Sunday, February 28, 2016

Misleading Arithmetic

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

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

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

Friday, February 19, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

All good.  No more cancer.  No subsequent treatment.

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

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

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

Monday, February 8, 2016

That's a Wrap

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

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

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

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

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

Blueberries, Harrington Rd

Michal and the birches.  Or alders.

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

Vernonia Lake, old mill building

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

We ALL had the sticky bun, heated, with butter

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

Eventually I figured we should head back.

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

All, back on Wilkesboro Rd

Spring is coming.  Wilkesboro Rd

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

Thanks everyone for joining me!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

You Go On Ahead, I'll Catch Up

said Lynne before, never.

Susan is still recovering from her wrist surgery, and borrowed a friend's Catrike so she could keep riding.  She recruited me to ride the North Plains Banks Vernonia 100k, and after some waffling, we settled on Monday, because the weather was going to be perfect.  She'd checked with Ray to see if the trail was open; it had been closed with landslides, trees down, and washouts.

We met up at the North Plains McDonalds, and she was on a mission.  "I think I'll need the entire time to finish this.  Might not even finish in time!"  And, fortified by second breakfast, we were off at our 9:30 start time.  Susan said riding the trike was like doing leg presses over and over and over and over and over...

Fresh gravel on Vadis Rd by the lumber mill.

The weather was perfect.  Clear.  Sunny.  Bright.  Freshly washed!

More clean and shiny landscape

Got to Banks, where I needed to stop for a bit.  Susan was twitchy.  "You go on ahead, I'll catch up."  Did those words just come out of my mouth?

Shortly thereafter, I did catch up.  Said hi to Callie and Romulus/Remus (the dogs).  Eventually we started climbing.  It was the most relaxing pace for me ever.  Usually I am working hard trying to stay not too far behind everyone else!

There was some silt on the trail near the summit; made riding tricky for me.  The trike has no stability issues.

Susan did really well; she even made it up Tophill without having to walk the trike.  I paused to pull on a jacket for the descent; thought Susan would too, but she took off.  I caught up again.

We passed McDonald Rd, where I'd turned back last time.  Eventually we found many large cut up trees, which had probably been lying across the trail.

The Vernonia Lake detour is still in effect, so we had to ride on Hwy 47 up the hill and then down to the lake, rather than take the flat, log truck free trail.

Vernonia Lake

Back to the convenience store - someone thought we'd not have enough time for a stop at Black Bear.  We would have; I've left Vernonia later than this and finished in time :-)  So cheesy crackers and Gatorade, plus my pbj sandwich from home.

By now it was warming up.  The air had that "hint of Spring".

Some stops on the way up to document the big logs and downhill trail-side landslide.  There is also an embryonic sinkhole, but I didn't get a picture.  Safety cones and hazard tape mark all the caution spots.

Landslide, almost undermining the trail

Perhaps this is why the trail was closed north of McDonald Rd

The trip down from the summit (once past that slippery silt) was as fun as ever, but as we got closer in, we found a horse, more cyclists, and many pedestrians.

Given that we had plenty of time once we returned to Banks, we stopped for a few pictures of Mt Hood over the last 9 miles.

Mt Hood

Susan in her barcalounger

Mt Hood and the barn on Gordon Rd

Mt Hood

Finished with almost a half hour to spare :-)