Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday

First try: meet at Klickitat and 38th. Second try: race to meet at Clinton & 20th. Finally, up Tabor!

Circled by riding friend/enemy. This guy is ridiculously fast. Is that an Assos jersey or are you some sort of medic?

Over to Alberta for last Thursday where we were the most ridiculously dressed. Which is saying a lot.

Check out all you can do on bikes here. Fold out BBQ:

Smoothie blender:

Pall bearer:

Wednesday

Start at the shop. Out to Blue Lake. South on the new bike path. West on the old bike path. Up the "inside passage" of Mt. Scott. And up. And up.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Trailer Parkway Girls

Elly pulls injured Jenn on her handmade bamboo trailer, towed by an extracycle, on the Portland Parkways downtown loop Sunday.
These girls rule.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Paid To Ride

That's right. Not since I was a bike messenger back (way back) in the day, have I been paid to spend time on my bicycle. But recently my employer, a bike shop, asked me to lead an all ladies ride on Sunday. On the clock!

We met at the shop at 9am. I was slated to teach "loaded touring 101" after the ride, so I rode the 10 miles to the shop with all my camp gear loaded up. Then unloaded, slammed a free ice latte, circulated the waiver and took off.

Nine of us started out, seven finished. One lady on a heavy hybrid made it all the way to the top of Cornell before turning back. Another lady missed the turn and we didn't see her again. Next time we'll do detailed cue sheets.


After climbing Cornell, then 53rd, then Thompson, then Skyline (geez, I'm getting tired just typing these hills up!), we descended down Germantown, onto route 30 and around Sauvie Island.

I pulled for a while on Sauvie, then doubled back to pull some stragglers back to the group. Then we did a "pacelining 101" where we taught everyone just how long to pull, when to pull off and how to fall back to the end without getting dropped. Then we ran into the president of Portland Velo at the candy shop rest stop, who hooked me up with some almonds.

Finally, back to 17th & Lovejoy for the clinics. Here's Tommy teaching flat repair class.

A truly great day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Circulus Circulus

Had an amazing spectating experience Saturday night at the Portland Design Works warehouse. The small banked wooden track brought back memories of the Human Powered Roller Coaster I raced on in the 90s in Toronto. Wooden, banked figure eight track with a bridge and tunnel.

The Circulus races were pursuit style. Racers on BMX bikes started opposite each other and raced for several laps until one caught the other. There were a few crashes but the racers popped up after each.








Because of the "theater in the round" style, the crowd's energy was extremely contagious. Free beer didn't hurt. Soon, we were slapping the wood track between races.

I ran into plenty of acquaintances and friends and my status as pseudo-hipster seems to be intact.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Toast, The Sequel

Five riders showed up for a slightly slower, eastbound version of the French Toast ride. Explored the new bike path between Troutdale and the Springwater path. I believe I've found a new loop!

We even met a rider, Kevin from Team Oregon, who joined the ride all the way back to my house.

Here we are taking a rest break at mile 11 - near the "grass triangle" south of the 205 bridge path.

Long Way Home

Friday evening in Portland was simply too gorgeous to ride straight home from work so I headed westbound without a plan. Just rode where the wind blew me.

Got whistled at by some sidewalk-cafe-sitter on Broadway. A loud, lusty whistle that took my self-confidence and tripled it.

Stopped on the dock path to capture this beauty:

Whistled at (again!) by some boy on a cruiser on the bike path.

Finally, heading back east toward home, stopped to take this with the skyline in the distance.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday

I feel like I should start a whole Wednesday section, but alas, I lack the blog-ability.

As I've written before, almost every Wednesday eve for the past several years has been spent riding with a close girlfriend, who's just left for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Until August. Of 2012.

At first this sudden gaping hole in the middle of the week scared me a bit. I don't care if I have unplanned weeknights, but there's something daunting about an open Wednesday.

All of this made last night's ride even better, if possible. Up Rocky Butte twice. Screwing around in neighborhoods. Alameda. Racing up Willamette. All with spectacular company.

Great big heaping hopes for more to come.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bike Industry Night

General hob nobbery, hijinx and even mixing with cutters.

Phone died, so no cool pix of Matt and Tad's side saddle pedal pantomime.

Extra big thanks to Cyclone Bicycle Supply for the free beer tickets.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Evening

Took the long way home from work last night.

Stumbled on a free concert. With a free bike corral!

Here's the bike corral folks checking out my ride.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rain Rain...

...go away.

Saturday rain. Sunday rain. It's Portland, sure, but it's the middle of July.

I'll ride in the rain all fall and winter and spring without a problem, but a mid-summer series of weather "events" is inexcusable.

Where do I go to get my money back for the summer I bought and paid for?

Friday, July 15, 2011

VBC Repair Clinics

25 cyclists turned out for the July VBC Meeting. The City of Vancouver sent a Pavement Engineer to discuss our favorite thing. Another guy gave us a strange, competitive and super fun game to play.

Then we taught some of our favorite skills. Dennis was on derailleurs. Joe on brakes. Jim on chain-breaking. Me on repairing a flat by patching it without taking the wheel off the rim.




Monday, July 11, 2011

VBC "Letter From The President"

All cyclists have a special affinity for increasing their sensory powers while they ride. In other words, we all smell good. See good. Hear good.

I love a quiet drivetrain. One time, there was this little tick-tick-ticking sound that drove me nuts. I checked the bottom bracket. Checked my crank bolts. Chain. Debris on a tire. Brakes for rubbing. Cassette for a tiny metal shaving. Finally I took it to the shop. Tick-tick-tick, I explained. Only when I’m pedaling and especially uphill. The mystery continued. The harder I tried to figure it out, the worse it got. Finally, one day, while climbing a hill with a friend, I mentioned the ticking. He moved behind me for a sec. Then came back up. “That little Hello Kitty toy dangling from your saddle rail hits the seatpost when your bike is rocking”. I sure felt like a doofus that day. Ironically, now I love that sound. It means I’m rockin’ my bike!

This chronic listening for problem noises has segued into the realization that there are plenty of sounds my bike makes that I don’t really mind. Like the high pitched whistle I’ve come to love, created (only in the exact right conditions) by the roomy eyelet for the front brake caliper. I even named my bike for it. All these sounds are the bells and whistles of a bike ride. Bells! Sweet, cheerful, ringing bike bells.

Then there’s the sound of the tires on the pavement. Ahh, sweet pavement. I thought I loved it before, but on the Gorge Explorer tour, a small (and hearty, maybe foolhardy!) group of us took an alternate route one morning. This route took us up (and up, and up!) to a beautiful ridge. The road surface? Hard-packed dirt. With gravel mixed in! I think I may have chipped a nail. Seriously, though, it was great fun and it’s good to go adventure. When we got back to the paved road, I could’ve gotten down on my knees and kissed it. The whispery song of sweet, smooth, sultry pavement is my siren.

Another great sound: the chichik of clipping in. Yes, that’s right. I’m finally part of the clipless club. Or how about that noise when your high pressure road tire hits a small pebble, launching it into the air. Even the sound your floor pump makes when you take the nozzle off the valve is pleasant. Shwish!

And, of course, there are enjoyable sounds that do not emanate from the bike. I’d go into the sound of a snot rocket, but my mom reads these articles. Instead we’ll talk about the sound of panting. Climbing the hill with a cyclist looking over their shoulder as you approach because they can hear you breathing is embarrassing. It makes me think I’m not in as good of shape as the other riders because they’re not panting like crazy. Maybe it’s because I have allergies. Maybe it’s because I talk a lot on bike rides. I’ve decided to say it’s because I work super hard to climb a hill and can afford to be in so deep an oxygen debt that I’m loud. So there.

Other riders’ calls keep my ears company too. “CAR BACK! Car left. Car up. Bikes up. Runner up!” That last one makes me think of the Miss America pageant…now, for the first runner up. And there are so many more. We’ve all heard ‘em. “On your left. GLASS!!!! Gravel! Hole. Pole. BUMP.” Useful information. Did you know “on your wheel” translates to “you’re fast and strong and I trust you”)? Then the unusual ones: “Door!” warns you of a parking car. “Rumble” tells you there’s a rumble strip starting. Then finally “slowing”, usually followed by “stopping”. “STOPPING” now.

Seattle To Portland

Rode a single speed for my seventh STP ride.

Started the day here. The tire track is Richard's coffee delivery route.

Ate candy. Went swimming twice. Drank beer.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Single Speed

Here's last week's last Wednesday ride with Sarah. Cruisers! In dresses!

And here's my first solo Wednesday ride, on the KHS (official name: kiss).

When this bike was a fixed gear, I rode my first century on it. Now that it has a freewheel, I may try the 200 mile Seattle to Portland this weekend on it. Yikes! It gives me butterflies, just like a kiss does.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

JOY is...

...my newly "renovated" KHS single speed! This was my fixie in the late 90s when I was a bike messenger in San Francisco. But that was a different lifetime with a different set of knees. Of course, I did put a flip-flop on so I can change it back to fixed if desired. Test ride report to follow!


Monday, July 4, 2011

French Toast Corkscrew

Gorgeous and sunny! And no saddle sore sadness to report.

Mary & Laird tandeming down the corkscrew.


What a day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Saddle Sadness

As you can probably deduce from this photo, my saddle developed a small ridge in it (see the shadow of my finger indicating exact spot).

That teeny tiny small little ridge created a gigantic abrasion of torturous proportions in the nether regions of a certain meow-blogger.

The accompanying accessories are ointments and medicines that will allegedly help me get back in the saddle again. A brand new saddle.

Yes, the pain has been so intense that I now speak meow-speak. MeeeeOWWWWWWW!