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. 

No comments: