I apologize for not being more prolific 'round these parts. It's been hard getting back in the swing of things, shifting this blog back to what it was before I went on the Bike Tour. There are things I want to write about, but honestly the stresses of getting back to "real life" have taken a lot out of me. Finding a job in Portland has never been easy even in the best of times, and at my age it's not something I particularly relish doing (but then again, does anyone really like the job hunt?) I think that's one reason why I stayed at the Hawthorne Hostel for over five years: I definitely went through frustrating periods, but I didn't want to deal with looking for something else.
But anyway, let's talk about riding bikes! Which is what April and I did on Thursday October 28. As like the last time I wanted to go on a "bike ride" bike ride, I intended to go out to the Columbia Gorge. But once again I woke up too late to pull it off. (The pros and cons of not having a set schedule, I figure.) And I need to replace my rear tire. After my ride last week I realize I have a slow leak again and long story short I think it's the tire causing it.* And my bike shop doesn't have the particular tire I want, so it's on order. I don't mind riding around town in its current state until I get the new tire so long as I keep an eye on the pressure, but I worry about riding beyond the reach of Tri-met (our transit agency) if something catastrophic happens to the tire.
So we decided to do a little ride: head south on the Springwater-on-the-Willamette trail to the Sellwood neighborhood, then east on the main Springwater, and then north on the I-205 path. From there we had the option of heading up to Rocky Butte, but as the day was getting short we decided to head west and ride up Mount Tabor on the way home. It was a nice 20 mile ride and the weather was good, sunny and in the high 50s. Not going to be a lot more days like this.
As for happenings on the horizon, April and I have signed ourselves up for our first (gasp) randonneuring event! Next Saturday, November 5, is the annual Verboort Sausage Ride,** a 65 mile (100 km) "Populaire" event.
I'm excited and nervous at the same time. Excited because it's my first rando ride, it's a nice route, and it's a fun challenge. Nervous because I've never been in an organized event like this and worried if I can pull it off. Now I know that I can ride 65 miles. Pretty much all of my metric centuries (and above) have been on fully loaded bikes. Doing that distance with little load will be a relief. But I've never ridden "against the clock". There's basically a seven hour window, meaning I'll have to keep a 10 mile an hour average with minimal breaks. And I'm a bit intimidated by some of my friend's riding ability. I don't consider myself a slow rider, but I am not a fast one by any means.
But hey! I have to randonneur since I am a retro grouch, right?
Also coming up is the annual Bike Craft Faire. This year it will happen December 3 and 4 (yep, a weekend) at Sandbox Studios in NE. You better believe I'll be selling my wares! I'm currently in the process of getting ready for it. Stay tuned for updates about the new stuff I'll have!
*Short story long: When we were in La Crosse, Wisconsin on tour, I got another slow leak flat after repairing one a few days before. Skot of Thistle Cycle took a look at it and thought it was caused by some material that was sticking out on the inside wall of the tire. He tried to sand it off and put part of a tire boot over it to protect the inner tube. In Chicago I got a flat on Critical Mass and when I went to fix it I noticed the hole was on "the line" created by the indentation of the boot, so I pulled the boot off. Now it's leaking again, so I'm thinking it's the inside wall of the tire again. Plus, after 4,000 miles that tire's got quite a bit of gashes in it. So I think it's time for a new tire.
**Yes, how ironic. The vegetarian and vegan on a ride about meat. Ha.