Tuesday, April 22, 2008


The title is a joke about the English and Americans. It is also true. In Europe 100 miles is long distance. Just ask an average woman in Sevilla how far it is to the next town. They may have taken a bus but probably have never driven there. Bend just celebrated its 100th birthday. My friends in Scotland would think a house that old is fairly new. 
The photo of Kent is typical of Spain. There seems to be a 700 to 1000 year old castle on top of every hill. You can also see by the landscape that it is dry in southern Spain. I picked great place to go in November. The last day it was in the high 80's. 
Our trip turned out magical. I fell in love with Spain and Kent had the trip of his live. 
After this trip I have continued to visit Spain. I have been there 12 times. I love the people, the landscape, the history, and the riding. It is low key compared to other countries in Europe with lots of history to see. Kent went back once after this trip. He liked adventure and the unexpected. I like things the same. I like to return and see the same people, the same restaurants even the same roads. Kent wanted to see new things. 
Kent gave me Spain. If it were not for him I would not have fallen in love with Spain. I tried to take him back one year but he had decided it was time to stay home. Not long after that he found a bump on his throat that eventually lead to his premature death. 
I have a friend who gave me mountain biking (Tom Pickett), and a friend who gave me Spain. Both have passed on but their memories live. I also have many friends who still live that I owe things to. I appreciate all of them. Thanks for the gifts to all of you and especially thanks to Kent for so many great memories.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


My day was made today by a 10 year old. We have
had the coldest spring I can remember (I am a
new comer in central Oregon I came here in 1969). Everyone in town is complaining about the snow, the cold etc. Annie was outside test riding bikes in the same weather only she was not complaining she was exuberant. See that smile on her face. That was not for the photo. I had to go find my camera the smile was so big. She didn't notice the cold, she was getting a new bike. She knew that was good. It made my day. I was ready to get out and ride myself. Tomorrow I will get out and I will have a big smile, just like Annie.
Get out there and enjoy what we have.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I am here with another chapter about Kent Mills, the friend who's DeRosa I just sold. I had four days to get ready to go to Spain, and I had not been to Europe for over 20 years. I had two bikes to pack, install racks on the bikes. Kent had already gotten me a ticket so I was ready. The question is Would you have been ready? You see I had a passport, I had gotten one a couple of years before because of a story I read about being ready to travel. Mine was just sitting in our file waiting to be used. Let me tell you, it is hard to get a passport in 4 days. Make sure you have one for when the time comes. 
I spent one and one half days in Madrid. I went to Museos, Palacios, Plazas, I must have walked 20 miles. We were going light. I only brought one pair of shoes. Shimano spd shoes with cleats. Bad choice for walking around Madrid. I met Kent at the airport pretty late and we went to the hotel. He was impressed I knew my way around Madrid. He would have taken a taxi. I said no they are too slow so we took a bus to the Puerto de Sol and then got on the Metro (subway) and got a ride to our hotel door. I had to have Kent's bike fixed because it was damaged on the flight over. The bike store I took it to was a mess. I figured they were into some serious remodeling. I found out a year later that it had been bombed by the ETA (Basque Separatists) a week before I was there. 
Early the next morning we collected our bikes at the airport ( I installed the repaired fork) and flew to Malaga to begin our real trip. The road in the photo on the left is the first small road we found. It is so typical of Spain (and Europe). I thought I had died and gone to road bike  heaven. You can see from the photo of Kent that he was quite happy. He told me this was the best trip he had ever done. This was quite a compliment. He had a done a few trips. I was a little nervous but after this road and the smile on Kent's face I knew this trip would be fine.  I have one more chapter on this story I will get to later. I hope you have enjoyed me remembering this. It brings a lot of smiles and a few tears to my eyes. Kent's DeRosa is going away and it all seems so final.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


   I sold Kent's DeRosa yesterday. It was not easy. I made sure this bike worked for Kent, I was there for its first ride and its last with Kent. He was always so happy after I would get it tuned for him and it worked like a De Rosa should. I was happy to. I fixed Kent's bikes, it was the very least I could do.
This story is a long one so I am going to take a few blogs to tell it.

I first met Kent in the early 80s. He came in Sunnyside for some bike work and we became friends. Not fast good friends but friends. He was semi retired and really wanted to see how fast a man in his late 40s could ski. He was a lot faster than I was0. Things happened and he went back to work full time. He was a government contractor. I really didn't see him for a few years. I know he was busy traveling and working. Sometime in the 90s he decided to get back into cycling and we started to see him more, doing rides together etc. About the same time I had decided to learn Spanish.

He came in just before Thanksgiving in 1995 and asked if I knew where in Italy he could ride. Though I had never been to southern Europe, I had read a lot and told Kent he would need to go to Southern Spain for a chance at good weather in November, and then jokingly I said he should take me along so I could speak Spanish and fix his bike. The next day I had a ticket to Madrid and instructions to bring his bike (along with mine) and I would meet him in Madrid (he would fly from Italy after his business). These are a couple of photos from that trip. I will resume the story in my next blog, as I said it is a long tale.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I am 57 but I don't really feel it. Yesterday I did a 71 mile ride averaging almost 30 kph. Yes I am odd enough to use metric on my bike computer. We didn't go hard, just steady. I got home and ate some healthy recovery food and took a nap, I am a world class nap taker. Today, first thing, I had a massage. Mark DeJohn, who's business name is Active Therapeutics   is my massage therapist. I get one every two weeks. Not really enough, I would like two a week. But there is that money thing. I have been getting massages for almost 20 years now. They are like having a week of recovery put into 2 hours. 
I am not one of those racers who shows up and tells everyone else on the starting line how little training they have done. I don't show up on the starting line unless I am ready. When I get beat it is because the other riders are better than me. There  are lots of riders better than me. I train hard because I like doing well and giving those other guys a run for their money. So if I am there I am ready. It is not about training hard, it is about resting and resting and then some more resting. It is about eating well and then resting some more. 
My long rides are steady but not races, my intervals are hard but not long, my weights are heavy but not too many. I get stronger everyday. I don't really peak, I just try to get stronger by training smart. Justin Wadsworth is my coach. I do what he says. It works. 
I take lots of vitamins, especially, my not so secret weapon, Vitamin C. The last time I was sick was three years ago. I know part of it is luck, but I work at not being sick. I go to bed early and sleep  as much as I can. Sounds boring, but its not. I love riding, racing hard and being healthy. I am never bored. Thanks for listening and go and get a massage.

Friday, April 11, 2008


If you have been reading my blog you know I got a new computer a week or so ago. I have been trying to get all my music, photos,  addresses etc loaded on from the old to the new. I also figured out how to have a slide show on the new computer. So this brings me down memory lane. I know a lot of photographers are worried about all the electronic images we have. What will happen if there is a big crash etc... I also have wondered about all these images and what to do with them. Now, though, I see them everyday. It is kind of fun. The first photo is Cape Fomentor on Mallorca. It is the traditional first ride when we go to Mallorca. There are some awesome short climbs, twisty roads, a long tricky tunnel and  a great view at the end. I missed it this year for the first time in while. It is nice to see the photo and remember. This is where I will be taking 10 lucky people next March. Look now, and in a year, if you sign up, you will be there. The second photo is when I went to see the Tour in 2005. This was an unexpected trip that I will never forget. This photo was on the last day and it was raining. We rode around Paris, many roads were closed to cars. I watched the last stage about 1/2 kilo from the finish. I needed and had a special pass to be there. No crowds, great view. The whole trip was special. It was given to me by my friend Kent Mills. He was supposed to go with his longtime friend Ric. He was doing some yard work and ruptured a disc about a week before the trip. He couldn't get a refund so in his generous way gave it to me. I get to see those photos and remember the trip and Kent. He passed away almost two years ago. I miss him, but now I get to remember this very special gift.
The last photo is my friend Andy. He is a shy lad from Yorkshire. He grew up in the mining country of Northern England. He went to Uni in Edinburgh. That is why I know him,  I have lots of friends who live in Scotland and he is one. We have been to Mallorca together, watched the Mountain Bike World Championships together and in this photo from 2005, we were riding the McKenzie River Trail together. He came over with 5 other friends that year. We had the best time. He is coming back this summer with his girl friend Ros. I am anticipating another marvelous visit. I will get more photos and I will be able to remember more. I like these electronic images. I can see them everyday, share them with you, and add more whenever I feel like it. I now just have to hope we don't have that crash.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


On Friday Joanne, Karen and I drove over to Portland for the Ronde de Portlandia Oeste.  This is an Unofficial ride in Portland to Commemorate the Ronde Van Vlaanderan, Tour of Flanders. This is big race in Belgium that goes around most of Flanders (part of Belgium). The Portland ride is the idea of Brad Ross, Promoter of the Cross Crusade and all around Cycling lover. It was almost of 11,000 feet of climbing (grades up to 29%) in 50 miles. This is twice the climbing per mile than the famous Death Ride in California. It rained most of the day, there were around 400 other riders there, it was awesome. We had special treatment. We stayed at Brad's house along with Melody (Brad's wife) and Brett, his adorable 3 year old son. Brad also was our personal guide. We had a few mechanicals (4 to be exact). Brad waited for us at every corner and marker. This is the way I like rides to happen, if you start with friends you finish with the same friends. Brad had every excuse not to wait. We wouldn't have minded if he didn't wait. He was the organizer, yet there he was with his Bend Friends making sure we didn't go the wrong way. Coaxing a few more miles out of our legs, offering us shortcuts if needed. Beer and or coffee, and hot showers when we got back to his house. I only took us 5 hours of riding time to finish. 
I went over with Joanne and Karen. These are a couple of my best friends. I have lots of good friends. I feel very blessed. The best part is that some are older than me, some are my age and some are younger. Some are men and some are women. When I say friends I don't mean acquaintances I mean friends. I have spent a month in Mallorca sharing a room with two friends from Scotland Andy and Ali (two different years). I have a knack for being friends with people no matter what sex they are. It is not that women make better friends than men it is that about half the world are women so I have more people to choose from (twice as many as most). 
I have been married for 37 years . My friendships with women have never been a problem for me. This is because I am always open and I don't treat my friendships with women any different than I do with men. So thanks to all my friends for putting up with me, riding with me, skiing with me, going to cross races with me, traveling to Mallorca with me. For just hanging out with me. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I feel like a modern man. I have never owned an Apple Computer. I have been in the control of Microsoft forever. Yesterday my little lap top's keyboard decided it was done. Hard to have a blog without a keyboard. So I decided why not an Apple. So here I am. It is not like the World has changed. But it is cool and hip. Like a lot of my friends. Sure I have lots of friends my age. Barb and Lew Becker, John Howcroft, I guess Gary and Jeffrey are really my age. There are more but I seem to have a lot of younger friends. Some even have tattoos. That is hip. I think I would like a tattoo. Some have piercings  in places I would be embarrassed about. Maybe one of my ears would be cool. Jim has a pierced ear. Kind of like a pirate. 
I am too shy for all that, so I have an Apple computer instead. Now I am hip, to go along with all my younger hip friends. Maybe my blogs will now be more hip. 
I have a camera on my Apple and I was going to take my photo but I can't figure it out. I will have to ask one of my hip friends.