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13% Grade

Thursday, August 17, 2017: There is a narrow two lane road leading from Telegraph Cove, BC to Highway 19, the main route from south to north (and visa/versa) on Vancouver Island. In fact, from Campbell River north, it is the only route. Normally the Beaver Cove Road (the name of most of the road I'm riding) has little traffic, but today there seemed to be lots of traffic. In fact, a log truck and, at a later time, a pickup pulling a boat, both forced opposing traffic off the road rather than slow behind me. At other times, traffic was passing me on blind curves rather than wait to learn if traffic was in the other lane. Very dangerous for them and for me. Twenty miles is a normal, short ride for me but with some steep climbing, the ride was tough especially since I'm out of condition. I made a video of the longest and maybe the steepest climb. There is another, shorter and maybe steeper climb but it's not marked like this one. Click this photo for another view.

Gwen like jigsaw puzzles

 

Monday, July 3, 2017: Gwen likes to do jigsaw puzzles. This one didn't take but a few hours in one evening.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to get back on the bike here at Telegraph Cove, BC Canada. It's a cute little marina, fishing village and RV park. We are the hosts at the RV park. Weather is clear but a cool 18°C, perfect for a ride.

I've made a short video so folks can see what the area looks like. There is some steep bike climbing so I've eliminated that from the video and showed some of the logging operation in Beaver Cove, just next door to Telegraph Cove. Here is the video.

Artzy-Fartzy cows found during today's ride
Friday, March 10, 2017: The best day of spring so far got me onto the bike and into the country. Today was also the day I was to watch a free, online course, "Photography as Art" so I caught about half that course before taking the ride. I always have my phone with me so I was looking for photo opportunities along the way. Oregon in the spring is plenty green so I wanted to capture an example of the green so when I spotted the cows in the field, I thought I'd give it a try. It wouldn't pass Art Wolfe's critique but he uses $7000 worth of camera and lens when he takes a photo and he uses Adobe Lightroom in post-capture changes. All I have is my phone. Click this photo for another view. I also made a short video of the ride and the u-turn to capture the photos.
Rochester Covered Bridge Monday, February 13, 2017: Nice riding day (temperature 49) to Rochester Covered Bridge. This was 19 miles of riding but I've made a two minute video of just the bridge. The cheap little camera I used is here. I've noticed the YouTube videos are not as good quality as the original video. Dry pavement and some sun for this winter ride. Click these two photos for larger views (also taken with the action camera). Here is a satellite map of the ride. The bridge is at mile 13 marked on the map. Inside Rochester Covered Bridge

Riding with Glen today

Saturday, February 11, 2017: The weather has kept me from riding so when Glen asked me to go on a "short" ride today, a good weather day, I agreed. We decided to ride to a favorite for cyclists, the Lighthouse Bakery and Cafe in Umpqua. A short ride to me is 15 miles. I didn't give this ride much thought because it's more than that one way to the Lighthouse. Glen has taken on the job of motivating me. It was an enjoyable ride and good lunch. Today was my first time to ride with my new action camera. So after the ride I made an action video. Put on your headphones and watch a 2.5 hour ride reduced to a 6 minute video. The music is from The Who! Click the photo for another view. This is a great ride along the North Umpqua River which is swollen today due to the heavy rain.

On the road again
Monday, January 30, 2017: I am doing my early season ride which is a short 15 miles but it still takes me more than an hour because I'm in such poor condition. This ride is from Sutherlin to Oakland, Oregon and return. After riding with the group yesterday and seeing the nice video which John did I decided to try a video of my own. John had a handlebar mount for his video camera. All I have is my cell phone which means I must hand-hold it. That's a risk for both the phone and for my ability to control the bike. Still, I'd like to give it a try. Of course editing the video is something new for me too since I must learn the video editing software too. So this first video is rough. Still, you can see what my part of Oregon looks like in late January. Today's air temperature is 50 degrees. Here is the video. You can see a map of the route here.

My riding friends Shelby and John

Sunday, January 29, 2017: Shelby invited me on an "Easy-Does-It" bike ride beginning this afternoon at a starting point south of Roseburg. This is an area I've ridden only a few times in the past. There is a paved bike route from this area into Roseburg which is good for bicycle commuters. Four of us showed for the ride, Shelby, John, Maria and myself. John is a dedicated bicycle commuter so he has been on the bike route many times. Today was my FIRST time on this bike route. I could get to this start point by riding from Sutherlin but it would be 16 miles for me to get to the start point. I'm not up to that yet. This is my first ride in 2017 and it's nice to do it with friends. The state of Oregon has created a great bike route under an Interstate 5 bridge crossing the South Umpqua River. Click this photo to see a panorama of the bridge. Be sure to expand the photo by clicking on it then scroll right/left to see the entire view. It was 50 degrees today but I was dressed warmly except for my ears. John made a great video of this ride. It will give you a good feeling of what it was like on this day. At the end of the video I was pretending to be exhausted with my head and helmet in my hand. I'm the only rider in a red vest.

I found my coffee shop in Lockeford, California

Tuesday, November 8, 2016: This is a little coffee shop in Lockeford, California. It has been five years since I've visited this location. Today was a warm day as it was back in August, 2011 so the sweat is pouring off me and I could hardly see to read the menu. This time I ordered a "blended" cold coffee drink and it was good!

Lockeford is midway on a 26 mile loop. Of course, as I get stronger, the loop can be extended in many directions for a longer ride. Right now I can feel my legs weaken at about 20 miles so that needs to change. Of course I am still carrying 20 extra pounds so that needs to change too.

As I tell my mother when she asks, "How was the ride?", I reply, "It still feels just as good as when I did this as a sixteen year old!"

We are all going to a Cumberbatch movie tonight to avoid the election day crazy time.

Looking for a good Verdi/Reno ride

Wednesday, October 12, 2016: So the plan for the day is time looking for a good Verdi/Reno ride. It seems every direction is up! The photo at left shows the warning for automobiles on the road between Verdi and Reno. The only auto route is Interstate 80. But someone had the forethought of making a bike trail for the half mile which separates the two cities. That has made this route very popular with cyclists. There are always riders on the route. Click the photo for a view of the bike trail. This was my route.

After riding, I got a text message from Scott (Lucy's Dad) asking for help with a rain gutter (rain is forecast for Friday). That didn't take long so I helped Mindy (Lucy's Mom) by playing with Lucy while Mom did other things. She can play for hours. We play race cars in the hallway then balls then stickers then special (very good) smoothies from Mom. Click Lucy's photo.

Lucy is fuzy because she is always moving, we played in the hallway while Mom works elsewhere
Finally, I found a route into a nice country road Lost River in the distance
Friday, September 30, 2016: Today's ride began with Gwen on her new bike. We chose the OC & E Woods Line Trail. Her bike is much more comfortable on the bumpy trail than my road bike. The wind was strong from the south today with 25 mph gusts making the riding more challenging. Gwen turned around to make her ride a comfortable 5 miles while I continued to the east end of the trail then on to a right turn onto Crystal Springs Road. This was what I have been looking for, a nice ride into the country with little or no traffic. Except for the strong wind, this was a perfect route, one I will find again the next time we visit Klamath Falls. Tomorrow is a travel day to Reno, Nevada. Click the left photo for a panorama of the farmland east of Klamath Falls. Be sure to scroll right/left to view the entire photo.

The canal path

Thursday, September 29, 2016: Still looking for a good ride in Klamath Falls so tried the path along the canal. I road from one end to the other then added some side streets since it turned out, the canal path wasn't very long. I've tried looking at "routes" on Map My Ride but the only one uses the rough OC & E Woods Line State Trail so I'm not anxious to try that again but the rest of the route looks pretty good. Maybe tomorrow.

So ... I spent the rest of the day shampooing the carpet in Miss Dory. Boring!

The end of the pavement headed east Rail exhibit along the trail
Wednesday, September 28, 2016: Klamath Falls is one end of a 109 mile long Oregon State Park known as the OC & E Woods Line State Trail. I've known of it but never ridden the trail. As it turns out, only a small portion of the trail is paved, about eight miles. The rest of the trail is good for mountain bikes and horses. I rode all the eight miles of the paved portion today. The pavement has asphalt breaks every 30 - 100 feet so not a comfortable riding trail for a road bike. On the eastern end of the pavement portion is this rail snowplow. On the western end is an old diesel engine with passenger car attached. The pavement has cross breaks in the asphalt every 30 - 100 feet so not a comfortable ride on a road bike. There were others enjoying the trail, walking, riding, running. The portion beyond the eastern pavement is marked for horses and mountain bikes. The further development of this trail to the east with SMOOTH asphalt would be very attractive to road bikers. Click both photos for additional views.

Still riding

 

Monday, September 26, 2016: Much to do today because tomorrow we are leaving for about six weeks. The refrigerator needed adjusting, then tools had to be loaded, bike gear had to be loaded, clothes had to be washed plus a trip to Costco for Glucosamine pills for Morgan.

But first ... I rode the bike on the usual route. Still only 15 miles but it's feeling better. The riding will change now since we are going on the road again. Current weight is 186.8 lbs. Click the photo to enlarge.

A view along my route
Tuesday, September 20, 2016: The same ride today as on Sunday, no easier but still enjoyable. Click the photo for the Map My Ride report. I DID weigh myself again and the scale said 188.3 lbs. I don't believe I've lost 5 lbs in two days, I believe something is strange about this electronic scale. Perhaps I have a new "base weight". This ride started after lunch. I spent the morning watching Steve and Ivan installing the aluminum awning we purchased. They were able to get the frame erected today. I hope they are able to finish tomorrow so I'll report tomorrow if they finish.

Bike transportation solved
Found at Seven Feathers Casino
Monday, September 19, 2016: Gwen and I drove to Canyonville, Oregon today to meet our friends Jack and Carole. They own a Forester too and since Jack is a cyclist he had an extra bike rack which fits the Forester perfectly. We met at Seven Feathers Casino for lunch and he sold me his extra rack. That solves our bike transportation problem. Since Gwen also wants to ride her bike, we need one more tray which has been ordered already. The giant pickup truck was on display as an item which could be won inside the casino. Click both photos for additional views.

First ride in several yearsSunday, September 18, 2016: I made my first ride today in several years. I chose my "winter bike" knowing if I set a regular schedule of riding again, I'll quickly be into the winter months. Also, we are leaving Sutherlin in about a week and this is the bike I would want to transport rather than my summer bike. I can't explain the length of time I've been off the bike. It has been a combination of lack of motivation, bike transportation difficulties, too many interruptions of riding schedule and more. However, no riding means I've gained weight. I have been "afraid" to stand on the scale but did so AFTER today's ride. It read 193.8 lbs, that's a weight record for me and I'll bet I weighed a couple of pounds more than that before the ride. I'd like to weigh 165 lbs so I've got a lot of riding to do. I also need to ride for heart health so I've got multiple reasons to get back into shape on the bike.

So today's ride wasn't bad. I know it will take months of riding to get strength and endurance back and I know I must work slowly to gain that strength and endurance. I was reminded as I approached 15 miles that I must "break-in" my rear where it meets the saddle. Other than that, 15 miles seems to be a good starting mileage. Also, my floor pump would not work so I didn't get my normal 100psi into the tires. Parts for the floor pump have been ordered. Click the photo to see a Map My Ride report of today's ride.

Cruiser handlebars Wednesday, November 18, 2015: I was surprised at the good quality of this kickbike for the price. I didn't much care for the cruiser handlebars at the left so my son-in-law, Scott, gave me some mountain bike handlebars, on the right. Today I installed them and the ride was still difficult but improved. The mountain bike handlebars required a new stem. I'm still working on a technique.
Mountain bike handlebars

Today was kickbiking on the Davis Dam trail
Pushing against a 20 mph wind
Wednesday, November 11, 2015: On this WINDY day, I took the kickbike onto the Davis Dam paved trail along the Colorado River. I started at the dam and kicked my way to the Laughlin pedestrian bridge. The wind was blowing at 20 MPH from the dam down river toward Laughlin. That meant an easy ride to Laughlin but then I turned around and headed back against the wind and the incline. That meant a lot of hiking, but that's OK, much of the reason to have the kickbike is the hiking that goes along with it. It adds interest to preparing for backpacking. Click the photo at the l
 
Yes, you CAN take your kick bike with you!Saturday, November 7, 2015: While in Reno visiting the grandkids, they were having so much fun with their scooters I thought I would try to find an adult scooter. I learned they are called "kickbikes" and found one on sale at Amazon with Prime shipping sold under the Schwinn brand name. I've learned since the purchase, it is a lot of fun going downhill but not so much going UP hill. Here is a video showing my granddaughter Chloe trying the kickbike. She had no problem balancing since she already rides a bicycle. My grandson, Noah also gave it a try. I've watched some videos to learn the proper technique. Apparently kickbikes are popular in Australia. The Yakima bike tray came from my son Joe. He had an extra tray so the kickbike has not cost more than the cost of the bike. Click the photo to enlarge.
Overlooking Sutherlin Oregon
Tuesday, July 3, 2012: This is a photo of Sutherlin, Oregon just north of Roseburg in Douglas County. Douglas County is one of the communities that attracts road riding. They do a great job of keeping even the most remote roads clean. One of the more popular riding roads in this area is Driver Valley road which is part of a loop including Sutherlin and (nearby) Oakland. The loop is about 29 miles through some very quiet country. Behind the photo of Sutherlin is a panorama of Driver Valley Road, click the photo to reveal the panorama. After taking this photo, listened to the sounds of the countryside. I hadn't seen a car most of the ride, no airplane noises, no wind, so what I heard sounded like a bee hive of insect activity coming from the trees off to my right (you can see my bike leaning against the mailbox near the road). It was nice just to stand and listen, imagining all the insect work happening near the trees. The other day, I watched the movie, The Way, with Martin Sheen as the lead actor. It concerns a pilgrimage by Sheen on the El Camino de Santiago through Spain to Compostela. It is a hike of 500 miles across Spain which has been done as a pilgrimage since the middle ages. The movie was so interesting that I also read a book by Bill Walker, "The Best Way, El Camino de Santiago" which was also very interesting and worth your reading if the description of a hiking pilgrimage interests you. I've always considered my cycling as a "pilgrimage" since it is usually a time I'm spending alone, moving under my own effort, often a physical challenge and almost always a "refreshing of the spirit". Very rarely do I ride with a purpose (like picking up groceries, or mailing a letter), it's always just for the improvement of spirit and body so I'm always returning drenched with sweat no matter the outside air temperature. Cycling has always been the "stability" in my life. Friends, hobbies, jobs, homes, relationships come and go but cycling has lasted through several of these "lifetimes". And it feels just as good now (age 65) as it did when I was eleven. I'll quote my friend Jack, "I hope to die on this bike." I'm sure Bill Walker would agree. I can hear him say, "When the time comes, I hope I'm still on a pilgrimage."

Enjoying a 28 mile ride
Thursday, July 5, 2012: I chose a nice easy 28 mile ride today knowing that I was doing a long, tough ride tomorrow. During some of my rides I end up at a favorite coffee shop for some sort of refreshment. Most of the time I don't need or want the refreshment but I look at it as the price of "renting the table" for the short time I might be relaxing at a particular shop. It's all part of the "spiritual" nature of the bike ride that I spoke of above. I get to sit in a comfortable location, reading the shop's newspaper, drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a refreshing fruit smoothie and it only costs me the price of the drink. When I was working for a living, I would take myself across the street from my office to the "Bad Ass Coffee Shop" (a chain from Hawaii). In ten minutes I could unwind from the hectic business of the day. That's where I learn of the therapeutic pleasures of a sit-down (rather than drive-through) coffee shop. Today, I landed at the Lighthouse Center Bakery in the rural community of Umpqua. What a wonderful place to sit and relax. Great weather, great views and great coffee for only $1.25 with free refills. Today I got to visit with a young mother and her two sons (they sat at my table while I was off taking a photograph). I learned that the two boys were having "birthday muffins" be one of them was turning SIX. The boys talked about bike riding and were trying to get permission to ride "around the block" without supervision. I had to admit that I began riding my bike to school alone when I was in the third grade. I didn't tell them it was in 1955-56, perhaps a safer time for children to ride alone, especially in rural Oregon (where I was living at the time). I also learned they had two friends preparing to ride "The Death Ride" out of Markleeville, California. I was happy to tell them, I had ridden it three times about 30 years ago. I'm not sure you can train for that ride at sea level since it begins at 6,000 feet and climbs five passes well above the starting altitude. I wished the six year old a "happy birthday" and finished my ride in another eight miles. Click the photo to see the view from my table.

View from the deck of the Tyee Cafe

Friday, July 6, 2012: Great weather for long ride. I combined several of my favorite rides into seventy (plus) miles. I was hoping for good leg strength but it wasn't to come. I finished exactly in the time I expected but the legs didn't feel good and I was hoping for more from them. Perhaps I've been training too hard. The legs felt better during and after the Ultimate Umpqua ride. The major climbing in this ride all came in the first 40 miles (lunch break came at 40 miles). As always, the traffic was very light on the rural roads (maybe a half dozen cars). But I had to ride highway 138 for about fifteen minutes where the traffic was heavy and fast. My lunch break was at the Tyee Store and Cafe on highway 138. I was alone on the deck overlooking the North Umpqua River as it heads to the ocean about 40 miles away. The Tyee store sits alone on the highway between Sutherlin and Elkton and came with good recommendations. I was disappointed that the menu included only burgers and a couple of salads. The waitress mentioned that Tyee Road, my way back to Sutherlin was particularly dangerous on the return trip since with was next to the drop-off to the river with virtually no shoulder. You can click the photo for a view of the entrance to the deck.

Riding Tyee Road next to the North Umpqua RiverIndeed, there were many locations on the road where it was a shear drop-off to the river but fortunately there was very little traffic. I was riding from 1pm to 3pm to return to Sutherlin and even though it was the middle of the day, I still had plenty of cool shade because the canopy was so heavy along the route. You would think I'd be climbing most of the time because I'm riding against the current of the river but that wasn't the case. Additionally, I benefited from a tailwind much of the time. The river is serpentine for the first 15 miles of the ride so it felt like I was riding in circles much of the time. Tyee Road passes the Lighthouse Center Bakery but I did not stop. I was trying to make a 3pm estimated end time (and I did). I was hoping for more leg strength and endurance did not get it. The total ride was 4 hours - forty minutes. I'm watching the Tour de France do 130 miles in about 5 hours. Click the photo for a view of Tyee Road.

Riding Hells Canyon Dam road

Thursday, July 12, 2012: We have come to Hell's Canyon in July ... a silly thing to do. It's going to be 106 degrees today so I began my ride at 7am and on the shady side of the canyon. The distance from our campsite to the dam is 23 miles but I need a 2 hour ride so that's about 16 miles out and back for me. As it turns out, I rode 34 miles. It's not flat riding along the reservoir, some good ascents and descents, often with a rocky cliff to the water below and rocks hanging over my head for 1,000 feet up. The temperature was 70 degrees when I began the ride and 85 when I completed it at 9:20am. Not much traffic at this time of the morning. The staff of the Hells Canyon Adventure jet boat tours and a couple of rafters getting an early start. Click the photo to see a panorama of the canyon road. Here's a map of the ride.

Swan Lake Montana

Thursday, August 2, 2012: A nice ride today on a cool day at Swan Lake, Montana. My intention was to ride to Bigfork however the weather was looking threatening so I cut eight miles off my ride to return quickly. However, while I was taking this photo a cycling tourist rode up next to me and wanted to know about the road ahead. I took a photo of Mike which is behind this photo, just click my bike to see Mike. He riding a very old Miyata steel bike, probably 30 years old with down tube shift levers, a style I have not ridden for 13 years. We talked for about 40 minutes. I learned that Mike is from Missoula and enjoys touring every summer. Last summer he rode to San Francisco from Missoula through Grants Pass to Crescent City, then south on Highway 1. This summer he is riding to Canada, then Washington, returning to Missoula through Sand Point, Idaho. It's an 1800 mile trip which he believe will take a month of riding. I'll have to admit, he got me thinking about doing some cycle touring which I have not done in a dozen years. It would mean getting new equipment and spending some nights in a tent and maybe not getting a shower after riding. I'll have to think about that.

Friday, August 10, 2012: This time, I'm cycling Priest Lake, Idaho. This photo was taken at the Coolin Marina, in Coolin, Idaho. There are plenty of campgrounds and summer/permanent homes around the lake, apparently so many it justifies Verizon to install 4G cell towers around the lake. After finishing this photo, I met a boater returning to his boat with two Priest Lake Idahobags of ice and a six pack of beer. I commented that the rest of his day was going to be different than mine. He agreed with me. Behind this photo (click to see) is a photo of a Catalina 22 sailboat for sale. I've owned two sailboats in my life, both kept on Lake Tahoe, California. The Catalina 22 was the first sailboat I owned from 1977 to 1980. It was a great training boat and family boat. 10 people could crowd onto the boat and be comfortable. But it was like a family station wagon, slow and practical. Like this boat, it had a swing keel, meaning, once the boat is in the water, you crank the keel down on a cable then lock it down with a pressure bolt. In heavy weather, the keel would work its way loose and start swinging with the waves. Not a good situation and I liked sailing only in rough weather. So I sold the "family station wagon" and bought a much faster, fixed keel boat. I would not own another sailboat. I agree with the saying, the happiest two days in a sailors life are the day he buys the boat and the day he sells the boat. Of course I was a land locked sailor, perhaps ocean sailors feel differently. Also, Lake Tahoe had only one cove to drop anchor and stay the night. The average depth of Lake Tahoe is 1,000 feet, not suitable for dropping an anchor and my experience was having waves push me ashore with an anchor dragging the bottom when close to shore, again, not a good situation. It was fun watching the July 4th fireworks from the boat but the long motor back to the slip meant getting home about 2am. I think a power boat is the way to go if you must have a boat.

Riding in the winter

Tuesday, December 18, 2012: I leave my old bike mounted to a trainer on the deck under an awning during the winter months. This morning was a surprise snow fall but that didn't stop me from riding or Morgan from visiting me on the deck. It was in the low 30's this morning but I still used the fan mounted to the handlebars to create a cooling breeze while working out. On a morning like today, it takes about 12 minutes to get warm enough to turn on the fan. Gwen took this photo during the few minutes of sun this morning, the rest of the day was mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers. I do get to visit with the occasional person strolling by. My fan is battery operated so one visitor wanted to know if I used it to push me along while riding ... now THERE'S and idea.

First day at Anytime Fitness

Wednesday, January 2, 2013: As much fun and riding on a trainer under an awning in the snow is ... the US government sent me a free membership to Silver Sneakers. Actually, I think it was the Regency Blue Cross Medicare supplemental policy which provided the Silver Sneakers membership. I got the notice just before Christmas, so I figure it's a Christmas present except that the membership did not start until January 1, 2013. The Silver Sneakers membership provides me free access to Anytime Fitness only 2 miles from the park where I'm camped. So today was my first day at the gym. They have all the usual exercise machines but one I had not seen before and will likely be my favorite. It is a combination stair stepper and elliptical machine with moving arms so you can almost exercise your whole body at the same time. I DID work up a sweat on that machine. I also spent some time on the elliptical machine, recumbent bike, roman chair, and assisted pull-up machine. I also like the rowing machine but will use that next time. Hopefully this will get me back in shape for spring riding. Click the photo if you want to see the Anytime Fitness store front. As the store name says, they are open 24/7 but not staffed 24/7. I was given an electronic key to open the door anytime I want. They have full time video surveillance which helps with security. I've also learned that there are 2035 Anytime Fitness centers across the US and my key will work at any of them. So this membership could be really nice when traveling.

The beginning of a bicycle tour, 1997 Touring the Oregon Coast, 1997
One of the many bridges to cross, 1997Saturday, February 23, 2013: I had a birthday this week. As part of a birthday gift, my sister Dorana sent me some photos of an adventure which she and I did in 1997. I was 50 years old then and she was a young 36. She drove down the Oregon coast to see the sights while I toured the coast on my bicycle. Then we met in Southern Oregon again for the trip home. I had not remembered these photos until she sent them to me. My trip started in Astoria, Oregon then south for about a weeks worth of riding and camping. I used my mountain bike towing a Bob trailer loaded with about 40lbs of gear then another 20 lbs in panniers on the bike. No, I didn't go light. I decided I wanted all the luxuries of camp gear so I could be comfortable. This was my third ride down the Oregon coast. If you haven't toured the Oregon coast, it is a worth while adventure. There are Oregon State Parks about every 20 miles with "Hiker/Biker camps" always available. The weather is usually pleasant, in the 70s and the wind is always from the north so you always ride to the south. The bicycle route is well marked along the way. One of the fun things about bicycle touring is meeting other cycle tourists. I believe I met someone new each evening at the overnight stop. I think we always shared our dinner meal which made it more interesting. I also remember one tourist introducing me to stunt kite flying. A stunt kite has two lines so you can direct the kite across the sky. I'd never seen one before, now I own more than one. Click the photos for additional views. I saw lots of cycle tourist this last summer when in Idaho, Montana and Washington. It almost made we want to do this again. Thank you Dorana for providing the photographs.

Umpqua Velo, First meeting of the year

Wednesday, March 6, 2013: I've been a member of the Umpqua Velo Cycling Club for a year but tonight was the first time I've done anything with the club. I attended the first meeting of the year. I'd guess the average age in the room was at least mid-40s so I felt like I would fit right in until they began to talk about the amount of riding and the hills they climb. Their first ride together is 55 miles with 7600 feet of elevation gain ... YIKES! And it happens this Sunday. I think I'll work my way UP to that kind of riding. At tonight's meeting, new club officers were elected and future rides discussed. I also learned of the "Step-Up" program to help high school students learn the sport of cycling. They need assistants so I'm hoping to help when I can. I DID teach at the high school level for 3 years before beginning my teaching at the college level. Click the photo to see Crystal trying out an invention of a club member ... pedal a bike to pump water into a fountain. Yes, I think he had too much time on his hands too.

Stephanie, the new owner of The Hollow Coffeehouse in Oakland, Oregon Street view of The Hollow Coffeehouse
Sunday, March 10, 2013: I have several ride routes which take me through Oakland, Oregon about the middle or end of the ride. So one of my favorite stops is The Hollow Coffeehouse around the corner from the main street in Oakland. I hate to admit to being a "fair weather cyclist" but I have been road riding since last year. On the other hand, I have spent some time on my trainer under the awning in the rain. Anyway, I haven't been to The Hollow since last year. Since the weather has improved lately, I did a short (23 mile) ride yesterday and stopped at my favorite place in Oakland. I learned that Stephanie purchased it in January and really seems to have made some nice improvements. For one thing, she's tech-savy so has a "Hollow" page on Facebook with lots of activity, specials and news. There is also free WIFI so I can login with my smart phone. I usually like a cup of coffee on a cold riding day or smoothie when it's warm, Stephanie has both. There is also some yummy sandwiches if I arrive during lunch or breakfast time. Click her photo for a better view of the menu. I'm trying to be a vegan so Stephanie and I worked out a nice sandwich with no meat or cheese. You can see that behind the photo of her building. Most of the time, I'm just after a drink and a place to sit and enjoy Oakland (there is outdoor seating if you prefer). My first choice is usually a small cup of coffee with free refills ... it's good coffee. If you have enough time to wander historic Oakland, they have some nice antique stores and a historic hardware store I like to wander the aisles.

Our riding group today

Sunday, April 14, 2013: I did my first ride with the Umpqua Velo bicycle club last Wednesday and they humbled me. Only the "hot-shots" showed up and they wanted to do a longer ride than I knew I could do before it got dark so I rode only 1/3 of the ride with them then did my own thing back to the start. I need to put some time onto my bike to be able to keep up with this group. I learned of a "slow" ride today if the weather was cooperating. Well, the weather looked threatening so I brought my rain jacket. I ended up putting on the jacket about half way through the ride when rain began to fall. Only two other riders chose to brave the weather, the rider leader Shelby and the club president, Troy. It was a nice 24 mile ride through an area I've never visited but it looked just like the beautiful part of Oregon I ride around Sutherlin. I did carry my bike using the repositioned fork rack which you'll see if you click the photo.


A hobby collection while riding in a rural area around Lodi, CA
Saturday, April 20, 2013: Nice 80 degree weather today in Lodi, CA. I did one of my favorite rides into the rural area around Lodi. The route is totally flat however, there is often a strong wind to make up for the lack of hills. So today's ride include a strong headwind on the return from the furthest point of the ride. Click here to see the route. Some hobby collections can get out of hand (I think). This farmer collects his old farm equipment. Both sides of his large yard are lined with equipment. Click the photo for a rear view. I spotted these on Liveoak Road as I was returning to Lodi on my ride. This route can be very warm in the summer months but good for an early morning ride during the hot months.
This looks like the bike I had in 1959 as a paperboy No bike newer than 1972
Tuesday, May 7, 2013: Roseburg had a vintage bicycle show this weekend called, "Bikes in the Burg". No bike in the exhibit could be newer than 1972. I found the bike I used as a paperboy in 1959. It's in the photo on the left. A Schwinn, heavy duty with massive spring on the front fork for suspension. I put a load of 130 papers onto that bike every day. I bought that bike on the installment plan. My grandmother loaned me the money (I think it was $80) to buy the bike and I made payments back to her each month from the earnings of my paper route. At the same time I was buying parts to make a "road bike" so at age 11 and 12, I was a two bike owner. One was a working bike and the other was a "fun bike", a road bike with a three gear cluster in the rear and one chain ring up front. But, I made the bike using a Schwinn frame with a Sturmey Archer three speed hub. So with a derailleur plus a three gear cluster and a three speed hub, I had a total of nine speeds. It was my earnings from my paper route which paid for all this. I couldn't afford a Schwinn Varsity Ten Speed because they were $100 but after building my own nine speed road bike and repainting it half a dozen times, I had invested about $150 over time. I eventually changed the chain ring to a double with a front derailleur I believe I had the first 18 speed bike in the early 60s. So these are all the memories which came back to me while visiting the "Bikes in the Burg". Click the photos to see other views.

One of my favorite Douglas County rides, Driver Valley Road
Friday, May 10, 2013: I rode early this morning to beat the heat. One of my favorite rides is Driver Valley to Oakland then Fort McKay Road returning to Sutherlin. It's 29 miles so I really need to do that much everyday or more. It is rare that I see vehicles on the "Driver Valley" portion of this ride. Today, I saw three and one of those was the little mail jeep delivering rural mail. The pavement is a little rough in places but I'd trade that anyday for no-traffic. This route can be extended into a longer ride with some decent climbing and descents. I need to get more motivated. Click the photo for another view, what could be around that bend in the road? I've always said, the difference between a good musician and a great musician is PASSION. It's the same with cycling. What does a "passionate" cyclist look like? I've been riding with passion for 55 years. Perhaps you must build your own bicycle when you are eleven to have passion. Cycling feels just as good now as it did 55 years ago. My equipment is a lot more reliable now but my bike has the same engine.

Riding around Dorena Lake near Cottage Grove, Oregon
Glen and Paige riding the bike path Lane County Oregon has a tour of covered bridges
Sunday, May 12, 2013: Today was a special day of riding with friends. Glen and his daughter, Paige invited me to ride with them on the "Scenic Bikeway" along Lake Dorena near Cottage Grove, Oregon. This was a new ride for all of us. Lane County has built a 15 mile, paved bike trail over an old railroad bed. It's a great trail and getting to ride with friends made it even better. We extended the ride by switching to road riding for the return trip which made the route circle the lake. Glen and Paige wore matching, custom Roseburg Costco jerseys. Click the top and left photo for additional views. Our ride ended with a great Thai vegetarian lunch at a restaurant only one tenth of a mile from our parking location.
Sit On My Face

Off Driver Valley Road

Monday, June 10, 2013: Glen and I did one of my favorite rides today, Driver Valley Road (a loop in our case) which is about 29 miles long at its shortest route. There are side trips to make the ride much longer. I finally took the time to photograph the four warning signs which a clever graffiti artist has used to record some song lyrics from a Monty Python tune. I was wondering the significance of these four words and was interested to learn that this artist was a Monty Python fan. This was a great riding weather day. Perfect temperature, the wind was strong be we got an equal share of tailwinds to balance the headwinds.

Introducing friend Jack to the Rochester covered bridge, Behind: Wider view

Monday: August 5, 2013: My friend Jack is visiting for a week in Sutherlin. Jack is older than I am but a stronger rider (mostly because he spends more time on the bike). I could keep up with him if I didn't come up with so many excuses NOT to ride (at least that's what I tell myself). While he's visiting I had to introduce him to the Rochester covered bridge. During our ride, we discussed the effects of aging on our riding performance. We both decided NOT to get ANY older. If we can't stop the aging process, soon we will both need TRAINING WHEELS. Click the photo for a better view of the bridge.

The first Roseburg Open Streets event, Behind: Chalk drawing on a downtown street
Monday, August 12, 2013: Yesterday was the first Roseburg Open Streets event. Four blocks of Jackson and Main Streets were closed to vehicle traffic so those on bicycles, skates, skateboards, tricycles, scooters and wagons could enjoy downtown without the traffic. Jack, Glen, Glen's daughter Paige and I rode from Glen's house in Winchester to downtown Roseburg toexplore the event. I wish there were hundreds of cyclists and families enjoying the Dave give free bike repair, Behind: Cool off in the water tunnel Street dancing, Behind: recumbent tandem
day but very few participating. At right, Dave is making free bicycle repairs. When you click Dave's photo you'll see a water tunnel to cool off hot riders. I experienced the coolness several times. To the right of Dave is a dance troop showing off their moves. I also took a short video of the dancers which can be seen here. Behind the dancers is a unique recumbent tandem I thought was interesting (and expensive). Hopefully the second "Open Streets" will have more participation. Click the large street photo above for a view of chalk drawings.

Enjoying a great cup of coffee at "The Hollow" in historic Oakland, Behind: new chain installed

Friday, September 6, 2013: I'll admit, my cycling motivation this year has been mostly "external". Reward of coffee along the route, riding only at the urging of cycling friends and other external rewards rather than the "internal" motivation of reducing my belly fat to nothing or just being more fit. So today I had two motivating factors, this great cup of coffee from "The Hollow" coffee shop in historic downtown Oakland, Oregon and my friend Glen who has convinced me to "ride sweep" with him for the Umpqua Velo Vineyard Tour century ride on September 21. We will be "sweeping" the fifty mile loop so it really won't take much preparation on my part but I would like to keep up with Glen as I "huff and puff" up the few hills we will ride. I've not been riding much so need to improve my condition somewhat. Since we are riding "sweep", we will finish with the slowest rider on the loop and the fifty could attract lots of novice riders who may not have prepared for distance riding. That means I may be in the saddle longer than a normal fifty so I really need to "condition" by rear to the saddle. After returning from a thirty mile ride today I decided it was time to install a new chain. If you don't already know, chains should be replaced about every 1,500 miles. Mine has probably done 2,000 miles and the chain has stretched by 1/2 link. I hope that's not too much to cause replacement of chainrings or cogs. That's the reason to replace chains, they stretch and if left too long will damage the chainring and cog teeth to the point they will have to be replaced with the new chain. That can really be expensive. Click the photo for a view of my new chain. A new chain will also smooth out the shifting.


The Vineyard Cycling Tour includes a welcoming band, Behind:A reststop on the Vineyard Tour The Lookingglass  Store along the Vineyard Tour route, Behind: Riding 50 miles in the rain
Saturday, September 21, 2013: This is the day of the Umpqua Velo Vineyard Tour ride. My friend Glen talked me into returning from the ocean to help him ride "sweep" on the fifty mile ride. This was a stormy day so I wasn't expecting too many riders but to my surprise, Oregon cyclists don't let a little bit of rain stop them from riding. The fifty was a very good loop mostly through rural Roseburg areas where I have not ridden. We did see lots of vineyards, but no "sipping" as the sign suggests until the end of the ride. Click the photos for additional views. Behind the Lookingglass Store is a photo of my in my rain gear. Personally, I was HAPPY to not have to do more than the fifty. I've not been riding enough to prepare for anything longer.

Riding Death Valley in the winter is like riding Roseburg in the summer, Behind: some tricks with my Samsung S4

 

Monday, December 2, 2013: Death Valley is a great place to ride a road bike in the winter months. Today was a warm 66 degrees with no wind, feels just like Roseburg, Oregon on a nice summer morning. What a great day for riding at negative two hundred feet below sea level. The "heavy air" felt like having my own oxygen tank along for an extra boost. I had to wear my Umpqua Velo "fish" jersey to be sure I was the first to bring the jersey to Death Valley. This perfect weather is forecast to change to mid-40's as the daily high and winds gusting to 50 so the good riding may come to an end soon. I took the time today to play with photo effects using my Samsung S4, click this photo to learn what I mean. The park was "sold out" during the Thanksgiving weekend but now the traffic is light (almost as good as rural Douglas County, Oregon).

A warning sign you don't see very often, Behind: Where to deliver ordinance Instruments of war, Behind: tanks too Sherman tank, Behind: WWII veteran
Saturday, January 25, 2014: Today's ride was parallel to the Yuma Proving Ground(YPG) with an armament display at the end of the road. I'm camped at the Imperial Dam LTVA, about 6 miles from the YPG but about 3 miles of riding gravel to get to pavement. About half the pavement is the worst you can imagine but the reward is at the end of the road. In the final photograph, the sign describes the Sherman Tank and behind that photo is a Sherman Tank veteran of World War II. The sign describes "repaired war damage" which you can view here. This ride was the first of 2014 and it seems it will take a good deal of work to get into shape. Click any of the photos for another view.

Watch Downhill Speed

 

Monday, February 10, 2014: While out riding our little fold-up bike I spotted this sign and had to take a photo. This was found in Yucca Valley, California while we are camped at the Black Rock Canyon Campground inside the Joshua Tree National Park. Something about this area really tears up the pavement. There are huge holes and dozens of repaired cracks making for very rough riding, hence the fold-up bike over the road bike. Yes, I normally wear my helmet when riding this bike but was in a hurry today.


A Sunday afternoon ride with the Umpqua Vello Bike club, Behind: Just like the hiking group, special treats motivate the club
Sunday, March 23, 2014: What a beautiful Oregon, sunny day and my first bike ride in Oregon since returning from our winter in the warm south. This was a nice easy ride. We are standing on a bridge over the South Umpqua River. Less than an hour later, Shelby, the leader of the group lead us to "Harvest" a health food store where the riders had treats. Click the photo for a view of this unique, rural store. That sounds a lot like the hiking group at JoJoba Hills, except they went for ice cream. This ride was mostly on busy streets which is not my favorite and I suspect a different route will be chosen next time.

Crystal was on the agenda tonight, Behind: Umpqua Velo Cycling club agenda

Wednesday, April 2, 2014: It's the first Wednesday of the month so that's the meeting of the Umpqua Velo Cycling club in Roseburg. Gwen and I went with my friend Glen who is also a member. Tonight's meeting agenda is behind the photo. Future rides and fundraising events were described. Most of the time was taken to discuss the Friends of the Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park project. The park is located about ten miles from Sutherlin and a destination of several of my road rides. The park ground was donated to the county in 1983 but the county has no income from the park to help with maintenance so they propose to cut down and market 20 acres of old growth timber to build a campground at the park hoping to generate maintenance income to take care of the park from the campground. Crystal tells of a plan by the "Friends" to raise the money from donations to save the old growth timber. The bike club is planning a ride to help those fund raising efforts. I've already donated but I'll help with this project too.

An "Earth Day" ride with the Umpqua Velo Bike ClubSaturday: April 19, 2014: On this wet day, I went riding with the Umpqua Velo Bike Club out of Roseburg from the Kruse Vegetable Market parking lot to my favorite restaurant, Lighthouse Bakery and Cafe (which is also a favorite destination for cyclists since it's located in a rural area and has the best, healthy meals for 60 miles around). I started the ride from home which added about 12 miles to the ride. I met with Glen at mile 8 and we rode together to Kruse Market where the ride began. About the time everyone began to ride, it began to rain but being from Oregon, we were all prepared. Glen and I were even riding our "rain bikes". All riders enjoyed the Lighthouse (click the photo). This is an excellent time of year to ride in the rural area because all fields are green from the winter and spring rains. After lunch, I rode back to my home in Sutherlin while Glen rode back to his home in Winchester.
 
 
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