Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year in Review - Cycling

Perhaps a less achievement oriented year this year, but, looking at the odometers - hey, it isn't as dismal as it seems!

Lemond 11719 miles total, 701 miles this year
Bleriot 7546 miles total, 1304 miles this year
Gitane has no bike computer, but it has been ridden. The MTB was kidnapped by Dear Daughter; haven't seen it in awhile.

In total, 2003 miles for the year. Not bad at all.

Rides longer than 100 miles - 3 (all before April)
RUSA kilometers - 1000 (cool! didn't think I'd get even that many!)

Organized rides - Monster Cookie (62mi) and Harvest Century (45mi)

I did get out on one Bridge of the Gods ride and one ride up on Skyline.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mille Bornes

1000 RUSA kilometers ridden in 2009. Going along swimmingly until late March, when a few hazard cards were tossed my way. Now, 700 km is a winning distance, but the daring player tries to get to 1000 km.

Today I crossed over 1000 km. Cecil and I set out to ride the Snooseville Permanent Populaire. Beth was going to join us, but couldn't. (Beth and I had lunch yesterday, and shared a misty moment contemplating the SON 20r dynohub. Oh SO pretty!)

I felt I was doing reasonably well in terms of my amazing comeback after the Wine Country Populaire, but recently had a 3 week sideline event. Let's just say that my ENT does not need to know that I was riding in below freezing weather, or that I was lifting my bike in and out of the van. He did ok the ride. I may have left some crucial detail out (ride distance was fully disclosed). The negotiations were entertaining.

It was cold. About 29 degrees at the start. Cecil was worried about the riding conditions, since the start (Longbottoms) was covered with frost and water was condensing and freezing out of the air, coating the trees and road. It is very pretty. It is also a local phenomenon, the Intel Ronler Acres Effect (thanks to Matt D for sharing this last winter). And indeed, as we rode along, the fog became just fog. We had all our lights on for maximum visibility. I do not understand cars that drive around in heavy fog WITH NO LIGHTS! Sure, they can probably see, but you'd think they would want other road users to see THEM!

A short out and back on Dairy Creek (the fog abated for a bit), where, at the control point, we met up with a dog as tall as our bicycles. No joke. Fortunately, a friendly, well behaved dog, that really, really wanted our sandwiches and cookies. Not sharing; we were hungry.

I was a bit worried about crossing Hwy 26 (Frogger Junction) in the fog, but it proved to be a non-event. So, westward into Banks, a brief pause, then out along Cedar Canyon Rd. The Killin Wetlands were full of ducks, and with the fog, spectacular.

Commenced discussions on the upcoming bicycle. While the main color (RAL 4008 Signal Violet) is selected, the logo color is not yet chosen. I'm thinking a nice green, a quiet green, not a vibrant one. Colors in the running: RAL 6011, RAL 6024, maybe RAL 6028. Depends how they look in real life, rather than on my monitor. Oh, and a sparkle clearcoat. Then onto shifters. I am tending toward bar-end shifters. Cecil noted that if I had brifters, it would not necessarily work and play well with my Acorn Bag. Bar-ends it is. Then we discussed ways of mounting my tire pump. There would need to be a mount that would work the way I want it to and it should have screw holes so it could be attached to the frame without zip ties. I hate zip ties. Or for that matter, anything that goes around a tube, because it messes up the look :-) Also lighting (yes, that SON 20r dynohub). Cecil: "are you going to get a new light, or reuse the one you have?" Me: "well..." Cecil:"I hear a massive rationalization coming on". Yeah well. Yes. Supernova or Edelux? Hard choice there. Teeny cute little front rack, too.

Then crossing Hwy 6 (even more of a non-event), up Stafford, and eventually into Forest Grove. Maggie's was closed, but Pizza Schmizza wasn't. I had a Mexican Coke (real cane sugar), and Cecil got a different drink. The kind man behind the counter heated up some water so I could make a refill of the Gatorade Tea. Then off to Gaston, to get there before the control closed. Ow. But we made it, with a few minutes to spare.

As I was pulling up to the Gaston Market, a passerby had a double take on the bikes (steel, totally retrogrouch, canvas luggage, etc). "You two are loaded up for bear!" Well, yeah, we like to be prepared. Although I am not sure what I would do if there was an actual bear encounter incident, I am reasonably prepared for most bicycle roadside emergencies. Ate my banana. The fog finally lifted, and the temperature moved above freezing and stayed there.

North on Spring Hill and Fern Hill; the last real "hill" by the red barn, through the wetlands, and... I was fading. Totally. My quads and hamstrings hurt, my bicycle sitting calluses were non-existent, and I was getting tired. Pedal. Coast. Pedal. Coast. Through Cornelius, then onto Susbauer. Wobble wobble wobble. Did I mention that the Speed Limit Hazard Card is still in effect? :-(

At the turn onto Hornecker I stopped and had a gel with caffeine. Cecil: "I could tell you were fading there just watching you pedal". Munched on a Sweet Salty Peanut Bar for awhile more, and started feeling slightly less dead by the time we turned into Hillsboro proper. By then we were almost done.

East on Evergreen. The finish for this permanent was Longbottoms Coffee and Tea, where we started, but we knew it would be closed at 12:30 today. So we parked in the Fred Meyer parking lot (about 1 mile further east) and planned to finish up at either the Starbucks or the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse. Starbucks won, as we didn't have tons of time to hang around. I was so tired by then, I couldn't find the Starbucks in the shopping center!

Nice Eggnog Latte (which I SO earned on this ride), sitting out in the sun for awhile.

I will sleep well tonight, yes indeed. Maybe sooner than later.

No pictures, because my freshly charged camera battery gave it up in the cold, but Cecil had more luck. Check out the pics of that really big dog!

Ride stats: 64.46 miles, 11.66 avg mph.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Anticipation Kicks into a Higher Gear

Remember this post? 14 months ago? Today we took a big step forward - I had my pre-design bicycle fit! Michael had my fit info from awhile back (1.5 years?), so he and Natalie set up the fit bike and observed. And adjusted. And discussed various components. And intended usage scenario (rando bike!) And tubing.

Color will be Signal Violet, which is shown here.

The magic stem was found that makes the geometry to fit me possible. I've got rather longer legs than I do upper body and reach; finding a commercially-produced bicycle that fits me and is suitable for the intended end-use is darn hard.

I'm SO excited! Watch this space as there is reportable progress.

Spinning, Part 2

No wonder that pencil roving took so very, very long to spin and ply. The best son ever (TM) gave me a McMorran Balance for Hanukkah, and tonight I used it to figure out how much yarn I had made up.

47.25 inches balanced. Times 100 gives me 4725 YARDS in a pound. The total weight of the yarn is 110g, or .242 pounds. Basic 6th grade math (or 4th; don't remember. It was New Math back in the day, and I thought it was pretty cool) renders a shocking total of 1143.45 yards.

Wow. That's a LOT of very, very fine yarn. For comparison, 100g of sock yarn is in the vicinity of 400-450 yards.

So I knitted up a bit of it on US sz 2 (2.75mm) needles:


I probably have enough for that Swallowtail shawl, yes indeed.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

On the Spinning front

First, a question dear readers - would you rather I had a separate blog for the crafty stuff? Or do you not mind the occasional forays into fiber arts and cooking?

Perhaps I am learning to spin

Six cops of singles, ready to ply

That 4 oz of Fiber Optics Sweet Georgia Brown pencil roving that I purchased at Sock Summit has finally been rendered into yarn. Very fine 2-ply yarn. It was spun on the drop spindle, and maybe a quarter of the singles plied on the drop spindle, before I realized that I'd be plying it until next summer, and finished the plying on the wheel.

Plying by drop spindle

I tried Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' method of using plying sticks and a center pull to ply, but it didn't work. I then rewound the cops onto toilet paper rolls (those are SO useful), by using a rubber band on my ball winder core and putting the tp roll on over it. Then I used the plying sticks (translation - old big 60's knitting needles), a shoe box, and the tp spools of singles and created a plying box to feed the singles in to ply.

I must have done something right, because the colors on the two strips of spun-up pencil roving aligned more often than not, and I only had 2 feet of leftover singles on one spool. I am pretty sure this will never happen again.

Skeining in process

Then I needed to skein it all up - the construction of a sturdy niddy noddy is described here.

Then simmering to set the twist, snapping and popping it, and hanging it up to dry. I got kind of impatient, so I set the shelf in my dryer and ran it on air fluff for awhile. Ahh, technology.

So, I have this cool-looking yarn, but don't know how much. I mean, it weighs 110g, but I don't know long it is. Request for a McMorran Balance has been put in for the upcoming holiday.

all spun up, 110g

So, what is it going to be? Assuming I have enough, and I probably do, I plan to knit up the Swallowtail Lace Shawl, making the next size up, as many members of Ravelry have provided instructions on how to do so (19 repeats of one chart, rather than 14).

Got some books from the library on spinning. Right now, the yarn is telling me what it wants to be, in terms of thickness. I'd rather it be the other way around, so I'm studying up on it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nice Day, and Faster Riding, Too!

Route map (starts at Longbottoms Coffee and Tea, in Hillsboro)

I offered up to lead another social ride for Portland Velo, but no takers today. So I attached myself to the 15's knowing full well that I'd probably have to bail at some point.

Temperature was 32 deg F and sunny at the start. I was wearing (top to bottom) wool cap, wool ls baselayer, wool ls jersey, Craft jacket, Smartwool shorts, PI Amfib tights, wool socks, PI Gore-Tex shoes. Also Descente Wombat gloves, and chemical toe and hand warmers.

Dana (ace ride leader), Michael, and myself rode south through the outskirts of Hillsboro, then west and up to Forest Grove. I could keep up just fine as long as it was pancake-flat. Otherwise I would slow down. We stopped at the golf course, and I swapped out my jacket for a wind vest. Much better.

Once we got to the intersection of SW Fern Hill and Hwy 47, I said my goodbyes, and headed back on the traditional route to Longbottoms.

Gorgeous day - intense winter blue sky, gold-colored stubble on the fields, colorful foliage on the berry bushes, and flocks of birds migrating. I'd be riding along, and hear a lot of rustling/fluttering, and a big mob of birds would rise up and wheel around. Yeah. That's why I do this!

Delightful second breakfast at Longbottoms, as always.

Club prez says if I let him know I'll be leading a social, he'll let some other folks know. Nice. However, I won't be back ride leading for at least 3 weeks.

Oh, right - 34.4 miles at 13.3mph average. I haven't ridden that fast since April!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Tale of Two Bike Rides

After riding today, I noticed that my mileage for the month of November is 164 miles. Clearly an upward trend!

You wouldn't want the SKINNY ones, now, wouldyou?

After serious recruiting on C when she came to play with my spinning wheel, I planned to show up and lead another (intermittent) Portland Velo social ride. C had a distance limit of 20 miles, so I plotted out a route that would be about there. Basically a loop, Longbottoms to North Plains and back.

We had a great ride! Not much climbing to speak of (perhaps practically none would be more accurate), and grey, yet dry weather. C wants to increase her distance, and I need to increase my speed, so this works out very well. Next time, we'll go somewhere between 25 and 30 miles. Her bike fit has improved her riding comfort greatly; I'm so happy.

High point - heading south on Leisy Road, past the berry bushes, we startled a flock of birds, and watched them all rise up, wheel around, and settle on the power lines.

I shared with her my plan for a theme ride - the Fibers Ride. Start in Newberg, and ride around to the yarn/knitting/spinning shops and fiber farms that have shops in that general region. Newberg, Carlton, Dayton, Lafayette... And since fiber weighs NOTHING, we wouldn't even need a sag for our massive purchases. Sometime this spring, I think. Could be fun. Need to start generating a list of places to stop. Pacific Wool and Fiber, Woodland Woolworks, ? Suggestions for farms that sell fiber?

We had a nice after ride snack/coffee with her husband and the Velo group that finished about the same time we did. I had a great time visiting with everyone I hadn't seen for MONTHS. Special call-out to Linda, Linda, Dean, and Doug, who were wonderfully supportive over the last 7 months. I am so happy to be back!

Earlier this week, Cecil wanted to know if I wanted to ride Sunday. We could look for my missing climbing mojo in the process. Yes, of course. I never say no to a ride, especially one that starts from my front door.

Another dry day, and sunny, as well. I contemplated wearing a vest over my jersey/baselayer, but a step outside the door had me rethinking outerwear - I went for the featherweight windbreaker, which is highly water repellent, and has zip-off sleeves.

After several false starts - dead rear blinkie, then I noticed I had no rear view mirror. I had it YESTERDAY! Cecil found it behind my van; must have fallen off. It is now attached with a velcro strap, no more falling off.

Finally. Up through the neighborhood, onto the Sunset MUP to Scholls Ferry, then north, heading up to Skyline. It is basically uphill from our start until Greenleaf. Kept on plugging along uphill, but we did pause just before Greenleaf. I needed to get the heart rate down a bit. Over that part, an elevation gain of 884 feet. Whew!

Then, rollering along westward (I completely love riding on Skyline, for both the road and the views), with a stop at Skyline School, where we had snacks and Cecil made friends.

Cecil making friends

Time for snacks at Skyline School

We crossed Cornelius Pass and descended on Old Cornelius Pass (wheeeee), turning right on Phillips. Did the Valley View loop, which I just learned about (goes north on Valley View, there was a 12% bit in the somewhere, west on Mullerlile, then (been here before) south on Dick Road, under the amazing wood railroad trestle.

Then west again to Helvetia Road, where we turned south, passed Longbottom's Coffee and Tea, and then proceeded back by the traditional route. Another pause at Tualatin Hills Park and Rec for more snacks, then knocked off the last 5 miles.

Made it up the Park Way hill without stopping. My standard for that hill is to keep the speed above 6 mph. It is a double decker - not so fast on the first bit, but kept it above 6 mph on the second part, which is actually a bit steeper.

Wonderful ride with my best riding buddy!

Route Here

Friday, November 27, 2009

I Like Making Things...

So, I'm spinning. I have even MADE REAL YARN. I am so impressed with myself :-)

Finished one ounce skein

Anyway, Yarn Skein One was done up on a niddy noddy made of TinkerToys. Hey, I needed one, and we had them hanging around in a closet (Aside: we also have Lego and Duplo bricks, Brio trains, and wooden blocks. I keep them around for visiting small people. Or big people who like to play with Lego.)

Wound up on the niddy-noddy

That niddy noddy was good for one go around. I was skeining up some yarn last night, and it just really did not want to stay together. I could buy a nice wooden niddy noddy, but it would take long driving (Newberg, Carlton), or ordering online (waiting....). And it would only make one skein size.

Enter the PVC niddy noddy. All credit goes to The Anticraft, which provided the instructions and parts list.

A walk to Home Depot, where there were approximately 2 sales people for every customer (Black Friday, big day, all hands on deck), and one attached himself to me, so I read off my parts list and he helped me find everything. He was not inclined to cut it up for me (foo), so it was either going to be the hacksaw at home, or investing in a PVC cutter. Now there are other people who cut up PVC at our house a lot more often than I do, so I bought one. Plus I can cut it up now, too, should I have the overwhelming urge to reduce a 10' length of PVC to its component molecules. We did cut it into 2 pieces, which made the walk home easier.

Pedestrian aside: Between my house and Home Depot, a distance of, oh 1.5 miles, there are darn few sidewalks, narrow streets, ditches, poor sightlines... Walking holding 2 long pieces of PVC does cause motorists to notice. No one interfered with me in the crosswalks, or buzzed me on the walk home.

Sanded all the printing off the PVC. I started with coarse sandpaper and a sanding block, then finished it with very fine sandpaper. Wiped everything off, went inside, measured, and cut. I also wrote the resultant skein length on each body section, so I'd not have to look it up. By swapping out the body section, I can make a skein of a different diameter. One bit of clarification on the instructions - they call for 7/8" O-rings. By that they mean 7/8" OD (outer diameter) O-rings.

The completed niddy-noddy

Pics detailing the construction.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hey, I'm Baaaack!

Heart Rate: 174!
Originally uploaded by cecilanne

This past Saturday, I enjoyed the Oregon Randonneurs annual Wine Country Populaire. 70 miles of Washington and Yamhill wine country riding.

Rode with Cecil, Diane, and Susan O. They were very patient, as they'd often be riding faster, and then wait for me to pedal on by.

I cannot climb worth a darn yet, as soon as the grade gets more than 0%, I notice it. Greater than 3% and I'm working pretty hard.

The first 2.5 hours were light, refreshing drizzle. Really, I liked it. It felt good on my face. Then, heading back from the Cherry Grove out and back, it stopped raining. The sun even came out from time to time.

The headwind was perhaps another story. 45 miles of free-range headwinds, south on Spring Hill/Laughlin, through Yamhill, Carlton, and the last stretch to Lafayette.

Had a nice vending machine mocha in Lafayette; we all loitered outside the store and enjoyed hot drinks (except Cecil. She had a cold drink.)

Then, we turned north. I do love me a good tailwind, and that's what we had. I also decided that my headlight did not really need to be on (the sensor thought it was too gloomy out), and that also picked up my pace a bit. But I was surely getting tired.

Ten miles before the finish, Susan decided that we wouldn't upset the weather karma and commented on what a fabulous day it was. I agree, really! It was great riding weather.

Cecil headed right on in at the finish, Susan, Diane, and I put our bikes away, took off our cycling shoes, and then headed in to officially finish. Visited with Susan F (our excellent RBA), then went off to take a hot shower before the dinner.

Delightful dinner with the Susans, Diane, Brian L (the Olympia one), Duane, and his tandem partner.

Now, off to work on that hill-climbing stuff.

I didn't get any pictures (stupid camera battery), but Cecil did.

Finished in 6:30, well ahead of the time limit, with a riding pace of just below 12mph.

First, I Had to Remove The Tags

Offered up to lead a social pace group for Portland Velo on November 14. No way am I fast enough yet to lead a 15's group. Located my Ride Leader Kit, which I had picked up, and put in the closet months ago. Cut off the tags. They fit. Stretchy stuff, lycra :-)

Fitz, discovering that I was 1) leading, and 2) modifying the route, decided to ride along. At the start, we picked up Linda, and the three of us set out. I had already decided to skip the Pumpkin Ridge climb, and maybe toss in a little out and back to Dixie Mountain Road.

Had a delightful ride getting to know Linda; she started riding late last spring, and has worked up as far as the 45 mile Harvest Century route. We took it easy. When we were to turn north on Gordon Rd, we instead elected to do an out and back to St Francis in Roy, for a brief stop.

Then back to Gordon Rd, through North Plains... and Fitz's knees started hurting, so he elected to head straight back. We did the Shadybrook/Jackson School stretch. Linda's legs were hurting, so we skipped the Mason Hill stretch, and continued back along Jackson School, Meek, Sewell, and Evergreen. Linda's leg cramped up right at Brookwood, so we worked the cramp out and walked back the last 1/2 mile.

Lovely second breakfast at Longbottom's. Shane and David were interested that I could get to the Sunset Transit Center without ever riding on Walker Rd, so I figured I had 10 more miles in me, if they didn't mind a very slow guide.

On the down and up on Evergreen, all of a sudden I was flying up the rise - Shane decided I needed a push. The first time someone did that to me, it scared the spit out of me. This was better; Shane is really good at it. However, I do need to work on my climbing, and declined further assistance after enjoying the first one.

We all parted ways at the top of my hill. Way fun. 39 miles for the day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Clearly I'm Feeling Better

This posting covers all my fun hobbies in one :-)

One of the issues during treatment was that I had a horrible phobia about riding my bicycle alone. Anywhere. I mean, suppose I fell over? I sure felt like losing my balance or conking out from time to time.

The treatment came to a quiet end on Nov 6. Took the last medication. I've been feeling bits and bits more like myself every day.

Today I hopped on my bike, and rode to
1) the bank,
2) the appliance store, where I bought a washing machine (it exceeded my rack capacity. They'll deliver)
3) the NEW yarn store, where I bought yarn for Fitz's promised Filey socks (a nice brown tweed) and yarn for KarenDipity's Marvelous Mitts and then, finally,
4) Freddie's, our grocery store, where I bought heavy things like milk, eggs, cheese, onions...

And back up the hill to home. Didn't feel panicky even once.

Whereupon I cooked up a great batch of Veggie Borscht, making the stock from various veggie ends and peelings (bonus points for this), and using up (from our CSA), the cabbage, beets, carrots, tomatoes, and some celeriac. Mmmm, tasty!

And now I'm cooking up a batch of Fig-Lemon preserve :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Zero to Sixty (Five...)

Dairy Creek Rd.

My monthly cycling mileage has been dismal of late...

May 216 (just before starting treatment)
June 44
July 4
August 15
September 73
October 111

Less than 2 weeks, and I'm finished. Yahoo!

So you can see, it has been quite awhile (April?), since I got Rando Bike all ready to go, prepared Rando Snacks, and collected clothing and gear. Amazingly enough, I didn't forget anything.

I am co-organizing the Verboort Sausage Populaire with Susan F, and we needed to get a worker's ride in there somewhere. I'm pretty open on times, but feel much better at the end of the week and during the weekends. Susan has been really busy at work. The weather is changing. We lucked out yesterday, for sure!

This is a great ride, with excellent fall scenery. Actually the route has outstanding winter, spring and summer scenery as well :-), but the fall colors were out in force yesterday. I hope they stick around for all of you.

Met Susan at the Grand Lodge, went through the pre-ride faffing, and we were off to Longbottoms' Coffee and Tea, the first control. There is a slight route change - at the second roundabout you'll head north on Cornelius Schefflin towards Portland, rather than south, due to road construction. But, if you haven't been riding in the area, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the improved stretch of C-S. Caveat - due to the construction, the detour route is Martin-Verboort-C-S, so the traffic is a bit higher. But nice shoulders on the road; no worries.

The berry bushes on Leisy Rd are very colorful this fall.

You'll likely be hitting Longbottoms right about the time Portland Velo is departing for its Saturday Ride. We hope to have a volunteer there to sign your card; otherwise you'll be waiting awhile for a timed receipt.

Back onto Evergreen, then north and west on Sewell and Meek, north on Jackson School, heading to the first info control.

Then south on Shadybrook into North Plains, where there is the park with a water spigot and nice picnic benches, plus the market on the main road. You'll ride by both of them. Full stop at all the stop signs in North Plains - they ticket.

Then out to Mountaindale and the defunct store at the corner of Dairy Creek Rd for the out and back to the control at Fern Flat. We were chased by a large, but friendly dog right after turning onto Fern Flat. It kept trying to cross in front of us. Followed us all the way to the control, then followed me quite a ways down Dairy Creek.

Susan on Dairy Creek Rd

Enjoy the generally downhill run back to Mountaindale (yes, you were going uphill), then west, working your way over to the Hwy 26 crossing (fondly known as "Frogger Junction"). Cross carefully, but know that you will get a break in traffic. There is a refuge in the middle, which helps.

Just south of Frogger Junction*

Then west and eventually north into Banks. Just after crossing under Hwy 6 you'll see a grocery, and a Subway and other businesses. By this point (50 miles) I was completely hurting, and the grocery sold me some Ibuprofen. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Susan bought a sandwich, and I continued consumption of my Rando Snacks (PBJ on homemade Irish Oatmeal bread, homemade Fig Newtons, orange slices).

Through Banks, west on Cedar Canyon, passing by the Killin Wetlands, and your next info control.

Cross Hwy 6 and head back east to Stafford Rd, the only annoying sustained climb (.4 miles, 5-7%) of the ride. Didn't have to walk any hills today.

Looking back at the top of Stafford Rd

Obligatory "count the antlers" at Love's Barn, plus admiration of all the implements on display.

Implements by Love Barn

Farm on Kemper Rd

Then it is easy and scenic riding to the finish at Verboort. Bring money for the Famous Sausage Dinner. Mmmmmmmmmm. Sausage.

Finished at about 6:13 total time, well within the time allowed.

After a brief rest, Susan and I rode the last 3 FLAT miles back to the Grand Lodge, where we indulged in the hot tub and dinner.

Little Pink Bear looks less tired than I do

My bike computer says 2599 vertical feet, highest elevation 604 feet at the Fern Flat control.

65 miles, 11.31 avg mph for the overall ride.

and because I couldn't resist, being geeky and all...

Friday, October 23, 2009


Vayikra 19: 9-10 When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not pick your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I the Lord am your God." Also Vayikra 23:22 and Devarim 14:28-29.

70 lbs of gleaning goodness

I belong to the local chapter of Tuv Ha'Aretz, which is partnered with a local CSA. I belong to a different CSA; been a member for a very long time, and see no reason to change. But they've got food hanging out in their fields, too!

So after conversations between my SIL, our CSA, Tuv, etc, I volunteered to organize gleaning parties, as I am a member of all the constituent organizations.

This is a short notice kind of activity. We agreed that Wednesday would be the best day - they aren't going crazy. So just me, myself, and I (and some boxes and buckets, clippers, gloves and mud shoes) went on out.

I was pointed at the rows they had finished harvesting. As a sometime home gardener, I would have been delighted to see all that produce still there, but I can see where as a small scale farming operation it would be too much labor for the return. But that is why they call it "gleaning". :-)

James told me there might be some green beans on a fallen down trellis, plus the squash and tomatoes and cucumbers. Never did find the cucumbers. Oh well.

I picked 52 lbs of squash, 11 lbs of bean from that one trellis, and 6 lbs of tomatoes. There was more to be gotten, but it was just me, and I was getting tired.

Sharon at the pantry met me there, and I dropped everything off and met her very cute dog and had a short visit.

Guardian of the Food Bank

Hope to get a somewhat bigger crew out there next time!

Something for you, dear readers, to consider... Got a fruit tree in your yard going crazy? Does your neighbor have a fruit tree they can't keep up with? Too many things in your garden for you to eat or put by? Your local food bank would be EVER SO HAPPY for that fresh produce!

Aside: I was talking with James when he delivered our veggies this week - I now have a new appreciation for the fact that they harvest a boatload of veggies, part it all out into baskets, fill special orders (eggs, bunches of flowers, sometimes bread) and run 2 deliveries a week, year 'round. That is a LOT of work.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What I've been doing the past few months...

Other than the occasional bike ride (soon to increase, yay!)...

Looking for a job, of course.

Lots of domestic stuff. This does not mean the house is necessarily any cleaner or better organized :-)

I've been canning

Zucchini Relish

Povidl (Plum Conserve)

Green Tomato Pickles


Perhaps I am learning to spin


Winter Dreams / Light Foot front view



One down!

First sock complete!

Dimpled Washcloth


and probably watching a bit more TV...

The knitting and spinning is just fascinating for the staff at the medical office. They always have to check in on what I'm working on. Since I'm there a minimum of every other week, they get lots of updates.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

An even longer ride

Or, where Lynne's brain writes checks her body can't cash :-)

Whoo Hooo!  Longest ride in quite awhile!

Perfect weekend. The Harvest Century. A 45 mile route that promised only 750 vertical feet I think they miscalculated, but I knew the route and wasn't too stressed. Lemond hadn't been out since May. The tires were completely devoid of air (!)

A supported ride. If I couldn't finish, someone would haul me in.

Rather than leave you all in deep suspense, I did finish.

Started riding at about 9:45 or so, after signing up, saying hi to David and his son Evan. Lots of wandering around Hillsboro (not really, but it seemed like it), and then we were Out In The Country.

Lots of wonderful fall color, both native and nursery stock. The rollers on Greenville weren't so bad.

Fall nursery color

Evidence of participation

First rest stop (16.5 mi) at the Hillside Bible Church. I ran into David and Evan again; they invited me to ride with them. After a longish stop, we swooped down Hillside (wheeeeeeee!), went up and down the rollers, and eventually got to Forest Grove. At this point, anything that resembles an uphill is really done.



South and west out of Forest Grove (Ritchey/Stringtown/Dilley) to the second rest stop (26.9 mi), Montinore Winery (or Domain Ath for the SM Stirling fans). I confess that I did have to walk the last bit up the the winery. It got a bit too steep. More water, Heed ("subtle Mandarin Orange". The mixing proportions were such that it was very, very subtle.), snacks, and we headed off again.

Spring Hill-Fern Hill-Geiger-LaFollette-Golf Course-Tongue-Johnson School... back to Hillsboro. More amazing fall color and sunshine.

About mile 35, I was pretty much done. Fortunately, it isn't a democracy, and I finished, with lots of pedal, coast, pedal, coast... David and Evan pulled ahead the last 5 miles, but we met up at the finish, over hamburgers, corn, and salad.

I'm glad I did it. I'll have to keep up riding, so I'll be able to do the populaires next month. But right now, I need a nap.

46.11 miles, 12.32 mph avg

Other pics here

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Longest Ride Since May

Cecil and I rode around the east side, mostly in NE Portland. Wandered out Willamette Blvd, onto the bike path, over to Smith and Bybee Lakes, back to Little Red Bike Cafe, where food was consumed (mmm, Paper Boy fried egg and cheese sandwich), then over to the Urban Farm Store, so I could admire the baby chicks.

32.57 miles, at the blistering pace of 9.45 mph.

A September total of 72 miles, again, longest since May.

The doctor's office is impressed. I mean impressed, as in they can't really conceive of riding a bicycle that far even in perfect health.

I chucked some weights around today. I need to get back into shape, because I have turned into a total blob. I will be sorry tomorrow :-)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Number Four!

US Patents, that is. Really big grin here. We signed the invention disclosure for this one just a few days AFTER I had been subjected to a 7 hour deposition defending another patent. (We won.) I told the IP department that I just don't learn...

US Patent 7,593,814, Attaching measurement data to an area map

Here, if you want the details.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Missing Scenario

(this would be a Usability/User Experience related post. If this doesn't interest you :-) that's entirely fine)

The scenario:

Prescription refill needed. Patient has new health insurance. The medication in question is one that is not normally stocked at a retail pharmacy, and, on top of that, needs preauthorization.

Patient, knowing all these things, brings it by a week in advance for the refill.

5 days later, patient hears nothing, not from doctor's office, pharmacy, or health insurance.

Health insurance hasn't gotten a preauthorization request, which comes from the doctor's office

Doctor's office hasn't gotten the refill request, which comes from the pharmacy

The pharmacy is called. They have new software, which does not even kick off the refill request until the medication is in stock. And there we have it.

Or, in my case, might not have it until a few days later than desired...

It is going to be a very low energy weekend.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pedaling around N Pdx with Cecil and Liz

Cecil said if it was raining, she wasn't riding. I'm still wondering who said that, and what she did with Cecil. Fortunately, it was NOT raining, so Bleriot, Little Pink Bear and I were at Cecil's at the appointed hour.

We headed north to Liz's place (about 5.4 miles), then over to NE 33rd and north to the Marine Drive bikepath.

We saw deer by the airport, cormorants and herons in the river, and a Cooper's hawk on the airport fence.

Picture of Cecil with camera in hand

On the way to the turnaround there was a gent fixing a flat. He assured us he had everything, so we went on.

Pink Flowers and the Columbia

After faffing around at the turnaround, taking many pictures of flowers, and finally riding back, he was still there. He had patched the hole, but the tube would still not hold air. I found the OTHER hole, while Cecil swept the tube for sharp pointy things. Then we sat down to wait until it looked like he could proceed onward.

Back along the path, and onto NE33rd, where we found KRhea and Mrs. KRhea on one of their many tandems. KRhea was happy to see that I was not a ghost, as Portland Velo hasn't seen me since early May.

Then back to Liz's neighborhood where we embarked on a fruitless search for an open coffee shop (Labor Day. Chancy, that). Then back to Liz's for tea, cookies and more visiting.

Cecil and I then rode back the 5.4 miles to her house, where I ended up with zucchini bread (all you Facebook readers should be very envious :-) ) and a chunk of melon.

27.8 miles, at the blistering pace of 9.7 mph. I had fun. Longest ride since May, and a 42 mile weekend. Whoo!

Also, color decision made for the eventual new bike:

Sweetpeas (this color Natalie!)

I suspect none of you are surprised.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Save Helvetia Ride

One of my very favorite local cycling areas is Helvetia, which is north of Hwy 26. Rolling, rural, beautiful... I've been riding there since the early 90's.


There is a movement afoot to expand our Urban Growth Boundary. They want to include Helvetia. Ack! House farms, industrial complexes... I figure there is enough land still within the UGB that they don't need to do that. Heck, downsize a few parking lots.

Save Helvetia organized a ride today, to tour the area. I selected the shorter, and less hilly route (I know all the roads. No way am I choosing to ride on Kaiser, Old Germantown, or Springville these days!)

We started at Team Estrogen, where owner Susan O. is a member of the BTA Board. Fitz also came along. Einar and Kevin were also riding; nice surprise!

We talked with some local residents, then headed out.

Of course, it was raining. Heavily :-)

We turned onto Groveland Rd - I've seen both ends of it, but never ridden it... not paved. Not that Bleriot's big fat tires cared.

First stop was Furrow Farm on West Union. I've ridden past there millions (only slight exaggeration) of times. They are very busy in late November and December, because about half their crop is Christmas trees (the whole Helvetia area sees a lot of cars with trees on top that time of year), but they also raise hazelnuts. We had samples of the chocolate-covered ones. Mmmmm.

Then west some more and north on Jackson Quarry Rd. At this point I assumed the position of Lanterne Rouge. Saw a subset of the Velo race team at the corner of Jackson Quarry and Helvetia Rd.

I made it about 1/3 of the way up the hill to the Helvetia Church, then the warp engines failed. Fortunately, we had a sag vehicle, driven by the delightful Brendan, who gave me a lift to the top of the hill. (Post ride analysis says 15% grade. What was I thinking?)

Then generally downhill, lots of rollers, past Roloff's farm, the Helvetia Tavern, and then onto Phillips Rd. More rollers. A left on Dick Rd to view the amazing railroad trestle, then headed back, continuing on Dick Rd to the Finquita del Buho CSA. It turns out I've met one of the owners; they are buddies with Pumpkin Ridge Gardens CSA (ours), and she sells starts and flowers with Polly at the Beaverton Farmers' Market.

We had a great tour of their 2-acre farm, from which they feed 65 subscribers! Lots of vegetables, pears, chickens (eggs), goats (milk, cheese, and meat), and pigs (meat). We munched on string beans (purple, haricots verts, and Blue Lakes), broccoli, cherry tomatos, and hot peppers (I declined...). Quality farmland like that is not an increasing commodity.

Then back to Team Estrogen, more chatting with Einar, and home to some hot chicken soup, with lots of our CSA corn in it...

no pics today, but visit these flickr sets for an idea of what we want to preserve:
Riding with Rickey
Verboort Populaire (in the general area, might be outside the boundary...)
West Side Ride (ditto, parts are in the boundary)

and from Cecil's pics:
Last Beautiful Day

Oh, yeah, details: 12.2 miles, 11 mph average

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Feeling a Bit Better

The doctor finally agreed to prescribe EPO. I can walk up stairs and not be gasping at the top. I can sing. I don't want to fall asleep all the time.

For the record, it isn't instantaneous. It took just over a week for me to really notice an improvement. Not that I'm 100%. But certainly better.

But I GOT OUT FOR A BIKE RIDE! 15 miles around N Portland, including the Columbia Slough, the St Johns Farmer's Market (coffee and big cookie), and pink lemonade from a little girl selling at her mom's garage sale.

Check out the duckies on the pilings under the bridge

Train crossing the slough

Me and Beth at the end

Colorful beets at the farmer's market

And then the next day, my sister-in-law and I absconded with our cousin's exchange student, took her to the Columbia Gorge and made her look at waterfalls and locks and fish for HOURS. I told her that they would check her camera upon leaving Multnomah Falls, and if she didn't have any pictures, they'd make her go back and take some.

Multnomah Falls Pool

There was climbing up and down to waterfalls, and after 3 waterfalls, I finally reached failure mode :-) Take me home now please.

More Columbia Gorge pics here

Horsetail Falls Base

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dum-D-Dum-Dum DUM....D

The replacement plate arrived today. Somewhat better.

Smartass husband... "at least it wasn't DUMF"