Monday, January 31, 2011

McDowell Creek Ride 01-29-11

We rode the McDowell Creek Ride in reverse. 
River Road
Waterloo Falls
I think I like it this direction. As seems normal for our rides of late, we started as a group, but will split up as the day goes on. Short stop at Waterloo. I snapped a photo of the falls, that are practically under water.
John and Shirley
Most riders headed on up to McDowell Creek Park, but Jo and Ace, and Ron and I turned onto Berlin Road for an early return. Beautiful weather, sunshine and warm. Unusual for January. I'm not complaining.
Jo and Kari (bluekat)
Near Mallard Creek golf course, we saw a batch of very young lambs. There was one set of twins, newly born and still covered in the creamy yellow fluid that newborns are coated with. The mother ewe was still in the process of passing the placenta. That's pretty newly born I'd say.

29.23 miles
No other stats since I didn't reset the computer :(

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunny day ride and New Tires

Today (Sunday) Ron and I took the bikes for a spin around the south end of the valley. Nothing special, just a chance to visit a few favorite places and roads, and enjoy the nice weather while it's here.

The Route
Harrisburg Oregon
I love this old building. I need a picture of Sam in front of it. 

Willamette River in Harrisburg

Still High and muddy

Ron notices my tread, or lack of it. No comment on how often Bluekat checks such things. After convincing me that Sam can make it home on her "slicks", we head out. We spend more time riding than taking pictures. Only one more photo from the ride...
Sustenance for the ride home

New Tires
These have been sitting around the living room for a couple weeks, the tires that is, not the bicycle.
Bridgestone Battlax 023's. 
Quite a while back I solicited advice on tires. I debated trying a different brand, but since Bridgestone had come out with a newer version of my stock tire, I decided to go ahead and give it a try.

This won't be a step by step post on changing tires. Been there, done that already. We hang Sam from the rafters to get the front wheel off and swap out the tires.
 Hang in there, baby
Um...maybe should have changed them sooner...
Didn't realize just how bad they'd gotten until we put the new next to the old.

Next we put Sam on her stand and change out the rear tire. In the process we find this:
Seriously must be better about inspecting the bike. Wonder how long I've been carrying around that little bugger. I'd like to think we just picked it up today.

Maybe I shouldn't post this post...

                I'm looking pretty bad right now!

                             A puncture and no treads...

                                           hangs head in shame...

This is what Ron pulled out of the tire:
Nasty little sliver of a rock
Last week I posted that I had a slow leak in my bicycle tire from a nail. Well turned out it was a rock similar to the one above. I HATE those little rocks! I don't think I've ever had a rock puncture, and now I've had two in one week!

New Treads, new chicken strips...

To end on a more positive note than worn out tires and puncture wounds, last week Ron and I went to visit our daughter. We had about twenty minutes to kill, so what better way to pass the time than to visit a motorcycle store and play with the new bikes. I didn't expect to see Sam's new big sister, but there she was.
 Not really sure if she's Ron's cup of tea, but never hurts to try one for the fun of it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lebanon to Brownsville by Bicycle

Saturday was a club ride from Lebanon to Brownsville.
We had sunshine (SUNSHINE!), and a sweet tailwind!
Self portrait in the sunshine.
Sun spot on yonder field.
 There was the nice climb over Washburn Heights which left me breathless and slightly wheezy, recovered and rode on to Brownsville. Lunch was at Main Street Coffee.
 Spotted a couple riders of another sort, and talked with a third who didn't make it off the porch before being accosted by a couple of bicyclists. Turns out when he's not on his Yamaha, he also bicycles, and has rode the Strawberry Century a time or two.
 Ron and I had turkey wraps for lunch. Actually 2 turkey wraps for each of us. They didn't tell us we'd get two with each meal! We each ate one and packed the others home for later. That is, Ron packed the extras, he had the panniers after all.

Main Street Brownsville. Plenty of cruisers...argh mateys...
We ran into this guy out on Manning Road. 
EllipticGo. Elliptical and bicycle all in one.
 Ron and I will see him again, hours later, on highway 34. His plan was to ride over the freeway toward Tangent before returning to Lebanon. That's pretty decent mileage for a vehicle somewhat slower than a regular bicycle. Good for him!

On Rock Hill Road Ron noticed my rear tire was low. Ron found the nail, but as it was a slow leak we decided to top off the tire and try to make it home. It was only a few miles and the tire graciously held out until we pulled up in front of the house.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sunk to a new low today...

I've gotten somewhat comfortable showing up for work in muddy wet gear. It wasn't always that way. Today I sunk to a new low. I went to a dentist appointment wearing (and packing) riding gear. Now I know why riders pack their helmet along. It explains the weird clothes. It doesn't explain why your riding when it's 40 degrees out, but I guess a little mystique is good to maintain.

My dentist thought it was cool! :)

In one corner a pile of gear overflows a small chair. I'm lounging in the dentist's chair, in armored pants and muddy boots getting x-rayed, and probed (sounds like an alien abduction), and feeling rather ridiculous. Truly I must be a princess for I will be receiving another crown (lucky me).

So I wonder, how weird is it to wear a helmet when half your face is numb? Guess I'll be finding out soon enough!

My dentist said he used to ride... 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Santiam Bluffs...without the bluffs

Wet. Need I say more? Eight riders turned up at the start. Ace, Jo, and Bill rode a shorter route, while Dennis, Mary Ellen, Frank and I, lead by Al rode a longer route. It was raining before I even as I drove to Albany.
 At the intersection of Century drive and Old Salem Road we regrouped under the overpass to discuss route options. We decided to do a shorter ride, leaving out Santiam Bluffs, but going over Scravel Hill. Off we rode into the rain, a nice tailwind helping us along. One more stop under the freeway at the end of Old Salem Road, our last stop for the day. Too wet to stop in the rain.

 I stopped for a couple pictures along the way and fell behind on Scravel Hill. Al waited for me to catch up, and at the intersection with Kampf road we turned right, heading back to Albany, hoping to meet the others in Knox Butte. When Al and I arrived in Knox Butte there were no other riders. We continued back to the start, never spotting the others again. I think rather than continuing on, they had doubled back for Al and I, and came in behind us.
On a different note, I tried a new saddle today, Specialized Jett. Yes, I endured the assometer. Unbelievable my ass is apparently "average". Well the sitbones are anyway. I like the narrowness of the saddle (143), and the cutout. My left sitbone had some familiar pain, but the ride was too short to know for sure how the saddle will do. My guess is that it will be better than the Terry, but similar to my stock saddle. My sitbones apparently like their leather brooks.

20.78 miles
1:43:52 time
12.00 av
22.48 mx

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ride or Drive

Ride or drive? The deep thoughts I ponder whilst sipping my morning brew. If I let the rain stop me, I won't be riding for quite some time. I'll just slip on my riding pants while I have my coffee, just to see how it feels.

Feels like it's time for a ride!

I chuck the winter gloves in the topcase, and grab some lighter ones. Chuck the balaclava too. Turns out I won't need the heated stuff either. Yeah, I can live with unseasonably warm.Warm being relative.

Troubadour kept us on the edge of our seats posting about his office move, so I'm inspired to take a few pics from my own office. Okay I'm a little bored what with the sales staff off to a trade show.

My nearest window, or the corner of it waaay over there.

And the faithful Sam patiently waiting in the rain.

A little closer look cuz riders will make any excuse to show off photos of their bike. Worse than parents that way...

My kick ass computer, lovingly built by our new, young (read enthusiastic) I.T. kid. I'm supposed to be duly impressed and in awe of it's power and speed. Um, okay. I like it's pretty blue lights.

'puter guts

Like I said, a little bored.

The ride home is a splash....literally. I ride through one downpour but can see the brighter skies coming up on the other side of the storm.  Once past the shower the skies brighten and the clouds put on a show that tempts me to pull over and grab the camera. Considering the shoulder, I don't.  It's a joy to be riding. I'm glad I chose to ride.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ice, Cold, and Goals for the Year

There hasn't been much riding lately, but I rode to work  on Monday. Cold (20 something) and sunny. I haven't ridden in this kind of cold before, but the cold wasn't the problem. Ice was.
 Frosty stuff from some other day
Not ice on the road (though there was some of that), but ice on my faceshield. I had a few miles of fog which always mists up on my faceshield. On this day it didn't mist up, it iced up. Note to self...toss an ice scraper into the tank bag, Sheesh! I wiped it away as best I could, and even stopped a couple times to give it a good scrub. At the freeway I was back to sunshine and the rest of the ride was pleasant if a little cold. Once again, it's just good to be on two wheels.
Pack an Ice Scraper?
Goals 2010
One of my goals for the year was to ride at least 12,000 miles by motorcycle. Ron and I started out with a competition between us, but we lost track along the way. Between my Suzuki and the Ninja I did 13,644 miles in 2010. 10,384 on the Ninja. First goal well met.
Suzuki C50
Another goal that I wanted to do, but didn't admit it for months, was to take another Team Oregon class. Initally I thought it would be one of the intermediate classes, but then I worked up the nerve (with a lot of great support from Troubadour, Trobairitz, Stacy, Rick , Irondad, and a few others not part of the blogosphere, thank you all!) to sign up for the advanced class. I still can't believe I did that!
Sam on the Old McKenzie Highway, 2010
My last motorcycle goal was to attempt a ferry crossing, probably at Buena Vista Ferry. Not a terribly big deal, but the slope down to the ferry, and crossing the metal ramp make me nervous. I know there is a point where my feet won't touch the ground. It's one of those bite-the-bullet-and-go, there's-no-turning-back type of things. I dilly-dallied on this one, and didn't take into account that the ferry would close early this year. Yeah, I could have run up to the other one, but didn't. It's not a biggie, I can tackle it in 2011.
Wheatland Ferry and the dreaded metal ramp.
Yeah I know, silly things scare me.
My biggest fail of the year: 642 miles by bicycle. This has been my worst bicycling year since I started riding. This was partly due to spending more time on the Ninja, but also because I had struggled with hot weather riding this summer. I don't care so much about the mileage, but I hate how much of my fitness base I lost in the process. (It's not like I had a lot to spare to begin with.) It will be a tough scramble getting that base back. Next year will see a renewed focus on bicycling, and hopefully doing another tour. Mostly I miss spending time on the bicycle.
Crater Lake Tour 2009
I'm not a big goal maker, generally. It's more like I come up with things I want to do, and if I don't lose interest, then maybe they get done. I have a long commute, so it's easy to rack up miles. If I had to do  ironbutt rides to get mileage it wouldn't happen. This year we have hopes, dreams, and ideas for a few things we'd like to do. Maybe we'll finally do that multi-day kayak trip some of us have talked about every summer for the past few years. Maybe I'll decide it's ok to camp in a tent once and a while (but only if the weather is perfect!). Maybe we'll squeeze in a motorcycle tour. Lots of great ideas...can't wait to see what the journeys will be in 2011!