Wednesday, February 29, 2012

29/29 - TWENTY NINE: The Big finale

Well not really a big finale or what I originally planned, but the original plan isn't going to happen on this annoying little netbook!Today's contribution, one of my favorite signs of spring: daffodils!

That they are blurry from blowing in the wind, and sloppy, wet, snow is falling, doesn't deter from the importance of my first daffodils of 2012. Spring is officially here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

29/29 - TWENTY EIGHT: On the Columbia

Ron watching a passing ship
September 2007
Really digging through the archives (thank god for smugmug). Back in the dark ages before we had motorcycles we joined a group paddling Ridgefield wildlife refuge. It wasn't planned to go out on the Columbia River, but the water was so calm we did a circumnavigation of Bachelor island, which included a stint on the Columbia. Crossed  paths with something a little bigger than the kayaks. I was hoping for a huge wake, but alas, big boat does not equal big wake. :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

29/29 - TWENTY SEVEN: I am reduce to this...

itty-bitty annoying netbook
Our computer died :-(

Probably a power supply issue, and hopefully we'll be back up in a day or two.
Still,gotta post though!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

29/29 - TWENTY SIX: A ride to the snowy top.

The cold and rain have continued from yesterday, but at a much calmer rate. Ron wanted a quick ride just to spin out a little and work out the kinks in his legs. I wanted to ride up to Dimple Hill from the Oak Creek side as there is a small section we have yet to ride. This will finish out the total route for us.

We started at busy Oak Creek trail head. No matter what the weather, the trail head is always busy with hikers, dogs, bikes and runners.It's a steady but easy climb for about 3.5 miles. The bad thing about the weather conditions is the extremes from being too hot when climbing to freezing when descending or stopped.  Our turn around point was at the big intersection just short of the top. We hadn't planned to ride all the way to the viewpoint, and we were wet and cold, ready to be back in the car. Shortly before arriving at the top we hit a skiff of snow. None on the road, but you could find it along the hillsides and just off the trail.
It's official, we rode in snow...I can justify that Snow bike now!

Thankfully the ride back down is very quick. The only downside was I lost my safety glasses, and had to descend with no eye's to mud in your eye!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

29/29 - TWENTY FIVE: Rainy Day Shopping

Tonight we are serving up...

new gloves.

Okay, it's a lousy post, but it is moto related. :)
Today, let's just say the weather was as lousy as it can get, cold and windy with rain and snow. Our snow is as wet as our rain, not the pretty fluffy stuff of hallmark cards and ski resort brochures. Ugly, wet smooshy snow. I didn't even bother with a pic.

Instead of bicycling or motorcycling, we opted to go shopping (ugh!) At least it was motorcycle shops and bicycle shops. Now that's shopping I can live with!

First we hung out at Discount Motorcycle in Eugene, where I tried on several jackets. I was well behaved and didn't leave a mess of liners and layers strewn about for the owners to pick up after. I found a pair of thin, unlined gloves that I'd been wanting, and pondered a future jacket purchase. A girl can't have to many gloves or jackets.
One more silly pic
New gloves: something light and simple (makes it easier to grab the camera).

Afterwords we headed to Corvallis to invade the bicycle shops, and were perfect nuisances to all the shop boys there. At least they haven't started locking the doors when they see us coming! I spent a decent portion of my time drooling over my future mtn. bike, while Ron was fixated on the Specialized S-works Tri-bike. $11,000 and it's yours! Such is the stuff of rainy day shopping.

Friday, February 24, 2012

29/29 - TWENTY FOUR: Opportunity

I had a window of opportunity today, to go for a ride. The weather report for the weekend is not looking good for us outdoor types. The road called, and Sam answered the call.

There was more of that blue stuff, and a strange warmth to the air.
Wildlife sightings on the road. These two jumped out from some bushes, crossing the road in front of me.
I wandered some of the back roads and found an interesting old barn. Cool cupolas.
Do you see it? The crosswind. It was out of the south and made it feel like Sam was going to slip out from under me. I hate that sensation.
When I pulled into the driveway I noticed some fresh spring sign: The Andromeda is in bloom!
There is rain falling on the roof as I type.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

29/29 - TWENTY THREE: What's that blue stuff?

Today the commute...
The blue stuff
with the green stuff
...Was spectacular!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

29/29 - TWENTY TWO: Sam

Betcha thought I was gonna miss day 22!
January 2, 2012
 Just a quick snap of Sam. We'd gone for a little ride, our first for 2012. I took several pics and even drafted a post, but for whatever reason never posted it. Oh well, I have a photo to get me through one more day of 29/29.

Tomorrow the weather looks decent. Hopefully I'll be on the bike.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

29/29 - TWENTY ONE: The Fork in the Road

Sooner or later we all come to that fork in the road...
 I took this photo a couple of years ago as a photo tag.
Here's one from this month with the other two wheeler.
February 11 Chocolate ride

Monday, February 20, 2012

29/29 - TWENTY: McCulloch Peak - The rest of the Story

Patterson Road
We start at Oak Creek and climb about 5 miles to McCulloch Peak. My information is that it's a somewhat strenuous climb. But hey, it's on forest service roads, how hard can it be? It's a pleasant ride for the most part, but there is this one section...more on that later.
At the 680 intersection we chat with another rider about the route ahead, and that's when we get the first clue. He describes the route as being similar to what we've been doing, that is up until where we'll come to "the wall". The wall?? None of the trail guides mentioned a wall on this route.
A sidenote: There are many trails in McDonald Forest, both official and unofficial. Most have names. Names like Plunge, Chute, and Endo. Do you see a theme? Service roads don't really have names. Well a few do, but most just have a number. Service roads are generally unremarkable. When a road gets a name, especially a name like "the wall", There is probably a good reason for it, and it's probably going to involve suffering.

So far the ride is pretty good. Then we came to a steeper section of road."Do you think this is it, the wall?" "We rode up it didn't we? - it's not the wall." We would be walking if it was the wall. The road levels and comes to a nice viewpoint. I put the bench to good use.
We start riding again, round a corner and find...another climb. "Do ya suppose this is the wall?" It looks like it could be. We ride as far as we can, but soon enough we're walking. That's okay, there are more views to enjoy as we stroll along pushing the bikes up the cliff face.
Looking down from where we came
More walking until the road flattens a little. Remount. Ride a little more and come to an even steeper section than before! Ride til we can't then walk some more.
The view from the side of the cliff
Walking the wall or walking the nasty climb before the wall. We never could decide which.
Bonking is a funny thing. I've only done it once before. It hits without warning. I'm riding then, I'm out of breath...and yawning... and nauseous. Then, because I'm not moving, I'm getting chilled. Lovely! Sick, breathing funny and freezing. Fun stuff this!
Am I having fun yet? Oddly, it looks like I'm going down hill. Trust me, I'm not!
I have my first Hammer gel ever. For those who haven't had one, gels are little packets of nutrition-filled goo designed to zap you back to life. I have a personal philosophy against consuming calories in the form of goo. I think calories should come from quality donuts or cookies. I thought the gel would be gag-me horrible, but it's actually quite tasty. We are nearly done with the wall, and the rest of the riding is, in comparison, easy.

The view is spectacular (it damn well better be!!). We have sunshine for 5 minutes - a tiny amount of warmth while we sit and feast on trail mix and shoot a few pics. The sun hides behind the clouds again and we began to gear up for the cold descent to come.
At the top of McCulloch Peak
The descent will be easy and cold. Death-grip on the brake levers with icy cold fingers. We met a runner coming up the wall. REALLY? He's older than us, and he's running. Okay he's jogging very slowly, but He's JOGGING UP THE WALL! he must have the best set of lungs and heart in the Willamette Valley.

Not many pics on the way down. It was too cold to stop, and too much fun rolling along. We explore a few spur roads and trails, but basically we're just heading back to the car.

We never really figured out which section was the wall. The last climb was the worst, but the two before it were nasty too. So is the whole thing the wall, or just the top portion. Whichever it is, if you go just be prepared...around the corner there is another climb and it will be more painful.

11.26 miles
1:59 hrs
5.64 av
22.08 mx

Sunday, February 19, 2012

29/29 - NINETEEN: McCulloch Peak

Today Ron and I did a mtn. bike ride up to McCulloch Peak today. I've never been up there before and the view is wonderful. I can't do it credit.
View from McCulloch Peak
I might post the grueling ride report later, in all it's painful glory. Suffice to say I have found the Mother of all "training rides" in Mac Forest...and I'm tired. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

29/29 - EIGHTEEN: Chocolate!

By the time you read this...

... These will be gone.

 Going Fast!
Victorian Chocolate Company, Lebanon Oregon

Friday, February 17, 2012

29/29 - SEVENTEEN: Cecil

When we decided to add motorcycling to our lives we came up with this great idea that a little project bike would be a good way to learn all about motorcycle mechanics. We acquired a cheap basket case from a friend. It was one of those family bikes that had been through a kid or two and ended up stored in the barn to gather rust, dust, and a few bit's of hay. We brought it home where it spent a good deal of time covered with a blue tarp.
Now and then I took photos. Artsy-fartsy kinds of stuff; old, decaying, rusty photos for the most part.
Ron had his hands full with his Suzuki. That would end up being the bike he would learn on. The little Honda really was a lost cause. It had one valuable item...a title, and maybe a few other bits and pieces.
Preserve nature?
Let's get started
Ron acquired another CB200 from a guy at work. This one was in a little better shape, but had no title, and it didn't run.
Bike # 2
I don't remember all the details. Two bikes were stripped down, parts were sorted and scattered and rearranged.
A part from this pile, and a part from that other pile... the end we had Cecil. And he runs!
He's the baby of the family, and looks sort of cute tucked in with the bigger bikes.
Yes indeedy, 4 bikes in a single car garage
(Safety instructors avert your eyes - You'll see no illegal, unsafe behavior here.)
Our daughter, armed with a few basic instructions, took her first motorcycle ride on Cecil. We won't mention the slightly cracked tires that still managed to hold air, or the brakes that almost worked if you coast far enough, no we won't.
Family affair: Little brother was the best at giving rider instructions.
Okay, you can open your eyes again...
Cecil has even answered the call to duty, and served his time as a comuter. The guys at Ron's work wanted to see Cecil, so there really was only one option...take Cecil to work day. Bunch of tough biker guys (some of the leather and Harleys variety) think Cecil is awfully cute. They've invited him back again sometime...
...maybe when he gets some new tires. :)