Monday, March 31, 2008


I don't have a big camera to take close ups of wildlife. So this is as good as it gets. Last week Veronica and I saw a single Pronghorn, and midweek I was in a herd of Elk. Yesterday a herd of Pronghorns, in the Millican Valley, did a full gallop 360 degrees around me. This was as close as they got. It was totally cool. I used to work for the Forest Service and I spent lots of time East of Bend. I used to see lots of Pronghorn. This is the first time I have seen a herd of them for almost 20 years. If you don't get out because it is too cold, or too far, it is time. Don't drive as you will never see anything. You have to walk or ride. Riding is best because you are going fast enough to surprise them, but with no noise.
About an hour later I met with James. He went on the same road but wasn't fortunate enough to see the Pronghorns. He saw lots of blue birds though. They are bright blue and there are many of of them out there now. James and I rode together back to my car on
Gosney. I gave him a cookie and some hot chocolate. Then I found out it was his 28th birthday. I was lucky to be prepared.
So don't whine about the snow on the Phil's trail area, go out east. This is the coolest part of Central Oregon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


These are photos I took yesterday on a ride out to Horse Ridge, about 20 miles east of Bend. What is remarkable is that when I stopped (not to take the photo but to get some food) there was no snow. The trail was brown dirt and the sage brush grey green. Then the wind came up and in a matter of 30 seconds this is how it looked. White. How cool is that.
I love riding east of town. I love the mountains on a clear day, the smell of the sage brush on a warmer day, on Sunday Veronica and I saw a solo pronghorn in Golden Basin. I don't know much about Pronghorns. I know they are not antelope, and I know I used to see lots of them in the Milican Valley before all the OHV trails. They also cannot jump fences. They look cool. It was awesome to see one with V because she is a wildlife biologist. It is what she does. Yesterday I got stuck in an herd of Elk. I was headed back to the car, a bit of a tail wind going almost 20 MPH and all of a sudden these elk came from my left, ran with me and then passed in front of me. It was loud and impressive.
If you haven't been out to Horse Ridge do so before the roads and trails get too soft. The single track on Horse Ridge is rocky and technical but the roads surrounding Horse Ridge are flat and easy. I like to incorporate both, get in a longer ride and have fun on the single track.
See you on the trails.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I know some of you who read my blog, but I am surprised when someone I don't know tells me they read my blog. It is nice though. I feel honored that you out there enjoy what I write. I write about things that are close to my heart. I write about the positive things in life that pertain to cycling and skiing. Cycling has given me almost everything I have. When I went to University I had to write an essay, it was about a bike tour I did when I was 14. That was 43 years ago. I still love cycling. It is easy for me to see the good in it. The health, the competition, the exhilaration of riding a mountain bike, the skill it takes to ride on technical stuff.
Some of my best friends live in Scotland. We go on holidays there, we go to Spain with them, they come over here. That is because of cycling. Have you ever traveled to Europe, arrived in a strange airport had to find your way to a hotel you have never been to, all the time driving on the left hand side of the road. Well when I go to Scotland my friends pick me up, take me to their house and then cook dinner. Cycling had given me that. We do the same for them when they come over here.
Let me know who you are and what you like about my blog. You can leave a comment. I will share with you what you have all written, please be positive. There is too much bad in the world to include it my blog.
Kathy didn't come from cycling, she came from somewhere more special.
As Kurt Vonnegut's uncle said , if this isn't good what is.
Thanks for reading

Monday, March 17, 2008


I have known Damian for a long time now.

Maybe 10 years. He was a student at OSU when I met him. Now he has two jobs. He is the owner of Westside Video and he works as the Western Tech Rep for Pedros. Pedros is a bicycle tool and lubricant manufacturer.
He is 30, I am 57. Old enough to be he father. I am not, I am his friend. We hit it off early and he has raced for Sunnyside most of those 10 years. But we are not friends because of that. We are friends because we love cycling, we like Battlestar Galactica, we are passionate about Cyclo cross and we like to joke. We don't have everything in common though. On Sunday we started our ride at 9, he went to bed when I woke up, 4AM. His ride was longer than his sleep. But he was there anyway. Why? Because he promised and because he wanted a riding partner who would ride with him and not drop him.
It is fun to ride with a group, or a friend who have a certain etiquette about riding. This means you finish with whom you start with. This means you are not pushing constantly while your companions are suffering. It means your Sunday rides are not races, they are for endurance fitness. So Damian and I ride together. We just needed a 4 hour ride. Not a race. Damian is stronger than I, but I never noticed that once in 4 hours. It is amazing but I can ride with people stronger and weaker than I. It has to do with following the basic rules. Don't half wheel, don't attack every little rise, if you are weaker don't take some really hard pull and then be so tired you can't keep up any more.
I have ridden in Europe with some amazingly strong riders. We go up the long climbs at our own pace. We wait at the top, ride down together, the flats together, eat together. Have a meal together after the ride. Always finish together. . If you ride like this you will have an amazing amount of friends all over the world. They will be women, young dudes, old guys, all walks of cycling life. Do your intervals by yourself, do your Sunday ride with a friend or two. The world needs more friends and less competition. Leave that for the races.
One more thing, isn't that a great view of the mountains behind Damian.. Bend is just a great place to live and ride. I must be blessed.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mallorca in March

This is me in Mallorca, Spain. It is March and the fruit trees are in bloom. No snow, an lots of roads. Except this is not this year. I am home. I like being home, even in March. But I miss Mallorca, and all my friends that I meet there. Kevin, Andy Ali, Pete, Steven, Bob Steve, Colin etc. I miss the cafe con leche, I miss the lunches in the Plaza's. Lots of plazas. The switch back climbs. Sa Calobra. An epic climb carved out of the rock. Group dinners. Yes I miss all that. Next year will be different. I will be back. Hopefully my friends also.
It smells different ever there. Everything. The cars, the dirt, the blossoms and the food. I can smell it right now.
Next year I am going to take a group of Sunnyside Sports friends over. I want to show them that even when the dollar is down you can go to Europe and have fun without spending a lot of money. I want to show them that being in one place for two weeks can be just as rewarding as seeing lots of towns. I want to show them a more Euro type of Spring trip. More like a camp. If you are interested please contact me at . We will be going in March, I am hoping for about 10 with a cost of around $2000 for the two weeks. Maybe even lower.
Olive oil, paella, tumbet, windy roads (windy too sometimes), Lots of cyclists, I can't wait.
Don Leet


I have been working for the MBSEF coaching masters sking for 15 years now. I still remember Tim Gibbons asking me to help Greg Stone. The first year was a bit dicey as we had too many signed up and not enough coaches who were around all the time.
When I ski up at the mountain, and I see all the skiers skiing around around 50% have been in my class one time or another. Most look pretty good on skis. It makes me proud. If you are up skiing and you see lots of skiers using the V-2 technique everywhere they have been in the MBSEF program.
This year Greg Strome was the other part time coach along with Ben, Sara and Brenna. Most people I talked to had a great time and learned a lot. I like to think that skiing is fun, that technique is fun and only when you go hard is skiing hard.
In the photos above Sean and Cindy are working on the V-2 alternate. Both looked great. We had a great day on the mountain last Sunday. A perfect 10 in my book. Cold snow and warm air.
It is not always that way. Earlier this year when I was watching the technique of some skiers all I could really see through the blizzard was that they were making forward progress. I guess that is something.
My ski season winds down this time of year. I am allergic to my car and though I love to ski I find it hard to drive for an hour when I can just get on my bike. But I will be up a few more times, hoping for the sun and perfect snow. Look out for those V-2ers and you will see my mark.
Don Leet