A mixed bag of a week

Yep, Friday night as I type this. I’m ignoring an invite to a friend’s fire in his back yard, as I’m feeling anti-social and tired from today’s ride. (More on the ride later.) It’s been a mixed week around the Urban Adventure League HQ.

The good:

  • I got the rear wheel on the Raleigh Wayfarer rebuilt (as you probably read yesterday.) 
  • Sunday’s Oregon History Comics release party was a success! We had about 100 people in attendance. All this for comics about history! I talked to a good number of folks.
  • I had two different meetings where things actually got accomplished! Monday was the Pedalpalooza Art Committee meeting, where we picked this years PP artist. And Tuesday was a Tweed Ride planning meeting. This year’s ride is going to be pretty cool!
  • The weather has been nice the last several days, mostly on the sunny side. Thursday saw a high of 66F/19C and Friday 62F/17C, the first real spring days around here!
  • The weather was so nice on Friday that April and I went on a nice ride. (More on that soon.)
The not-so-good:
  • The “feast” of illustration jobs has turned again into “famine” mode upon completing my last assignments last week. A fairly big job that I hoped to get might not materialize, and my attempts at drumming up some magazine illustration work has proven fruitless.
  • And the “regular” job front isn’t looking any better. I’m still waiting to hear back from one, and a couple other leads turned up cold.
  • The nice weather is going to turn back to shit this weekend: colder, rain, wind, for the forseeable future.
  • And the biggest bummer is the situation with my other prime bike, the Surly Long Haul Trucker. I’ve mentioned how the handling has gotten progressively more sketchy over the last couple months. So my friend Ian opened up the headset to give it a look. Prognosis: Headset thrashed, I need a new one. He lubed it up as best as possible, so the steering is functional. But I’m going to need to do something about it soon.
The combination of bad weather and uncertain bike functioning has put a damper on my originally planned bicycle related fun for the weekend. Originally I had hoped to participate in the Dalles Mountain 60, a loop-route “race” out in the Columbia Gorge around the city of The Dalles, some of the route off-road. A group of my friends are (or were) riding from Portland to The Dalles on Friday, doing the race Saturday, and riding back on Sunday. But 80 miles to The Dalles, 60 miles of riding around, and 80 miles of riding back is a bit too much for my body in an untrained state and especially my bike in such an unproven state. So no go.
The other big bike fun option for the weekend would be participate in the Cycle Wild camping trip. I was looking forward to it since we originally intended on going to Oxbow Regional Park, a campground that I’ve never been to before, despite being only a 20 mile ride from my house. Besides the steep hill leaving the campground (the park is in the Sandy River Canyon), the main reason I’ve never been to it before is the number of, how you say, “yahoos” that occupy the park in the summer months. Going during the off-season means avoiding most of the yahoo factor. That would be all well and good, but no sooner did Matt post trip info on Monday did we find out the campground is closed until possibly May* because of flooding/erosion issues. So a scramble to figure out which other close by park we wanted to use as an alternate, and we opted for Milo McIver State Park outside Estacada. 
McIver has some plusses, as it’s a 20 mile ride from the end of the MAX light rail line, there’s only one big hill to deal with, and we can stock up on food and supplies in Estacada, about a mile and a half from the park. But the ride is not that thrilling for the most part, and the park itself is nothing special. I’ve been there twice so I know. It was hard for me to muster up much enthusiasm for going, but I was trying. Then as the week progressed the forecast for the weekend was getting crappier and crappier. Now it’s predicted to rain pretty good for Saturday and Sunday. And I don’t think I’m going. Yeah, you may say, “Didn’t you camp in the rain on your tours?” And yes I have, but that’s on tours, when I have no other choice. That’s one thing. But a one-night expedition, when you’re just going to camp for the purpose of camping? Different story. It would be different if it was dryish on Saturday and rainy on Sunday, but both days, nah.
Who knows, come tomorrow morning I might get enthused and/or the weather looks better. Then I’ll load up the old pack mule of the Long Haul Trucker and venture out to McIver. But if I don’t, there are a couple rides going on in town:
Anyways, since Friday was so beautiful April and I decided to get a decent ride in, a training ride of sorts. The route was nothing out of the ordinary, using the Springwater Corridor and I-205 bike paths as much as possible, so we could push ourselves as much as we could. The crown jewel of the ride was Rocky Butte, which not only offers a good climb but great views.
Mt. Hood from Rocky Butte

Mount Saint Helens from Rocky Butte

April’s Novara Randonee and my Surly Long Haul Trucker at Rocky Butte. Mt. Hood in background.

Beautiful stone railing at Rocky Butte. This was all made by hand during the Depression by the CCC
All in all it was a 23 mile ride. You can see the route here.
But man, am I tired! I never thought I would feel this worn out from just 23 miles with no load. I’m out of shape, and need to bike more!
*Some campgrounds in the area stay open all year while some close for the winter. Oxbow is normally open year-round.

One thought on “A mixed bag of a week

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  1. Sorry you've had a mixed bag this past week (and I feel a bit guilty that I'm yet too sick to go out and enjoy the nice upper 60's sunny day we're having today knowing it's raining up there…),but hey,concentrate on the goodness parts-you got an awesome ride (with gorgeous pics) in with one you love,it don't get no bettah,my friend! :)The Disabled Cyclist

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