Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Incline leg press - 300lbs
My run today felt like a run, not a plod.

You know those hard foam roller things, that you can use to work the lactic acid out? I've used them, to no perceptible gain. Last night, my legs were just so achy and sore, I dragged the roller out and used it. It really worked this time!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The garage is painted


I really am going to paint the garage...

As I'm planning to be riding all next weekend, have to get the points in this weekend :-)

Looking south from Skyline School

SO, yesterday was the Portland Velo ride, then I came home and primed the garage. Looks better than it has EVER (and we've lived in this house since 1980).

Fitz was golfing today, and I was going to paint. You'd think there was a paint color called "Garage", and you'd just go to Home Depot and buy it. No. The Architect-in-Residence (for another couple of weeks) thinks it should be a light green. Or a gray. Or a terra-cotta. I'm for plain white - the garage needs all the brightening it can get. So, Fitz went to Home Depot this morning. The ceiling will be white. The walls will be Navaho White.

And with best intentions, yesterday evening, I checked my email. Partner-in-cycling-adventures Cecil was up for a bike ride (gee, what a surprise). After letting her know that I could't go for a long one, we agreed to meet at my house at 10:30 and do "something".

And such a nice day for a "something", too. We crossed over Hwy 26 at the pedestrian bridge, and climbed up to Skyline via 119th/McDaniel/Laidlaw. Brief stop at the development with the street names "Appellate Way" and "Supreme Ct", for Cecil to get some pictures. Then west on Skyline to Old Cornelius Pass. I have NEVER seen so many cyclists riding on Skyline in one day. It seemed that every cyclist in the area was up there!

Glorious view from Skyline School.

Then crossing Cornelius Pass (very scary. I'd sooner cross Hwy 26 at Frogger Junction!) and down Old Cornelius Pass, then west on Phillips, stopping to admire the cute baby llamas in the llama herd.


Cecil taking a picture of the cute baby llama

Fall Foliage, Phillips Rd

South on Helvetia. Note to self - do not be anywhere NEAR Helvetia Rd the weekend before Halloween. Every person not riding a bike has gone to the Roloff's pumpkin patch (yes, the Little People, Big World folks) and is driving too fast on Helvetia, which is two lanes, no shoulder, and ditches. Pretty much ok they rest of the year.

A stop at Longbottom's (pumpkin pecan scone to share), then east on Evergreen (second scariest part of ride - going through the shopping center), south on 173rd, east on Walker, cutting over to get into the neighborhood north, after 153rd. And then home, the usual way.

Now I've got a bike store errand, then I'll paint... Really.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Portland Velo Fall Colors Ride

I wish I had taken my camera...

From the summit of Plumlee, we could look to the south, and see the pond, vineyards turned fall gold, deciduous trees in a variety of colors, plowed fields, and nursery stock in strips of gold, orange and red.

Riding through the Fernhill Wetlands, we saw a heron flying just above the waterway.

Berryfields on Hornecker all glowing red-gold.

The sky was brilliant fall blue. NICE day for a ride!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Aqua-Cyclist Ride

Portland Velo had an easy 35 mile out and back on Dairy Creek Rd today. Cecil and I (both aqua-cyclists, who ride aqua bicycles) thought we'd do it, riding to the start.

Met Cecil heading down to my house (guess she got to the meet point first). It was raining. The forecast was rain, downpours, rain, rain, rain... And high 40's-low 50's. Ooooh, perfect.

Headed west; my right foot was starting to get a bit damp. Hmm. New booties, too. Forded Lake Evergreen. The water was probably almost up to my bottom bracket. Feet went into the water, pedaling (slowly). So now both feet were wet. Arrived at Longbottom's to find an empty parking lot, and John saying: "folks are inside. The ride has been called off." Cecil wanted something hot to drink, so we went in. Goodness, those Portland Velo folks look nice in their matching breakfast outfits. A group of 10 came by, and then left for the ride (race team, I think) We did some Showers Pass jacket endorsements. After assuring everyone that, yes, we WERE in fact riding, and having some coffee and a bit of scone (and wringing out gloves and socks), we started out.

(Rickey, we MISSED you!)

It was a nice ride. Kent A joined us for awhile as we headed up Dairy Creek Rd, but took off when I stopped to eat at the turn around. The fall colors on Dairy Creek are looking good; don't know how much longer they'll last.

Headed back out Dairy Creek, then pulled over at the (defunct) store to put on dry gloves. Cecil thought she'd wring everything out at the point, and Mike G came by as we were lightening our socks and gloves. Our shoes were sopped, but we couldn't squeeze them out. Pulled on dry gloves, and continued east.

Stopped at Longbottom's briefly, only to run into Fitz (!) who had just dropped Brian off at Hillsboro Stadium for the marching band competition (poor kids). Off again, heading home.

We elected to turn left in front of Nike to get off Walker Rd - lots of traffic, heavy rain, and bike lanes full of tree debris and wet leaves.

Cecil and I concluded that we are a very bad influence on each other, and hope it will continue for a good long time. We do much stupider stuff together than we ever would separately.

Up the Park Way hill, then I turned off to go home, and Cecil headed out for her last 10 miles.

Epilog: 55.7 miles. Hot shower, very tingly toes. Hot soup.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Replaceable parts

My Lemond Zurich is approximately 270 miles shy of 10,000 miles. In that time, it has had 2 chains, a rear hub overhaul, and tires and tubes. That's it.

I was starting to wonder a bit about the integrity of the rims. A few folks took a look; recommendations were varied. (Wheelsets are Not Cheap).

As it also needed a new seatpost bolt and a bar-end plug, I rode it over to Bike Gallery in Beaverton for those little bits, and to get an expert reading on the wheels.

We started out with the easy stuff - a bolt for my seatpost clamp and Buzz Kills to replace the bar-end plugs, along with a conversation with Marc M, fellow aqua-cyclist from Portland Velo.

Then Mark P (my go-to bike mechanic at BG) took a look at the rims. Marc M was "you got 10,000 miles on your wheels?" Mark P - "these are pretty worn", plus comments about catastrophic failures on a ride (one in a year is plenty, thank you!), etc, etc. Plus the chain was worn, and a new cassette (also original) would probably not be a bad idea.

They had some Bontrager Race specials - complete wheels with tires and tubes, for a very good price. We figured my original Bontrager Race Lites were now the Bontrager Race :-) The wheels looked identical, so if anything, it was a slightly different rim.

As I rode over, the work would have to be done there, or I'd have to bring the bike back. Mark had time, so I sat and adjusted my helmet straps, and he swapped everything out. I did have my Conti GP 4 Season tires put on the new rims - no need to use the new tires until I'd worn out the old ones.

Then I got the standard lecture on "you need new brake pads", which I promised to put on this afternoon :-), and your shift cable is fraying (ok, new one of those, too).

Off to swap the brake pads for Kool-Stop dual compound ones...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

On Persistence

stubborness. endurance. persistence. 99.9% slow-twitch muscles.

There have been two rando rides recently, where riders generally much faster than me have started, but not finished. It has been mentioned, "well, if Lynne can do it..." with the unspoken subtext "anyone can do it" or "it can't be THAT hard".

Birthday Cake at Maggie's

Today I offered to lead the Portland Velo sub-17 B ride. Distance of about 35 miles, no hills to speak of. I hadn't been feeling well this week, so this ride was just right.

We had a good crowd, maybe 12 of us. It was foggy and in the high 40's. Caught Jason bombing down Evergreen trying to catch the group in front of us (a little late departing from home, there). Standard escape route from Longbottoms - Evergreen, Sewell, Meek, then west on Scotch Church, which has no shoulder until it becomes Zion Church, north on Kerkman... Chatted some with Amber. Turns out we know at least one person in common. I drifted to the back to see how our last riders were doing. One wasn't feeling that great - she'd been sick, and the air was pretty cold. The other two were deep in conversation. We regrouped at St Francis in Roy, where one rider elected to call for a lift home. We waited until she'd contacted someone, then headed off, still going west, out Greenville to Kansas City. And, on the last grade up to Kansas City Rd... my front tire went flat. Many hands make a flat change move right along. :-)

There was some agitating to not stop at Maggie's Buns. I mentioned that I needed at least a BRIEF stop. They thought they'd let me do that.

Rollers on Kansas City/Thatcher, then through the new street into Forest Grove.

Maggie came out to greet us. Rickey called out Happy Birthday! She said she had a surprise for us, because she had a bakery and never got a birthday cake. Well, this year, she did have one, and it was much too big for her to eat herself; would we help? After a round of Happy Birthday (no candles), we all dug in, even the folks that didn't want to stop :-) Chocolate-Raspberry Cake. Yumyumyumyumyum.

Aren't the long route and fast riders who couldn't be bothered to stop going to be sorry!

Uneventful standard return to Longbottom's, where Rickey bludgeoned persuaded everyone to buy the Kid's Coffee special, and we all enjoyed a post-ride coffee.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Oregon Randonneurs Bingen Bikefest 200km

The last Or Rando brevet of 2007 is the Bingen Bikefest, organized by John K. A lovely little 200km romp through Bingen, Goldendale, Glenwood, Trout Lake, White Salmon, and back to Bingen.

a well-fed cyclist is a happy cyclist

I tried to rationalize NOT cleaning my bike, and just dumping some lube on the chain, but it was dirty, and the weather forecast (all of them; I looked at several) promised mass quantities of rain. So the bike got a bath, and a fresh coat of Finish Line Cross-Country on the chain, for the projected wet conditions. Packed food, packed 2 extra changes of gloves and socks, plus a wool undershirt, just in case.

I wore a wool jersey, shorts, PI leg warmers, Ibex wool armwarmers, Shebeest bike capris, wool socks, shoes, wool cap, Showers Pass jacket and Descente Wombat gloves - it if wasn't raining too much, they are good gloves for the projected 40s-50s temperatures.

Rickey picked me up at 5am. We made excellent time driving out to Bingen, so cooled our heels in the McDonald's parking lot until they opened at 6:30, then went in. I had already eaten, so I just had juice and a hashbrown; Rickey went for the full breakfast.

Over to Daubenspeck Park a few blocks away. Andrew and Cecil were already there. We started assembling and picked up our cue sheets and brevet cards. More visiting around with David R, Sal O, and others. Then it was a few minutes before 8; John gave the pre-ride talk, and off we went. Or tried to. My battery had slipped down, and I was trying to move it back up, and my helmet mirror got caught in my brake cable... Cecil just about fell over laughing. Oh well.

So, off, heading east on SR-14. We had an AMAZING tailwind, so I got to enjoy the sunrise over over the river, without wind noise in my ears, and with speeds of 17-20mph with little or no effort. Even the climbs were not difficult. I was leapfrogging Paul, Nat (on his first 200k) and Tim, the mechanic at Bike Gallery, the first 34 miles. Bleriot rolled over 2000 miles somewhere along there, so I stopped and took a few pictures. A little further along, I realized I was way too hot in all those clothes, so I pulled off the arm and leg warmers, and wool cap, and swapped my gloves for short finger gloves. MUCH better!

Sunrise in the Columbia River Gorge

Bleriot at 2000 miles

After much up and down, we climbed up above Wishram (cool to look down on it) and stayed up, shortly thereafter to turn north on US-97. There was a convenience store with a bathroom, but the line was much too long. Sal, Cecil and Andrew were leaving as I came in. I refilled my hydration pack, and headed up 97.

Remember that wonderful tailwind? It turned into a crosswind of outstanding ferocity. Keeping the bike upright and headed in the proper direction was a real challenge. It was a steep climb as well. So. Speeds of sub 5mph. I could SEE cyclists above me, but I never got any closer. If this was going to keep up for the next 60-70 miles, it was going to be a LOOOOONG day. US-97 is a major truck route as well. There was a very decent shoulder, but I'd still pull over and stop to let some trucks pass - I did not feel I could control my bicycle sufficiently under those conditions.

Colorful gully on the dry side

Finally summitted and headed north to Goldendale. The wind was still majorly crosswise, but the road was at least sort of flat and straight. I only had to brace when semis went by, to avoid getting buffetted off the road.

Left into Goldendale, and the first control (45.4 miles) as Cecil and Andrew were leaving. I bought a big Reese's FastBreak bar, got my card signed, and ate my sandwich. Rickey thought he'd wait and ride with me, so I didn't dawdle. It had cooled off a bit, so I put my hat and heavier gloves back on. Rickey told me that Cecil said I looked pretty bad. After interrogating Cecil today, she SAID my face was all red. Well, it was. Windburn. My cheeks always get red. I was FINE thank you!

East again, into the headwind. We rode through Goldendale proper, passing a Victorian-looking house that was a museum, with a nifty little steam engine out front. Rickey and I plodded along, eventually catching up with Sal. As Sal said: "nice day for a ride, if you want to go 8mph". After 11 miles of open-range headwind, we turned onto the Glenwood Highway, which started climbing (negative rollers, or stair-steps, if you prefer), and turned into forest. The headwind was still there, but not as fierce. The three of us caught up with Peg, who was pulled over doing a clothing adjustment, and the 4 of us continued on, sort of together. We split up because of the climbing, but were never more than a minute or two of distance apart.

Then there was the most amazing river canyon on the right, which turned out to be the Klickitat River. And glory, glory we got to DESCEND! Whee! I did pull over once to take pictures. The descent had nice turns and was not too steep, so I enjoyed it the entire way down.

klickitat river canyon

Of course, what goes down must come back up, so more stair-step climbs. Rickey, Peg and Sal had all gone by while I was taking pictures, but I found them all again on the climb. On the level spots, I'd ride no-hands and munch on my candy bar.

Did I mention that rain was not seen at any point during the day?

Coming into Glendale we passed a beautiful lake on the left, and wetlands on the right. I stopped just outside of Glendale to get a picture of Mt Adams.

Mt Adams

Rickey came into view just then, so we rode into Glendale, to find the next control, the Shade Tree Inn (81.2 miles, 3:15pm). I was very organized; got my card signed, refilled my water (and not a moment too soon, I was down to a swallow), got more hot water in my thermos for the second batch of Gatorade Tea, and ate half a sandwich and a banana. Off to find the Trout Lake Farm. Only 20 miles away, but there was another climb in there. Rode through more forest, past lakes and wildlife refuge.

Caught up to Sal just before what appeared to be the climb. And a climb it was - another of those stair-step climbs. We'd summit, and think this is it, then go around another corner and... Yeah. Then a fun little downhill, and off to find Trout Lake Farm and the third herb on the sign. Duly accomplished, we then set off for the Trout Lake Store, the last control. Another gradual uphill with the headwind in our faces. It was an out-and-back, and Andrew and Cecil were on the way back as we started. They had really big smiles. Didn't know why.

4.3 miles along, we found the store, and got our cards signed (5:22pm?, 101.2 miles). Then, figuring not to make another stop, we pulled on any extra clothing (leg and arm warmers for me) and all our reflective gear and lighting. Peg pulled up somewhere in there, and another rider came in and left quickly - he had no lights and had to get back before sunset. Sal didn't have any either; he and Rickey swapped stuff around so they were all legal. Says Rickey: "I have two words - heated seats". Now there was incentive...

Then we found out why Andrew and Cecil were smiling. Slight downhill, amazing tailwind. We zipped back out of there with speeds between and 18 and 24mph. 10 miles down the road in BZ Corner, we made a pit stop. Some folks in a car wanted to know what the ride was about, so we told them. They thought it was pretty cool. Off again, in the dimming light. I asked Rickey if we could stop at the McDonald's on the way out. He thought that was an EXCELLENT idea. More incentive.

Less than 10 miles to go. I should have studied the elevation profile a little more closely. Right around Husum, we went UP again. Little soul-sucking climbs in the fading light, with lots of auto traffic with blinding headlights. Seemed like it went on forever.

Then finally, we entered White Salmon (still climbing), then the downhill - steep, twisty through the town, lots of blinding headlights, then into Bingen. I lost Rickey and Sal, as I did not want to descend that quickly with my vision compromised (I can see perfectly well with no oncoming traffic. I see a generator hub and a B&M Lumotec IQ Fly Senseo headlight this winter, I do. 40 Lux.)

Finally go to the bottom. Rickey and Sal were there. I'm glad they were, because my stupid brain wanted me to turn left, because I thought White Salmon was on SR-14. But we'd already entered Bingen... We went the few blocks to the right, turned right again, and finished. (126.36 miles. 7:22pm).

All in all, John K. said it was 6000 vertical feet of climbing. Seemed we spent most of the day doing that :-) With a headwind :-)

Got our cards signed and turned in, loaded up the bikes, met Sal's wife, and headed off the few blocks to McDs.

While enjoying our respective dinners, I was watching a couple of motorcyclists assemble themselves for their ride home. Lots of leather, beads, patches, and some weird turtle neck things and ear cover things. The bald guy looked just like Darth Vader before he put his helmet on. And I thought cyclists had to do lots of clothing assembly :-)

The back into the truck, with the heater on high and the heated seats on high. Aaaaaahhhhh.

A few more pictures are here:
and Cecil's pictures are here:

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Weekend Rides, Portland Velo and Livestrong

Saturday was the Portland Velo ride. Everyone who was going to ride with me somehow did not show up, but Rickey did, so I mostly rode with Rickey, Linda, and Sam. We had a great stop at Maggie's, where Linda and I split a sticky bun, plus I got the gooey centers of a few others :-)

It was foggy, and trees and nursery stock are starting to turn.

Fall colors on LaFollette Rd

The afternoon was descending into the 10th circle of hell that is the Cell Phone Store, but then on to a way fun party for our Portland to Coast Walking Team. But home early because the next morning was:


I had volunteered to be a riding course marshal; we were to meet at Nike at 6:45am. Nike being all of 3 miles from the house, I was riding there, detouring by Jason's to leave my single bike and get on the tandem. Cecil and I were meeting at the usual place at 5:45am. It was...raining. Not a nice little drizzle. Not an annoyingly persistent mist. No. Buckets. I had planned for this, and had on all my best raingear, plus a pair of allegedly waterproof socks. Seemed like a good day to test them.

I got to the top first, and listened to the rain pound the building under construction across the street. It was very dark. After a few minutes, I saw some blinding headlights emerge from the side street, and Cecil and I set out for Jason's. Maybe 15 minutes later we were there. Jason was not entirely ready, so Cecil and I amused ourselves nibbling on grapes and chatting.

Tandem out, tires pumped up, and we tried to take off. Hmm. BG did not set the seatpost back where it needed to be. Dropped the seat. Better. Off to Nike. There was an amazing lineup of cars on Walker Rd, and we weren't sure they'd notice us, so we did a 270 degree turn onto Meadow and entered Nike with the light. Got to Tiger Woods, found Linda, dumped the bikes and went inside to find John for our pre-event briefing. Met Fitz there. He was rethinking his entire clothing configuration, so I went to meet Cecil and he rode directly there.

I learned that Doug R does own raingear:

Doug Rennie in raingear

We found a helpful volunteer to get a picture of all the Portland Velo riding course marshals:

The Course Marshals, pic 2

(goodness, we are a shiny bunch)

and then headed out to our posts. Cecil, Jason and I were to ride the 70 mile course. If we hadn't been committed to that, I would have gone for the 40 mile course, what with the heavy, persistent rain. Saw lots of riders who did not look well prepared for the conditions. We stood out in the rain for another 40 minutes or so, listening to speeches and such, before they let us go. I had to explain what a course marshal did... "we are here to make sure you are all ok!" to several riders. One rider wanted to know if we'd fix her flat. Or if there would be roving mechanics. She might have had to wait awhile under those conditions. (soapbox: one should know how to change a flat AND carry the necessary equipment for doing so, before starting out on a 70 mile ride!)

Off we went. It was very slow and crowded for the first mile, kind of like STP, only much less experienced riders. There were sheriffs and local police at every major intersection, holding up traffic for us. Wow.

We stopped at the first rest stop, because Portland Velo was staffing it. Got a hug from Carlo and Mary and Genny. I knew there would be hidden coffee and hidden Maggie's baked goods, and went to find them. Monique made me up a NICE cup of coffee. I was chilly, and the waterproof socks, even with booties over them, weren't. The hands were wet, but not gone, feet were cold and wet. The rest of me was fine.

Fitz, John, Martin and Alan showed up after awhile; they were riding the 40 mile course. Then off again. The sheriffs had STOPPED traffic on Hwy 219; we could just ride across at the Burkhalter/Simpson crossing. Amazing. We thanked them profusely. We passed on the next two rest stops, and proceeded off to Hagg Lake. The traffic was stopped for us on Hwy 47 as well. Profoundly amazing. Stopped to help a woman who downshifted, lost her chain, and tipped over. She mostly needed dusting off. We leapfrogged her for quite awhile, and she kept dropping her chain. I suggested she visit the mechanic at the next rest stop and get it adjusted.

We did stop at the Hagg Lake rest stop. It was staffed by a cheery group of pirates, singing chanteys, sloshing mugs of grog, telling very bad pirate jokes, and posing for pictures. This rest stop ALSO featured Pacific Foods Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup. Excellent stuff, both warming, and tasty. Cecil and I went to visit the facilities. There was a heated hand blowdryer; Cecil tried to crawl under it:

Hey, its WARM

Then off again. Cecil's rear derailleur cable broke, so she was down to 3 speeds from 27. The next rest stop was 5 miles ahead, where she had a new one installed, and I had more soup. Back through the Fern Hill wetland, north through Cornelius, and a stop at Tim's memorial bike.

Then Long, Susbauer (for longer than usual) and Cornelius-Schefflin. C-S is still very busy, but now has a SHOULDER. Definitely an improvement. Then north on Gordon into North Plains, and the last rest stop. More soup. I changed to my spare dry gloves, and asked another rider about the efficacy of her booties. Visited with John, who was doing repeats on West Union between North Plains and Bethany Blvd. As we were toward the end, he said we could just go on in, rather than do a repeat.

West Union is fun, at least until Helvetia Rd (police stopping traffic for us again). Then it gets very busy, is narrow, and has no shoulders. It was creepy. My phone started squirming repeatedly around Laidlaw, so we finally pulled over to see what was going on. Fitz left a message - he'd finished, ridden home, gotten the van and drove back. No one needed to ride home if we didn't want to.

Turned right onto Bethany - again, a busy, narrow road, crossed over Hwy 26, left onto Cornell, right onto 158th, then south to Jay, left, and into Nike. Done! Fitz was even cheering for us at the finish - he figured we'd finish right about then. Parked the bikes, got our food tickets, got our FOOD, and found a quiet table to sit and eat. Fitz had dry shoes for me. Aaaaaahhhhhh.

Here are the happy ride marshals, now that the ride is finished:

The Ride Marshals, with Lance

Enjoyed my burger and chips and dark beer, then drank some Free Radical Scavenger. I guess all my radicals are captive now. Co-worker Ian and wife Lynn-without-an-e came by and visited for awhile. Carlo stopped by. John and family came and sat with us.

Then dropped off Jason, dropped off Cecil, and home for a very hot shower...

Cecil's pictures (ever so many more than mine) can be seen here:
complete with a pointer to her writeup.