December 30, 2009

Holiday Season with the Pacific Pedaling Gang

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2009 was such a great year for PacificPedaling.com and for the Pacific Pedaling team! I’m still working on an end of the year wrap up, but there’s so much to go through that I need a bit more time. However, I did want to post a few notes and photos from the Pacific Pedaling end of year wrap up and Christmas party. First off…click on that photo above. I mean, yeah, every team can try to go out and get some sweet kits, but how many have custom ceramic coffee (or other beverage of choice) team MUGS made?! Go on, click on the picture to see it in all it’s glory. Our very own Martha Paulus made those for all the riders on the team…so stinking cool. One of my favorite moments of the night came when I said something like, “wow Martha…you MADE these??” Martha says, “well, yeah…I *am* a potter,” matter of factly. Guess you had to be there, but my wife and I are still laughing about it. Sorry, these aren’t for sale.

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Another favorite moment came when the team showed off their presentation of the Pacific Pedaling team edition framed jersey and photo art. Click on that baby too and take a gander…it really is an impressive work, and I was overwhelmed by such a cool gesture and gift from the team. I also left the night with a sweet Tissot jersey (Tyler knows my watch brand all to well) and super cool leather and canvas bike bag…perfect for the Ira. Again, way too generous guys…a million thanks!

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I swear I say this about every other post, but I don’t know how we could have asked for a better group of riders for our inaugural season. In addition to the amazing times riding and racing together, I just flat out dig hanging with these folks, their spouses and their families. It’s a good thing we actually ride sometimes, or I’d spend way too much time eating and laughing with them, and growing exponentially. Martha, Tyler, Ellen, Pat, James, Dave….you are just good folk, and you give cycling a good name. I’m looking forward to us all representing in 2010!

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from PacificPedaling.com!

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December 22, 2009

Top Ten Rules of Bicycle Safety

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It’s crazy weather off and on out there, and additionally, there is not much daylight. Bike commuters and cyclists in general find themselves in dark and inclement conditions through the next couple of months. I always tell people ‘don’t do anything to surprise another vehicle on the road…whether you are in a car, or on a bike!.’ The League of American Bicyclists have a tremendous amount of resources on their website, including these Top Ten Rules of Bicycle Saftey. Most of us know these, but it’s good to be reminded.

1. Wear a helmet for every ride and use lights at night.

2. Conduct an ABC quick check before every ride.

3. Obey traffic laws: ride on the right, slowest traffic farthest on the right.

4. Ride predictably and be visible at all times.

5. At intersections, ride in the right-most lane that goes in your direction.

6. Scan for traffic and signal lane changes and turns.

7. Be prepared for mechanical emergencies with tools and know-how.

8. Control your bike by practicing bike handling skills.

9. Drink before you are thirsty, and eat before your are hungry.

10. Have fun!

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December 9, 2009

Winter Writing and Riding In and Around Salem

Local man about town on two wheels, Eric Lundgren, fires off his ever informative update for what’s going on in and around the Salem area in the bike world. Thanks Eric! (Be sure to visit The Salem Breakfast on Bikes blog if you don’t already read it!)

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It’s cold!  But it’s beautiful, and if you’re dressed right it feels great!

Not so many date-bound events this time of year…but lots of bits of news!

Breakfast on Bikes – Friday, Dec 11th
We’ll be at Mission and Winter.  Thanks to Cascade Baking, Coffee
House Cafe, LifeSource Natural Foods, Salem Bicycle Club, Willamette
University!  For complete details see –
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/12/breakfast-on-bikes-december-11th.html

Parade – Saturday, Dec 12th
The PGE Festival of Lights Holiday Parade is this Saturday!  All
riders are invited to join in the bike float!  For more information
see –
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/12/why-watch-you-can-bicycle-in-holiday.html

Kidical Mass
Kat’s planning Kidical Mass rides for Salem!  These are short rides
for families and kids, not more than 5 miles with stops at parks and
for ice cream and fun stuff!  To learn more or to volunteer to help
with planning see –
http://kidicalmasssalem.blogspot.com/

Salem Bike Taxi
Have you seen the new pedicab downtown?  Check it out!  Michelle’s
also looking for help with maternity leave…let her know if you can
take a shift or two!
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/10/salem-bike-taxi-joins-mix-of-downtown.html
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/12/3-great-ways-to-help-bicycling-this.html

Commercial Restriping Plan
Council passed the plan to put sharrows downtown on Commercial!
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/11/council-approves-restriping-plan.html

Bike Friendly Business Apps
The deadline for the LAB Bicycle Friendly Business award is January
15, 2010.  Who will be Salem’s first?
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/11/do-you-know-bicycle-friendly-business.html

Union & Front Video Camera
Video traffic light controllers have been installed for traffic on
Union at the eastern bridgehead of the Union Street RR Bridge!  Now
bicyclists don’t have to use the crosswalk.
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/11/traffic-lights-at-union-and-front.html

Cyclocross
Lots of local racers participated in the fall cyclocross season.
Check out Paul’s great coverage of the races and local riders at
Pacific Pedaling!
http://pacificpedaling.com/

Salem Bicycle Club
If you haven’t tried club rides, consider the introductory High
Wheeler Rides every Sunday afternoon at 1:30pm.  For more information
see –
http://salembicycleclub.org/calendar.plx?id=1

Whimsy

Want a bit of whimsy in the cold?  Here’s some sweet bike propaganda!
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/12/whimsy-for-cold-copenhagen-errol-morris.html

Join the BTA

Need a gift for a bicyclist you know?  Consider a BTA membership!
It’ll help with legislation and advocacy statewide.
http://www.bta4bikes.org/btablog/2009/12/01/donate-to-the-bta-by-december-15-and-win-tickets-to-cirque-de-soleil/

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December 8, 2009

Holiday Shopping Guide – Great Local Auction Deals

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I heard about AuctionPDX.com on the radio the other day and was pleasantly surprised to see a few bikes in their list of items. They currently have 5 items in their Bikes category, with retail values ranging from $400 to $1150. The highest bid (at the time of this posting) is currently under $300 on any of the items, with some of them ending this afternoon. If you’re looking to pick up a new bike for someone for Christmas, or just for yourself, it’s work taking a peek. These are provided by Portland area businesses, such as River City Bikes, and winning bidders will pick up bikes at the location specified. There are also some other items in the auction list that may be of interest to you.

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December 2, 2009

Catch My Buddy Tori, and The Bike Show on KBOO Today!

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Got this note from my buddy Tori over at GraciesWrench.com….tune in today if you get a chance!
http://kboo.fm/node/17751

Hey all,

As the year comes to a close and many changes are upon us in Portland bicycling from new Morrison Bridge access for cyclists, to a new executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), we take a closer look at the State of Bicycling in Portland.

We’ll be joined by Roger Geller, City Bicycle Coordinator in the Office of the Director and creator of the Bicycle Master Plan. The 2030 Bicycle Plan is the crystal ball to the future of cycling and the city’s goals. We’ll talk with him about where we are now and where the city hopes to be by 2030. Also joining us will be Michelle Poypourow from the BTA to bring us their own version of where they see Portland now and what they hope to see in the new plan.

Are we dreaming too big or not big enough? Have we got all we need or is this only the beginning? Join us for an in-depth discussion and bring your own questions, concerns and vision of the future of Portland transportation.

If you miss the show or you’re from out of town you can also catch the podcast (usually up a few hours after the show) at http://bikeshow.portlandtransport.com/.

Thanks and happy listening!
Tori Bortman

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November 24, 2009

James Gets Some Love in the Cyclocross Diaries from Barton

I’m a little behind this week on updates, but check out this edition of the Cyclocross diaries. The beloved Crusade announcer “Splinter,” (yes, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles master) throws some great words around about our young fella on the team. The whole edition is great and worth a watch.

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November 18, 2009

Barton Park Wrap Up and Favorite Photos

The Maneater, Barton Park, claims another victim....and those aren't carbon.

The Maneater, Barton Park, claims another victim....and those aren't carbon.

Note: a few of my favorite shots down through this post, the full 200+ on the Flickr page. Be sure to check out PDXCross.com too, Ellen and Peyton (Tyler’s son) both made it this week.

I’d been dreading Barton just a little…ok, maybe a lot, ever since I saw it would be the last race of the my first Crusade series. Mention Barton and get a plethora of responses:

“Oh, the Maneater.” “I hate that course.” “I love that course.” “We called the ambulance 3 times last year.” “Wear a mouthpiece.” “I’m skipping that one.” “Good luck, you’ll need it.”

Martha, coming around the corner after railing the off camber downhill.

Martha, coming around the corner after railing the off camber downhill.

I’d heard the stories, seen the photos, and watched the videos of people descending that big ol’ hill, and crashing on the way down, at the bottom, and even up into the rock pit. As a newbie, I figured I’d be eating dirt along with many others, but was hoping to avoid being someone who’d need medical assistance. Thankfully I can say I made it through the final race of the series, and lived to tell about it.

Tyler, leading out the Clydes at the start of the race.

Tyler, leading out the Clydes at the start of the race.

I didn’t get to experience the course before this year, but knew that they had taken out The Hill that ate so many riders before and turned it the other way into a big, rocky run up. A different off-camber trick hill replaced it, and I couldn’t have been more proud than when I saw Martha, without a preride (as far as I know) cut across both lines and take it on a straight shot when she came down around the corner. I had a blast watching all the Pacific Pedaling riders and appreciating what a great series we had as a team! It was also fun to have David Rasca donning the big green P kit and ride with the crew!

The new downhill section claimed it's fair share of riders and bikes.

The new downhill section claimed it's fair share of riders and bikes.

Tyler had a great holeshot off the line in the Clydes race, and finished with a 5 finish to wrap up a nice series. Martha rode a strong ride, railing the off camber section. Pat and Ellen both did the single speed race, swapped out bikes and jumped into their A races, and James, coming off his rib injury, put his bike down again on the slick pavement corner, and got back on the beast to finish out his race.

Racers "cleaning" their bikes in the ginormous mud puddles at Barton Park.

Racers "cleaning" their bikes in the ginormous mud puddles at Barton Park.

In addition to a great day of riding for the team, the final race of the day was easily the best race all year. With Cameron holding a one point lead on the series, it was bound to be a good one. Standing at the top of the run up, just a few feet from the gasp heard round the world when Cameron hit the ground, I can assure you it was a thriller down to the wire.

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November 12, 2009

SSCXWC 09 Energy Dome + Thunderdome = Good Times

Ellen rocking the DEVO kit for the SSCXWC race to close off the crazy weekend!

Ellen rocking the DEVO kit for the SSCXWC race to close off the crazy weekend!

Editors Note: This is the second of our Pacific Pedaling lady racers reports from the past weekend. Thanks to Ellen Miller for contributing this wrap up report. Be sure to also check out Martha’s report just before this one too! Thanks ladies! Some of my favorite shots here, and the full couple hundred on our Flickr page here.

To start off my inaugural blog/race report I would like to give huge ‘props’ to our team owner/director sportif, Paul Lopez. He has been the most amazing support this entire year. The beauty of this team is that it is a gift from Paul, his business, and his family for some local Salem racers to have fun. There is no need for glory or payback, just have fun. Also, big kudos to Pacific Pedaling rider, Tyler Jackson for his 2nd place finish Sunday in the Clydes…way to go Tyler!

Tyler making quick work of the long muddy uphill barriers.

Tyler making quick work of the long muddy uphill barriers.

This last weekend with the rain, mud, and wind Paul was there with his trailer, heaters, delicious hot pork rib sandwiches, and even a handmade Roland keyboard to complete my SSCXWC Devo costume! Paul, thank you for everything!

Transitions are always a challenge in my life. On Sunday at PIR I assumed that many racers would be participating in the A race and the SSCXWC, so I planned on making it work. “Staging for SSCXWC at 345” they announced, but our race didn’t even start until 315. This was going to be interesting.

The Drum Corps kept the beat pumping for riders and fans all afternoon long.

The Drum Corps kept the beat pumping for riders and fans all afternoon long.

As we waited for our whistle, we chatted among ourselves to see who was in for both races. Kari from Velo Bella rolled up next to me and mentioned that she planned on doing the SS race but was sad that her pink sparkle boots didn’t pass the run-up test. I later found out she won the women’s SSCXWC. Congrats Kari, hopefully you will find an occasion to wear your new yellow sparkle bikini with your pink sparkle boots.

I was having a ball racing the Cross Crusade course. The course was a perfect combination of fast stretches, deep mud, greasy corners and silly, slippery off camber sections that even made the fastest A’s humble. When I began my fourth lap I glanced at my watch, 350pm, yikes! I b-lined it back to the van and with Pat and Paul’s help got taped into my Devo kit and I was off to the SSCXWC staging area.

Throngs of fans covered the hillside next to the muddy barrier runup and the tricky off camber corner.

Throngs of fans covered the hillside next to the muddy barrier runup and the tricky off camber corner.

I made it just in time to throw my bike in the pile and find the ladies lined up in a pretty little row. For some reason the women were staged off to the side away from the circle of men. It kind of made me feel second class. The start was a Le Mans start where everyone had to run to their bikes and then jump on the course. We were given the wave by Potestio’s magic wand and the race was on.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t that chaotic to get onto the course. We were definitely in a traffic jam, but it was a fun kind of jam full of heckling and laughing. After the first barriers, run-up and off camber section we were already spreading out. Much to my delight, I realized I was riding next to Trebon. Much to my dismay, as soon as I noticed him I hit the fence and rode it like a cheese grater. I am a total star struck kind of girl. After I recovered, I was determined to stalk him for the first lap. He was obviously taking a joy ride approach to this race. I followed him, listened to others heckle him and even saw him put his foot down on an easy corner. Then I got distracted by a bacon hand-up, mmmm bacon. It was fresh off the skillet and delicious. Thank you bacon hand-up boy! I got back on track to chasing Trebon and then quickly lost him to the stripper bus. I was very torn about this short cut. Although I do not wish to condone behavior that leads to misogyny, I also have a serious case of FOMS (fear of missing something). I forgot my dollars. I had no choice.

Fans and ruffians climb onto the Thunderdome to 'encourage' riders passing through.

Fans and ruffians climb onto the Thunderdome to 'encourage' riders passing through.

The course was completely annihilated by the rain and the thousand racers earlier. It was a blast just playing around with different lines and heckling each other. There was never a good line for the run-up after the off-camber section and the cheese grater fence. I felt like every time I was on that run-up I was looking up some guys skirt in front of me or some mud stain up someone’s briefs. Fortunately, the Lanimal was at the top of this section with some refreshments.

On every lap the crowd was awesome, setting up jumps, making noise in any way possible, yelling encouraging words and yelling discouraging words. The energy in the Thunderdome was pretty cool. You couldn’t wipe the smile off your face for the whole lap after going through there. If you could bottle that, I would never need a Hammer product again.

Fire jugglers entertained the Thunderdome crowds.

Fire jugglers entertained the Thunderdome crowds.

Just as soon as I noticed that it was getting dark, the race was over. Even though my Devo pants had become Devo chaps at that point, I wanted to keep going. The next lap I was going to try to ride the high ridge versus the low puddle, I was going to try to get air on the jumps, I was going to find a dollar in the mud and see what was in that bus! I guess the moral of my story racing cross this year is you never know when your last lap is going to be. Ride every lap like it is your last.

Thanks to everyone who made Sunday at PIR such a fabulous day. A special thanks to Dani Dance and crew for hosting SSCXWC.

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OBRA Championships Report and Favorite Photos

Martha and Ellen, both happy and muddy after a cold and wet day of racing!

Martha and Ellen, both happy and muddy after a cold and wet day of racing!

Editors Note: This week, the ladies of Pacific Pedaling offered to report on last weekends crazy full schedule of racing. This report is brought to you by Martha Paulus and includes some of my favorite shots from the day. Another hundred and some photos are on the Flickr page – click here for those. Thanks Martha!

Saturday the Oregon State Fairgrounds hosted the last race in the Willamette Valley Cross Series and the  event was also for the OBRA Cross Championship . The organizers worked hard and put on a great race.  I stopped by Friday to help out and to get a sneak peek at the course.  It was a long one, 2.2 miles.  It meandered through the fairgrounds horse arena, motocross track, volleyball court, warm-up barn, and out into an open grassy area.

Martha killing it in the motocross arena.

Martha killing it in the motocross arena.

The morning of the race was pleasant and little sunny.  I went out to cheer on Paul during his race and was pleased to see the chopped motorcycle track had already been tracked out making for a much easier section.   I noticed a medic attending to several people who appeared to have road rash due to slippery spots on pavement no doubt.  Note to self, don’t take the corners too fast.

Tyler working his way through the life sucking grassy part of the course.

Tyler working his way through the life sucking grassy part of the course.

At the 2 pm line up for the woman’s race the weather  had taken a turn for the worse.  The start was fast as it went down a paved section the length of the motorcycle arena and then a hard left which was slick.  As I headed for the first pass through the warm-up barn and out into the open part of the course the rain was coming down pretty hard.  The open grassy section was tough,  back to back barriers through switch back turns and mud of course.  As I remounted and headed back in, the headwind made my bike feel like it weighed a 100 lbs.  Ouch!  More winding around through grass, water, mud to the sandpit for a mandatory dismount.  This wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, however I’m glad the organizers shortened the distance, five more strides would have killed me.

Paul smiling too much....gotta sign up for Heidi Swift's Cyclocross Mean Face class.

Paul smiling too much....gotta sign up for Heidi Swift's Cyclocross Mean Face class.

Before entering the warm-up barn again, I struggled  through the longest stretch of mud the course had to offer.  I could see my team tent at the far end of the barn and got a much needed boost in morale.  That headwind nearly crushed me.  The horse arena was great, hearing the live band play as I made my way though the loamy dirt helped spirits too.  Did I mention that I’m second to last in Women’s Masters 35+ at this point and only 1 lap in?  Whatever, I’m having fun out there in spite of the pain.   Now on to the motocross track and I feel better and gain some ground on another girl.  Yeah!  Uh oh, she’s pulling away from me on the flat parts again!

Muddy Pat.

Muddy Pat.

I had a great time doing the Willamette Valley Cross series!  Thank you to all the sponsors who made it happen.

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November 9, 2009

PDXCross Knocks Out Killer Shots at PIR….Again!

Pat working a tough, muddy off camber section at PIR. Photo copyright PDXCross.

Pat working a tough, muddy off camber section at PIR. Photo copyright PDXCross.

We had a HUGE weekend of racing with OBRA Cyclocross Championships here in Salem on Saturday, Cross Crusade #7 at Portland International Raceway in Portland on Sunday, and wrapping up with the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships to wrap up the day. Whew! We have some great race reports and TONS of photos starting tomorrow, but for today, check out some cool shots from PDXCross. James gets another 15 minutes of fame, and this time Pat gets in on the action too, pictured above.

James bombing down the crazy muddy off camber crash zone. The crowd roared when he flew through. Photo copyright PDXCross.

James bombing down the crazy muddy off camber crash zone. The crowd roared when he flew through. Photo copyright PDXCross.

I was shooting over at the run up and heard the crowd explode and then saw James come out the other end of the off camber mud pit. I figured he either crashed hard, or bombed the corner…sure enough, he kept the bike upright and pleased the crowd.

Be sure to hop over to PDX Cross to see complete photo wrap ups from the weekend races.

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