August 31, 2005
to do list
I'm still here, though it's been a crazy week. I took Monday off, slept in, did some housecleaning and some walking, which was quite pleasant. And got caught in a thunderstorm. But hey, I had dry clothes at home, what's the big deal, really?
My evenings have been full of must-do stuff, and I'm looking forward to having it all come to a screaching halt tomorrow. There was our favorite BBQ place, LOW, shutting down, then a going away happy hour for Jill, who got pink-slipped, and tonight I meet up with Sara for dinner, and then run to lower east county to pick up a t-shirt. I'm tired just thinking about it.
One of my goals, which is looking less likely to happen, is getting all of alt.portland moved over into Movable Type (by tomorrow). The existing site is static pages, which is bad for two reasons: 1) I end up doing (or in my case, not doing) my editing via telnet or secure shell, using a text editor like vim. I like vim, but the whole setup is not real condusive to the sort of multitasking I do; and 2) there is all this cross-indexing I could do, and want to do, as well as adding some features like maps and bus-routes and photos, and it's increasingly hard to do that with static pages.
I still have Consume and part of Beer left to do. I was hoping to reintroduce it tomorrow, which... ha ha ha!... just isn't looking so likely. But maybe. I still hang onto hope.
I have no problems coming up with new projects for myself. If anything, I need to reign myself in, focus, and not get obsessed with doing so much. A very short-term goal was to walk to the end of my street, about 2 miles. It would be pleasant. Just over a hour of strolling. It'll happen this weekend, but I wish it would happen sooner.
August 28, 2005
Portland to Coast: the report
This was a really incredible event. Portland to Coast is a 127 mile walking relay. There's a 400 team limit, and a team can be up to 12 people and 2 vans. While 12 people/2 van teams are the norm, we met teams of 6 people, and teams of 4 people.
I was in Van 2 of the Librarians on the Loose, a 12 person team made up of 10 librarians, a librarian staffer, and a friend. With the exception of me, all of the library staff were from Multnomah County Library. Van 1 had started at 5:30am (it's a staggered start, with faster teams starting later) on the east side of the Hawthorne Bridge. We met up with them at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in St. Helens at about noon Friday.
Driving up Hwy 30, we saw lots of walkers, and lots of their vans. The vans are easy to identify -- the front and rear has the team number, and most of them are decorated. Some are rather underwhelming (ours, for example), while others include xmas lights and giant rooftop decorations. Once we got to the fairgrounds, it became obvious why having things on the van roof was important.
We called the other van and described our location as three vans behind the giant pink panda. There were probably 100 vans in the lot, maybe more, so it would be difficult to find your friends without a landmark. While we were there, one neighbor inflated a giant phallic palm tree, and we spotted a team of Heidi girls in golden pigtailed braids and drindrel smocks. It's unclear how many, if any, of the Heidi girls were actually female.
By the time we caught up with our team mates, we were ready to go. And they were completely wound up. None of them had gotten a full night's sleep, and they were all jagged on sugar and caffeine.
Erica did her leg, and then it was my turn. She handed off the magic bracelet, and I started charging up the hill. Immediately, I thought, I'm going too fast and I need to slow down. Then someone passed me. And someone else.
It was hot and bright. I have no idea how hot, I'm sure it really wasn't superhot, but that's the way it felt. (I just looked at weatherunderground -- the high was 86) And I was wearing the thick cotton maroon Summer Reading tshirt. Oh dear g-d, shoot me now. All I could think about was my case of heat exhaustion after the Helvetia Half last year.
Over the 5.9 miles, there's a gain of almost 600 ft. That's not the Columbia Gorge, certainly, but it was significant.
I was immediately wussed. I had gone out too fast, and now I couldn't get my heartrate down. People were passing me, and I was feeling like I was just crawling. And panting. About 3 miles of the Pittsburgh hill were gravel and dirt, so every van that went by was kicking up huge dust clouds.
My team stopped for me about every mile, and everytime I saw the Suburban, I was filled with hope. Someone remembered me in this g-dforsaken hell. Erica would run out, chipper and cheerful, with a bottle of cold water and encouraging words. The second time she did this, I decided that I loved her, I loved her with all of my heart.
I felt great swings of emotion. I felt initially that the vans that were waiting by the road were mocking me, and then when they'd cheer me on, I'd just feel this tremendous gratitude. And suddenly, I saw the van of the Knights of Knee, Wendy's team. I shouted, yay!! Knights of Knee!!, and Wendy yelled out, how ya doing. And I said, I'm hating this! And she made some sympathetic noises about how horrible it was.
About 2/3rds of the way through, I saw a walker down. She was in a chair, and people were trying to massage her legs, while she was screaming. There but for the grace of g-d, that could be me. A little while later, her teammate caught up to me, and she was fast. But slow enough that I could try to keep up with her, and we conversed some. She was great. I managed to surge ahead of her at the exchange—but she gave Martha a run for her money all through her leg.
At the exchange, Wendy was waiting for me (or maybe she was waiting for her teammate, but it felt like she was waiting for me), as were my teammates. I felt so happy to see them all. And then I ran into the Amateur radio folks who had volunteered at Helvetia Half, and I was just so happy about the continuity in my life.
Leg 20 stats
5.9 miles, 103 minutes, 17.458 pace
My teammates did their legs, and we all ate a lot of snacks, and finally about 10:30, Sara Ms. Clean-Up finished her leg, and we headed towards the "vacation house" in Astoria. We made it there at 11:30, ate some awful pizza, and hit the sack.
Saturday morning came early. We were all up at 3:30, and back on the road by 4, and at the exchange 45 minutes later. At this point, there was a surreal amount of vans, all lit up with xmas light and glowy things, and a huge amount of people, some holding lit-up things on sticks. We were standing in a farmers field with maybe 500 of our new closest friends when I mentioned that, while I knew by the afternoon we'd all have Stockholm syndrome, right now I thought maybe we had made a big mistake. My teammates gave me this look like, are you insane?
Well, maybe. By the time Erica finished her leg, I was psyched and back on the boat, ready to go. And I jetted out of the shute.
Though everything at that point seemed very up-in-the-air. For a number of reasons, none having to do with the driver, our van ended up with a wheel in a stream that even 4-wheel-drive couldn't rock out. I gone to the shute, but I wasn't sure if our van would be continuing, or what exactly.
Luckily, about a mile-and-a-half into this leg, which was easy and cool and cloudy, there was the van, and everything was A-Okay. That leg was an easy 4.1 miles. I could go fairly speedily, for me, and not worry about getting too warm. And I actually passed a couple people. I was passed, too, by one walker, and several runners (but they don't count).
Leg 32 Stats
4.1 miles, 61 minutes, 14.878
Once I was finished, I was filled with joy. I was done. I was done! Damn!
My teammates did their legs, admirably, and then suddenly, we were in Seaside, waiting for Sara to come in, which she did in a blaze of glory. We came out of the holding shute, struggling to keep up with her in the sand, as she was passing other walkers. And then suddenly, they called out our name and number, and we had our medals, and we were having our picture taken, and then, um, we were all in a dazed lump on the beach. Could we get some shade and some beer, please?
How we did
Of the 400 teams, 315 finished. Don't ask me, I don't know, exactly what that means. The first finishers, Racewalkers NW Portland To Chaos, finished in 22:46:34, a 10:43 pace. We finished in 31:48:11, a 14:58 pace. And #315 came in in 36:59:16, a 17:24 pace.
I'd just like to say that we all adored the Von Cap Family Singers, who donned wigs and outfits at their stops. They rocked.
All of the walking teams, with the exception of one (Montana), were from Oregon or Washington. There were 9 teams that were all male, and 126 that were all female.
We drank some beer, waded into the ocean, and then headed back to Astoria. A few of us napped, while the rest went manicly on to get some real food. I managed to put off the real food issue until Sunday afternoon (and it promptly made me sick!).
The whole thing was very invigorating. I feel better about walking and about librarianship. It was strange and odd to be without my sweetie, and interesting to be with a group of people who seemed to know each other pretty well.
An obsession with Hood to Coast
(Erik G. Sten) thought Hood to Coast was the ultimate, the perfect running event. It pushes you physically. Runners of all calibers can do it.
—Portland City Commissioner Erik Sten, describing his father's obsession with Hood to Coast.
via Steve Duin, He loved it, he hated it, he ran it to the end; August 23, 2005, The Oregonian.
August 25, 2005
Portland to Coast: what little I know
Here's what I can tell you about what will happen in the next couple days. There is such a lot of ambiguity that is driving me, miss undesignated control freak, completely nuts.
I am what's know as walker H on the Librarians on the Loose team. I'll be doing 10.05 miles total. My first leg is Leg 20, 5.95 miles, Very Hard, which I'll be starting at approx. 2:04pm tomorrow. My second leg is Leg 32, 4.10 miles, Moderate, which I'll be starting at approx. 5:13am Saturday.
So this morning, I went out to drive part of the course. I had no problem finding leg 19, and indeed where leg 20 begins—but I immediately lost the trail. I hope it's well marked. I hope it's well marked.
I just mapped Leg 20, and according to googlemaps, the leg is 9.5 miles long. Oh, this should be interesting.
I tried to find the roads for my second leg. Hahahahaha!
Just for kicks and grins, I decided to get a vague idea of what the car costs per mile. Now, I'm not factoring in gas because it's been a moving target, though at current costs ($2.45 a gallon), it's 8 cents a mile—which is much less than I was expecting.
I bought my car for $12K 13 years ago. I put about 7.5K miles on a year. Let's say that the car has a lifespan of 120K, so I have 4 years left. I spend $700 a year on insurance, and $500 on maintenance (I'm sure that's not realistic, but for the sake of coming up with numbers...)
So, over the life of the car, not counting gas, the cost is $32,400. Damn! So, unbelievably, the cost per mile is 27 cents.
When I bought the car, gas prices were around $1.20 a gallon -- so the cost per mile was 4 cents. If gas prices continue to rise, it would be no surprise to pay 10 cents a mile. So the real cost of driving ranges from 31-37 cents a mile. And that's conservative.
August 24, 2005
Go Matt Go!
Though I'm tempted, I can't say this any better.
A common thread in both (columns in the Saint Paul Pioneer-Press ripping cyclists for one thing or another) was cyclist's failure to stop at Stop signs. Now, leaving aside for the moment the point that most motorists don't stop at Stop signs either, I was looking around on the web to see what information there was about bicycles and Stop signs... 1) it takes much less energy to keep a bicycle (or car, for that matter) moving than it does to get it moving in the first place and 2) in a roadway with a Stop sign every hundred meters or so, bringing a bike to a full stop and then restarting it (means the cyclist must expend a huge amount of energy)
I found it via Todd, who is brilliant and quite amusing all on his own.
The cost of transportation
I now have 120 miles on my pink townie. Wuhoo! Let everyone rejoice!
I don't know why that excites me so, but it does.
I figured it out—the bike and its accessories cost about $500—so at this point it costs $4.17 a mile. The great thing is that number is going to just continue to get smaller.
For walking, assuming that a pair of walking shoes costs $90, and lasts 500 miles, it costs 18 cents a mile.
The accessories—basket, rack, panniers, bell, computer—make all the difference. I've thought about borrowing Sweetie's super-sweet bike to ride into to work, to see if I still feel decimated when I get home from the hills. But... his bike has no place to put my crap, and no way to signal to pedestrians and cars other than my voice. So I haven't ridden it.
Today I am very sore. Hmm, there was mat pilates on Monday and mat pilates on Tuesday, and oh yeah, bicycling both days, so I feel like just about every inch of me that could ache, does ache.
My panic at Portland to Coast continues to consume me. I need to just pack—it's not a big deal—I just need to pack. I'll feel better when I know that everything is done. And I may go tomorrow and drive the route. Maybe.
August 23, 2005
and he should know
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."
— H.G. Wells
I saw something new yesterday. In mat pilates, after noticing the proponderance of lower back tattoos on women, I noticed one on a man. That's just something I never expected to see.
I'm amazed, always amazed, at how hard pilates is. Yes, I've been a slacker for the last couple weeks, but I wouldn't have expected to see this total and complete lack of stamina when it comes to the poses. It kicked my ass around the block and then some. Yes, I'm more consistent with holding the belly in, and my legs were okay, but my upper body and arms were jello—completely uncooperative.
I'm starting to go into full panic mode. Portland to Coast is FRIDAY! Today is TUESDAY! Oh, crap!
August 22, 2005
I was running really late this morning, and was locking up the house when a homeless person walking down the street started panhandling me. She was rail-thin, missing some teeth, basically looking fairly dissheveled, pushing a grocery cart. Sheesh, it's not even nine, and I'm not even on a major street. After I murmured my regrets, she tried to fence two lawnchairs and two tiki torches. I wonder whose yard they came from?
Bicycling to work was unexciting, but it makes me grin from ear to ear.
I had a hardcore serious weekend this weekend! I mean, really!
Saturday, I went to the Portland CrossFit grand opening. I went towards the end, so nothing much was happening, other than the fact that Fran and her husband Tom had come down from Seattle. She and I have been corresponding for awhile, talking about good excuses to meet—and we finally had one!
Fran doesn't tend to post pictures of herself in her blog, but let me tell you this—she and her husband are adorable. So cute! And they are walking advertisements for CrossFit, really—they are both subtly strong and athletic-looking, and of course, very fit. Wow!
They of course are also nice and funny and quite enjoyable, as you might imagine from reading her blog. So we hung out at the beautiful new gym for awhile, then walked down the street for a cool drink, and later, went out for dinner.
Afterwards, we separately went on to Powell's. I found my copy of Portland's little red book of stairs : the city's ultimate guide to more than 150 curious and colorful outdoor stairways and encountered a man with the same, obscure tattoo as me. In the twelve years I've had this tattoo, I've never seen anyone else with it, and either had he. Pretty cool. Oh, and he also likes maps. I wish I had thought to take a picture.
My sweetie got a couple books on Portland history, we saw Tom one last time, and then headed home. And got stuck on the Broadway Bridge as it was opening. We watched it open, watched the pedestrians and bicyclists and a skateboarder collecting at the gate, watched the giant container ship being tugged out into the river. And then I looked into the sky and saw the moon—huge, orange, coming up from behind Mt. Hood.
I got out the camera and started snapping pictures. They didn't end up being so impressive, and I would have posted them here except my broadband crapped out this morning.
Sunday morning, I got up before g-d and proceeded to Vancouver, WA (aka Vancouver, USA) for a 30k (18.6 miles) walk. Though my 30k was doomed before I even left the house because I left late. For the first time in weeks, I made it to PFit on time.
I had also unwisely made plans at noon, not ever thinking that we might be having a benchmark on a Sunday, rather than a Saturday. So, I decided I would do a 4 hour walk instead of the 30k. I'm guessing I did 12-14 miles.
Everyone was all abuzz about Hood to Coast, and Portland to Coast, which is, ummmm, Friday! My walking coach asked me which legs I was doing... and I didn't know. Had I driven the course? Ummm, no. Then, I was checked out for a team—and had to say, umm, I'm already doing it. And apparently doing it half-assedly.
I feel like I'm in an odd sort of limbo, not really sure what to think of myself. I'm burnt out on long walks. My recent goals were all wrapped around walking. It's frustrating. I was chatting with an acquaintance about it who mentioned that she was getting very burnt out on running too, but she's now training for Tri's, and really enjoying it.
I'm desperate for some new goals, for something new to get me excited again.
August 19, 2005
When I worked at Mathematical Reviews in 1989, someone in our office posted regularly to the electronic bulletin board, or whatever it was called. Her posts were full of personal details, of hearing music, going bicycling, cooking and eating—and almost always mentioned doing IT. I knew her personally, and I was also just amazed that she was just posting these, well, posts about nothing more than her life. And the posts were lively, well-written, very very enjoyable.
Six years later, I found David Siegel's online journal. Does anyone else remember those heady times? Wow, you can control web layout with tables! Too cool! (I'm totally thrilled that he still has the old website up)
I'm still feeling sick, but I've made it into work.
Perhaps you've read about the 91-year-old Sydney man walking every street in town in Boing boing. This seemed to intrigue Sweetie a quite a bit. If it could happen in Sydney, and London, and Manhattan, and Minneapolis, why not Portland?
At first I didn't take him seriously. This is a joke, right? It might be, I'm not sure. My initial response is that I'd rather do all of Portland's stairways.
Longtime Portland resident Stefana Young wrote the book on this category—literally. She got the idea for her just-published guide, PORTLAND'S LITTLE RED BOOK OF STAIRS, from the "Best Public Stairway" entry in WW's 1994 Best of Portland issue. Young, a self-described "free-lance PR flack," estimates that Portland has 9,000 public stair steps, and she set foot on all of them in the two years it took her to compile the book. Which Portland stairway was completed at the insistence of the late Bill Naito? Which was rescued from destruction in 1951 and relocated to a private house? Which is the most meandering? Young answers these questions and others, surveying more than 150 of the city's 165 public staircases. Pressed to name her favorite staircase, Young makes a "drippingly sentimental" choice: the "Elevator Stairs" between Southwest Broadway Drive and Hoffman Avenue, located near her childhood home.But... maybe. I just need to figure out why I'd be doing it. It does seem to be a nice intersection of geography & walking. Reading about Phyllis Pearsall, the author of Geographer's A-Z (London) Street Atlas, is really very intriguing.
from Willamette Week's Best of Portland 1997
Phyllis Pearsall was a remarkable woman. Born in 1906 she had already lived a rather bohemian life as a writer, painter and traveler when in 1935 she got lost in London while using a 20 year old street map which was at the time the most recent available. Working from a bedsit in Horseferry Road (in SW1!) and with the aid of James Duncan - a draughtsman borrowed from her father, a Hungarian mapmaker, she began to catalogue the 23,000 streets that featured in the first edition. Working eighteen hour days she walked a total of 3,000 miles in compiling it.
from Phyllis Pearsall, the story of A-Z Maps
August 18, 2005
sick, lazy, mediocre
Anyways, I'm severely pissed off about this combination of things, and the worst of it is that I'm really too sick to go to work—it isn't even an option.
Yesterday, I got lots of walking in. I walked with coworkers at lunch, and Jill got some gelato for us that was very good. Then after work, sweetie and I walked to the Rose Quarter, and waited for a bus. We waited easily long enough that we could have walked all the way home. I took lots of pictures, until the camera died.
In the evening, I went to KnitFlicks, a one-off at the Clinton Street Theatre. It was great. I met up with a friend, we got some beer from the new Clinton Street Theatre brewpub (which starts actually pouring their own brews Friday), and then settled into the theatre with maybe 50 other knitters.
Some of the lights were left on, so you really had the best (or the worst) of both worlds. We were watching an old Fred Astaire-Jane Powell chestnut, Royal Wedding, and it wasn't dark enough for good contrast. Me, I was knitting pale pink yarn on beige needles, and I couldn't see any difference. I could see the contrast on my friend's needles clearly—red shiny metal needles with maroon yarn.
No matter. It was a fun time, cute movie, a nice sort of community event that did not actually involve much interaction.
Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I am crazy about Portland. I seem unable to avoid this sort of thing—I was crazy about Ann Arbor and Detroit, as well. I'm fiercely devoted and attached, and the thought of leaving, well, it feels like a betrayal of sorts.
There have been an interesting series of articles in our determined mediocre newspaper—one a review of an LA restaurant transplanted to town; the other an article entitled Admit it, we're mediocre and don't care.
Unlike the author of the latter, I was not burning myself out previous to moving here, and I didn't move here for the "lifestyle". I moved here because I fell in love with someone here. Once I got here, I knew the economy sucked. And plenty else, too.
Anyways, I'm not sure where I'm going here except that I have this website that I'm trying to bring back to life, about Portland and what to do here, and I've been thinking—when I say something is good, are people seeing that as It's as good as NYC or Chicago or SF or LA? Obviously I'm no expert on any of those places. Or are they seeing it as it's quirky and good for Portland?
It's just set me to thinking, that's all.
I'm putting aforementioned website into movable type in the hopes of making it supersonic and supersearchable. I think, frequently, daily, about doing a plain old database, but this seems to be a quicker hack at this point. (Is this further proving the laziness of Portlanders? Or my desire to improve this quickly, thus showing hard work? Oh hell, how should I know).
August 17, 2005
The dedicated urban cyclist is a new kind of pioneer. Pioneers have an obligation to those who would follow in their tracks, to show them the way. Instead of highlighting the difficulties and frustrations, instead of obsessing about conflict, get out there and show the nation how easy it already is to cycle in the city. Wear "normal" clothes for short rides. Put the superiority of the bicycle on display. Be responsible, unflappable, and polite. Ride with style, grace, and intelligence. Ride with fear and joy.
— Robert Hurst, The Art of Urban Cycling: Lessons from the Street
I thought I had uploaded yesterday pics, so I could entertain you all with pictures of the two sylvester cats in a dog crate, but nooooooo! No such luck!
Today I walked to work. It felt like this huge accomplishment, like it was a monkey on my back that I just needed to—well, whatever it is you do with a monkey on your back. However, it was not exciting. It is overcast and misting. Chilly. I love this weather! It's not going to last, but I'm enjoying it while it's here.
As usual, a walk is good to kinda do some mental housecleaning. To put things into perspective. I have a lot of work to do. A lot of clutter to clear. But I'm feeling excited about it. I am reminded how much I can do if I just do a little bit every day. I managed to get my work email Inbox from 1200 to 24, and my work Sent email from 10,000 to 5406 (obviously, my work here is not yet done). Not overnight, but over the course of a couple months.
I also saw a bicyclist wipe out. It had just begun misting, which is the most dangerous time to be on two-wheeled conveyances, as the moisture combines with oil and other crud on the road to make it super slippery. Add braking or not using your full tire tread or both and you have the recipe for a wipe out. Poor guy. He was fine, but obviously embarrassed.
I fell into work, so I left late to get home for the eco-exterminator. So I was trying to make up time on the road. On my bicycle. I did okay, it's getting easier, but I really am spent by the first hill, and never really recover fully. The last two blocks of the ride, I ride in the middle of Fremont—big two-lane street. I was moving pretty fast, because I always try to when I'm dominating the lane, and a car comes up behind me and starts honking. Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk!. This person had been stopped at a stop light and, hello, he must had sped up to tailgate me and honk at me. I rang the bell back. What can you do?
Luckily, the eco-exterminator was late, so I had lots of time to furiously fly around the house tossing things and generally trying to make the place look like it's not inhabited by beer-drinking, book and magazine-hording wolves. But not enough time for anything to look presentable.
I also had to catch the cats. The sylvester girls were effortless—they went into the bathroom without coaxing. Follette was another thing all together. After 45 minutes (!), I finally caught her, and put her in the bathroom. I was exhausted!
And all was fine until the eco-exterminator announces that the cats, the dog, and me, should all be out of the house while they spray. Of course we should. Why did your scheduler insist that the cats and dog and I didn't need to be outside, that the bathroom would suffice?
Anyways, Follette refused to go with the plan... much to my tremendous dispair. Not that she seems any worse for the wear.
August 16, 2005
Travel with ease
A masterful urban cyclist, marginized though she or he may be, travels with ease through the modern motorized city. With ease. No doubt there are many streets to avoid out there, many hazards, many drivers with bad attitudes. But there are usually enough friendly routes available for the urban cyclist to move with incredible efficiency and reasonable safety.
— Robert Hurst, The Art of Urban Cycling: Lessons from the Street
The ride in
I rode to work this morning! Wuhoo! So much fun!
It's cloudy and chilly and just a wonderful bike riding morning. I followed someone up the first hill, and I could have passed her. Yes! It's like a dream. And this, on my little pink bike. Who knew?
I've been taking the Eastside Esplanade in lately, because it has a little bit more in the way of ups and downs, and I really could use some work on the ups. I was very pleased with myself. I was tired by the time I got to the Hawthorne Bridge, but I kept a good tempo.
I got very lucky and the eco-exterminators are coming to the house today, so I'll be heading back there soon.
August 15, 2005
Bridge Pedal 2005
Sunday morning was Bridge Pedal. I borrowed Sweetie's sweet black-on-black Townie 24, and rode down to the start, loving how quiet it was. I had signed up for the 10 bridge tour/ride/thingee, starting at 6:30. That's 35 miles—about 25 miles more than I've ridden in the last, umm, twenty years. I decided to just take it as it goes—walk up hills if need be, stop when I get tired, and go home when it stops being fun.
Because I'm on Sweetie's bike, and because I didn't give this a lot of thought, at the last minute I'm trying to figure out logistics, like how to carry money and camera and cellphone, etc. I decide on a smallish purse—and then I remember that I might be meeting up with coworkers at John Street Cafe, so I need my lock. I ended up with everything in my big buzz hydro backpack—inconveniently located for any picture taking.
(But not to worry: there are lots of pics of Bridge Pedal here)
We got started, and we were off across the Morrison Bridge (the grating covered by grey wool blankets!), then down the ramp to Water Street, and by OMSI, and... stop. At this point, we all started walking our bikes when there was an opportunity to inch forward. This was some serious congestion, a big old traffic jam. But it was different than a traffic jam in that everyone was jovially talking to everyone else, and while we were annoyed, everyone was in high spirits.
The hold-up was volunteers metering us onto the Springwater Corridor. But once on the Corridor, we flew. It's a flat out strip, ever-so-slightly downhill, and I loved flying down it. I was amazed that I could move so fast!
It's such a different experience than walking the Corridor. Walking the corridor, there are all these animals to watch, my favorite madrone to look at, the swamp below the funeral home and memorial building. Riding, I'm so much less aware of my surroundings. I'm clueing into other people's conversations, their bikes, their helmets. Some guys behind me spotted the feral kitten family. Oh my kittens!
Then it's up the hill and onto the Sellwood Bridge. The Sellwood Bridge is old and on the verge of being condemned. It has a narrow sidewalk on one side which is wide enough for one person, though on the weekends there are people on bikes, runners and walkers trying to share the space, while cars come perilously close. To be fair, the car lanes are narrow too, so it's a great experience for everyone! But now, the bicycles have one full lane. Wuhoo!
We fly past landmarks in my Willamette Greenway loop, and then down into John's Landing. A guys siddles up next to me and makes smalltalk. Could this be Jonathan? Yep! Too funny! We have a nice chat, barreling onto the Hawthorne Bridge. The grating here is covered with plywood, so riding over it make this thump-bump-thump noise, very satisfying.
Then, back onto Water Street, by OMSI.... and stop.
Then up a little hill to the Ross Island Bridge. I downshift, and I hear nothing. I feel nothing. Oh, my chain had decided it's had enough of the derailler. I put down the kick stand and look seriously at the chain, hoping that by looking at it, I'll be magically made aware of how to put it back together again. There is no magic moment, however—I don't have a clue, and I'm just not getting any smarter. Suddenly, a man appears, and he shows me how it's done. And it's done. Thanks, Mystery man! And I'm off across the Ross Island.
Zoom, zoom, zoom, then up the Harrison Hill, then onto the freeway! Dude, we're on the freeway!!! And then, effortlessly, we're up the Marquam bridge.
It's a serious party here, and a total logjam. There's a band, bike repair, free rootbeer and clif bars and vitamin water and bananas, and people taking pictures, and no way to just get through if you want to just get through. A guy in a Salmon outfit (damn, that looks warm), puts a sticker on my shoulder. Finally, maybe a half hour later, I'm through the people, and I'm jetting down the hill. Damn!
And, we're back on Water Street, but this time, we're heading the opposite direction. We head up 2nd, then onto Couch, then onto the Burnside Bridge. Yeeha! Then through Old Town, and up to the Broadway Bridge.
Before we're on the bridge, I hear a couple guys near by.
Those elite cyclists, they probably aren't even going to drink beer afterwards, says one.
Or during, says the other.
I snort, can't help it. Too funny.
I can't believe how easy it is to climb these bridges. I haven't walked up a hill yet. This is so counter to my usual ride-the-bike home scenerio where I'm huffing and puffing my way home. But then I get to eat my words. We turn off Russell Street, and I'm behind some slow cyclists who slow down, and boom, I lose my momentum and have to stop.
You could have gotten over, a man shouts.
Well, actually, no, I couldn't, but thanks for your input, I say, nicely. And walk the bike up the hill.
Climbing the hill to the Fremont bridge is easy. It's a party up there too, but nowhere near as congested as the Marquam. It's so cool to be atop a huge, high freeway bridge. I get a reflector from City Commissioner Sam Adams (how cool is that?), get a clif bar, get a Starbucks samplelette, and then it's down the hill, off the freeway, down Vaughn and St. Helens to Hwy 30.
On Hwy 30, we're relegated to one lane. I'm trying to stay out of people's way, but amazingly, I'm faster than a lot of bicyclists out there. I keep getting caught behind cyclists who pedal-pedal-pedal-coast, and there are so many other cyclists passing, that I can't get around them. Unless I go outside the cones, and into car traffic. I start to get a little bent-out-of-shape about it, and then I realize: maybe this is a newish bicyclist. Maybe this experience will convince her to get out on her bike more often. Maybe even commute to work every now and again. Or do the Bike Commute Challenge in September. And maybe, at some point, she'll hit a rhythm of pedal-pedal-pedal-pedal.
I'm determined I'm going to make it all the way up my last bridge, the St. Johns. The hill up to the bridge is impressive, and seeming much steeper than when I walked it in the Portland Marathon last year. That's okay, I'm going up. I had momentum, I was gearing down, and then, an older guy ahead of me falls over in slow motion. No really—slow motion! I'm off my bike without thinking, helping him up, and he's laughing about getting his foot caught in his toe cage. I'm just glad he's not hurt. So I start walking the bike. And see before and behind, a trail of people walking their bikes.
Crossing the St. Johns is rather perilous. People are stopping, taking pictures, and generally all over the road, while we have one lane, and no real sidewalk. Oh good. What a nightmare! But finally, I've crossed, the rest stop is total chaos. I duck through downtown, then follow some renegades up a sidestreet, then I finally rejoin the route.
Immediately on the right hand side is the Portway Tavern. Ten am and it's open, and I hear the voices of my pals from Old Town. Stop here? Yeah, of course. Part of me wanted to invite myself into their party, but another part of me just wanted to get home.
As we are going down Willamette Blvd, it's getting less shady and quite a bit hotter. Some people have sprinklers out by the street—lovely. My thoughts are more and more about taking a shower and eating something that isn't a banana or a cliff bar. And so I finally navigate home.
All in all, 35 miles. And I cycled all ten bridges (I got the Steel Bridge going down to the start line). Great fun!
This morning, I was reliving it, and thinking that all those slow-downs were too bad. And then I thought, hey, we got what we wanted. There we were, taking over the roads. We were just like cars, only we could talk amongst ourselves. When the road was wide open, we could race or cruise, as we chose. And when things got congested, it just made me thankful for how flawless and quick and straightforward my bike commute is.
Can fleas live without mammals?
Saturday morning, Sweetie got me up for Pfit (4:30 am), and then he went back to bed. I as usual lingered too much, and I just wasn't feeling enthusiastic about going, and I knew I'd get there late, etc. etc. So I didn't go. Looking back, there are plenty of ways I could beat myself up about this: I would have had some social time. Long walks are good for thinking. Here, I'm a walker who doesn't walk. Et cetera.
But in the end, I'm really glad that I had 4 hours to myself. I sat on the backporch with a cup of coffee, watched the dog running around, and petted Daphne, our supersonic outdoor cat. I brought out a book (The Art of Urban Cycling by Robert Hurst, which I've been reading for months), and the powerbook, but didn't end up spending a lot of time with either. Mostly, I just sat on the backporch and drank coffee.
It was cool and breezy and sunny. The neighborhood was silent, other than the sound of the wind in the trees. My neighborhood is many things, but very rarely silent. It was beautiful!
I decided that my weekends need to change. Weekends have become this blur of errands-running. Even when we're doing fun things, it seems like we're constantly in motion, driving or scootering from place to place, one thing after another. Yes, there has to be some errands, but we've made making a day of it an art.
Later in the day, I learned our basement is infested with fleas. How is that possible? Don't fleas need a host? Let's not go there...
August 12, 2005
Traversing Freeways, human-powered stylee
I'm feeling vaguely optimistic today though. I've had a couple successes, and I'm trying hard to fake it til I make it.
I'm looking really forward to going to the Providence Bridge Pedal Health & Wellness Expo over lunch. I'm hoping going earlier in the day will make it less chaotic and crowded, and will be good inspiration for me going into the weekend.
Last year, I did Bridge Stride, a six mile walk that crosses the Fremont Bridge, a highway bridge. It's part of the whole Bridge Pedal weekend. When I went to pick up my packet, I was honestly overwhelmed at the expo—I had never been to an athletic expo before—so I ran in, picked up my packet, and ran out.
This year, I want to check out the booths, talk to the volunteers, maybe collect some schwag or buy some things. And probably, sign up for Bridge Pedal.
Actually doing Bridge Stride last year was really fun. There is something so transgressive and wonderful about walking up a freeway to the top of a bridge. Even if it's with thousands of other people who are walking and riding up the freeway.
It reminds me of being a kid. When I was in junior high in suburban Detroit, a new highway (275) was being built nearby. So while the freeway was being built, one of the neighborhood adults would take us kids for bike rides up and down the freeway. It was wonderful having four lanes of concrete, ever so flat and smooth, for us to ride, miles and miles and miles.
Mind you, I was always the sort of kid, while good and obedient in most ways, who used my bike and my legs to get as far away as possible. I wanted to explore. And here, this was exploring that was allowed! How cool is that?
No doubt that experience fed my desire to ride the bike path that runs along 275, which I did compulsively as a teenager.
Anyways, this years festivities include a 6, 8, and 10 bridge ride, and Bridge Stride. That's 14, 24, 35, and 5 miles, respectively.
And Slug Velo's Ice Cream ride is also on Sunday.
August 11, 2005
Ultra Trail Records
This is big news. David Horton finished and set a new record for the Pacific Crest Trail yesterday—66 days, 7 hours, 16 minutes. This is significant. I believe the former record was 83 days. His crew diary (the link above) is fascinating. It accentuates the positive, of course, but you know that an ultra—a continuous 66 day ultra with only one rest day—is full of drama.
The Oregonian is running a series currently called On the Pacific Crest Trail—Nice!
On August 3rd, Andrew Thompson set the unofficial record for hiking the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail. In 47 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes, Thompson blazed through 14 states, tolerated a sore knee and feet, ran from a bear, and endured heat and cold.
In both sites, foot issues are only alluded to. I can't even wrap my mind around it. Wow!
August 10, 2005
I rode the bike both Monday and Tuesday, and it was the highlight of those days. Even the ride home, which is getting easier. Yesterday evening, I took a convoluted route home, and still felt pretty good about things. Maybe I will try BridgePedal. Maybe.
Jonathan has some links to an Oregonian story about Bridge Pedal, and the BTA's response to the recent bicycling deaths. Hurrah. He's also collecting bicycling close call stories, which he'll collect and use to advocate for better bike safety measures, so if you're in Portland, please contribute.
My bruises seem to still be developing. I'm still amused about it.
Walking, pilates, gym:
I seem to have totally fallen off the cart. I need to run after it, and catch it, and I will. Just not sure when.
Me, myself and I:
I've been sulking for days now. I don't know why I'm feeling so low, I just know that I can't seem to escape it for very long. Which makes me think its chemical. I've also had some bouts of rage, especially in the last day or so—which is not like me when everything is stable. I like stable. I'd like to get back to it.
I decided, after browsing an online article about concentrating on the 20% that makes you happy and successful, that further thinking about this would be a good idea. I'm at a place right now where I'm not sure, beyond a handful of things, what makes me happy or successful. I need to figure this out.
August 9, 2005
When I was about 14 or 15, and running in a pretty muddy cross country race, one of my shoes stuck in the mud and came off. Boy, was I wild. To think that I had trained hard for this race and didn't do up my shoelace tightly enough! I really got aggressive with myself, and I found myself starting to pass a lot of runners. As it turned out, I improved something like twenty places in that one race. But I never did get my shoe back.
—Rob de Castella
August 8, 2005
My weekend in the bush of bicycles
This is all my own fault, mind you. If I were keeping track of where my prescriptions were at, I never would have run out, and I would have called my meds minder before the day she left on vacation. But it's incredible to me how debilitating it is when I do run out of meds.
Sweetie and I go out and have a nice breakfast, and then I come home and sulk. Before he left, sweetie reminded me about the Tour de Fat, that is sounded right up my alley. I responded by going on a diatribe about corporate events. But then I decided that I should give it a chance, and if nothing else, riding the pink (corporate!) bike downtown might help my mood somewhat.
I got down to the waterfront, and it looked okay. Like fun, even. There was a corral of funky homemade bikes, and pedal-powered carnival rides, there was a band playing, and booths for the BTA and PUMP, who were benefiting from the beer sales. So I called sweetie and asked him to join me.
I grabbed a beer and wandered around. Everyone was friendly. I collected some swag, I watched people riding tiny bikes and walking the tight rope, and I looked at bikes. Lots of cool bikes there. Perhaps most memorable was a Hello Kitty Bike, but there were cool old Schwinns, and just lots of neat details.
When sweetie got there was when things started getting good. I wanted BTA and PUMP to do well, so I made sure to buy lots of beer. At one point, I fell in a stack of the sound engineering gear boxes, which left a huge, very unhappy, bruise on my butt, a bruise and some swelling on my wrist, and an outline of the two boxes on my calf. I'm told I "slipped" "gracefully"—ha!
At that point, I was ready to try out the homemade bikes. A woman offered to haul me around in the sidecar of a bike, so we did that for about five revolutions. I tried out a long bike, and a bunch of other bikes that I can barely describe. Big fun!
We were ready to leave when I was approached by a member of the Belligerantes, Portland's Schwinn Bicycle Club—could I take their picture? Of course! I had been coveting some of their bikes, of course I'd take a picture. And the fact that they might beat me up if I said no had nothing to do with it (kidding, just kidding).
After that, I rode over to Powell's Technical. Remind me never to go technical book shopping when I'm drunk, please.
We got dinner, and then headed over for the Heavy Pedal Cyclecide Bike Rodeo. They had a number of chunkified bikes, as well as three human-powered carny rides: the Cyclofüge (aka the Whirl & Hurl), a two-person ferris wheel, and the Dizzy Toy, a two-person carousel. At this point my beer-fueled bravado was wearing off, so I was perfectly content to watch and not hurl.
Sunday, I was back to my old self again, though covered in bruises. Sweetie decides he wants to go bike shopping. Cool! So we go to the bike shop, and low and behold, there's a black on black Townie 24. He takes it out for a ride, me trailing along on a Black Betty (which is adorable but nowhere as fun or comfortable as my Townie). A few test rides and a beer later, it is decided: it is the one.
I'm thrilled, and I hope he loves it and rides it. (If not, I sure will)
August 5, 2005
Today will be mostly quotes as I am swimming in crankiness. It's just chemical, but knowing that doesn't help. And the heat isn't helping either. Today it is only supposed to get up to 90. Yesterday, it got up to 96, and it was 75 at midnight. Grumble.
Bill Bowerman was, and is, and ever shall be a generous, ornery, profane, beatific, unyielding, antic, impenetrably complex Oregon original. As a freshman, I found him deeply disturbing. Once he bet me a case of Nutrament that I couldn't break 2.00 for the 880 on a freezing Saturday morning. I ran with control, hitting the 440 in 60. I could feel myself accelerating in the last lap. Near the finish I knew I'd done it. I slowed and turned, gasping to hear the time. "2.00,3" he said. "Good try." I leaped on him, screaming made insane with outrage. He allowed me to wrestle the watch away from him. It read 1.56,6.
— Kenny Moore
The thinking must be done first, before training begins.
August 4, 2005
Okay, I think that have probably smeared the good name of Tri-Met once too many yesterday. It appears in the evening accident that the bus was a bystander and a F150 was at fault.
Coming in on the aftermath of two accidents in one day just seems like a little much to me.
Today I scootered in. I really wanted to ride the bike, I am so infatuated with that process right now, but I had to face facts that the scooter needs service and today made good sense to bring it in. I also wanted to stop, again, at the Open Source Convention Expo.
Last night I went, but I got there too late to register. This is the first year it's in the convention center, which is to say, it's enormous, or at least it seems double or triple the size of last year. That is something very cool about being there, seeing the mix of guys in geek t-shirts, people dressed as if they were at a sci-fi con, and people dressed as if they were at a job interview. It was quite the party atmosphere—there was an open wine and beer table, as well as a snacky buffet. I browsed the tables, looking for swag, but I didn't pick up much.
Among other things, I just didn't have the energy to schmooze. I had heard that morning that an acquaintance had been laid off, and while high-tech has bounced back, maybe, in Silicon Valley and Seattle, it hasn't really here. Just about every booth was giving away t-shirts, and last year I was filling my OSCON canvas bag with them. But this year, I was more picky. And I just didn't want to go there.
(Last year, too, I had attended some tutorials, so I felt like a real participant. This year, I'm just going to the Expo. Poseur!)
I did end up, however, getting a subscription to Make, and getting an issue and a t-shirt free. The O'Reilly guy was very friendly, and I chatted with him a bit.
I am probably going to go back to the Expo this afternoon, in hopes that the Google booth will be open. What do I want to accomplish there? Nothing really...
August 3, 2005
more of the same
So, maybe a Trimet bus hitting a bicycle is an everyday event. Or a multiple times a day event. Maybe it's wrong that I'm shocked by it.
I only say this because I'm riding home tonight, I'm coasting on the knowledge that I actually passed another bicyclist on a hill, and the 6 compliments I got on the bike. I'm hercking my way up another piddling hill, herck, herck, herck, and I see a stopped bus, and a clump of maybe a dozen bicyclists, standing around. Oh crap.
Oh crap is right. To the driver's credit, he's out talking to the woman he hit, and to her credit, she does have a dozen bicyclists giving moral support. As I'm pedalling away, the cops and the ambulance are pulling up.
The situation seemed much less dire than the morning's. I cycled the rest of the way home, and to my surprise, made it in under 21 minutes, not including stops.
from one thing to another
Yesterday, during my dental exam, I suddenly fixated on one image, and was unable to get it out of my head. It was the image... of a coyote curled up on a MAX seat. Like this:
I honestly have no idea how the image became painted on the ceiling of my brain, but it was, and then I was tearing through all my mental clutter trying to figure out where I had seen it. Online wasn't likely. Was it in a zine? We've been on a zine buying spree, me mostly picking up Constant Riders and Urban Adventure League stuff.
After the dentist appointment, I went home and tore through my physical clutter. No luck.
Anyway, here is the story, if you care. [The link now should work, sorry!]
After another medical appointment, I was released to pilates, which was a good hard class. I was the only old timer there—that felt pretty odd. But it was nice to wipe my brain clean of coyotes and other silliness and just work.
Then I ran to my Portland to Coast team meeting. Very interesting. I knew only one person on the team, but they are all very friendly and funny, and I think it will all be fine. They are not taking this very seriously, which is a relief.
And so I finally got home at 10:30, which is super late for me.
This morning, I biked in. The morning was cool, the lights were timed just right for me to just go-go-go! I felt great! I loved looking at the light and the shadows in my neighborhood, the cats, the people walking, other cyclists.
And then I have to go ruin it by riding into the Rose Quarter and seeing the bentup frame of a bicycle in front of a TriMet bus, an ambulance right there, closing up its doors. Oh gosh, seeing something like that makes me sick every time. What happened there?
It's hard to know as it appeared the bus had pushed the bicycle along a few feet.
All day today I've been checking the news sites, and I've seen nothing about it. Hopefully, it's not a fatality, hopefully, it's just a garden variety bike accident. Is there such a thing?
more on commuting
I've been thinking more about commuter bikes, and interested to hear your comments. It's a good topic—how do we attract more people to cycling, and how do we lower the resistance? How do we make it irresistable?
Part of the issue comes squarely down on transportation planning. Gosh, it's great that we have so many bike lanes, but what do we do about drivers who don't respect them? Or bike lanes that are so narrow on crowded streets that only one bike fits? And really, there's the issue that holds many would-be bicyclists back—a barrier between them and automobile traffic.
Jonathan has some great points, as usual. It needs to be attractive, it needs to be made in an environmentally sound fashion, and it needs an internally geared hub. In another blog, he mentions the Electra Rosie being featured in Oprah's magazine.
These Electra cruisers (and others) have gotten tons of press because the mainstream, lifestyle media is smitten with their retro-metro look and flashy graphics. What the bike industry needs is a bike with the fun visual appeal of the "Rosie", the utility of a Breezer, the distribution of a Trek, the durability of a Surly, and the exposure of an Electra.
This new line of bikes would be hip, beautiful, utilitarian, durable, affordable, simple, and available. I know they'd sell well in Portland and other bike-centric towns and who knows, with some luck, maybe even the editors at O Magazine would like them.
The thing that really came to me in the last 24 hours, and in reading your comments, is that above all else, it needs to visible.
I feel rather goofy sometimes when I ride the bicycle or the scooter in my crazy get-ups, but I wear the crazy get-ups in the hopes that drivers will see me, and in seeing me, will not hit me. That's part of the reason for riding a pink bike with flowers on the basket too. Notice me, the absurdity of the pink bike, the silk flowers, the oversized person riding the bike, the silliness of wearing a skirt, my goofy bike socks—Notice me, dammit, and don't hit me!
Bicyclist hit by Tri-Met bus at Rose Quarter during morning rush hour
More as I know it.
August 2, 2005
Yesterday was a triumph for me, for riding the bicycle home. At one point, I drafted someone! I probably could have even passed him. It was all very exciting.
I did stop and take a couple pictures (on the right), but otherwise, never got off the bike. I concentrated on trying to spin even when I was tired. I stayed in the bike lane, rather than taking the side streets. It was terribly exciting. I'm sure I still look like I'm about to keel over, but I feel like I broke a big barrier.
Another cyclist died last night. Hit by a hit and run driver.
Last night, as I was waiting to cross Holliday and Interstate, the most dangerous crossing on my route, I was in line behind several other cyclists and a person in a motorized wheelchair. We got the bike signal, and we started pulling out, and someone in a Jeep comes inches from hitting the first cyclist, and taking out the wheelchair as well. There has been some new signage at that intersection warning motorists about the new bicycle signal, but motorists obviously aren't seeing it—they just want to make their righthand turn NOW.
Anyways, the driver of the Jeep stopped in time, and gave the cyclist a I'm an idiot smile. Yep, I love seeing that smile when you've almost hit somebody.
I'm reading about Tszuj's being hit by a car, and I know my own experience as a driver. Ugh. I hate it!
Chris at Portland Transport wrote today about the need for a commuter bicycle that would fit on Tri-Met (our public transport)'s bike racks. Yes, yes, yes! There is an absolute need!
S/he mentions zir recumbent is getting dusty, and I know all about that. Okay, I don't really, but. (I so want to ride a recumbent bike, I do, I do!) I would be more likely to bike commute if I knew—on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when I have a tight window between work & pilates—that I'd be able to make it home quickly.
My townie is wonderful—gosh I love it—but it doesn't fit securely on Tri-Met's bus racks, and is too long for the train. Part of the problem with the bus rack is my fender—the thing that holds the wheel really is designed to hold a wheel, and not a fender with a light mounted on it.
So, from my perspective as a new bicycle rider, a commuter bike needs to be lightweight enough that it can be easily lifted. It needs fenders, chain guard, bell, lights and some sort of carrying device, like a basket or a rack or both. It needs to be attractive, and it needs to be fun to ride. It needs to be short enough to hang on the MAX train hooks. I don't know about price point, though I think the magic number for me is $500.
Does it need gears? My three-speed helps me immeasurably up hills (and I'm wishing I had more speeds now).
And I love the idea of being able to carry more. Would that that fit on Tri-Met!!
What do you think a commuter bike needs? And if you don't bike commute now, what would it take to make you change your mind?
August 1, 2005
KlutzIt was bound to happen. This morning I bicycled in, and got my skirt caught in my chain.
I've been wearing longer skirts, if for no other reason that there's no need for me to advertise that I'm a klutz with my tremendously ugly knee roadrash. On one hand, it's nice because I have to worry less about skirt creep.
It only took me about a minute to figure out how to get my skirt free—the coaster brake that I love so was kinda an obstacle—so other than a small rip along the hem, no one may ever know that it happened.
In other bicycle excitement, I practiced standing on the pedals this morning. It feels weird. Unsafe. To make matters worse, I am wearing soft-soled shoes today, and so when I'd stand, I was totally aware of where the pedal was and wasn't.
Have you missed Marshall? I sure have. Well, I've got good news, and it's not about switching insurance—Marshall is back!
I had big plans to get outside this weekend and work out, and I didn't. Not at all. It was super hot again, still. To make matters worse, my neighbors painted their house.
My newest neighbors are in their 20s and they make me tired. They're already involved in the neighborhood association, they're organizing our street's Night Out, and they're supernice. I just met them, but they seem to already be bosom buddies with my neighbors across the street (they who have everything and anything stolen, and then fenced to their nextdoor neighbors) AND the couple on the corner. This is significant because the couple on the corner and the folks across the street make the rest of us look like slackers in the house-proud department.
(and yes, I am a slacker in the house-proud department. It's not that I don't want my house/yard to look beautiful—it's just that it feels completely unachievable.)
So anyways, Saturday morning, I get up, and look outside, and the youngsters are taping up the windows and doors, as if they were going to paint. And then I look outside again, and they are painting. Not only that, but they've roped the couple on the corner into spray gun painting it. So by the time we get outside to go to breakfast, they have everything on our side already painted, and Michael is painting the foundation.
Of course, by the end of the weekend, everything is done. My hat's off to them, it looks great and really makes the house look a lot better... but I'm jealous.
The time that we could have been doing something productive, we spent scootering. Sunday morning we rode out and around Sauvie Island, which is the world's largest inland island. There's quite an argument locally whether it's Sauvie or Sauvies, but map makers and the county refer to it as the former. It's only ten miles away, but it feels a world away. We just scootered around, watched the bicyclists, stopped at a nursery, and got a good sunburn.
Afterwards, we stopped at the liquor store. I volunteered to bring margaritas to our Portland to Coast team meeting on Tuesday, so I had to pick up the ingredients. I learned a great quickie margarita from Jill (recipe below). But to my great sadness, Rose's lime has high-fructose corn syrup in it. Of course it does. I had a momentary crisis, and then I bought it anyways.
While I'd like to make margaritas from scratch, on a school night, it's just not happening.
Margaritas a la Jill
2/3 cup Reposado Tequila (you could use the cheaper stuff, but this saves on hangovers and tastes better too)
2/3 cup Triple Sec
2/3 cup Rose's lime
Mix together, chill and serve.