Salem

September 23, 2009

Breakfast On Bikes This Friday, September 25

Several bike commuters stopped in at last months Breakfast on Bikes.

Several bike commuters stopped in at last month's Breakfast on Bikes.

This Friday, September 25th, Breakfast On Bikes be at the North Office Mall Building on Winter street NE from 7am to 9am with coffee, pastries, and fruit for you. Anyone riding their bikes to work is welcome to stop in for some fuel for the morning. Last month was a great time, with a few folks giving the ol’ Bike Friday a spin. I’ll be sure to bring it down again in case anyone else wants to take a turn on a folding bike.

This will be a great way to celebrate all the efforts this month on the Bike Commute Challenge (4 flats for me on the Bike Friday this month!) Hope to see you then!

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September 14, 2009

Bike Commute Challenge – Midway Update

bikelog

Today marks the halfway mark of the September Bike Commute Challenge, so time for some updates to how our office challenge is going. We will not break any world records with a small office of 5 people, and 2 of whom live out of town (Silverton and Tualatin,) and 2 of the 3 doing the challenge don’t work in the office every day of the week. Also, the three of us riding all live fairly close to work, 5-8 miles round trip. That being said, we are still doing a great job of knocking down some commutes. Here are some numbers for you since the start of the challenge….

3 out of 5 office folks riding as many days as they can.
18 team commutes so far the first 14 days of the challenge.
128 miles logged commuting so far.
75 – 100% commuting ratio for each participant.
3 flat tires last week alone commuting!
5000+ calories burned.
100 lbs CO2 saved.
3-4 bikes in the office on any given day!

I’m sure there are tons of other numbers we could squeeze out of the statistics so far, but the great thing is that we’ve got people riding to work, feeling good, and having fun! I think I figured out my flat issue last week. I had one legitimate flat from road hazards, and then discovered that the spare tubes I was sold in Arizona on my cross country trip, were the wrong size for my Bike Friday funky tire size. Just barely, but enough to cause two bursts after only a day or so of riding. I found the right tube size, and now have my spares a-plenty!

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September 3, 2009

The Dangers Of Commuting By Bike

bee

I know, you were expecting to come in and see me all road rashed up, weren’t you. Sorry to disappoint! I got back to the office after lunch, felt like something was in my helmet (actually felt that way for about a mile or so) and ran my hand through my hair to have this little fella fall out! I’m really surprised he didn’t sting my head or my hand.

On a more positive note, two co-workers joined the team and had their first commutes of the month today. Great job Deanna and John!

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September 2, 2009

Day 1 – Bike Commute Challenge and Some Tips

Conrad's front wheel...flat on his first day of commuting.

Conrad's front wheel...flat on his first day of commuting.

I won’t update every day this month about the Bike Commute Challenge, but wanted to post about the happenings of the first day, and encourage as many folks to get out and ride this month, but also to help others ride where you can. My commute is not that long, just about 5 miles round trip, but I tend to talk myself out of riding because of other meetings, or gear that I need or like to take with me. I figuring out ways to make all that happen this month on my bike…perhaps even beyond the month. At any rate, the first day of the challenge left me with three things I thought would be worth noting in helping others to ride to work.

1. Let The Information Flow! – A friend of mine was considering riding a bike to work, but had no idea what he needed. “I guess I need a commuter bike, tell me about what I need.” Turns out, he had a perfectly good commuter bike already – my old Trek Navigator, (my full review here) which has a rear rack and everything. Only problem is that his wife has decided she loves riding it, and so it’s not available for his everyday use. After a lengthy email about good options for a commuter, and how I would ditch the shock for a rigid fork anyway, he ended up at the local shop, picking up another Navigator, in a different color.

Although he chose a bike that wasn’t on my top list for a commuter bike, I was happy to go round and round with the information on what could or would make a good commuter bike. I started out by telling him that he already had a great commuter bike in the Trek, BUT if he was going to look at a new bike (and who doesn’t love looking at new bikes!) I could give him some options. Turns out, that while I prefer the efficiency of a rigid fork for commuting, his back prefers the softer ride of the shock. Makes sense to me. At any rate, share as much info as you have with other people interested in riding!

2. Be Prepared to Help Out! – I typically take just enough to save my butt on the road because I hate carrying around a ton of stuff. A tube, a patch, some air of some sort, my cell phone. I’m good to go. I was just headed out the door to a 9 am meeting when my buddy Conrad called and said he had a flat tire on his bike, on his first day of the Challenge. Conrad lives further away from work than I do, and has hills and busy bridge to get across, so I’m stoked that he’s giving bike commuting a shot. I tried to remember what he was riding and thought he was on a mountain bike, so I grabbed a spare tube from my supply rack, some additional air, and tire tools, and threw them in my bag for the ride in. Turns out that he was on 26″ wheels, but using more of a road tire than the ginormous tube I had, but my office was just a block from the coffee shop where we met. I had a patch kit in my office, so we walked back there, found the hole in the tube, patched it up, and sent him on his way.

Later that day Conrad posted this picture with the caption, "Off to lunch at Ventis." Warms my heart.

Later that day Conrad posted this picture with the caption, "Off to lunch at Ventis." Warms my heart.

I also sent him out the door with some CO2 and an inflator just in case the patch didn’t hold. Although I can’t carry a tube for every occasion, it made me think I should try to carry some extras, especially during this month when there could be more folks needing a hand.

3. If You Can, Loan Out a Bike! – Nearly everyone I know that really gets into cycling, has more than one bike hanging in the garage. I’ve actually been thinking about clearing house a little, but am kind of glad that I haven’t quite yet because as it turns out, I think they’ll come in handy this month. In fact, one of my buddies at work said “I’d ride, but my brother took back the bike I was using. If you had one to loan me, I’d do the challenge.” DONE!

So today I’ll be dusting off the old Redline 925, and making sure it’s in tip top shape so he can ride to work this month! Do what you can to provide information, help out where you can, and even loan someone a bike if it will help them get out and ride! See you on the road!

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September 1, 2009

LifeSource Salem MTB Short Track Finale Wrap Up

Racers heading through the BMX track as the sun fades and the lights come up on the track

Racers heading through the BMX track as the sun fades and the lights come up on the track

(Flickr photos here. And Matt’s photos here.)

Well, it’s been a couple of days, but the LifeSource Natural Foods Salem MTB Short Track Series wrapped up a great month of racing Saturday night, under the lights of the bmx track, and with the glow of the Oregon State Fair in the background! Jeff, Jesse, Kenji, Matt, Lauren, and a bunch of folks really stepped up to provide a great series at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, and the last night went off great, despite the craziness that was the State Fair happening all around! You can see the complete series results on the OBRA results page.

James, still smiling as it starts to get darker...and despite going down in the BMX track.

James, still smiling as it starts to get darker...and despite going down in the BMX track.

Ok, you know I’m going to brag on the team, so let me just get on with it. My 12 year old son Aaron decided to give the series a try at the second race, and if you’ve been following, you know he won that race that night. After two more nights of racing, Aaron ended up taking 2nd overall in the 10-14 Juniors division! (We had a moment of extreme excitement when they announced he had taken first place for the series, but after the craziness of the night, found that he had indeed earned a solid second place finish, which is still amazing!)

Martha, focused on the up and over.

Martha, focused on the up and over.

James brought home a solid 3rd place finish for the series in Cat 2 Men, despite the fact that he tanked over a table top on the BMX track this week, and rode battered and bruised the rest of the race, with a slightly tweaked bike. Way to tough it out James…your flatted bike is still in my garage. Martha missed a 3rd place finish in Cat 2 women by just a few points, but represented nicely with a 4th place slot, and rode tough every week! Tyler, who ended up 6th in the large group of Cat 3 Men, was also just points away from moving up to a prize position.

Ellen, on her CRUISER, and she still only did one lap less than me...sheesh!

Ellen, on her CRUISER, and she still only did one lap less than me...sheesh!

Pat – literally 2 stinking points away from finishing in the top 3 in Single Speed, was right on the wheels of the guys on cross bikes, while on his mtb bike. People always point out how fast he’s moving around the track. Ellen, who raced in every race of the night, and (I think) rode in every race including the kiddie one, took home shared top honors in Cat 1 Women for the series!

Pat on his way past the bleachers.

Pat on his way past the bleachers.

As as for me, I know..that’s the news you’ve been waiting for. Check me out, 19th out of 29 for the series. Am I pleased…well, yeah, I’m not last. Actually, it was both easier than I thought, and harder than I thought in many ways. Easier because I was able to do it, didn’t crash or die, and came out enjoying it more than I thought, but harder because….well, it’s just plenty rough to ride as hard as you can for 20-30 minutes, in the heat, and after long days of work/family/set up, etc. I learned a few things from racing the series…but look for those lessons in an upcoming blog post!

Ok, hate to put up this shot, as it shows just how out of kit shape I'm in, BUT, I love that Tyler, Aaron and myself all came around the corner at the same time...so there you go.

Ok, hate to put up this shot, as it shows just how out of kit shape I'm in, BUT, I love that Tyler, Aaron and myself all came around the corner at the same time...so there you go.

Thanks again to everyone who came out and raced, set up, or supported the event! (Flickr photos here. And Matt’s photos here.)

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August 31, 2009

Salem Bike Parade Was A Lot Of Fun!

Sue and her little dog, who did a great job all the way through the parade!

Sue and her little dog, who did a great job all the way through the parade!

I know, I need to wrap up the Short Track Series, and I will, but before the last race, we had a great time at the Bike Parade. Most of our family hustled down to the Oregon State Fairgrounds Pavillion to meet up with the many other riders who would ride down the State Capitol and back, as a bike and family friendly way to kick off the Oregon State Fair.

Bike parade participants getting signed in and ready to ride!

Bike parade participants getting signed in and ready to ride!

We met up at the central location where BMX and Mountain Bike Short track would register and enter the race the following day. Many riders were in costume, or had their bikes dressed up and many kids were in tow or on their own bikes as well! It was great to see the kids out enjoying the ride.

Mother and son getting ready to ride. (OK, thats my son and wife...but had to put them in!)

Mother and son getting ready to ride. (OK, that's my son and wife...but had to put them in!)

Earlier in the day the rain dumped down and we wondered how miserable the ride would be for the parade, however, we caught the sunbreak and had really nice weather for the ride.

Kurt telling Martha and Ellen where they could stock up on pig squeaky horns.

Kurt telling Martha and Ellen where they could stock up on pig squeaky horns.

Many thanks to the local law enforcement for providing a police escort along the way, giving us a safe path all the way to the Capitol building and back. We even had a few folks who came out to cheer on the riders.

The bike parade moving out from the fairgrounds.

The bike parade moving out from the fairgrounds.

All in all a great little 4 mile jaunt to celebrate bikes and riding in Salem. I only wish we’d have stopped for a picture at the Capitol! A few more photos on my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/37571505@N06/ – and be sure to check out Eric’s photos from the event as well! – http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/08/scenes-from-fair-parade.html

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August 28, 2009

Scenes From Today’s Breakfast on Bikes

Tessa, leaving the Breakfast on Bikes with LUNCH for later!

Tessa, leaving the Breakfast on Bikes with LUNCH for later!

You never know what you’ll get at the local Breakfast on Bikes, as made evident by the photo above! Not only did the BTA folks provide another great morning of food and coffee, but for some, they even provided some lunch for later in the day with leftover pizza from the Commute Challenge kick off party! I told Tessa she needed a couple of zip ties to affix the slice to her bike somewhere and she pondered balancing it on her helmet to get it to work.

Eric and Robert chat with some of the great folks who stopped in to Breakfast on Bikes

Eric and Robert chat with some of the great folks who stopped in to Breakfast on Bikes down at 12th and Chemeketa.

This month’s breakfast was particularly fun. I met several new folks, and even sent a few people out on test rides on the Bike Friday. I think everyone was impressed with how solid the bike feels, and how well it rides.

Local bike commuters chat, help each other with bikes, eat pastries, pizza, fruit and drink coffee at today's Breakfast on Bikes in downtown Salem.

Local bike commuters chat, help each other with bikes, eat pastries, pizza, fruit and drink coffee at today's Breakfast on Bikes in downtown Salem.

The event was buzzing with people checking out each other’s bikes, helping tweak parts on bikes, and chatting about all the cycling events happening in the area these days. If you haven’t made it out before, you really need to stop in at the next Breakfast on Bikes!

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August 25, 2009

LifeSource Natural Foods State Fair Race Parking Info

fairmap

I know you’re waiting for a race report, but Jeff over at BuyLocalCycling.com posted some information about parking for the 4th and final race of the series, and I’m still keeping an eye out for results. When I get them, I’ll post the report. Suffice for now to say that Monday was a crazy day personally leading into the race, and I wasn’t even sure if I’d make it in one piece by the time of the race, but it turned out great, and felt really good to ride!

If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for the 4th and final race in the LifeSource Natural Foods MTB Salem Short Track Series at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Here’s what you need to know if you’re coming as a racer or spectator:

“Ideally, racers should attempt to park in the lot South of the Monster Truck area outlined below.  If this parking lot is full try the lot to the West of the Monster Truck area or to the South of Sunnyview Rd.  Please check in at the gate/tent outlined in the picture below.  You’ll receive a free one day pass to the Oregon State Fair at this time.  Sorry, spectators will need to purchase a ticket for themselves.”

So, if you’re coming to race, you don’t have any a fair entrance fee, but if you’re coming to watch, you need to be prepared to pay for fair entrance which according to the State Fair website is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for kids, and free for kids $5 and under. You can shave a couple bucks off if you pay in advance too.

I heard that this sports arena drew hundreds of people last year, so there could be a decent crowd. Also remember that race times are slightly different for this last event, and 10 minutes longer for each category. From the Buy Local site:

Race # 4 Start Times & Race Durations
5:30pm – Course open for pre-riding
6:00pm – Kiddie race – racing for 5′ (this race is FREE, but registration is required)
6:15pm – Cat 3 Men, Cat 3 Women, Junior Men & Women: racing for 30′
6:50pm – Cat 2 Women, Cat 2 Men, & Singlespeed: racing for 40′
7:40pm – Pro Men, Cat 1 Men & Pro/Cat 1 Women: racing for 50’

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August 24, 2009

LifeSource Natural Foods Short Track Series Race #3 Tonight!

Racers round the bend and head into a straightaway in last Monday night's race.

Racers round the bend and head into a straightaway in last Monday night's race.

The fun at the Oregon State Fairgrounds continues tonight with the 3 rd race in the LifeSource Natural Foods MTB Short Track series. Everyone from beginners to pro racers are welcome to attend, watch, or race – with categories for any skill level. Registration and course pre-ride begins at 5 pm, with the best entrance to the track on the Sunnyview side of the Fairgrounds.

Spectators can watch from the bleachers or grass, play in the sand volleyball area, or bring a skateboard and drop into the halfpipe. You can read our recap from a previous week here, and see a bunch of photos on Flickr here. Also be sure to see some other great photos and videos Matt took over at the Buy Local Cycling site.

Hope to see you tonight!

Categories:
Pro/Cat 1 Men & Women
Cat 2 Men & Women
Singlespeed
Cat 3 (Beginner) Men & Women
Junior Men (10-14, 15-18) & Women
Kiddie

2009 MTB Categories vs. 2008 MTB Categories:
Pro 2009 = Pro/Elite 2008
Cat 1 2009 = Expert 2008
Cat 2 2009 = Sport 2008
Cat 3 2009 = Beginner 2008

Race # 1-3 Start Times & Race Durations
5:00pm – Course open for pre-riding
5:45pm – Kiddie race – racing for 5′ (this race is FREE, but registration is required)
6:00pm – Cat 3 Men, Cat 3 Women, Junior Men & Women: racing for 20′
6:30pm – Cat 2 Women, Cat 2 Men, & Singlespeed: racing for 30′
7:05pm – Pro Men, Cat 1 Men & Pro/Cat 1 Women: racing for 40’

Race # 4 Start Times & Race Durations
5:30pm – Course open for pre-riding
6:00pm – Kiddie race – racing for 5′ (this race is FREE, but registration is required)
6:15pm – Cat 3 Men, Cat 3 Women, Junior Men & Women: racing for 30′
6:50pm – Cat 2 Women, Cat 2 Men, & Singlespeed: racing for 40′
7:40pm – Pro Men, Cat 1 Men & Pro/Cat 1 Women: racing for 50’

Course Description:
All races will be held on the BMX track and adjacent grassy field at the Oregon State Fairgrounds; Salem, OR. The course will include a combination of grassy flats, twisty singletrack and bumpy dirt track (BMX course).

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August 19, 2009

Race Report: LifeSource Natural Foods Salem Short Track – Race 2

Racers negotiate the quick double up and over in the 2nd Race of the LifeSource Natural Foods MTB Salem Short Track Series at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.

Racers negotiate the quick double up and over in the 2nd Race of the LifeSource Natural Foods MTB Salem Short Track Series at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.

Monday night was the 2nd race in the LifeSource Natural Foods MTB Salem Short Track Series, or as I like to call it, the longest named race around! And this week it was even hotter than last week…I think we were in the low 90’s by the time the first race began. The high temps keep hammering racers with a dry, dusty, hot course to race on. We also changed up the course from last week to accommodate all the groups using the grounds the day we’ll be racing during the fair, and the reports were the course was much faster than last week. Photos from the 2nd race are up on Flickr. Matt’s photos are on Flickr too. And Matt made a cool video as well, which is on Vimeo.

Ok, PacificPedaling.com team props out of the way here right off the bat. I was waiting on official OBRA results, but wanted to get the post race up, so I’ll go from the email. James Cloyd, not only took 1st in Cat 2 (again) but then turned around and raced in Cat 1, back to back! Ellen Miller also raced back to back, first as the fastest singlespeed lady around, and then taking 2nd in Cat 1 Women. Martha Paulus put in a solid 4th in Cat 2 Women, and Tyler Jackson knocked out a nice mid 5th spot. So proud of the team! Once they are posted, you can see all the results at the OBRA site.

Im thinking about putting a Great James Race Face photo up each week. Heres one to kick it off...

I'm thinking about putting a "Great James Race Face" photo up each week. Here's one to kick it off...

Now, this was also my very first race of any kind on a bike, and the good news is…I’m still alive! I hadn’t planned on doing any racing until cross season, but couldn’t find any more reasons NOT to, so with borrowed bike in hand, I took my turn around with the Cat 3 men. How was it? Really hard. Brutal. Besides being still way overweight, and not in any kind of race condition at all, it was also stinking hot. But the good news is, I didn’t go down, and I finished in one piece! I started off in the back of the group, figuring it was the safest place for the first time out, and pretty much stayed there. I tried to catch up after a couple laps, but never really made up much ground. Apparently, someone felt bad for me and decided to have a mechanical or just pull out because I wasn’t listed as dead last…just one shy of it though.  I may not ever be a fast racer, but I think I’ll find plenty of enjoyment in the times I get out to do it.

Even better than experiencing my first race though, was the fact that my 12 year old son Aaron decided to get out and give it a go as well…and get this, he won his junior category! He came out with me at 3:30 to help set up the course, and after running around the BMX course with other kids there, he decided to try the short track race. Tyler let him borrow is 24″ cruiser, and he cranked away on the larger BMX with the 10-14 Junior class.

Aaron Lopez, about to negotiate a descent, and rockin the PacificPedaling.com team jersey. At least one Lopez can represent the team kit....

Aaron Lopez, about to negotiate a descent, and rockin' the PacificPedaling.com team jersey. At least one Lopez can represent the team kit....

Since Juniors and Cat 3 raced at the same time, my favorite moments of the race were catching up to Aaron and getting a chance to tell him he was doing a great job and to keep pedaling! At first he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to even complete a lap, but he actually completed just one lap shy of the old man! My buddy Nate snagged photos during the Cat 3 race and got this shot of us together:

Father and son, both racing together for the first time.

Father and son, both racing together for the first time.

Overall a great night, and a continuation of a great series down here in Salem. Even with the heat, there seemed to be more spectators out cheering on the racers. We had the music blasting (sorry about the offensive word in the track…I found it and have removed it! oops!) and the water guns spraying. Next week wraps up with races on Monday and Saturday, during the fair. Hope to see you all soon!

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