Saturday, December 29, 2007


We, at Sunnyside Sports, like to shovel snow, or at least we are good at it. In the photo above you can see our sidewalk and the one across the the street. We are the best in town, we have an award to prove it. We always have been. Not just our sidewalk, but our parking lot, our neighbors sidewalk even our alley. We prefer to hand shovel but a few years ago we bought a big snow blower. It has a light for night work and heated handles. It only comes out with 6 inches or more snow. For us it is sport. Why not? It should be done. People walk by our place whether it snows or not. It is the law, it is the right thing. Our parking lot is on the north side of our building. It becomes an ice rink if we do nothing.
The other sidewalk across the street I do not understand. How can one run a business and not shovel snow. Don't people get sued for much less? Don't people like to be good neighbors? Don't they want our award? Haven't they heard of the sport of snow shoveling? I guess not.
Sunnyside Sports
Your bike ski and snow shoveling experts

Friday, December 21, 2007


Today is my 57th birthday. Not really a milestone but it feels good anyway. I haven't minded getting older so far. I still mountain bike, nordic ski, race cyclo cross,. split firewood and go to bed early. Talking about cyclo cross brings up an unusual situation. On Jan 1st I will have been 57 for around 10 days, but my racing age for cyclo cross will be 59. What is that all about? Well the 2008 cyclo cross season ends in 2009 (worlds are in February of every year). When I turn 58 I will then be ready for the 60 year old group. I am not sure if ageing two years ahead of time is a good thing or not. Just a weird thing that happens in the bike racing world.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I have lived in Bend since 1974. We moved here because of work (US Forest Service) and cross country skiing. Back then there were not many places know for cross country skiing. There were no trails at Mt B or Meisner. But there were trails at Skyliners and at Swampy Lake. No parking at Swampy though. Anyway I was a self taught skier. Soon though there were clinics being offered at Mt Bachelor and I took as many as I could. Then skating started (early 80s). I didn't really get skating, but a few lessons from my friend Joyce and it started to click. I started to race and when I was told I looked very smooth and efficient I felt like I had arrived. This was more important than winning for me. I love the technique. I watch other skiers, videos of races and listen to the best skiers around about how to ski.
I have been coaching skiing at Mt Bachelor since 1993 now. On a normal day when I ski over 50% of the skiers I see have taken lessons from me. It makes me proud. These are the skiers, who want to look smooth and be efficient. These are the skier you see that are using the V2 technique most everywhere. I would like to think these are the better skiers.
This year I have 6 in my class. Not as many as other years but a great number for teaching. We are doing six skate classes in a row. After three classes we have not touched on anything other than V2. Next week we will expand. I will use the V2 to start the V1. If you are out skiing you will recognize my skiers. They are masters, they are smooth and they are using the V2 technique.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


This is my "spin class", 35 minutes twice a week. No travel time, no money out of pocket, my own choice of music. For me training is a private affair. I love long slow group rides with my friends but for intervals and strength I like to be alone. My cross season ended last weekend and now I am starting to train for next years cross season. What! No off season? Well no. A few years ago I started to train with Justin Wadsworth. He helped his wife Beckie Scott become one of the best nordic skiers ever (for sure the best from Canada and North America). The theory goes like this (I am simplifying this) just get stronger. So that is what I do. I do the same type of workouts 12 months a year. I don't get "burned out because I don't spend endless hours on the bike leading up to the season. As Carl Decker told me I have years of base. So every week I lift weights, I do intervals, I do distance. Never over 10 hours a week, lots of time less. I stay strong. I could ride a century and day of the year if the weather cooperated. I could do a mountain bike race tomorrow if there was one. I am not bragging, I am just trying to explain. It is worth staying in shape, it is healthy, cost effective, and even fun. When I go out with my friends I am never in a hurry or do I want to go hard to get the good workout in. I do all that on my own. My intervals take me 35 minutes that is all, weights take a little longer. This is the time to stay in shape and keep all that fast cross racing in the blood, the legs, the brain.
Times have changed since the 60s. Then racers took time off in the winter. Then took months to get back in shape. There is no reason for that. Stay in shape 12 months a year. You can Nordic ski, run, do what ever just don't loose what you took all year to get.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Kathy and I do not do Christmas. We have a few reasons, for me my birthday is the 21st of Dec and that being the first day of winter is more important to me. Two we do not have children so no pressure there. Three, I work in retail and I get pretty tired, not of customers but just from working really hard. I have no problem with Christmas other than the commercialism which has totally taken over the Christmas spirit. The day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday because for much of the US it is the day retail stores go into the "Black" on that day. I could go one about what is wrong with Christmas but really why should I. Lets talk about what is good about Christmas for me. It is giving away bikes to kids. We help with a program called Kids on Bikes. This was started by four of Sunnyside Sports customers, Paul, Karen, Shirley and Byron. These are not only customers but good friends. This year we are going to give away at least 100 bikes to kids who would not normally get bikes. Is that good or what? So I do Christmas after all don't I. I hope when you think of Christmas you think of giving. Not just stuff to your family and friends but to people in the world who truly are in need. That is what the Christmas spirit means to me.
Sunnyside Sports
A bike and ski store in
Bend, Oregon


My cross season is over for the year. It was maybe the most fun I have had racing ever. I am not sure why, I have had other years I have enjoyed. I think as I get older I put less pressure on myself, added to that is I train smarter and am in better shape now than in years past. We had some great courses this year. I remember the slick slidy mud in Rainer, the barns in Astoria, the course I liked the least was so wet and muddy (Hillsboro) that even that was fun. The USPG races were the highlight. Very wet, very muddy and lots of twists and turns.
Tomorrow I start my other job for the year, coaching Nordic Skiing for the MBSEF. Nordic skiing is also a lot of fun, though in a different way. For me it is best when the snow groomed to perfection. The opposite of cross. I like the movement in Nordic skiing, weather it is skating or classic. It is very dance like, with a lot of strength added. I don't race anymore, not because I don't like to race, but because I would rather enjoy the movement and not feel pressured to do intervals when it might be good day for a long ski.
When I coach I always emphasise the beauty, the gracefulness and the joy of being in the snow. You can do this whether you race or not. Sunnyside Sports in Bend just got the latest issue of Master Skier. Some of you know this is not my favorite magazine. I was looking through the latest issue and did not see an article on is Nordic skiing enjoyable until the last page. If you were to give this magazine to a friend so they would get a feeling of what Nordic Skiing is all about they would think it was hard, work, confusing, difficult etc etc etc....
Well that is not the case. Nordic skiing is non of those. It is about grace, smoothness and the joy of sliding in snow. It is about propelling yourself up hill in order to fly down the next downhill. There is nothing more fun (except maybe a muddy cross race). Make sure you tell your friends about the fun and not the confusion about Nordic skiing.
The photo above is what cross racing is all about. It captures what I feel more than any photo of a race that I have seen.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Cyclocross has what is called The Pit. In it are all the spare bikes for all the racers. In a low key race (all of the Cross Crusades for example) I put my spare in The Pit and if I need it I just exchange it myself. This happens when you have a flat, broken derailleur or just a full muddied up bike that has quite working. In the photo above you see my Pit crew from last weekend's USGP race, Karen and Robin. It is cool to have a Pit crew. They hand you the bike, take the old one and clean the old one. If you look closely you can see hoses and buckets. The bikes were filthy this weekend. Our team doesn't have professional pit personal. It is for teammates to help one another. On a warm day this is not a problem, this weekend it was tough. We raced, got wet and then tried to get warm and then we went to the pit. Not only was it raining but we also had to hose off the bikes. It was wet and cold. I needed Karen and Robin both days and they were there waiting for me. On the first day I flatted, lost one place on the way to the pit and held on to second. The second day my shifting just plain quit working. Once the again there they were with my clean bike. Oh joy. I have had Pit helpers in most of the national races I have gone to (6 times) and once, when I traveled to Great Britain to do the worlds hardest cross race (The Three Peaks) , my friends from Scotland drove down to Yorkshire just to help me. Having a Pit crew is great.
I have pitted for most of my friends also. Sometimes they use my bike even. It is a great feeling to be able to help someone keep going in those kind of conditions.
This last weekend I kind of messed up. The Pit was located in the middle of the course with two different entrances. So we had to keep going from side to side. I had three teammates in the race, and I love to cheer my friends on . But when you are in the Pit you need to keep track of your man. I lost track of Damian and was on the wrong side when he came in. I was too busy being a fan and not taking care of business. He wasn't winning and in the big picture not much harm was done. But cross in not about the big picture it is about the moment, and having teammates and people you can count on. I felt really bad, Damian was upset ( I would have been also). He wasn't really mad at me just upset that in the middle of a race he had to stop and find me. Once you enter the Pit you have to get a new bike or get DQ'D. The next day went much better, we did lots of flawless exchanges and now I feel better.
I am a professional mechanic and doing things right is important to me. I messed up but I did learn something and now I will be a better Pit person. Life goes on.
Sunnyside Sports
A Bend Bike Shop

Monday, December 3, 2007


What to do on a rainy, cold, windy day? Susan suggested work. Not bad really. Lots of stories, the wind blew open the front door of the store and blew over one of our clothing racks. No harm done but fun to watch. Besides work, what to we do? Skiing is out. Why? Well because it is rainy and not snowy, even in the mountains. Football? Not for me, I am more of a doer than a watcher so no football. Kathy likes garden planning, writing and playing the piano. All good choices, in fact I am writing now.
But for me what is best are two things that I love. One is cross racing, and we had wet and windy one this weekend. It was epic for sure. I got to race, help out my friends, watch the pros race and generally get very tired and happy. It started with a long drive to Portland on Saturday morning. Snowy, icy roads, and dark, but no traffic. We pulled in with an hour and one half to spare. It was spitting snow and I told Karen and Robin to just get ready and I would take care of the tents, the heaters etc. They got down to business while I readied the camp. Fortunately Jon, Sami, Jim and Damian showed up to help. They had a great races. Karen was third and Robin fourth. Maybe Robin's best race ever. Then it was Jon's turn, he ended up 5th in the single speed and was quite happy. My race was very competitive. We had to start at the same time but behind all the 45 + guys. I passed at least forty of them. I was in the lead when I flatted managed a great bike exchange and ended up second.Jim, (one of the 45ers), ended up a credible 6th. The rest of the day we spent helping Mike who had a great race, Sami, who's bike blew up, Ben, who's bike also blew up, Jimmy who had a great, but cold race and Damian (who I did the world's worst bike exchange). We got back to the hotel, wet cold and happy. We were too tired to go anywhere so we ate at the hotel and went to sleep at 8:30. Other than the front desk calling us at 1:00 am to tell us to be quiet it was a quiet night.
Not to bore anyone day two was more of the same, I was second again. the course was more fun and my bike exchanges improved. Mike had a stellar race (his best all year). We managed to get all the tents, heaters etc into all the cars and the very wet and windy drive began. We thought we were going to loose the bikes from the top of the cars. We didn't we are home. For some of us this is the end of cross season (Jon and Sami are off to Nationals in two weeks).
This is where I start my other activity. Reading by the fire. Only cross is better and then not by by much. It is bonus to have kitty on your lap. Warm and comfortable. Not much to describe here. A chair, a fire, a kitty and a good book. I like them fat and long (as the photo shows).
Thanks for reading, I will be blogging about skiing and other things until bike season starts again.
Sunnyside Sports, Bends oldest bike store.