Is BMX My MidLife Crisis Bike?


I grew up riding BMX bikes in the neighborhood, the same as every other kid on the block. I delivered papers on my Mongoose, envied my friends Redline, and even was part of the 8 kid chain that laid on the ground to let the one ‘semi-pro’ rider in town prove how many junior high kids he could jump over. Yeah, pretty stupid, but that’s junior high right. I haven’t owned a BMX bike of any sort for over 25 years…but here I am, turning 40 in just a couple months, seriously contemplating one again. Why? Good question…I’m asking myself the same thing…..

Bikes Riding

Favorite Cycling Memories from 2008

Nate on the Monster gear.

2008 was full of great memories out on two wheels. I got to spend a decent amount of time with my wife out on our bikes — from relaxing rides down to the Saturday Market on our single speeds,  to her first rides of any real distance on a road bike. It was also the year I decided to build up my own road bike from the frame up after buying a Cinelli Spirit frame off of Ebay to learn a little than just how to change a flat. Somewhere in the midst of all the riding and tinkering, I also took the plunge and put my name on the waiting list for an Ira Ryan frame, which I should be getting early in 2009 sometime.

But I think the story I love to tell the most from 2008 is when my buddy Nate decided to ride the 62 mile Monster Cookie ride with me back in April. You can click that link to read the full report, but in case you missed it, here are the nuts and bolts. Nate is a mountain bike rider, mostly getting all nutty out at Black Rock. He’d never been on a road bike before…ever. I suggested he just ride his mountain bike, as it was going to be flat, and we didn’t have to set any land speed records, but he said he’d rather not, and would do it if I had an extra road bike. At that time I didn’t have anything extra, except for my 925 single speed.

Keep in mind, we’re talking about the ride, literally the night before the ride. I mention the single speed to Nate on the drive back home from dinner in Portland and he decides he wants to ride it when we get home. He hops on it, rips up and down the street a couple times and says, “I’m in.” So the next day, Nate goes out and does 62 miles, with one gear, without ever having been on road bike before…and made it. His butt was a little sore around mile 40, but he lived to tell.

I’m looking forward to 2009! Big things, big things! Happy New Year to All!

Bikes Misc

Merry Christmas To All!


I hope that you all get a chance to enjoy time with your family, friends, or whomever you can share some special time with. The snow has really kept most of us from riding out here in the PNW (although some are braving the elements on mountain bikes, or with snow tires) but it looks like the warmer weather may be thawing us out a bit today.

Regardless, I’ve been loving the extra time with family and friends. Enjoying an extra long cup of coffee with encouraging conversation. Riding along with the family extra slow and appreciating the great pines that line our neighborhood — somehow they’ve remained almost hidden without the snow covering their boughs. While the snowfall has been a pain for many, I’ve appreciated the pace that it has required us to take the past few days. I know most will be happy to see it go, but I’ll be a little sad for the winter wonderland to melt away over the next few days.

May you all have a safe, warm, Merry Christmas!

Bikes Misc Riding

Video: UPS Deliveries By Bike in Salem/Keizer, Oregon

I caught up with local rider/racer, and PacificPedalling guest-poster Tina Brubaker last Thursday for a few moments while she hustled through a portion of her Keizer route, delivering packages for UPS. As you can see from the photo above, that ain’t no gas-guzzlin’ brown van she’s driving, but instead an entirely human powered, good old fashioned bike!

When I found out that Tina had been selected as one of the few cyclists to actually take on this task, I twisted her arm until she relented and allowed me to intercept her in the middle of a route one day. This proved to be a tricky task as the winter storm hit during her first full week. But a last minute email on the only relatively dry day was all I needed to drag out the gear and shoot a quick video. Tina is SUPER efficient, and I promised I wouldn’t stop her from doing her job, but would just work around her, and aside from answering just a question or two for me, she didn’t break stride the entire time.

“I’m thrilled that UPS is on board with the bike thing, and really hope it might extend beyond just the holidays,” Tina said. She admitted that getting paid to ride a bike all day long is a bit of a dream-come-true type of job, but trust me, she’s working plenty hard while out on the route. I had considered some sort of sabbatical from work for a few weeks to apply for the UPS bike gig myself, but when the first day started off in the middle of Oregon’s monsoon season, I questioned my ability to stand up to the task. As evidenced in the footage though, the weather isn’t enough to slow Tina down! Enough of my rambling…watch the video! (PS – you can go to the direct Vimeo page if you want to download the full sized HD version)

UPS Delivery By Bike! Salem, Oregon from nwduffer on Vimeo.


Come Back Monday For A Cool Post

Pictures, videos, fun. I’m looking forward to it…come back on Monday and check out my post to start off the week. Besides, we could be in the middle of the Mother of All Messes as I’ve heard this next storm front being called, so where else you gonna be? That’s right, in front of your puter. Here’s your hint: All dressed in brown, crusin’ the town, the wheels go round and round, even when flakes are falling down.

Come back, check it out. Have a great weekend.

Bikes Riding

Let’s Clear the Air And Thrive

Some billboards really catch my eye, especially if they have anything related to bikes or the riding of said bikes. The blue in the background of this Kaiser Permanente sign yesterday really stood out to me, so I snagged a shot. I also was curious what the “thrive” logo was all about, so I looked it up online and found that KP is promoting some information for a healthier lifestyle. Tips for menus, activities, communities, etc. I honestly didn’t spend too much time, but I’m all for anything that helps promote a healthier life for people.

I’m also all for anything that gets folks out on their bikes, riding more than they normally do, and enjoying the benefits of a self propelled vehicle. I’ve been wondering what it is that will help people to ride more in the year 2009? A bike they feel confident about? Friends who also ride? Gas to shoot back up to $4 per gallon and beyond? What will help the average Joe put two wheels to the ground and tool around for a bit with the wind in their hair? I’d be happy to hear any ideas.

Bikes Misc

Weddings On Bikes

Today my wife and I celebrate 18 years together. Nobody told us how tricky, and downright tough marriage could be…but even if they did, we weren’t listening anyway because we were in love and knew it all at our young age! However, nobody would have been able to tell us how wonderful life together is either. They wouldn’t have been able to explain how two people can learn so much from one another and how everyday can be something special if you’re both willing to pour into one another and work towards a common goal. Likewise, there’s no way to convey how incredible the process of raising your kids can be…really, you just have to be there.

Although I did ride a Trek Antelope 820 off and on back in the day, we didn’t have cycling in our lives the way we do today. Some of our favorite times on bikes together are making a mid-ride stop a nice little coffee shop and sitting and sipping together, or riding down to the Saturday Market to spend the morning together. I look forward to many, many years together, seeing what we can on two wheels, as the time allows.

The photo above is not us, is by photographer Josh Goleman, but shows such great emotion. Here’s a great video of two newlyweds pedalling along:

And finally, the beauty and the beast, hunting for a tree with the kids for our 19th Christmas tree as married folk. Happy Anniversary babe!

Bikes Misc

Great Recycled Bike Gift Ideas

Now that we’re into the holiday season, you may be looking for what you can get (and/or make) for that favorite cyclist in your life. You may enjoy browsing through the recycled, eco-friendly gifts at Resource Revival. Located in Mosier, Oregon (yeah, I had to Google Map it too….) artist Graham Bergh runs the business from an idea he had while on his bike.

“The idea for Resource Revival sprung from my imagination in 1991 when I got a flat tire while biking to my recycling job. That inner tube became a cradle for my stereo speakers and after three years of tinkering with other ideas Resource Revival was born in 1994.
Now we collect tons of discarded bicycle parts every year from bike shops all over the United States.  We clean them using mild detergents, sort them into more categories than you can possibly imagine, and craft them into the cool products you see on our website.”

In addition to their retail store, where you can find sweet gifts like the chainring clock pictured above, Resource Revival also sells promotional and awards products that can be customized with your logo or message. You can also download the sweet free recycled bike part virtual clock for your Mac or PC. Here’s mine on my desktop:


Day 143: Beauty and The Beast

Update: 207.2 lbs, 50 lb Goal Reached Day 124. 9 lbs to 60 lb goal.

You may think from the title that I’m referring to my wife, the beauty, and myself, the beast…but I’m actually borrowing from Sir Walt today because my morning activities made me think of the classic Disney tale.

First off, my allergies are kicking in, and I’m beginning to feel it on the rides. Tooling around through the back fields of K-town, I’m sucking down good amounts of sneeze-inducing pollen with every mile. Today I realized that, like Gaston, (warning, not for the faint of heart) I’m “especially good at expectorating, Ptooie!” I’m pretty sure that when I set out on the ride, I don’t actually have as much ‘stuff’ up in the old head as I seem to produce after pulling in the allergens floating around in the air. I don’t really have the biceps to spare, like Gaston, but I have considered using antlers in all of my decorating.

The second thing that made me think of the classic love story, was when I got home this morning and carefully, and oh so gently rested Baby Blue Torelli (still working out that whole name thing) up against the beastly 1978 Ford Lariat Supercab that now takes up half the driveway. If there were ever casting calls to play the lead roles of Belle and Beast, the Torelli and Ford would beat everyone out, hands down. Don’t believe me…take a look:

I mentioned to the owner of the vehicle, a.k.a — the woman I live with — that I LOVE that truck….it’s the perfect place to rest my bike and all my riding schwag after I get home from the ride, so I can run around and open the garage door. I couldn’t have built a better custom bike rack.

And speaking of beastly, I’m down another half pound after some sketchy days of eating again. Too many Krispy Kreme opportunities with the fundraisers each of the past Sundays, plus camping this past weekend (and hey – they have campgrounds, campers, campfires, and campsites….so it WAS camping) and pizza on drive-kids-to-Mayfield day — I just wasn’t sure how the effort was going, but apparently we’re still moving in the right direction. Gotta get this gut down under 200! Whoo-double-hoo!