Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Early Morning Cyclist Inspiration

OK it is really an early evening picture from last night but inspirational none the less.

Cold temperatures make for good trails and good coffeecicls

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Great Trails

Last year when I set out on my first all trail commute it seemed like a big adventure.  I printed off a snowmobile map and set out at 5:00 in the morning because I wasn't sure if I would get "lost" or how long it would take.  Actually, I did get lost that first trip and it took about 2 and a half hours.  My first trail commute ever was on March 8, 2011 and it was my 5th commute of the year.  This year my first trail commute of the year was on January 24 and I have taken the trails almost every day since.  It isn't March 8 yet but I have 32 commuting days so far this year.  Now they are as routine to me as riding the roads.  If all the trails are passable I only ride on the road about 1/8 mile to the trail head.  I cross a total of 3 roads.  The total distance is about 10 miles and the trail ends on the property at my office.  I often don't see a single car but can see dozens of deer.
2 Deer (one is looking at you)

The trails to work are only an option when the lake is frozen and the trails are compacted enough to ride and I ride them every chance I get.  Here's why.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Riding and old age

How old can you ride? 

An Argument For: 100 year old sets first-ever hour record mark for his age group

And An Argument Against:

Maybe I'll have to back off of the snow covered ice riding when I hit 80

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Univega Viva Sport

The bike that started it all.  I'd had other bikes before this one,  Mostly kids bikes and then a few 10 speeds mostly by the department store brands of the time, Huffy and Murry.  I did get to "experience" my first ambulance ride in what could be considered my early mountain biking days.  I say "experience" because I was unconscious for most if not all of it.  The Murry could also be considered my first front suspension bike.  It was actually a spring on the front fork that did something.  I think it mostly looked cool.  So I come around from my friend Jeff's house, down the banking and into the road when my front wheel hits a big patch of sand and that's about the last thing I remember.  No helmet of course, I'm pretty sure bike helmets hadn't even been invented in the early 80s.

Skip ahead several years and 10 speed bikes to my Huffy Wind.  It was called the Wind because the tubes were flattened to give an "Aero" design.  I'm not sure how a bike that must have weighed in at 50lbs could be called the Wind but it was a nice marketing attempt.  I road it to the end of my street and left it near the bridge by the waterfall.  When I went back for it it was gone.  This would have been a horrible thing except they left a Takara bike with a slight dent in the down tube that looked like it had probably run into a wall.  I decided, well, a trade is a trade and I didn't have much choice so I brought the bike home.  We figured that the bike was probably stolen just like mine was and they were just trading bikes.  I think we made some attempt to find the owner but came up short.  In the end I took that bike apart, cleaned out the bearings and when I got it running smooth it was a world different than any other bike I had riden.  It was at that moment that I realized that department store bikes sucked.  After riding that bike for a few weeks or months I can't remember, my father asked if I would like to get a new bike.  We went to The Portland Bicycle Exchange and bought my first real bike, a Univega Viva Sport.  Not the Univega Viva Sport I am writing about in this post, not yet.  My dad bought a matching one in his size.  That was the start of my true passion for bikes and I think it was the start of my Dad's passion too.  We got bikes for the rest of the family and brought the to Acadia National Park to ride the park loop road and climb Cadillac Mt.  Once I was grown and he moved to Florida he started riding more than I did for a number of years.  I think he's done more charity rides than I have.  I wish we could have shared more of the passion together.  In 2010 he lost the battle with Cancer. 

After a few years I traded my first Viva Sport for the one I ride to this day.  I'm not even sure why.  But the new model was much nicer.  I remember that it cost $405 somewhere around 1987.  It was paid for with lawn mowing money.
This bike also started my commuter years.  I would ride it all over Portland before I had a car.  Usually I would pick a person to go visit and the would give me a destination.  It didn't even matter if they were home.  I'd just show up on their doorstep and if they were around I'd chat for a while and if not I'd ride.  I remember I biked a lot back then but I'm not even sure what a lot was.  A few hundred miles/year, 1500 maybe. 

I'm still riding the same bike today, 25 years later.  Original frame, wheels, handlebars, fork, brakes and laptop sized bike computer.  In 2011 I put around 1500 miles on it.  With 5 other bikes this one still remains a favorite.  It's supposed to be a nice day today...Maybe I'll have to get it out for a ride...............

Thursday, February 16, 2012