Monday, October 26, 2009


For many of us bike racers having our name in Velonews would be the high light of our career. I have been racing for over 30 year and my name was in Velonews once. It was an article about someone who I had helped. It was a nice recognition but deep down it would have been nice to have seen my name tied to a result.
Though I will probably never get my name in Velonews connected to a result I have seen our new kit in Velonews the last two weeks. Serena Bishop, Sunnyside's newest star has been in the top three at the last two Cross Crusade races. She was the winner of last years Cross Crusade women's B division so this year she upgraded to A. Going from B to A is a very difficult transition. Winning to not winning in a word. Serena has not only made the transition but she has done it with a bang. She has been in the top 10 in all of her races (two thirds and two wins). She is also quite humble. If you read my blog you will see her's on my list of blogs I follow, it is titled Bend and Beyond.
There is another reason our kit has been in Velonews. Our new kit looks great. It is the best kit in Oregon (according to Don and isn't that what this blog is all about). Jim, who is in the photo next to me, designed our kit. He put a lot of hours and sweat (and some blood) into our kit. I turned out great. I have my skin suit hanging in my bedroom giving me incentive to heal and get back out on the bike.
On a personal note, I did some intervals yesterday and my right leg felt awesome. So I am headed in the right direction. I will be at next week's Cross Crusade cheering and helping.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Extruded disc or not I can still do intervals on the trainer in the shed. It doesn't sound like much fun but it is. I hate not being active and I feel really blessed that sitting on a bike that doesn't move wont' hurt my back. I tell my self I need to be in shape for Nationals in December, but I am really doing it because I like being in shape, I like the challenge and I like the music I listen to on my Ipod. It is weird having one weak leg though. I don't notice for most of the interval, in fact they feel normal. I like to use a higher gear for part of the interval though. I am still pedaling close to 100 rpm, but then I can tell my right leg is not quite as strong. I wish I could come up with some more really mind twisting new age reason why like to do intervals indoors when the mountain bike trails are at their best and the sun is that fall semi warm disc in the sky, but I can't. I think it is because I just don't like the idea of stopping and it is the best I can do.
I do know I am glad I went to Mallorca this year, did the Scottish mountain bike holiday and even managed a trip to France this Fall. I also know when I get to hit the mountain bike trails I am going to be stoked. Maybe I will see you out there. I put this photo is so you know what I would rather be doing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This last week has been pretty hard for me. After last weeks race (read my last blog), I realized I had something more that a sore leg. I went to see my friend Dr Steve Ireland and he confirmed it. After an MRI, and some more consultation it was discovered I have an extruded disc on my Lumbar #4. The fact that it is extruded and not protruded is somewhat good news as they seem to heal after time. My right leg has been about half to three quarters strength, and when I stand or walk I have sharp pains in my right leg. Riding doesn't hurt but I can't depend on the right leg either.
My cross season could be over for the year. The deal is I am not really worried about that as getting my leg and back sound again. The shot has helped, even after one day the pain has changed from sharp to dull. I am going to get some acupuncture, and physical therapy.
I have had so much support my friends that I realize what a great place I work and live once again.
The ironic thing is I had already registered for Cross Nationals when I found all this out. It turned out it was important to be the highest category racer as that is how they will line us up at the start line. I have always been a category 3 road and cross racer because most of my race time has been a master and in cross I have always raced in my age group. I applied for an upgrade to Cat 1 and received it. So, injured or not and pushing 60 I am now an official Cat 1. Pretty cool I would say.
As I said I can still ride my bike so off to some indoor intervals. They don't hurt and my back doesn't move.

Monday, October 5, 2009


First of all I am not writing here about excuses. Steve Yenne started right in front of me and finished 6th and my fellow 60 year old Ron Strasser Started right next to me and finished 12th. I can keep up with Steve for a while and stay with Ron on a normal day. But I finished 37th. I don't think last year we even had 37 starters, yesterday it was nearly 80, and I passed 43 of them, I just needed to pass 30 more. With the big crowd in our field (again this is my fault as I am the one who introduced the rule to have USA cycling age groups in OBRA) Brad used a lottery system to line up the racers. I drew short straw and was on the last row. Again I was not the only one but I have to say I was unprepared. I was hoping for a call up from last years results (I was 5th overall), but it was not to be. I never really got going. I tried to be aggressive on my passing but I don't like to crash and I am not the best accelerator. I race best from the front. Go hard, fast on the technical and then go faster. In a crowd I can't go fast in the technical and my best tool is lost. I need to work on this if I want to continue to race. The deal is I have never started a cross crusade race when I wasn't on the front row. It was my turn to see how the hundreds of racers come every week to see if they can break into the 60s or 50s, so now I will be trying for the teens or the twenties.
I had a lousy race but a great time. My teamies put in some great performances. Serena 8 in A's, Veronica 13 in A's, Chad a top 10 in the Men's masters B's to name a few. I also missed most of the wet sloppy snow we had in Bend, instead 65 degrees and sun. I will be back, I will be trying harder to move up and get those hard to find points. It will be hard though.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


The last two weeks riding in France one gets a feeling of serenity and peace that I don't feel around here. We live in a desert with some weather extremes that makes Bend a great place to live, but we don't have that pastoral feeling that comes with living in an area with green fields, farms and forests everywhere. The farmhouses in France give off an illusion of hundreds of years of tranquil times.
I say illusion because I know from my Dad that his France (World War II) is not the same as the France I just spent a relaxing bike holiday in. He told me once that the first 90 days of his time in France he expected to be killed every minute. It was a brutal time. Not just for our soldiers though. Every town has a monument or a plaque that commemorates "the dead children of the village". Most of the statues have names from both great wars of the 20th Century. The other telling tale that the timeless peace is an illusion are all the towers and fortified castles everywhere. Today they are a remarkable reminder of the past but then they were used and destroyed in the many wars that have plagued Europe since the dawn of time.
I am fortunate to get to enjoy Europe in a time of peace. To ride the quiet small roads of France is something all cyclists should get to do sometime. It is also important to remember that it wasn't always this way. I have been what many would call a pacifist all my life. I was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and I have been against all of the wars since. People have asked me what I would have done during World War II. I cannot answer this question honestly as I was not there. I do know that our country is not at peace now and the lost lives that occur every day in our wars are tragic. Thinking of all the young men killed in this utopia for cyclist called France makes me realize again that our world is very fragile and every life is special. I don't know if there is a lesson to be learned from France and Europe, I don't know if there will ever be an end to war. I do know that while I have time I will spread the word of peace and encourage others to go discover the peaceful, serene qualities of the roads of France.