Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Here are two photos from my life in that last two weeks. The on on the leftt is the River Tweed in Scotland. The one on the rightis me with the Deschutes River behind me. The weather was about the same both days, 40s, breezy, with partial cloud cover. I loved them both. I live in Bend for a few reasons, but like many I moved here because I love to be outdoors and here there is no excuse for not being outdoors. I also like to travel, but the places I am attracted to seem to be like Bend. Forests, but with the open wide spaces near by. I was born in the wheat fields of Montana so the Big Sky is in my blood. Scotland is like that. Forested land surrounded by big open fields of heather. My friends will laugh when I say I don't really have much love of water. It is good to drink but I really don't swim or play in the water. The Ocean doesn't have that pull for me that it has for many, lakes don't mean much to me either. I do like a good River though. Not to swim in but to be near. Hiking or riding on a river trail is what I like. I like going up and down on the trail while the river just rolls along towards the ocean. 
You may notice in the photos that the River Tweed and the Deschutes River are quite different. One has a castle the other wilderness, one has hard woods, the other pine trees. The feel is the same for me. Nothing like a good outing along a river somewhere in the woods. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Forty years ago my life changed for ever. I was eighteen years old and had no path. I was going to College at Humboltd State College with no real purpose other than to stay out of Viet Nam and try to become an adult.

I had joined the Boot and Blister hiking club and that was my main social activity. We went on hikes on almost every weekend. I learned about campfires, Swiss Miss, instant oatmeal, hot liquid jello and tinny tasting tea. Though this was the 60’s I didn’t learn about drugs, alcohol or even sex.

Humblolt was an innocent place to be in 1968. Yes we protested the war, but we didn’t riot. Yes we loved spring but instead of free love we learned how to folk dance. I wasn’t much of a student but I was a great learner. I learned how to live on my own, cook for my self, be a trustworthy friend, but I was alone.

My friend Marsha (who now is Mara) told me of her roommate Kathy who was retuning to Humbolt that spring. I had seen some photos of her and I was anxious to meet her. It happened in Wildlife 206. This was the room where we had our B and B meeting. I was in the front and Marsha and Kathy came in the back. I was smitten. It was 40 years ago today. Love at first site is not just a fairy tale, it is my story. I still feel the same way every time Kathy comes into view. The same feeling the same memory.

I don’t really know where all those years have disappeared to. I do know I have spent them with the person I was meant to. I guess I can hope for 40 more.

Take care.


Sunday, March 22, 2009


The lower photo is from Shevlin Park in Bend a few hours ago. I went for as long a mountain bike ride I could find considering all the snow. It was a fun ride, I managed about three hours of dirt time.  As I was sitting on the trail having a snack of hot cider and a stinger bar I was thinking of the last two Sundays. One was in Mallorca and the other in Scotland, both included bike rides. Not unusual for me. Unlike some people I wasn't wishing I was back on holiday as I was having a great time on my mountain bike riding in a spring snow shower. The ground was firm because it was around freezing, there was no mud today, and I got quite high above Shevlin Park. It was quiet and peaceful. I rode alone, which I don't mind and when I got home there was some lunch and a fire. Both were very welcome. I won't say I didn't miss the warmth from two Sundays ago (Mallorca) or the tea and cakes from the ride one week ago (We went to Dawyck Gardens were there was  great little cafe). But to being able to do a three hour mountain bike  ride from my door is hard to beat. The thing I miss most though are my friends. I miss my friends here when I am there and I miss my friends there when I am here. I guess that is what you would call good friends. I seem to have lots of them. 
The next months of mountain biking is quite fun in Bend as the trails all open up with the melting snow. It is fun to explore, ask at the store how far up have people been, and share with them where I have been. 
Wherever you are get out and enjoy what you have.
Take care.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


It seems that many of you have reading my blog about our trip to Mallorca. This is officially the last of that series. Like any trip there comes an end. This usually means coming home. Living in Bend, in a comfortable house with a relaxing environment is what I come home to. I have lived in Central Oregon for 40 years now. For me it is the best place in the world, but what really makes it home is my home. It is my sweetheart greeting me with a big smile, after 40 years together her smile is still the thing that makes me the most happy. The kitties sitting by the fire, or on my lap or sleeping together showing me that this is a comfy home (we could all learn a thing or two about cats), and even the fire in the living room make my home feel more like a home. 
I think a home should be a  place of warmth, both in the soul and the temperature. Warmth means welcome,  I also think it is less stressful to be in a place of warmth. It is calming and protective. In this day and age it is good to feel protected from the difficulties of the world. I like to sit by the fire, read a book, write my blog, drink coffee, or even better take a nap. 
I love my travels, my friends abroad, the roads in Europe, but I go not to escape my home but to enhance my home.
Years ago I decided that when I would go on a holiday I would bring back something from that holiday that would make my life at home more enjoyable. We have a cabin in the Sierra Nevada that we used to spend summers in. The cabin was a little stuffy inside so we would put our bed on the deck and sleep outside. We just loved that. We then started to do at home. Why not, if it worked on a holiday why not at home. Since then our outdoor sleeping deck has turned into a sleeping porch. It has large windows that go down to the level of the bed, and big skylights to see the sky.  It is like sleeping outdoors for me.
Another thing I brought home is coffee. The coffee in Europe tastes better to me than the coffee here. I started looking at the beans and expresso over there comes from light roasted coffee. I asked the local coffee roaster, Strictly Organic, if they could roast coffee like they do in Europe. Richard did and he calls it Sunnyside Blend. Try some, you can buy at most stores and at Strictly Organic's coffee house on Colorado and Bond St. More relaxing bike rides. I get tired of going on a bike ride with friends and then afterword everyone is in a hurry to do the next thing. I am guilty of that as much as anyone. Now I try to have a snack and coffee afterwords with my riding partners. 
Home has become better because of these things, but home has always been the place I like best and I hope it always is. 
Take care,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I just got back from my trip to Mallorca, Spain. On the way back I made a quick jog up to Scotland to see my good friends Andy and Ros. I talked about all the Scots (and English) who came to Mallorca but these two didn't, so I had to go visit them. If you are an avid reader of my blog they came over to visit with me and Kathy last June.
I only had two days, not enough but it is what I had. My Friend Rhoda drove me over to Peebles on the way home from the airport. Neither of us knew exactly which building Andy's flat was in, just the street. So as we pulled up to where we thought it was close, Rhoda looked up and saw a Sunnyside Sports jersey hanging from a second floor window. It was like a flag welcoming me their home. Ros heard our car and came running down the street and gave me a kiss and big hug. Welcome I was. Up the stairs we went and the first thing I get is a hot cup of tea. So far I know I am in the right place. Andy comes home a few minutes later. Another hug (sorry no kiss). They ask what I want for dinner. Ros suggests humus, pita bread etc. Now I love middle eastern food, Kababa is one of my favorite restaurants around, but I was in Scotland and what I wanted was a haggis supper. So out we went to Jim Jacks in downtown Peebles. A perfect meal. Haggis is just a sausage type food that people like to make fun of. It is quite good. Along with the haggis comes chips (we call them fries), mushy peas, and a drink. Mushy peas are also a food Americans like to make fun of. But if they are prepared right they are not so bad. 
The next two days we spent hiking along the River Tweed, eating cakes, drinking tea, seeing more old friends, riding our bikes on some of the most quiet and beautiful roads I have ever been on, and of course watching Rugby on the tely. Rugby is very popular in the Borders of Scotland, and the biggest Rugby match is going on right now. It is the Cup of the Six Nations. France, Italy, Ireland, England, Wales and, of course, Scotland. I ended up watching two matches. I don't really go for field and ball sports but this is a much better game to watch then our American Football. 
Monday morning it was up early to the airport in Edinburgh. Not much talk as we all were thinking of the good bye we would say in a few minutes time.
I am home now, and very glad to be here, but having such good friends living so far away is not easy. I have no idea when we will see each other again, hopefully soon. 
Thanks you Andy and Ros for a perfect end to a great holiday. Lets just make sure we see each other soon.
Take care.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I am sitting in the Edinburgh airport waiting (what else does one do in an airport) thinking about my two weeks away from home. It is always a challenge when one goes on a holiday to foreign country with people you don’t know well. I booked the hotel, planned the rides, picked the location and  then let them loose on the country side to fend for themselves.

They all told me they had the time of their lives. Mallorca is a very magical place. It has every type of road imaginable. Flat straight roads, flat windy roads, climbs, technical descents, the most spectacular 12 miles of road I have ever ridden, and cafes every 5 miles or so. I am glad they were able to share my enthusiasm for a place I love. The problem with travel now a days is there is a fine line between being overridden by tourists and tourism and having services that make the trip enjoyable. I feel in Puerto Pollensa in Mallorca I have found that compromise. We stayed in a hotel that provided breakfast and dinner. The food was well prepared, but it was predictable. I encoiuraged everyone to go  out and enjoy authentic Mallorquin cuisine. All did and all were impressed. Some of the group liked to go out with others, some choose to ride by themselves so they could stop and follow their own schedule. Both ways seemed to work.

I will go again to Mallorca, hopefully with a group who want to taste what we tasted. Long grueling challenging rides, beautiful mountains, lush green farmland, roman ruins, walled cities, giant cathedrals, friendly people, respect from the cars, and a government that thinks of bicycles as good for the economy and marks and paves bicycle routes because it will bring more cyclists to their part of the world.

Yes I will return and I hope some of you will be there with me.

Take care.


Sunday, March 15, 2009


I have been road riding for 45 years now. I have toured, raced, ridden centuries just about everything one can do on the road. Road riding can be a social activity. If you go out in a group, stay as a group and finish together. It can also be a very frustrating experience. Riding with my friends from Scotland is the best. In Mallorca most riders ride side by side. We take turns leading and your riding partner changes from time to time. If there are stronger riders they will be up front for most of the ride. They will wait on the top of the hills, make sure the weaker riders are not dropped in the wind etc. The ride is not done when the ride is over. We then have to out and have a beer or coffee. 
Besides Kevin this year, we had Vicky Kevin's girlfriend. Two years ago she was just starting out as a bike rider, now she is a seasoned pro. They are both planning a trip to Bend this fall.
We have Pete, Ali, Ione and Eifa. This is the furthest away Sunnyside family as all have bikes from Sunnyside Sports. Pete actually designs mountain bike trails for a living. 
Steven, who is English but whose parents live in the Borders, actually works at the place of his dreams. When I first met him he was still at University. He told me he wanted to design race cars and he works for Lola designing race cars.  Doctor Neal is a very strong young rider who does molecular research at Leeds University. Makes for great conversation. Mike is a graphic artist who just started to ride bikes a few years ago. He from Yorkshire where they have some amazingly steep hills. Ben and Elaine are from north of Edinburgh who are outdoor enthusiasts. Both have been riding bikes for a long time ( I met them in Mallorca 5 years ago). They are also hill walkers (Ben has been to the top of all 294 (plus or minus) Munros in Scotland. A Munro is any mountain over 3000 feet. Though that doesn't seem like a lot to us Oregonians, getting up a Munro from Sea Level is no mean feat. Paul and Anne also live in the Borders. Paul is a triathlete who also love to road ride and mountain bike. In fact I met him a couple of years ago on a night mountain bike ride in Selkirk. Anne is just discovering road riding and had a great time exploring Mallorca. Rhoda, who lives in the Borders and is from the highlands of Scotland was a joy to ride with. She was seeing Mallorca for the first time. Riding with her was like seeing Mallorca for the first time. Her laugh and smile were infectious. 
I am returning home tomorrow which will be great. I miss my sweetheart, my kitties and a nice warm fire. I am looking forward to going into Sunnyside and seeing all my friends. They will want to know how my trip went. But I will also mill my second home, the Borders of Scotland and all the friends that make it so. I hope they will all come over to Bend so I can show them some awesome mountain biking, mountains taller than their Munros, and some Bend hospitality. 
Take care.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I have been writing about my Mallorca trip the last couple of weeks. I am now in Scotland watching a Rugby match on the tele with some English friends, who live in Peebles, Scotland. I will get to that in another blog. 
A couple of blogs ago I wrote about all the cyclists that came over with me from Oregon. We met up with another group of cyclists from Scotland. These are friends I have met up with for almost ten years now. It all started with big Kev. He is the tall lad in the right hand photo. He came in to Sunnyside Sports on a bike tour from San Diego to Portland. He had heard that Bend had good mountain biking trails. We talked and I told him we did and I would give him a tour of some of our trails. He ended up staying a week, doing Pickett's Charge mountain bike race. He invited me to visit him in Scotland (we did) and then one year he invited me to come to Mallorca for a spring training camp. I have now been meeting a group from Scotland for 7 years now. 
That was a long story.  I will continue this in a later blog. For now I will just say this is a great group of friends. I feel like I have two homes, Bend and the Borders in Scotland. 
I will be coming home on Monday, I am looking forward to being home again. I have one more day in Scotland which I will enjoy to the most.
Take Care

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


If you have been to Sunnyside Sports and been to the expresso machine you have seen the poster of Sa Calobra. This is the most amazing road I have ridden. The problem is the road from where we are staying is closed. To get there from our village would be a 130 mile ride with over 10,000 feet of climbing. That is too much for me in March. We had two days of riding left so we decided to cheat and do it at night when the crews wouldn't be working, WRONG. They seem to work all night. Next option, rent a car and cut off the flat prelude. We (Paul and I) parked at the bottom of the Soller Climb in Bunyola. Paul is Manchesterite living in the Borders of Scotland. These photos of from our ride. The top one is the Piug Major from Soller Climb, the next one is Paul and I at the bottom of the Sa Calobra, the last one is of the town of Soller from the climb to Puig Major. The ride was only 100 K, but it still had 10,000 feet of climbing. Now only one day left and it is off to Scotland for a few days. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This was my third time taking a group to Mallorca, it was also the best. The other two times I was asked by a Colorado Club to take a group across. I didn't know the group, nor did I know what their trips were like. They went OK but I wanted them to be better. 
This year I decided to take a group of people I know. They were all customers of Sunnyside Sports and I would say friends. If you go into the store you of course know Barb, a huge bundle of energy. Lew, her husband also works at Sunnyside. He broke his leg two weeks before the trip but decided to come anyway. I think it was a good decision. He is having fun visiting with friends but he he ready to ride for sure. Lew is the head planner for our France trip this fall. 
Gary and Patsy are the other couple sitting with Lew and Barb in the lower right hand photo. They started doing OBR and Bike Idahos years ago. Patsy is one of the Chandlerettes. They are the perfect people to go on holiday with. Everything is an adventure and fun. Nothing really bothers them and they enjoy all the new sensations in being in a new country. They take the hills as a challenge and are not afraid to be on their own.
Linda and Paul are also long time Sunnyside customers and friends. They were both in my masters ski class a few years back. They had not been to Europe before but thought this would be an easy way for a first trip. They like to be on their own so they can stop and take photos, enjoy the scenery and ride at their own pace. They found the best restaurant they had ever been to last night. 
Leila is a good friend of Barb's. She is a professional tour guide. Makes one nervous trying to run a trip with a professional  on it.  But Leila is as easy as the rest. She can be by herself or ride in a group. She is not afraid of being in a new place because that is what she is used to.
Mary is the last member of our group. She is here because she was going to take Lew's place when he broke his leg. When Lew decided to come she decide to come anyway. I have ridden hundreds of miles with Mary. I have know her longer than anyone else in this group in fact. She is a joy to be around. Everything new is a wonder to her. When you get to see Mallorca in her eyes it is like seeing it for the first time.
So this is the type of person that comes to Mallorca. I couldn't be more blessed.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I don't really need to write this blog, all I need to do is have this photo. That is the reason I am here and not at work. Now don't get me wrong, March is the best time for me to be gone. I like to get a jump on cycling, this is when I get to revisit with friends from Scotland etc. I have been asked many times "who runs the store when you are gone?" Well the same people who run the store when I am there. I don't run Sunnyside Sports, in fact I run it less now than ever. They run it, all of them.  I want to thank them now, Susan, Gary, Mike, Jim, Eric, Seth, Jacob, Russ, Jeffrey, Jodie, and Damian. Barb, and Lew are here with me so they are thankful they all run the store also. 
We don't have just workers at Sunnyside, we have people with passion, people who love what they do. 
I do a lot at Sunnyside, and I am an important cog, but without me the store still works because of the dedication of those who work when I am gone. I don't worry about how they are doing because I know they are doing the very best that can be done. 
The good part is I am looking forward to getting home and seeing everyone. They are all part of my extended family, if you are reading this, thanks gang, see you in a week.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Nothing like a little trip to the ice cream store for Ione and Eifa. Ione was very proud of her chocolate mouth. I, of course couldn't help but to take a photo. Her mom is on the bike, with short sleeves and bare legs. It was finally warm enough to take of the protective layers. Of course there will be a few of us with a British Tan this morning. The first long day in the sun means sunburn for some. 
The first year I came to Mallorca I didn't call home for almost three week. Kathy was in San Diego for a workshop and her cell phone was not working. Three years ago we discovered Skype. We were able to talk via the internet at no charge. The hotel didn't have wifi so I found a place in the plaza that had a signal (someone's vacation home I think). 
This year the hotel has free wifi and we have video. Not only do I get to talk to my sweetheart but I get to see her lovely face. How good is that. Somehow that is very comforting. I don't get Skype. It is free and there are no adds. How do they make it. It also works very well. 
Today we have more sunshine and less wind. More fun on the bikes.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Everyone in our group took diverse directions. Yesterday was a day of changing weather and some pretty strong winds. In Palma, about 45 miles from here a cruise ship was blown off it's mooring and the gang plank (maybe only pirate ships have gang planks) fell into the water with some passengers on it. This storm had all of Europe in a turmoil. 
For us it meant the last 5 kilometers of the ride were pretty much scary. The wind tried to blow us backwards and off our bikes. 
Last night the wind blew like crazy and most everyone was hesitant to go out and get blown around again. So it was a tourist day. Paul, Linda, Patsy and Gary went off to Palma. That was a good plan as the rest of the time here is predicted to be sunny and warm. Mary told me she would be a tourist today and Barb hung out with Lew. She went out on her bike in the afternoon after the wind subsided.
Me, well I have bicycle disease. That means I ride no matter what. Bike holiday means bike riding. Today turned out to be a great day though. No rain, we were protected from the wind by both the mountains and the tall bodies of Kevin and Neal (lads from England and Scotland). We rode up to Orient down to Bunyola (stop for lunch), and then back to the hotel. We did over 100k today. Tailwind on the way home. How good is that. How kind of these lads to let me hang with them. I feel very special.
I have been here seven times now. I have ridden most of the roads that exist on this side of the Island. Today we found another road that makes our riding more fun. This is not a new road. We looked for it the first year I came over and did not find it. It bypasses three town on a busy road. It is one lane wide with pretty good pavement. Kind of cool to find something new after being here for so many years.
In the photos you can see what our life is like, Paul and Linda having breakfast, pretty typical Mallorcan hotel breakfast food. They are actually English breakfasts. Toast, cereal, bacon, sausage, eggs etc. 
In the next photo is your American custom of food photos. That is a plate of paella we had last night. Some of us went out to check the local restaurants. This is my favorite. Ca'n Ferra. The family has had this restaurant for many generations. When I went in the owner recognized and had a big smile for me. This is a very typical Mallorcan cafe. The locals all come in to have a drink and talk. That is the photo with Leila and Elaine in the foreground. 
And lastly it was two peoples birthday this week. Rhoda and Ben (both Scots). We had a pre dinner party in their room. Cake, cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and good company. 
Now with the weather predicted to be perfect the rest of the holiday we will all get back to serious riding.
Take care.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


We had a wet day yesterday and my shoes were soaking wet. It wasn't a cold rain (just wet). I washed everything and I have spares so it wasn't important for everything to dry, except my shoes. I tried paper and it just wasn't happening. So I use cloths pins and attached them to the ceiling fan. They were dry in an hour. I was careful to balance them. More good food and Sunshine today. Proof is in the photo. Don Corleone is the name of the cafe were I like to get my cafe con leche. I have one of these cups at home so I can remember Mallorca. Kathy has it out so she can remember me. This is a photo of the real thing at the real cafe. Made me feel at home and made me glad to be here.  Then we have Ione on her Skut. Now Sunnyside is proud of families that buy there bikes at our store. Most of those families live in Bend, I have one that lives in Arizona, this family (three Sunnyside Bikes and a Bob baby jogger) lives in Selkirk, Scotland. They are Ali, Pete, Ione and Eifa. I gave Ione her Skuut. She was about 18 months old at the time (not old enough). Now she is almost three and the Skuut is a hit. She told me it was a very fast bike. With her on it it is. No fear going down the ramp in the hotel lobby. Even in the couple of days she has been on it she is getting better. Sorry about the out of fucus photo I will try to get a better one soon. 
It is quite windy right now but we hope that calms down for tomorrow so we can go to Petra for a famous lunch. All of are hoping to meet there around noon or so. I hope it works out. Thanks for reading and take care.


Most of us come to Mallorca for some warm weather and great roads. Europeans don't understand that in most of the US we don't have small winding perfect cycling roads. That is why I come to Mallorca. In the spring it is usually pretty dry and the roads rule. The Government of Mallorca has gone to a lot of trouble to make cyclists welcome. They have gone out and paved some old farm tracks and then marked them so we can get from village to village without using the major highways. It takes some work to find the correct path but once you learn a few tricks it is quite easy. You can see in the one photo we have stopped to make sure we haven't gone wrong. It was raining and a couple of us were quite tired. We didn't go wrong and got back to town in time for some late lunch. Yes we were wet but it was close to 60 degrees so we were not cold.
Food is the other good thing about Europe. They take it more seriously than we do in the States. A simple sandwich becomes a work of art over here. They always use bread baked the same day, jamon serrano, (spanish ham), and olive oil. We also had some papas fritas (they look like french fries). They taste completely different. Again they use olive oil to fry the potatoes. What a difference. They also use fresh potatoes. There are lots of good reasons we like to ride over here, those are just a couple. 
So even though it has been wet we have still had a great time. Time to go to the market and get ready for a late morning ride.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


We got to Mallorca Sunday around 8 PM. Travel always takes forever. As you can see from my photo below we lived the life of Riley on the way over. Barb, Lew and I decided to splurge and use a few more frequent miles and fly Business class. It made the trip easy for sure. I slept about 7 hours on the flight, had two gourmet meals and turned down countless glasses of wine. When we got to Frankfurt we were allowed into the Business Class lounge and I even had a shower. How cool was that. Lew would not have been able to come (broken leg) if we had been in economy. It still wasn't comfortable but it was doable. 
Two of our bikes were late but they showed up in the morning in time for the first ride. Patsy, Gary, Leila, Barb, Linda, Paul and I did one of my favorite loops. The small person below is Patsy going quite well up to Lluc. This is an 8 Km climb at about 5 % with lots of switchbacks. It feels like a Euro climb without all the hard work. We then rolled into Pollensa and had a terrific lunch with cafes and chocalates all around. A perfect first day. 
When we got back to the hotel the Scots had arrived. Ione, who is almost 3 brought her Skut with her. She was busy showing off her skills on the ramp in the hotel. She will be an awesome mountain bike rider. 
Today (Tuesday) started of cloudy which turned to rain by afternoon . Yes we got quite wet but it wasn't cold. 50 miles and around 3 hours later we were back at the hotel trying to wash and dry everything. Tired but happy I would say.
The forecast tomorrow is for some rain and wind so who knows what we will do. Dry it will be some mountains, wet, more cafe and flat windy roads. See you around and take care.