road trip

June 24, 2009

Riding in San Jose…well, Morgan Hill anyway

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On Sunday morning, I got the chance to put the Bike Friday to it’s first out-of-state test early in the morning in Morgan Hill. As I mentioned before, my plan on the trip is to get up on as many mornings as I can, before everyone else gets up, and put in a quick 15 or 20 miles, fold the bike back up and be ready for the day. I won’t get the chance to do any epic rides, but more of the Tour de Area Around Our Hotels. At least I’m getting the chance to keep my legs spinning.

I was ready for some sunny California riding, but that was not to be had on Sunday. It was a chilly sub-50 degrees when I set out. I almost didn’t bring arm warmers or layers, but I’m really glad I packed everything I thought I might need for all weather occassions. The sun eventually came out, but it never really warmed up to the point of taking any layers off.

The majority of my riding was simply road riding, and rough road riding at that. Next time I think that Salem/Keizer has bad roads, I’ll remember the areas I’ve ridden on vacation and be thankful. In fact at one point, the road was so bad I was thankful that there was an access road off to the side and took the chance to take the BF off-road and get a little psuedo-cross training in.

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I didn’t get to spend hours out cranking up hills, but there were definitely some decent little climbs as I circled around the community we were staying in. Many of the great looking hillls all had private access roads leading up to them, so I climbed as much as I could on the public roads I could find, and still enjoyed some great views.

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For miles along the driving part of the road trip, my wife kept telling the kids to keep their eyes out for palm trees. And sure enough, once we hit north California, we started seeing them. Along my morning ride I also saw plenty of them, including this really driveway to a home out in the middle of nowhere. I figured they wouldn’t mind me posing my BF in front of their house to prove I was out riding in the chilly California morning sun.

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Now, I REALLY expected to see some bike folk out and about. We’re in California, right? Nope, in fact, I went almost an hour without seeing ANY bikes. Finally, I saw a dude out on a Trek who looked like he was heading out to do the same route I just did in reverse. As I rode back through Morgan Hill to the hotel, I was impressed with the size of the bike paths in town. Take a look at these babies:

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Seriously, you could park a truck on the right side of that bike path, and still have a bike path twice the normal width to the left. Oh wait, a few blocks up the road, it turns out that’s exactly what they do. Still, a very roomy and comfy bike bath for riding through town. On a final note, the BF seems to be holding up well. I’m and idiot and forgot to bring a pump of any kind, and still don’t have a spare tube for this size of tire, so I’m stoping by a shop in Tucson today (my ride report from the Tucson ride will be up in the next couple days) to hopefully pick up a tube and pump.

Two states travelled, and two wheels down in each state so far! Yeehaw!

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June 16, 2009

Putting the Bike Friday Through The Paces In and Around Salem

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We have officially rounded the corner and are into the final stretch before our epic 3 week adventure across the country. Yesterday I was having the AC recharged on our travel vehicle, and had the Bike Friday in the back, so when I dropped off the rig at the dealership, I simply unfolded it, grabbed my messenger bag, helmet and glasses, and headed down town. I remember thinking, “I could keep this thing with me all the time!” I rode from Capitol Chevrolet down to the Beanery downtown, did a little remote work for a couple hours, then headed back when the rig was ready for me. Great set up! More on Putting the Bike Friday Through The Paces In and Around Salem

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May 13, 2009

The Impending Three Week Dilema

roadtrip

I’m not a hard core cyclist, I totally get that. I’d love to be able to ride every day, and work myself into some He-Man of an athlete that is at the top of my game, but that’s just not reality for me. I’m pretty happy if I get 3 solid rides in during any given week, and cross the 100 mile mark. Often times, the week will go by and I’ve only been on the bike once. Sad, but true.  Cross season will get here quicker than I know and I really need to find ways to log more miles, build more endurance, and practice some skills. I’ve even picked up jogging a bit to throw in fitness wherever I can, and have found myself contemplating full on night rides after the kids have gone to bed. We’ll see how that goes…

After the kids get out of school, we’re setting off on our Epic Family Adventure. We’ll be leaving Oregon mid June, and be gone for approximately 3 weeks, heading down through California, and then east across the southern part of the country, with multi-day stops in Texas and Tennessee for family and friends. With 4 kids, and plenty of opinions, I already know the trip will be a mix of both blessings and trials. Life long memories, and bond-testing incidents. Images of every road trip horror story movie and sitcom have crossed my mind ever since we first talked about it…but in the end, I know this will be a very cool thing we’ll do together.

The dilema for me of course, is what do I do about riding? We will not have enough room for multiple bikes for everyone. Not even enough room for just bikes for the boys. If I took one, it’d have to be a fold up bike that would make do for some simple spinning up. Even still, I’m fairly certain time will be of the essence every single day as we’re setting out on the 5-10 hour drive to the next destination. I’m having a hard time envisioning myself taking out 1-3 hours for bike time.

Now, my wife wants to see me make it happen, so I have the support of the Navigator. I could darn near make it work, but I’m really not certain it’s worth the whole rigamaroo. In fact, I’m starting to lean towards not messing with trying to take anything and either a) finding a place that has rentals if we really have time, and I’m really in the mood (might even get them for the kids) or b) just taking a pair of running shoes and shorts and doing quick runs in the morning, which won’t take up too much family time.

Bottom line is, I’m not a hard core cyclist…it’s probably not going to mess me up too much! I’m just gonna miss my bikes!

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