Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rider Identification Guide

On many rando rides, I have been mistaken for Peg. This was before I even met Peg. Cecil is also mistaken for Peg. I am not sure either of us has been mistaken for Lesli, but I will include her as well. Hence, here is a handy field identification guide:

Pre-ride picture, at the Grand Lodge

Lesli, Lynne, Cecil. Peg is in front.

Post-ride, post-sleep, post-breakfast team

(L-R) Peg, Lynne, Cecil, Lesli


  • rides a shiny new red Pereira with smooth silver-colored metal fenders
  • has a slightly orangish Showers Pass jacket
  • does not have a stuffed animal companion
  • about in the middle, height-wise


  • rides a dark purple Sweetpea with shiny brass fenders
  • has a yellow or orange Showers Pass jacket
  • often in an Orange/Silver Bell Metro Helmet
  • has a stuffed animal (Formerly Floyd), who wears either a purple sweater or a teeny little Showers Pass jacket
  • tallest one of the bunch
  • takes lots of pictures
  • wears glasses


  • rides a minty-blue Rivendell Bleriot with hammered Honjo fenders, Carradice Barley and Acorn Boxy Rando bag
  • Often in an Orange/Silver Bell Metro Helmet
  • has a stuffed animal (Little Pink Bear)
  • shorter than Peg
  • has a yellow Showers Pass jacket
  • takes lots of pictures


  • rides a pencil-blue custom Rivendell with hammered Honjo fenders, and a changing cast of canvas luggage
  • Has a Bell Metro helmet, color undetermined
  • shortest one in the group
  • has a yellow Showers Pass jacket
  • no stuffed animal
  • takes lots of pictures
  • wears glasses

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Flora Progress

on the knitting side...

Flora Vest progress

Flora is moving along. I'm 8 rows into the armhole and v-neck decreases, so I'm about halfway. I look at other Flora and Fair Isle projects on Ravelry, and don't notice many stitch markers. I've been placing a marker at each pattern repeat. It provides a mid-row checkpoint that I've not messed up in the previous 32 stitches, plus, now that I'm doing partial repeats because of the decreases, there is a known point to count backwards from, to pick up the right stitch in the repeat. I think I've got approximately 60 more rows to go, to finish the body.

Cable Detail visible!

I took a side detour and knitted up the Brigid socks - needed an airplane project. The CountAble application for the Palm was an excellent row counter for the cabling and heel flap.

Next sock project will be Robyn Gallimore's Latvian Wedding Socks, with Knit Picks Felici Alexandrite and Bare sock yarns.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bridge of the Gods / Scott's Birthday Ride

Scott had proposed the BOG for his birthday ride. The weather completely cooperated. Carpooled over with Susan, we all met in the parking lot at Edgefield. Long time since I've started/ended this ride at Edgefield.

Much discussion about which variation of the route was to be followed. While most of it is a given, there are variations from Edgefield to the I-205 Bridge and then through Vancouver/Camas/Washougal.

Pre-ride route negotiations

Richard and Nance had an early flat; Susan and I went ahead, knowing they'd all catch up.

Susan and houseboats on Marine Drive

Took the quasi-RACC route through Vancouver. The stretch on 164th down to Evergreen was...interesting. Or at least the driver who wanted to go in front of us and turn right, rather than tucking in behind us and easily turning right, rather than sitting out in the lane waiting for us all to pass, made it interesting.

Pause at the Burgerville, where Andrew shared his fries, and I ate a bar. Then a different route east, following 3rd through Washougal, until it met up with SR-14. I was stopped at a light, and found myself all by my lonesome, wondering when the heck I'd intersect SR-14, so I finally called. Turned out it wasn't much further.

Leisurely climb up to Cape Horn with Susan. A nice motorcyclist (they were out in droves in the nice weather) offered to take our picture. He didn't want to be doing yardwork today, either :-)

Susan on the climb to Cape Horn

The nice motorcyclist who took a pic of Susan and me at Cape Horn

Me at Cape Horn

Dooooooowwwwwwwnnnnn. If I was less of a chicken descender, I'd like this part a lot more. Once we pass the Prindle School, it gets less steep and more enjoyable.

Rolled along to Beacon Rock, where we refilled our water bottles, and talked with some folks about the ride. "Where'd you start?" Troutdale "Where are you finishing?" Troutdale. "About how far is that?" About 85 miles.

Enjoyed a great tailwind all the way to the Bridge of the Gods, had an uneventful crossing (I looked down the whole time, but no boats going under, darn). Susan got in line to pay toll; I had to convince her that we didn't have to pay anymore. Laura was waiting for us.

Found everyone at the deli. Tuna sandwich, Fritos and orange juice. Then Susan, Laura, Einar and I took off for the ride on the Old Columbia River Highway, which is now a non-motorized trail. Kind of like riding through Middle-Earth - mossy, green, filtered sunlight, at least 15 degrees cooler on a hot day...

On the Scenic Highway MUP

The landslide from last summer was cleared away - the fence is still missing a section, but the trail is clear.

Short stretch on I-84, then off onto the Scenic Highway. And into the trees, which made a nice buffer from the headwind, although I just tucked behind Laura and sucked her rear wheel for awhile.

Horsetail Falls was running very high, and doing a nice job as Mister Mistee. Wow, that felt good! More pictures.

Horsetail Falls

A short while later we stopped and explored the newly-reopened Oneonta Tunnel, and enjoyed the mist coming out from Oneonta Gorge.

Oneonta Tunnel

On to Multnomah Falls for the obligatory ice cream.

Rollering west, then up at Latourell Falls for possibly my slowest ascent ever to Crown Point, where I found Laura, Susan, and Einar. More pictures.

Bridge at Latourell Falls

Scenic Highway

Me, Little Pink Bear, Little Pink Bike, and the Columbia Gorge

Then the last little bit of climbing and downhill all the way back to Troutdale, water, Arnold Palmers, snacks, and Scott's birthday celebration.

Scott (birthday boy) and Nat at Edgefield

A great day for a ride with friends!

85+ miles. Rest of pics here

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Long Ride for a Donut...

not that it was a long ride, as rides go. Fitz's golf buddy C has had a donut stand at the Lake Oswego Farmers' Market for several years. It supports C's favorite cause - his children's college fund. The whole family is there, every Saturday morning.

Mmm, donut....

I should mention that the BEAVERTON Farmer's Market is a mere 2 miles from our house. Lake Oswego is a bit :-) further, with varied roads.

We headed out, following Fitz's former bike commute route down to Tigard, and then tacked on one of his lunchtime loops, which, coincidentally, went through Lake Oswego.

Riding through Beaverton

First, headed south, crossing lots of busy streets (Walker, Canyon, Beaverton-Hillsdale, and Allen), finally to turn left onto Denney for a block and hop onto the Fanno Creek Trail. We followed it all the way to Tigard, but had to cross Hall and Dakota. There is a tunnel under Scholls Ferry.

Entrance to the Fanno Creek Trail

The trail parallels Hwy 217, and it is creek and wetland, with playgrounds and basketball courts every so often. It is really nice. I took most of my pictures there.

On the Fanno Creek Trail

We then popped out in Tigard, rode through some neighborhoods, then busier streets into Tigard proper. Busy streets until we turned off on Meadows Rd, just south of Kruse Way, then busy again on Boone's Ferry, Country Club Rd, A Street, until we ducked off onto 4th and Evergreen. (Cecil - we don't have to ride on A Street ANYMORE! Evergreen parallels it all the way to 10th)).

Looked for people with bags of produce; found the market. Wandered around, found C. He was amazed that we'd ridden all the way just for one of his donuts (well, 2 donuts. and 2 lemonades).

Enjoyed the donuts, walked back out of the market, and headed back by way of Evergreen, Chandler, Iron Mt Blvd...

Brief pause here - headed to a 4 way stop in one of the narrow parts of Iron Mt Blvd. A car came up behind us (and it had not been sitting back waiting, it had just come up), went to our left right at the stop sign, fully in the other lane, and took off. Did I mention that the lanes were narrow? I am sure there were several traffic laws broken. ZBT111, or something close to that.

where were we... Bryant, Lakeview, Jean, and Boone's Ferry again, under I-5, right onto 72nd, through Tualatin, Tigard, the FCT, and a brief stop at Uwajimaya to check out the performances. Then home.

Fitz on the Fanno Creek Trail

Fanno Creek

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Riding with the Velo

My local cycling club is Portland Velo. They've got rides every day of the week, and the big one on Saturday mornings, where everyone breaks up into pace groups, so, in theory, you don't find yourself out in the countryside all by your lonesome.

The past few weeks, I've been riding with, or ride leadering with, the 15s. For the record that is TOP SPEED ON THE FLATS, not the AVERAGE!

A couple of weekends ago we had a nice wander out north of Forest Grove, into town, and then back - a new rider hadn't quite gotten the memo of how long the ride would be (husband was vague about details), and she was pretty toasted. We took a shorter route back; all was good.

Then another nice loop in the countryside. The red clover was still not there.

This past weekend I joined LJ as leader for the 15s. I hadn't signed up before, for various reasons, but there I was and the group was 10 riders (wow, that's a lot for the 15s), so I co-led.

The weather was outstanding. By the time we got to the Laurel Store, I had to peel off the remaining extra clothing and apply sunscreen. We then headed up Holly Hill, which has amazing views of the valley. One rider had bike fit issues, so she took the hill slowly - her knees hurt. And she walked some. But she made it, and we took pictures of each other to document ("my husband will never believe me")

Holly Hill summit

Then down to find LJ and the rest waiting at the store, and we proceeded off to McCormick Hill and Vandeschuere. I am pleased to report that the horrible pothole (read the very, very first post in this blog) is now patched. I was riding sweep, as the rider with the fit issues was walking up the rollers. Everyone had gone ahead at that point.

We elected to take River Rd all the way from Scholls Ferry, rather than going to the right and climbing Clark Hill.

Note: don't ride River Rd from Scholls Ferry to Farmington. Heavy, fast traffic, absolutely NO shoulders. While no one was trying to run me off the road, they were passing at a very fast clip, sometimes with less space than I would have preferred.

Then we were back on the route. I had suggested she eat some more back on River Rd, and it started to show some effect right around Davis Rd. We finished the ride in fine style. The red clover should be spectacular in about a week, if not sooner.

Had a very nice visit afterward with LJ, KRhea, Dean, Mrs. Dean, and Angela, outside on the patio.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cue Sheet Survey Results and Recommendations

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Cue Sheet Format Survey. 66 of you filled out the survey, more than enough for statistical significance. And so...


The survey was publicized in the Portland Velo club forums, the Oregon Randonneurs mail list, the Cascade Bike Club forums, and this blog.

Cue Sheet Use Context

Participant ride categories:
  • Club rides 59.1%
  • Event rides 80.3%
  • Randonneuring rides 43.9%
  • Rides with friends 24.2%

The distribution of results changed markedly as the Event Ride participation number went up. In retrospect, there should have been one more question regarding actual usage of the cue sheet - on event rides the route is usually well marked, there are many cyclists, and generally no actual need to look at the cue sheet!

Carrying the cue sheet:
  • folded in a sandwich-sized bag 36.4%
  • clipped to the handlebar 27.3%
  • map window in a handlebar bag 13.6%
  • map holder attached to the handlebar 13.6%
  • in pocket or under the leg of the shorts 60%
  • other 15.2%

The sandwich-sized plastic bag (Ziploc TM) is 6.5" wide and 5.5" high. Of the 10 other data points offered, 5" high and either 4" or 8" wide were most common. However, this represents a small percentage of the data. I will tentatively conclude that the most common map carrier size is the sandwich-sized plastic bag, which is often clipped to the handlebar, stuffed in a pocket, bag, or under the leg of one's riding shorts.

Less than 20% of riders use a GPS unit.

68% of the riders ride in the dark. This has further implications for readability of the cue sheet.

Route Information Most Wanted

The following items were rated most important to be included on a cue sheet (in order)
  • turn 88%
  • road or location description 83.5%
  • cumulative distance 40.8%
  • leg distance 36.4%
The following items were rated as unneeded:
  • latitude and longitude 83.5%
  • distances in both miles and km 80.9%
  • compass degrees 83.9%
  • compass points 60.8%
Elevations and overall route map were both rated as nice to have.

Presentation of Route Information

An overwhelming 76% prefer the turn information as simple abbreviations: R, L, X, VR, VL, etc. 21% are ok with spelling it out, and 3.1% prefer the additional word "Turn".

For general overall cue sheet formatting the following is preferred:
  • All components in separate columns 62.9%, 79% if the Preferred and Required responses are combined
  • Turns in boldface are preferred
  • Street names in boldface are nice to have
  • Each cue line clearly delineated 62.5%, 86% if Preferred and Required responses are combined
  • Easily readable and sufficiently sized font 97% Preferred and Required
  • Cue sheet can be folded to fit my map holder with no loss of information, 81% Preferred and Required.

Preferences on mixed case vs all caps were inconclusive. Many other studies show that text recognition is faster when the text is in mixed case; I'd recommend that.

Themes from the verbatims

35 participants provided additional comments. Themes that emerged were:
  • big enough font for those with reading issues. (Lynne: Note that this is ALSO an issue for reading cue sheets at night)
  • More complete descriptions - landmarks, nice views, "T" intersections, places to eat
  • Cue sheet should fold to 1/4 size of standard sheet of paper and have all needed info viewable; it's ok to have the text in the description field wrap.
  • Excel format and editable
  • Use color or lines to delineate each cue

"Enough information, but not *too much* information." - participant verbatim

Minimum content
  • cumulative distance, turn information, leg distance, and description.
  • Overall map and elevations are nice.
  • Consider providing the map in an editable format for those who have particular formatting preferences

  • Format the content such that the paper can be folded into quarters and put into a sandwich bag with no loss of information
  • Preferably, format each content component into its own column
  • Describe the turns as R, L, BR, BL, VR, VL, X, etc. Don't spell them out, unless they are embedded in the description. Don't add extra words. If you want to say "Turn" use it as a column header
  • Clearly delineate each cue line
  • Distinctively format Rest Stops and Controls - color, all caps, bold, bigger font. Make sure the additional formatting does not reduce contrast between the text and the background
  • Note "T" intersections. Less worrying about missing the turn with that bit of info
  • Arrange content in a logical "sentence" order - At Mile X Turn R, Turn Description, And Go Y
Some prototypes, one with just miles, one additionally with km. Either the miles or km can be folded under, with no loss of information and a logical flow to the presentation.

Prototypical Cue Sheet Miles

Prototypical Cue Sheet Miles and KM