2017 year in review

It’s over, right? 2017? Whew! What a year!

Despite the overall nature of world events, I managed to have a pretty good year. Better than the past several. So this won’t be another one of those “woe is me” posts, no. I’ll concentrate (mostly) on the positive.


Man, it was a very snowy and cold month for these parts. A good half of the month was filled with unrideable conditions, and I felt it. Still, I managed to get a bike overnight with friends at the end of the month to Battle Ground Lake, so all was not lost. Plus, I had a bunch of work done to the Raleigh Crested Butte.


The weather improved somewhat, but it was still wet wet wet. I rode out to Stub Stewart to cabin camp with Peter Rhodes and others. Luckily I had a dry and warm place to sleep! And despite everything, I led a cold/damp/snowy Chehalem Range Ramble (aka my most cancelled ride) and people didn’t kill me. Oh yeah, got a new fancy front wheel for the Bantam, laced around a Shutter Precision hub!


The weather started to slouch towards spring, with (a bit) less rain and (a bit) milder temps. Coupled with the longer amount of daylight, I started to ride more. I didn’t get in a bike overnight this month, though. I did do a major trip to the Bay Area, my first one in three years. I took the train down, hitting up Sacramento on the way, and spent a couple nights in Marin at the tail end. It was fun, but the weather was wetter than I hoped. Oh well. I still got to visit Rivendell!


April was a three-speed centric month, with the first Three Speed April Challenge happening, a Three Speed Ride on Sunday April 2, and the Tweed Ride (which I help organize) on Sunday April 9. No bike overnights, so getting behind on that, but I did see my first bike tourists of the season at the hostel, so that’s something, right?


We got our first taste of summer weather around these parts. I got on the bike as much as I could, between planning rides for the upcoming Pedalpalooza. I didn’t go to Lake Pepin this year (after 3 in a row), but I did do some camping and touring. I went to Oxbow Regional Park for a quick overnight at the beginning of the month with my friend Stasia. And towards the end of the month, I did my first multi-day tour since the fall, a four day adventure riding out to the Coast. This one featured a mix of old and new roads, an 80 mile day (first, and really only, long day of the year), and camping at a familiar spot (Nehalem Bay) and unfamiliar (Barview Jetty.)


A big–and important–month! All month was Pedalpalooza, and I organized several rides. Maybe too many–I always want to do a lot, and halfway through the month I realize that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. When will I ever learn? Also, I had a week long tour through the Columbia Gorge and into Eastern Oregon. This tour didn’t go as well as I hoped, and I rerouted the second half on the fly, but it was still fun. And most importantly, I found love in the name of Emee!


Summer in full effect, so busy that I didn’t even really blog about it here. (Sorry!) That’s why I tell ya to check out my InstaFlick feed! Anyways, I attempted to attend a seersucker social in La Conner, Washington, but ended up hanging out in Bellingham and camping in the San Juan Islands (both Shaw and Lopez) instead. And I did my second bike tour to/from the coast, this one a group joint with friends. I took the bus to Tillamook, rode to Cape Lookout State Park (my favorite coastal campground) for a night. Then we rode back to Portland via Nestucca River Road in two days.


Emee and I celebrated my birthday weekend by camping at Rainbow Falls State Park outside of Chehalis, Washington, then on the coast at Cape Disappointment, and a night in a hotel in Astoria. This was the first time Emee and I camped together (verdict: we survived!) and the first time I car camped in ages. Also, I did my first backpacking trip! My friend Steve and myself hit up Indian Heaven Wilderness on the north (Washington) side of the Gorge. It was fun, and I look forward to doing more backpacking adventures.


The biggest bummer month. Just a week after the backpacking trip, the Eagle Creek Fire started in the Gorge on Labor Day Weekend, threatening one of my most loved and cherished areas (Columbia River Gorge), and also tainting the sky with smoky haze and ash. It seemed like the whole Northwest was on fire, and I saw my plan for a grand week-long bike tour in Southern Oregon fade. And when I planned on a backup tour around the Olympic Peninsula, the much-needed rains arrived. Good for fire, bad for bike touring. All my enthusiasm for touring drained, so nothing happened in that department.

Still, I did manage to have some fun: Emee and I had a quick roadtrip out to the Central Oregon Coast on Labor Day Weekend, mostly to escape the smoke. I got to see areas I hadn’t seen in awhile. And we also spent a day in the Gorge (fire be damned) and stayed in a lovely house on Lake Cushman by Olympic National Park. I also got a quick overnight towards the end of the month to Oxbow.


October was a month occupied with challenges. There was the Coffeeneuring Challenge led by Mary of Chasing Mailboxes, and I put together the second annual Three Speed October. I also led a Three Speed Ride, where Emee’s green Raleigh Sports made her debut. I also snuck in a bike camping trip with Todd B to Battle Ground Lake, both of us doing it on our three speeds. I also led a Sunset Moonrise Ride and an East Portland Cemeteries Ride, both of which were fun.


Getting busy around here! The beginning of the month saw me wrap up the Coffeeneuring Challenge. I snuck in a West Hills Hike, my first in ages. But the biggest thing to happen was a trip to the East Coast. Emee and I visited Boston, New Haven, and New York right before Thanksgiving. It was my first time being back there in ten years, and my first time flying after almost four years. It was a whirlwind of a trip, and I wish we had more time. But I’ll be back…


And another busy month to wrap up the year. I started it with a cabin camping trip with Emee to Stub Stewart, her first time bike camping. It was a success! Then I tabled at Bike Craft Fair, our (usually) annual bike art/craft thing. Emee and I snuck in a quick overnight adventure to Grand Lodge in Forest Grove for Christmas night. And we wrapped up the year in Vancouver BC for New Years, bikes in tow.

As you can see, it was a pretty busy year filled with a lot of fun adventures on and off the bike. And I managed to camp nine out of the twelve months, though only eight of those months were by bike (and two of the bike months were cabins, which some may consider cheating, but I digress…) Now all I can hope is that 2018 will be even better…

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