Sunday, August 27, 2017

In My Lifetime

Maybe 5 or so years ago, I contacted the Beaverton City Engineer about the desire path from the east end of SW Millikan Way to SW Lombard.  One had to go around a power pole, and, in the rainy season, it became a sucking mud pit.  But it was one of the best ways to go east-west in Beaverton.  He told me it was YEARS before it would become a street.  I told him I didn't want a street, I wanted a paved path for pedestrians and bicyclists.  It did eventually appear on the Beaverton transportation improvement plan, but it didn't seem to be high priority.

Earlier this summer some construction was going on, but there were no informative signs.  Maybe they were doing something with Beaverton Creek.

I walked by there today.  Be still my beating heart.  Pavement.  Wayfinding signs.  A drainage pond which feeds into Beaverton Creek.

No curb cut, though.  Ah well.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Revisiting the Columbia River Gorge

I can't remember the last time I rode in the Columbia River Gorge.  March 2014, when I finished my own perm out of time?

This month's ORR 200k was the Hollywood-Wind River 200 (this version matches the cue sheet).  I'd ridden it before, back in September 2011, when I was in MUCH more fit.  But as I'd survived Dayton-Beaver, I figured I'd finish in time, if not in style.

Recruited Michal to ride with me; he and Cyndi showed up the night before, in time for dinner.  Given that the ride was starting at 6am, we'd need to get up at 4am, so early bedtime all around.  The plan was for me to drive to the start with them, and Fitz would show up at the finish (McMenamin's Kennedy School) to join us for dinner and take me home.

(There are no pictures, although it was a gorgeous day.  Sorry.)

We all met at Wilshire Park.  I was the only woman riding.  Hmph.  Checked out the park's facilities, but it was too early and they weren't open.  We'd find something suitable along the way.

Off at 6am, headed north to the Columbia River.  We had a brief confusion at the NE33rd/Columbia Blvd overpass (cue was hidden in the discussion rather than on it's own line), but quickly resolved it and found ourselves at the west boundary of the airport.  I suggested we ride on the bike path, rather than Marine Drive, and we did that whenever possible.  Best of course when the path is on the river side of the road :-)

Into Troutdale, with a brief stop at the McD's (not for food :-) ), and out the Historic Columbia River Hwy (US-30).  It is up for about 26 miles, but not oppressively so.  Michal wanted to turn onto Bell Rd, but I hauled him back.  The mist/clouds got very thick at this point, almost to "drizzle".  I knew it wouldn't last long, and hadn't even packed a rain jacket.

Popped out at the top and dropped down to Vista House, our first control.  From there, we had the fun descent down to Latourell Falls, and kept dropping for awhile, eventually arriving at the gentle rollers heading east to Warrendale, then the less gentle rollers to the end of the road (unless one wants to get on I-84) and the start of the new part of the path to Cascade Locks.  I love riding the path, but prefer it in the other direction.

Hefting the bike down the (50+, with landings every 10) stairs was a bit painful, but we got there.

Ruckel Creek was a shadow of its former self, but still pretty.

We paused very briefly to refill bottles at the park in Cascade Locks and headed over the bridge ($1 toll for bicycles now).  The crosswinds were pretty spectacular, but I got a few chances to look down and watch the bridge deck vanish as I rode along.  The fast boys were heading west just as we arrived at SR-14 on the Washington side.

We continued east to Stevenson, for a food stop at the grocery.  Terrible sandwich - too much bread, and the turkey and cheese were completely without flavor.  Ick.  Then again eastward to the turn onto Wind River Rd, passing through Carson after the turn.

Wind River Rd climbs almost 1000 feet in 8+ miles.  The tailwind wasn't really there.  Passed the RBA lurking in Carson on the way up; she said she got a ride in after we had all finished that part of the route.  We saw 4 or 5 riders headed back, including Kevin L.

Now, I have ridden this route twice before, and knew where the info control would be.  By this point, our bike computers were not agreeing with the cue sheet; I used the road mile markers, and started looking for the control after we passed by mile marker 8.  Ah, there it was (zipties on the road sign).  Saw Michal further down the road, but I was too wiped to yell.  I figured he'd see me and come back, and eventually he did.  Talking with Kevin later, he said he couldn't find the info control either.  Ate a little something, and headed back down.

Now, THAT was fun!  We could see the Oregon side of the river, and the road stair-stepping down back to SR-14.  Then we hit the Headwind.

We paused again in Stevenson for more water.  I think I drank a quart just standing there, and ate a few more things.  We'd have that headwind all the way back.  It was weird, though - it would blow really hard, and then not much; probably mitigated by the trees, and the road curves following the river's edge.  I had been worried about time when we got to the Wind River Rd control, but not so much after the return.  And, indeed, the headwind wasn't delaying us nearly as much as I thought it might.  Another brief pause at Beacon Rock (Michal was ahead and waiting for me.  There was definitely some of that today), then onward.

Lots of wildflowers in bloom on both sides of the river - sweetpeas, lupines, batchelors button, foxglove, and many I didn't know the names of.

At mile 91, the last big climb of the day appeared.  We chugged up SR-14.  Michal, of course was ahead.  I may have walked a bit.  The turn was onto Krogstad Rd, which is unsigned, and probably doesn't even rise to the level of "driveway".  Like I said, I have been here before, and knew what I was looking for.  As it turned out, the fence is gone, and the house is repainted, but the road sign on the other side did say "Riverside", and it was a bit past where the climbing lane went away.

So I was there, but no Michal.  Ok, maybe he'd gone on and would be found further along.  Krogstad is very quiet and very shaded, but no less climby :-)  A bit more walking, while eating a Payday bar, more riding, finally at the intersection with Canyon Creek.  No Michal.  At this point, our texts crossed in the mail.  He'd overshot the turn and waited for me after the turn, then came back.  Didn't find me, but found Kevin, who'd stopped in Carson.  So I texted that we'd meet up at the next control (Washougal Mercantile), and continued on.  And finally, downhill.  A slow downhill to start, but then it dropped a bit more.  After a few miles of this, I found myself at the store, and bought an ice cream bar and a Coke.  The staff hadn't seen any other riders since 2:20 (they were well-trained in the signing of the cards by now).  Halfway through the ice cream bar, Michal appeared, and a time after that, Kevin.  We all had a good sit and eat before heading on.

Michal: "what's it like now?  No more climbs?"  Nope.  Downhill to Washougal, rolling westward, a bit of a short pitch at Ellsworth, and that's about it. (He rode this with me the last time.  You'd think he'd remember.)

Washougal River Road was a gentle descent, only needed a bit of pedaling to keep up a good pace.  Drivers would stack up behind us and then pass with little difficulty; only one yeller.  And the motorcycle that almost side-swiped me in Washougal; you'd think they'd know better.

Though Washougal, through Camas.  The new roundabout after Camas onto 6th/Old Evergreen Hwy is a very welcome addition.  Old Evergreen Hwy has terrible pavement, but it does look like some parts have been replaced.  About 12 miles out, we stopped and texted our respective spouses, and then slogged on.  I should have eaten something here.

Eventually we saw the I-205 Bridge high above us and knew the turn onto Ellsworth wouldn't be far.  Up Ellsworth, up onto the bridge (that was easier), and then, once on the bridge, downhill all the way to Oregon.  Other than riding on the bridge is really noisy (bike path is in the middle of all the lanes), way fun.

We then navigated south of the airport, crossed over Lombard and Columbia, wandered the neighborhoods a bit and finished.  Cyndi was out front looking for us, but we didn't see the RBA, so she watched our bikes while we got our cards signed at the desk (and in my case, stamped; all McMenamin places have delightful rubber stamps).

Fitz appeared, and my bike was secured in the car.  Michal, Cyndi, and Kevin also went off to secure bikes.  We got a table and waited for them to come back in.  The RBA came by and got my card.  After Michal and Cyndi came in, she got Michal's card, and also Kevin's (he elected to just go home).

Beverages were ordered, and eventually food.  Cyndi kept trying to get Michal to split something with her, but he thought he could eat an entire meal himself.  Fitz usually also tries to get me to split something, but he knew better than to try that after I had just finished a big ride. :-)

12:47 elapsed time.  I lost 3 lbs, but they mostly returned.  It will be nice when I am more fit and can finish this ride in less time.  Working on it.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Challenging 200k

It didn't look good in Willamina.  I was on the verge of bonking.  It would be an 80+ mile drive for someone to retrieve me, and I didn't want that to happen either.  But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Ray proposed his Dayton-Beaver 210k permanent.  I was pretty sure my engine wasn't yet rated for the initial climb, but he thought I'd make it.  Susan and Keith also joined in.

While preparing the food (Fig Newtons, furikake hard-boiled eggs, rice pudding, Kind bars, some gels, Brookside chocolate-fruit gel thingies, chocolate bars), I came to the realization that my massive jug of Carbo-Pro maltodextrin was empty.  I went to two local bike shops and came up empty.  Then I remembered!  The homebrew place out west in Hillsboro has maltodextrin!  Drove out there, and learned that most of the maltodextrin they sell is to folks like me :-)  Really good value, too.  Might go back and buy a 10 pound bag.

It wasn't supposed to rain, but the "mist" was pretty darn persistent on the drive out to Dayton (like Newberg, only 10 miles further along...).  I had my "it might raincoat" along.  Susan had a windbreaker.  Keith, in his recumbent, had a fairing and sock.  I don't think Ray had a rain jacket.  Fortunately, that was it; no more rain the rest of the day.

We met up at the parking lot across from the high school, and rode into the center of town, to take advantage of the public facilities and covered area for the pre-ride rituals.

Susan and I had ridden the earlier version of this route, in reverse, in pouring rain, 6 years ago.  I had never climbed up from the Carlton side, and, honestly, wasn't sure I ever wanted to.  But here I was.

The first 10 miles were reasonably flat as we rode to, and through Carlton, out Meadowlake Rd, which becomes the Nestucca Access Rd, and then the Nestucca River Rd.  The road wandered around through the foothills, where there were farms, then more trees, and at about mile 14, we started the Real Climb.  It was pretty.  I got to admire some parts of it at greater length, because there was some walking.  The other three riders would regroup and wait for me, or sometimes ride along.  Eventually I found them at the reservoir, which is the first summit.  All the clothing I took off was restored.  The climb summits at 1999 feet, drops about 200 feet, then regains it over a short distance.

Then we had a beautiful, gorgeous descent along the Nestucca River, which went on seemingly forever (really, 35 miles), eventually dropping through the Siuslaw National Forest to Blaine, and then Beaver.  There was a couple miles of gravel, but it was well-packed, and not an issue.  Once I popped out of the forest near Blaine, I could every so often see the others up ahead, but didn't catch them until the control at Beaver.

I had finished both my bottles, so dealt with refilling them (one Gatorade-maltodextrin, the other plain water), and bought a couple of Payday bars, for variety.  I'd been munching pretty steadily on the other food in my bag all along.

We then headed south on Hwy 101 to Hebo, where we'd turn back inland on Hwy 22.  Not that we were on the Pacific Ocean; that was still a few miles further west.  Hwy 22 climbs up to Sourgrass Summit, possibly the lowest (679 feet) pass over the Coast Range.  By now we had a tailwind, it was sunny, with lots of shade, and the climb was very gentle.  Easiest 15 mile climb ever.

From there we enjoyed the descent to Grande Ronde, passing through, but not stopping.  While we were riding on Hwy 18/22, a couple of riders went by, one with a very small backpack and a teeny bit of luggage on his bike, the other with possibly less stuff.  I didn't get a chance to chat with them, but the others did - they were participating in the Trans-Am Bike Race, which had started in Astoria.  Obviously on a mission.

We, on the other hand, as soon as we crossed the bridge by Fort Hill, turned off the road onto a dirt path, and continued on Yamhill River Road, which is ever so much nicer and quieter than Hwy 18/22.

Shortly thereafter,we were in Willamina (I could almost hear Susan thinking: "I could turn left here and be home in 3 miles!"), at the shiny new gas station/c-store.  I had sucked down a mouthful of straight salt a little while back, but it didn't seem to be taking effect.  Took a couple of ibuprofen.  I then wandered aimlessly around the store, picking up a Coke, a banana, and some jojos.  Susan said she had an antacid, because there didn't seem to be any for sale.  So I sat there and shook, ate the banana, sipped the Coke ("ah", said Susan. "You've got the red ambulance!"), and contemplated my options.  Tried a jojo and decided they weren't a good choice at this point.  I think Ray ate them all :-) Asked Ray to get my wind vest for me (no, it wasn't cold.  I knew very well what was happening.)  Took off my shoes.

And then, miraculously, I suddenly felt much better.   I need to remember this combination of potions.

We then headed east, but not to Amity.  There was a tailwind, even.  Rather than taking the traditional route to Amity, and then a short 9 miles to Dayton, Ray routed us down to Perrydale (shades of the Hillsboro Dallas perm), and across the valley to Zena Rd.  I had a brief moment of shock in Perrydale, when I noticed that the old fire engine was gone and its structure torn down.  Darn.

The pollen count was pretty high.  I was enjoying the scent of wheat and grass.  Susan, not so much.  She was sneezing her head off.

Last climb coming up.  I had bad memories of this particular climb on a very hot day a few years ago.  A bit more walking, then a fabulous descent to the Lincoln Store.  Keith was there when we arrived; he said the store closed just as he rode up.  We figured we all had enough for the last 14 miles.  I ate my last rice pudding, and we headed out.  Three more rollers before Hopewell Road flattened out, and then we were on Webfoot Road, the last stretch.  Parts of it seemed longer than they should have, but I finally crested the only big dip, and the Center Market in Dayton was right up the other side.

As we were now FINISHED, we bought unsuitable snacks (big ice cream bar for me), loafed on the front stoop, and finished filling out our cards. 210km, and under 13 hours.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Finding those Covered Bridges

Oregon has quite a few covered bridges, so much so that one of the brevet routes is the Covered Bridges 200k.  There's a corresponding 400k, with a few more bridges (Eden's Gate), but I wasn't going there this year.

So a couple of weeks ago, I found myself with Ray and Kevin L (yay!  he's back riding again!), and some number of other riders, in Wilsonville getting some pre-brevet coffee.  Very civilized start, what with it being in a coffee shop with plumbing and places to sit and coffee and food.

My food strategy included hard-boiled eggs, Fig Newtons, Brookside Dark Chocolate snacks, and rice pudding, along with the usual collection of a couple of bars, gels, and Gatorade-maltodextrin drink mix.  And plain old salt.  I sucked some down halfway through the ride.

And so, off we went.  After crossing the Willamette River on the Boone (I-5) Bridge, we headed down the west side of the highway, working our way to south to Aurora, then up to Lone Elder and Meridian Road (didn't miss the turn this time), where we'd be for a good long while.

Getting close to Silverton

We quickly found ourselves at the tail end (not unexpected).  We did catch up to the group in front of us, but we stopped to visit the blue room at 91 School, and they didn't.


Baby Vineyard

Dairy cows

We had a tailwind heading south.  Eventually we turned off Meridian Road, heading west on Downs Rd to the Gallon House Bridge.

The Gallon House Bridge sign

From there we went into Silverton, and had a minor navigation miscue.  We thought we were headed out on Main Street, except we weren't and the expected climb out of town failed to materialize.  So we backtracked, and headed out to the Cascade Hwy.  How we got confused, I'll never know, because we've all only ridden through Silverton many, many times.

Towns which start with "S"

The Cascade Hwy hasn't gotten any more flat.  There's a big climb up to Riches Rd, then it goes up and down until just before Stayton.  We zipped through Stayton, and headed out to Cole School Rd.  Again, roller #2 won.  Sigh.  Excellent descent down Richardson Gap Rd, to bridge number two, the Shimanek Bridge.

The Shimanek Bridge

Then we rode over to Scio, the first timed control.  We found the folks right ahead of us, but they were leaving.  We went over to the grocery and stocked up there.  I also bought and consumed a sandwich.

We now headed for the last two covered bridges - the Hoffman and Gilkey bridges.

Hoffman Bridge on Hungry Hill Rd

Fluffy Little Sheep

Kevin (no hands) and Ray, Gilkey Bridge

And then we headed north, into the wind.  Lots of rear-wheel-sucking on my part.  The last climb of any substance was approaching, Parrish Gap Rd.  It starts out fairly innocuously, then ramps up.  I came up on Kevin using his two foot gear, and joined in.  He though that would be the top and there wouldn't be any more painful bumps, but I remembered otherwise.  Sure enough :-(

We found Ray hanging out under some trees, and we all stood around for while, and then headed into Turner, and then west to Salem.  Hauled Ray back from a wrong turn.  "I made that same wrong turn last time and got a lot further!"

It did start raining in Salem, but it didn't last long.  We headed for the McDonald's, and all had burgers (ok, Ray's was chicken) and fries, and wolfed them down (how often do you hear the words "wolf down food on a brevet" come out of my mouth?)

36 miles to go, about 4 hours left.  I was a bit tense, so kept up the pace as much as I could.  Somewhere on River Rd, my bike computer speedometer checked out.  I thought to swap the battery in from my cadence pickup, but that didn't work either.  The clock still worked, so I could figure out how I was doing from the distance at each cue and the clock.

To make a short story long, we did finish with 40 minutes to spare.  We were relaxing in the coffee shop when the folks just ahead of us came back in to visit, along with Cyndi (Michal was riding the 400k).

Changed Every Single Battery on the bike computer setup the next day.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Where'd that Nice Weather Come From?

We've had an exceptionally wet winter/spring so far.  As the joke goes "it has only rained twice - once for 45 days, and then for 35 days".  Riding has not been happening.  It isn't so much the RAIN, but the accompanying floods and thunderstorms.

Ray was casting about for company on his North Plains - Carlton perm pop.  I haven't ridden it since Halloween, 2015.  Time to get back out there.  Kevin L, who has not been riding much for the last couple years, but was a consistent ride companion before that, also joined us.  Excellent!

Epic Ride Weather's Prediction for the Day
We had the standard meet-up (note: niece A, who will, in a few weeks move from being Ensign A to Lt Dr A informed me that the proper term is "rally point") at the North Plains Mc Donalds.  As always, I get in line behind someone who doesn't know what they want, have never been to a Mc Donalds, and the guy (who is nice, but) running the cash register is super chatty.

Pre-ride faffing, signing of the release, discussion about team formation for a Will Rando dart pop (or maybe it is a Dart.  Route planning for the dart pop would be easier), and eventually we were off.

Headed down Vadis Rd, Kevin was explaining why he was on his plastic bike and not his Rawland: "it is in between saddles".  I asked him how many bikes he had.  After much mental calculations... "Do I really have 13 bikes???".  Heck, he could have borrowed a saddle from one of the others!  Another person to mention when the spouse thinks my bike collection is excessive.  Actually, he can't now, because he's got just as many as I do.

I had started out the day with arm and knee warmers.  Ray and Kevin had on jackets and baselayers.

Heading down to Verboort on Evers Rd, we found two recent additions to the Washington County Quilt Barn Trail.  If RUSA ever allows photographic proof of passage, I might make up a perm pop which visits many of them.  Although I could come up with some lame info control questions, I suspect most will go for the picture proof route.

Quilt block on NW Osterman

Quilt Block on NW Osterman

There was a substantial pause at the Fern Hill Wetlands.  After this one, I reverted to my "I'm going now; you'll catch up" practice.  The wetlands plantings have grown, and the water is wonderfully high.  Lost the armwarmers here.

Fern Hill Wetlands

Ray and Kevin discussing bike builds

There was a noticeable headwind, which boded well for the return.

The route itself is relatively uneventful, but for the One Hill.  It is a steeper climb from the north, but paved.  Withycombe (the descent) is gravel, steep, and this day, much loose gravel.  There was a lot of trepidation, but I did successfully descend.  I wasn't worried so much about the climb on the return, because it is a lot slower.

Ray, Carlton elevator, and perm card at the Carlton Bakery
We arrived at the Carlton Bakery to find it full of bicyclists, also out enjoying the nice weather.  Fortunately, they were all leaving, so we ordered our pastries and coffee, and had an outside table to ourselves.  Removed the knee warmers.

And then we headed back.  The tailwind was an excellent push.  I did end up walking the last bit of Withycombe, because I lost my line and had a choice of stopping or toppling.

Kevin and Ray at the summit of Withycombe Rd.
Yamhill elevator
Sun.  Tailwind.  Not a lot of traffic.  I even got sunburned.  This was a great day.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Summer and Winter Weaving Tie-Up

I had sent my Strickler 546 provided tie-up off to Tim's Treadle Reducer, because the tie-up for a dedicated treadle for each pick wanted 14 treadles.  My loom only has 10.

Strickler 546, Summer and Winter weave structure. Getting better.

The tie-up I got back was do-able, but I had to check a cheat sheet for each block, because it wasn't a logical arrangement.

So, I was chatting with Hilary, a fellow student at the Multnomah Art Center, who is ALSO weaving a summer and winter project (summer and winter being the weave structure; we were both working from profile drafts, which are a shorthand way of describing a weaving design).  She didn't have a cheat sheet taped to her loom.

Her tie-up was MUCH more logical, so I went home and changed the tie-up on my loom.  No cheat sheet required.  I can use this tie-up for every summer and winter weaving project I do going forward as well, which is a bonus.  The tie up essentially mimics the profile block tie-up.

We are using 8 shaft looms, so the profile drafts we use can have up to 6 design blocks.

The algorithm (all credit to Hilary) is as follows:

shaft 1 to treadle 1
shaft 2 to treadle 2
tabby b (usually shafts 3-8) to treadle 9

tie the pattern shafts in each block to the corresponding treadle, knowing that multiple blocks are lifted in each treadle.

So, here's treadles 3-8

Profile Treadling Pattern Shaft
F F F F F 8
E 7
D D 6
C C C 5
B B B 4
A A A A 3

treadle 3 gets ABCF (shafts 6 and 7)*
treadle 4 gets AB (shafts 5, 6, and 7)
and so on

The draft is treadled in "Pairs X" fashion, and there are 8 picks for each row in the treadle diagram.
Here's a subset of the treadle diagram:

3 4 5 6 7 8
The treadling algorithm is 2-1-1-2, where the 1 and 2 mean that shaft 1 or 2 is to be included in the lift.  Shafts 1 and 2 are lifted together to make Tabby A.  The result is a little "X" in the fabric.

So, substituting the appropriate treadle, to complete treadling the 3,

where T=3.

Easy peasy.  No cheat sheet.

* you MIGHT think that the tie-up for treadle 3 should be 3, 4, 5, and 8, rather than 6 and 7.  And that's what they call "Tromp as writ".  Which is all good for a SINKING shed loom; the tied shafts go down when the treadle is pressed.  However, for a RISING shed loom (jack looms are rising shed; my loom is a jack loom; it is the most commonly available type of loom used in the USA, I think), one ties up the opposite treadles.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Porteur Bag

Back in the day, when I acquired Sweetpea, and Bleriot became just my utility bike, there were a few changes.  I added a kickstand, upgraded the rear rack, and, eventually added a Platrack to my little front rack, for a porteur-style platform.

This called for a proper porteur bag, but it took me a long while to get there.  I'd use bungies and all sorts of bags, none of which looked particularly nice.  Having my bikes look nice is kind of a thing for me.

Coffeeneuring, ready to go
(this looks tacky)

Then Lesli gave me some big pieces of waxed canvas.  I could make a bag.  It spent a couple of years being designed in my head, and by then I'd acquired some Pendleton blanket-weight fabric (do NOT ask how much it costs per yard, even at the outlet store.  Just don't.), and my sister-in-law, who runs a halfway house for textiles*, came into some fluorescent green and pink Cordura, which she figured I could find a use for.

I've been collecting bike helmet buckles and straps (WELL WASHED) from helmet giveaways (we confiscated the old one so it would not be used again).  I certainly had the pieces.

I wanted a fully-lined bag, with some internal pockets for the bits that get lost in the big compartment, and a pocket on the outside for my u-lock and cable, because it takes forever to attach and remove it from my rear rack.  The lining had to be removable (for washing), and the bottom was to be stiffened with a piece of Coroplast (I have a small stash of old lawn signs just for this purpose)

The strap - well, I could BUY webbing, but what with the waxed canvas and Pendleton fabric, it called for an exceptional strap.  I tossed my yarn stash, and wove a strap to match the Pendleton fabric, because I could.

Handwoven band for Porteur bag project

Measured the rack.  Measured the distance between the handlebars - that was a constraining factor.

Made a paper pattern and binder-clipped it together (best sewing accessory since the metal needle, although the Clover Wonder Clips may step ahead in line).

Stared at it awhile.  Looked at other bags on flickr, in particular, David Parsons' bags.

The original design:

Basically, the same size as a reusable grocery bag, but an inch deeper.

Sewing it was fun - my Bernina 930 was certainly up to the task, but arguing with the heavy fabrics did prove a bit of a challenge.

The lock pocket, which was a simple flat pocket, decided it wanted to be a bellows pocket, due to the depth of the lock and cable.

The bag clips to the rack with helmet webbing adjusting clips (Bern and Bell), and running the strp through the tombstone before clipping it; works very well.

The result:

Porteur Bag rear view - the pocket is for my u-lock and cable.

Porteur Bag side view - Pendleton (tm) woolen fabric.

Porteur Bag lining detail - side pockets to corral the little bits

And, in use:

Bag in use; grocery run

Bag in use; grocery run

Notes for next time (hah)
Make it taller for better roll-topping, and use a wider strap.

On the whole, though, I am pretty happy with it.

*textile halfway house - fabrics in interesting quantities show up on her porch.  She redistributes them.  Anything from a bolt of raw silk upholstery fabric (pajamas for me!) to the Cordura, to ribbing, to...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Weaving, the Original Programming Project

I just properly used the Excel SUMPRODUCT function to calculate the number of heddles I'd need on each shaft for my upcoming Summer and Winter weave structure project.  It is a real pain to have to move the heddles around once threading has started.

Here's the draft:

Summer and Winter is one of the ways where weaving gets, oh, complicated.  It is a block structure, where groups of ends (warp threads) can be aggregated as necessary to get the end result.  Software people, think subroutine.

In Summer and Winter, each block has 4 threads, and, with an 8 shaft loom, I can have 6 blocks.

Here's the profile threading draft:

As you can see, there's a start, a repeat (3 times), and a finish.

The numbers at the far right are the count of each block in the repeat.

I then totaled up the number of blocks for threading:

start/end pattern  total
A   2     6
B   7     21
C   4     12
D   6     18
E 4 4     16
F 9 9     36

Then created a table with the count of each heddle per shaft used in each block, and did the SUMPRODUCT thing with the total number of blocks and the heddle count within each block.

Heddles per shaft
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
A 1 1 2          
B 1 1   2        
C 1 1     2      
D 1 1       2    
E 1 1         2  
F 1 1           2
109 109 12 42 24 36 32 72

So, 109 heddles each on shafts 1 and 2 and much fewer on the other 6.  Which says I don't have to move any around, and can get to beaming on and threading.

I also had to do calculations to work out how to get complete pattern repeats in the width and length - there are 128 threads in the pattern repeat, and I wanted to weave 22" wide.  It worked out to 20 epi (sett, ends/threads per inch), including a selvage.  There was a bit of modeling to work that out, also accomplished via Excel.  There will be 3 pattern repeats width-wise and 5 length-wise.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Birkie 200k Brevet Success!

So, the last 200k was unsuccessful.  Darn.  Try again.

The ORRando Birkie 200k was this past Saturday. This was my very first 200k, back in 2007.  The route has changed slightly - rather than the out and back from Vernonia, the route heads from Forest Grove to Vernonia via Gales Creek/Hwy 6/Timber Rd/Hwy 47, and then continues on Hwy 47 to Hwy 202.  To make up the missing distance, the route continues 7 miles past The Birk (formerly the Birkenfeld Store, now a cafe and music venue with irregular hours) to an info control.  The return is back to Vernonia, then taking the Banks Vernonia Trail to (natch) Banks, and heading south to Forest Grove.

Now that we've got all that straight...

Friday afternoon was spent giving Sweetpea the first bath of the year.  So very dirty, with lots of stuff stuck under the fenders.

Friday night was Rando Slumber Party at the Fitzsimmons Home for Wayward Randonneurs - Lesli, Ruth (who I finally got to meet in person), Michal and Cyndi all showed up, and we had a couple hours of social time before the 9pm bedtime.

Michal was returning a bike which was borrowed for the express purpose of loaning a bike to Bill Walton to ride.  He thought it would be fun to get a picture comparing it to my bike.

Everyone was up at 5.  Breakfast was coffee, eggs, bacon, Rye Molasses muffins, and bread which Michal baked.  He also provided the home-roasted coffee.  The kitchen was slightly over peak capacity, what with riders organizing their food and cooking breakfast :-)

Lesli and Ruth thought I'd be riding with them, but after a reveal of their planned pace... Yeah, no.  I'm not there yet.  Michal was going for time, so he'd be off as well.  But there in the parking lot I found Ray. :-)  We have been known to ride together.

Signed in.  The RBA assured me it wasn't going to rain.  She wanted to get out and do a few hours riding herself, hence the optimism.

(That's me in the pink vest.  Pic by Cyndi Wenks)

And, at 7am, away we went.  We did see Lesli and Ruth, and I almost caught them at the stoplight in Gales Creek, but it turned green, they went, and then red again by the time I got there.  Last I saw of them all day.

Deidre from Vancouver passed me on the climb.  I would have thought she'd be ahead, maybe she got started a bit after everyone else.

The Timber climb was accomplished with no stress.  I wasn't fast, but I didn't care.  The RBA was lurking after the second switchback, we chatted a bit as I slowly pedaled by.  Found Ray at the top (he gets ahead and waits and drinks coffee); we dropped into Timber and up the other side, admiring the two properties which are infested with lively barking Aussies.

Had great fun dropping through the curves to Hwy 26, and Ray and I had the gift of a no-wait crossing.

It had been drizzling off and on.  I was wearing two wool jerseys, a vest, wool knickers, long socks and a wool cap.  I had wool overgloves which never stayed on longer than three miles.  Left the booties in Michal's car.  I did have an "it might rain" jacket and Rainlegs, but never pulled them on.

I can't think of a time I rode the stretch from Hwy 26 to Vernonia as fun.  Usually raining with a headwind, or trying to keep up with the group.  I had fun this day.  Came up on Ray (our riding style is best described as "leapfrog"); he'd decided it really was raining.  Kept on going; he found me just before Vernonia.  We stopped at Black Bear Coffee (another punch for my card!), and found RB, who was riding Ray's perm pop and hanging out.

Of great interest in Vernonia was the goat in the truck.  Inside the truck.  On the front seat.

Passenger Goat

After a bottle refill (no guaranteed food/water for the next 100k), some coffee, and a substantial snack, I headed out.  Ray wasn't quite ready.  I had fun riding along here as well.  Ray found me around Mist, and then stopped again.  I got to Birkenfeld and pulled over to eat some rice pudding and a hard boiled egg, and we set out to find the info control.


By this point, 5 or so riders had passed us heading back.  Once past Birkenfeld, Hwy 202 gets hilly - short, abrupt ups and downs, with many crossings of the Nehalem River.  The first 4 miles went quickly, the last 3, not so much. Found Ray at the control.  Holden arrived just as we were turning back.

If you look close, you'll see Ray up ahead

Nehalem River

Back to Birkenfeld - The Birk wasn't technically open, but Ray's bike was there.  So I went in and the proprietor grabbed my water bottle and filled it (he's nice that way), took care of some other business, and we headed back to Vernonia.

Near Mist

We were supposed to have a tailwind.  Not so much.  So it was rather more of a slog than I had thought it might be, and kept checking my odometer more than necessary.  But we kept at it, and held a reasonably steady pace, and got to Vernonia in good time.  Fine dining at the Shell Station (deviled eggs!) which we took over to Anderson Park, which has restrooms with no line, and running water.

So, now we were in Vernonia, and, as Ray put it, "heck, we are already done".  Well, 30 miles to go, but we know them so very well. Ten miles of easy climb, ten miles of perfect descent, and ten miles of flat surface streets.

We were now on the Banks Vernonia Trail.  Yay.  No drivers, no idiots in pickups either coal-rolling or close passing (with much laying on of horn).  Aside: the only driver I signaled not to pass because I could see oncoming traffic, who started to edge out to pass, then saw the car and dropped back, was a police officer.

So, on the trail.  I could tell I was tired; not ascending at my usual pace.  But it was now sunny, and we had tons of time, and the shared goal of finishing in 12 hours would be nice (Ray's first 200k in 18 months).  We got to Tophill, and I gave it up and walked the last two switchbacks.  It was either that or fall over.  I found Ray at the Stub Stewart road crossing, and we then happily bombed on down.

There was a picture pause for a clump of blooming trilliums, and then, when passing by Wingham Farms (cool, they have a website!  Go visit!), we stopped to talk with Julie (the farmer), who said she really needed a t-shirt that identified her as Romulus and Remus' mother.  Long discussion about their farm.

Julie, one of the farmers at Wingham Farms

Romulus hanging out on the trail

We had gotten to which sheep her neighbor was raising (Texel - a Dutch down breed - meat sheep, but quality fleece), when Holden arrived.  His wife is also into fibers, so the conversation might have gotten a bit fiber-geeky.

So.  Time is slipping by.  Gotta go.  After a brief stop at the trailhead, we headed out for the last 9 miles.  When we got to the turn onto Roy Road, Ray went straight.  Clearly autopiloting back to North Plains.  Holden followed right along :-)  I yelled, they came back.

Ray got ahead at the first traffic circle, and finished just before us.  But our official time was 11:59 elapsed.  Good enough for me.

(Ray and I at the finish.  Pic by Cyndi Wenks)

Michal and Cyndi were hanging around, because they were going to drop me back home, but Fitz texted that he was on his way over.  So they stuck around long enough to say hi, and then started their long drive down south.

The RBA wanted to know if she'd see me in 2 weeks for the 300k.  Mmm.  Not this year.  Not ready.  I hurt in places that have never hurt before.  The 200ks will have to be a little more routine before I make the distance jump.

Fitz and I got dinner there, poked our head back in to say goodbye to the RBA (there had been still one rider out; he finished while we were eating), and headed home ourselves.

What went well:

  • I never put on the rain jacket.  It just wasn't raining hard enough, and, midafternoon, cleared off for good.  I think my shoes are waterproof for persistent mist/drizzle.
  • I kept up on the food.  This trip the food offerings brought along were: 2 packets of Gatorade/maltodextrin (and one in the bottle), hard boiled eggs, two containers of rice pudding, two Rye Molasses muffins with butter, random Kind bars, a Payday bar, and some other little things (gels and chocolate) which I didn't break into.  Ate all the things I listed specifically, but for one muffin.  Plus a deviled egg (two halves) in Vernonia on the return.  Convinced Ray he wanted the other two.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Errandonee 2017 Roundup


Category Trip 1 Trip 2
Personal Care Free birthday coffee Hike to Michael's
Personal Business Dentist Credit Union
You carried WHAT on your bike (or back)?!
Arts and Entertainment Library Library
Non-Store Errand
Social Call (includes restaurants, coffee, and other social activities) Knitting Group Great Grandparents
Work or Volunteering, School (includes dropping off kids) Weaving Grandson to the Park
Store (includes bike shop, running store, grocery store, etc. You know, a store.) LBS Fabric Store
Wild Card (surprise me!)

Errandonnee 8, 9, 10, 11, & 12

Errands 8 and 9
I couldn't access my credit union account online, and the phone numbers they offered to send a new password to - well, I didn't recognize either of them.  This, of course, happened on a Friday night.  So a personal trip to the credit union on Monday morning was necessary.  We got it all unwound, not without a serious amount of time being spent, including multiple calls to their tech support.  Funny part of the trip - the person helping me said "yours is the lowest account number I've seen!" (Personal business)

From there, I went by my LBS, because Bleriot's Cane Creek SCR-5c brake levers are giving it up (they are 10 years old; maybe they've been bounced hard on the pavement a few years back).  Sadly, they didn't have them, and that was where I'd bought them originally.  The mechanic said maybe they were no longer made.  I didn't think so.  Went home and ordered them from Universal Cycles.  (Store)

7.1 miles

Errand 10
Personal care, but not for me.  Close family member is going through a very stressful time; I figured she needed a walk to talk it though.  So we hiked to Michael's and the Mill End Store.  Things were purchased, but that wasn't the point.

Cherries are blooming
back of her head
2.5 miles

Errands 11 and 12
We were babysitting grandson #1 for a couple of days, and brought his bike (Wishbone 3 in 1, great strider bike that grows with the kid, and yes, I did buy it for his first birthday present) along.  Day the second had non-rain, so he wanted to ride the bike to the park (.5 miles uphill, and he's not yet 4 years old).  On the way, he wanted to stop at Great Grandma and Great Grandpa's home. He convinced Great Grandma to come along.  My dad elected to stay home.  We went to the first park (elementary school playground), and, after awhile adjourned to the newly-remodeled park.  He and my husband played on the equipment.  I did, a bit, but hung out on the swings with my mom.

Someone got to ride a bike

Knock knock knocking on great-grandparents' door

Elementary School playground

New play structure achievement unlocked

The playground at the new park

my mom on the swing
Work, school, or volunteering (because we were shepherding a child, and HE was on the bike :-) )
Social (visiting with the great grandparents)

1.5 miles.