What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

CCY Junior Cycling Team: Sponsor Proposal

I had grand visions of creating a super-deluxe video, but I soon realized that the paid time I would spend on it could quickly start to outweigh the potential income it would generate. So I went with quick 'n clean. :)

To learn more about the team, visit bikeryracing.blogspot.com!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So I went for a 5k run this morning..

Okay, so I won some wine.

But I was a coupla minutes slower than last time (during college) and it didn't hurt that the entire cross country team wasn't eligible for prizes.

The purpose of the run was to get a "temperature check," to see where my fitness was at. Mission accomplished, I'm currently checked in to reality and thoroughly motivated as a result. I had guessed that'd be the outcome.

Go try to run fast + Fail = Get motivated to run faster. It's a simple equation, really.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A local opportunity to volunteer

A message from the Cascade Bicycle Club:

Invest two hours to volunteer for better bicycling and walking in your

The Cascade Bicycle Club is working with the Washington State Department
of Transportation to coordinate baseline counts of bicyclists and
pedestrians in select communities throughout the state. That includes
Walla Walla.

The state is doing this, in part, to determine its progress toward their
goal of increasing nonmotorized trips.

On one of the following dates - September 30, October 1 or October 2
(your choice), we need volunteers for counts at 6 locations in each
city. We anticipate conducting morning (7-9am) and evening (4-6pm)
counts. If you can help out, please email me
(david.hiller@cascadebicycleclub.org) to let me know which day and times
you can assist us.

What: Counting Bicyclists & Pedestrians

Where: One of six locations in your city

When: 7-9am and/or 4-6pm on your choice of date, 9/30, 10/1, or 10/2

Why: To help document the growth in bicycling and walking and support
the need for more investment in bikeable/walkable communities.

We understand that this is short notice and appreciate your interest in
volunteering. To show our appreciation, the Cascade Bicycle Club will
throw in a goodie-bag of neat bicycling stuff for people who help with
the counts.

If you can volunteer or recruit others within your organization, we will
send you count sheets, directions and a map to the location we'd like
you to cover. Feel free to e-mail me if I can answer any questions
about this project.

David Hiller
Advocacy Director

Cascade Bicycle Club
PO Box 15165
Seattle, WA 98115
p: (206) 522-9479 cell: (206) 218-6712

Monday, September 22, 2008

What's Cool

Watch it while it loads then skip ahead to my favorite part in the last 10 seconds-

How cool is THAT?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Did I just get paid for that?

I took some of my junior cycling team members out for a spin on Thursday. Ben Chaddock and Alex Pogue joined us from the Whitman Cycling team- two of my favorite Whitman cyclists. We discovered (learned) the "subtle" difference between a circular and a traditional team time trial pace line. At least I know *I* was sure as heck confused when  I came across a circular pace line in a race and how no idea what was going on! Anyhow- while pace lines are really a 'roadie' thing and we're actually preparing for cyclocross- being able to perform well in a pace line makes you a better rider. I have to admit, my juniors did a stellar job. Ben was also Super As Usual and did a short cyclocross mounting/dismounting lesson at the local 'cross course on Charles Stagner's farm, eh? Thanks, Ben!

Oh, and if any of you have some cyclocross bikes to give to us for free or for crazy cheap- let me know! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Adventure in Ashland

Well, I'm back and Ashland was quite the adventure- more than I had expected, anyhow. To prevent an overly long blog post, though- I will highlight.

I arrive at the Portland Greyhound station with two bags and a bike box. I leave the Portland Greyhound station with two bags and a bike box on top of a bicycle. (I even had an audience.)

Friday, Zac and I drive down to Eugene to start our bicycle trek. Hwy 58 isn't anything like we'd hoped it would be and we stop to discuss alternatives only to discover there weren't any. It's a stressful day on an 8 inch shoulder when the trucks barrel by, but we find a Free Camp spot that was the perfect tonic. Packed sand for beneath the tent, a fire pit for warmth and a chilly bit of river for jumping in.

Saturday, a non-coherent man at the gas station suggested that there's a "hill" up ahead. As Zac and I pump up the first bump in the road, we laugh and wonder if this was the ominous "hill." We later climbed 3,000 feet that day. Good thing there was a lake at the summit.

Our ride on Day Two- click to see elevation.

Sunday we attempted a gravel road "shortcut." After less than 2 miles, we turned around.

Another lake at the top of a climb.

RJ: Zac, we're going downhill, right? I think I need to check my tire pressure.
Zac: No, we're going uphill.
RJ: Oh.
RJ: Zac, we're going downhill now, right?
Zac: No, we're going uphill! See? Coast.
RJ tries coasting..
RJ: Pffhh!
Zac: No, seriously! Here- stop. Give me your bag.

Too bad RJ and Zac never checked RJ's tire pressure (it was flat the next morning). To get into Ashland we lost about 2000' of elevation in 9 miles. I got some funny shimmies on the U-turns (hmm, wonder what that could be..), so I didn't trust my bike the whole way down. I also stopped twice to cool off my rims and eat trail mix (which once resulted in Zac sprinting back up the hill when he didn't see me behind him- man he can book it even with panniers!)

Once we hit Ashland, we chose food over lodging- since after my "are we going downhill?" performance on the climb, food was clearly the priority. We were fortunate to hit a pizza place whose pies were more gourmet than the vinyl booths gave away. Whole wheat crust, spicy Italian sausage, spinach and feta were well tastier what we would have been willing to eat. And that's not just the hunger talking.

Tummies full, Zac and I made phone calls hoping to find a homestay rather than a hotel (or the campground another 6 miles away- I hardly had any pedal strokes left in me). Several voicemails later, our opportunities seemed just out of reach. Nearly defeated, by a seguway in conversation with other pizza eaters, I traded my current bike mechanic knowledge for lawn space. The residents were friendly and welcoming and it would even be just minutes from school the next morning. Beautiful.

The next evening Zac and I are hanging out outside a restaurant, once again making phone calls, hoping for that Whitman parent to pull through. Then, out of the blue, a handsome 20/30-something year old man asked us, "have you guys found a place to stay tonight?" (We are situated near our loaded bikes and Zac is wearing spandex.) "Well, uh- why, we haven't- no." "Well, I've got a condo right down the street and I can toss some clean sheets on the bed and you'd be welcome to stay." We're dumbfounded by generosity.

We step foot into James' clean-and-pretty-as-Pottery-Barn condo in downtown Ashland, "just don't steal my knives or my guitar," he jokes. Later, as we make conversation, we start to figure out that there's only one bed in this cozy-sized condo and Zac asks, "where are you going to sleep tonight, James?" He points to the rug in front of the fireplace, "that's my favorite spot right there!" We resist, but he insists. Later, he asks how long we'll be in Ashland (a week), "that's perfect! I'm leaving tomorrow to visit my grandma for a week and I'll just make you a copy of the key!" Again, dumbfounded.  Wow.

James is inspired by his faith. He listens carefully to God and acts on impulse whenever he feels that it's the thing to do. He gave his car away on such an impulse. The same impulse not only housed us for the week, but taught us a lesson of kindness we won't forget.

He made us poached eggs on english muffins spread with hummus in the morning.

And when I had to catch a 3am bus to get back to Walla Walla, James hung out with me from 1 to 3am so I wouldn't be waiting alone on the drunken streets of Medford.

Thanks, James. You made Ashland more than memorable.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Busing, Touring and Wrenching!

Tomorrow I'm getting on a bus to Portland, OR where I'll meet my friend Zac.

Initially we said, "let's ride down the coast in 3 days! Whoppee!!" but, uh- we don't want to overdo the mileage. So we're probably going to take a bus/shuttle or two to kill some miles and lighten the load on our legs. So we'll figure that out. But what does have to happen: I need to make it to Ashland, OR by Sunday evening (or at least Medford!) because I'm taking a sweet week-long bike mechanics class at the United Bicycle Institute! This will give me a lot more confidence for teaching classes at The Bikery. I am QUITE excited.

However, I still have this trip to figure out!! Know anyone that lives anywhere along the Oregon Coast? Know anyone in Medford or Ashland?
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