20 March 2009

Spring ride

1st day of spring ride
Originally uploaded by Ben McLeod
Nikki was home early today (because she's a total genius and she aced her exam), so I got to go for a ride.

I went on a variation of my usual ride, the Hillsboro Hills. Spring was in the air, as tulips and daffodils were popping up everywhere and the smell of fresh manure was wafting through the freshly-turned fields

Within five minutes of starting, I was pelted by some rain and fierce winds. The rain stopped within a few minutes, but the winds stayed in my face all the way to the base of the hill. The usual, big-crank spin through the flats was an all-out grunt fest as I made my way slowly toward the climb.

I was spared the winds on my climb, as that was the leeward side of the mountain, and was even granted a nice wind at my back as I made my way home.

There are only two weeks left until the 2009 De Ronde Van Oeste Portlandia, a 47-mile ride with 5,400 feet of climbing. I'd like to say I'm planning on riding in it, but for now, it's a "we'll see" situation!

Today's ride was 20 miles with 2,200 feet of climbing, so I think I'll be able to handle it. I think....

Check out a map of my ride today (along with vertical and speed).

1st day of spring

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09 March 2009

bike train '09

bike train '09
Originally uploaded by Ben McLeod
Now that Liam has discovered that he can actually ride a bike, he provides the pedal-power and I steer. Camper is kind of like our horn; he's yelling most of the time.

Seriously, when Liam starts pedaling, it really pushes me along. We'll be coming up to an intersection and I'll yell, "green light! Pedal, pedal, pedal!" and I can feel the bike accelerate as he really starts pushing.

On the flats, I stop pedaling completely and let him provide the power. He loves it. He'll yell, "check it out Daddy, I can push you and pull Camper at the same time!

We were driving around east Portland yesterday. I can't wait for us to move into PDX and have access to the Springwater Corridor and Eastbank Esplanade.

08 March 2009

Bike Registration

A bill recently introduced to the Oregon Legislature would require all bicycles in Oregon to be registered. Registered!

House Bill 3008 proposes a $54 bi-annual “bicycle registration and licensing system.”

I'm not really sure why this bill has been introduced. Is it to solve some problem? Bike theft? The licensing system will somehow curb theft... Too many bikes? At $54 per bike, people may think twice about buying a bike.

All I know, is that it would cost way more to register my bikes than my car! I guess the bill only penalizes those over 18 for not registering, so I think we can get away with not registering the boys' bikes. That said, we're still looking at $324 every two years for our bikes, and $131 for our car (and $10 of that registration fee goes to the BTA!).

So of course I'm opposed to the bill.

Read about it at BikePortland.

[Update: Jonathan Maus, the Editor of Bike Portland interviewed the primary sponsor, Rep. Wayne Krieger (R-Gold Beach). Apparently, for Representative Krieger, it's a matter of equity. If bicyclists want to be treated equally, he believes we should pay our fair share. I could agree with him, but I believe $54 per bike is too steep. Perhaps it it be a percentage of the value of the bike, or something like that.]

07 March 2009

spring beauty

looking back
Originally uploaded by Ben McLeod
I was able to get a ride in on Friday (March 6th). It was my first ride since getting the bike all tuned up a couple of weeks ago.

I thought I'd need a new drivetrain, but the guys at the shop said that all I needed was a new chain and a tune. (I like it when the shop-guys option is the cheapest!)

I went on my usual, Hillsboro Hills ride, and brought Nikki's iPhone with me. I had just installed the EveryTrail app and wanted to try it out.

It was a gorgeous spring day, with temperatures in the mid-60's and my bike riding like a sportscar, accelerating around corners and up hills - feeling that new-chain love!

You can see a map of my ride here (keep in mind, the ride-time and average speed are taking into account the long rests at the tops of the climbs to take in the beauty of nature - seriously, Mt,. Hood and Mt. Saint Helens were out. It was awesome!)

Hillsboro hills ride

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