Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Well, I Got In A Couple More Rides

and then had some (planned) minor surgery which had been postponed due to the unplanned major surgery at the beginning of the year.  So, off the bike for three weeks, which just ended today.

Two more outings on the NP-Banks Vernonia Trail perm pop (read all about how very cool this route is in your most recent American Randonneur!), once with Ray and Steve, and once with Ray and Susan.

Ray and Steve

Great weather both times, and, for the June outing, my quickest time since last July.  Not clear if it is because I am feeling better, or because the Lake Vernonia detour is finally finished, but I'll take it.

Susan and Ray

On June outing, there was also a bike swap around Lake Vernonia, because I wanted to give Susan's Wicked a spin.  We are just about the same height, and wear the same size shoes, so it is easy to do that.  I was also trying out a new saddle, and stopped to adjust it a couple of times.  It wants more setback than my current seatpost, so today I got another seatpost out of the parts bin and installed it (see also: couldn't lift heavy things until today either).

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Adding another Hobby

Because I don't have enough of them!  One of my fiber group (mostly knitting, but we've got quilters and embroiderers in the group) is destashing, and besides ending up with more yarn, fiber, and fabric, I also got her 4 harness table loom.

Restored Leclerc Dorothy table loom

After careful examination, it appeared that the reed was rusted beyond recovery, plus it had no lease sticks, shuttles, or a raddle (you get to look up all these terms).

While I had to buy a new reed, all the other pieces are fairly basic rectangular/oblong pieces of wood, some with openings at each end, some with nails spaced every inch.  After consultation with the resident woodworker, and researching what each piece should look like, he found some nice scraps in the garage (fir, oak, and black walnut), and cut everything out.

Raddle and lease sticks - random fir scraps, I think

Stick shuttles, rough sanded.  Oak and black walnut

I sanded and finished (Deft spray on laquer.  Quick drying, looks nice).  Then holes were drilled for the nails on the raddle (nails in drawer in shop area), a bit more sanding and finishing, nail installation, and I had all the pieces for successful loom use.

In the time it took to get to this place, my SIL's friend told me I should take the scarf weaving class at Multnomah Arts Center.  It appears that one does not need to be a Portland resident, so I signed up.

Weaving class - sleying the reed

Weaving class - threading the heddles.

It was great fun!  We learned how to make a warp, dress the loom, and then, finally after all that (it took almost 2 3-hour classes to get there), weave!  The scarf is really a sampler, 9 inches wide, with different threadings for each 3 inches.  We'd weave for three inches, and then change to a different treadle order, so we could see the different weave structures.

First Weaving!

Moving along, first 15 inches

I had to go in a couple extra times to keep up - here I was thinking I was the slowest weaver ever, but it turned out my weft was thinner than everyone else's.  So I had to weave longer to get the same length of cloth done.

Playing Warp Chicken in weaving class

Woven sampler scarf

(Bicycle tie-in - I'd ride over to the Multnomah Art Center.  It is a fairly straightforward route, at least for me.  The center is a couple of blocks from the start of the Solstice Ride.  Multnomah Blvd is trivial to ride up when one doesn't have 200k ridden through the night, first.)

Now I am trying to figure out what to weave on the loom at home.  Dishtowels seem a good exercise, although my maximum weaving width is 15.75".  I think it will work.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Or a New Rivet Saddle...

The Rivet Imogene test saddle arrived a week ago.  I've been waiting on this saddle for probably a year.  Of course, I had tweaked my back and wasn't doing any wrenching at the moment...

Fast forward to today.  Swapping saddles is expected to be a relatively easy operation.  Put the bike in the stand.  Removed the saddlebag, Carradice Bagman, and spare tire.  Measured from stem to back of saddle, and top of saddle to bottom bracket, so I could reproduce the placement.  Removed the existing saddle.

Rough-installed the new saddle, getting the height and setback as close as possible - the Rivet is taller and a bit shorter than the Selle Italia Diva.  Took the bike off the stand to get the tilt set.

And that is where the "fun" started.  I'd get a tilt setting, crank down the bolt, and ride up the driveway.  No matter how tightly I cranked the bolt, the seat would tip back.  After a few go-arounds with this, I removed the saddle, and dissassembled the seatpost, a Nitto Dynamic 626.  After poking at it a bit, it seemed that the tilt adjustment was frozen.  There was a piece that looked like it should slide, but it wasn't moving.  A little Tri-flow, a big screwdriver and a rubber mallet were called into service, and I gently knocked it loose.  Lots of wiping, regreasing, and reassembly, and I again had a functioning seatpost.

A few more tweaks of the tilt and tightness (and trips up and down the driveway), and I called it good.  Time to reinstall the rear luggage.

Rivet Imogene prototype saddle installed

Got the Bagman and Barley back on, and happened to look at the bottom of the Barley bag.  The straps didn't look right, because they were hanging on by a couple of threads (!!!)

the straps are dangling by a few threads

Located the Speedy Stitcher Awl (I've repaired bike luggage before!), and removed the bag.  Emptied the bag (wait, no spare brake cable!  Fetch one from the parts stash!).  Vacuumed it out.

Repairing away with the Speedy Stitcher awl

Repaired the straps.

Carradice Barley straps repaired.  Glad I caught it in the garage, and not somewhere far away.

And FINALLY, after all that, reinstalled the bag and spare tire.

Longish ride soon to test it out.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Navigating through Beaverton

I live right outside the border of Beaverton, Oregon, and do much of my errands by bicycle or on foot.  East/west travel is a bit tedious.  No matter which road one chooses north of TV Hwy, one either gets on a rather major road passing large local employers (swoosh!), passes through a heavily trafficked shopping center (bad things happen there), and otherwise end up having to turn because the road doesn't go through,  because there's a shopping center, a creek, or just because.

And then there's Millikan Way.  It started out as a street bordering the southern edge of the (now much diminished) Tektronix Industrial Park, between Hocken and Murray.  All the roads around and through Tektronix are named after famous physicists.  Over the years, it was extended to Hall Blvd to the east, and, to the west it went out to the Tualatin Hills Nature Park, and then turned south to intersect with TV Hwy and join SW 160th.

It doesn't have much traffic, and is a fairly straightforward way to ride east and west just north of TV Hwy.  Did I mention that TV Hwy is a stroad; not much fun to ride along?

Metro just opened a really nice path along Hall Creek, between SW 117th and SW 114th.   You'd think there would be a connection, but Millikan Way dead-ends east of Hall.  So there's an unfortunate gap in the route.

One can (and there is a very definite desire path) cut across to SW Lombard from the east end of SW Millikan.  There will finally be a road extending Millikan to Lombard, but the project dates are unknown.

Desire path - SW Millikan Way to SW Lombard, Beaverton OR

Then, from SW Lombard, one can cross the street and cut through the Transit Center, over a bridge, and into a shopping center with well-behaved traffic.  I take the path continuing straight through to SW 117th.

And there we find another gap.  The path along Hall Creek is right there across the street.  But there is no crosswalk and no curb cuts on either side of SW 117th.  Fortunately, another lightly trafficked crossing, and a fun ride (with pauses to watch the ducks) through to SW 114th.

Hall Creek restoration looking toward west across SW 117th

At this point, the route really does come to an end.  I typically turn left, and then right on SW Center, so as to cross over Hwy 217 and head home.

Places of interest along the route:
Falk Hardware (Millikan and Cedar Hills) - my favorite hardware store.  I need a fastener, they've got it!
Edge Coffee and Cafe Yumm (Millikan west of SW Murray, north side)  Cafe Yumm.  Nuff said.
Beaverton Bike Gallery (Millikan just east of SW Hall) My LBS.
Portland Clinic - not that I like going there, but it is great that my doctors are so close.
Bogza Coffee in The Round
Tualatin Hills Nature Park
Joann's Fabric, Marinepolis Sushiland, Jim and Patty's Coffee
many useful small businesses south of Millikan and north of TV Hwy, like the Batteries Plus, Tom's Pancake House and the Brickyard Tavern

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Recovery Milestone: I Rode 100k!

Just after getting a lecture from the spouse about how I shouldn't be asking anyone if they wanted to ride with me until I was back in condition so they wouldn't have to wait, there was a message from Susan - did I want to ride North Plains Banks Vernonia?  Um, YEAH.  However, I dutifully did the full disclosure thing, and she said she didn't care, even if we finished out of time.  (I cared.  Wasn't gonna happen.)

With the slight added complication of it being Passover, I prepared some ride food, and planned to supplement with french fries, if needed.


Weather was 50% chance of rain, but not going to be cold.

So, at 9:00 am on Sunday morning, after coffee and a hash brown, off we went.  The weather was fairly decent until we were headed out of Banks, when it started to rain.  On with the rain gear.

What with it having been raining, the trail was covered with wet pine needles, which kept filling up our fenders, so we had to stop from time to time to knock them out.

Climbing was a bit slower than usual.  There may have been walking the last pitch at Tophill.

Just before the descent, we found that we had just missed a hailstorm.  An enthusiastic one.  The picture doesn't do justice to the depth of hail a bit further along.

The hail

And then downhill to Vernonia and off to the control at Lake Vernonia.  Sadly, the trail is still closed.  We elected to take the Adventure Detour.  There was a split in the trail, and we weren't sure which way to go, but it worked out.

All the waterlilies in the lake are blooming!

Water lilies in bloom, Lake Vernonia

Took the Road Detour back, and settled in for hot drinks at the Black Bear.  By now I had exceeded my longest ride since surgery, and we were only halfway.  Ok then.

Baby Sheep!

The climb back was uneventful, if a bit slower than usual, and I had to walk the last pitch going up the other side of Tophill.  At that point it was downhill/flat the entire way to the end.

We finished with time to spare.  And french fries.

First perm pop since early February

Friday, April 15, 2016

Recovery is Slow but there is Progress

I have gotten out on the bike a few times:

Lunch with Susan; 15+ mi
Bleriot and Wicked wait outside while we eat lunch

The heart rate was rather more spectacular than usual (red line)

Can I still climb?  Riding the Council Crest/Fairmount Loop, just shy of 15 miles.
Council Crest Summit, looking east.  That's Mt Hood.  Better camera on the new phone.
The next day, 25 miles on the flats with Kathryn on the Lemond (the fast bike).
I ride the Lemond so infrequently that I have to re-learn how to use the Flight Deck each time.
Today, heading west to meet the spouse at the Spanish language group he is doing with friends (I knit), 13.4 miles.  There were a few cameo appearances by the Big Ring(!!!)

I'm also doing some weight and core work.  The actual weights are embarrassingly low, but they'll go up.  I had given my lighter weights to my mom, years ago.  I borrowed them back - still in the original tote bag.  Guess they got a lot of use :-)  Well, they'll get used here.

A few weeks ago, I realized I felt just fine.  Didn't have to ask the sister-in-law to slow down on our neighborhood walks.  Nothing hurts.  Nothing feels weird, just out of shape.

Friday, March 25, 2016


Haven't posted anything lately, because, well, I haven't been riding.

So, it is 6 weeks out from surgery, and the doctor cleared me to do whatever I wanted, but not all at once.

I rode out to meet Susan O for lunch, day before yesterday.  I enjoy having lunch with Susan, and she is located in the relatively flat direction.  15.75 miles on the Bleriot.  Heart rate was way up there, although I didn't feel bad.  Pace was a couple mph below my usual for that route.  And I felt every single vertical foot on the return.  I have to start somewhere.

A picture

Bikes, to prove it happened (Susan's new Wicked built by Corey Thompson)

And some new handknit socks, made with yarn I had just laying around the house

Yesterday I dug up the baby hand weights (2 lbs!), and started on the lifting program which is safe for little old ladies in nursing homes.  It does progress from there, truly.  For some of the exercises, I started with the 2lb weight, decided that was ridiculous, and used the 5lb weight.  My arms are stronger than my core at the moment.

Baby steps.