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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

HOTbike Success!

Okay, here it is! If you missed it, here's a peek at HOTbike!

We made just about $300! That's just about enough to pay for the new tires, chains, cables and housing that come with preparing our (the CCY Junior Cycling Team's) steeds for the spring racing season! Perfect!

A very special thank you to ALLEGRO CYCLERY who donated a huge list of prizes, including a very special Chrome Messenger Bag that was highly coveted! Mike Austin of Allegro Cyclery also built our ramp and acted as a judge with Allegro's Justin Bannerman.

Lish Riley, of the Whitman Outdoor Program also donated prizes and acted as a judge.

The Whitman Cycling team was also fantastic at coming up with super creative costumes and winging an, yes, unrehearsed show!

Pause 4 Effect gave us spectacular live music.

Rare Finds baked us delicious espresso cupcakes to sell!

Sweet Basil donated a gift certificate.

Debi & Jim Toews covered the cost of pizza for all our performers!

Ethan Mansfield of Whitman Cycling helped a TON with planning.

Duncan McGovern of Whitman Cycling filmed.

Fiona Taggart (of Whitman Cycling) landed us LOTS of great lights and helped set up.
As did Rachel Hoar (of Whitman Cycling).

Mia Huth (Whitman Cycling) stayed late to clean up.

(*Mostly Whitman Cycling!:)
Colin Gibson MC'd the event and
Anna Daron Bacheller
Alice Bagley
Emily Baker
Nathan Bannerman
Ben Chaddock
Malcolm Dunn
Andy Erickson
Rachel Hoar
Mia Huth
Ethan Mansfield
Chelsea Momany
Alex Pogue
Terrence Reid
Emily Rodriguez
Calisa Schouweiler
Fiona Taggart
Kendi Thomas
Debi Toews
Brian Wakefield


And last, but not least, thank you Whitman Cycling for partnering with us!


Friday, February 27, 2009

Whitman Ladies' Skills Practice

The Whitman mock races are this weekend! Each year, the Whitman College cycling team hold several practice races over a weekend to brush up on group riding, kick the legs out of base and give the beginners their first race-like experience without the hustle and bustle of a real race weekend.

In anticipation of these races, some of the Whitman ladies got together for a skills practice in a parking lot. We started by picking up bottles off the ground while riding, then rode holding each other's hands or shoulders, then we had a "slow race" (last one wins!) and it eventually evolved into everyone "supermaning"! WOW!

It was interesting to see people show preferences for certain skills. I liked the slow race the most, but perhaps that's because I practice track standing at most stoplights I come to. Others thought the slow race was the most challenging, while I didn't feel ready to give the Superman a try-- but I was willing to film it! I also realized that having a digital camera at a skills practice is handy! Everyone wants to come and see how well they did it!

It's the day after HOTbike

I came home late from HOTbike (bicycle fashion show by local college team to raise money for my junior team) last night and I was just too tired to unload Jim's suburban that was filled to the brim with bicycles and costumes. I knew Jim would drive it to work in the morning, so if I left anything inside I wouldn't have access to it all day. However, I did manage just enough late-night strength to pull out my bike, my helmet and my cycling shoes. Priorities, you know. I couldn't just STRAND myself without my bike for an entire day like that! And as luck would have it, the sun is finally shining today!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

3 Feet - Take Action

A '3 Feet Passing Law' that exists in 13 states is now being proposed in Washington State. 

Inspired to spread knowledge of this new law, Joe Mizereck took it upon himself to create jerseys and t-shirts that say: "3 FEET PLEASE!" and [*in 13 states] "IT'S THE LAW."

That's action. I like it.

Also, how another cyclist took action:

Makes me want to get some of these:

Fortunately, I DO have one of these (a positive review to come):

The Trek to Re-Energize America

This summer, concerned citizens from all over the country will mount their bikes and pedal towards our nation's capitol. Along the way stories will be collected and shared about how climate change is currently, or will soon affect us. In D.C., these stories will converge in a collective voice to call for immediate action. The debate about whether global warming "is real" is over, or it needs to be; because if we want to sit around waiting for even more evidence, then it will be too late. The Trek to Re-Energize America demands that we take action NOW.

Learn more about the Trek and Climate Change:

Wake Up, Freak Out - then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo.

About The Trek
We're running out of time. We need strong, immediate action on climate change from the new administration and the Trek to Re-Energize America is designed to build the momentum necessary to demand that change. The Trek To Re-Energize America was conceived of as a means to talk to people on their turf and in their communities about the challeneges climate change poses to their lives, whether from floods, mountain top removal or smog. By having conversations in communities across the nation, we will empower citizens to take action and push our leaders to make decisive steps to move our great country out of the old dirty energy economy and into a clean energy economy, spurring green job growth, changing our wasteful habits and reestablishing the United States as a leader and pioneer in the global economy.
The Trek to Re-Energize America is a bike trip to Washington D.C. Riders will depart for D.C. from all across the country, leaving from their home states and sweeping up media attention and grassroots support as they go. Upon arrival in D.C. the riders will rally and lobby for action on current legislation by asking their representatives to be leaders in the fight against climate change. A massive number of organized passionate people who have biked across the United States for something they believe strongly in will make for a statement that politicians and media will be unable to ignore.
The trip is slated for summer 2009. The convergence on D.C. will take place in late July or early August to coincide with the congressional calendar.
We can only do it with your help. We need riders from as many states as we can get and leaders willing to direct efforts across the U.S. Please contact us with any thoughts, comments or questions. We'd love to have you involved.
Trek to Re-Energize

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Three foot passing law: trying to pass in Washington

Today, in our local Unioin Bulletin:
New rules for bicycle safety are not needed
But it's important to make motorists aware that they have a legal responsibility to maintain a safe distance between them and bicyclists.

By the Union-Bulletin Editorial Board

Bicyclists and motorists are supposed to share the road.

But coexisting in that space is far from equal. Let's face it, bicycles are vulnerable compared to 4,000 pound cars and trucks. That's why it is important to have laws to protect bicyclists -- to level the playing field so to speak.

Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle -- an avid bicyclist -- is promoting legislation that would mandate motorists stay three feet away from bicyclists and pedestrians when passing.

In theory, it's a good idea. In fact, the Washington state driver's guide already recommends that three-foot buffer and the law mandates "a safe distance."

If the three-foot distance was a requirement it would take away some of the flexibility needed to be a safe driver. Sometimes that isn't possible such as when a car or even a bicyclist is on the other side. Also, it's not always fair to put the onus on the motorists. Sometimes bicyclists (or pedestrians) create unsafe situations.

The law, as it is now written, would appear to be sufficient. But more needs to be done to make sure motorists understand their responsibility and to crack down on those who don't.

Perhaps Pedersen's effort to amend the law will serve that purpose. The issue is now getting attention around the state and is being commented on by a variety of organizations from the Teamsters to the Washington State Patrol.
"It's our hope that if nothing else comes out of this bill," said State Patrol spokesman Jeff DeVere, "That people pay attention to giving bicyclists as much room as possible when passing."

So, too, do we.

Local bicycle commuter and advocate, Andy Pryor's response:

I ride a bicycle and am responding to the Union Bulletin’s opinion that new rules for bicycle safety are not needed.

The new law, HB 1491, put forward in the state legislature by Representative Pederson and sponsored by our local Representative Walsh, is a reasonable and thought out piece of legislation that is designed to provide more clarity to an existing law. All that is being asked is that at a minimum three feet of clearance should be given to bicycles and pedestrians. This legislation aligns the recommendation in the driver’s education manual with the laws that govern our public right of ways. The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and the Washington State Patrol have been consulted in the drafting of this legislation and are in support. The intention of this legislation is to provide a clear definition of what is safe; three feet is the standard that has been set by 11 other states.

As I ride up Mill Creek Road I am hoping that this legislation will help motorists understand why when there is an oncoming car I have my left arm extended to stop them from passing. The lanes are too narrow, the speeds are too fast and since there is no shoulder I have no place to go.

Andy Pryor

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Right Brain v. Left Brain

Do you see the dancer turning clockwise or counter-clockwise? Find out HERE

My experience: when I saw the STILL photo, I thought the dancer was going clockwise. When I saw the animation, I initially thought it was going counter. Then I closed my eyes out of frustration and looked again and it was going clockwise and couldn't understand how I could have thought it was going the other way (you're supposed to be able to reverse the direction). With some practice, I can make it reverse direction back and forth, but prefer clockwise.

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

I am heavily a right brain thinker-- which is why I am so glad that I was an art major in college since I was able to embrace, understand, evolve and strengthen my right brain thinking instead of forcing left-brained thinking on myself. That said, I HATE being put in a box. Just because I was an art major, doesn't mean I can't access left-brained skills. If I were to check off items from these two lists that I identify with, I might check off more from the right-brained list, but also several from the left-brained.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

GEAR REVIEW: Detours Digi Mig Stem Bag

This is my new favorite bag. It's not perfect, but it's still amazing.

I bought this bag from the Adventure Cycling online store

On my tour this summer, I don't plan on wearing any cycling jerseys (which have handy pockets), but only wool or synthetic shirts. Pocketless, I am left wondering where to keep my camera. Sure, I could use a handlebar bag-- but I am leaning towards not getting one at all. It just takes over too much handlebar space. I like a LOT of handlebar space. I don't even have a bike computer, but I suppose that's for other reasons as well. Anyhow, my handlebar real estate does not go easily. THIS bag, however-- utilizes the STEM, all the while staying far, far away from my hands and wrists. How absolutely fabulous.

So, the bag is there at your finger tips and it even has a nifty map case on the front-- just enough space to write out some "right, left, right" directions and slip them inside. But I called it imperfect, what's the deal?

I'll break it down into a list. Everyone, excuse me-- anyone reading a gear review-- likes a list.

  • Makes camera easily accessible while riding. Even MORE accessible than your jersey pocket! I just leave the bag unzipped and my camera cord hanging out. When I want to use my camera while riding, I simply slip my hand through the cord and pull the camera out, without fear of dropping it or crashing into a ditch.
  • Magnetic closure!
  • It mounts in an out-of-the way place. It doesn't take any precious hand/wrist space.
  • The mount is "knog" style, which makes installation easy and straightforward.
  • The case slides on and off the mount for quick portability.
  • The inside is nice and soft, so it won't scratch up your digital camera screen.
  • There are little pockets inside perfect for spare batteries or memory cards.
  • An awesome map case on top! Not enough for an actual map, really-- but just enough space to scribble out "left turn, right turn" and have it not get wet.
  • It doesn't 'click' into place (maybe mine is defected?), so it can easily be bumped out. I haven't had mine fall out while riding over bumpy road, but I could imagine knocking it loose by elbowing it while stopped.
  • I find that the zipper really does require two hands to open because the mount doesn't offer enough resistance. This makes it harder for the bag to operate as an "on-the-go" bag to access while riding. However, I don't mind leaving the bag unzipped until it starts to rain.
My disclaimer is that I've only had this bag for a week or so, but I already love it. For me, the pros heavily outweigh the cons.

Pause 4 Effect at HOTbike

Pause 4 Effect will be at HOTbike.

Don't miss it!


Entry forms, rules and more are now available at bikeryracing.blogspot.com!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cycling Bennington Lake

-click to enlarge-

HOTbike: A bicycle fashion show.

More information to come..

Bicycling Corvallis, OR

Ah, Corvallis.

Another wonderful place to ride.

And sheepies!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another day taking the boys for a ride.

I had 2 of my boys do some tempo repeats as they transition their legs out of base and into quick-firing pistons. It sure is nice that they're so eager to do them!

-click to enlarge-

Another Walla Walla Xtracycler!

This is Laif!

This is Laif's AWESOME Bianchi cruiser with an Xtracycle and electric assist!

It's a little big for me..

But he let me ride it around the block. :)
Thanks, Laif!

A few details...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Finding Bikery Repair

So.. where is that repair program you teach?

It's HERE:

More info at: bikeryrepair.blogspot.com

When I have a lot of stuff to bring to work..

..I "drive the truck."

Another great team ride ..

Today one of my riders shared that he aspired to be fast enough to help his teammate in a race.

I've never been prouder.

And we have a new rider! 
He rode a vintage Raleigh mixte, but still pedalled with determination. He'll be able to scoot along a little faster once we get him on a JAMIS racing bike.

They're looking really comfortable on their bikes.

Visit the team's website at: bikeryracing.blogspot.com

Monday, February 9, 2009

The PERFECT Bicycle Touring Set Up

When purchasing bicycle touring gear, it is easy to become obsessed with finding "THE PERFECT" gear. 
  • The most indestructible, feather-light, shiny silver rack.
  • The most indestructible, feather-light, waterproof, pocketed, fire engine red panniers.
  • The most indestructible, feather-light, waterproof yet breathable, bright but not gaudy, zips-off-at-the-sleeves, passes as casual jacket.
  • The most indestructible..

you get my point.

I am (sort of) no longer looking for these PERFECT items. I DO like super handy, multi-use items-- like the Princton Tec Aurora 3 light that converts from a handlebar light, helmet light to a headlamp. And while I will strive to strike a balance between durability, weight and expense-- to an extent, I think it matters more that *I* am competent, more so than my gear.

So when I come across evidence as I've posted below, I feel multiple ways at once:
  1. I pass judgement for feeling like "I know better."
  2. I feel inspired by cheap, homemade solutions.
  3. I feel like if this person carried THAT much with THAT gear, then surely carrying the LITTLE gear I'll bring and the AWESOME gear I'll use.. I'll be JUST FINE! :)

My uncensored in-my-brain thoughts:

Why did you let another person on your bicycle?? Is that a rocket booster back there? Man, that thing has got to be like a bus!

Dude, this guy just draped two BACKPACKS off the back of his bike. And those are neon STRAWS on his spokes. His journal on Crazyguyonabike.com is hilarious.

From Tom's online journal: "I didn't go through extensive research in packing my things. I don't know how much anything weights, If i think it's too heavy I'll drop items.... or I'll pretend to be a battering ram and run into things."

Lying down to ride is weird. I think I would want to nap all the time. Those are frickin' huge flags. But I bet they did their job.

Pff! Fancy front rack? NAW. Just get a basket rack thinger!

No comment available.

Sweet. Homemade panniers! I hope they last for ya.

Fun(ny?) bicycle accessories @ Amazon.com

You wouldn't think it, but Amazon.com has quite a few fun(ny?) things for bicycles...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

From Thift-Shop to Carbon Felt

Tuft, above, is now a member of the Garmin-Slipstream team. At 18, he spent $40 on a thrift-shop bike and built a trailer to haul supplies and his 80-pound dog, Bear, and rode into the Canadian wilderness.

Full NY Times article here.

I've gone from moderately interested to very interested in watching this week's Tour of California.

When did bike trails get put in the same category as GOLF courses?

I hate golf. AND golf courses.


Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), chair of the Senate Steering Committee, has proposed an amendment to the stimulus bill that would prohibit any funding of bicycle infrastructure from this bill. He was supported by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) who is known for his opposition to bicycle lanes and paths.

"When people see bike trails and hiking trails and golf courses, they know this is not designed to stimulate the economy and create jobs. It’s just basically special-interest pork barrel spending."
Blumenauer rebuts DeMint's statement with this:

"Republican amendments and assertions that the creation of hike and bike trails in the recovery plan will not create jobs or stimulate the economy shows us just short-sighted and out of touch they are. Investment in bike paths will not only improve our economy, and take our country in the right direction for our future; it is precisely the kind of investment the American people want. American families have indicated time and again in the passage of bond measures across the country that they favor spending on alternative transportation, such as bicycles and mass transit, over spending on more highway capacity. Americans want a real solution to the economic crisis, not just a band-aid fix. These investments will stimulate the economy in the present and point our nation toward the economic and environmental realities of the future."

A 7th Grade Review of Camp Wooten (State Park East of Walla Walla)

Haa. :)

i went to camp wooten with my 6th grade class in 2008! i had an awesome time! its a long drive from clarkston by bus but it was worth it! when me and my cabin were coming back from the showers at 10:15 PM there was a rustling in the bushes we had forgot to bring our flashlights so we didnt think anything of it until the next day when the boys told us that there was a cougar lurking around the girls cabins, and that rustling in the bushes WAS THE COUGAR! My whole cabin could have been carried off by that cougar! SO NEVER FORGET TO BRING YOUR FLASHLIGHT AND A ROCK WITH YOU AT NIGHT OUT IN THE FOREST!!!!! BEWARE OF THE COUGAR! ANYWHERE IN THE FOREST! but please dont be scared of camp wooten it is a great place and the park rangers got rid of the cougar! please go and visit Camp Wooten!
Written by Hannah 23-Jun-2008

Anyone want to bet that the rustling in the bushes was the BOYS who told the girls there was a cougar?? ;)

In the fog

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