Thursday, May 7, 2009

NW forever?


Seems like this tour hasn't even started, though we are doing the 5th show tonight. We have just been kicking around Oregon and Washington for days and days. This is good for biking though.

I did a 32 mile ride all by my lonesome today. Rode about 16 miles east on the Springwater Corridor in Portland. Ended up out with some sheep and horses and a really busy shooting range (?!). Sorry to the residents of Powell Butte Parkway! Sheesh, it sounds like (sub)urban warfare out there!

Anyhoo, that ended up being a beautiful ride. Almost all off-street, starting with the really nice downtown riverfront esplanade. See pic below. Once out of the trail, there were all sorts of beautiful Blue Jays and songbirds, ducks and geese. Once I got around to Powell Butte park, the bike path was closed for some work and I lost track of the detour. I went into the little suburban neighborhood there and climbed the not-inconsiderate hill it was built on. I think it was a maybe 300 foot climb in about 5 blocks, I dunno how to make that into a grade. I should learn! I averaged something like 12mph, but most of the trip out was pretty slow, with lots of stops for pics and ditching the rain pants, tinkering with my rear wheel, etc. Most of the way back I was moving at a pretty good 17mph clip. I still felt reasonable when I got back downtown. I think I could've done another 15 miles or so. Those hills are making me really long for a compact crankset though! 39-25 just ain't enough for my old man knees sometimes.

I was having some problems over the last few days with my rear derailleur popping up a gear when I pedaled hard, but I finally sorted it out with a quick adjustment. All seems pretty good now. Can't complain about the Surly Pacer. With all my crap on it (lock, seat bag, frame pump, spares, rear fender) it probably weighs in around 30 lbs, but it still feels really sprightly! I attribute most of that to low rolling resistance. I can't say much bad about Continental Gator Skins. They hold pressure for many, many days, they are so thick and hard that they shoot rocks out from under them like a gun and (knock wood) I haven't gotten a flat on these tires yet (in at least several hundred miles or riding them). Well worth the hundred-ish bucks.

Here's my route. Can I take a moment to plug the iPhone/MapMyRide combination. I finally took the full bourgeois plunge and got an iPhone last month. I didn't know how I felt about it until I went on this trip and found out how it can A: keep you from getting lost and B: map your ride! Super fun to see where you went and then it uploads to your MapMyRide account and you can keep them all around, with elevations and everything.

Here are some pics from today's ride:

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