Monday, December 21, 2009

Three Tabor Rides

Saturday Peter wanted to watch the Montana game so I took off to ride Tabor by myself. I should have felt hungover because we had Taya and Kyle over for a 5-course dinner last night, but somehow I feel fantastic. I get to the park, which is empty because it is cool and raining and put my Ipod on quietly to entertain me while I ride the mountain. I'm listening to my new 100 techno songs I got off Itunes for 10 bucks and feeling quite happy with the world. Compared to the speed I used to go up the mountain, I am flying. I'm a couple of gears up and keeping a steady pace. The techno music helps.

For the third hill I switch to the Matrix and take a picture of the misty hills which fits the mood of the song. For the fourth hill I listen to Chemical Brothers, one of my all-time favorite groups. Riding home I discover that my knees don't hurt when I ride in my hardest gear and it makes me happy that I went through the time to get my bike fit.

The next day, my parents and brother arrive and my mother says I look tired. I'm actually not, but my back has been hurting and I know I need to get on my bike. Peter joins me and we ride the mountain four times again. He's got fresh legs so it is hard to keep up with him. By the time we get home I'm feeling like myself again. We enjoy a sauna with Dad and then have a nice ham that mom made up for dinner.

Today, we got some pilates and weights in first thing. We take off for Tabor again getting a good laugh as we see that someone has left a recliner half way up the mountain. A road biker passes us and I say, 'Oh no, we're getting smoked." He laughs and points to the chair, "Well, if you need to take a break..." We only do the hill twice so we can get back to my family. The road biker seems impressed that we have done it twice. We must look like beginners in our non-cycling clothing and hybrid bikes.

On the way home, we stop at Fred Meyer for some lightbulbs and a toilet seat for Peter's parents for Christmas. They never replace anything unless it has caught on fire so we thought it would be funny to get them a replacement for their broken toilet seat. I hope they think it is funny, anyway. We also pick up some hummus just in case. Five people is a lot of feed.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bike Fit

Yesterday we ran some errands on our bikes in the morning. We hit the record shop first, then went to pick up a bigger (and hopefully better) coffee maker, and then we went to Stumptown to pick up some beans. Our supply of food in our house was meager so for lunch we ate chorizo sausage, yogurt and olives.

Then I hopped on my bike to go see Tony for my bike fit. He attached my bike to a trainer and looked at my foot position, knee position, hip position, hip and back angle, arm position and wrist angle. He used lazers and a protractor and also asked me subjectively how it felt. Unfortunately, my seat was locked in a position too far forward and I need to go to a bike shop to get it adjusted. It felt pretty good riding home, however.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

We set off this morning for the two peaks ride: up Mt. Tabor then north to the next cinder cone, Rocky Butte. It was COLD this morning and windy so we struggled to warm up our muscles on the slow climb up toward the mountain. Mt. Tabor was almost completely empty. There weren't any children on the playground and we only saw one person at the summit. After rounding the top, we headed down, down, down to and over to Rocky Butte.

I can't believe how much easier climbing hills is since Tony adjusted my back. I feel much more even in my pedalling and I made it almost all the way up Rocky Butte in my 20th gear (out of 24). At the top we stopped to appreciate how pretty Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helen's looked. Then we headed back down, through the twisting tunnel, and home. On the way home we were riding with the wind, so it felt easy and warmer.

I had an appointment on the other side of downtown so after showering and walking Dexter, I hopped back on my bike and rode towards the river. My appointment was half way up the west hills so the 20 or so minute ride ended with another big climb. Before riding home, I called Peter and we decided to meet on the Waterfront near the Hawthorne Bridge for happy hour.

Inspired by the Hungry Cyclist's adventurous diet, I decided to try some oysters on the half shell. So, we went to one of the oldest restaurants in Portland, The Oyster Bar, for my first experience into what I now know is a culinary delight. The server let me try one before I ordered and it was delicious so I ordered 12. She brought me two kinds, a smaller one called Kumamoto that are from Tillamook and a larger one from Washington. Peter got steamed clams which were delicious too. We washed it all down with a Duck Pond Riesling. The clams and oysters were pretty small so we each got 2 fish tacos off the happy hour menu too.

Riding home we could see that the bridges were going up and when we got to the bridge there must have been 40 other cyclists lined up all around us waiting. I wish I would have thought to take a picture because it was quite a site. All those blinking red lights patiently navigating their way over the bridge once it had gone down. It was a thrill to be part of that.

Today was a my favorite kind of day. 3 hours of riding, 2 mountains, 1 bottle of riesling, 12 oysters, and 40 bike commuters on the Hawthorne bridge...that makes a near perfect day in my book.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I set off this beautiful day today for a ride to see my physical therapist, Tony. I had felt a little discomfort in my back this morning, but after a little ice it felt pretty good. I love riding my bike downtown. There is something about the busy streets and pedestrians that focuses my mind and actually makes me feel relaxed. I find it interesting that my two favorite kinds of riding are hills and traffic. I recognize how odd that sounds.

My physical therapy felt good. Tony says I'm a superstar and he definitely thinks I could ride my bike from Paris to Stockholm. He said we should do some things to prepare, but he seemed more keen on the riding thing than on cardio dance. We'll see. I might have to hang up my dancing shoes.

On the way home I rode through Ladd's addition and stopped at New Season's for some dark chocolate and gevurtztraminer. Then I took off on the way home the long way. I was hungry and a taco was sounding really good. I hadn't had much to eat today so I went a little out of the way to my favorite taco stand for 3 tacos al pastor. In sticking with my low glycemic diet I opted for a fork over the tortillas, sighing at what a shame that was. They were as good as they always are...easily outdoing the American taco in beauty and flavor.

I always put on too much salsa so my mouth was on fire as I got ready to get back on my bike. I took out a square of Chocolove and challenged myself to make it the whole way home without finishing the square of chocolate. Pedalling through the streets, past the school, I felt happy. The chocolate was dwindling quickly in my fire hot mouth, but as I rounded the last curve and pedalled down the street I knew the chocolate was going to make it and I felt supremely content with myself not only for completing the challenge but for being so entertained by it. .