Archive for September 2010

 
 

Span Dex Man: Quads

The third episode of a series of Old Spice Man parody shorts. This is a parody of “Boat“.



Saltzman, Powell’s, and Pix

A packed gravel climb. Damp and lush. Up through the ferns and moss encrusted trees. Settling mist. Slick fist sized rocks. The wrong day to wear a white jersey. But, maybe Portland isn’t a white jersey city any day of the year. Too many chances to take it off the pavement and through the woods, even if you are running 23c slick road tires.

Steven Hunter and I wind our way to the top. Him on his cross bike and me on the Break-Away road bike. A quick pause for some food and to take off my jacket. An executive decision is made, a return down the rocky path rather than heading up onto Skyline. We reconnect with Leif Erickson and then rediscover pavement. Finally. There were points where my teeth wanted to rattle themselves out of my head and I couldn’t tell if my hands were still connected to my handlebars, let alone working the brakes. Proof of this is a section of seat post which has been denuded. My seat bag was shaking so violently for such a long time that the around the seatpost strap, in conjunction with the dirt that found its way under the strap, was able to take the paint all the way down to the aluminum. Aside from the scared seatpost it was a descent with out issue. I only went off of the path through two turns through which I was not willing to lean as hard on the rocks as I needed to to be able to hold my line. A little soft shoulder action but no spillage.

Miss Lola (ask her to show you her sailor suit sometime) was kind enough to loan Sarah her road bike. Saving us some cash and making pickup and delivery easy since her casa was only 6 or 7 blocks from our front door. We rolled down to Powell’s Books. Yes, this bookstore is a destination. Prepare to be overwhelmed and risk becoming lost among the labyrinth of rooms. Book shelves full of the new and used reach to the ceiling, dwarfing the readers wandering among their aisles.

A random snack and then off to the Esplanade to catch the sunset over the river. A city of bikes but also of bridges. Some of steel, other of stone, built in various decades, all interesting in their architecture. Two commuter trains, full of light, pass in opposite directions over the Steel Bridge. Dinner and then the capstone of the evening, a patisserie. Pix. I indulge in the Amélie. Orange vanilla crème brûlée siting atop a glazed chocolate mousse with caramelized hazelnuts, praline crisp, and Cointreau génoise. Sarah selects the Chipotle Chocolate and a Fleur de Sel Macaron. These are deserts you savor. Half bites. Making it last. Drawing out the experience. Delaying the inevitable.

Friendly Bike Guest House

The Friendly Bike Guest House is a bicycle centric house style hostel in central Portland, OR. The pricing is competitive to the traditional hostels in town and the space is brighter, newer, and just northeast of the river. It features a fully stocked kitchen, a dedicated indoor bike parking/lockup with an adjacent repair and maintenance area (stand, tools, lube, etc provided), and an in-house washer and dryer for after those rainy rides. There are fewer beds so there are not as many people eating up the wireless network and, drum roll, no TV. No sitting in the kitchen eating breakfast listening to someone watching [insert least favorite show here]. The house is located at 4039 N Williams. One block north of restaurants, bars, and a patisserie (more about that tomorrow). This is only half a mile east of Mississippi, another nexus of restaurants and shops. Porltand is built around the idea of neighborhood services, so grocery stores are also within striking distance on foot (10-20min walk) and even easier if you have two wheels available to you. Chris Frick, the owner of the house, lives close by, so although he is not on call, he is easily reachable if something goes wrong (like the squirrel that shorted out 10 blocks of power Tuesday morning) and is very responsive.

The Friendly Bike Guest House has only been open for a month and a half but already it is seeing some pretty good traffic. The preplanners who are attending UBI (United Bicycle Institute), which is half a block away for their bicycle mechanics and frame building classes and also the random bike tourers making their way south from Alaska.

And this is only the beginning. The Friendly Bike Guest House is the main level and basement of a two story top/bottom duplex. Now that the main level is open for business, he is starting on converting the upper story, which has been a rental up until now, to the Friendly Bike Annex. It will be a woman’s only hostel that will hopefully fulfill a need for female travelers that are looking for an affordable, sociable, and gender segregated short term housing option. Plus, he is in talks with a bike rental place about having the ability to either have on-demand delivery of a bike (or even having some bikes stored behind locked doors) so that someone can fly in, take a cab from the airport, and have their rental bike with lock/helmet/lights/etc already staged at the house. No need to take a bus to pick it up, or have to return it when you are running late for your flight. If that is not enough for you, if you ask nicely, he might just be willing to unpack the groceries you order from New Seasons, the day before you get there, into the fridge.

In Search Of Waterfalls

East-north east of Portland. Out on the 84 and then into the string of state parks mirroring the curve of the Colombia river and its wide gorge. We exit the main thoroughfare and follow the E Columbia River Highway off into the forests. It is Tuesday so traffic is light and crowds are non-existent. Vista House appears around a corner and provides a panoramic. The far bank is visible but low slung clouds obscure both the up and down stream views.

The first of the falls is found. Latourell Falls cascades off the cliff face into open air before striking a boulder laden pool. This is a fall which you can visit in person rather than gazing from afar. Thin foot trails branch off of the main pavement leading you to and behind the pool fed by the descending water. The under hang is a crazy hexagonal latticework. Like petrified honeycomb built by bees the size of a compact car. Detached plates of the stuff litter the ground creating a strangely geometric scree slope. Neon moss carpets the upper face of the wall while a muted relative clings to the unstable talus.

Then Bridal Veil. A smaller wider fall which flows in two stages down a rock face before submerging in the pool. A longer walk than Latourell, and one it seems less people undertake. A close inspection of the brambles lining the route returned a couple of handfuls of ripe blackberries. Another mile or two down the road found Wahkeena Falls. Probably my favorite waterfall of the day. Like Bridal Veil, two stages. But taller and more air born. The fan tail from being channeled through a narrow spout before slamming into the rocks at the base of a curving concrete wall.

The headliner of the area appeared next. Multnomah Falls. The third tallest year-round waterfall in the United States and one which I think causes many people to overlook the other amazing falls in the same area. Yes, it is tall, the upper stage dropping over 540 feet before feeding the second, but it is also removed from the viewer. Rail and chains and signs. And crowds. It is beautiful but not intimate.

As we exit the area, on our way to the Bridge of the Gods, we quick stop at the last fall in the series, the Horsetail Falls. It ricochets off the rock into a large collection pool and then flows down creek to join the body of the Colombia. We had underestimated the number of falls that there were to visit and the sun was getting low in the sky. But the resulting timing was perfect as we crossed the bridge with the light spilling through the girders from the diagonal. Into Washington state and then the north bank back to Portland. A full circuit.

Chappell Hill Road Race (2010-09-12)

Chappell Hill is a lolly pop of endless chip seal. Heavy humidity and low 90s made it a grinding race against exhaustion and cramping. This is the finish of the men’s CAT 3 field. At 50 miles out of 74 Matt Kessing bridged up to and then passed the standing 4 person break away. A 2min gap turned into 25sec at the finish line, but he held it together and took the win with another mid race effort much like his 2nd place finish on Monday at the Tour of Austin Pickle Research Center crit. The follow group split in two on the second to last hill coming back into town. The final climb to the finish saw an additional split of 12 heading for the line, trying to get into the top 8 moneyed positions.



Top 20 Results
1 Kessing Matthew Team ALS-C3
2 Perry Jonathan Austinbikes/Revenant
3 Aldape Alec Joe’s Pro Bike
4 Gore Hayden Sugar Cycles
5 Metoyer Russell Velossimo Racing Team
6 Hebert Cj Team Brain and Spine Cycling
7 Codianne Jason Shama Cycles
8 Slate Jesse Team Wooly Mammoth
9 Lewiss Jason Team Brain and Spine Cycling
10 Patrick Davis Team Hotel San Jose
11 Nava Iii Phil BSK Law/Bikeworld.com
12 Stanton Christopher
13 Caglarcan Tim Team Brain and Spine Cycling
14 Haussmann Karl Team Lifesize
15 Wells Brent Bicycle-Heaven
16 Rivers Jason GS Tenzing
17 Hill Jeremy BSK Law/bikeworld.com
18 Frank Karbarz Toyota GCCA
19 Austin Mallet Southern Elite
20 Luton Thomas Lone Star Racing Club