oregon adventures

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

PIR Bike Race Last One of the Year

Tuesday I went to PIR for the last bike race of the year there. They run every Monday and Tuesday from April to late August. I did one Tuesday race each month this year and one Monday race last week. Got there just before they lined up, so no warm up time. The guy said we were only doing 5 laps since there were only 11 of us. So off we went and I stayed up 1 or 2 from the back as we formed one snaking line. After the 2nd lap one guy broke away and took off, nobody went after him. I stayed with the group easily and on the 5th lap I was moving up and ended up front leading the group through part of a straightaway and two curves straight into a strong wind. That was the first time in my life I've been at the front of a peloton! The group passed me and I was at the back, but at the last curve and into the home straightaway I kicked it out and was in front by myself, but nobody was chasing. I looked at my speedometer and it said almost 10 miles- 5 laps. So I zoomed along in the lead and crossed the line going 30, but then they rang the 1 lap bell. We were doing our standard 6 laps, the guy had lied. Unfortunately I had expended a lot of energy and as the group swallowed me up, my legs hurt. But it was now officially the last lap so I stayed close and hung onto the group and at the last turn and onto the home stretch I kicked it out for real- shoot too soon. But for about 150 yards I was in the lead of a bike race with the finish line in sight. Looked down and I was doing 31.5, but I had gone too soon and started to flag and at 30.5 the group zoomed by and it took all I had to maintain 30 and stay on the back of the group to finish 10th out of 11. I now know what being in front feels like though!! Stats- 12 miles with an average of 24.2 MPH and 10th out of 11. Afterwards I noticed some people up in the flagger's tower so I climbed up and took a couple of pictures.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Troutdale Bike Ride

Sunday my friends Steve and Lynn had wanted to do the Portland Century ride a new ride this year. Lynn had a friend she wanted to set me up with on the ride, but she backed out and we didn't really want to pay $50 for a local ride, so we did out own ride for free. Started at the Gateway transit center (picture) with Steve and Lynn on a tandem and took the I-205 path to Marine drive and Lynn had never ridden over the I-205 bridge so we turned and did that. There is a bike path built into the middle of the interstate bridge, it's very loud, but a cool experience. Back on Marine drive we saw a ton of people with numbers who were part of the Portland ride, so we waved and said hi to all. Saw the food stop on Marine drive and it only had water. Stopped in Troutdale to have a Marionberry danish. Then back the way we came, this time ridding with the century riders. Talked to Sandy and Frank at work today and they both did the Portland ride and said they had 1200 people do the ride and the markings were horrible and cheap stops, but a fantastic afterwards food spread and free beer and a bag of coffee. I think it was a good decision to do our own ride. Stats- 31 miles at a 15.1 pace.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Vancouver Bicycle Club Time Trial

Thursday night I went over the river to Vancouver and did a time trial by Vancouver Lake. You sign in at the Port office (picture) and pay $1 and then go out on the road for the start. It's put on by the Vancouver Bicycle Club and has a guy holding you up so you're clipped in to start, another guy counting the start and a guy at the turnaround to try and watch for traffic. The starter guy then goes across the street and is the finishing timer. Works really well since it's a low traffic road on the edge of the industrial district. They do the time trial every Thursday from June to September- I just heard about it. It's 10 miles, so I went all out as much as I could having run Wednesday night. Between 4-5 miles was into the wind and I slowed from 20-22 to 18-19. After the turnaround I soared along at 23-25 until about mile 8, then 20-22 until the finish. Came across the line and my computer said 28:26 with an average of 21.1 MPH. When I walked back out to give them the number back, he said I did 26:29 which comes out to an average of 22.6 MPH. Next time I need to bring the running shoes, a good half the field went running after their ride. Flat empty road and a brick opportunity. While waiting in the starting line (every 30 second start), I talked to the young guy in front of me and he was going to do the Wisconsin Ironman in a couple weeks as his first ironman.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

PIR Bike Race Monday

Monday night, the day after doing an Olympic tri, I went and raced at PIR in the cat 5 masters novice race. My friend Frank wanted to try PIR racing and my yoga class was canceled, so I went with him. Lined up and they gave us a surprise- 7 laps instead of six. Started out ok and fell to the back of course because I couldn't stay right on the wheel in front. I saw Frank stay in the middle, but I didn't have the energy to muscle in there. Stayed with the group for 5 3/4 laps and then I sensed something was wrong, looked to the front and the group had split- shoot. I found some reserves and bolted around the splintered group and tore after the lead group and just as I caught up with the back of the group, I put my head down and tried to steady the breathing. Looked up and the guy I had grabbed a wheel on had fallen off, so I sprinted again and by then we were into the 7th lap and I was going 24-25 and slowly gaining on the lead group. Frank fell off and I zoomed past him and yelled "come on". The lead group made the turn into the s-curves and I was hit with the full force of the wind and fell to 20-22 until after the curves and then a guy came up and said "grab my wheel, we'll catch them". So I did and we did 25-26, but couldn't catch the group, so I pulled a little and then started to flag and so did he and I finished in sight of the lead group, but behind it by 100-200 yards. Frank said after I passed him he got a second wind and finished in front of the split group. Finished the 14 miles with a 23 average which seems fast for the Monday novice group, I think some of the front guys weren't novices. Frank said he had to use his elbows to be able to stay in the middle and if a gap opened he pushed in and made the other guy move- that's my problem- I race politely. Next week is the last week for PIR races, so I'll probably try again next week.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Apple Capital Triathlon

Sunday I did the Apple Capital Olympic triathlon in Wenatchee Washington. I took off Saturday and drove 280 miles to Wenatchee and then 20 more miles to Dorongo park on the Columbia river where the race took place and looked at the course. Stayed the night in Wenatchee and the next morning got to the race and it wasn't hot yet. Sandy (picture) the pretty girl form the base who did Onionman with me was there. That was nice to have someone to help with the wetsuit zipper. We went down and tried the water- it was holy cow cold at first, so we sat in it and got used to it. They started the sprint tri first and then delayed our start so long the front sprinters were coming in, so we had to wait for the sprint tri to come out of the water and then we went. It was in an inlet on the Columbia, so it seemed fast and there was milfoil, some kind of weed sticking up almost to the surface. I took it easy and went at my pace until I got smashed into by some guy and had to start again, came out of the water in 35 minutes a new pb for olympic distance. Then onto the bike. It started out with a climb out of the park and a little more up. The whole ride was tilted plateau up and down and I started out slow for the first couple miles and then kicked it in. Right by the turnaround I went to get a drink of water and my leg hit the bottle and it flew away, luckily I had a Gatorade also. The second half I flew along at 20+. This was one of the most beautiful race rides I've done- the Columbia river and the apple orchards and the brown cliffy hills with a misty fog on them. By the end of the ride the mist was gone and it was starting to get warm. Looking at the results I averaged 17.9 on the bike and Sandy beat me on the bike by a couple minutes, I saw her 2 miles before the turnaround. Friday I wanted to go see the LGPA tournament here in Portland, but I woke up with a very stiff back, so I took it easy instead. When I started the run my watch said 2:01- a 58 minute run would put me under 3 hours! After a few steps I realized that wouldn't happen. Every 5 steps the back would spasm, so I slowed to a speed that didn't hurt and it was barely above a shuffle. The hill we rode up on the bike we had to run up twice- that was a hard run and I did it in 1:07 for a 10:48 pace and 3:09 overall with only two tiny walks through the last two water stations. Afterwards I got a hug from Sandy- woohoo (sorry, it's been awhile), but I must have looked bad because she ran over to her bag and brought me a water bottle which I downed in seconds and had to find more water in the park because the race people ran out. Offered to buy Sandy and her mom lunch and she said yes, but her mom wanted to go fruit shopping, I don't think her mom liked me, oh well. Driving home I stopped at one of the millions of fruit stands and got some peaches and a fresh peach shake. Saw a sign for turtle rock park, and sure enough it looked like a turtle (picture).
On the way home I went 5 miles extra to see Leavenworth an alpine village with a Bavarian motif to all the buildings. It was ok, then I saw downtown with the mountains in the background and jaw dropping buildings, it looked like a very crowded movie set. Then the long but beautiful drive home.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Springwater Trail Run and Feast of Love Part 2

Trail Run
Yesterday I ran the dirt part of the Springwater trail. It goes slightly uphill from Gresham to Boring where the trail ends. The Springwater is 16 miles long and paved except the last 2.4 according to a sign. My GPS said it was 2.2 miles each way, so I went a little more on the paved part to make an even 4.5 miles at a 9:19 pace. I went really slow at first so my right sciatica wouldn't hurt. About halfway through the run the trail goes over a road on an old trestle, the best part of the run. There was only a pullout with room for one car by the start of the dirt part and didn't seem too safe to leave anything in the Jeep, so I didn't take my camera. Have an Olympic distance race in central Washington on Sunday with a forecast of 96 that day.

Feast of Love movie shoot part 2
Tuesday I did a second day of filming on the movie Feast of Love starring Morgan Freeman, Greg Kenier, and Selma Blair. The call time was 530 AM at Reed college. It's a beautiful campus, but Tuesday morning was cold (58) and it didn't warm up until late morning. We were watching the last inning of a softball game in which a girl strikes out then Selma Blair hits a double and then gets tagged out on a line drive to end the game. That took 10 1/2 hours! They had a fantastic breakfast spread with a guy who made custom omelets from 3 trays of ingredients. Lunch was also a fantastic spread. I was in the first base crowd, so the morning was alot of pantomime cheering and waiting in the cold. Then the clouds broke and a girl came around with suntan lotion and it got quite warm as our side was in the camera angle most of the afternoon. At one point they drove a huge crane out on the field using boards under the wheels and it had a huge canvas on the crane part- it's whole purpose was to provide a large square of shade for the scene. The prop guy gave me a plate of fried chicken for a picnic look, but the bees attacked it, so I had to put it away from me. During one break, Morgan Freeman grabbed a bat and had one of the extras on the softball team pitch to him. She was really nervous at first but then put it in there and he hit a few. Selma Blair was supposed to hit a double, but she wasn't a very good hitter, so they had a girl who looked like her from the back hit and she smashed it while Selma Blair ran. I think Selma Blair ended up running from home to second 30-50 times. All the different camera angles of each scene with setup time for each one was what took so long. A day of waiting and pantomime cheering- but a day of watching Selma Blair. So it balanced out. Afterwards they wanted people to stay and then come back on Wednesday and Thursday to do a football game crowd. I couldn't take off work that much, so I didn't do that.

P.S.- Congratulations to Green Pea.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Powell Butte Run and Feast of Love Movie Shoot

Powell Butte Run
Had to work this weekend, so after work Saturday decided to run by the house at a large city park called Powell Butte (picture is view from top, my house is down in the trees at the bottom). It's a 650 foot hill that was hollowed out way back and a water tank for the city of Portland was built inside and over it became a park. Now it's a popular mountain bike, horse riding, and hiking place. From the parking lot to the top is 130 foot climb in .6 miles and then there's a loop trail at the top with small ups and downs so I ran up to the top and did the loop four times and then back down with a pace of 9:30 for 4.8 miles which is ok considering the climb and the fact that it was uneven trail so I was watching where to put each step. Took a picture from the first turn at the top showing Larch Mt which I rode Thursday.

Feast of Love Movie Shoot
Friday I took the day off work and was an extra in the movie shooting here, Feast of Love starring Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinear, and Selma Blair. The scene I did was at the Lucky Labrador Microbrew bar, I guess dogs are allowed in the bar because people with their dogs showed up during the day and had to be told it was closed. Walked in the bar and saw smoke and panicked- 12 hours with cigarette smoke? Turns out it was a couple of fog machines. They gave us glasses of O'Douls to sip on and I was in the back by a piano and jukebox talking to a really pretty girl (she was married of course). When they were ready to shoot, Morgan Freeman came in and the place got silent as everyone watched him come in (he's as tall as me). Greg Kinear sauntered in and nobody noticed him. Selma Blair looked so familiar, it bugged me all day, then I googled her later- she was in Legally Blond which I saw on cable last week. Anyway, 12 hours of the same actions over and over- the life of an extra, but they had a fantastic lunch spread. Towards the end with everyone getting tired Morgan Freeman came on set singing and doing a little dance and him and Greg Kinear started cracking each other up and seemed to be having a good time. A news crew showed up outside while we were on break and did a segment, so a bunch of us extras walked over and casually stood around in line with the camera over the newsman's shoulder- anything for face time on film! The girl who Selma Blair's character falls for (I didn't recognize her) does one part where she walks back to the jukebox, so the camera follows her and when they set it up she came right by me and I blocked the light, so the assistant director came out and placed me for the scene. After that I couldn't be used because I had been seen too prominently, so I read a book outside for the last shot. So if the jukebox shot survives editing, I'll be very visible!! Tuesday all of us go back to a different location to watch a softball game, hopefully not for 12 hours, but every movie I've worked on has been at least 12 hour days. Afterwards I was hungry and saw a Moroccan restaurant and went in for to-go apricot chicken. While I was waiting a very rotund belly dancer came out and danced, the patrons loved it, I thought she was a little too large but she had amazing abdominal control.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Larch Mountain Ride

I finally did the premier training ride in the Portland area. Larch mountain has a paved road to the top and rises 3000 feet in 14 miles. Frank S talked about riding it while on the Seattle to Portland ride and I said count me in. He took a group from the base last week the day I came back from Michigan, so I missed it and told him I'd do it next time, so he said how about Thursday. So Thursday after work Frank, Kevin, Steve, and myself started at the Women's Forum park and rode up the mountain. It's a long steady grind with very little respite until you're at the top. Twice a year they have a time trial that does this climb, it took us an hour and 40 minutes to climb up and a half hour to come down. Going down was an adventure with the sharp turns negating the speed. I only hit 38.5 going down, but spent most of the downhill at 30-32, I braked for the curves. Steve and Kevin both went over 40, Frank was a good ride leader and stayed back with me to make sure I made it down. Afterwards, Frank and Steve had to get back home, so Kevin and I went to Tads, a really good restaurant on the Sandy river where I had salmon stuffed with shrimp and covered with a dill sauce. Stats- 29.6 miles with a 13.4 average. Next year I want to do the Larch Mt time trial, even though I'll be a distant last place! Frank said he was doing this ride every couple of weeks last year, so that is what I should be doing also for hill work.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Midsummer Triathlon

Did the Midsummer sprint tri at Blue lake this Sunday. Blue lake is a small lake right here in the Portland area right by the Columbia river and Marine drive. The swim looked really long and by the results it adds up to 970 yards. Stayed with the group to start the swim and got kicked and I hit people with my arms, etc. Ended up at the back of the group, but stayed with them and finished at 19:41 which seemed bad until I saw the results and figured out how long a swim that was. Then onto the bike and I tried to keep it at 20 or above and I thought I had, but the results showed a 19.4 average which is very disappointing considering it was table top flat, but then again I've been on vacation, so it was ok. By the run it was already over 80 and no shade, I'm glad I wasn't doing the Olympic distance. I found a speed where my right sciatic, hamstring didn't hurt and kept to that pace. A mile from the finish I sped up a little and finished with a 9:10 pace. My worst 5K pace of the year, but it didn't hurt and I didn't even think of stopping. At least I feel like a triathlete again, maybe I should stick to sprint distances. Finished 145th out of 225 and 12th of 18 for my age group. Afterwards they had free food and Red Bulls and I took a picture of some kids playing in a fountain right by the transition area.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Mulino Airport Cafe

After work on Friday, I went golfing with one of the new guys at work, Doug, at Eagle Creek golf course (picture) down in Estacada. Originally we were going to fly up to Chahalis Washington and golf at a course right across the street form an airstrip, but didn't have time. So we golfed at Estacada where Doug's dad keeps his plane. Then we flew 15 miles or so to the little town of Mulino where they have a restaurant called Airport Cafe right by the airport and a field (picture) to park the plane in and a gate to the cafe.
The cafe had a father cooking and son and daughter waiting tables and was very busy. As we pulled up and parked in the field, a couple came out of the restaurant and got in their plane and took off. Afterwards we flew over my house and I saw my daughter out back playing with the dog. As you can see by the brown grass in the pictures we haven't had any rain since June or early July and probably won't until September or October. Makes up for the rainy rest of the year.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Spent a week and a half with family at a family reunion back in Battle Creek Michigan. Spent a lot of time at my mom's cottage on Fair Lake (picture). Got in "lake mode", which means sitting on the deck watching the water and doing sudokos and crosswords and swimming sometimes. No TV, no computer, no newspaper. Then looking at a clock and realizing we were supposed to be somewhere, so off to a picnic and tons of food and then back for one more swim, etc.
As for workouts I swam across the lake and back (800 yards according to a map of the lake) four times and ran the dirt roads by the lake twice very slowly. The humidity on top of high 90's was unbearable, I'm glad we don't have humidity here in Portland.
One day I had to get another check mark on a list, so my daughter, my mom, and I went up to Lansing to see the capital building. (picture) That makes 6 state capital buildings I've been in. On the way up to Lansing we saw a place called mooville, so we had to stop. It's a dairy with an ice cream store and petting zoo.
Had a family golf tournament, I was on a team with my sister, aunt, and nephew. I forgot to bring my golf shoes so I played in tennis shoes and on the first tee I wound up and took a full swing and pirouetted like a top and landed on my side on the ground- there's a reason golf shoes have spikes.
One of my uncles is a square dance caller, so we were going to have a square dance at one of the picnics, but the heat and humidity were so high no one wanted to move. But lots of good food, my sister made some raspberry-chocolate cookie bars that were great. She also made a low fat bean dip as a snack. Had Bluegill and Sunfish right out of the lake also.
Sprint tri on Sunday to work off all the food.