Thursday, July 24, 2008


Saturday I will be leaving to do my 20th (aprox) Oregon, Idaho or Washington Bike Ride. These rides are organized by Sandy Green and have been happening since 1987. It started out as OBR (Oregon Bike Ride), a few years ago she added Bike Idaho, and then last year she switched from Idaho to Washington. I think we did all the roads in Idaho. 
Anyway I have been helping for a long time now. 
Gary, Mike, Barb, Susan, Seth, Paul, Chuck, Kevin, Tosch, Sanna, Kathy and Muffy have also helped along the way. This ride is a week long celebration of cycling. Plenty of us have gone from being 30 something to almost 60. It is like a family of sorts. 
What we do is fix bikes. We have a Uhaul (Alaska this year) full of bicycle parts and accessories and we keep the riders going. We don't charge for labor, we get to work outdoors and we even get to ride some of the ride. Most of the time it is fun, lots of times it is hard work, and all of the times it is rewarding. We like to keep every one's bike on the road. 
It is easier now than it used to be. Back in the day we had only one mechanic, and the bikes were pretty sad. Most everyone now rides road bikes, usually in good condition so instead of building wheels, replacing worn out bike parts we do more usual repairs. Gear cables, tyres, tubes, the odd accident will give us a challenge (new fork or wheel), but usually the repairs are pretty normal. I like the normal. People have more fun on a good bike, and the word has spread so most of the group are riding some pretty nice bikes. 
In the photo Barb is at a rest stop getting ready to lube a chain or maybe adjust a derailleur. 
It is sunny and warm and as you can see in the background the rest of the group is milling around, eating some snack food and getting ready to ride the next segment. 
It is always hard for me to leave Bend this time of year because we are so busy at the store, but once I  get there I forget about time and the week becomes OBR time. Get up early, put away the tents, get some breakfast, fix the odd flat, load the truck, ride or drive to the rest area. Talk, hang out make friends, see old friends. If you haven't done OBR sign up next year. Do it early as it sells out in January or February. I will be back in a week and then it is off to the Oregon Bike Ride. I will try and write a blog if I can get on line. See you soon.

No comments: