Monday, December 30, 2013

10 Bike related events in and around Portland

Making a list seems to be the thing to do at the start of the year, so here's my contribution of things that we have done that we plan to do again because they are great fun. I could add a few more, but to keep it to a Top 10, I had to do some editing. 
  1. January 1st BTA New Year's Day Ride: traditionally starts under the Morrison Bridge at noon, a great way to start the year with a short ride to think about the future.
  2. February has the Worst Day of the Year Ride: held on the weekend nearest the day that featured the coldest temperature recorded in Oregon -54 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also a fundraiser for the Community Cycling Center
  3. March features the Community Cycling Center's Transportation Trivia Night
  4. April brings us Filmed by Bike, a festival of short films that feature local artists and inspirational stories.
  5. April has a bonus event of the Ronde which is an ambitious cycling route through the West Hills of Portland where neighbors have started to turn out to watch the hard bodies (and soft ones) of the Oregon cycling scene suffer through an unsanctioned, unorganized ride that has been featured on OPB and other media outlets.
  6. June is devoted to Pedalpalooza, 3.5 weeks of bike fun that includes the World Naked Bike Ride and many other events.
  7. July 2nd weekend is Cycle Oregon Weekend Ride: the folks of CO put on a family friendly weekend normally held at a college a short drive from Portland.
  8. July (last Saturday of the month?) Chris King Gourmet Century - I have called this the best day of food and cycling you can have in Portland and I mean it. 
  9. August is the Bridge Pedal: 18,000 people on bikes in Portland can't be wrong. 
  10. Cyclocross at the Cross Crusade in October: Whether you're a spectator or a participant, checking out the action is a great way to spend a Sunday in the Pacific Northwest. Fun videos here and here & a classic old school summary of what's going on 

Of course the Week long Cycle Oregon ride is a classic, the carfree weekend at Crater Lake, and Tour de Lab are some of the great activities that await us in 2014.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cycle Oregon Weekend Ride 2012

The family spent the weekend at the Cycle Oregon Weekend ride. We're getting ready to experience the Cycle Oregon week long ride later this summer and we hadn't done this since 2007 when it was in its second year. The Weekend Ride is a window into the fantastically well organized riding that goes on during the week long ride. 

Corvallis was the place for this year, which was a homecoming of sorts for Susan and I from the college days. It was nice to be back on campus, this time sleeping under the stars. 

Our friends got down a little early and organized a nice spot on Peavy Field which was a great grassy spot with a few trees for shade. The weather was fantastic throughout the weekend! The Community Cycling Center had organized a Bike Camp for the kids, so we had both Abby and Amelia in Camp so Susan and I could ride the long route (68 miles, 4,200 feet of climbing). Abby had enjoyed the program of the week long experience before but this was our 6-year old's first organized bike activity. The confidence they build in the camp is well worth the price of admission. It also turned out that I knew some of the instructors, our transportation world is so very small, so we knew that they were in good hands and the girls had an absolute blast. Abby's group did just over 15 miles and Amelia did 7, travelling from park to park in the City of Corvallis and enjoying the playgrounds and camaraderie of being with kids their own age.

The Cycle Oregon weekend sold out this year (2,200 strong)! The food at the dorms was sufficient to get us going. I agree with the Path Less Pedaled that it would have been a lot better with just a touch better coffee (we are Portland coffee snobs). Where was Nossa Familia or Trailhead when you need them? 

The food at the lunch stops was fantastic and this was cheerfully offered by Cycle Oregon's fantastic volunteers. Definitely something I will enjoy doing when the kids are out of the house. 

The Sunday ride was special for the family. After having it for six years (we bought it from a friend), we finally pulled the tandem from the back of the garage after mounting the stoker kit for Amelia. Susan had completed a test ride last week, so Amelia was ready to enjoy the ride and was pushing for the middle route (36 miles)Abby was a bit reluctant at first to commit to the 36 miles (it would best her previous long from last summer), but after seeing deer on the side of the highway and turkey vultures a few minutes later, she exclaimed "this is the experience of a lifetime!"
A few more photos from along the route.

Jay Graves of the Bike Gallery offered to let me borrow his dream
machine. This bike looked fast just leaning on the support van.
Bike Gallery's support of Cycle Oregon is a big reason I have bought
Trek bikes and ride them with pride. 

Susan and the kids at the Thompson Flour Mill, an Oregon State Park.

Abby gets a little help on the home stretch.

During the last mile, we kept promising ice cream to the kids.
Cycle Oregon didn't disappoint!
Friends of Sellwood, put this on your calendars for next year and prepare for the Cycle Oregon announcement (normally the first week in February)! I am willing to bet the Weekend Ride starts ending up like the Weeklong Ride where you have 30 minutes before it sells out!

Cycle Oregon Weekend Ride Sunday Mid Length Route

Cycle Oregon Weekend Ride Sunday Mid Length Route by pkoonce99 at Garmin Connect - Details

Cycle Oregon Weekend Saturday Long Route

Cycle Oregon Weekend Saturday Long Route by pkoonce99 at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ronde PDX covered by the Oregonian

I thought this was a pirate ride that doesn't get much coverage, but the Oregonian highlighted it in the O today, here's the link.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Welcome Spring & The Value of Group Riding

I had been slacking off of the group rides for a time to get my fitness back up before joining in and because my schedule has been a tad erratic. Today, I got out with the Sellwood shop ride and they had a nice group of 11. The group ride was a spirited affair as always. One of the great things they do is a sprint finish to the City limits signs as you pass from one town to the next. Today, we headed out on the Springwater Trail, so fairly familiar territory for everyone which made some of the strategy even more intriguing.

Our destination was Oxbow Park, located in the scenic Sandy River Gorge and southwest of Troutdale. We stopped for coffee at Celebrate Me Home which has a nice coffee shop in the store. We didn't linger long there because the weather beckoned us back out with some really nice sunshine. I'd wished I brought my sunglasses. With all the snow and wet weather we've been having it was a welcome surprise.

So, the ride was good, it was 50 miles all summed up. This is longer than I have gone this year, which is reason #1 that group rides are good. The second was that I clearly pushed harder than I had on my own. I recognized this at three separate periods in the ride. The first instance was when I dropped a glove (out of a jacket pocket) and then had to chase to get back into the pack. The second was when we tackled the hill out of Oxbow Park. The 22% grade was a good effort to push my comfort level. The last was when I dropped my chain and then again had to fight back into the pack after readjusting the chain.

I also picked up a trick from my buddy Joe about how to feather the chain back into service in a situation like that. There are a wide variety of nuggets of cycling genius that you can glean from a group ride.

Finally, the inspiration of future rides is always a good discussion topic. I think I convinced Joe to ride in the Ronde PDX. Joe was the guy who made us look silly last year passing us on his mountain bike during the ride. He was thinking about skipping it this year, but I hope to try to hang with him this year.