Thursday, April 30, 2009


Another boring blog about enjoying the outdoors? Well maybe- Last week we went to mountain bike race up by Mt  Hood. It was long, hard and had lots of snow, it was also really fun. Some emails were exchanged on our cycling chat list, some liking the race others feeling they were mislead by the promoters about how much snow there was on the course.
I made the mistake of getting involved. I used the word whiner and roadie. This offended a few people. I thought I was joking but I ended up apologizing.
That being said yesterday may be why I liked the course. I had a few chores in the morning and had to be at work at 2 so out I headed for a ride around 11:00. It was snowing when I left, it snowed and hailed while I was out and it really couldn't have been better.
I was asked how is it that  we have snow here so late?  Snow is what makes Bend special. We live in the mountains and snow is the gift we are given to show how special Bend really is. 
I love a hot day in the summer without a cloud in the sky, I love a two week holiday to Spain in March to see what shorts feel like again, but I love a long mountain bike ride on our trails with some snow to show I was the first one out. 
This week we are going over to the Mudslinger (and I am pretty sure we will slinging some mud). I love mud in cyclo cross, but in mountain biking it is different.  I can't afford to fall so I am very cautious. I will try to get over that and try to win. It is the  state championships after all, but no matter how I do I will have fun, I will be challenged, and I am sure to be tired. This will be  a 3 hour race. 
Make sure you get out the next time so when I take a photo it is your tyre tracks I am looking at.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Our team went mountain bike racing last weekend. It is my favorite race of the year. It is hard, long and fun. I am in a new age group this year and really felt it was my race to win. They have medals for second and third but they have cool plaques for the winner. I have always done well at this race and I feel extra strong right now. 
I am not going to give you a blow by blow other than to say I had a tough start. I do not run well and we had to run in the snow, then, as I was passing some slower riders (faster runners) my front wheel hit a mystery object and I broke two spokes. I got my bike going again and moved into the lead feeling pretty good. I then crashed on a side hill and back to second, where I ended up. This was a tough race and I loved it. 
Some people didn't feel the same the way I did. There was a lot of complaining about too much snow, and no warning that there was snow. I appreciate that not everyone likes the same thing and that conditions should be advertised before hand. That being said, Bear Trap Springs is my type of race, lots of single track, fun downhills and a killer climb at the end. 
Snow is not a concern for me, though I can see why it would be if you didn't live where it snows. I ride to work 12 months a year. That means a lot of snow. I like the snow, it makes for a challenge and my neighbors pretty much think I am nuts. If you look at the photo of my back yard, that is not a winter photo, that is today - April 28, 2009. I will go for a mountain bike ride later today on the trails which will have more snow. I will slip and slide and laugh and cry. I will see no one else on the trails because they are all waiting for warm weather and dry trails. I don't have time to wait, I am 59 years old thinking that I may only have 1000 mountain bike rides left in my life. So I won't wait I will go out and enjoy. 
The other two photos are a couple of my teammates. Jim is getting his third place medal in his category. He was cramping the  last part of the race but gritted his teeth and stayed ahead of 4th. Veronica was just finishing. She races expert women. They went the same distance as the pro men. That would have been really tough. I asked her to show to the camera how much fun she had. the smile was more for being done than for how much fun she had.
Our team did well, for me that means we were challenged and had a great time. 
I will try to have no mishaps next week, and start faster. The next race is called the mudslinger, and I have a feeling there will be mud. No complaints from me, I will just go out and have as much fun as possible.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


 I got an email from my brother's wife Cathy the other day. It suggested that me and my brothers may be Canadian citizens. I have always felt an affinity to Canada as that is where most of my Mom's relatives live, it is where I started school, and it is a place that I have had memorable vacations. None of these things make me a citizen though. Quite a few years back I thought seriously about the possibility of becoming a Canadian (the Viet Nam years) but I never needed to so I let the whole thing rest. 
Back to today. A new law took effect on April 17, 2009 . The law was passed to take care of a few injustices about Canadians having to refute their Canadian citizenry when they became citizens of another country (like the US). A lot of them were war brides. This is what my mom was. She was a Canadian when I was born and therefore so am I under this law. I haven't proven to the Canadian government that I am a Citizen but according to what I can figure out I am an official Canadian citizen.
It may seem weird to you but I actually feel different knowing this. I have already read two books about Canada so I can catch up on my history etc. I have been with relatives all my life speaking with a Canadian accent but I think mine will stay as it is. I will get a flag though, maybe a sticker for my bike. 
I am not going to give up being a citizen of the United States. I was born here and that is who I am, it is just nice to be able to claim another part of who I am and have it recognized. 
I am now going to learn the words to O Canada and figure out the rules to hockey.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I don't post very many videos on my blog, I think that is more of a Twitter thing. Jake and I at the store like to joke about our riding skills (his are actually quite amazing). We have the Rock of Death at Sand Canyon that we ride over, we have the Double of Death near Phil's Trail head (it is less than a foot tall) and now we have the Skinny of Death on the new super fun one way section on COD. A Skinny is an elevated log or board that is around 8 inches or less wide. This one sits about a foot off the ground so if you come off it nothing happens. I haven't made it yet but I am close.
This guy in the video is for real. My friend Andy, who lives in Scotland knows him and sent me this video. Today it was on the front page of The Scotsman, Scotland's largest newspaper. Check it out. Young dude out having fun. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Do Re Mi

I would say most of us have  thoughts, feelings and dreams that others are unaware of. It is not so much that we have hidden secrets but that we don't have an opportunity to express them to everyone. Most people know me via Sunnyside Sports or maybe bike racing. At work I am a busy person, we always have lots to do and there is not enough time to socialize. The same is true at a bike race. I like to race and I like to be ready. I have a race face that I use before a race. I want to concentrate on the race and be ready. The person I am inside is not the person you always see, I think that is true for most of us.
This blog is way to share those feelings with others. Below is a youtube clip. When I saw it I cried (ok I cry a lot, when we elected a new president, lots of movies, when I see friends after a long time etc). My favorite musical, war movie, cycling movie, and nordic ski movie is also my favorite movie-The Sound of Music. The bike in this movie and after the Von Trapp family moved to the United States they opened up one the largest Nordic Ski areas in the Northeast ( Trapp Family Lodge). Then Kathy showed me this video. This is a new thing, unannounced performances in public places. It is great to see the faces of all the people watching. 

Monday, April 13, 2009


I am sure we all have a few secret things we do that we enjoy. One of mine is vacuuming. Every Monday, whether we need it or not (we always need it) I vacuum our house and then I go next door and vacuum my Mom's place. The photo is of me vacuuming at my Mom's. We have a great vacuum cleaner, a Dyson Animal. It has an extra attachment for vacuuming up animal hair. We have three kitties so we get about one kitties worth of fur every week. The first time I used the Dyson I looked at our rugs and noticed how vibrant the colors were. It is quite fulfilling to vacuum and see the results. I like vacuuming our house, my Mom's place, the car, I have even been know to vacuum the front deck. I am not allowed to use the Dyson though. One of my pet peeves are those blower things. I can't figure out why one would want to blow all those leaves, dirt and dust to somewhere else. Vacuuming is the opposite. It sucks all that stuff up and then you can put it in the dust bin. 
Kind of odd to like to vacuum, but it comes in handy because my Mom and Kathy think I rock.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I don't talk a lot about work in my blog. This is not supposed to be an advertisement about Sunnyside Sports, but more a way I can share with the world my thoughts. 
The Economy is in the tank, Bend is has been hit hard with layoffs, stores closing, real estate failing etc. We have customers in all of those businesses. We have also managed to survive quite well. I am sure that if I did not read a paper or hear about the recession every day I would think that business is going pretty normal. Our business is weather related, it is seasonal and unpredictable. We have also done this business for over thirty years. We have picked two main areas to sell, bicycles and nordic skis. This keeps Sunnyside less seasonal than most sports stores.
Yesterday we were short a couple of people. It was the day before Easter and it was our day to go out and work on trails. It was also the day that our customers decided to buy some bikes. This was not a day of recession-- it felt like mid summer. It was special, not because of how much we sold but of how we sold it. I am into team spirit, and team building and that is what we had yesterday. Everyone doing what they could to help the other person. There were a few tense moments, but that actually enhanced  how well we worked together. Thank you to all the customers who came in and enjoyed the Sunnyside treatment and thank you to Russ, Damian, Eric, and Susan for making yesterday an amazing Saturday. High fives were had all around afterwords. It was a team after all. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009


My computer does a constant slide show with all my photos, and this is one of my favorites. If you know Euro bike racing you will recognize guy walking down the street, the devil who is ubiquitous at all the major European races. We only see him on Television when the fast pros are riding by. I got him walking down a back street in St Entiene. This was during the last Time Trial in the 2005 Tour de France. I always thought the devil just appeared out of nowhere, maybe some smoke or fire, but I was wrong. He has a crummy old car and he has to walk from place to place. Take a closer look by clicking on the photo and you can get a better look at his footwear and his red suit. It puts a human side to all this devilishness. I thought I would just share this as I got a kick out of seeing it again.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


The Sun and the warmth arrived on Monday. It was OK on the weekend but on my long bike on Sunday the arm and knee warmers never came off. Going up Horse Ridge I thought about it but it never quite reached that point. It did on Monday. I was lucky enough to have that day off and though I usually rest on Monday I didn't need to this Monday. I had a slight cold all last week and rested all last week. I left home and it was in the low 60s and I had arm warmers on, but in a few minutes the temperature had climbed to the 70s and it was short sleeves and shorts. It was warmer on Monday than any of the days in Mallorca. It felt great. It was fun seeing everyone at work yesterday. They were all showing off their tan lines. We have all been riding for years and every year we get tan lines, why is that first tan line so important? 
I think it is about the promise of all the nice long warm bike rides we are going to have. After a winter of bundling up with multiple  layers, winter shoes long gloves with liners, we are just ready for the sun. I know I was. I rode to work on Saturday and when I got there I announced to no one in particular " I am tired of all this cold", and everyone in the store agreed.
The warmth is gone and the cool weather has returned. That's OK though. We have our tan lines to remind us that  it will be warm again. It doesn't take much to reinvigorate a cyclist, just a day or two of warm sunny weather. 
Enjoy the Spring,

Friday, April 3, 2009


I am off to Scotland again in May. I never really expected that I would be returning to Europe so soon after getting back from Spain (and  few days in Scotland). I am going to the World Mountain Bike Conference in Dumfries, Scotland. 
A couple of things happened for me do decide. One I have a friend who just got a job in Dumfries and the Recreation Manager for The Forestry Commission there. This would include Mountain biking. Ros, my friend, has been living in Peebles but the new job required her to move. So a free place to stay for me. Two, another good friend , Andy is also going to the conference for all three days and he suggested I come along. Andy and Ros happen to be a couple. So a friend to go with. Three, Bend was just named the number 1 mountain bike location in the US by Mountain Bike Action. This is a cool distinction but in my opinion we have been this for quite a long time. We have some of the best trails in the world, and lately they have become more diverse. I can't ride some of the new stuff, but it sure looks like fun. Ramps, jumps, big drops... Rumor has it Mt Bachelor may even get into the mountain bike game. 
This being said not much if any money is spent by our local government, and different Tourist Organizations promoting mountain biking in Bend. We have two National Cycling Championships coming to Bend this year, which is great, we have lots of road events in Bend, Tour Deschutes, Cascade Cycling Classic to name  a couple, but Mountain Biking is just not on the map the way I think it could be.
We have the trails, but we haven't had the recognition. In Europe Mountain Biking is thought of as a "Green" recreation possibility. Mountain Biking is used as part of Economic Development in poor areas. Here we have Bend, Oregon one of the top 20 hardest hit areas in the US in this economic downturn, and we have been named one of the top mountain bike areas in the US, but we haven't put the two together. I am going to this conference to find out some ways our community can do this. 
It doesn't hurt that I love Scotland and I am going to get an opportunity to ride some of the trails that have made Mountain Biking in Scotland the second mostpopular reason to visit Scotland. First is something to do with looking at old Castles. Which is something you can do on Mountain Bike.
Check out the web page for the Conference and you will see it is quite impressive. I will let you all know how it goes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I have no photo to prove what I saw yesterday, but it was cool anyway. I am not sure I would have been able to get a photo anyway. Here is a link to some good photos of an Osprey with fish just so you know how cool it was. Osprey with fish photos
I was riding home from Phil's  Trailhead through Brokentop on the bike path. A few years ago they built a pond, where there should be none, in the middle of this dry and dusty burned over area. They have some houses (very large houses) over looking this pond now. For me it is a fake pond and it seems way out of place. Yesterday, though, an Osprey showed me I may be wrong. As I was riding home I noticed something on my left, I looked and sure enough an Osprey was diving into this pond, and low and behold up it comes with a live and wriggly fish. This all happened right in front of my eyes. I might think this pond is fake but to that Osprey is was as real as the ocean. 
My camera is out of commission so I have no photo. I am not sure it would have made difference as I don't know if I would have been able to get a decent photo anyway. So keep your eyes open. Even in a fake pond real things happen. I will be paying more attention in the future.