Wednesday, February 25, 2009


We are headed to Mallorca this coming Saturday (Feb 28, 2009). What you see are two of my favorite things over there, a cup of café con leche and some absolutely marvelous bike riding. The photo on the left is real, and it is not the only road like that, the Island is full of them. We is me and 8 friends of Sunnyside Sports. Some of the friends work at Sunnyside (Barb and Lew) the others are friends (other stores call them customers). Patsy, Gary, Linda, Paul, Mary and Leila. This will be my seventh time over there. I hope to go again next year even (if you are interested let me know ( will get me). This will be a trip when we get home we will be relaxed, in shape and full of memories of some of the best roads Europe has to offer. We will stay in one hotel the whole time. I have been asked many times "Don't you get bored riding the same roads all the time?" My answer is simple, No, I am not bored living in Bend yet after over 30 years. 
I missed going last year so this will be special, like a homecoming for me. You get to know some of local café owners, the people that work at the hotel, most of them are friendly faces. 
I am curious also how the economy is going to affect what we see. Will the number of riders be down? Will all the stores and cafés be open. I hope so.
Mallorca for most people means Euro tourist. Laying on the beach getting a british tan (sunburn). Well in  March the pools are not heated, the beaches cool and most of the tourist at home. What you have in March is up to 50,000 cyclists at a time enjoying the roads and the café. Not many Americans, mainly Germans, Swiss, Dutch and Brits. 
The bonus for me will be the Brits. Not really Brits though the Scots. You see the weather sucks in Scotland most of the time (this is a west coaster talking). For them Mallorca in March is the warmest they will see it all year. There are not that many Scots in the world. Around 5 million or so. They have some awesome cyclists though. Sir Chris Hoy won three golds medals in China this summer. David Millar, pro cyclist on the Garmin Chipotle team to name a couple. Then there are my Scots. These are some special friends I have. They live in Scotland and I live in Bend. I go to Scotland to see them, and they come to Bend to see me. We all go to Mallorca to ride bikes, almost every year. This year most of them will be there again. We make sure we are there at the same time, we stay in the same hotel or even apartment. We like to ride together, laugh at the English, Germans and yes the Americans too. We like to eat good food, drink good café, and of course even have a beer or two. I will even go home via Scotland to see the ones that couldn't make it this year. 
Next year why don't you come along.
One more thing it really irritates me that my apple computer doesn't know how to spell Mallorca, it wants a j instead of ll. That is just fundamentally wrong.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I have been racing for over 30 years now. That is a long time. These wimpy pro guys retire after 10 or 15 years. So after that long you would think I would know how to get ready for a race.
Yes I know how to get ready but doing it is another thing. Mountain bike racing is another kettle of fish as compared to cyclo cross. Cyclo cross is 40 minutes of as hard as I can go. No need to feed (in fact that is frowned on). Eat three hours before, eat one gu and then race. Don't dress too warmly. Mountain bike racing is 2 to three hours. You can get too hot or too cold. Eating is part of the race, warm up is important but not the same as cross. I use a 5 inch full suspension bike. It needs to be set up for race mode. I was thinking about all this on Saturday evening.  I was going to race the next day and I hadn't even thought about getting ready. 
I packed everything I thought I would need into the car and along with James, Jim and Ben off we went. We got to the race a little later than I would have liked. The highway was a sheet of ice for close to 60 miles. Going 4o instead of 60. We decided to forge on. I didn't eat quite enough so I threw some Gu packages in my pocket (good) I put my vest on over my pocket (bad). I brought my clear glasses (good), I couldn't find them in my bag (bad). I really wanted to use contacts but had totally forgotten them ( I was to pay for that later). 
I was too warm but there was no way to take off any clothing without stopping. I got hungry but couldn't get out my gu. I had to stop and move my vest. My glasses fogged up while I was on the most fun part of the trail. I lost my momentum. I persevered, I forged on and ended up winning my category. I am known as the guys who is ready, I felt like a rookie. Next time it will be better. 
As I mentioned I won yesterday. Don't ask me how many showed up. I don't really know other than there were a lot of racers. Ron was there (he beat me in my last two cross races last year). Winning is an important part of racing for me. I work hard and to have the satisfaction of that hard work paying off by winning is the best. When I get back from a race I am asked "Did you win?" I hate that. Yes I have won my share of races but it is never a forgone conclusion. I like "How did you do?" better. When I win it is special. Yesterday was special. As Levi Leipheimer said at the Tour of California winning is only as  good as your competition. Ron is good competition, so the win was good. I hope to win some more this year, but my last win was over one year ago. I certainly am not counting on winning every race I do, but I do enter every race thinking I can win. When I do it is sweet.
PS These photos were of the Echo the small town where this race started. It was a great venue. 


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I know many of you have been in Sunnyside Sports and probably know we all like working there. That doesn't mean every minute of everyday is perfect. We work hard and we get busy. That means  stress. 
However we live what we do. When I come in on my day off I am always asked "How was your ride or ski?" Every morning when we all gather together we all catch up with what the others did the day before. This isn't just true of us, it includes our customers (who are also our friends). It is what makes Sunnyside real. We know what the snow is like because we have been there or have asked someone how it was. If you want to know what Horse Ridge is like we will know. The other day I went out to Horse Ridge for a short ride and when I was finished Eric was there with Patrick (he used to work at Sunnyside) and newcomer to town Rob. A few minutes later Jim showed up. We work together we play together.
This year we are going to host the Spring Fling. This is the COTA's annual trail work day and Party. Seth thinks it is pretty cool we are doing this and was commenting on how Sunnyside has a huge history with mountain biking, but we don't have the reputation as a Mountain bike shop. It is true we like to sell all types of bikes to all types of people. We have tried not to be anything but a bike store.
 I will list a few Sunnyside mountain bike moments. Gary and friends "riding" to the top of Mt Bachelor in 1976 on coaster brake clunkers. Sunnyside sponsored rider and friend Tom Pickett racing in the first US National Mountain bike championships in 1983. Me, John Howcroft, Tom Pickett and Julie Willis racing for Bridgestone from 1987 through 1991. Me winning two World Championship medals in 1988 [Downhill and overall(a combination of uphill, downhill and cross country)]. Sponsor of Pickett's Charge mountain bike race since 1994.
Sunnyside has a huge history with mountain bikes and we will continue to be involved. This year we are going to have monthly trail work day, and we are adapting the Storm King trail. 
This year our team was the highest placed team in Central Oregon with most of those points coming from Mountain Bike races. 
So that is what we talk about. We love what we sell and it shows. See you on the trail.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Friends make it more fun

We went classic sking today. It was awesome. Extra blue wax, though I did have to reapply some secret Canadian wax that Muffy had with her. I have to admit on the way down to Leslie's Lunge I checked my speed (snowplow in other words). On classic skis that rubs off the kick wax.
We try to get together once a week. Ski or ride. We never go hard. We like to talk, laugh at each other and commiserate. I like to catch up with Zoe and Tosch and Muffy is a good way to do that. We met almost 20 years ago. It was on a bike ride ( not surprising really). I am glad we have stayed good friends. Lots of things have happened since we have met, we have lost a few friends and we have made some more. 
Though I like to do things alone I realize it is more fun with a friend.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Riding with friends is a great thing. I am going to Mallorca, Spain at the end of this month to do just that. Today, though I am still home and I found some really good friends to ride with.  Kathy and Barb. If you read my blog and come into Sunnyside you will recognize both of them. I have been married to Kathy for 38 years, and I have been working with Barb for 17 years. Both are my friends also, people I like to ride with. They are just as fun to ride with as the pros I go out with. There is one difference, I get to wait for them instead of the pros waiting for me. On a road ride it is pretty easy to ride with a friend, you go their speed and find a route that is a good distance. Mountain biking is not the same. I have been riding Mountain bikes for a long time, I have some skills. I find it hard to determine what is hard  and what is easy. After many years I now get it. Rocks are hard for non hard core riders, soft sand is hard, exposure is hard. 
You can see by the faces of Barb and Kathy that they are having fun. They like the desert, the wind, the smells. It was a day that a road ride would have been hard and a mountain bike fun. If you take  a friend out take their photo. If they look like Barb and Kathy then you took them on a great ride. 
PS After riding with them I went out and did my own short technical ride. Worked out great.