Saturday, September 27, 2008



Well I guess cross season is really upon me and a few of my friends. This will be my 10th very active year in cross. In other words my 10th year of going to Portland every weekend in the fall. If you don't do cross (cyclo-cross) go out and at least watch one. Find one in a city or a high school with lots of grass and go on a crisp fall day. It doesn't have to be raining just a bit cool is best. I love the fall, and cross means fall to me. The hard part, though, is mountain bike riding is also fall. It is hard to do the 5 hour epic ride, two sets of intervals, weights and then do well at a race. I will figure it out though. 
This week I rode around Waldo Lake with Muffy and Phil. We started at Little Cultus, then to Lemish and Charleton Lakes and then the 20 miles around Waldo. It was a cool clear day with some smoke. I would say almost perfect. We ate huckleberries at every stop, notices some signs of bears, and just enjoyed a perfect fall day.
Last week Mike and I drove to Hood River for the second half of the Double Cross. One of the things about cross races is the name. We have Cross Crusade, Double Cross, Star Crossed, there are plenty more.  It was a great course Mike and I pulled of a couple of thirds, Damian was 4th in his race and Jim was 5th. Matt, one of our newer members was 6th in his race. I can't remember where David finished but he did two races.
You can see Mike in the photo above. In the other photo you can see my handlebars. I have this clear tape. I can put messages under the tape. The one I use now says Fast Fun Safe. 
I crashed hard last year at Barlow Park in Estacada. I had decided I was going to win that race on the first corner. NOT. Big crash. This is to remind me that I can go fast but I better be having fun and I had better not take chances. I had great fun last weekend and tomorrow we are going again. More Fun, Fast and safe also though. Enjoy the fall, go out and cross.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I just had the privilege of having Peter Mclaren visit me. I met him last year near Aviemore in the Highlands of Scotland. This year he decided to leave the summer rains of Scotland and visit Oregon. He first went on Cycle Oregon. Like most people who have not visited Oregon Eastern Oregon was a surprise. Oregon is supposed to be in the wet Northwest. He loved the dryness and the high desert that we have.
After Cycle Oregon fellow Bendite Lore brought him to Sunnyside Sports so he could spend a few days with me and Kathy. 
It turns out Peter is a Painter. He makes his living as an Painter. He also loves bicycles and riding. I took him on the best local mountain bike rides. His face was one of joy. He couldn't believe we rode over 30 miles of single track in one ride. In Scotland single track is like gold. You ride 2 miles on Landrover track and then 500 yards of single track. Then 10 miles of gravel road and 1 mile of single track. The next day we went up North Fork and down Flagline. 20 miles of pristine single track. Even though he fell and hurt his shoulder he was in mountain bike heaven.
But like I said he is a painter. The one above is perfect as it combines his love of bikes and shows his artistry as a painter. It was great having long talks about art, painting, music etc. A perfect house guest really. 
Yesterday he took off on his mountain bike and new trailer to Oakridge. I sent him via Little Cultus Lake and Waldo Lake, I hope he gets a chance to ride around Waldo. 
It is very fun to take out of towners on our mountain bike trails. They know what we have even more than we do. It makes me love our trails even more. Sunnyside will be hosting a trail working party next week Tuesday the 23rd of Sept. Meet at the store at 8am and we will doing some brush clearing on the Tumalo Creek trail. Should last until one.
See you on the trail.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


No photo today, just some reminiscing. I was in Scotland one year ago watching some racing (World Mountain Bike Championships and Single Speed Worlds). Now I wonder where the year has gone. I was browsing my blogs and there were some joyful moments (cyclo cross racing, rides with my sweetheart, wildlife viewing, visits with many friends and just living). Then there were the some very sad moments. Remembering about my friend Kent and selling his old bikes, a couple of friends passing away ( Jeannette and Keith).
I guess that is the way life is supposed to go. Joy and Sorrow. They seem to go hand in hand. Unless you really love someone you won't feel the sorrow when they are gone. Sometimes it is just hard to deal with the pain. Then some joy comes and it makes it somewhat better again. 
I have heard from a lot of readers telling me they enjoy my blog. That pleases me. The fact that I can write something that gives pleasure is very ironic. I had to take "bonehead" english in University. The professor was not impressed with my ability to communicate with the pen.
It helps to have spell check, a program that is easy to correct and a couple of readers who edit most of what I write.
I wonder what the next year will bring. We have an election coming up, that could make me grumpy, the economy sucks but Sunnyside has withstood so far. I have trip planned to Mallorca with some friends, more ski coaching and just life coming up. Next year my racing age will be 60. That will be a milestone. 
Thanks for reading and I hope to have more interesting tidbids of life coming up. I could do without the deaths and the sorrow, but I guess that is part of what it is to love.
Take care and thanks again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Four years ago I decided to totally change the way I train for cyclo-cross. I went to Justin Wadsworth, who is now the World Cup coach for the US Nordic Ski Team, and said I want to train in a more modern way. At the time he was the head coach at  the Rebound Performance Lab. He started me on a more intense (lots of intervals) and a regime of strength workouts. I was not sure about the changes, nor was I positive I could actually do all the workouts.
I started  and pretty soon I was enjoying the weights and the intervals as part of my week. My recovery improved (with all the intervals), and I got a lot stronger. After one year I could do 190 pound squats, I could do 7 interval sessions in one week (and race). I was  improving. There were two things that bugged me though. I weighed in the high 160s to low 170s (about 10 pound too heavy) and I still could not do a pull up. I was using this machine at Rebound that is on a ramp so one could work up to regular pull ups. It seemed that after four years (I can now squat 225 pounds) I should be able to do real pull ups,  like I could in Jr High School. I think that was the last time my arm strength to body weight allowed me real pull ups. I became a bike rider after that and good bye to upper body strength.
As you can see in the photo I can do real ups now. I just started a couple of weeks ago. Pretty cool at 57 I can still make real improvements. I also weigh under 160 pounds for the first time since 1988. Wow that was 2o years ago. 
I know that is not like winning a gold medal, or setting some kind of personal best in a race, but for me it is just as good. Years ago I started to really be present in my life. Though I started weights and intervals as a means they quickly turned into their own reward. I like doing both. It is also really great when I can see real progress . I will now have to wait and see if both of these goals translate into being a better cyclo-cross rider. Though the truth is I am now lighter (that feels good) and I am enjoying doing real pull ups. Life is good.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


This was last weekend on my favorite ride, Round Mountain-Lookout Mountain in the Ochoco Mountains east of Bend. My history with the Ochocos goes way back. In 1969 I came to Central Oregon for the first time to work for the Ochoco National Forest. I was stationed at Rager Ranger Station about 90 miles east of Prineville.  I have loved them ever since. 
Phil, who is on the left is "Phil" of Phil's trail fame. We have been riding together since before Phil's Trail. In fact I was one of the first to ride Phil's Trail with a small group of friends.  Of course back then in the mid 80s there were only a small group of mountain bikers. 
The first time I rode in the Ochocos was with another friend Walt and his nephew Jon. I had a bad crash on the way down and was not sure about going back. Phil convinced me and now it is my favorite ride. The top photo is the very top of Round Mountain. The trail gets steeper and steeper until only the young and very strong can ride that last bit. Martin, who is pushing his bike, was on a single speed. He did quite amazing, though I thought I heard him say something about maybe a geared bike wouldn't be so bad.
I met Martin in Spain. We spent two weeks riding road bikes together with some other Scot friends. I saw him again last year in Scotland when Kathy and I were over to visit and watch the Single Speed World Championships. Martin was one of the promoters. He was in Bend for a couple of days so why not show him the best ride we have. When he left he was thinking the next time over he might just spend it all in Bend. We have most everything a mountain biker could ask for. 
It is nice to have friends like Phil and Martin. Phil and I don't ride together as much as we used to, there are a lot more mountain bikers to ride with for one thing. Phil is my car mechanic though and we do keep in touch. It was great to get out with him again and I am sure that will lead to some riding this fall. I know he has to put a rear wheel bearing in my car. He was in the back seat and diagnosed it on the way home. I won't even have to describe the noise to him.
I am not sure when Martin and I will get together. He and Sue, his long time girl friend (Scots don't appear to get married any more), would like to come back and they know they are welcome to stay. We love Scotland so there is always a chance we will go and visit soon. Maybe one of my many Scot friends will get married, that would get us over. 
I do know I will keep in touch with both Phil and Martin and all the  many other  friends I have made through cycling. In fact another Scot, Peter, is coming next week. More showing of awesome trails. I can't wait.