is as smooth as butter. Further tweeking required!

Art became our wagon master and determined our route. Chris had created little song books for the group. All I had to do was ride my bike and pretend to sing at a few brightly lit homes. ;-)

The folks in the homes we sang at were very appreciative. Our little group scored cookies, candy, and even some dry fig infused bourbon from grateful residents!

It was a cold night, with frost around, but we were, for the most part, prepared for the weather.

Following the ride we gathered at a local watering hole for warm food and drink.



It was a good night to be on a bike and nice to have good friends join in the fun.
Oh, and following The Merry's comment below I figured I should direct you to the first Christmas Caroling event. You can find it HERE.

.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........14..............0.............0..........0..........14
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........725..............0.............0..........0.........725
YTD........9938..............0............87.........47.......10062

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

an alternate reality

I was trying to get to Vancouver tonight to join a weekly ride but the reality of trying to get through rush hour traffic from one end of Portland to the other is that it will take about 1.5 hours to travel the 25 miles. I missed the start by 15 minutes.

I didn't know the intended route well enough to try to chase them down. Luckily there was an alternate reality available. I was within a few hundred yards of the 40 Mile Loop that I've been riding a lot in the last several weeks. I parked at Jantzen Beach and began around the 40 Mile Loop starting from the opposite end from where I normally start from.

It was a cool evening. I did not bring my usual cold weather gear of shoe covers and glove liners and my toes and fingers complained a bit, but I did my best to ignore their protestations.

It was a good ride, the roads were dry, the sky was clear. It was a nearly perfect way to spend a Winter Solstice evening. Of course sitting in front of a crackling fire with a cup of hot cocoa in hand might trump this!






.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........39..............0.............0..........0..........39
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........711..............0.............0..........0.........711
YTD........9924..............0............87.........47.......10048

Sunday, December 18, 2011

lost

I have no idea what happened but I had the correctly named route on my GPS, but the displayed route was something different. We were supposed to ride a 10 mile ride on bike boulevards, instead we got a 19 mile ride, the first portion being on busy roads with no shoulder. It was bad enough that two of the riders decided not to continue. :-( The rest of us kept riding and finally got off the busy road, but not until we were out near I-205. As we pedaled along the I-205 bike path I turned 10 miles for the day.... and 10,000 for the year. :-)

We turned onto the Springwater Trail and at that point Art wanted to take us directly back to our start/finish since some had other plans for the afternoon that did not involve biking. ...what's up with that? :-O

Here's the route I intended to ride:


Here's what we rode:


I guess all's well that ends well. With the exception of the two who turned around (and the 4 who decided not to show up!) the rest of us had smiles on our faces yet as we finished 19 miles, and sat down to warm company and cold drinks!



I had my new GoPro video camera along on this ride, but had not reviewed it's operation since I got it over a week ago. It seems I didn't quite have the sequence of button pushing down.

So, missed video, missed course, my digital camera was acting up as well and I only got the one photo above today. There was the no show issue as well.

But I did get my 10,000 miles and had the company of good friends doing it.


.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........19..............0.............0..........0..........19
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........672..............0.............0..........0.........672
YTD........9885..............0............87.........47.......10009

Saturday, December 17, 2011

barely bikey

I started the day with 11 miles to ride before noon tomorrow, all just to keep the "Ride 10,000 miles with the Desert Coyote" ride on track. There's plenty of room for more to join in, it's a short ride of 10 miles, just about anyone can do that.

With only 11 miles to ride I had time to help out a bike friend with a little "logging" project.

(Chris W photo)

I finished up with that project in plenty of time to pedal out 11 miles before dark. Nothing notable, just a short ride, but I am now in perfect position to complete the 10k miles at the end of tomorrow's ride.

I've ridden 10,000 miles or more in a year now for three consecutive years. This year was the most surprising. I had not intended to do that much riding. I had no plans for entering any ultra cycling events this year. I was only going to ride when it was fun. You'll note from the mileage log at the bottom of this post that I barely rode 500 monthly miles for the first 4 months. It was raining a lot, and I just didn't have to ride. Suddenly May came and with longer daylight, some regular mid week after work rides, and a double century day. I bagged my first 1000 mile month since September of 2010. I have been riding 1000 mile months since then with the exception of October when I had other plans on two of the weekends but still managed to get 900 miles.

I didn't even think about a ten thousand mile year until about 6 weeks ago. I realized that with my 400 mile San Diego Christmas Ride I was within striking distance. Then we got an almost unbelievable stretch of dry weather, and for the most part, frost free.
Each night after work I'd see those dry roads, and knowing that if I were going to get 10,000 miles before leaving for San Diego so that I could celebrate the accomplishment with friends, that I was going to have to ride some serious miles, at least some of those during dark and rainy nights. I decided it was preferable to ride in the dry so I did. Each night was the same thing, it's dry, I'll go for a ride. Stretch enough of those days together and suddenly here I am on the edge of getting my third consecutive 10,000 mile year. It's been fun!


.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........11..............0.............0..........0..........11
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........653..............0.............0..........0.........653
YTD........9866..............0............87.........47........9990

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

The day started like this:


But ended like this!

It's the holiday season and what better way to help spread holiday cheer than to go caroling ..... by bike of course!



Meredith, Dave, Katherine, Eric, Christine, and I started out tonight armed with pages of lyrics and bikes lit up like, ...well, like Christmas trees! We'd ride along Portland's bike boulevards and when we saw a home that showed good Christmas spirit we'd stop, run up and knock on the door, and break into song. Some of us were more musical than others. ;-) But we all had fun!

We came across a young mother out on a bike with two kids in tow. She joined us for a short portion of our ride. A baby that wasn't enjoying our singing nearly as much as we were caused her to cut the evening short. As it ended up, I found out later that she is one of the 1047 members of our little social bike club. I checked out her attendance statistics and note that this was her first event with us! Hopefully she found it enjoyable enough that she'll join us on another ride soon.

I've got to ride 11 miles before Sunday at noon. I'm thinking that I might just be able to do that. ;-)



.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........14..............0.............0..........0..........14
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........642..............0.............0..........0.........642
YTD........9855..............0............87.........47........9979

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Inching

My dad's old John Deere 4020 tractor did not have a clutch but did have an "inching pedal" used for creeping up to an implement or at other times when even an idle was too fast for close quarters.

This week my bike riding reminds me of that "inching" forward. I've already got my ride on Sunday preceeding my little 10k celebration mapped at 10 miles. I am leading a short ride of unknown distance on Thursday to spread a little holiday cheer via song. I'm guessing that ride may be about 15-20 miles.

I was signed up to ride with my social bike club tomorrow evening, but I got off work at a reasonable time and the forecast for tomorrow calls for a chance of rain.
I sent my regrets to tomorrow's ride leader and hopped on the bike tonight with clear blue skies above.

I "inched" 30 miles closer to that 10,000 mile number. If the Christmas Caroling ride logs 15-20 miles, and the 10k celebration ride is 10 miles that means I still have to get 5-10 miles between Friday morning and Sunday noon (when the 10k ride starts).

That will be easy enough to do. It is harder to NOT ride the bike!


Tonight's ride went from the Steel Bridge along the East Bank Esplanade, along the Springwater Corridor, then north on the I-205 bike path to Rocky Butte, along Fremont Street a few blocks, then retrace back to the Steel Bridge. A good ride, and cold!

.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........30..............0.............0..........0..........30
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........628..............0.............0..........0.........628
YTD........9831..............0............87.........47........9965

Monday, December 12, 2011

too many miles

I didn't have any takers for the 38 mile ride tonight. That made it easy to cancel the ride since I really didn't want that many miles. I've got all week plus Saturday to get 55 miles. That will leave me with 10 miles to go to reach 10,000 miles for the year. I've already got the route posted to my social bike club's calendar and have invited members to come celebrate with me. You, my blog fans, are invited as well. Be at Madison's Grill on SE 11th and Madison ready to ride at noon this coming Sunday.

Here's the final 10 miles of a 10,000 mile year:


..and yes, I will be riding a few more yet before the year is over!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Yikes!

Our social bike club's Grand Pooh Bah organized a ride today out in the Helvetia area. He didn't have it start until 1PM. Normally I would have ridden to that ride, but today I didn't want to get too many miles as I'm trying to coordinate the rolling over of 10,000 miles with a gathering/celebration I have planned for next Sunday.

It was a really nice day to ride, so I drove to near the start, but a few hours early and went for a little pre-ride.

I almost overdid it! I'm leading a 38 mile ride tomorrow night, and a Christmas Caroling ride of 15-20 miles on Thursday so I really didn't want to get more than about 60 today. It's hard to stop riding when the weather is so nice!

8 of us joined in on the ride this afternoon, and followed the ride with a stop at the locally famous Helvetia Tavern.

We had a good time riding and a good time talking about riding. ;-)

I just got a few more miles than I intended. I think it's the first time I've had over 90 miles that I DID NOT just keep pedaling and go for the 100!

.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........93..............0.............0..........0..........93
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........598..............0.............0..........0.........598
YTD........9801..............0............87.........47........9935

Saturday, December 10, 2011

cycling as therapy

I joined Mark and Meredith today on a ride in hopes of putting some smiles on faces that needed smiles. Mission accomplished!

We were starting from Meredith's home which is just about 2 miles off the 40 Mile Loop in the Gateway area. I started from the Steel Bridge and rode the 40 Mile Loop to Gateway then rode west to her home. A fourth person decided it was too cold, or too far, or too fast, or too something, so it was just the three of us. We pedaled back out to the 40 Mile Loop and began our adventure. It was a decent day for a ride. Any time you can ride all day in Oregon in December without getting wet it's a good day!

We finished the route without much to note. Despite a frosty start to the day we only saw one patch of ice on the route and that was on the Eastbank Esplanade right on the Willamette River.
That lack of ice was not a result of warm weather, it was right at the freezing point most of the day, it was a testament to the long stretch of dry weather we've been experiencing. Both the Willamette River and Columbia River were looking very low today so they too reflect the dry weather.

After riding the loop with my friends I rode back to my starting point via the 40 Mile Loop again. It was a circuitous way to reach the Steel Bridge but good rides rarely involve the shortest distance between two points.

After my two laps, and two trips in to Meredith's I had 12 miles left to go to reach 100 miles. Since I'm still working on my 10,000 mile year, and the weather is dry... I of course kept riding until I snagged the 100.

158 miles to go. I've planned on reaching that goal while riding with friends then sitting around a table talking bike!
so really I'm looking at riding about 135 miles in the next 8 days. That shouldn't be a problem. In fact, the problem might be having to be careful not to reach 10k before next Sunday. ;-)

.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today.......100..............0.............0..........0.........100
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........505..............0.............0..........0.........505
YTD........9708..............0............87.........47........9842

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getting it dialed in

Steve and I rode Portland's 40 mile loop again tonight.



It was the coldest night so far, below freezing, but I was comfortably warm, even my finger tips! Knowing it was going to be below freezing tonight I added a pair of wind pants over my long legged riding pants. Having noticed a cold goretex jacket pressing against my long sleeved riding jersey on the last ride I added arm warmers over my long sleeves just to add some insulation.

It worked perfectly! I was warm but not sweaty.

Steve had forgotten his helmet. Luckily I was wearing my "night helmet" (more reflectivity, a 'dashboard light' and driving light already installed) and had my day helmet along. After a little adjustment of straps we went for a bike ride.

It was a gorgeous night for a ride. I have kept the Christmas lights that I installed for the PIR ride on the bike. It IS the season after all! I had positive comments from pedestrians, cyclists, and automobile drivers. Nothing like riding around with Christmas lights on your bike to spread a little holiday cheer.

After we finished the loop I had 39 mile tonight, remember that I rode back to my pickup to get my day helmet for Steve. It was such a nice night that I went for some bonus miles.

I finished up tonight with a nice even 50 miles again.

.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........50..............0.............0..........0..........50
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........405..............0.............0..........0.........405
YTD........9608..............0............87.........47........9742

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another dry night.

I took a look at the weather forecast two days ago and noted that the recent dry weather was supposed to hold through the end of the week. I posted an invitation for folks to join me on a night ride of Portland's 40 mile loop trail. Eric and Phil joined me. Denise and a friend said they would join me too, but alas, were no shows.

I did not have time to remove the Christmas lights on my bike from last night's ride so I did the next best thing, I turned them on! I got quite a few positive comments from other cyclists, pedestrians, and passing vehicles. :-)

We made a brief stop at Cartlandia for a snack then pedaled on.

As we neared the Selwood Bridge Phil peeled off to ride home. As we neared the Morrison Bridge Eric peeled off to go to his vehicle. I continued on to the Steel Bridge to close my loop. Unlike last night when I had to stop by my pickup to get a bright light and reflective vest, tonight I already had that stuff. The weather was dry, I'm trying to get some miles before Christmas, I was warm and comfortable. I went for bonus miles! It seemed like 50 miles was a good number to shoot for, alas, it appears 58 might have been a better number. ;-)


.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........50..............0.............0..........0..........50
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........355..............0.............0..........0.........355
YTD........9558..............0............87.........47........9692

Monday, December 5, 2011

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

I put together a ride with dinner and gift exchange for my social bike club tonight. The impetus for this was that Portland International Raceway, which has an extensive drive through holiday lighting display, is open for "bikes only" on 1 night. Tonight was that night.



I started off by hanging a few lights on my bike, just to be festive.
video

25 of us decided that this was just the thing to do on a Monday night. The weather was dry and cool. Just right to get us in the Christmas spirit.



Having finished with the obligatory pre-ride photo we pedaled out on our very short commute to PIR.



We soon arrived, and after paying our admission, began our sight seeing tour.




Dave's bike gave some of the displays a run for their money. ;-)



Some rode 1 lap, some of us rode 2 laps. We soon all gathered back at The Burrito House
where we held our White Elephant gift exchange and had food and drink.





The social bike club has over a thousand members and they vary widely in their cycling ability but one thing is pretty consistant.... they know how to have fun!

(photo by Mark H)

I scored a big box of candy canes in the gift exchange. :-)

The "long" commute to PIR, two laps around the buttery smooth track, and the commute back to The Burrito House netted me a huge 8 miles.

All photos from the evening are HERE.

.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today.........8..............0.............0..........0...........8
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........305..............0.............0..........0.........305
YTD........9508..............0............87.........47........9642

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lewis & Clark Party, not the Donner Party

Our social bike club's leader, Paul Johnston posted a ride for today that had 3400 ft of climbing in 34 miles. The ride was a bit short for me but I figured I could add miles by commuting by bike to and from.

The other affirmative RSVP was KenL. He's as crazy as me, probably more so. He started from King City this morning, about 15 miles farther out than I did!

We all met at our official starting point,Edgefield, near Troutdale.

We pedaled off and jumped up to a pretty quick pace. Ken can out ride me most days, but Paul is still recuperating a bit. I was surprised to see him setting such a quick pace. I figured I'd have my work cut out for me today.

We crossed the Sandy River and began our climb. Not satisfied with the gentle grade of the Historic Highway we turned and took a steeper hill. Paul dropped the pace a bit but still was moving pretty quickly.

(Ken, getting ready to pour a good dose of hurt on me)


(Paul showing me just how to pedal up a hill)

However, as we reached a stop sign and regrouped. he announced that he just wasn't feeling it, and couldn't do the ride. I told him we didn't need to go so fast and could drop the pace a bit. He declined to do that and said he'd just make his way back to Edgefield and let us go on.

I didn't have today's route on my GPS, but Ken found it on his, after a bit of searching. We kept climbing until we dropped out onto Larch Mtn Road. We saw a bit of ice in the shadows as we made our way up but the air temperature was above freezing. We weren't too worried about ice being on the road. However as we got to Larch Mtn Rd we were reminded that we were at elevation here.

We knew the snow gate would be closed putting an end to any hope of reaching the top of Larch Mountain today. We were very close to the Brower Road intersection and decided to do a little exploring. We made a few comments about being like Lewis and Clark.
Brower Road lost a lot of elevation quickly. Within a mile or so another road took off from the left but it didn't look nearly as traveled as the one we were on. There were no painted lines and a lot of leaves in the travel lanes. We decided to keep going down Brower.

We continued to travel a mostly northerly direction, a direction that should drop us on the Historic Columbia River Highway but I couldn't recall seeing a Brower Rd intersection anywhere along the old road. The answer to that riddle happened soon enough. We rounded a corner to see an intersection with Palmer Mill Road, and the end of pavement. I knew Palmer Mill road intersected the old road. What I didn't know was if it was passable by bike. There were no signs warning us of a dead end so we proceeded on (in true Lewis and Clark fashion!)

We peered through the trees to see the Columbia River below us.


then turned our heads slightly to see this road ahead of us:


What an adventure this turned out to be. Much of the road was covered in an inch or more of what can only be described as slop. We had to stop several times to dig out brakes and clean fork clearances.

The road descended quite steeply. The river next to us had many falls, not rapids, FALLS! We eventually dropped onto the old highway, right next to the Wahkeena Falls parking area.



Ken noted that it was fortunate that we emulated the Lewis and Clark party, who were successful, rather than the Donner Party, who were..well notoriously unsuccessful.

We stopped for a bit to clean out the accumulated mud and debris from our brakes and forks then pedaled westward to Latourel Falls.


Before long we began the climb up to the Vista House and a bit more to Chanticleer Point.

From there it was a long run down to the Sandy River. We crossed the river on the Stark Street Bridge then climbed away from the river.

We jumped on the Gresham-Fairview Trail and followed it to the Springwater Corridor. We were noting the sun getting lower and lower in the sky, and the temperature correspondingly dropping. We kept the hammer down moving quickly. We did stop at Cartlandia for a quick refuel then continued on. We turned on our lights as the shadows lengthened. I had my 1 Watt front blinkie doing service for me, Ken had a brighter light on his helmet in blink mode. We had one homeless "resident" complain that our lights were too bright as we sped by him. Ken and I both chuckled a bit knowing that if he thought we were too bright now what would he think if we had the BRIGHT lights on? ;-)

We arrived back along the Willamette River just before dark and just in time to see an old steam engine rumble and hiss into the Oaks Bottom station.

The wheels on the engine were HUGE, probably 5-6 feet tall!


We pushed on racing the remaining daylight. As we approached the Hawthorne Bridge our route would diverge, with Ken making his way back over the West Hills toward his endpoint for the day. I had an easier plan, I only had to continue on the East Bank Esplanade for a short distance to finish up.

I rolled into the parking lot with 93 miles. The weather was dry. I did what I normally do in these situations, I prepared to ride some bonus miles! It was getting dark now. I stopped at my pickup and grabbed my 300 lumen headlight and my relective vest. I went out for a little out and back, enough to bag the needed 7 miles with enough extra to get 1 more "insurance" mile.

What a fun few days of biking it's been. The forecast calls for a dry week. I'm leading a Christmas Light viewing ride Monday evening, will get less than 10 miles then, and have a board meeting to attend on Wednesday, but beyond that be looking for me to be out on a bike in the evenings!


.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today.......101..............0.............0..........0.........101
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........297..............0.............0..........0.........297
YTD........9500..............0............87.........47........9634

Saturday, December 3, 2011

FUN!

I got an early start today on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway I started from Butteville to avoid the hell that is the Boone Bridge during construction. (don't get me started on how the new design is even LESS bike friendly than the old design.)

I rode down 50 miles and back 50 miles in sub freezing temperatures. There was a splattering of fog, but nothing serious, and the roads were dry the day before so the chance of ice on the road was minimal. Yes, I was cold by the time I got back. Luckily there was time to get cleaned up and warmed up before the second ride of the day.... the FUN part! ;-)

In the evening we had the third installment of "The Waffle Ride"

Our new leadership in the social bike club frowns on mixing alcohol and bikes. I understand and support that position. However, if I pick the participants to only include those who are responsible and have good urban biking skills I feel it's safe to go have a little fun by bike.

Tonight a little group of 5 outlaws went on a non club ride, as we've done about once a month lately. It seems these rides always involve waffles, and tonight was no exception. We began our ride on the East Bank Esplanade.


We had designed a route to take advantage of bike paths and bike boulevards. The route shows that biking rarely involves the most direct route between waypoints. We made sure we had enough miles to make it worth riding bikes!


We started off and pedaled less than 4 miles to The Waffle Window. These are not your mother's waffles. They are really more like sandwiches, or desert! I had a hot apple pie waffle, including whipped cream! Others had such additions to their waffles as jalapeno peppers, bacon, and cheese. Remarkably good! Rather than ending our ride with waffles as per usual, because of the early closing hour during winter we started off with waffles.

Here's what a hot apple pie waffle looks like, and yes, it was yummy!



We rode by a few homes that were lit up for the holidays. This house certainly had the holiday spirit! You'll also note that in the foreground two of our group was also into the spirit of the season.


From the Waffle Window we rode 5 miles to Hopworks Bike Bar They let us borrow U locks to secure our bikes as we enjoyed some food and brews.

The smiles were on account that we had by chance arrived just as Happy Hour was starting! We were happy that there were food specials!


We had a nice assortment of beers to sample.


There were cameras out all over as we found this to be a very photogenic establishment, or maybe Mark found Sandy to be very photogenic! :-)


From there we rode about another 5 miles back to Apex, a very bike friendly establishment. They too loaned us locks.


The river wasn't as calm as it was last night, there was an ever so slight breeze blowing tonight, enough to put a few ripples on the water, but still worth a stop to take in the view as we pedaled over the Hawthorne Bridge.


After this morning's cold ride I put on an extra layer tonight and had chemical hand warmers in my gloves. It must have helped, I was quite comfortable despite below freezing temperatures this evening. My riding partners weren't so fortunate. We had planned on visiting one more location tonight but the late hour and cold feet and fingers dictated that it was time to call it an evening.

We did take a moment to snap one more photo as we rode along the path through Waterfront Park.


Yup, even more fun than last night's ride in the dark!

.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today.......119..............0.............0..........0.........119
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec.........196..............0.............0..........0.........196
YTD........9399..............0............87.........47........9533

Friday, December 2, 2011

2nd verse, better than the first!

I invited my social bike club to join me in a repeat of last night's ride. 4 of them took me up on the offer. Before starting we posed for the obligatory preride photo.

It was a beautiful night for a ride, especially for December! There was just a slight breeze and it wasn't terribly cold. The best thing of all was that it was dry. We all were, for the most part, dressed for the weather. Couldn't help but remark to each other on how pretty the lights and river where tonight.

We enjoyed a few holiday light displays as we rode along the bluff near University of Portland.

We had a few light displays of our own. ;-)

We pedaled along at a moderate pace once we got on the bike paths. There were many nice views of reflected light on water tonight as the water was smooth as glass and we had either the Willamette or Columbia next to us for much of the ride.

The group slowed a bit as we added miles. We were pedaling along on Springwater on the Willamette.
There were a splattering of holiday lights along the way, including a few boats on the water and a very large steam engine on the tracks next to us. I didn't get a photo of the engines wheels that were taller than we were on bikes but I did get a photo of the cars behind it.


We soon closed our loop and were ready to call this ride complete. It was a great night to be out for a ride. It was nice to have company on tonight's ride.

Now for the weekend!

.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........39..............0.............0..........0..........39
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec..........77..............0.............0..........0..........77
YTD........9280..............0............87.........47........9414

Thursday, December 1, 2011

dark and darker

But dry!

I started at 5:15PM tonight, well after dark, to take advantage of a dry evening and ride Portland's 40 mile loop (well, sort of)



It was a good route for a night ride. I rode the first 6 miles in a bike lane separated from the vehicle travel lanes by a painted stripe, but the street was well lit and sightlines were good. From then on it was on dedicated paths. There was a short section on Marine Drive, but no issues.

The I-205 bike path and the Esplanade are well lit, but the Springwater Trail in particular is quite dark. I had my bright light along and used it.

It was a good night for a ride, crisp but dry.

Going to do it again tomorrow with some friends from the social bike club.
Gotta take advantage of the dry December weather! :-)

.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........38..............0.............0..........0..........38
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
Dec..........38..............0.............0..........0..........38
YTD........9241..............0............87.........47........9375

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Help me Mr Wizard

I made my way to Vancouver, WA tonight to ride the longest running ride series in our little bike club. The ride begins along the Columbia River and runs to the end of a road that leads generally northwest out of Vancouver. There were eight of us tonight.

It was dark when we left, and certainly wasn't getting any lighter as we rode. We rode a fairly casual pace, about 15-16 on the way out into a slight wind, and about 19-20 on the way back with the wind behind us. We all had lights, but some of us had a LOT of light. Those of us with bright lights teamed up with those running lesser lights in this dark area. I teamed up with Chris sharing my bright light.

I'm fighting off a cold so the slower pace was just fine by me.

Following the ride we went to a local Mexican restaurant for a post ride debriefing.

Then it got interesting.

I don't ride over the Interstate Bridge often. The bridge was no problem, but the access to and from wasn't real intuitive. I got across the Columbia River just fine but darned if I could find the route across the next body of water. I ended up calling my sister and had her get online and direct me out of my predicament.

By the time it was all over I had ridden about 4 extra miles just making loops around the highway interchange and shopping center parking lots.

All's well that ends well though. Dry night, good friends, good food, and made it home in one piece. ;-)

.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........30..............0.............0..........0..........30
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov........1012..............0.............0.........20........1032
YTD........9203..............0............87.........47........9337

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hello Carbon Bike

It was a dry day. It was also a dry evening when I prepared to go for a ride. I hopped on the carbon bike for the first time in several hundred miles of riding. The rain bike hung from the hook with a look of despair as I had an ear to ear smile as I pedaled away.

My rain bike has a second set of brake levers on the bars near the stem. My carbon bike has traditional brake levers. I've been riding the rain bike so much lately that it caught me a bit by surprise as I rolled up to a stop sign with oncoming traffic and squeezed the non-existent levers. Oops! Hurriedly grabbed the only brake levers on the bike and came to a stop. Good thing the carbon bike has excellent brakes!

Other than that little issue the only other thing of note on tonight's ride was the sunset. It was spectacular. I did not have a camera with me, but take my word, it was awesome.

I rode my 25 mile night loop then did a few miles of meandering around the better lit side streets of Wilsonville as well as a few laps of big box stores' parking lots.

It was bit chilly, but dry. A good night for a ride.


.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........35..............0.............0..........0..........35
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov.........982..............0.............0.........20........1002
YTD........9203..............0............87.........47........9337

Sunday, November 27, 2011

in a word............

WET!

I was invited to join a group today that was riding a 70 mile route from Forest Grove to Vernonia via roads, then take the Banks-Vernonia State Trail back to Banks then Thatcher Rd back to Forest Grove.

A few things had caused me concern, but hey, figured if these folks were going to ride on a day with predicted rain I'd join them.

The first concern was that the map that was sent out pre-ride came with the warning, "we can't figure out how to make the program allow bike paths so it's just approximate". They also said they were planning a lunch stop in Vernonia, yet the map didn't show going into Vernonia far enough to access lunch options. I am familiar with mapping programs so I took the liberty of recreating the route following their description and sending it to them. Was promptly "spanked" and told that there had been a lot of work done on this and paper cue sheets would be handed out at the start. Paper cue sheets and I don't get along at the best of times, let alone rainy days. I loaded my "corrected route" on my gps and went to the ride.

The ride wasn't supposed to start until 10AM, so looking for more miles, I rode to the ride from Hillsboro. The forecast called for significant rain beginning about noon, and since I started riding at 9AM it was dry. ;-) I rode with just a windbreaker over my jersey. As I crossed the city limits of Forest Grove a few drips began to fall, and I noted that the hills to the west were socked in with low clouds. As I arrived at the official start of the ride I took off my windbreaker and put on my rain jacket!

Another concern came when at 10:15 we still hadn't shoved off, in fact, people were still arriving. I decided to "take a chill pill" and just go with the flow. We finally began riding at 10:30 after getting a little pre-ride route overview. We were told "out Ritchey Rd, right on Stringtown, left on Gales Creek Rd". That wasn't what was mapped, but I knew the area and roads, this being my home turf, and noted the turns. There was also talk of this being a pretty flat route. We took off with a sizable group of 16 riders.

In just a matter of a few minutes we arrived at the Ritchey Rd turn only to see the group continue on Hwy 8/Gales Creek Rd. I dallied a bit and began to make the turn and calling attention to the others that this was our turn, only to be told that we were going to stay on Gales Creek Rd.

Okay. :-O

We get less than a mile down the road and the leaders pull off to the right at the Thatcher Rd/Gales Creek Rd junction. They were unsure which way to turn. :-O After some discussion the group pedaled on.

Despite a pace advertised at 17-18 the group pedaled along at 20-23 mph. I was dressed too warmly for that effort. The group was doing too much accordion action for my liking and after about 10 miles I dropped off the back and slowed down to about 16-17. A couple of other riders dropped back with me.

When we arrived at the Timber Junction a couple of guys were waiting for us to make sure we knew the turn. They jumped in front of us and my two fellow slow pokes jumped in their draft and soon disappeared out in front.

I knew some of the group, cat 2 and 3 bike racers, also a couple of Race Across Oregon 4x team record holders. Fast folks.

I decided to ride my ride.

As I pedaled over the nearly 1200 ft summit on the way to Timber I couldn't help but take a photo of this "flat" country we were riding through. ;-)



I made my way to Vernonia and rode through town passing the group's bikes parked outside as the group was at their lunch stop. I pedaled on, knowing that I would not deal so well with real food and that they would likely catch me anyway.

I rode the Banks-Vernonia State Trail into Banks and the group had still not caught me. I stopped under cover and ate some snacks from my pack then used the restroom.
As I came out I saw some of the group riding up. After a few minutes of chatting with them I decided to ride on so I wouldn't get cold, and they said they'd catch me. I didn't doubt that.

Surprisingly I never saw them again. I arrived in Forest Grove and kept right on going since darkness was closing in and I still had to ride back to East Hillsboro.

I had a rear blinkie on most of the day and turned the front blinkie on as I left Forest Grove. I arrived at my pickup with 90 miles for the day. I was already wet, had been for hours with the nonstop rain of the day, but not terribly cold. .... I turned on my bright headlight and pedaled on in search of a century.

Found it!



.........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today.......104..............0.............0..........0.........104
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
August.....1049..............0.............0..........0........1049
Sept.......1153..............0............50..........0........1213
Oct.........881..............0.............0.........20.........901
Nov.........947..............0.............0.........20.........967
YTD........9203..............0............87.........47........9337