Old 07-07-19, 07:24 PM
Bike Butcher of Portland
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
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Bikes: It's complicated.

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Final thoughts

Just got back from a weekend at a resort at Sisters with my wife. It was good for a few reasons: I'd been away from Juliana for a week, she got away from the house and kids, and we got a chance to spend some quality 1:1 time together. After a few years of doing a now annual spring day trip bike ride up McKenzie Pass, she finally got a chance to see what it was all about, albeit by car. So I'm finally home, last chance to type something up before the work week gets in the way of life again.

So, my afterthoughts:

1. If you haven't done anything like his, it helps to be a bit audacious. This was surely the case in the Last Winter Tour of the Willamette Valley back in early March. It helps to include some wily veterans like @nlerner, @crampy and @SquireBlack in the mix to show beginners the ropes. There's an old adage about distance, if you can do 40 miles, you can do 60, if you can do 60, you can do 100, if you can ride back to back 50 mile days, you're ready for a credit card tour at the distance and pace we did. I tend to be in decent shape for a tour, but use the tour as training. As a result, I'm almost always questioning my ability to finish after day 2, but then I get the "3rd day miracle" and start to feel human again.
2. With a larger group like this, it's good to have an even number of riders. It makes hotel accomodations a lot easier, and there's a natural pairing off.
3. Having several days with extra local riders was good for the soul. Knowing nearby BF members was absolutely critical to smoothing over the potentially disasterous situation of a broken pedal. @Dfrost was texted while we were en route via train from Portland to Seattle and personally delivered, by bicycle a good pair of Crank Brother pedals, all while @Spaghetti Legs was 8 miles high on an airplane. @Andy_K was a savior on both ends of the ride, getting Spaghetti Legs bike from PDX to Seattle, arranging for the DFrost to bring pedals, then riding with us through the Columbia River Gorge, sagging @crampy when his knee was getting balky to the finish line, delivering 2 gallons of cold water on a hot Portland day on the outskirts of town, and finally getting @SquireBlack to his house in time to clean up and attend a concert with his wife. The multiple harbor pilots (@ryansu, @Drillium Dude, @RiddleOfSteel, @scozim, @Wildwood, @Marziac, @SurferRosa, @droppedandlost...so many that I must be missing someone!)
4. If you go through Northbend, Washington, and have never seen Bob Freeman's collection, and you're into C&V...have you ever seen a Cirque du Soleil perforamance and walked out thinking, naw, I didn't really see that? Well, that's the feeling after seeing Bob's immaculate collection of bikes. You know you're deep into it when you see a row of 6 Schwinn Paramounts of various vintage lined up on hooks, all perfectly restored, and not think much about it after everything else you've seen. Where have all the vintage Silca pumps gone? Bob has several Homer buckets full of them stashed about. Five of his bikes have wood rims, and he still has a wholesale account with Ghisallo from his 31 years co-owning Elliot Bay with Bill Davidson. Yeah, several Davidson's sprinkled about, including a couple Ti models.
5. Six guys who didn't all know each other, we rotated "roomates" every night, and we all got along. We're bike people. We love to ride and work on bikes. We were all "men of a certain age", or older. By Day 3 we were often riding in a crisp paceline with full trust of each other. Dinners were swapping stories of the day's ride, planning for the next, deciding on our eating schedule for the next day...a shared, intense experience creates deep bonds.
6. The PNW contains miles and miles of fantastic, beautiful roads, both paved and unpaved. If you haven't yet, try them sometime! The summer weather isn't sweltering, humid hot like much of the US. A shower now and then won't melt you.
7. Life is short. If you'd like to do something like this, plan it, do it. At some point I won't be able to do this anymore, I'd like to take advantage of what I've got now while I can.

If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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