Meanwhile, I slacked off on keeping up this blog. I'm going to flush away the shame and guilt of getting behind by catching up in one entry to encapsulate the awesomeness of this summer.
First off, the 4th Annual Tour de Beavers was a big success. Eight ladies got together for a fun ride to Corvallis to drink beer, build new friendships, and practice our Tour de Beavs traditions.
Pedalpalooza provided its usual mix of crazy costumes and themed urban rides. Last year there was buzz that maybe our little festival was dying. This year, event attendance was huge and the calendar was stocked with both old favorites and new rides. The ever-popular kick off ride was a highlight and it's evolved into a weekly Thursday night urban ride. I believe they're on their twenty fifth consecutive week of taking the streets for human use.
Grilled By Bike has become quite the movement and team. They even had a group riding the Oregon Outback this year. I met my basket twin at one of the delicious park stops.
The Northeast Alley ride was especially fun this year. Over 100 riders wove their way through fifteen miles of unimproved roadways. I had the privilege of acting as a sweeper and flat fixer.
The Bike Play is also a big people pleaser. Their story featured time travel to foil a villain whose evil plan was to replace the bicycle with the segue. We visited Dunlop (inventor of the pneumatic tire), and rode past scenes of Bike Plays of previous years. Afterwards, it was time for prom and your writer was all decked out in satin and sparkly makeup for the occasion. Next year I'm not going without a date, as attending prom stag gets one excluded from some of the fun (like couples photos).
What Pedalpalooza would be complete without a Swim Across Portland? I absolutely loved leading riders up Terwilliger to Wilson Pool, over the Sellwood Bridge to the next pool and finally to the Bike Commuter to take a dip in beer.
It's hard to even keep track of where the summer blew me next. How about up and around Mount Hood on an adventurous and challenging ride I hope becomes an annual event. We named it the Chalet Tour, since we were staying in a beautifully homey chalet atop the mountain, generously offered by rider extraordinaire MaryJean and her husband SAG extraordinaire Rick.
The earlier flat reared its head again, and this time the tear in the tire was too large to boot. So, I finally had the opportunity to test the "children in the village" theory. The idea is that, no matter how worn out you and your legs may be, if there's an emergency, (ie children in the village awaiting urgent medicine), you can rise to the occasion. I took my shredded legs and revved them up the rest of the hill at top speed, looking for a cell signal so I could call AAA. It worked! Children in the village is not a myth!
A new addition this year was a slight change in the route, taking us through a military base. This proved awesome because of the views of aircraft, along with a temporary decrease in the enormous number of cars and PSV (personal support vehicles - yes, many riders bring their cars).
I enjoyed the unparalleled privilege of leading century rides for the Missing Link bicycle shop. In July we rode to Cascade Locks and back. August took us to Ripplebrook, and up and over a large boulder barricade. Riding out together with several types of riders, some with a different distance in mind than others, is a superb way to start the day.
There've also been some nice little side adventures, thanks to local clubs like the Vancouver Bike Club, the Portland Wheelmen and the meetup group NW Rideabouts. I love me some freds!