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.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Misleading Arithmetic

Like many of you, I often check out ebooks from our library.  The app is Overdrive, and I typically get the Kindle version of the book, because, well, I was given a Kindle, plus there are Kindle readers available for every electronic device I own.

It is rare that the book I'd like to read is immediately available.  So I wait.  This is what Overdrive tells me when I click to see what it means when I am "next in line for the book", or there are "3 people ahead of me for the book":

There are not 3 people ahead of me.  There are 90 people ahead of me.  Each copy does NOT have a separate line.  I will not get that book until the 90 people in front of me have finished reading their copy.  It might go faster, because there are 38 copies, but still, 90 people have to finish reading that book before it is my turn.

Friday, February 19, 2016


The aforementioned surgery was a week ago; today I had my first post-op visit.

Now that it's going to be just fine, I'll spill.  I had cancer.  That is SUPER hard to tell people, because often they get all upset, and you feel that you need to be making them feel better, rather than the other way around.  So I didn't share much beforehand.

The doctor called a couple days after the Solstice Ride (pro tip: whenever the doctor calls YOU, in person, the news is not good).  I spent some time being stunned and stressed.  After the first visit, the surgeon assured me that it was early, and surgery would likely be all I'd need.

Given that I'd been working harder than I should have had to so as to finish rides in a reasonable time, I took this as a message that I did not have to keep fighting it for the time being.  Seriously, I'd ride 100k and nap for a couple of days (!)

I did abandon my current R-12 run, because I'll probably not be 200k recovered by the end of March.  The P-12 is still a "maybe".  I'll see.  The surgeon thinks not ("how long would it take you?" About 6 hours.  "No").  The PA and I were trying to decide if she meant no you may not do it, or if she just didn't think it was one of the best ideas I've ever had.

During surgery, the surgeon harvested a bunch of lymph nodes, so we've been waiting for the pathology report.

All good.  No more cancer.  No subsequent treatment.

Now I need to work my way through recovery - it was robot surgery, but there was a lot of internal rummaging around!

I'm walking - distance record is 1.6 miles, 90 vertical feet.  Also staying within the neighborhood, because going anywhere useful and interesting is a steep downhill/uphill with no pedestrian accommodations.

I'll probably stick to that for a few more weeks, until my core recovers somewhat, then take the bike out for a short spin in the neighborhood.

Monday, February 8, 2016

That's a Wrap

So, I have this surgery thing coming up, and I'll be off the bike for however long it takes to recover.  The doctor said 4-6 weeks, but I am betting she didn't mean I'd be able to crank out a 200k by then.  Given that, I deliberately abandoned my current R-12 run, because otherwise I'd be stressing myself into attempting a 200k before the end of March, which would probably be a bad idea.  I did think I might be able to keep the P-12 going.

With that in mind, I rounded up a group of friends to ride Ray's North Plains Banks Vernonia 100k, my very favorite local 100k.

Ray, Susan O, Michal, Graham, and Steve all turned up.  The day was cloudy, but not rainy.

I like ice cream.  Even if it is 40 degrees.

As is often the case when I ride with more than one person, the group fragmented.  Michal stuck with me the whole stretch to Vernonia.  Overall, this was a faster pace than the last outing, as Susan was back on an upright bike.

Blueberries, Harrington Rd

Michal and the birches.  Or alders.

There was a 5k run in progress, fortunately not too many participants!

Vernonia Lake, old mill building

We didn't see the others at the lake - when we met up at the Black Bear, they said they'd all taken the Adventure Detour.  We took the Road Detour.

We ALL had the sticky bun, heated, with butter

Susan told me my sticky bun with frosting, heated, with butter was already ordered. :-)  For that matter EVERYONE ordered one.

Eventually I figured we should head back.

We regrouped at the Banks Trailhead.  I was starting to feel done, but we had only 9 more miles to go.

All, back on Wilkesboro Rd

Spring is coming.  Wilkesboro Rd

Fitz had been hitting a bucket of balls close by, and joined us at the finish.

Thanks everyone for joining me!