Friday, October 29, 2010

Bicycle dreams

REALITY: a pleasant 20 mile ride last night in the dark and rain amidst the smells of fall in Portland - candles burning, leaves, wood burning.

DREAMWORLD: a ride to the coast with co-workers, captaining a tandem with no one on the back, wide and slippery tires making the rear wheel fishtail and a parade.

PHOTOS: reality or dreamworld? past or present?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seven Deadly Sins

One more rider would've made us seven. But six is an evil number and the weather was plenty wicked, so it fit with the theme.

We rode the X around Ladd Circle, then to the Acuportland phallus called Streetcar Desire for lust.

We stopped at the Crystal garden gate and I collected a few dollars from each person. Then rode off for greed.

Riders followed me up the big 52nd Avenue hill, down it and up it a second time for wrath.

Chili and soup and cornbread at my house for gluttony.

Dark and wet and windy, we left for the new speed limit measurement sign on 92nd where the Springwater Corridor crosses and each rider competed for best speed. Mike and Lisa tied for pride.

We stopped at the funky windmill on Mill Street, which was a stop on the Tour De Mills last spring. The last time we were there, it was dry and sunny and warm. We experienced envy.

Onward to the first pub where we enjoyed sloth.

For the last pub, we went to a new place called Apex. It's reputed to be super bike friendly and sure enough, there were enough bike racks outside for ten times our number. And there were helmet shelves inside. 100s of varieties of beer on tap. And this thing hanging from the ceiling.

Thanks to Michelle for the pictures!

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Musette

As bicyclekitty readers may or may not know, I insist on attaching a plastic basket to every bike I ride. It carries everything from my pump, spare tube and tools to an extra layer, snacks and my phone. All of it's accessible while riding, which can be quite handy.

It's also handy if the contents of the basket are contained inside a bag, especially if it's raining. And here in the great northwest, more often than not, it's probably raining.

So, here's a little bag I made of saved up bib numbers. I put it to the test Saturday night and although it received 5 stars in the cuteness category, it was a bit lacking in the waterproofness category. More experimentation to follow.

Friday, October 22, 2010


These autumn evenings have been perfect for riding. But it looks like our "delicious days" (the weatherman actually used those words!) are coming to an end soon. There's a big orange yield sign on my desktop gadget warning of the looming storm of wind and wet.

Hope that doesn't stop you from coming out for the SEVEN SINS ride tomorrow Saturday 10/23. Meet at 4pm at Ladd Circle, ride 18 miles including a 3-pub crawl. You'll need your appetite, money, a helmet a bike lock with you or waiting for you at the Hedge House and bike lights. And, oh yeah, your sense of humor.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

French Toast

It's been four years since I started leading this monthly ride and WOW has it grown! About 40 riders crammed into my house for french toast Sunday. For the first time ever, my giant percolator ran out of coffee.

We had people from the Vancouver Bike Club, girls I've raced with, people I've met through work, other friends and even a couple of Portland Wheelmen! Hisssssss.

One guy showed up with "power cranks", which are independent of each other and not "locked" into the bottom bracket so you have to push forward AND pull back with each foot separately. You can also coast with both feet down. And pedal symmetrically, which for some reason reminds me of a bunny.

One girl fell because someone rode up super close to her without warning. I feel especially bad because it was her first french toast ride and they're usually not so chaotic. The good news is, there weren't any cars behind us and she didn't break anything.

It was an especially good work out for me because I'd wait for the slower riders at the turns, then race up to try and catch the front of the pack. It was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous ride and I'm so very grateful for it all.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday Spooky Ride

Linda and I headed out around dusk to ride the Troutdale Airport loop. We flew eastbound at 22 mph and I kept thinking "YEAH! We're fast! Uh huh.". After circling the airport and heading back westbound, twice the effort yielded half the speed. Apparently that was a tailwind we had experienced earlier. Go figure.

It was getting progessively darker, as it tends to do here every evening on planet earth. The sky featured a gorgeous pinkish orange smear of cloud near the horizon. The air smelled like Autumn.

By the time we were halfway back, it was pitch black, a jerk on a motorcycle revved his engine loudly just as he passed us, the wind picked up and it started to sprinkle. I think that's when I started to regret the "shorts/jersey/no jacket" and the "just a rear blinky" decisions, but it's hard to pinpoint exactly.

Finally, after riding back for twice the distance we had ridden out, we turned back onto the bike path toward our finish line. It was a perfect October ride, complete with ghoulish fear!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Handmade Bike Show

This was a cool show. I'm glad people get to "practice the craft" of making bicycles. I just wish people like me could afford them!

I liked these four bikes - the first 3 are from Sprout Cycles, the last one was locked up outside.

And this old thing was on display too - a ladies bike with a cutout saddle from way back. Turns out sore coochies are nothing new!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Harvest Ride

It rained all day. I got itchy hives on my palms from who knows what. I had four flat tires. But, somehow, it was still a good time. Probably the friends I rode with! And the wine tasting stop. And the SAG wagon guy who gave us bags of gummy bears. And the awesome finish-line party where we ran into several friends.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cat & Mouse

Linda and I played a game of tag for last Thursday's ride. It was super fun and a great work out.

Followed by a beautiful ride by the Columbia River.

That is all.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cross Vegas!

I was unbelievably privileged to receive a VIP pass to spectate this race. There were elite racers. Lots of spectators. Lots of beer. Lots of cowbells.

The athletes were interviewed and podiumed after the race. Elvis was there.

And what's that in the distance you ask?

Why, of course! It's a giant praying mantis with torch antennae...and the moon. What a night!

Interbike Trade Show in Vegas

The title pretty much sums it up!

These girls are on rollerskates.

This bike is on Vegas glitter crack.

The classier version of crack bike above.