Weekend Report: A little bit o’ everything, both good and bad.

Hey folks! Yeah, life has been busy so I haven’t posted to here as much as I should. As always, the best day-to-day record of my life can be found on my instagram. With that out of the way, let me talk a bit about my past weekend, from Thursday April 26 through Sunday April 29…

  • Thursday April 26: Emee had the great idea of getting a hotel room downtown for the night to complete Challenge 5 of Three Speed Adventure April, the Bike Overnight.* We had done Challenges 1-4 on Sunday’s Three Speed Ride (report on that very soon), and Emee had a conference in the very same hotel that weekend! Convenience! It was fun wheelin’ the Raleighs into the first floor room at the University Place Hotel. Adventure April complete!
  • Friday April 27: Conveniently enough, the morning’s Coffee Outside (aka #pdxcoffeeoutside) was at Poet’s Beach, the public beach under the west end of the Marquam Bridge in South Waterfront. It was just a five minute ride from the hotel, and on the way to work! There were somewhere between a dozen and twenty folks, and Wildflower Baking brought sweet potato focaccia! I also swung by Breakfast on the Bridges on the west end of the Tilikum Crossing. BonB has been going on since about 2002, setting up near a Willamette bridge most last Fridays and serving coffee and pastries to passing cyclists.
  • Saturday April 28: Grant Petersen, main man of Rivendell Bicycle Works was in town at Rivelo. I stopped by, hung out with everyone while Grant gave a demonstration of that fancy tape and twine bar wrap he’s into. Also, on the way to work I flatted the rear of the Raleigh Superbe. When I took off the wheel, I noticed how worn the rear tire, a Panaracer Col de la Vie, was. Damn, no wonder why the tire had been feeling “weird” for awhile. Well, I got about two years of use out of it, and thankfully I have a spare tire at home, so I fixed the flat for the ride over to Emee’s house.
  • Sunday April 29: After a lazy morning into afternoon, Emee and I headed over to my house so I could swap bikes, as I was in no mood to swap tires today. I pulled out the Bantam, and we rode towards St. Johns to get dinner. And what happens? Of course, I flat. A nice industrial looking clip pierced the so-supple tire. We got food and opted to take the bus home, as I was in no mood for another flat fix.

Okay, just a few more days until we head west to Minneapolis!

*Yes, indoor lodging counts!


Sick, again.

After such a bustling March, it was inevitable: I came down with a good, good cold. It’s been a week, and this virus is still lingering. So I’ve had to slow things down. Today I had plans of camping, but with my health still not 100%, it’s not going to happen. Plus, the weather is going to be crap.

I did still lead Portland’s Tweed Ride on Sunday April 8th. Despite a dire forecast, the weather gods smiled and we had a dry and fairly mild day. About 40 folks showed up (it would have been bigger if the forecast hadn’t been so bad) and I led them from Alberta Park in NE to Laurelhurst Park in SE.

If there’s one good thing about a week of sick, it’s the opportunity to catch up. March featured a trip every weekend, so it was hard to get anything done. Now I’ve had down time to finish things up. I finally got all the details sorted out with Three Speed Adventure April and am working on things like patches and buttons. I’m also sorting out travel plans for the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour in May.

The weather has alternated from dreadful to dreamy. Monday April 9 was the latter, our first 70F day here. I managed to get a Sunset Burrito Club. It was also my first time displaying bare feet outside this year. Summer is coming…

Quite the March, or, why this blog has been quite quiet.

Hello, friends! The month of March is almost over, and it’s been quite the month for me. I managed to leave town for every “weekend!”* Where did I even go?

  1. March 3-5: Emee and I headed south to Chiloquin (30 miles north of Klamath Falls) and Crater Lake.
  2. March 9-12: I headed solo to Seattle to ride Seattle Randonneurs 100 km Spring Populaire.
  3. March 16-19: Emee and I travelled north to La Conner, WA for the Dandy Daffodil Tweed Ride. We then headed via ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island for a little r ‘n’ r.
  4. March 26-28: Despite thinking three weekends in a row was enough, Emee and I decamped to Eastern Oregon, staying in the lovely Balch Hotel in tiny Dufur (15 miles south of The Dalles), and doing a ride on the Deschutes River Trail.

So much stuff! My month was filled with either being out of town, or getting ready to go out of town. As such, many things didn’t get done that I wanted/liked to do.** Namely, writing about all these adventures (save the first) here on the blog.

Don’t worry, as the next week or two will be relatively chill, I hope to file reports on all these adventures soon. In the meantime, you can always check out my flickr and instagram streams, as I post photos as these things happen.

So what’s up for the near future?

  • Well, April is upon us, so Three Speed Adventure April is almost here! I’m still finalizing the details, which will happen by the 1st. Full registration will be live. In the meantime, don’t panic!
  • That also means there should be a Three Speed Ride happening soon. I will be posting details shortly.
  • Filmed By Bike is having a poster show featuring all of the posters over the years since starting in 2003. The opening reception is on 4:30 to 7 PM on Wednesday April 4 at Breadwinner Cafe, 2323 N Williams Ave. I did the posters from 2005 to 2007, so I will be there. You should stop by! Otherwise, it’s up the whole month.

So, expect some more action here soon!

*In quotations because often my “weekends” don’t fall on Saturday/Sunday.

**I did manage to get my laundry done. You’re welcome!

Another one of those “stop gap posts” to say that I’m still alive because I’ve just been too damn busy, in a good way, though.

IMG_20170801_100746-01Hello friends. It’s August already? Wow, how this summer has flown by. It’s been a really busy summer for me, which is good. But busy means I haven’t really had time to sit down and write something substantial for this blog in a long, long time.

That’s the “problem” with blogs. It’s better for long-form writing (well, longer form writing), where I can lay out a synopsis of my trip and my thoughts and feelings from it. It’s harder for the in-the-moment stuff. That’s where things like Instagram and flickr come in handy. I urge you to check these out if you want a daily dose of what I’m doing. And I can do flickr/Instagram easily with mobile devices. I’ve tried to blog using my phone and my mostly-useless tablet, but anything beyond a few paragraphs is a chore. Until I get a nice new laptop that’s more portable than my wheezing circa 2009 Netbook (gasp!) I have to do my blogging either at home on my said netbook, or on my work computer. And I’m not always at either…

And yep, this summer has been busy. Looking back at the past summer or two, this one has been pretty packed. I end up doing things two out of my three “weekends”, with the other one for “chilling out and doing laundry”.  And when I’m not going out of town or working, I’ve been hanging out with my new and awesome girlfriend, Emee!

So what’s happened since the last time I spoke?

  • Well, I did do that Bellingham and San Juan Islands trip from July 13 through 17. It didn’t turn out as planned, turning into a more “traditional” bike camping trip, but that’s okay. I camped at both Shaw and Lopez Islands, and also spent a nice day in Bellingham.
  • The following weekend (July 22-24), I went out to the coast again! My friends organized a big bike camping expedition out to Cape Lookout, which happens to be my favorite coastal campground. I took the bus out on Saturday, camped the night with friends, and rode back over two days back to Portland via the quiet and scenic Nestucca River Road.

I hope to write about these trips plus my June tour in more detail…soon. (Fingers crossed.)

So, what’s going to happen?

  • This coming weekend (August 4 through 8) Emee and I are going to drive north (with bikes) and do some camping! We’ll also hit the coast, staying one night at my other favorite campsite on the coast, Cape Disappointment. We’ll also spend a day in Astoria!
  • The following weekend should have some bike camping too!
  • The following week is that eclipse thing. I may hide under a rock.
  • At the end of the month, I’m supposed to go on my first ever backpacking trip! Yep, my friend Steve is going with me to the Indian Heaven Wilderness north of us in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Should be fun!
  • And I’m still planning by other big bike tour of the year, which will happen at the end of September. My plan is to do something in Southern Oregon which will hopefully incorporate parts of the coast and Crater Lake!
  • I’m still working on leading some bike rides. I still want to do it, but Pedalpalooza burns me out and I don’t want to overburden myself, esp. since I’ve been doing so much other stuff. I’d still like to do another Sunset Moonrise ride or two, and maybe another Chehalem Range Ramble?
  • Oh yeah, Three Speed October is just a couple months away!

Okay, hope everyone is having a good summer!

A brief update, since it’s been awhile

Hello friends! Yeah, it’s been a bit since I’ve written something substantial here. What can I say, the last month has been extremely busy! June consisted of a bike tour, Pedalpalooza, and a bit of romance. As such, I didn’t have a lot of “free time” to blog about it all. I do want to write something about that tour, but it may be another week or two before that happens, sorry.

This is the part where I casually mention that I’m quite active over on flickr and Instagram. These are the best windows in my day-to-day life, so if you want to see things as they happen, I encourage you to check them out!

Anyways, even though Pedalpalooza is a fading memory, the bike fun hasn’t stopped. On Sunday evening, I led a Sunset/Moonrise Ride. About a couple dozen folks rode the five miles from the Woodlawn neighborhood to Broughton Beach on the Columbia River. The weather was perfect, if a bit windy. And the sunset and moonrise were great. It was good hanging out with fun folks.

And now more action: This Thursday, July 13, I’m leaving for another trip! I’ll be taking the train up to Bellingham where I’ll spend Friday. Then I head south to tiny La Conner, Washington for their Seersucker Social. And from there I head west through Anacortes to catch a ferry to Lopez Island (part of the San Juans) where I’ll camp Sunday night. Then I head east on Monday, get down to Seattle for the night, and head home Tuesday morning. It should be fun!

Emotional Weather Report. (And goodbye, moosemoose.)

It’s been a few weeks, eh?

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.

    Note: No bag.

    Note: No bag.

  • 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.)30751703662_ecd4d82b5d_o
  • 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.)

30252747044_c9f2097909_hOne 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!

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

scenes-from-last-nights-sunsetmoonrise-at-broughton-beach-technically-full-moon-was-tuesday-night-but-whatever-sunsetmoonrise-broughtonbeach_27845237044_oHello friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. And here I am, apologizing for that. And it’s not that for a lack of stuff to write about. No, I just haven’t been much in a writing mood these days.

For me, after doing this blog, off-and-on for eleven years (eleven years!) it gets harder and harder to muster up the energy to write about the same things all the time. And let’s face it, it’s not like I do a lot of different things. So I try to find an angle with each time I write a blog post, but it’s hard for my posts to not turn into something like “I did X, then went to Y, and had a Z.”

And while sometimes it’s fun to geek out about bikes and talk about parts and minutia,* I don’t always have the energy to do that, either. Let’s face it: I am not a tinkerer and don’t get as much joy from fiddling with bikes as some other folks. And I’ve spent WAY too much money on bikes, bike parts, and bike work over the past year. Sometimes I would actually like to save up money so I can go have adventures. Writing about adventures is a lot more fun than writing about new tires. (Which I am getting some soon, so don’t worry, tire lovers!)

And I’ve just been busy. Pedalpalooza plus two trips to Seattle after it has worn me out. Sure, it provides some good things to write about. But I’m not going to write about them.

I’ve also been going through some personal stuff, too. That has dampened my enthusiasm a bit.

But don’t fear! I’ve been doing this for eleven years. There is an ebb and flow cycle. Right now I’m in an ebb tide. But I will bounce back at some point. So don’t think that this blog is dead. No, it ain’t.

And yes, I am “doing things”. The best way to keep tabs on what I do is to check out either my instagram or flickr feeds. (And tumblr too.) I usually post something once a day, and usually post more than once a day. You’ve been warned!

Now go enjoy summer!

*Unless you’re Stasia! 🙂