Winter Day Dreamin’ For 2009

The kids backyard winter wonderland for another day.
The kids backyard winter wonderland for another day.

As the kids enjoy their third snow day from school this week, and Christmas music plays in the background, my thoughts start turning towards the end of this year, and some hopes and dreams for 2009. I typically try not to get caught up in making resolutions at the start of the year, but I do like to think about things I’d love to see happen in the new year around this time each year. Some of these things are fairly personal, while some reach out a little more beyond myself. Since I’m still in brainstorming mode, these thoughts and goals are fairly random still. In no particular order…

1. Personal mileage – this year I wanted to ride 2000 miles, and fell short. I know I got over 1000 miles, but between the businesses, kids schedules, and just every day life and responsibilities, I wasn’t able to make the time to do it like I’d hoped. For 2009 I would somehow love to easily reach this goal, and perhaps fly by 3000 as well. Not quite sure how I’m going to go about it yet, but that’s what I’m hoping.

2. Drop 30 – In 2007, I reached my goal of losing 50 lbs. Through 2008 I managed to keep 40 of it off, but I have to own up to the fact that I’ve put 10 back up. I didn’t keep as much to my daily drill of watching what I eat, drinking plenty of water, and not eating in the evenings. I just got a little lazy with it all, while generally doing ‘pretty good.’ I’m back on the wagon now though, and working hard to get those 10 back, plus another 20. As much as my wife giggled when I mentioned that I’d be a ‘Clydesdale’ if I raced cross today, I’m still gunning to NOT be in that category this fall. Which leads to the next goal…

3. Train for and race cross – I know I won’t every *really* be ready for the cross season, and chances are I’m still going to be on the verge of puking the first time out, but I’m really looking forward to giving it a go this year. 2009, I’ll be mixing it up in the mud and the muck. So if you see me out and about, hopping off my bike, carrying it on my shoulders and generally looking like I have no clue what I’m doing, just keep in mind, I’m training.

4. Do something potentially big and cool in Salem – I’ve been spending some time talking to local riders/racers/bikefolk, and this one is already beginning to take some shape. I won’t get into too much detail here, as I prefer to make a special announcement post all it’s own when we’re ready to make it official. Suffice to say that I hope is able to do something special, unique, inspiring, and ‘sorta-epic’ (at least as epic as we can be) right here in the hometown, for those involved. Keep checking in, we should have news before too long. I’m very excited!

Those are some of the thoughts crossing my mind these days. I will report back on all of them throughout the next year here on the pages of this blog. For now, I need to repair a flat from a hardcore roller incident, and get some cardio in. Could be more rain and ice tonight! Ride safe!

Riding Tips Training

Giving In To The Rollers

Well, this week finally did it. I finally gave into setting up the rollers and planning to put some hours in riding them. As was pointed out in a couple of Facebookersations yesterday, I’m nowhere near as tough as my cold weather friends who live and ride in Boston/Utah, or my local friends (sorry J-dub, I have no good link for you….aside from comments on my blog???) who ride year round regardless of the weather. It’s true, once it’s too cold, too dark, and/or too icy, I’m taking a pass and going inside. Read on for more, and for tips on how to have a less sucky indoor experience….


Shout Out To The MWVBTA for Breakfast On Bikes

The temperature was not much above freezing this morning as I rode up to the Breakfast on Bikes location down under the bridge, next to the A.C. Gilbert House and Riverfront Park. Yet, Doug, Eric, and Robert were all there, greeting riders with hot coffee and pastries for the monthly B on B on this rescheduled date. For those that don’t know, the Mid-Willamette Valley chapter of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, along with a little help from local businesses like Coffee House Cafe, Cascade Baking Company, Lifesource (a personal favorite of my wife’s) and others, encourages bike commuters each month with a free breakfast, typically held on the last Friday of each month.

Although the weather certainly cut down the number of riders, and a few folks on bike looked like they were on a mission to stay warm and didn’t even slow down, they still said the turn out was better than expected for this late in the year, and the impending cold front that is moving in. The clouds were dark and gloomy coming in from the south, but fortunately, the rain held off throughout the entire duration of the breakfast.

Be sure to stop in next month, and be watching in February and March, when the new pedestrian bridge opens up (pictured in the very back of the image above) located just beyond the Gilbert House, and crossing into West Salem.

Stay warm today!


Vintage Raleigh on Recycled Site Blog Banner

Check out the cool banner (click for full size) over at, featuring this vintage Raleigh circa-1950’s English woman’s bike. (A search on Flickr brings up a lot of Roadster models with the same components.) The bike on the site has the old lever/rod system as opposed to cables to engage the brakes, and the brake pads pull up into the rims as opposed to pushing in from the sides. There’s a Sturmey-Archer internal 3 speed hub on the rear, vintage leather bag under the seat, and bright red reflector on the back fender. Very cool old vintage bike. Here’s another shot from an article on recycled t-shirts inside the blog.

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!


The UPS Guy Is Here….On His Bike?

I just read on that UPS is looking for seasonal bike delivery people for the holidays. I had no idea they had such a thing.

According to the article, the UPS Riders (as I like to think of them) will be delivering 25-50 packages per day, on specially equipped mountain bikes, provided by UPS. Note: the image in this post is apparently from UPS in Amsterdam, where I guess they already know how to roll with it.

UPS will cut costs, gas consumption and pollution for the season by using the bike rigs, although with the lower number of deliveries per each bike compared to a normal truck (which delivers 150 per day on the average) I’m not sure where they’ll be coming out ahead, but at least they’ll be going green a bit.

Good news for those of us stuck down here in Salem-land (where most cool bike things never happen) — they’re looking for someone in this area too. From the article: “UPS is looking to hire bike delivery people in Vancouver (WA), Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, and Medford. If you’re interested, call Maria Mason at (503) 978-7409 or email mariamason(at)ups(dot)com.”