Thursday, June 9, 2011


My blog is moving to a new address. It is going to be in house on the Sunnyside Sports .

You will be redirected there momentarily!!

If you have redirects disabled, just click on Sunnyside Sports here the main page will scroll to the World according to Don.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It turns out, after checking some results etc next year will make thirty years of Mountain Bike Racing for me. When I started out I wasn't any good to tell the truth. I had no idea how to go down a hill. I seem to remember at the Whiskeytown Downhill (which took me over four hours and it wasn't downhill) that children on tricycles were passing me on the first descent. My friend Tom Pickett assured me I could do better and he took me out and gave me some pointers. My next race I did a little better and by the end of the 80's I was an accomplished "downhiller". The down hills back then were more like easy Super Ds, but it is what we had.
I digress. I have been doing this for quite a while now. When I finished the Sisters Stampede Race on Sunday Alex McClaren called me a legend. In the photos of the race the caption under my photo is "The Man, the Legend". Well I don't feel like a legend and in fact the term "man" isn't what I think of when I ride a mountain bike. The name for someone like me comes from Kathy's sister Jan. When Kathy and I got married all those years ago, Jan was a teenager. She wasn't sure what the husband of her sister was. A real grownup or still a kid, so she called me a Kidman. That is what I am when I ride my mountain bike a kidman. I just happen to have been doing longer than most others. I still love it. I look forward to every ride. It is hard to explain my feeling other than it is what I felt when I first started to ride a bike when I was a kid. The exhilaration of the downhill, the sweat and feeling of the muscles working on the uphill. Why do I like it more than road biking. Well I don't really, other than we just don't have many roads in Central Oregon that do a bike justice, at least for me. I like the curves, the jumps the fun. I do not like to mindlessly do long workouts. That is why I don't run, or do triathlons. This is not to dis those sports or activities. My exercise needs to include fun, because I am a kidman. I have never grown up. I like a session at the Lair when I ride. Yesterday I had to check out "Funner". It is open and it still funner than most other trails. Some will read this and say, but Don I know you do intervals on the trainer, isn't that mindless exercise? Yes it is, but I keep those sessions as short as I can so I have time to do fun riding later. In fact this year I found a place to do my intervals on my mountain bike. It is a sweet uphill which means a sweet downhill afterwords. The Kidman in me found a way to make the intervals fun also.
If you see me out there be ready to have some fun.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tour of California

I watched most of the Pour of California this year and I was really impressed with the Medalist, the organizer of the Tour of California. When I was a young lad growing up in the Bay Area we rode most of the roads that are currently used in the ToC. A ride up to Mount Hamilton was about 100 miles for us as we had to ride across San Jose and then up to the top and then return. There was no public transportation you could take a bike on back then and even if there was we would not have used it as riding was the point. When we found Sierra Road we thought that was cool. I doesn't really go anywhere you see, but it was steep. To put a mountain top finish up there would not be easy as there is nothing up there, they would have to take over the whole road and of course get permission from the people who live there. Something like us using Skyline road for our Cascade Cycling Classic only even more difficult. When Chris Horner read about the this finish he was excited as he realized the ToC had become a real race in the sense of the Grand Tours. Throw in Mt Baldy and the ToC was a perfect place for the almost 40 year old to shine, and shine he did. What he did came as no surprise to anyone who was at all close to Chris. He lost some weight, he trained hard, and he hinted that he was ready. He already proved last year that he can be the strongest rider on Radio Shack by finishing 10th at the tour, after acting as head support for his leaders who all faded away at the end. So yes I loved the Tour of California and all of its stages. That being said it could be better if it was held in the time of year where the real mountains of California (the Sierra Nevada) are free of snow. Those are the mountains that can rival the the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites for scenery and mountain roads. I am not sure that will ever happen or even if it needs to happen.
Phil at one point said Mt Baldy was like going into the Pyrenees or the Dolomites. I have to differ, as wonderful as the ToC was it did not rival the Grand Tours for mountains. I have included a couple of photos make my point. There is a reason thousands of us travel to Europe every year to ride the magical roads they have over there. The best way I can explain it is to say the roads in Europe are like single track for road bikes, our roads are mostly double track. In the Giro yesterday Nibaly, who is one of the best descenders attacked at the top of one of the passes and gained a minute on the downhill. This would not happen on our roads, they are too straight. The top photo is the ToC, and the middle is the Giro. Thanks for reading

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


If you have been following the Giro this year you will know Alberto Contador is in the Maglia Rosa. I am not going to comment on his current drug problems but on his race style.
What you could have noticed is the way Contador has gotten the "Pink Jersey". He has done it exactly the way he has always raced. With daring attacks at times when most contenders would be content to wait. A few bonus seconds here and a few seconds by leaving the other favorites behind. He has managed a minute plus lead before all the hard stages have even started. This is what I would call smart and daring racing. It is also what he did in 2009 when he was a teammate of one Lance Armstrong. Only then every move was questioned. Was this good tactics, was he a good teammate. What Contador is is daring and willing to follow his instincts more than the ear phone. He goes when he feels it is right. The funny thing is he rarely makes mistakes. His instinct is good. I hope those who questioned his tactics in 2009 or even his attack of Andy Shleck, last year in the great chaingate controversy, will see that is who this racer is. He goes when his body tells him to. He can't help it. It is also how he wins.
Again I am not defending Contador just explaining him.
If you haven't been watching the Giro now is the time to start. The fireworks are just about to start in what may be the hardest grand tour ever.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


It is somewhat presumptuous to think I can write something meaningful about the death of Wouter Weylandt. In fact I probably can't. What I can do is express my feelings. Death is all around us all the time, the issue with this death is it happened in an activity that celebrates life not death. The juxtoposition of the two what makes it so hard. I was on a week long bike ride when someone rode off the highway and died at the scene. I was next to his wife, standing around a fire celebrating the survival of a difficult day of riding when we heard the news. One moment we were all excited at the prospect of another day if riding and the next second we were in shock, in too much shock for me to actually feel anything. It was only hours later that I was able to feel the loss and saddness which comes from such a shock.
Cycling is a dangerous sport, and in my mind especially road riding. We are out among the iron death machines (cars), and just the fact that when we ride we like to be close makes this sport, which I love, so dangerous. We try to ignore and to pretend the danger down not exist, but it does. When there is big wreck in one of the local bike races many times there are statements of blame and accusations of " amateur" riding. Well that is because those involved don't want to accept that cycling is inherently dangerous.
I am not quitting the sport I love, but I do not try to hide the fact that any thing can happen at anytime. What I learn from events like the death yesterday ismsimple for me. Go out, enjoy our sport but to also respect and to accept the personal responsibility of what we do.
My heart goes out to all of those who knew Wouter. It is a sad day for all cyclists.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


It was forty years ago that Kathy and I got married. I am not sure where all those years have gone though. We have been married longer than many of my friends have been alive and I still can't figure out how that could have happened so quickly. I remember like it was yesterday when I first saw my sweetheart. It was at our University's hiking club (The Boot and Blister Club) which met in the Wildlife Building (room 206). Not to relive our history I just want to be clear I remember the moment as clear as when it happened. I was 18, and like all 18 year old I was pretty sure I knew most of what I needed to know.
I guess the one thing I did know and still know is that Kathy was the love of my life. No it hasn't been all roses since then, but it has been special an our life together has been full of love and happiness.
I am a sucker for weddings. I guess I have the hope that all young people will find the love of their lives, get married and live happily ever after. The ironic thing is when we got married we didn't really believe in the institution of marriage. We did it to appease family members and to make our lives easier. Now I do believe in Marriage. I think the commitment and the love that goes into a marriage is well worth the effort.
Last year I went to two weddings and I hope that Serena and Ben and Matt and Ruth have long lasting relationships full of adventure, love and joy. I even watched the Royal Wedding, well the highlights anyway. Being part Canadian gave me the right to enjoy the royal couple (yes if you didn't know The Queen is also the head of state of Canada). It was refreshing to see two people in love getting married instead of two people in a marriage of convenience. Kate is the first commoner to marry the successor to the crown in over 350 years.
So I hope love conquers all. I also have a few friends who I think should marry. I would be foolish to know who should marry and who should not, but because my marriage has been so wonderful I think others should be able to share what we have had. I am an optimist for sure.
Here is to love, joy and happiness

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Yesterday I raced in what I think was my 15th Mudslinger Mountain Bike Race. There have been 23 and there were a few years when I wasn't racing mountain bikes. It is not my best race. I am not good on pure climbs and some of the descents are steep and muddy with roots, something I don't have a lot of practice with. So why keep coming back. Well it is because it is the best run race in the state. Mike Rlpley is a professional and his races reflect that. He is low key and always has a kind word for everyone. His races start on time and the results are immediate and usually accurate. I have won at Mudslinger once, and been on the podium various times. So not bad for a race that doesn't suit me.
Yesterday I was third and it was maybe the best race I have done in quite a few years. I had a terrible start. Do to no ones fault but my own I didn't understand how the start was going to work. I got behind a small crash and decided to stay in the back. It turns out we were racing pretty much from the gun and the neutral start I thought was happening was really just a rolling closure. No wonder everyone was going so fast. I was dead last when we hit the first single track. I had to walk a bit because it was so crowded others were walking in front of me. I got on the first climb and decided what the hell I had nothing to loose so I would just beast every climb and push myself harder than I normally would. I caught my first 55+ in about 10 minutes, sweet I wasn't last anymore. I kept going hard and then in one of my favorite sections called the Panama Canal I was flying some of the only mud of the day. I came out to a road and just killed my self on a small climb and then I could see four more 55+ers. They weren't as close as they appeared because road goes up these 20% stair steps. I got the first one, then the second, the third and then the forth. I was really hurting but I knew the climb kept going through a clear cut where one could see for quite a distance and what I wanted them to see was me disappearing up the hill. I never look back so I don't know what my gap was but again I was really pushing myself..
I managed to get to top and then I cleaned a really difficult single track descent. I felt really good about that. I am going to give most of the credit to my Fisher Superfly 29er though. It is amazing through roots and steep slippery trails. I never caught 1st or 2nd and I am not sure I would have even if I had had a great start. Both of those guys are stronger than me on climbs. So I was quite happy with that 3rd place. I really pushed myself and my body reacted well. I did fade a little at the end but not enough to loose any places.
So even though I was unhappy with my bad start it maybe turned out for the best. I tested new waters in going hard and I now have the confidence to try that again. Thanks to Mike Ripley for putting on such a class event and thanks to the racers in my group who always go hard and never make it easy to get on the podium.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Well not really, whining never improves things and complaining about the weather is one of the most useless energy drains I know of. So instead I will give observations. This is the coldest and wettest Spring I can remember in Central Oregon, that would be the last 37 years. One thing that is different now is the weather forecasts are much more accurate than even 10 years ago. It seems when it says it is going to rain or be cold it does it. In a practical sense what this does is make us more miserable because people not only complain about today's weather they complain about the weather to come. We have always had cold springs but we also had hope for warmer days ahead. Today we can see on our phones, our Ipads, our computers and the newspaper that the weather will continue to be cold and wet for the next 10 days (actually on the day I am writing this it will be cool but dry). No hope in other words.
Here is the good news. It should have been colder and wetter this year. Most people know about La Nina and El Nino. This is when the Pacific is either warmer or colder than average. As a side I wonder if the Pacific is ever average? This year was La Nina and that means cool and wet. However it was a very strong La Nina and most climatologists were predicting wetter than it has been. So we got off easy. La Nina has pretty much gone away so in a a few weeks the weather should improve.
Most of us complain about the weather because they can't do the things they want to do. Sunbathe, ski, ride bikes, play golf and in Kathy's case garden. I happen to be in the bike riding school of whining. I don't whine though. Instead I ride my mountain bike. In Central Oregon Mountain Bike riding is enhanced by wet. The snow seems to be melting so I go out and enjoy what we have. Nice sticky wet trails. I raced in the thick mud last week and happened to win my race. This was because I love the mud. So the weather was my friend.
One disclaimer. I go to Spain every Spring for a real taste of Spring, flowers blooming, ripe oranges hanging on trees and days of sunshine. I know when I come back it will be cool and wet but at least I have tasted what most Central Oregonians are missing.
Instead of whining go out and do the things that our weather is good for, Spring skiing, Mountain Biking and maybe a trip to someplace warmer would be a good thing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What about this Johann Van Summeren?

Ok I admit it I didn't pick him to win, I always pick Juan Antonio Flecha. Juan is Spanish and always in the thick of things. Is it a surprise that Van Summeren won, well not to me. When he attacked out of the Arenberg and the favorites let him go I told Kathy that is a mistake as he has done very well here before (5th and 8th to be exact). Anyone who has finished in the top 10 has to be considered a favorite. He is from Belgium, he is strong. Back when Carlos Sastre won the Tour and Evans was second remember all the talk about the Lotto team being too weak to help Cadel. Who took Cadel to the bottom of the Alpe it was Johann Van Summeren. Over the Alps over the Croix de Fer. Johann was there when needed. No it was not a surprise but it was special. I think Garmin, after a poor tour of Flanders, knew more than we did. Thor was on all he needed was a team mate capable of winning in the break. That way he didn't need to work. I think Garmin felt Cancellara would bridge and Thor would win, but Cancellara is human and Van Summeren came through. Cancellara did prove he was the strongest human after dropping his group riding up to the chase and then out sprinting all of them. With that showing you can see why Garmin was sure he would bridge.
Fabio Cancellara has to come to terms with himself though. He is so strong he can drop almost any rider at will. There is no incentive to work with him on long breaks. It is not about honor but about suicide. Drafting is usually the great equalizer but Cancellara has proven he can drop the strongest of the strong by just accelerating. We all know that so the only defense is to stay on his wheel and do no work, and in Garmin's case have a card up your sleeve like Johann Van Summeren. The photo is from when he was fifth in the Paris Roubaix in 2009.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I am home after three weeks of cycling, visiting friends and having another cycling moment of my life. One of the best things about living in Bend is I get to come home to my favorite place in the world. I do like to travel and I do love road riding in Mallorca, Mountain biking in Scotland and of course watching and participating in Tour of Flanders will be a highlight of my cycling life forever. Bend is still the best, and being back with my best friend and sweetheart of 40 years is wonderful.
Watching The Tour of Flanders of live was very special. I have to thank the great folks at Quality Bike Parts and Lazer Helmets for hosting me and the other USA dealers. Rebecca did a great job of keeping track of us and making sure we all had food, bikes, and entertainment, a special thanks to my roommate Adam. When you find yourself in Belgium in a typical hotel (small rooms) and you have an unknown roomy it is a pleasure to get along as well as we did. It turns out we both love cycling, and we both have a sense of humor. Those two things go along way. He also has an awesome camera and with that camera he got some great shots. Thanks Adam. I would also like to thank Todd Cravens from Quality. In the first hour of the Cyclo sportiv version of the Tour we hooked up together, and though he was stronger than me he waited at every hill top and allowed me to "suck his wheel" for many a kilo. Though I am a Europe veteran it was great to have someone to share the experience with. That made a big difference for me. Thanks Todd.
The photos show more than I can explain about watching the race. We were in 4 places, the staging area, two spots on the road and the decisive "Muur". The Kammelmuur is where Cancellara dropped Booned last year and this year it was when after getting a minute lead he an Chavenel were caught. We got to see the moment when the group came together. That was special. We were sitting in a VIP tent having a gourmet meal while the race was going on. They had at least eight big screens with the race. Between our first course and main course we ran outside and watched the race go by and then back to the tent for desert and the end of the race. This was special. Being in a tent full of Belgians watching a Belgian win was very cool. It was also satisfying to see my favorite Juan Antonio Fletcha animate the race early on and of course see the BMC team real back Cancellara. I was disappointed with the Garmin team and I am sure they were. They had no one in the break at the end and though they had some of the strongest they did not play a role in the race. I am sure they are going to rethink their strategy for Paris Roubaix.
The last thing are the bike lanes in Belgium everywhere. There is no debate in Belgium about bikes. They are used for transportation period and there is a place for them to be. They don't have as many rules over there about safety though. They figure people can take care of themselves. I included that photo with the bike lane to show how much they care about bikes. That road is not wide enough for a bike lane in our world. Over there they put the bike lane and expect the cars to respect the bikes in the road. The cars have to pass the bikes when it is safe.
One bit of irony. We went over as the guests of Lazer Helmet. Their headquarters is in Antwerp. In Antwerp there are thousands of bike commuters every day using designated bike lanes and paths throughout the city. I did not see one commuter using a helmet. If Lazer could get that market they wouldn't have to export a helmet to any other country.
Another point of interest was the helmet use in Cyclosportif version of the Tour of Flanders. I would say over 90% had helmets. I was surprised with that many.
It was a great trip which ended with Adam Craig sitting in the seat next to me from Denver to Bend. He was in Colombia racing in the Pan/Colombian mountain bike races. We got to catch up, share some photos and thoughts. So once again it is amazing to come home to Bend after seeing some of the greatest the road riders in the world and sit and chat with one of the best mountain bikers in the world who just happens to live in Bend, my home town.
Thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I was at the the Tour of Flanders yesterday. We saw the staging area, and managed to be at three spots on the course. The first two it was more of the atmosphere and feeling the racers go by and seeing all the pageantry . The entourage, the helicopters flying by and of course the wind of the peleton.
The last stop we were on the Muur. This was where Cancellara and Chavenal were caught after a long breakaway. They were the two strongest riders out there.
I am getting ready to catch a flight so enjoy the photos and I will have a follow up blog soon.
See you at home.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Today was on of the most amazing riding experiences I have had. I rode the tourist version of the Tour of Flanders. Flanders is the Flemish speaking part of Belgium. I was joined by 19,000 other cyclists. Basically rode with more cyclists today then all of my lifes rides combined. Lazer Helmets USA along with Lazer in Belgium is hosting 10 dealers from the USA to ride today and watch the Tour of Flanders tomorrow. By the way I am picking Juan Antonio Flecha to win.
Then photo is of the Kammelmuur. I hoped that is the spelling. That is the most famous of the famous climbs. It is where Cancellara left Boonen last year. While I was going up I was visualizing the races I have watched. I felt like I had been on this climb before. Tomorrow I get to see if he can do it again.
This is going to be a short blog as I have to get up at 5 tomorrow and go to the start in Bruge. I will fill you in with all the great friends I have made and more stories from Flanders.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


I actually rode on that tube and tyre for about two miles. I was expecting a blowout at any second, but I did make it back to the trailhead. I was fortunate enough to have gone to Alpine Bikes in Innerleithen to rent a bike. They sent me out on a Trek Remedy 9.9. One model up from my bike at home. It is not after one can hire a bike better than the one at home. Alpine Bikes is my favorite bike store in the Tweed Valley. There are some other nice places to hire bikes and get them repaired but Alpine has always come through for me.
I wanted to show the difference between "natural trails" and "man made trails". Natural trails around here can be pretty old walking, hunting, sheep or 4x4 paths. Man made trails for mountain biking are constructed much like road is. The trees are cleared and a rock base laid. Then "features are added. Some features seem very natural, some are adds just for fun and some, well the build was trying too hard and actually seem out of place. Trail building like this in Scotland is pretty new. The first trails were built around 1998. The designers have learned from the past and, as this has been so popular, trails have been built for all levels of riders. The first trails were built for the more advanced riders, now trails are built for everyone. There are downhill trails, cross country trails, free ride trails practice areas everything.
Because it rains so much here these trails are designed to be used in all weather conditions. No closing the trails here because of a little rain.
The locals ride the natural trails when it is dry and the man made trails when it is wet. The parking lot at Glentress seems almost full every time I am here. Mountain bikers travel from all over Great Britain to ride these trails.
For me being able to ride no matter the weather makes for a great holiday. All I need is my raincoat and contact lenses.
Thanks for reading.



Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I am on my second leg of my European Holiday. We left Liverpool a few days ago to drive up to The Borders in Southern Scotland. I am staying with Andy and Ros in their flat in Peebles. Scotland has been named The best Mountain Bike Country by IMBA many times. The Borders has led the way with many areas with specific mountain bike areas. The most popular are called the 7Stanes. These areas all have man made all weather mountain bike trails. This means they are designed to be ridden in heavy rain. If you know any locals they will take you on a ride with "natural trails". These are trails made by land rovers, old cattle drives, hill walkers and sheep. You will need a dry day to ride these trails to not get stuck in deep mud and cause damage to the countryside.
It was natural trails we were on yesterday. We started in Peebles up an old old forest road, we then turned on a 4X4 track and then a combination of walking, sheep and cross country trails to the top of a ridge. Then it was over 6 miles of spectacular downhill. I have been told about this downhill hill before but this was my first chance to ride it. The views from the top spectacular, like many hills in Scotland. It was a calm day, unusual for around here, some sun and dry.
Today is a different story. We have a wet day so we are off to the man made trails of Glentress and Interleithen.
I happen to be with the Mountain Bike Ranger who is the caretaker of these trails, Andy Wardman. It is nice to have a guide to keep show me the best of the best in Scotland.
Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


My stay in Mallorca is over and I am on the second leg of my holiday, England and Scotland. When Andy flew over to Mallorca he had to fly from Manchester, England as there were no flights from Scotland. That meant on the way home we both flew back to Manchester. Ros, Andy's girlfriend cheerfully picked us up and off we were to Liverpool where Ros's parents live. Barbara and Frank welcomed me like a long lost friend. Though we had never met before we felt like we knew each other.
A quick tea and off we were to see the sights and visit with Barbara, who was in Liverpool getting ready to sing in a concert, Mozarts's Requiem. Then it was time to see the sights. A couple of Cathedrals (Anglican and Catholic). A modn shopping area and then to the famous Cavern District and the Cavern Club, made famous all those years ago by the Beatles. Liverpool was full of people of all ages enjoying the night life. The Cavern Club was packed as were many other pubs and dance spots.
A quick dinner at Everymans and then off to the concert.
A combination of daylights saving and a late night made for a late morning. It was off to the beach and the outdoor sculpture. This sculpture consists of 100 bronze statues made from the artists own body. It is quite disconcerting to see all these naked men looking out to sea.
This afternoon we are off to Scotland. The sun is out and England is looking its best. Green, trees blooming, and daffodils everywhere.
The photo of the Beatles music sitting on the piano was not staged, that was the music on the piano when I walked in. And, yes, everyone in Liverpool calls everyone love just like we learned in Help and A Hard Days Night.
Thanks for reading,

Art on the beach



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Soller Deia Binisalem by at Garmin Connect - Details

Soller Deia Binisalem by at Garmin Connect - Details
This is more a blog about new technology than where we went yesterday. The first year I came to Mallorca I bought a prepaid phone card so I could call home. Though I do speak Spanish it was difficult to navigate through all the different voice menus and make a call to the USA. Kathy, on the other side of the world had a new cell phone, but she was at a workshop in San Diego and the hotel where she was staying was out of range for her cell phone carrier. The result being we didn't communicate for over 10 days. Today I use Skype, I can see her face live over the Internet and it is easy to get hold of her and for some reason it is free.
Maps, that is another thing that has changed. The first year we all had maps, but we had to guess which were the best roads, now they have a special cycling map with the best routes already picked out. Of course there is the Garmin. John Riley, my friend from Wisconsin, just wrote to me and announced he and Margaret are going to be in Mallorca next week, not knowing I was already here. He wanted to know if I had some good suggestions for routes, in case the Trek Travel routes were too tame. All I had to do was send him my Garmin downloads, just like the one on this blog. He can then download them to his Garmin and not have to worry about where to go. It is amazing how quickly things have changed. Though it is fun to make fun of all these gadgets, and how people are obsessed with cell phones, GPSs and computers they have made my traveling easier. It doesn't make the riding more fun, but it does make finding routes a little less stressful and I like to share my experiences with you at home and that is simple in this new world.
Thanks for reading,

Monday, March 21, 2011


I can't help but use that word magical. This photo was taken close to sunset as Andy and set off for a night ride. We were half way up first climb and I looked back and that was the view. I have seen this view many times but this one was special.
It seems kind of crazy to do a night ride when we have all day to ride, but it is an adventure to ride at night ( we have some very good night lights). There is no traffic so in some ways it is safer. On this day Andy was getting in In the afternoon and we wanted to watch Milano-San Remo on the television. It was over at 5:30 so we rode at night, we, wouldn't have had this view otherwise.
Yesterday we decided to see the scenic coastline between Valdemosa and Soller. We stopped in Deia for some food and drink. Deia is one of the most beautiful towns on the island. It sits almost one thousand feet above the Mediteranean Sea, mountains behind and the sea below.
Today we are headed out to another spectacular view, which is the lighthouse on Cape Formentor. Two small climbs and a tunnel gets to the point furthest north and east. On a clear day one can make out Menorca in the distance. Like I said this place is magical.
Thanks for reading,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Serious planning

It seems like a map is part of every conversation when one is on a bike holiday. In the morning at breakfast in order to plan the day, at all the stops just to make sure we are where we are supposed to be and of course at night at dinner so we can recap the days route. With the advent of the Garmin GPS we also have to email what we did and of course check it once more for ourselves just to be doubly sure we actually should be tired.
The other part of a bike holiday to Mallorca is the cafe. Should we stop in Bunyola, or wait until Soller. Maybe we should stop at every bar we see and have cafe. Some of the cafe is perfect, some not. Imalways have cafe con leche. Coffee with milk. Most of the time it is just the way I like it.
In the next photo you can see what Mallorca looks like from about 1500 feet. The mountains you see are full of windy roads with climbs from 5 to 15 kilometers. There is also lots of flat land to ride in. It is one of the reasons I like coming here. Hills to go hard, have fun on the descents, and look at the scenery. Flats for those days the legs need s rest but you just feel the need to get out.
The last photo is how we try to recover after a lo g day in the saddle. The pool is cool, though not ice water, so we stand in the pool for about 10 minutes. Don't know if it works but it seems to. I took that photo from my hotel room. I felt like some National Enquirer photographer.
I am asked why do you always return to Mallorca every year. Travel is many things to different people. For me it is not about adventure but about seeing old friends, enjoying the sunshine in March and getting in some fun miles on the bike. Mallorca is the best place I have found for that so I keep coming back. It is a long way but I find it worth it. The last few days I have been catching up with my friend Neal from Leeds in Great Britain. I only see him once a year so it is good to see how he is doing. A few minutes ago I was walking down the street and I saw our head waiter from another hotel we have stayed at. He recognized me stopped and said hello. Kind of nice.
Right now I am sitting in the hotel waiting for Andy to arrive. I spent some time with him last fall but I haven't been in Mallorca with him for a number of years. That will be fun. We actually met here in Mallorca six years ago I think.
Take care and thanks for reading, and a note to Matt, those are chainrings on the pillow. Special 42 tooth chainrings from the states. Better than mints.

Typical day in cycling paradise!

What is this

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mallorca #10

Here I am in Mallorca for my 10th time. Though we generally have pretty good weather here there are days when it rains. Our first day was like that. We landed I bright sunshine, something I have not seen at home in a while. What was more remarkable was in Barcelona it was pouring rain. We were all quite hungary and my bike was still in Newark so we went to have lunch at my favorite Don Corleone's. Sitting in the sun drinking a cafe con leche. This was the experience I was waiting for.
I was extra smart this year and put my shoes, pedals and helmet in my carry one bag. I went to the bike shop after lunch and picked up a rental bike. I was ready to go before the others had finished putting their bikes together. We started out and all looked fine. There was the odd dark cloud around but it looked clear. Well what we were in is what is called a sucker hole. After about 15 minutes it started to really rain hard. We gathered under a tree, put on our rain coats and headed back to the hotel. Our shoes were soaked, along with everything else. The photo of the shoes on the wall is my invention. I used some hangers to suspend the shoes in front of the vent. Dry shoes in the morning.
The other photo is my bike bag. When we returned from our first day out my bike was enroute to the hotel. Even with the rental bike it was sweet to see my bike in one piece.
Today we had another problem. Joe's bike had a shifter problem that was not repairable. We took it to my favorite shop and they were willing to get the part from their sisters shop, and have the bike ready by tomorrow morning. They even loaned us a bike so Joe could pedal the. 40 ks back to our hotel. Ciclo Gomilla in Binisalem. The same kind of service Sunnyside would give. It looks like sun for the next few days, I will try to get some more photos and more stories.


Sunday, March 13, 2011


Tomorrow I head for another adventure across the Atlantic. It has become an annual event for me, spring riding in sunny Mallorca. You can see by the photo why I go. It is, as my friend Baltimore Bob says, magical. Windy roads, lots of friendly cafes with very good Spanish cafe. I really look forward to this trip. This year more than most. We had a dry and warm January. When I wanted to ski I was on my bike. Then winter came back and we seem to have had snow, rain and cool weather for about a month now.
I have been on my skis but by March I am ready for some cycling. Barb and Lew are joining me again along with Joe and Deborah, my good friends from Portland/Seattle. I was telling Serena, who came last year with her husband Ben, that I had a fantasy world where all my friends came every year. I won't mention them all but believe me I have many friends who I have met on bikes in Mallorca and now we are friends. Serena and Ben are not coming this year, neither are Kevin, Ali or Pete. One very special friend is coming and that is what I am really looking forward to. Andy, my very good friend from Yorkshire, but who lives in Peebles, Scotland is going to be my roommate. I usually see Andy once a year, but he has not come to Mallorca for a few years now. It will be fun to show him some new roads, and of course ride the old ones again. Andy is just 30 and I seem to be over 60. I don't know why we get along but we do something about being kindred spirits. We aren't really even a lot alike. But we get along and that is the part of the holiday I am looking forward to the most. I also get to visit him and Ros in Scotland for a few days as I needed a place to stay between Mallorca and my trip to watch the Tour of Flanders.
The hardest part for me is simple it is leaving home and my sweetheart. It would seem that after almost 40 years of marriage we would be glad to part, but it isn't like that. We do have different likes and dislikes and while I would rather be on my bike she would rather be in her garden. She does travel but not as much as me. So off I go, with a bit of a tear in my eye. This year I started taking piano lessons and I find playing music quite emotional. I practiced today for the last time until I get back and I was so sad afterwards I started to cry. I guess it is good to love my music and my piano teacher (Kathy) so much.
I am all packed and now we are spending a quiet day together. Not really doing anything much. That is what I will look forward to when I get home. Some more quiet time.
I will be writing from time to time about my trip. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Dave suggested I write about Franco Pellizotti (he lost his appeal and was suspended for two years from bike racing this week), and Susan suggested I write about new technology. I am not going to say too much about Franco. He didn't test positive his blood values were suspicious. I do not have much to say really. I do know when I had surgery 10 years ago my hemocrit level was over 50. I don't know why but I would have been kept from racing. I guess the bottom line for me is they are really just guessing he took drugs. Does not seem fair.
Technology next. Velonews has decided that 29er bikes are the innovation of the year. I guess that is cool, but I am pretty sure they have been around for a lot longer than this year. That being said I got mine this year and, yes, it is cool. I am not the born again 29er owner though. I have a Trek Superfly 100 Elite. It weighs in at 23 pounds with pretty big tyres. It goes fast up hill and it seems to do everything else pretty well also. It doesn't have those 29er issues one reads about. It goes around switchbacks, it does a wheelie as well as I can manage, it rides over rocks and through snow better than my 26 inch bike. It only has 100mm of travel but with the big wheels that seems like enough. I also have 26 longer travel Ibis Mojo HD. That really flies downhill but my Trek is still a fun descender. What I am convinced is it is a better race bike and a great long distance machine. If you haven't ridden one you should give it a try, even If you are small. Two of the best female mountain bikers from the USA both ride 29ers and they are 5'4" and 5'2".
Now one last bit of technology. Fischer Skis have been selling a ski called the zero for a fe years now. It has only been available as a race classic ski. An expensive quiver ski. It has had lots of success though. Next year they will have a wider version called the super light.
I have had a chance to ski on that ski a couple of times and I am duly impressed. It feels like a wax ski. Fast, no noise and good kick. I really feel this ski is going to be the ski of choice for those that classic ski at Meissner and Mt Bachelor, or even more as I used this ski through some fresh snow and it worked quite well. Time will tell but this seems like a real revolution in the nordic world.
I am off to Europe next week. I will be writing about our adventures in the blog so keep abreast. I am looking forward to some warmer days on the bike. Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Sunnyside Sports is where I work. I also am the majority owner. Sometimes this is difficult because I think of all of my coworkers as friends first. That being said Sunnyside Sports is not a place to hang out. It is about hard work, treating customers with respect and getting the job done. Those that see all of this fit in. We have just hired four more coworkers. I did none of the interviews, one I hadn't even met until her first day of work. This was on purpose. I am trying to get out of the day to day running of Sunnyside Sports. My goal is to have exchanged ownership of the Sunnyside by 2015. I want the decisions to be made my the new owners not the old owner.
Sunnyside is my other family. Family is not all about play, it is about growth, working together and being there for others when in need. That is how I feel about Sunnyside. We have been hurt, like all families, by this attitude, but we have also been rewarded. I do not let the being hurt distract me from what we have tried to do. We have monthly meetings and at these meeting it is very apparent how well we all get along. Many modern businesses use the term "team". I see all the time in ads for recruitment that companies are looking for "team players". At one time I thought that was a good term but I have come to the conclusion that when a company is looking for a team player what they really mean to say is someone who will follow orders and do as the boss says.
Sunnyside needs those attributes also to a point. What we really want is more. We want people we can work with in the day and then go for a ride with on the weekend. We want more than team players we want family members.
When it was just the two of us (Gary and I) it was pretty easy. We worked almost every day and we both knew we had to give a lot to make Sunnyside work. Now there are 16 of us (at least that is my count). I realize a group of 16 is harder to deal with than a group of two, but it is still my goal to have Sunnyside a family style work place.
I am excited with our new faces (Jared, Andrew, Bruce and Katie) I hope they fit in like the other 12. I hope to go on rides with all of them and do the fun stuff which Sunnyside is all about.
Sunnyside was named because we are on the Sunnyside of the Mountains. I like to think of the song though and think that Sunnyside is about the Sunnyside of life.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


If you read my blog you may get the idea that all I do is ride a bike. I ride in Spain, France, Scotland and of course the USA. I race, I ride for recreation, I work on bikes, I test ride bikes. I have won some races and done well in many others. So part of the answer is yes I love to ride and at 60 years I am not ready to quit.
However riding is not all I do. I happen to work for example. I am part owner of Sunnyside Sports. I really do work full time. I love working here and I am proud of what me and the rest of the Sunnyside Crew have accomplished here.
I read quite a bit. The unusual part of that is I read mainly in Spanish. I do this because it is an easy way for me to keep on my Spanish language skills. I always have a book I am reading, right now I am reading the complete Sherlock Holmes. Why in Spanish? No real reason other thanI found it and it is a fun read.
I am learning the piano. This is really what this blog is about. I took piano 30 years ago but I found that practicing with my teacher in the room was not satisfactory. It wasn't her fault it was mine. I wanted some privacy when I practiced. So I stopped. Kathy (my piano teacher who I happen to be married to) recently moved her piano studio to out of our house. As soon as she did that I started piano again. It has been very fun and lots of work. I practice very diligently, almost every day for at least 1/2 hour. The first few lessons consisted of very simple tunes (of course one can wonder why Ode to Joy is the most beautiful and the most simple of tunes).
Part of my lesson is playing duets with Kathy. I knew this was part of class as I have heard Kathy give hundreds of lessons. What I didn't know was how I would feel about it. Playing music with someone else is on top of my list of things I have done, and playing with Kathy was even more special. I can't really explain how I felt. I can tell you what happened though. We we playing the theme from Dvorcak's New World Symphony. I had practiced this peace very hard. When we were playing it sounded like real music to me and Kathy and I were the ones doing. That was the point I started to cry. I mean real crying not just choking up. This was the real thing.
Like I said I have medals at world championships, I have raced in front of the hometown crown and done well. I have never broken down from joy before though.
A special thanks to Kathy who helped me make this happen.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Not every ride but on many mountain bike rides there is a sense of adventure. I like long mountain bike rides that take me far from home, deep into the woods, high in the mountain etc. Places that put you on your own. On a bike this is different than hiking because we have the added factor of falling and mechanical break downs. It is all part of the fun for me. Being prepared, having a well running bike, and having fun and pushing the limits without crossing into the danger zone. I have crossed the danger zone but it is not a place I want to be.
Yesterday Jody, Jacob and I decided it would be fun to ride the Alpine Trail in Oakridge. We have been having great cycling weather for the last three weeks and there were great reports of the trail conditions. I checked the weather and it said mostly sunny, but cooler and windy. That seemed fine. On the drive over we were seeing showers of snow and rain but there were some breaks in the clouds so it really wasn't too bad. We got to the trailhead in Westfir and decided it was a go.
We started of on some sweet singletrack along the North Fork of the Willamette River. It was in perfect condition. We then decided on the climbing on the 1912 road instead of the 1910 road. This meant for more singletrack along the river. It was sweet, but just when we saw the end of the trail coming there was a small sign warning us of unstable trail conditions ahead. Well what it was is the whole trail had washed out. There were two bike angels standing on the other side of the washout. We formed a human chain and ferried the bikes across the abyss and safely made it to the other side.
We then started the long climb to the top of the Alpine Trail. It actually was warm as the sun came out for moments. Of course when we got almost to the top it decided to snow. Not hard but it was snow and that meant cold.
We stopped on top, had a little food, put on what what dry clothing we had and, after checking the map, started our descent. The Alpine Trail actually starts with a climb. This was a blessing because it allowed us to warm up again.
The descent was epic and fun. The snow didn't affect the traction, and though the hands and feet were not warm they were not frozen either.
I probably wouldn't have started this ride if I would have known the weather conditions before hand. But all three of us arrived at the car with big grins on our faces, once again proving the added adventure added to the enjoyment more than detracted.
Here is a GPS Map of the course.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I have spent over 30 years in this wonderful bicycle business. I have always tried to the right thing, be a responsible business person and give back to the sport and activity I love. MIke said the other day that all my vacations include riding my bike. That is not 100% true but close to it. My life is surrounded by my love of all things bike.
In 2005 I was given a chance to watch the Tour de France. It was unexpected but it was an experience of a lifetime. I have my friend Kent Mills to thank for that. In fact I have so much to thank Kent for I wrote about him in a blog some years ago.
This time I am getting a new opportunity the Tour of Flanders. If you don't know about the Tour of Flanders let me explain. It takes place in early spring (April 3 this year) and it is the biggest race in cycling crazy Belgium. It is a one day "classic" race. That means lots of steep short hills, cobblestones, maybe some rain and wind. For the spectators it means beer and yelling.
I get to do both. Well kind of both. The day before the race there is an amateur version. There will be 20,000 cyclists trying to get up the Murs and cobblestones. Many of them expros and neopros. I will be with them. I would love to see if I could pedal up all the steep hills but my guess is it will be crowded. If you look at the photos you will that even the pros end up running.
Last year Fabian Cancellara won this race, and Belgium hero, Tom Boonen was second. Cancellara won in such a dominating fashion that he was accused of having an electric motor on his bike. This is not a joke. There is technology out there to give a rider 100 watts for about 20 minutes. The battery would be the size of a double A and the motor would be in the seat tube.
I doubt he had an electric motor but he did have extra help for sure. His legs are like an extra motor. This year I get to see in person if he can repeat or if Tom Boonen can hang on or some other "classic rider". I will have been on the course and will know a little how it feels.
The Tour of Flanders is my favorite race on the calendar. It has some crazy steep hills, it has cobblestones and it is in Belgium. What could be better. I will let everyone know how it goes. Thanks to Quality Bicycle Parts and Lazer Helmets for this chance of a lifetime.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Just a few short weeks ago it looked like there would be no mountain biking at horse ridge, Cline Butte, or really anywhere in Central Oregon. Well that changed fast. A few vey warm days with some wind thawed out Horse Ridge, the sweepers have been out so many of the roads are clear of cinders, today it was almost 60.
Though the skiing is quite good still the snow is very thin at Meissner and Mt Bachelor is closer to 70" than the magical 100. This doesn't mean winter is over, and I remember this happening frequently, the main difference is we went from cold, snow to warm dry in a couple of days. It was so quick. I love the winter, the snow and the cold. I also love to ride my bike. I am enjoying both sports right now. Skiing a couple of times a week, riding a couple of times. I went on my third road ride of the year today. I stopped and took a photo of the North Sister, just west of Tumalo State Park. This is a special place for me. The first time I rode "Shevy/Tummy" I remember this view. The mountains seemed so close, like you could touch them. So white, so perfect. They still are.
Sent from my iPad

Monday, January 10, 2011


I always take a brake from cycling after cross season is over. For me it is a forced brake as I don't have the burnout syndrome. I always want to ride. That doesn't mean I want to go out in the rain and snow and freeze, but if the sun is out and roads or trails are ridable my heart sings out to me "lets go ride". The last month wasn't hard not to ride, we had snow, cold and blustery weather and then I got a cold. So today with some weather coming in this week the sun and the dry roads beckoned. Out I went. Yes my fingers were cold and the wind on my face burned, but after a while the sun warmed me up.
It was one of those perfect winter days, no wind (big chainring most of the time) and the white of the Three Sisters was startling. If our weather was like this all winter it would be easy to get into cycling shape. That won't be the case. More storms are moving in as I write this and skiing will be the preferred way to to enjoy the central oregon out of doors. We will have more days like yesterday but the first one is special.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I am writing this blog on a new device, my new iPad. I don't really like talking about new high tech stuff but this one needs a short explanation. I bought a kindle before I went to France last fall. On the way home it was stolen from me (ok I left it on the plane). If you want to more you will have to ask.
I was going to get a new kindle, but I did a little research and I found out the best selection for Spanish Language literature is from Barnes and Noble. I pretty much only read in Spanish and it is hard to find a huge selection in Oregon. Powell's is pretty good but I read a lot, maybe forty books a year. Amazon was weak, lots of trash. With the IPad I can get books from a almost anyone.
I am still learning how this thing works, but as I figure it out it will get easier.
This is my period of rest. No hard workouts, no long rides in the cold, and it seems no blogs. I think the no blog thing comes both with rest and with the season. Even though we pride our selves at Sunnysidesports in being a 12 month store Christmas is still a busy time. Through in cross nationals, birthday parties, team parties there isn't much time. I also started to coach this month. That is two more days out of my time. So I don't have anything profound to say. I will leave it at I hope you all have a prosperous new year full of love, good health and wonderful adventures. Turning 60 has helped me realize that time is the most valuable thing we have, please don't waste yours, as there are many others who would love to have some extra time.