Friday, May 26, 2006

It's a sad day

My Kelly, Sans Knobbies

I just found out that Chris Kelly of Kelly Bikes is shutting his doors and closing down production of his so fine high quality steel bikes. I for one am riding a Kelly Knobby X. This is a sweet steel bike that has treated me really really well both on and off road. I don't know why they are closing shop, but whatever the reason, it bums me out.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Giting er done

Swan Island Criterium
Portland, OR
May 21, 2006

The Swan Island Criterium took place in the Swan Island industrial park. The road is flat and in good condition. Two wide right hand turns and a sweeping arc returns racers to the start/finish. It was a full day of racing with a full list of road categories- including the fixed gear group which was a motley crew of 25 plus racers that included roadies, trackies, messengers and those of us freaks that just prefer it fixed. What's the cliche?: "If it's not fixed, it's broken."

Overcast skies met racers and spectators at the Swan Island Criterium on Sunday May 21, 2006. The clouds broke occasionally for some hot Oregon (is that an oxymoron?) spring sunshine. For the most part it could not have been better race weather.

I raced the fixed gear category with a 42 x 15 gear ratio (I rode out to the course with a 42 x 17 and smartly flipped it 20 minutes before the start (thanks to my fixed/fixed flip flop hub).

The race was a 30 minute + a lap affair that started at 12:30 pm. The first and only crash of the race took place 50 feet after the start. Thankfully I made it through unscathed. The rest of the race was fast (21 -28 mph... fast for fixed gear) and smooth. My first race of the season jitters eased off after a lap or two.

Coming around the corner in the pack

There was a breakaway by a single rider after the first couple of laps. He rode about 1/8 lap up from the front group for the next 4 or 5 laps as the guys in the front group seamingly refused to exert any extra energy to work together to catch him. I took off the front to chase him down mid way through lap 7 and closed the gap only to have the group come around me for the first prime. I did manage to keep my momentum going and I hung on to the tail of the lead group to rest. I took my turn at the front a few more times through out the afternoon up until the last 2 laps which turned into a full sprint to the finish with the 'lazy' (or maybe 'smart?) guys from the back of the lead group coming around the leaders.

Leading the pack for a lap or two

I was able to mostly hang on to the lead riders and ended up in 7th place. I cracked the top 10, so I am happy with myself for my first race of the season. Especially since this is on of my first flat fast crits. I did have a bit of a photo finish with a guy that tried to pass me on the line. I beat him by less than a wheel length.

Just past the start/finish line. Note the bozo that tried to pass me...

Post race shot. Note the pain

This was a really well organized raced. We are blessed here in Oregon for our bike friendliness and our wonderful bike promoters as well as the overarching race organization - OBRA.
BTW: The best part of the race was probably having my own cheering section - My wife, daughter and son were there to cheer me on each lap. There is nothing else like it.

Photo credits: Megan Porter

Riding in the Rain

Yes, that is a bone(!) up in the tree.

It was 94 and Sunny on Monday, 85 on Tuesday, 84 on Wednesday, 85 on Thursday and 60 degees and raining on Friday... Unfortunately, Friday was the day I decided to take off work a few hours early to hit the twisty turny trails out in Scappoose with my friend Bryan. It was his first time out there, so I had a good time showing him the trails.

Scappoose is a sweet trail system that was originally built (and still maintained by) an older Scappoose local who got permission from the land owners (Longview Fibre) to build. Full on grassroots mountain bike advocacy at its roots. The trails have gotten quite a bit more popular since I first rode there a few years ago... Now others have started building - teeter toters, ladders, skinnies, drops, gap jumps, etc... It's a fun time and I enjoyed showing the various stunts to Bryan though I am to chicken to ride a big percentage of them. Maybe later in the summer.

Anyway, long story short, we agreed to meet at the trail head at on Friday afternoon earlier in the week when the weather was nice. It started raining HARD around noon and didn't stop. Thankfully the trails clear water pretty well and the deep tree cover does a fairly good job of protection from the elements. I meant to take pics, but the rain (and the fun) kept me from taking many.

For those of you doubters out there, I do get my new bike dirty:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Not 1, not 2, but 12 bikers...

Just had to make a quick post... Not sure if it is the beautiful weather we are having or if it is the +$3/gallon gas, but we are starting to see "biker congestion" at the stop lights here in Portland... On my way into work today coming off of the broadway bridge I counted 12 (including me) guys and girls of all shapes sizes and styles riding. This doesn't include the stop lights ahead of us or the ones behind us which had even more. Crazy - I think that at the light more bikes were lined up than cars... Go BTA!..


Monday, May 08, 2006

Part 2: "Politicians: You can't live with em, you can't live without em" � Blog Archive � Blumenauer on the Colbert Report

Seriously - How cool is it to have one of your congressman be such a bike advocate. God I do love Portland!

Monday, May 01, 2006

I was just riding along...

My wife and I went on a good fun ride with some friends of ours yesterday. I forgot my camera so no pics to post. Anyway Bill & I both rode single speed while Megan & Sam road their geared bikes. I haven't rode SS or hardtail for awhile as I usually only ride SS on the street (running errands, pulling my daughter on the trail-a-bike, commuting to work, etc.). However the SS is really a great equalizer for my wife and I so it makes the outing more fun + Bill was riding his.

Luckily I remembered to switch tires the night before - I've been running Maxxis Hookworks on the bike and they would not be particularly appropriate for a mid spring ride here in Oregon.

Funny thing I have to mention. This is first time I have ever ridden with Bill - He is the owner of my favorite shop (Cyclepath)and he & Joshua always treat me really well. (I'll be wearing their shop colors this year if Joshua (are you reading this?) finishes the design...

Well anyway, a few months back when trying to get the Cyclepath guys to go on a ride I joked with them about how I only wanted them to ride because then I would have a ridalong mechanic. Hahaha. (I was totally joking). Anyway at the trailhead on Sunday, I referred to the comment and Bill joked back with me. Funny thing is, before we even got on the actual trail, Megan was having trouble with her shifters (maybe she should go SS?)and Bill went ahead and got her going. About a 1/2 mile into the trail my brake started rubbing and boom - Bill disassembles my brake and readjusts my pads.

I'm really pretty competient when it comes to bike maintenance. I just find it funny that Bill totally did what I was joking about (and what I never expected him to.)

Oh, starting to get freaked out about the start of the Tabor series... I guess that is a good thing... Been riding up there once a week already - I probably need to ramp it up...

ride on