Sunday, August 24, 2008


Unless you have a few gray hairs and are approaching 60 quickly you may not know what it feels like not to  be young anymore. I am not sure if I know. I do all the same things today I did when I was 20. Hike, ride, read, work etc. I haven't changed what I do or even how much I do very much. I get up every morning ready to go. 
The surprise starts when I look in the mirror and wonder why my Dad is looking back at me. Where is my hair, why is it gray?
I was riding my mountain bike last year up one of the more technical trail in Bend, COD. I was making all the hard stuff and generally feeling quite studly. About then two young women come down the trail. I expect them to say - awesome riding dude. But no, they say " Sir, How far is it to the highway?" Sir? I look around to see if there are any sirs around. No they must  mean me. I think they thought I was the old mountain bike man of the forest. Hopefully they thought I was a cute old man. That is what it has come to. If I can be a cute old man that will work.
In the photo is my lunch date of last Tuesday,with  Sarah and Zoe. I spent two weeks with them working and riding on The Washington and Oregon Bike Rides. I have known Zoe almost her whole life (21 years) and I just met Sarah. The first 15 years of Zoe's life I would talk and she would reply with a laugh. It seemed to work. She always smiled when she saw me, I would say hi and she would laugh. A few years ago we actually started to have conversations with words on both sides. 
Hanging with the younger set is a great thing for me. I feel their innocence, their enthusiasm for life and just the fact they like to laugh and have fun. I think that is what is needed to stay sane in this world. I want to thank Zoe, her brother Tosch, Sarah, Brig, Merideth,  Damian. Jon, James, Ben, Andy, Ros, Kevin, Veronica, the two girls on the trail, Jake, Eric, Seth, and I am sure there are more for being my friend laughing at my antiquated jokes and basicly thinking that I am a cute old man and maybe sometimes that I am older and wiser. 
I still feel young inside, I don't feel old not even middle aged. My friends are a mix of all ages and both sexes. I am not cynical and I have lots of hope that we will get this world right for all of us. So here is the advice part. If you are young, befriend someone older. You will be amazed that they might not even know they are old. If you are, like me, a person with some gray hair, find some young people to hang with, learn how to text on your phone, figure out what they mean when they say "snap", get a blog going, go out to lunch and laugh about life. 
See you on the trails.

Monday, August 18, 2008


We just finished The Oregon Bike Ride for this year. Like The Washington ride we had a great time. Barb, Lew, Muffy and I were the Sunnyside Crew. What we do is keep the bikes working. This year we had around 280 bikes to keep going. We had derailleurs into the spokes, broken wheels (three) lots of bad shifting and of course the -my bike creaks under pressure-. We fixed them all (45 on one of the nights). We work as a team and we have a joyful time. We hang out with our many OBR friends, the young crowd (baggage boys and girls) and we make new friends. Herbert with the best butt eye (see last post), his wife Marta came by every day to make us laugh. That is why I like OBR it is the laughing. 
This OBR wasn't all laughter though. We had three crashes that involved ambulances. All three riders will be OK, but it is never fun to see your friends on the ground with faces full of pain. We had two mothers (both over 80) fall at home. Katie flew home to take care of her mom. She then came back to finish the ride. My Mom fell and broke her wrist. I didn't go home. Kathy was here to take care of her, but I had to think hard of what is important. 
The saddest thing though was when the word went out that a cyclist was killed in Bend. No one knew anything but when we heard it was a man around 50 named Keith Moon I was devastated. The photo is of an Angel Bike that was put up on the corner where the accident occurred. There is a brotherhood of all cyclists. We know the danger of cars but we choose to ride because of the joy. When the joy turns to tragedy it hits hard. 
Keith was a student of mine (I taught him and his wife Jenny how to skate ski), he was a customer of mine (lots of bikes and skis through the years), I was a customer of his (the counters in Sunnyside are all from Moon woodworking). I went to many concerts where Keith was the trombone player, Kathy sang with Jenny in the Cascade Choral. There are not words that I have to explain the pain. To share with Keith's family that they are not alone in their sorrow. What is it like not to have a father around, a husband a lover. 
I can only wish them our best. I and Sunnyside have lost a great friend. Good bye Keith.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Joan has been been with us for 8 years now and now she is moving to Portland. Family, and general life things are taking her away. She is in the photo standing next to Russ the third from the right. A lot of people might not know what Joan did at Sunnyside. Well I will try and tell you. She brought Sunnyside from the 20th century to the 21st. Her goal wasn't to make us the best bike store but the best store. She shared in my vision that Sunnyside should be the best place to work for the workers, but that all should work hard. She looked at the details. For her it was about saving pennies and giving the best service to our customers. She had a vision. It was clear and things had to be a certain way for her. I hope we have learned from her and we will continue to strive to be the best store. She will still be there in the background. Going to shows, helping us find the coolest new product etc. That will be nice but I will miss her. The part about Sunnyside I like is the team feeling we have, the personal relations we develop. With Joan in Portland that will be hard to continue. So I will miss her. I remember the first day she came into our store and I will remember her last day. Maybe she will come back sometime. That would be good.
Take care Joan and I hope we will see you again in Bend.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


We got back from Washington Bike Ride last Friday. What a great ride. We started in North Spokane and went North all the way to Canada. The ride didn't go to Canada but a couple of riders ended up there accidentally. This is some of the best riding I have had in the Northwest. Beautiful scenery and not much traffic. 
But this article is about something else. A phenomena called butt eye. This is when bags form under your eyes. It always happens on the Washington and Oregon rides. We don't know why. Is from dehydration, sleeping outside, some mysterious bug bite. I don't get butt eye. Lucky I guess but as you can see from the photos both Muffy and Paul both ended up with a mild case. I have seen some cases where you can't really recognize the person infected. It seems to affect the older ( 50 or so ) person, and I would think more women then men. That is just a guess though.We are off to Oregon Bike Ride next week and we will do some more research.
Oh by the way, Paul was mechanic on WBR along with me. We normally go with three but ended up with only 2 this year. He was great. We had 40 bikes a night the first three days and we got them all done before dark. Muffy was our store manager. She was also great. It really helps to have such enthusiastic help. Thanks to both.