Monday, August 24, 2009


I just finished the High Cascades 100 mountain bike race yesterday. My time was 12 hours and 11 minutes. I told myself before the start I would stop if it wasn't fun. It is hard to believe that one could have fun for over 12 hours of grueling riding but it was fun. It was also hard. In the photo with Chris Sheppard he is done and I still have 12 miles to go. I am drinking the drink that many pro riders drink when push comes to shove. Coca Cola. I don't really like soft drinks but if you a need a rush of energy a Coke seems to work.
In the other photo Cass captured me finishing. It was good to be done.
I was the oldest competitor in this years race. That is not really something I like. In fact I am used to being the youngest. I started school in Canada and then of you were 6 by the end of the year you started in you could start grade one. When we moved to the California they let me continue. I was always the youngest in my class. I also hung around my oldest brother's friends so I was way the youngest. I will be the youngest 60 year old in cross nationals this year.
Being the oldest is kind of scary. Where did all the other 50 year olds go.
I am not into flaunting my age. I did this race because I told Mike Ripley we needed a 100 mile race with mostly single track. He said yes, so I had to race. I don't like mountain bike races with gravel roads and some single track. This race even took me to some single track I had never been one before. We went through the Mt Bachelor ski area parking lots on this very sweet single track.
So I was 5th in 45 + age group out of 12. I beat my predicted time by 15 minutes. Chris Sheppard missed his predicted time by an hour but hit my predicted time right one. I didn't crash once, my new Continental Rubber Queen front tyre saved me 4 times from crashing, and I passed 5 people in the last third of the race.
I am well chuffed with my performance. I am sure where my energy comes from but I am thankful for it.
I want to thank Barb and Muffy for being at the last aid station. At some point my motivation was that I would see them and they would make sure my bike and everything was OK. Thanks to Mike for joining me on another crazy epic and Cass for her smiling face and taking all those photos. There was one other person out there who was very helpful, Matt Lieto. I was thinking there were 6 of him. He was at all the aid stations, and I saw at least twice running in the forest. He was supporting his girlfriend Lea, who was also racing. A cheery face is a great thing when you are tired.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

OBR 2009 PART 2

I am home from OBR 2009 and can now reminisce. We had one of the best OBR in memory (that goes back to 1988 for me). Every day was a perfect ride, lots of fun was had by the riders and the crew and we even raised some some money for the Williams Syndrome Foundation. Williams Syndrome is a birth defect that affect how the brain and body works.
We started of in Heppner, you can see Zoe trying to ride a bucking bronco. We celebrated Barb's 60TH birthday with 3 cakes and a beautiful ornament. It decorated our Nitrogen tank the rest of the week.
We had almost perfect weather. It rainied one day (though it dried out later) and it was cold one day. I would say that any one of these days could have been the best day. There were no long days on busy highways, nor really bad pavement. I love Eastern Oregon and always look forward to the trips on our side of the State. I love the mountains, the pine forests that transition into juniper forests to sage brush.
I feel lucky that when I finish an OBR I get to return home to Bend and continue to be in the country I love best.
The Sunnyside Crew has just about got this OBR thing figured out. There are 4 of us and we work as a team. We managed to fix some hard to find creaks, and do some temporary repairs (the rubber bands on the shift levers were a solution to some internal broken springs). Some sore knees were alleviated, and a few sore bottoms too.
It is a pleasure to be able to help all those who need us and we hope to be able to continue this into the future.
If you were on the ride thanks for coming and if you would like to join us next year check out our web page- OBR. This year both the Washington and the Oregon ride sold out in the first two weeks.
If you want to see some more photos check out the Sunnyside Sports Face Book page. Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 10, 2009

OBR 2009

I forgot my camera wire so no photos until later. Two days into the ride and we have already had some adventures. Somehow we forgot three bike rentals, and Jake had to deliver them. A four hour drive with his dog Taylor. Taylor thought they were headed to Phil's Trail for a ride and a run. Four hours later it was dark and instead of a run it was a leash. She was tricked.
As an after thought I had also forgotten my repair stand. Eagle eye Paul opened up the truck and the first thing he said was "Where is your repair stand?" Jake brought that also.
The first two days of riding was pretty darn perfect. From farmland to pine forests to orchards to the John Day River. This is the Oregon I love and like. Tomorrow is one of my favorite rides, we get to go around the Strawberry Mountains. I have done this ride a few times and always look forward to the next time. Tomorrow is it.
In camp yesterday there were a group of guys sitting next to our van. They told me they all read my blog. These guys all live in California. It is pretty cool to think that people I don't know read what I have to say. Cycling really is a small world and we like to connect with each other. Blogs are a way we can do that.
No other interesting things have happened. Just hanging around friends and enjoying eastern Oregon. I will post some photos when I get home. Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 3, 2009


It is now August, and it seems like a few days ago I was headed to Susan and Gary's for the annual 4Th of July party, summer seems to pass quickly. It has been hot, almost 100 every day for over a week. So hot we have use our air conditioning in the house. Some years we never use it, we use the Bend air conditioning system, open all the doors and windows at night and then close them up during the day.
Today Zoe and Jake wanted to go on a Mountain Bike Ride with me. I have been doing mountain biking a long time but I have no feeling of importance, I just like to mountain bike. It is an honor for me to be asked to mountain bike with Zoe and Jake. Last week it was my nephew
Georgy this week Jake and Zoe.
I have known Zoe since she was 4, maybe 3 and Jake since he was 18. I have said this before but the first 10 years I knew Zoe she responded to everything I said with a laugh and a smile.
If you have seen any photos of Jake it seems his smile is permanent. So today was special, a ride with the two biggest smiles I know. It had to be a great ride to match their enthusiasm.
We had three others start out with us, Sarah, Willie and Muffy. They weren't quite up for an epic so we started at Swampy Lakes (where we saw a guy with a windsurf board, Swampy Lake is a swamp) and went down South Fork, the other three headed off to do the whoops and we went up the North Fork, Farewell Bend, Swede Ridge and back to the car. Fun, hard and, as you can see by Zoe's legs dusty. Though it was dusty it was super for mid summer conditions. It had rained hard the last two days (thunderstorms) so Farewell Bend was the best I have ever ridden it.
Jake had a flat, and as he is our flat tyre professor, I took photos while he fixed the tyre. He had to put in a boot (the shot rapper) to fill a big gash in the tyre.
Notice the big smiles in the photo of us three. I was smiling because one is supposed to in a photo, Zoe and Jake were looking like they always do. Being 59 and being able to do the funnest thing with 20 year old is very special. I hope everyone out there knows this and tries to take advantage of it. They get to see that old people are not any different then them, and the youthful energy they have is like the fountain of youth for me.
Thanks for reading.