Besides the obvious things going on in the world, it’s been a personally challenging few weeks around the Urban Adventure League HQ. A series of down notes have hit me:
- First off, I had to scuttle the intended Chehalem Range Ramble on Saturday November 5th. I don’t like cancelling weekend rides, esp. since I have to ask for the time off in advance. And I feel like a lot of my events have gotten scuttled recently. I don’t want to be known as someone who constantly cancels rides.
- I also fell down my stairs at home one morning. It was early, I was getting up early and heading to the bathroom. Stupidly, I didn’t turn on the light, and also didn’t really put on my slippers properly. The slipper slipped, and I landed hard on my ass and elbow. I still have a pretty good black and blue on my butt, and I’ve been stiff for days. I’m set out for a life as an old man.
- And on Election Day, someone stole the handlebar bag from my Raleigh Superbe. I had it locked in front of a store in North Portland, and I wasn’t inside for that long. When I came out, the bike looked naked and it took a second to realize it. “Really?” is what I exclaimed as I saw half of a leather strap dangling from the bars. (Apparently the thief cut the straps to get the bag.) Now the bag was a nice little one made by Treetop. And it had my tool kit and first aid kit, which while annoying to lose, are not exactly irreplaceable. Nor was the “better” camera, a Canon PowerShot. I rarely bring the real camera with me, but today was the day. And while it is also annoying to lose, honestly I didn’t care much for the camera. And recently it’s been having the annoying habit of never saving date/time information despite resetting it constantly. (It prompts you to set the date/time every time you turn it on.) And I realize that you shouldn’t leave stuff on your bike in a town like this, but never had someone go for a small front bag before. (Ironically enough, I also had a fully loaded Carradice in the rear that was unmolested.)
- But the biggest tragedy with the stolen bag is that moosemoose was on it! My dear moosemoose. I know, it’s silly that a man in his 40’s has become so attached to a little plush toy, but he had become my mascot, so to speak. And he’s been with me on a lot of good adventures over the past four years. I realize he’s just collateral damage, unfortunately attached to things more important to a (most likely) tweaker thief. But it pains me to think that his final fate is probably thrown in a trash can or behind a dumpster or something. He deserves more than that. But the chance I’ll see him again? Slim to none.
Add all this to what’s been going on in the world (and some frustrating times at work), you got a recipe for discontent and unhappiness. As such, I haven’t been that active on the internets lately.
But I’ve been trying to keep my head above water. While I haven’t done a long bike ride, I’ve done a few long walks. As I noted previously, I haven’t really done much in the way of long walks or hikes since the winter of 2015 (two winters ago, to be clear.)
One big thing that I realized after the West Hills hike last month is I didn’t have any great hiking footwear. All of my shoes were fine for short walks, but not long ones. So I decided to get a decent pair of hiking boots. I found a pair of Alico Tahoe boots on Sierra Trading Post for a very good price. They are a traditional Italian style hiking boot (think Vasque Sundowner) but still made traditionally in Italy. They have a gussetted tongue and Norwegian stitch, so they are theoretically waterproof. (And thankfully Gore-Tex free.) And I can also resole these boots too. I wanted a boot that I could wear for a long, long time.
So far, so good. My first big trip with them was a six mile urban walk along N Lombard St the day after the election. And while my feet were a bit sore, they were not “Oh my god, my feet want to rebel” like some other shoes I’ve had. Success! I also took another six mile walk through NE Portland on Wednesday November 16th. Still good. They do still need a bit more breaking in, but no complaints so far. I think they are keepers.
It’s still a long road ahead for me, and for us. The only thing I can do is take it one step at a time.
And if anyone knows a good replacement for moosemoose, let me know!