15 September 2008

Back in the saddle

me and my Masi
Originally uploaded by Ben McLeod
My first ride since my "incident" a week-and-a-half ago. This time I stuck to my normal, low-traffic route.

I took my beloved Masi into the Hillsboro Bike n' Hike last week before my trip to NH, thinking that I'd have to leave it there for an extended repair. Instead, the guys in the shop performed an on-the-spot "post-crash" checkup for me (check the frame's integrity, as well as the fork, handlebars, etc.).

They had to bend the derailleur hanger back into place, as well as the right shifter on my handlebar. They also made some quick adjustments to the derailleur - but that was it, and all it cost me was a twelve-pack!

Of course, the whole drivetrain needs to be replaced, but that can wait (until I have a job, maybe...). For now, my beloved bike is rideable, and I'm back on the saddle.

13 September 2008


it's log!
Originally uploaded by Ben McLeod
Liam and I went up to Bald Peak to watch the Pain on the Peak cyclocross race. I think I found a new obsession!

For those of you that don't know what cyclocross is, here's the Wikipedia entry on it (what did we do before Wikipedia?!).

It was hot and dusty, pretty much the opposite of the stereotypical cyclocross image, but it still looked like a lot of fun. Watching these guys race their bikes in a dusty pack, then hop off and carry their bikes across obstacles made both of us want to try it. They had a junior competition, and when Liam saw the kids go by, he looked at me and said, "I want to try that." I nearly cried.

There's a place in Portland that rents cross bikes, and a series is starting up soon. I think I'll have to give it a try!

Check out my set of pictures here.

07 September 2008


Originally uploaded by Ben McLeod
There's a cool display of handmade Oregon bikes at the Portland Airport (PDX) . The bike shown is a Renovo wood-polymer frame with carbon components.

Dear Santa......

03 September 2008

In a ditch

Well, it had to happen.

I guess.

Given the amount of rides I go on, and the number of cars that pass me, I was bound to get driven off the road.

Into a four-foot deep gravel-lined ditch.

At 25 miles-per-hour.

The good news: I was able to walk away from it with only a few cuts, scratches, some torn skin and a sore shoulder.

The bad news: My bike is pretty fucked-up, and with my being unemployed and all, I doubt I'll have the money to fix it.

I wasn't hit, but....

I was riding along SW River Road - a route I've never ridden but I thought I'd catch it down to Route 10 - when it happened. The bike lane suddenly disappeared about a half-mile or so before, forcing me into the traffic lane. I was literally riding on the white line when a white van passed me. They didn't hit me or brush me, but were so close that it freaked me out. I swerved, was caught by the gravel (there's no shoulder here; the white line runs along the edge of the pavement, with about 4 inches of gravel before the four foot drop into the ditch) and pitched head first into the ditch.

View Larger Map

I'm not sure what pisses me off more, the fact that there was no oncoming traffic, so the white van had no excuse for not giving me any room (I think he was pissed because the woman driving the truck that stopped to see if I was OK drove really slowly behind me before passing me; he was stuck behind her and took his anger out on me by not giving me an inch), or the fact that there were several cars behind the van that clearly saw me fly face first into a ditch and DID NOTHING! The only person that pulled over was a woman who was driving a pickup truck two cars IN FRONT of the white van. She saw the whole thing in her rear-view mirror and turned around to see if I was OK.

I should have taken her up on her offer of a ride, but I was too stunned and in shock to really talk. I told her that I was OK, but after she drove away I realized that my bike was not. I'm not sure what happened, but the rear wheel doesn't spin easily when my weight is on it (it spins fine when you pick the bike up and spin the pedals). It feels like the brakes are applied, but I can't see any signs of rubbing.

Funny Irony

Before heading out on my ride today, I logged-in to our bank web site and saw that the Oregon DMV recently cashed our check for car registration. Our Share the Road plates should be arriving any day now...