Saturday, September 26, 2009

Portland Oregon; Back in the Promise Land

Portland, Oregon. Gem of the northwest. Beautiful countryside aplenty. Reusable shopping bags, 55mph freeway limits, tall blond mommies, Obama/Putin 2012 signs, legal pot farms, friendly hellos, hippies, and a damn fine set of bridges; as per.

Upon retiring (at the earliest hour possible) the self will promptly be gathering up his family and U-haling them to the promise land; forgoing the stop in beautiful Bakersfield, Sac-town, or Redding. For to live in Oregon is to enjoy life’s most savory atmosphere. Why sure, the property tax is a mild 87.6% and it rains 364 days a year, but there are other perks. No state tax, $2 car registration, fine cheeses and breads, college lab grown reefer; not to mention skiing, fishing, cycling, and a nifty tram which takes you from the fixie surrounded Borders Books on the river to the university at the top.

Instead of chancing the bike case rental from his local shop, plus the $900 airline fee for transporting a bicycle, son of the OC/IE yours truly decided to rent a bike from the local shop in Lake Oswego. Nice lads down there in Beverly Oswego, they are; renting the self a Cannondale for $30 a day, which was well worth the cost over a three day period when compared to the formerly listed option of self-transport. Mostly, it was worth it simply because the self could not sit inside all day in this beautiful garden of Eden and not hit the pavement.

The rented sled:
2006 Caad 8

Let’s take a look around the components shall we.

Aluminum Frame, Size 54. No 56 was available. Thanks to the boys at the Velonews forum who talked me out of getting a 54 next year as the bike was entirely too small.

The shop had a Fizik Arione test model which I swapped for the no name brand seat on the bike.

Which came complete with 1981 Bianchi seatpost.

FSA Carbon compact cranks, Shimano Ultegra throughout.

Bitchin anodized cages.

And of course, the requisite Fred stem, at a cool 35 degree upswing.

Now the Sprinter is pumped. Who needs carbon fiber, GPS computers, and 7900? Who needs heart rate monitors, $1100 wheels, and hologram cranks? As Max Kash Agro always said, “gritty not pritty.”© The self does not want a speedometer, this way he will have an excuse for the Clackamas County Deputy when he breaks the speed limit on the flats. Time to get back to base, time to enjoy the ride, time to HAMMER. No thinking, no wishing, no wanting, no hoping. There is no HOPE; only a government run free market economy and cash for clunkers. No need for a death panel anyway, the Sprinter will die young and die pritty. That’s the mantra. No Gnosticism, Sadducees, reincarnation, or spontaneous combustion. This is the final act. Enjoy it, it will be over soon. There will be no clapping, no encore, no after party with cocktails and weenies. The Sprinter is a speck on the timeline, but today the timeline gets blown up. 10 seconds to clip in. 10 seconds to launch. 10 seconds to blast off, up and over the forests of Oregon. We are going to make an Instant Rocket in class today kids. Just add Wattage. No need for milk, eggs, flour, or sugar; on account the Self is sweet enough already.

Rant over; enjoy the pics of the beautiful place I was so lucky to ride in.

Hoffman Road, SW Wilsonville:

Huge momma Mantis on the road:

Picked her up and put her in the bushes so she wouldn’t get run over:

Pete’s Mountain Road, 19%:

Top of the valley, Mt Hood not clearly visible due to some fires in the area:

Pumpkin Patch at the bottom of Turner:

Forest area of Turner Rd, 10% grade:

Ride over, legs pumped, soul cleansed.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Steep Hills, Red Flags, and Asshole Arsonists

Thursday morning, Inland Empire; the 909 is surrounded by life taking, property consuming brush fires greedily lapping up everything in sight. Percentage of containment, low 20's; cause of fires; no doubt a filthy, disgusting, scabies-infested piece of parasite trash. (Read: HUMAN.)

The self is overwhelmed with the world. The communist leader preparing to address the "children," deficit in full swing, personal finance future unknown. Time to get away, to make it all simple again. Time to bow to the holy trinity of heart, lung and muscle against gravity. The trio which lets us know we are mortal if not human. The self calls the boss, taking the day off. Why? Well, partly because the self doesn't want to drive 30 miles somewhere he dosen't want to be, but mostly because it's hammer time. A glance at the Garmin cockpit confirms this feeling.

The local liberal controlled/paid weatherman proclaims a "RED FLAG" warning. Stay inside! Lock your doors! Don't breathe! People of Southern California duly warned and lovingly protected.

Red Flags!?! I eat red flags for breakfast! Don't think so? Look!

Red Flags=Red Tape. Bust through! If the self was a lemming he would be kicking back watching his bretheren walk off the cliff. If you're not leading you're following. Don't want to think about what's going on in the world, just want to blast off, just want to hammer, just want to feel the acid fill the legs; lactic/lactate, and perhaps even lactaid. It's on, off to Chino Hills I go looking for the steepies. I casually roll westbound down Chino Av up by the theatres and to Chino Hills pkwy. Feeling good...The self goes to the steepist climb in Chino hills, an undisclosed road where masters studs such as Chris Demarchi perform countless intervals to let off steam and prepare to hammer the family men racers.

The road, 13% grade for 1/2 mile. It's a LONG 1/2 mile. Takes 4 minutes on this day. The self's blood organ quickley jumps to 180 bpm. It stays there. At the top the self feels vindicated, even soothed. Until of course, I see this at the top of the hill:

Well....I guess it does..Since, THIS is what it should look like:

A HUGE thank you to humans. Although this rant may seem conservative, the self is VERY liberal when it comes to planet earth, animals, and our environment. A random thought:

I fervently wish I did not live in this era. Make me a caveman if you have to. I am through with the fast life. It's old. I could live on a ranch growing my own food and slaughtering my own cows. If it meant no smog, trash, and most of all; people. Sure I love my internet; sure I love my blackberry, sure I love my 15lb bike; but I would give it up in an instant.

So in the end, the ride clears the head, but muddles it at the same time.