Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Many, Many Rides

I've been riding almost daily since the beginning of the month. I started keeping track of the miles on Bike Journal and already have over 200 miles accumulated for the month. The weather has been so beautiful and promises to continue for the rest of the week. A week ago Saturday I did the loop around Portland paths and met a lot of people. I also got stung by a wasp. It stung bad for about 20 minutes and then turned into a 3 inch welt on the side of my thigh. I was wearing regular shorts and the wasp flew in. Yeow!! This ride was 45 miles and I did it on Sunday too. I stopped into Performance bikes shop to get a lock and when I used it I set it up wrong and it was useless. Sunday I went back to get a replacement. They were nice about it and gave me one at 1/2 price. I also got a flat. This was my 2nd flat on the road and the same tire. Its the tire that rolls closest to the edge of the road where most of the debris is. My biggest problem with riding isnt the riding or the hills but keeping track of my stuff. Seems like I can't be bothered to zip up my rear rack bag after I use stuff. Luckily I started using a yellow rain cover so I didn't lose anything. Sometimes I look down at my fanny pack and its wide open too. So wierd!!

I need to get a new phone. My current one still works but to has broken in two peices. I'm thinking about getting a phone to send and recieve emails and has wi-fi. Mostly, I thinking about next summers bike ride. Getting a phone to keep the journal up to date instead of getting a computer. Still thinking about it...

I rode out to Battleground Saturday. It wasn't supposed to rain but about 20 minutes in the rain started. The weather is supposed to be nice for another week and I haven't put the front fenders on yet - what a mess!! I stopped at Battlegrounds for a soy latte and let my jacket dry out a bit. The idea was to go up Kelly Rd hill - I'll get there next time. I also lost traction going up a short very steep hill on the way back. Not good!! I ordered a new tire with tread and kevlar belt for the back tire and a rain jacket.

Yesterday I went for my yearly MRI and blood work appointment. I'll get the results on Thursday and see if the tumor removal and hormone levels are still doing good. The surgery was over 3 years ago and every year I've felt better and better. Especially emotionally. I don't have the ups and downs I used to have. The only issue left is weight. I'm hoping all the biking will help. I just cracked 200 and the numbers are going in the right direction. It feels doable - maybe I'll lose wieght riding around the country - you think?

Now I'm off the watch the c and b city league teams.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Back to the Business of Biking

I've been biking frequently since the New York trip and its about time to document. Here are some pictures from the latest rides.

This cow was pulling on a branch shaking the tree to get the apples to fall.

On my way back past the same farm there were many more cows looking for hand outs from the smart cow.

Yeah, what do you want to do about it?

This house had birdhouses all around it.
I've started expanding my rides and looking for more routes. I found a route on the randonneuring website and another on the blueberry's. I tried out the Blueberry route today which went through Hazel Dell and Salmon Creek or atleast that's as far as I got. A bridge was closed on Salmon Creek and I got lost finding my way back to the route after the detour. It was a beautiful day and I didn't mind. This will be a good route once I figure out how to get around the detour. Actually, I think I did today - if I can remember what I did. Its supposed to be a beautiful weekend so I think more biking is in store. I managed to do 41.5 miles today with many hills. Even the Felida hill- good stuff. I might try the other route which goes through Battleground and on up St. Helens. The route is 124 miles so I'll probably go 20-30 miles and then turn around.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

What a week

Eve and I had such a nice visit together in New York. We got along so well and laughed a lot. I hadn't been to New York in about 18 years. The city is so much cleaner and quieter. The last time I was there the smell of urine was everywhere. There were used condoms, needles and rats all over. The city was so noisy I just couldn't stand it. The difference was amazing and welcome. The weather was also really good. I had such a good time being with family. We met up with cousin Helen at the Met museum. She is an intense woman who has a tremendous passion for music and the arts. After walking around a show we walked a couple of blocks to a restaurant for lunch and met up with Jodie and her friend Serit from Isreal. It was really terrific to hang out with the family. They were all talking about family relationships bringing up names I'd never even heard of. Everyone had such a good time. Eve and I left there and headed for the TKTS office to see what tickets were available and ended up seeing a show about Mary Lincoln. It was the most disappointing show we saw all week. To be fair, it was in preview but I don't think it showed much promise. Lots of holes in the story, the costumes were poor, the direction was boring and the music wasn't interesting. Everyday we would have breakfast at our favorite deli and then go exploring eventually finding our way to TKTS for the evenings entertainment. We ended up seeing a piano recital, a musical (Spelling Bee), an opera (Semele) and a really great play (The History Boys).

Eve and I at the Met Museum

Eve at the Opera

Eve and Jodie

Monday, September 25, 2006

Wedding of Weddings

Eve and I went out looking for breakfast and found a wonderful deli that became our favorite for the rest of the trip. A bagel and lox/cream cheese schmear with a latte. There was so much lox in the cream cheese and the schmear so thick Eve could only eat half. I, of course, ate the whole thing. We took the 96th st crosstown bus and then down 5th ave to the Guggenheim. There was an exhibit of an woman Iraqi architect - Zaha Hadid. The drawings were astounding. Every drawing had so many angles it was really hard to see what the drawing represented. Even when there was a model of the drawing I couldn't follow it. The angles in the drawings and the spiral ramp going up the museum had me feeling a bit of vertigo where you lose your sense of space. I had to look away from the drawings to something that made sense to keep my sense of space. It was cool. We had a terrific lunch at the museum cafe and then walked up 5th until we needed to get back to our hotel and get ready for the wedding.

Eve took a nap while I watched part of the men's semifinal (Roddick/Youzhny) on tv. We got ourselves all made up and headed out. We, again, took the crosstown bus and then headed down 5th ave. We joked that our earlier trip had been a dress rehearsal. The wedding didn't start until 8 pm and we got there on time. I hate being late so this was important. The wedding was at the Pierre Hotel. Not a big hotel but very elegant. The wedding took place in many, many rooms and the first was an entry room. It was round with a dome ceiling and 2 sweeping staircases painted in light blue with a cupid like theme. In the middle of the room was a small round table with an enormous, gorgeous flower display. There were intricate long flower garlands that went up both sides of the sweeping staircase. On the table were envelops set in brass holders with everyones name on it. The envelop had a dinner table assignment number in it. Eve kept the brass holders as a keepsake. From here it was a few steps up to the wedding room. It was absolutely beautiful. There were flowers everywhere. Garlands draped over everything that would hold them. The walkway down the aisle had these giant palmtree looking creations that were at least 15 ft tall and made entirely out of flowers. They also had small oil lamps hanging from them. Since it was a Jewish wedding the ceremony was short and sweet. Everyone looked terrific. There was a small orchestra playing classical music throughout. The glass was broken and it was time to go into the next room.

It was actually a series of 3 rooms. The orchestra broke up into trios and quartets and spaced themselves throughout the 3 rooms. Each room had a separate full bar and a ton of food - all appetizers. Veuve Cliquot was served throughout the evening - with a strawberry. There was a guy schucking oysters, a whole wall with sushi chefs making sushi to order, a wall of italian dishes, rack of lamb, lobster tails, king crab, mussels and, of course, tons of veggies. There were people walking around with more fancy looking tidbits. Again, the flower displays were absolutely amazing. They were intricate and hugenormous. I met Jackies' kids in line for sushi - so sweet. Shawn is 14 and Elana is 12. I hadn't seen Shawn since his bris. Ralph treated me like we had just seen each other. He is such a nice guy and so handsome. It felt really good to be here seeing some of the family.

About an hour of eating appetizers the doors to the wedding hall opened. It was truly an amazing sight. Again, the flowers were just stunning. The room was huge and completely covered with flowers. Every table had a display of flowers that was atleast 8 ft tall. There were enormous flower balls hanging from the ceiling too. We all starting dancing right away. A different band was playing in here. They had the usual band musicians with a whole horn section and 5 singers. The music was really fun. I probably danced for a full hour before sitting down. Dinner was served sometime around midnight. I had a beef dish and they also served sea bass. Sea bass must be making a come back. It seemed every restaurant we went to throughout our visit was serving it. The mashed potato thing served in the hashbrown cup was amazing too. Our waiter made sure everyone's Veuve glass was constantly full. The room was so beautiful that it was actually a bit overwhelming. It became very clear that this was no ordinary wedding. The bill for the flowers alone had to be a few hundred thousand dollars. I'm surprised there are any roses left in the city. People at my table pulled out roses from our display. Everyone took 1/2 a dozen each and you couldn't see that the display was missing anything.
These pictures are the best I could do - it was really dark in there. So much of the light was from the little hanging oil lamps. Are these flowers amazing or what? Doesn't Eve look elegant?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

US Open and Rehearsal Dinner

Awoke early as I was a bit worried how I would get to the US Open, how long it would take to get there and how long I would be able to spend there. I figured I needed to be back at the hotel by 4:30 to get ready for the rehearsal dinner. It was women's semifinal day and there would only be 2 matches in the main draw. I didn't really want to spend a ton of money to see one match and hoped there would be some matches on the outer courts. Perhaps juniors or seniors? Everything turned out great. It was a breeze to get there. The 7 train dropped me off right at the grounds. I got a day pass ticket - for $75. There were junior matches going on and the first match was with Donald Young. This kid has been touted as an up and comer for a few years I have really wanted to see him play. He has tried repeatedly to win matches on the pro tour with no success. As I approached the court, I stopped to reorganize my stuff and found myself standing next to Nick Bolletteri and Donald Young's couch. American Express had a big presence at the open and gave away a radio if you could present a card. I picked up the radio and from where I was sitting watching the junior match I could see the giant screen showing the Henin-Hardenne vs Jankovic semi-final. The radio worked great. Jankovic looked to be winning the match, convincingly, when she suddenly imploded emotionally. It was so dramatic and appeared that she couldn't handle winning. Jankovic went from winning the first set and being up in the second to losing the second set and the third at love. Donald Young also won his match. It wasn't easy though. Donald is a scrawny little guy. He's already 17 and will hopefully have a growth spurt to have any chance of a pro tour career. I also watched to #1 girl take out her opponent in 3. She was more impressive than Donald. She was from Russia (what a surprise) and had an impossibly long name. After watching these matches I walked around the grounds and found the practice courts. Andy Roddick and Jimmy Conners were out there. Boy was it fun to see those guys. If I came during the first week I'd probably spend a lot of time hanging out there - you really see the players in a relaxed atmosphere with their coaches and hitting partners. After that I walked around some more and headed to the gift shop. I wanted to get Nancy and Yumi t-shirts for helping me out taking care of Ro and my car. A simple tank top was $50. I just couldn't do it. I picked up some caps, visors and rubber duckies. Checking the time it seemed like time to head back to the hotel. On the way out American Express was handing out subway metro cards - score!!

Eve and I took the crosstown bus and headed down 5th ave to the rehearsal dinner. It was on the top floor of a building overlooking the 59th street bridge. We watched a big orange moon rise from our table. It was amazing to see relatives I haven't seen in about 12 years. As I entered the room I ran into someone I play tennis with - Sue Abrams. We looked at each other and I said 'What are you doing here" Sue said she was a cousin of Jodies and responded that I was a cousin of Jodies!! Really wild. I recognized her mother and we had a lot of fun catching up. Eve and I ended up sitting with Sue and her family. It turned out that our family had little representation since we were all from the west coast. The food and atmosphere were terrific and I was little sad that I don't know my family better.

Happy couple - Lauren and Dana.

Jody and Eve.

On the way out, all the out of town guests got a bag of goodies. This bag had biscotti, cookies, water and lots of chocolate. Eve and I ate from these bags everyday and I still had chocolate when I left New York.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Going to a New York Wedding

My aunt Eve called to chat and tells me she going to a wedding in New York. I ask her who's getting married and it turns out to be my 2nd cousin. She suddenly hits on the idea that I should go with her and I can't think of anything else I'd rather do. The wedding is going to be a swanky formal affair which means I'm going to have to do some shopping. We decide to spend an extra week in New York after the wedding to see as many plays as possible. My aunt is an actress, 80 years old and still working. Isn't that what everyone wants - to be 80 and still being called? I find her to be a true inspiration and am really looking forward to spending 10 days with her in New York.

First, I need an outfit for the wedding and 2 more for looking sharp at plays. I'm not really comfortable with formal so I head to Nordstrom. Usually someone there can help me. I did find some outfits but felt I could do better. The saleslady sent me to the store at Washington Square. My friend Amy volunteered to help me and we drove on out there. At first, the salespeople had me trying on halter top dresses and other sleeveless items that were atleast $300.00. My arms are not ready for baring and so we went to another department where the saleslady really got what I was looking for. We found a terrific outfit for the wedding with a pair of spanx. Spanx is a word I can't help but say outloud everytime I see it. We also found a perfect pair of little strappy shoes. Better, it was all on sale!! A couple days later I went shopping with Annie and we found the perfect outfits for the going to plays. Yeahh!!

My aunt and I took a look at the online registry at Bloomingdale's for the happy couple. We agreed on a set of coffee cups and saucers and had them giftwrapped. Got that out of the way. Next is a haircut, pedicure, browwax, message and acupucture session. You know what else? - I'll be in New York during the US Open - now we're talking!!

Eve gets to fly direct from LA - I get to fly to LA and then New York. We arrive Thurday night within an hour of each other. Alaska airlines sucks. There was no one in LA to tell me where to go for my next flight. Turns out I have to take 2 buses to get to the next flight. Lucky for me I have 2 hours. Upon arrival in New York, I call Eve to find out where she is and take the air train to meet up so we can split the cab fare to our hotel. It's about midnight when we arrive at our lovely 2 star hotel but we need to get something to eat. No problem, it's New York - lots of restaurants are open.

Monday, September 04, 2006


I didn't realize how sick I was until I got home. I had the runs for another 6 days and didn't get my strength back for an additional week. I'm still not drinking alcohol for fear of more stomach problems. Apparently, there is a virus going around with all of the symptoms I posed. At least it wasn't caused by too much biking on an out of shape body!! Last weekend I went for an easy ride up the Springwater to Jazzy Bagels with Amy. The ride totally wore me out. The next day I played 3 sets of doubles and I was done by the 3rd set. The next day I couldn't do anything I was so exhausted. The recovery has been slow and I've had to be very patient. Finally, this weekend I did a 45 mile ride with a bunch of recumbent riders with no ill effects. It felt good to be out biking. These riders are very strong and they set a pace that was far beyond me. I started to get cranky thinking that if I was going to ride by myself I could have just ridden from my home instead of driving over an hour to meet everyone. But after an hour or so I looked down at my computer and noticed I was riding 3 mph faster than I normally do. I realized these riders were pushing me and I was responding. Riding by myself I typically ride in the 10 mph range. Yesterday, over a moderately hilly terrain I rode 12.2 mph average over 45 miles. Not bad - not bad at all!! The day was perfect for riding and the scenery was lovely. Most of it was the same route I took 2 weeks ago to the coast. This time we started just before Vernonia and rode to Birkenfeld for an all you can eat brunch buffet. I've been to this restaurant before and they do an outstanding job and serve a ton of food. All and all a good day!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Getting There is Only Half The Ride

I really didn't sleep very well. There was a family with 4 little kids next door playing a game very late. I heard another camper ask them to keep quiet but it didn't really help much. I finally popped an Ambien. Over the past few days I had been feeling a little sore throat thing happening. It wasn't enough to even mention much less hold me back. Friday morning I started feeling much worse. I took it easy and drank a lot of gatorade all day. Maybe the ride took more out of me than I thought. Edna, Mandy and I went to Costo and Freddies to get food for dinner and the retreat Potluck. Everything I did took so much effort - not good. We returned from shopping and started dinner. We feasted on rib-eyes and veggies. It was excellent!! We had also picked up a case of beer and 6 bottles of wine. I started to feel so bad I couldn't drink - definitely not a good sign. I said 'good night' early and went to bed. Saturday I woke up feeling worse and my stomach was acting up too. Good thing my campsite is right behind the bathroom. I decided to go on a 25 mile breakfast bike ride. I was slower than usual and I'm usually pretty slow. Barbara was nice enough to ride with me. I know her from some of the slug rides in Portland. We made it to the Pig 'n Pancake long after everyone else and I had settled into some delicious blueberry crepes. After an embarrassing trip to the bathroom we headed back to the campground. I told Barbara about my stomach woes and she offered me a ride home Sunday if I thought I needed it. Very generous. I was beginning to think that was a good idea. I met Michael Wolfe almost at the campgroung and he was very encouraging telling me I deserved to be tired. Everyone seemed to think I was tired from the ride from Portland. I think I was suffering a flu virus of some sort. I made it back just in time for a pit stop and then the annual picture. All the recumbents meet at a semi-circle of a campground parking lot for a panaramic picture. There were 118 bikes this year- a record. Afterwards, lots of people took turns riding my trike. Everyone was having so much fun. As the day wore on the runs to the bathroom increased. We did the poker run in record time. The retreat organizers give out a map of the bike trails with x's marking spots where a box of cards in envelops are located. The trails are all over grown and lush. The box is hidden somewhere in the wildlife. It's a fun way to ride the trails. Everytime we find a box there's a lot of wooping and hollering. I ended up with a set of 4's. The bike trails around the campground are extensive and very beautiful. We all went to the retreat potluck where I ate very little and had to run to the bathroom a couple of times. I was also starting to get feverish. The lighted bike parade was next on the agenda and is the centerpiece of the recumbent retreat. It is hillarious!! Everyone adds lights to their bikes and we ride through all the loops in the campground. The campers love it and many come back every year just to see it. It is so psychedelic. This parade is just down home, clean, good fun. The bikes are decked out in flourescent lights and appear to float along. As a rider there is almost a sense of vertigo. Greg, also on a trike, had music from the 20's and 30's accompanying us - it was perfect. I wish I had pictures of some of the bikes but it takes all my concentration to make sure I stay on the road and don't run into anyone. The parade takes about an hour. I was laughing trying to find my way back to my campsite. It was so dark I couldn't find the entrance to my loop. I ran into Kathy and Kirke who graciously lent me a headlamp to use to get to my camp. PPhheeww!! I was exhausted and needed to sleep. I settled in my tent and tried to go to sleep - no go. Soon I was up running to the bathroom. My fever increased and I started freezing in my sleeping bag. My whole body was shaking and I still had to get up and go to the bathroom. Is there much worse than camping with the runs? I knew there was no way I was riding back to Portland. Sunday morning, blurry eyed, wearing every peice of clothing I brought with me, I told the people I rode with I was going to need a ride home. Everyone came up witha solution in minutes. I couldn't believe how easy it was to get me and my trike back. Mike called his wife and had her hide my keys outside and put the trike rack out on the grass. It was decided Mandy and Chris would take my trike and I would ride with Edna and Dave back to Mike's. We broke down camp for the last time and left after the poker run prizes were given out. The drive back to Mike's was uneventful. It was over 90 in Portland and I still was wearing my jacket. After dropping me and my trike off at Mike's I was grateful to get home. The runs continued for almost a week - I lost some weight. It took another week to get my strength back. At first I was worried that biking might be too much for me and I would never be able to do a long distance ride on my own. As the days progressed and my health improved I decided I was just sick and if this happened on the road I would have no choice but to sit tight until I felt better. I'm still really excited and proud of the riding I did and really want to build on it.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

70 miles to Ft. Stevens

With the help of Ambien, I had a good nights' rest. We all broke down our camps and had breakfast. We ate the freshly picked blackberries with our oatmeal - nice treat!! Tea doesn't really do it for me in the morning but I knew we would be stopping in Birkenfeld shortly. Dave and Edna got going before Mike and me. As I started riding a pain in my knee had me taking notice. I remembered feeling something as we ended our ride yesterday but figured it would alright with rest. As we rode on the pain increased to the point I was worried. After about 5 miles I asked Mike to stop so I could adjust my cleats hoping that would help. It did somewhat. I decided to make another adjustment in Birkenfeld. Boy was I upset. I'm sure someone driving to the retreat today would have been able the pick me up but I really wanted to ride. I made another adjustment, popped some Advil, drank a latte and that seemed to do the trick. I'll bet that extra speed yesterday put extra stress on my knee. It was a great relief to be able to continue on. Just before we arrived in Birkenfeld we past a field with a long line of blue rooms set up for the Hood To Coast run. It was a beautiful day with temps in the high 70's . Temperatures in Portland were expected in the 90's so we were grateful to be climbing the coastal range with the lower temps. Last year was my first year on a recumbent and I had to walk alot of the hills. This year I made it with no problems. One of the nice things about riding a trike is you can stop and get started again anywhere. Edna and I rode together and gabbed our way through the day. It was very comfortable. We stopped about every hour for a rest and a snack. The riding was very quiet. I expected more logging trucks. We were stopped once by some logging operations but that was about it. The terrain is beautiful and lush. As we crested the top of the mountain the landscape become more stark and rocky. The ride down was very fast. Dave had flat after he rode into a pot hole. I was surprised he was able to keep such good control of the bike. He had it fixed in no time and we continued on down the hill into very lush, thick overgrowth. The temperture dropped at least 10 degrees but still very comfortable. This year we went into Astoria around another way. I liked it better. There is something about riding by water that I really like. It feels so clean. We refilled our water supplies and took a potty break at a restaurant just before the Astoria bridge. This bridge has a sign that blinks caution lights for bicyclists crossing. All the roads around Astoria were pretty flat and had good shoulders. We made one more pit stop before arriving at the Ft. Stevens campground. I found my site and set up feeling very proud of my riding. This is a big accomplishment for me. After setting up camp and taking a shower I rode around and saw there were already a number of recumbent retreat riders. Everyone was excited to see each other. I liked getting there a day early.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ride to the Big Eddy Campground

I was so nervous about this ride that I had trouble sleeping for a few nights before starting out. I don't know why I get so nervous and it totally overwhelms me. Everything was packed and organized so there really wasn't anything to be worried about. I called Mike the day before we left for directions to his house and to talk about what we were going to cook for the first night's dinner. He gave me ideas and suggested a stove and cookware set to buy. I don't have a lot of experience camp cooking so I really had to think about what kind of food I needed to pack. Smoked salmon and couscous took care to the first dinner and oatmeal for breakfast. I decided tea would be easier than coffee. Camp cooking just doesn't sound very appealling to me. Maybe after a long day of biking anything will taste good. I made another trip to REI. The next morning I headed out to Mike's arriving around 9:30. Dave and Edna drove up shortly thereafter and we all set about getting our bikes set up. Mike is very organized - he even had maps copied for each of us. After a trip meeting and pictures we were off. Mike lives at the top of a mountain and for the first four miles we screamed downhill. At the bottom I realized I had lost my flag. This flag was expensive and I had put in considerable time adding reflective tape - bummer. Edna suggested Mike call his wife to see if she could drive down the hill to look for it and, viola, within 10 minutes I had my flag back - good move. We found trash along the roadside to help tie it down. Dave found some crepe paper wedding bells that had multicolored ribbons which worked really well. As the day progressed we added a number of streamers to it. This flag wasn't going anywhere.

Our first 20 miles flew by. I was so surprised how fast I was riding. Here I was fully loaded with an extra 50 pounds and I was riding 2 mph faster than normal. I've heard people say they always ride faster in a group. I think I could be pushing myself a bit more on my solo rides!! We made our way to Banks in search of the Banks-Vernonia trail. Somehow, Mike and I missed the very beginning of it and turned off to wait for Dave and Edna when we did. I found some low hanging blackberries and set about picking a bagfull - easy pickins. Here was desert for tonight!! The trail continues on paved for a few miles and then turns to gravel. We knew this and were hoping for hard packed gravel. I'd call it medium packed. I was on a trike so stability wasn't an issue but this trail really was suited more for mountain bike riding. I don't know if I could have done it on a bicycle - I certainly would have been very stressed out. It was alright for the first 3-4 miles and then it started getting old. Off road riding is hard on your equipment and your body. Then the gravel started getting thicker. I wasn't happy about it but the trike handled it just fine. Dave and Edna both almost wiped out and had to walk some of the deeper sections. Mike was so far ahead I don't know how he did. The scenery was gorgeous. We were riding under a canopy of overgrown trees and heavy, thick, lush underbrush most of the time. It smelled good too. Edna and I rode together gabbing away and noticed that the trail was also slightly uphill most of the time. Our speed was somewhere in the 4-6 mph range through the gravel patches. Then we came to the washed out train tressle with a very steep downhill and then walked up an even steeper uphill. Walking with a trike is difficult. My lower back was crying out trying to push this beast up the hill. Luckily, the guys came down to help. I was starting to swear pretty regularly by this time. Everyone else really wanted to ride the whole trail to see what it was all about so we continued. How much longer could it be? There were a few paved sections but mostly it was gravel. We went through one section where the gravel turned to big rocks and we had to move some of them out of the way. There was another steep uphill we all had to walk and by now everyone was ready to be done with this trail. We also passed a section where a new state park is going in. This park should be ready for next years ride. Towards the end of the trail we met a group horse back riding. I wonder how they managed the steep uphills? It wasn't too much longer and we finally got to pavement. It was heaven. From here on out anytime we came across rough road the response was always - " Atleast it is paved!". We stopped at a market in downtown Vernonia and then rode the last miles of the day to the Big Eddy campground. Even after riding all that gravel my average speed was still faster than normal - amazing!! I put out some cheese, salami, and crackers while we had showers and set up camp. Then everyone set about cooking dinner. We really had a lot of food and it turned out to be a nice meal. Mike is so organized with his food. Every meal is labeled what day it is for. I took notes of his techniques. I also tried out my new Snow Peak stove which is the same one Mike has. It is so small if I didn't know it was a stove I doubt I would know what it was for. It worked great although I don't know if I would make couscous again. I especially liked the Jenny Craig pasta dish Edna heated up. Another good idea for the future. We built a blazing fire and enjoyed the evening.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bridge Pedal and Packing for the Big Ride

Road down to Annie and Shawn's late Saturday afternoon. Everyone tried out the trike. Shawn got it up on two wheels. Ellen road with a huge grin on her face. Annie was giggling the whole time she was riding. A neighbor and his son also tried it out. Annie, Shawn and I went out for dinner and ice cream yakking it up the whole time. Before bed we played a game of clubs. It had been a long time since we played cards. Shawn killed us.

Got up at 5 am Sunday to get ready and head out to the start of the Bridge Pedal. I was surprised how quiet the esplanade was. I thought it would be crowded with riders also heading to the start. It was early. I arrived at the starting line around 6:15 behind at least 1,000 other bikers. It felt funny to be surrounded by upright bikes - everyone was so tall. The ride was good. I was a interested to see how I would handle the hill up to the St. John's bridge. It looks intimidating just driving past it. Dropped the gears down and spun my way to the top. I wasn't much faster than the people walking to the top but I really didn't care. Met a woman I know from the recumbent rides as we road up and she asked "When did I get that thing?" and then "When did I switch?" meaning when did I stop riding my fold rush. She asked me a bunch of other questions which showed her displeasure that I was riding a bike different from what I had been riding and different from the bike she is riding. So wierd!! At the rest stop following the big climb I discovered that my flag was gone. Immediately I suspected someone had taken it but as I thought about it more I realized that I could have lost it if I rode under a low hanging branch. The pole would have bent and the flag may have got caught in it. Whatever happened someone has a really nice flag. At some point riding up the St. John's hill I thought someone had yelled "Nice pole!!" but decided I had miss heard them. Turns out I heard right. It was easy riding from then on to the finish. A guy road past me yelling "You are the future - You are the future!!" 3 1/2 hours to complete 36 miles. I stopped at New Season's for lunch on the way home for a tuna sandwich and a chance to get off the trike. About 2 miles from home I got a flat. I was on the phone with Shawn at the time - pretty funny. This was my first flat to fix by myself. I was actually kind of excited about it. As the bike came to a stop I could feel and hear air coming out of the tire. I felt certain it was a piece of glass but when I took out the tube and felt around the tire I couldn't find anything. I put in a new tube knowing the cause of the flat still lurked. Sure enough, the new tube flatted 1/2 mile down the road. I found the hole in the wheel but still couldn't see anything. I started digging in the tire with a key and found the glass. It took awhile but I finally got it and made it home.

First thing Monday I order a new flag for overnight delivery. I liked the way that flag looked and really wanted it for the ride to the coast. Then I went back to the safety store for more reflective tape to add the new flag when it arrives. Next stop was to drop off my car to have a hitch installed at Rack Attack. I already purchased a rack for the trike. This way I could drive over to Mike's house Wednesday morning and ride with the others to Vernonia. From there I walked to NW and my massage appointment with Jessica. It was a really nice message. My body is doing so good and so much better than when I started body work. After that I met Gloria at Mio Sushi. It was really good to see Glo and the sushi was good too. We walked down to REI so I could pick up a couple things for my trip. She drove me back to Rack Attack to get my car. I don't think I've ever seen an Audi A4 with a hitch. The hitch looks alright. Made a couple of other stops on the way home and set out to start packing for the trip. Put the trike rack together and installed it in the new hitch. Very fancy!! Took the tail sok off and packed it up so I can put it in Edna and Dave's van so they can take it the retreat for me. I can't use the tail sok with the bags - yet. I've got some ideas how to make that work and I'll be talking to Robert and Pat of Terracycle about putting those in play. Put the fairing back on the trike which I haven't used since returning from Kentucky. I didn't get nearly as much done as I had hoped but I still have tomorrow.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Goin' to Annie and Shawn's

Ro started throwing up today. The vet warned me this would happen. I'm not ready to lose her so soon. It's so hard to know when to put an animal down. Maybe she will rally and maybe she is sicker than I thought. She also hasn't eaten today. Usually she's pawing at me in the moring to get out of bed to fill her bowl. Poor 'ol girl. I hate to think she is suffering.

I'm getting ready to take the trike down to Annie and Shawn's in preparation of tomorrow's Bridge Pedal ride. I really want to start the ride around 6:30. 23,000 bikers rode last year. By starting early I will hopefully get ahead of the families and kids. This way I won't have to get up so early. It's about a 6 mile ride to the start from thier house and close to 20 miles from my house. I got a new mini lawn flag and put some reflective tape on it for additional visibility. I'd like to stop off at Mallory's to get more reflective tape and I'll also stop at New Season's market to pick up my registration packet on my way down today. It will be good to see Annie and Shawn - it has been awhile.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Rowena Doesn't Get Her Teeth Cleaned

Poor 'ol girl!! I took Ro to the vet this morning to have some bloodwork done. The vet needed to check on her kidneys before we could talk about having her teeth cleaned. Turns out her kidney's are failing and the vet didn't want to chance putting her under. I asked how much time Ro had left thinking it would be about a year. The vet said it's possible but more likely just a few months. This cat has been such a good friend. It will be hard to say goodbye. We've been together for over 15 years. She was a stray when I found her and could have been 3 years old at that time. I guess she's had a good long life. There's no treatment for her condition I'll just try to keep her comfortable. To be honest, she doesn't really seem that sick. I've noticed over the last couple of years she's been drinking more than eating but she doesn't seem to be in any pain. Here I was worried about a little gingivitis. She sure is a good sport!!

I also went to the dentist and got my teeth cleaned. They are looking good. One of my implants has come loose so I'll be going to my old dentist tomorrow to have her tighten it up.

Later in the day I got my bloodwork results from my new doc at St. Vincents. My prolactin levels are 28. Yaahoo!! This is great news. The last few times I've had this test done the levels were approaching 50. They are supposed to be under 25. The doctor also wants me to lower my dosage of synthroid. My thyroid apprears to be stronger as well. About 2 months ago I started using progesterone cream with good results. I noticed that I was feeling calmer - inside. Much less anxious. Could it be affecting my prolactin and possibly thyroid hormone levels? Wouldn't it be great if these two problems could be eleviated with an over the counter cream?!?!? This will motivate me to keep using it.

I also took the time to change tires on the trike today. I'm so glad I did. It was hard but I did it. On the first try, the tube got a snake bite puncture when I pumped it up. Then I couldn't get the patches to stick to the tube. Maybe the patches were old - I used patches from another kit and those worked just fine. Then I changed out the rear tire. It also took awhile but I finally got it. At least I know I've done it once. I tell you those 20" wheels are hard to get the tires off of!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sauvie Island

A ride was proposed online for a trip out to Sauvie's Island. The rider's that responded are so strong and fast I decided to meet them on the road. If I started with them it would be the last time I'd see them. I headed out from my house just after 8 am and after 23 miles of riding still hadn't seen the others. I pulled into a 7-11 to use the bathroom and pick up a snack. I'm trying to remember to take the GPS off the bike everytime I stop. It would be too easy for anyone to steal it. While I'm at the counter waiting to pay for my snacks, I set the GPS on the counter and promptly knock it to the ground. Great!! I've only had the unit for about a week and it was very expensive. Not only for the unit but the extra larger memory chip, maps and the DVD player I had to buy to use the maps. As I'm finishing my snack the rest of the gang rides by - I yell at them to stop and we all regroup. All but one was on a recument bike. There was one upright, 6 recumbents and me on the trike. As we get going I notice all I'm getting on the GPS is elevation. Something is wrong. We get to Sauvie's Island and one woman who I'll be riding to the coast with decides she wants to go back. I decide to ride back with her so we can talk over our camping and route plans. It really is a lovely day. We're riding on Hwy 30 which is pretty flat, it has a lot of traffic and a wide shoulder. We try to carry on a conversation but the traffic noise is too loud. Almost back to NW Portland we stop at a subway for a snack and the restroom. I'm messing with the GPS and can't figure out what is wrong. Edna and I talk over plans for riding to the coast and we decide to leave a week from Wednesday and set up camp at the Big Eddy Campground. It's really exciting talking about this ride. We will be going with Edna's husband Dave and Mike, a guy I rode with last year. Dave and Mike can ride at a faster pace and Edna and I can keep each other company at the rear. We'll come up with a menu for Wednesday night so we can divvy up the food and gear to share the load. Edna has just bought a TI Rush frame set and needed to go over the Coventry Cyclery to pick out components - very exciting!! REI was just a block away and head over there to see if anyone can help me with my GPS. There had been a big bike ride earlier in the day and REI was packed. Somehow I managed to get 2 guys to help me. I went outside with one guy and then he passed it on to another after he couldn't figure out what was wrong. At one point the second guy asked how old the batteries where. I replaced them yesterday and I asked if maybe the batteries got jostled but he said there was clearly power and so everything looked ok with the batteries. After walking around and pushing buttons for about 20 minutes he suggested I take the unit back to where ever I bought it. He said the units are expected to sustain 5 foot falls. The drop from the counter to the floor couldn't have been more than 3 feet. Boy was I bummed - I bought it on EBay and didn't know if there was any kind of warranty. All that money and now I'd have to spend more. Would I even have it fixed for the ride to the coast? As I'm riding home I start thinking about what someone would suggest I do before sending it somewhere to get fixed. Certainly, they would want me to put fresh batteries in it. This got me to thinking I should check the batteries to see if they were seated firmly. Sure enough, one of the batteries had come loose - just a bit. I felt it click into place, put the cover back on, and voila, the GPS starts to work perfectly. Yeahh!! Wow, what a relief!! I'll have to come up with a better system for how to handle the unit off the bike. The ride overall was really good. The temperature was close to 90 and I was slathering on the sun screen all day. I'm using a 50 spf and surprised how much color I'm getting. At least I'm not burning. For someone so fair, I'm actually getting tan. Not exactly attractive tan lines though. I was stopped a few times by people asking about the trike. At Zupan's on Hayden Island I stopped for a snack and talked to a few people. The ride through Vancouver was surprisingly quiet. Got home around 5 pm.

Something around 60 miles for the day.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Breaking in the Tailsok

Today's excitement was to find the entrance of the I-205 bike path. This path's entrance is hidden in a neighborhood. I didn't have any trouble finding the bike path but I did get lost shortly after leaving the house. The GPS needed batteries and I stopped at a market on the street where I needed to turn. I got the batteries but forgot to turn. Really got my barings messed up. I asked 2 people where the street I was looking for was and they each pointed in opposite directions. I decided to turn back and do the route as originally mapped out. Everything was going along fine when I started to notice that most everyone I was passing was far too serious. It made me feel like something serious had happened in the world and these people decided to go on a bike ride anyway. Even the recumbent riders were serious - very odd. After a stop at Taco Bell for a snack I went to Performance Bike hoping someone there could help me with the rubbing disc brakes. It's a very slight rubbing but I'd like it better if it wasn't there. These guys said not to worry about it - eventually the pads will rub down enough to clear the discs. I've heard this twice now and am willing to let it go. I also picked up some Cliff Bars, which I have yet to try, and a vertical rear blinky for the new tailsock.

All throughout the ride I noticed that the hills were so much easier on the trike. I am so pleased with this bike. I feel like hills are no longer an issue. What a great feeling to not have to worry about that. I continued down the 205 path to the Springwater trail. Gave Shawn a call to see if he was around but no, he was kayaking. Got down to the Esplanade and decided since everyone was being so serious it was time to put on the headphones. Biking with music is great. I have a lot of classical music recorded. Mostly Bach, Stravinsky and Chopin. It seemed like as soon as I tuned out I started getting more positive reactions from people. There were families with kids out on the Esplanade and they seemed to get a real kick out of the trike. I got to the Steele Bridge and headed up Interstate. There's a long gradual climb up this street and I had Carmina Burana playing - very fun music. I was on my way to Barbie's house when a guy on a homemade trike pulls up. His trike looked like it was built from an erector set. He was pretty excited. As we were talking a young kid comes up to ask about the trikes saying he is looking for ideas for next years college human power vehicle contest. The trike guy goes off on him saying he needs to build bikes for older people to get them out of their cars. He started telling this kid about all the global warming issues his generation will have to endure. It was a little much. The kid finally cut him off and said he had to go. Luckily, my turn was the next street. Had a nice visit with Barbie while she was taking a break from painting her house. What a job!! After that I made my way over the Interstate Bridge and back home. Once I got to Vancouver I got a lot a people pulling up and telling me how much they liked the trike. One car full of kids were screaming how much they loved it. Very fun. I had Bach's Italian Concerto playing on my way up the Hazel Dell hill. Terrific!! All in all a good day!!
52 miles.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back on the trike

After doing a few trial runs to make sure I had put the trike together ok I went on a real ride. Last Saturday, I rode to Amy's house in Waverly for her pool party. I got a pokey start to the day. Made a few stops and didn't even get going until after 11 am. One stop was to the Community Cycling Center to visit with my buddy Larry the Mechanic. He had offered to come over and help me put the trike together if I had trouble. Luckily, that wasn't necessary but I wanted to show him the beauty. All the mechanics were so interested. Larry helped me with a couple of small adjustments I needed including getting air in the AirZound. Turns out I had filled it but somehow had also turned the volume all the way down. They had some bad news as well - the Vancouver CCC will be closing its doors on August 17th. Everyone will be going back to the Portland shop. As I continued on my way one of the highlights of this trip was to find the entrance to the bike path over the I-5 bridge and then Interstate Ave from the other side. I made it across the bridge easily but somehow made a wrong turn before finding Interstate. It was a beautiful day and the ride was fun. Drivers gave me plenty of room and people gave me plenty of thumbs up. Very fun!! Made it to the party by 2:30 and was really hungry after riding 25 miles. Ate and yakked it up for a few hours and then headed back about 6:00. It was much later than I had planned to return. My only eventful moment going home was trying to find the path leading to the I-5 bridge. There are paths that wind around and cross and I took the wrong one. I kind of brokedown mentally and cried for awhile. I was really afraid I wouldn't find my way. Mostly, I was worried about losing sunlight without any lights on the trike. I just wanted to get home. This didn't last but a few minutes before I found my way and made it home just after 8:30. It felt really good to go out and do this ride. I was really tired when I got home. 50 miles for the day - not bad.

On Tuesday I went for a 40 mile ride with the Vancouver Bike Club. A weekly ride that starts at the Oxford Athletic Club and meanders east to Bad Boyz Cycling shop in Camas. There were about 20 riders. I was the only one not on an upright bike. Everyone took great interest in the trike. Most of the bikers were older men - many who do this ride regularly. Good guys!! I was definitely the slowest while we were climbing otherwise I hung in there alright. A couple of guys stayed back with me. We did one short steep climb of 11 %. It wasn't too bad as I just spun my way to the top. I was tired but felt good after this ride. I think I'll attempt it again next week. They said it was the longest ride they could remember ever doing. I'm trying to get my miles up for the ride to the coast in a couple of weeks. I'd like to be able to do 50-70 miles 2 days in a row. Maybe I can do the first 2 days of riding this weekend. What I really need to do is practice changing the tires on the trike at home before it happens for real.

I also sent a package to Deborah. I bought a new digital camera so I sent her the old one. I also finished a couple of books she lent me. The most important part of the package was a letter telling her I'm not moving the Kentucky - at least not now. Hopefully, she'll understand.

Monday, July 10, 2006

bump in the road

It has been hot. Too hot for riding. Friday I went pedalling and got a case of heat rash. I was out for less than 1 1/2 hours and started getting that wierd feeling in my head and red splotches on my legs. It was a nice ride though. Went down Bridgeport Rd to 1665 and turned right on South Benson Rd. Came across a lovely neighborhood which I explored before turning back. I rode past a herd of at least 60 cows and I think every cow was staring at me. Too bad I didn't have my camera. Again, I saw people driving past me smiling at the trike. It must be such an odd sight.

I talked to Deborah again yesterday about moving here and she really doesn't want me staying in her house. She is so worried we won't get along and it will affect our relationship. She insists I'll be happier in Louisville. The problem I'm having with moving to Louisville is I don't know anyone in Louisville. The tennis club is great, the neigborhood is really nice but it will take me over a year to feel comfortable there. Do I really want to move some place where I don't know anyone? It would be an easier transition if I could live with Deborah and find my way around Louisville before living there. She is so busy with her property I don't know how much we would see each other. I guess I could drive over to Frankfort on weekends to see her. Of course, we would probably spend most of the time working on her place. It feels really lonely. This isn't what I had in mind. Again, I'll see how I feel about the move when I get back to Vancouver but today I'm concerned this move isn't a good idea. I'm pretty down about it today.

I spent a lot of time today trying to figuring out how to get the trike back to Vancouver. It comes with a video describing how to break it down into 2 suitcases that can be checked on an airplane. It gives the sizes of the suitcases as well - it just doesn't say where to get them. I'm looking for the old style cloth suitcases with one zipper. I went to Goodwill, a couple of pawnshops and a collectables shop with no luck. I found suitcases but they were too small. Everything now has wheels and a long collapsible handle. I found a bike website that has the right size but I don't think I can get it shipped to me in time. I'll check with UPS and see what they can do for me tomorrow. If I can get it shipped back arriving a couple of days after my return that will be ok too. I'm eager to try taking the trike apart - the video makes it look totally doable. I'm also looking forward to riding it in Portland.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Kentucky dawg encounter

Monday, I went for a ride and Julie for a jog. I went out Bridgeport rd across US 60 and then down Brown's ln. I followed it about 2 miles when it turned to gravel and ended on someone's property. Of course a couple of dogs came running out to me. They seemed friendly until I backed up the trike to turn it around. There was an old irish setter and younger dalmation. The dalmation didn't like me backing up and bit me on the back of my upper left arm. I'm so low to the ground my arm was right at snout level. It was pretty hard but didn't break the skin - a strong warning. I reached down and blew my airzound horn and both of them ran off. I didn't waste any time getting out of there. Once I got back on the pavement I was able to look at the bite marks closer. I thought if the skin was broken I'd probably have to go the hospital for some kind of shots. So, all in all it could have been worse. I really feel it was my own fault for riding on the property. Those dogs were just doing thier job. When the road goes to gravel - beware!! I rode back out to Bridgeport Rd and then down 1667 for a couple of miles and turned around. Rode to the end of Bridgeport Rd and then turned around and headed home.

Rode 10.7 miles
Average 8.7 mph
Max speed 31 mph

Visit to the Tennis Club

Saturday, the three of us drove into Louisville and did a tennis clinic or 'fast feed' as they are called here. I wanted Deborah and Julie to see the facility and get thier opinion. It is a beautiful facility. The clinic was out on the clay. Julie and I borrowed a couple of racquets and were introduced to Steve and Rick - the two pros working the clinic. There were probably about 25 people out on 3 courts. It wasn't a fast as I had hoped but everyone was so friendly. Most players were in the 3.0 - 3.5 range and about our age. It was mostly men which was nice. I'm so used to playing with all women. There were 4 guys that were trying to get Julie's attention - she didn't even notice. Deborah stayed in a covered sitting area between the courts and took pictures and yelled out commentary. I'll post some soon. Deborah's called her friends Bronny and Eddie who dropped by towards the end. Afterwards, we had a terrific lunch at the Captain's Quarters on the Ohio river. More pictures. It was good to meet them.

Jules Comes For a Visit

My dear friend Julie drove down from Chicago to visit and help me figure out the move. We had good day of shopping in Louisville the first day. We talked alot about how I felt about being in Kentucky and if I could see myself here. I thought I could. But I've been here for a week and Deborah hasn't really talked about my moving here yet. I kept bringing up some aspect of moving here and the conversation would just flop around on the floor and die a quick death. Something wasn't right. We both felt that she really does want me to move here but something was troubling her about it. Deborah absolutely loves Julie and I knew Julie would be able to get it out of her. Julie and I have an exercise we do called 'going to the board' when we need to work out a problem. I had told Deborah we would be doing this and she was interested in joining in. Basically, we talk through a situation throwing out all angles writing them down. So, I went to the board with the move. Why did I want to move? Why now? Why Frankfort? Why leave Portland? If not Frankfort - where? That sort of thing. Originally, when I had talked to Deborah about moving to Kentucky I talked about living with her in Frankfort. She has a large home with lots of acreage. My thinking was that we could support each other financially and emotionally. As we went to the board about it it became clear that Deborah really does want me to live here just not with her. Ok - now we are getting somewhere. I don't know how long it would have taken to get that information without Julie. It was a big relief and gave me a new direction to go. I got me to thinking if the move would still be meaningful if I wasn't living with Deborah. Could we still have a support network? I decided we could.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Its all feeling easier

Lovely day!! I keep expecting the high humidity this area is known for in the summer. I'm sure it's coming. Portland has been in the triple digits and the east is drowning in flood waters. Who would have thought Kentucky's weather would be desirable? Watched Roger and Andy win thier second round matches. Roger looks terrific and so focused. What a joy he is to watch.

Helped out with mowing and watering and then went for a bike ride. It was much more comfortable today. Again, I'm seeing people be amused by the trike. Crusty old farmers on thier tractors are smiling and waving at me. I'm sure it is an odd site for these guys. I expanded the ride a bit today. Went to the end of Bridgeport Rd and back, down Sheep Pen Rd and then Smith Rd just into Shelby county before turning around. I heard some thunder and returned just as it stared to rain. The rain only lasted 10 minutes but its hard to know how these things will develop. I'm glad I did because my thighs were really sore when I got off the bike. Funny that I didn't feel it while I was riding. Anyway, I ended up doing 12.5 miles. This is hard riding for me. Its so much hillier than I am used to. The steering and braking is getting easier although I don't think I could trace the white line yet especially at high speed.

12.5 miles
8.7 average speed
31 max speed

Monday, June 26, 2006

Made it to Kentucky

It almost feels unreal being here. I've been thinking about being here and anticipating what it would feel like for a couple of months now.

Ro - at the airport - in the carrier.

I've got to start with Rowena - amazing. She spent 12 hours in a little carrier without meowing or fussing at all. I've always thought of her as very sensitive but she showed me just how tough she is. It felt like she totally trusted me and surrendered to the whole experience. I brought her out of the carrier at both stops - Seattle and Chicago - to let her stretch her legs in the baby changing stations of the women's room. Once we got to Kentucky I expected she would spend 2 days under the bed but no, she started exploring right away. Typically, this is a cat that barely sticks her head out the back door of the condo. Not only has she been outside - she been walking far from the house. I call her in and she kind of 'mosies' back to the house.

The trike - isn't it beautiful!!

I'll get pictures in better settings soon - but I couldn't wait to show it off!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Flying Out

I'm taking off for Kentucky. Boy am I nervous - I hope that Ro handles the whole thing OK. First, I'm dropping of my car at Sunset Auto to be fixed while I'm gone. They will take me and Ro to the airport this morning. Once the car is fixed and detailed they will leave it at Enterprise rental so I can pick it up anytime I return. Good deal!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Finally!! - A Dry Day

It has been a very wet spring!! I, for one, am tired of it!! Once we get past this time of year it is usually beautiful through October - I am ready. I don't really mind riding in the rain but it's hard to get out there once it has started. Well today I did go riding and it felt really good. The sky was full of very dark clouds but it stayed dry. The roads were pretty quiet - maybe everyone is bbqing and celebrating father's day... I did see more bikes than I think I ever have. I also regret forgetting my camera. There were so many animals out. Big fluffy lambs, cows, pigs, horses and, of course, llamas. So sweet seeing all the animals. Although, just as I'm cresting a big hill there is a pig sty next to road. I'm huffing and puffing and it is really foul.

Nancy had a bbq for us fatherless folk. The food, drink and company was terrific. Here are some pictures with Warren, Jane, Yumi and Nancy.

30 miles ridden
33.4 max speed
11.1 average

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Trip Stuff and Quiet

Boy did I sleep in today. Guess I needed it. Rolled over and saw the time was after 11:00. Yipes!! That's late even for me. I'm sure its all emotional. This trip has me thinkin' about all kinds of things. Everytime I talk to Deborah I try to analyze what she's thinkin' too. I just can't figure out what's going on with her. I'm sure she's happy I'm visiting but so far she hasn't said so. Something else we'll have to talk about when I get there. Took care of more Ro stuff today. Bought a soft carrier so I can take her on board the plane as carry-on. She'll fit under the seat in front. I'll be wearing an old t-shirt for the next few days to get my scent on it and throw that in the carrier too. Hopefully, it will reassure her a little bit. I'm sure she is going to be one really scaredy cat. I got the official health certificate from the vet in the mail today - that was a relief.
Its supposed to be nice weather tomorrow - finally!! Maybe tomorrow I'll go for a bike ride. Its father's day and I don't really have anything to do until evening. Nancy invited a few people over for a bbq.

Walked 2 miles to the store and back

Friday, June 16, 2006

So Much To Do

With just a few days left until I leave for Kentucky I managed to cross off some items from my 'to-do' list. But this had to wait until after some early morning tennis. After chasing a little yellow ball around for almost 1 1/2 hours I drove into Portland for my afternoon of beauty. I've had Johnny at Gigi's on the park blocks cut and color my hair for years now. He has never disappointed me - especially the color. Very nice once again. We went much blonder this time and I think it looks terrific. I also had my toes done. It feels like I am ready for summer and Kentucky. As soon as I left the salon the heavens opened up. Its not unusual for it to rain in Portland but it was been raining so much. Today was no exception - boy did it rain and rain and rain. Luckily I was prepared and my new doo was spared. I went from the salon to the Oregonian to visit with the old cronies. It was good to see everyone and it also reinforced my decision to leave that job. From there I went to have a very late lunch with Shawn. He had agreed to buy all my woodworking equipment that he had been storing and using for the last three plus years. We had originally said he would pay it off over 6 months but today he wrote me a check in full. Nice surprise!! Took that check right to the bank and squirrelled it away in my savings account. Of course, most of this money is going to be spent next week on the new trike. I talked to Deborah and she sounded much better today than last weekend. I'm getting excited about this trip and possibility of moving.

1 1/2 hours tennis doubles

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Lazy Day

I thought it was going to rain all day yesterday and decided to stay inside and take care of the house. Turned out to be a beautiful day with rain forcast for the rest of the week. I already had my heart set on cleaning house and watching the men's French Open finals so I stayed in.

Yumi went to Costco and bought me some cat litter and dropped it off - very thoughtful. Costco has the best litter. Nancy called and asked me to come over to the club to take pictures of the national Mother/Daughter tennis tournament finalists and trophy presentation. Good tennis.

Watched the men's final of the French Open and my man, Roger, couldn't get past Rafa - again. He looked out of sorts through most of the match and I didn't have the feeling he believed he could win even after taking the first set 6-1. He was playing for his first French title and to hold all four grand slam titles at once. What an opportunity - it's difficult to believe this will come around again. I think he can win the French though for a career grand slam. He has got to be really bummed today. I just hope this loss doesn't affect his Wimbledon performance. Nadal was amazing!! He played every point as if it was the most important point of the match. The mental strength to keep that up is staggering. I'll bet he turns that mental toughness into many big wins on other surfaces.

I cleaned the house!! Only been thinking about that for a while - procrastinating as long as possible. It feels good.

So that was yesterday - it's noon now and I've already played tennis twice. Started at 7:30 am. My stomach is giving me some grief so we'll see if I make it to ladies night.

I found a vet for Ro, had her shots and got a certificate of health for the flight next week. The vet didn't think she would need a seditive and suggested a small dose of benadril instead of a presciption medication. She also has some gingivitis on both sides in the back of her mouth. He suggested I wait until we get back from our trip for the dental work. She might lose a tooth. It looks irritated and tender. I think I'll call another vet to get a second opinion. If it was my mouth I'd want it taken care of... Next I have to find a cat carrier - called the airlines and got the dimensions.

3 hours tennis doubles

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Different Ride

I decided against getting up at 4 am and driving 2 hours to ride. Instead I changed the ride I did earlier in the week just a bit. I took another street that turned into a dooser of a hill I ended up walking up. It was so steep my heart rate was almost 170 walking with the bike. These kinds of hills just petrify me. I see them coming and I just freeze. I wonder if I'll ever get past that feeling. After the big hill, I stopped at a market for an ice cream cone. Ice cream will fix just about any situation. Here are some pictures from the ride.

Rode 28 miles
Max speed 35.4
Average speed 10.6

Friday, June 09, 2006

Tennis and Bike Repair

Got to the club at 9 am for ladies day. The head pro feeds balls for about an hour and then we break up for doubles.

Here I am with the gals in red- Yumi and Nancy.

Later, I took my bike to the Community Cycling Center for an adjustment to my shifters. What a great place - Larry the mechanic was able to fix my bike immediately. The cycling center has a volunteer night where you help and learn about bike repair. After putting in 20 hours you can sign up for an 8 week mechanics course. Sounds like a good idea too me.

Larry the mechanic

Then it was back to the public courts for more practice with the senior ladies. It was very windy - good practice.

After that the city league ladies had an after season party. It was at a house that was huge in a beautiful setting. Every room was enormous - even the utility room. It was fun meeting everyone's husbands. I think I was close to 15 years younger than anyone else.

When I got home, I plugged in the address for the ride I was planning on doing tomorrow and found it will take almost 2 hours to get there. I would have to get up at 4 to start riding at 7 am. Suddenly, this ride isn't looking so good. I did this ride last year but I lived about 40 minutes closer. Well, there are other closer rides coming up.

3 hrs tennis

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Grey Day

It was spitting rain most of the day and I didn't feel like going out biking in it. I wanted to take my bike to the shop for a gearing adjustment but the store wasn't open. The gearing is so tight I can't get into the big ring which might be especially nice for Saturday's ride. I'll try again tomorrow.

Spent too much time watching the women's semifinal French Open matches this morning. Vaidisova was up a set and serving at 5-4 for the match but couldn't close it out. Kuznetsova turned it around to win in three. Vaidisova is only 17 and definitely has a big game. It will be interesting to see how she responds to this loss. In the other semifinal Henin-Hardenne took out Kim Clijsters pretty easily. It's hard not to see Henin taking the title for a third time Saturday.

Subbed for someone at the "C" + "B" city league team practice. These are really nice ladies who play a mean game. I always enjoy playing with people who are better than I am. We were playing doubles so my weaknesses weren't too glaring.

Later in the afternoon I met with my women's group. We get together every other week and use a book as a spring board to discuss other issues. Mostly just how we feel about stuff.
We started off reading "Sex and Seasoned Woman" but decided we really didn't like it. Now we are reading "A Highly Sensitive Person's Guide for Survival". This book really feeds into another obsession which is to simply feel better. My endocrine system is a bit of a mess and I'm finding that how I handle myself emotionally can have a real effect on controlling my hormones. I would really like to incorporate meditation into my daily routine. Ideally, I'd like to use it to start my day. I know how to do it, I know it will be good for me but for some reason - I don't do it. Alright - let's say I'm working on it. I always look forward to meeting with these gals.

1 1/2 hours tennis doubles

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Massage and Tennis Day

Started off the day watching a very disappointing French Open match. Djokavic retired, basically gave up, after losing 2 sets to Nadal. The guy is playing in the quarterfinals of a grand slam, no doubt the biggest match of his young career and gives up? Not good!!

After that I went to visit with my buddies at the Marshall Street clinic. Had a very nice massage with Jessica. She's been gone for a couple of weeks so it was nice to see her and get caught up. My body is feeling better than I think it ever has - very nice. Brought my camera and took some pics. Once I get a card reader I'll post them.

All lathered up, I met some of the tennis ladies at the Clark College courts. The super senior team is going to Sun River for playoffs and they need to practice outside in the elements. All the play in Sun River is outdoors. One of the ladies on the team couldn't make it so I was called as a sub. We met at 1:00 to get the sun high in the sky. It was pretty windy out there too. I grew up playing outside on the public courts in Southern California and really enjoy it. Aside from the wind and sun, outside play is always slower. You have to wait longer to hit your shots constantly making adjustments with your feet. If you're not used to moving your feet the matches could be short.

I was thinking about my bike ride yesterday and how well I did on the hills. I climbed far more than I ever have. I must have chugged my way up 10 good hills. Before yesterday, I was worried about climbing 2 hills. Its almost as if I'm getting used to huffing and puffing. Its not worrying me as much as it used to. I did have to stop at the top of one hill that I mistakenly took in the middle chain ring. Tomorrow I'll try that one in the granny gear. I'm thinking about expanding the ride a bit more tomorrow maybe to 35 miles. This time I've got my maps. I've also got a camera to document it. My ride yesterday really helped my confidence. Saturday I'm looking at doing a charity club ride. It starts in Lebanon, Or with 35, 55, 76 or 100 mile options. I'm thinking about doing the 76 mile option. I'll probably make that decision at the 55 mile turn around point.

Its back to watching the French Open tape - hopefully, the matches will be better!!

1 1/2 hours tennis doubles

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Gorgeous Day for a Ride

It was just beautiful today. Low 70's and a light wind. After watching Venus Williams eliminated from the French Open I hit the road. I extended my route today an additional 6 miles. Looking at the map I saw a way to add miles to the loop by a comfortable amount. Instead of taking a map I just wrote down the street names and what direction to turn. Well, I missed writing down 1 street and had to knock on a farm house door for directions. The woman who answered was very helpful. There is so much wildlife on the route that I decided I need to get a camera. I think it will be fun to add images to the blog. This route is very challenging for me with lots of hills. One hill takes me 10 minutes to climb.

I have decided one of my favorite things to do is wave and say 'Hello' to people as I ride. This bike is so fun - I'm riding in a chair looking up and around at everything and everyone.

After the ride and running a bunch of errands, including making a copy of a map and buying a camera, some of the tennis ladies got together for Mah Jongg. We are just learning. This is my second time playing and it is a very confusing game. Even though we are having trouble learning we try to have fun with it. The wine sure helps.

Rode 28 miles
Max speed = 34.4
Average speed = 11.2

Monday, June 05, 2006

Adding to the Stable

After riding the Fold Rush for a year I've discovered it is going to take longer than anticipated for me to be a confident rider. A lot of it is mental. I see a big hill coming up and mentally I just shut down. Sometimes I'm not even my lowest gear before I bail and start walking. It feels like something I'll overecome but it will take time. I'm sure some of it is the extra weight I'm carrying. It's got to be harder to climb hills pulling an extra 60 lbs. I had really hoped that biking would help me lose weight but so far it hasn't. I probably need to ride more to see better results. The weather has been so wet this winter and spring that I haven't been out as much as I would like. My regular riding started in May this year and I've been putting in around 80 miles a week. What I really want is to do more long distance riding. It's turned into an obsession with me but hills have become an obstacle. It would be great if a hill could be just a hill. I don't need to be fast up the hill but I want to get up them without dying or walking. A couple of months ago I was at an organized ride where a guy let me try out his Cat trike. Wow, what fun. I rode it around a gravel parking lot with such confidence. Gravel is something that makes me very nervous riding my Fold Rush or Cannondale. It got me to thinking. I started researching trikes and came to realize this might be just the ticket to get me out more and riding with confidence. The Greenspeed trikes, in particular, caught my fancy. These are trikes built for touring. I test rode one and it was so much fun. Everything about it felt solid. The one I was looking at, the GTO, has 81 gears. Someone once said it has enough gears to ride up a tree. Sounds good to me. I went ahead and ordered it and am really excited about this purchase. Since then I've ridden another cat trike that had a tail sok. It was so cool that I've ordered a tail sok for the GTO. Bright green and so slick. I also ordered a fairing. Most people talk about aerodynamic benefits with a fairing but I think you have to be pretty fast to see that. What I like about a fairing is the protection from the bugs, wind and rain. It really helps to keep my feet dry in wet weather. Overall, this feels like a bike I can ride anywhere. I'm sure I won't be fast but at this point I don't really care - I just want to make it up any hill. With a trike you can stop on a hill, catch your breath, and then carry on up when you are ready without getting off the bike. I'm picking up the trike later this month when I go visit my sister in Kentucky. I'll get lots of practice riding hills there. It should be fun!!

Played 1 1/2 hours of tennis doubles
Rode 22 miles max speed = 33.7
average speed = 11.4

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A Milestone

I started biking regularly a little over 2 1/2 years ago. Like lots of things I've tried, I thought this would help me lose weight. After commuting 15 miles round trip to the Oregonian 3-4 times a week I discovered that my wrists, neck and shoulders were sore after every ride. Since my real desire has always been to do long distance riding I knew this set up just wasn't going to work. My bike was a Cannondale hybrid - otherwise known as a "comfort bike". I took it to a bike shop to make sure it fit right. We made some adjustments but it didn't really help minimize the pain. So, after a lot of research I ended up at Coventry Cyclery in Portland purchasing an Easy Racer Fold Rush. A long wheel base recumbent that folds to fit on a car rack for transport. No more pain. The ride on this bike is smooth and stable. I've had the bike just over a year and put in 2,000 miles. I've never been fast and I'm still not. The more miles I put in the faster I get. Right now I'm closing in on 12 mph average. I've also discovered Portland has a rich biking and recumbent community. Last summer I started doing some charity rides and slowly added miles. Some of the rides included the 'Smell the Roses', Spring, Strawberry, Watermelon, Peach and LiveStrong. I also hooked up with the OHPV riders and met some terrific people. Turns out there's a recumbent retreat every year in Astoria. I had my first touring experience by riding from my house to the Fort Stevens campground where the retreat is held. I rode out highway 30 to Scappoose and then to Vernonia and the Big Eddie campground the first night. Met another recumbent rider there who really made that first night of camping easier. First of all, he had food. He also had utensils and tea. I donated a piece of smoked salmon and we had a delicious dinner. The next morning 4 more riders showed up and we all rode to the coast. I had to walk a lot of the hills over the coastal range but one rider was patient enough to wait for me. We ended up having a great time. Over a hundred recumbents were at the retreat and we all rode and partied for 3 days. At the end I decided to get a ride home rather than walk alone over the mountains.

Here I am with my friend Shawn at the beginning of the LiveStrong Ride.

But what does any of this have to do with today's milestone? Well, for all the time I've been riding I have never changed a flat tire. I've always carried everything needed for the job - tire levers, patch kit, pump and tubes. I even took a class to learn how. Both times I had a flat someone was there to help out. Now that I've been riding out in the country alone I started to feel like this was something I needed to know how to do. I could just see myself out there, miles from home, walking and crying with frustration. This was not a pretty picture and so a couple of days ago I decided this was the day I would learn. I took an icepick and punctured a perfectly good tire and set about repairing it. In true form, I had to make every mistake possible before I got it. I started with the tire levers but could only get one under the tire. After 3 trips to 2 different bike shops and many tears I finally got it. I practiced a few more times and now, I am ready for the road!!

Poured down rain all day, slept in, watched the French Open, never got out of my robe.