|CyclingSite > CO Collected Wisdom > Insights > Team Bag Balm|
|Team Bag Balm|
Part of Team Bag Balm, Cycle Oregon 13
|The Origins of Team Bag
Yes, there really is a Team Bag Balm - and I am a member - along with as many as 60 or 70 from last year's Cycle Oregon [CO 12].
By way of history, Team Bag Balm got started on the Cycle Oregon mail list in mid-August, last year .
It all began with a mail list thread on the topic of what the best salves and ointments might be for those parts of our anatomy which come in constant contact with the saddle for a day of cycling in all kinds of hot-cold-wet-dry weather. One of the suggestions was to use "Bag Balm", a thick lanolin-based ointment originally sold as a treatment for cow's udders to keep them soft and pliable. Parenthetically, the stuff has many other modern day uses by hundreds of thousands of people - humans. Since then I have learned that, among others, Shania Twain uses it. Mothers use it on their baby’s bottoms. It was used on Keiko, the killer whale of "Free Willy" fame when they moved him from Mexico to Oregon a few years ago.
At first the thread was rather serious. Then, on a Thursday, an attorney in British Columbia made some very funny remarks about Bag Balm, others added their own jokes, and then - in a period of 24 hours or so, there was a torrent of email postings - which ultimately resulted in the name of "Team Bag Balm". The BC attorney discovered to his amazement that the stuff was for real and found the patent numbers associated with the product, which has been around since the late 19th century, manufactured by a small New England company, which was still run by the 80-plus year old grandson of the founder.
Included with this ground swell were dozens of puns and new words, all centered on Bag Balm and cows - some just a little spicy, but not off color - and all funny.
Then, toward the end of the weekend, a CO-12 rider - another attorney - brought us all up short by warning us that we were about to infringe on some patent and copyright laws. He offered to approach the manufacturer for permission. I came up with art work for the front and back of the T-shirt/Jersey, and the process began. Within days, he had obtained approval, and "Team Bag Balm - An Udderly Cool Herd" was a reality.
Thanks to our COW-nsellor, we are legal.
I then had a 2 foot by 3 foot - two sided banner made to help all TBB'ers find the herd at the campsite. [The Heaths] got T-shirts and [Andrew Black had] jersey's made. Another of the group [Ted Magnuson] made some laminated "license plates" for the bikes to hang onto those provided by Cycle Oregon. In fact, it has been observed that TBB moo's itself to sleep as the sun sets on the western horizon.
We have even spawned an opposition group - clearly a small lunatic fringe - called the "ABA" for Anti Bovine Alliance". We tend to ignore them - but they just will not go away. So, we ride with them anyway. It's healthy to show compassion for the disadvantaged.
Other than the name and the clothing and some "ya hadda be there" jokes, what do we get out of TBB? Well, by my reckoning, this group is one of the more diverse and eclectic bunch of cyclists on Cycle Oregon. There are lots of other groups - which have their own draw - and they indeed flourish - and have their own stories. From the outside, we may appear like a clique, and that would be sad - because this is a very down-to-earth bunch of people, all of whom are quick to help the newbie if they can. No long noses here.
Team Bag Balm consists of the very slowest of riders (like me - I usually start early and finish last) and some very strong hard body types in their 20's - and everything in between. At least two of us have had angioplasty. There are singles, young and old marrieds, ex-marrieds, computer types, an attorney - you name it. Did I say that TBB was eclectic? From my point of view, the group couldn't be more congenial. Maybe we don't need the name to accomplish this, but it sure makes for a lot of fun doing it.
Probably the most important characteristic of Team Bag Balm is that we often arrange small group training rides in a variety of venues and difficulties around Portland.
Join us on some rides. You can spot us on the list, or on the road with orange [or pink] ribbons on our bikes, and - sometimes, green-pink-white T-shirts or Jersey's and license plates.
I think you'll enjoy the experience.
Why, who knows, maybe there will be some interest in more T-shirts.
Hi Bag Balmers;
You haven't herd (sic) from me in a few weeks, but I contributed to this group earlier this year. I'm from Vancouver BC and I'll be riding CO alone this year. I don't mean this statement to be an oxymoron 'cuz I know there'll be other people there and even the odd "burger wanna be".
I enjoyed Curt's historical presentation of TBB and enjoyed much of last year’s internet discussion regarding Bag Balm.
This year Curt, you shared with us how TBB got started and even how to quit, but you didn't let us know how to join the "udder" side. Like I sez, I'm riding solo this year and would kinda like to kick a few paddies around with some friendly Jerseys.
Please help me find my inner cattle call;
Steve "horns glued to my head" Heim
Many CO mail listers have used the word "Join" with reference to Team Bag Balm.
"Join" implies we are organized and structured - maybe with a constitution, bylaws, and regular meetings.
Yikes!! That sounds like work!!
Several things hold us together:
1. A deep and abiding desire to ride a bike with others
Even those who do not live in the Portland area take part - some have a t-shirt or jersey, offer suggestions, and have joined us in camp.
I would bet that other TBB'ers will add to my comments - and encourage them to do so.
Please accept my modified version of the TBB non-constitution:
Several things hold us together:
Curt's description was most accurate but missed a point...
Anyone willing to admit they are part of TBB. :-) Seriously, last year was my fourth CO. On the prior three I'd ridden with several friends. Last year I rode with a large group of friends.
As to any prospective newcommers, we need someone to help herd us across the cattle guards. Last year small groups of us could be found staring vacantly across the guards we encountered. :-)
Don "Paisley: home of the mosquito festival and cattle guards" Bolton
Two words for cattle guards: "Bunny hop." (But you knew that.)
For those with a penchant for details and the true nature of events, I saved summaries of the three mail list threads that started it all.
Subject: Bag Balm Alternative
From: Phil F - Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 1999 5:24 PM
As most of you know, I'm a newbie to cycling, and a first time CO'r,
but I want to comment on this. I tried Bag Balm when I first started,
and for me it is too thick to allow movement between my skin and the chamois
and especially skin to skin areas. It just seemed to make things worse.
I prefer Chamois BUTTer. It is fairly expensive, but a tube of it seems
to last quite a while. I am certain that this is another issue where each
of us will have a different like/dislike, but find something that works
for you. I suspect that 7 days on the bike is going to be a loooooooong
From: Wendi T - Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 1999 6:39 PM
I have to confess. I don't understand the need for bag balm. Am I missing
something? I ride all day with just me and my bike shorts. I've read that
you are supposed to put it on you and your bike shorts. Can someone please
tell me the deal? And please, no teasing! :)
From: Dave S - Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 1999 7:18 PM
I'll take the 5th......jump in anyone skilled enough to tactfully explain.....??
From: Judy - Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 1999 9:15 PM
Well maybe Thor doesn't get thor! Or is that teasing? Sorry, but I need
the stuff to keep from getting chafed!!
From: Lorren & Cheryl - Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 1999 9:32 PM
Someone suggested to us that vaseline is the way to go. Anyone have any
experience with this?
From: Rox H - Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 1999 9:42 PM
Let's be real tactful here... (actually I am currently using A&D and Desitin, Chamois Butt'r was too wimpy...)
Anyway, on many of us the bike seats and bike shorts combine to rub against sensitive areas and produce sores on LONG rides - especially when you are hot and sweaty or just plain soaking wet. So far the following have been suggested - Chamois Butt'r, Bag Balm, A&D, and Desitin. This is all personal choice. For my 2 bits worth - the Chamois Butt'r tended to spread too thin to help me. I haven't tried Bag Balm, but several people like it and one doesn't. A&D is working fine for prevention for me, but it smells antiseptic, and Desitin works by far the best for me for both prevention and treatment, but you have to wash your bike shorts about 4 times to get it out! From this I concluded that I would save the Desitin for actual sores when I am desperate. However, to be quite frank - on Day 1 last year I developed a couple of these sores and the next couple of days they hurt like crazy. By applying a gob of Desitin to the sore areas about 5 times a day (and smearing it on the chamois) I was actually healed toward the end of the week - in spite of continuing to sit on the affected areas.
Whatever you use - use a very generous amount!
Another reason to have something, is that anybody can develop a small abscess or sore in that area caused by an infected hair follicle. These sores need protection, too.
Whatever you use - put it in small containers so you can carry it with
you and apply it on the road. Take several and leave the rest in your
luggage or refill from a large container. Remember greasy stuff tends
to travel through many jar seals when hot - as anybody who has tried to
carry cooking oil on a campout knows.
From: Rox H - Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 1999 10:05 PM
I tried it on my standard problem area once. After 30 miles of semi-hard
riding on a warm (not hot day) it had disappeared and the area was getting
sore. I need something with more staying power - thicker grease - there
are no blue rooms where I can reapply it stashed around the countryside
From: Scott S - Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 1999 10:15 PM
General rule of thumb... if it's thick, slick, and doesn't irritate your skin, you're heading in the right direction.
Time was when I was just as mystified about the need for such things,
but for some reason 32 seemed to be the magic age when the skin on my
"contact area" started rebelling about long hours in the saddle.
From: Ted M - Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 1999 10:49 PM
I've tried Desitin, Vasoline and Bag Balm and like BB best since the
others seem to hold sweat and irritate the rash they are attempting to
From: Dave S - Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 1999 11:58 PM
Ted, no wonder my eyes were tearing up drafting behind you on the Covered Bridge Ride.
I have had great luck the very first time I used BB. I also just got
a roll-on stick of "Body Glide" from Performance and it seems
to work fairly well too. The BB is the best though, I feel.
From: Tom K - Sent: Thursday, August 19, 1999 12:04 PM
I've used Vaseline during three or four two-to-three week tours in the
east. While effective, ultimately, I found it to be too messy, particularly
in the amounts I was using. Also, as the volatile components vaporize
a waxy residue remains. For another three or four tours in the west (generally
cooler), I used Lubriderm Lotion very successfully.
From: Amy R - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 10:22 AM
I've tried Chamois Buttr (nice but too wimpy-doesn't last, ergo washes
out easier- good choice if you want to reapply more), A&D (works great,
but too smelly; a good choice if you are actually chafed and not just
preventing-), Desitin (also works fine before or after chafing, also smelly,
and isn't this the one that leaves a telltale white ring on your shorts
and saddle?). Bag Balm (works great but I'm too lazy to transfer to other
containers-- and it does come in a one inch cube if you can find it);
and for me that leaves Vaseline in the one ounce squeeze tube, which is
good for a week or more once or twice a day-- it's hard to wash off but
what the heck, that makes it last on the ride-- and I can squeeze it onto
my chamois demurely if not discretely most anywhere, sparing my fingers
the gooeyness. I have the big jar, too, and use that at home for the first
application, then leave it at home and carry the little one.
From: Candace - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 10:57 AM
So here's another alternative to throw into the mix: Udderly Smooth Udder Cream. I just picked a 4-oz. tube of it up at Target next to the Bag Balm. I haven't actually used it yet, but it's a white lanolin-based cream with a pleasant fragrance.
But don't overlook the warning: "Do not use on parts affected with
cow pox, as such use may contribute to the spread of the infection."
From: Rox H - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 1:30 PM
I am going to try Bag Balm for prevention - sounds interesting and I
am tired of smelling like A&D.
From: Jim M - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 2:59 PM
Darn Candace, I was all excited about the Udderly Smooth Udder Cream
but then I got to the part about the cream spreading cow pox and as you
probably know the cow pox is nothing to mess with. So I guess I won't
be using it. LOL
From: Ken C - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 5:13 PM
For the newcomers, I just wanted to mention that there is at least a
small percentage of people who don't use salves, creams, ointments or
other gooey goodies to make it through Cycle Oregon. I have found that
the best remedy for a sore center section is to put just a little more
weight on the old legs - helps me to go faster and use a more circular
pedal stroke. This has worked for every optional loop & century for
the last six years and I'm not a light weight person by any stretch of
From: Rox H - Sent: Saturday, August 21, 1999 10:40 PM
The Fred Meyer on TV Highway has Bag Balm in two sizes of cans - about a 1" cube and about a 2" cube. This is in the main part of the store where they sell medication and stuff in the skin care products aisle - not in the pharmacy part.
I decided to get the big one since I figured I always use a lot of that kind of thing. Usually I just get multiple small packages, but both containers looked like they might leak if they were left in a duffel sitting in the hot sun for hours while I am out admiring the scenery. I think I will go to REI and get a couple of small screw-lid Nalgene jars - I haven't got anything else around here that has a wide mouth with a really solid cap and is little.
Subject: The Truth About Bag Balm
From: Blake W (Patent Attorney from British Columbia) - Sent: Thursday, August 19, 1999 7:16 PM
Hoo Boy. I have been killing myself laughing over this "Bag Balm" topic.
Initially, I assumed that a few of you were in cahoots to see how far you could push the weirdness envelope. But then it hit me: these guys are serious! My wife actually went out to try and buy the stuff. I could see what was coming, so I let her go into the pharmacy alone. Sure enough, five minutes later, she's back empty-handed and her face is as red as a beet. The pharmacist thought she was talking about contraceptive jelly, which is pretty much what I expected.
My laughter got her dander up, so she marched into the local bike shop to see if they had Bag Balm. I waited outside again. The hoots of laughter told me all I needed to know. Here's a tip: don't try to buy "Bag Balm" in a mountain bike shop unless you like having mountain bike jocks laugh at you.
By now, I was back to thinking that "Bag Balm" was a myth. So, I decided to go to the unimpeachable source: the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Sure enough, BAG BALM is a registered trademark. Indeed, Dairy Association Company, Inc. of Lyndonville, Vermont owns two registrations for the trademark BAG BALM: Registration No. 516,402 dated 18 October, 1949; and, Registration No. 738,733 dated 2 October, 1962.
The neat thing about trademark registrations is that they describe the goods in respect of which the trademark is registered. Registration No. 516,402 covers "dilators used to promote the correct healing of injured teats on dairy cows".
However, my favourite is Registration No. 738,733 which covers "preparation for the treatment of diseases of the udder and teats on cows, such as caked bag, sore teats, bunches, chapping, cuts, scratches, swellings, and inflammation; this balm being also beneficial in the treatment of cuts, sores, and abrasions of any kind on other animals and may also be used for human beings".
Pardon me, but I am now laughing so hard that the tears are soaking my keyboard. I usually have to pay good money for humour like this. Given the foregoing, I'll take the pain any day thanks. Besides, why the heck am I doing Cycle Oregon if I'm not into serious pain anyway?
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I made all of this
up. Check it out for yourself...
From: David H - Sent: Thursday, August 19, 1999 8:09 PM
I'm quite sure you didn't make all this up. I'm also quite sure Bag Balm
is available in many grocery stores in a little square green tin for use
by HUMANS. If your wife really wants to try some, have her check in a
Fred Meyer store in Oregon, or any number of pharmacies, or if that doesn't
work, a feed store where it's sold for those good old cows. If the clerks
laughed at her, it's their loss.
From: Merry M - Sent: Thursday, August 19, 1999 8:53 PM
...And she (your wife) will be thrilled and delighted with the results of using bag balm on really, really chapped HANDS...the dairy farmers around here know all about it, and not just for cow parts.......
Merry (in the dairy country of Northern California)
If it works, who cares what it was invented for.....BTW.....good authority
says it works....try picking some up at your local seed and feed, in Eastern
Oregon you could try PGG (Pendleton Grain Growers) on your way to LaGrande,
if you wait until you're in LaGrande you might try UCGG. City Slickers
are kind of a hoot too.... :-)
From: Scott S - Sent: Thursday, August 19, 1999 11:26 PM
Our local Safeway has it, too, though not in the pharmacy, but near the
hand creams & such.
From: Nanette H - Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 1999 11:39 PM
Blake, thanks for sharing!. *LOL* I haven't laughed that much in a long
time!! You really did your homework! Bag Balm rules in my book.
From: Andrew B - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 12:29 AM
The Saturday morning just before I left for Cycle Oregon XI, I remembered that I had forgotten the Bag Balm. So I rode my bike down to the QFC, and yes, they had it on the shelf, $5.95.
So I now have a lifetime's supply. If you want to bring a 1 oz Nalgene container to the "get together", you too can share in my good fortune.
I'm not sure that it's legal to ship this stuff to Canada, though ...
From: Andrew B - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 1:10 AM
I was first introduced to Bag Balm when we had our first baby. A somewhat older and much wiser mother of several grown-up children came to our house to inspect the newborn ... and brought the familiar green can as a gift. We had to ask what it was for, of course ;-)
I had always assumed that this was the reason that Bag Balm can be found
in suburban supermarkets as well as rural feed stores ... and then I read
about its use by cyclists and runners.
From: Kerry K - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 8:12 AM
Hee hee! Actually, though, you can buy bag balm at nearly any pet store
-- I've used it for years on my large dogs' paws during running season.
From: Bill O - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 8:06 AM
The last time I was in Costco, I spotted Bag Balm in the pharmacy area. A shrink wrapped unit of 3 cans was about US$10.00. Like most things at Costco, a bargain if you can afford it.
I heard about Bag Balm from my son's Pediatrician. She recommended it
for his unusually dry skin on the heals of his feet. I used it for myself
for awhile until my wife insisted I go back to Vaseline. She got tired
of me returning home at sunset with alfalfa breath and bitching about
my sore udder.
From: Amy B - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 8:21 AM
It's also available in some fabric and craft stores. A friend of mine
who is a quilter said that there's nothing better for chapped hands.
From: Julie K - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 9:18 AM
It would seem that bag balm is everywhere...and truly to be the savior
of many...shall we say...undersides on CO. Should bag balm not sponsor
part of the event at this point?????
From: Merry M - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 3:32 PM
I was all excited about the Udderly Smooth Udder Cream but then I got to the part about the cream spreading cow pox and as you probably know the cow pox is nothing to mess with. So I guess I won't be using it. LOL
From " As the wheel turns" to the " Bag Balm Chronicles:
An Udderly Titillating Barrel of laughs!!!!!!!!!"
From: Amy B - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 3:50 PM
We're really milking this for all it's worth, aren't we? I know, I know,
that one was beyond the pail and I should be put out to pasture for it...
From: Todd - Sent: Saturday, August 21, 1999 9:23 PM
BAG BALM, BAG BALM, BAG BALM, AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!! Please
I can't take it anymore. I, I, I Please, I have money. Take it. Take it
all, just no more BAG BALM !
From: igor - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 9:35 PM
Is it time for us to mooooove on ?
From: Andrew B - Sent: Sunday, August 22, 1999 11:24 AM
Todd, I think that by day 5, when your butt is sore, the hoof will be on the other foot. You will be standing by the side of the road, begging "Please, I can't take it any more. Please, I have money. Take it, Take it all, just give me some BAG BALM."
If you are fortunate, the members of this forum will take pity on you
and sell you some bag balm for $20 per ounce...
From: Craig_Jeanne G - Sent: Sunday, August 22, 1999 3:36 PM
Now, Andrew, remember: To err is human. To forgive, bovine.
From: Blake W - Sent: Sunday, August 22, 1999 8:23 PM
I think that it would be fitting for me, having started this thread, to end it by observing that the BAG BALM trademark is entitled to some _very serious_ respect.
If you look at the registration particulars of a trademark which is registered in the United States of America, you will find a "first use" date (I'm disregarding the comparatively recent phenomenon of trademarks registered on the "intent to use" basis). The "first use" date indicates the date as of which the trademark was first used in commerce capable of being regulated by the U.S. Congress.
In my original message, I mentioned BAG BALM trademark registration No. 738,733 dated 2 October, 1962. That registration carries a "first use" date of 1897!!
That's right folks: BAG BALM has apparently been around for over a century! I've not done a study, but I'd guess that at most a few hundred trademarks have been around for that long. That's quite a feat, when you realize that literally millions of trademarks have been registered (and millions more have come and gone).
So, kudos to the BAG BALM folks.
I still don't think I need it though. Up here in the wilds of British
Columbia, the concern is bears. Saddle sores are not a serious topic of
From: Merry M - Sent: Sunday, August 22, 1999 8:34 PM
Now, Andrew, remember: To err is human. To forgive, bovine.
Subject: The Bag Balm Chronicles
From: Phil F - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 5:24 PM
After thinking about it for a while, it occurred to me that we could contact the Bag Balm People about sponsoring "TEAM BAG BALM." The possibilities for jerseys alone are mind boggling. Would we have dark green, with Bag Balm in black letters, and a pink udder on each shoulder? Or, would we go with pink jerseys with teat like fringe hanging front and rear, with black and white tail down the back and a BB can logo on the shoulders.
Then what about our team slogan? "For a smooth ride on your bike,
put Bag Balm on Your Bum." Or, "Bag Balm for a ride a smooth
and soft as a baby's bottom." How about "Ask me about Bag Balm"?
From: Dave VG - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 7:35 PM
Phil, I hate to say this...BUT.... you're one sick puppy; of course I
laughed my rear off!!!
From: Penny O - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 8:27 PM
Phil, et al:
From: Rox H - Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 10:57 PM
Team Bag Balm - I love it!
They could have a theme song and the moo-sically inclined could bellow it out. Use bike horns instead on bike bells (or maybe bells are okay?)
I feel like I will be as slow as an old cow ambling along. Do cows like
From: Phil F - Sent: Saturday, August 21, 1999 9:36 PM
My wife says that TEAM BAG BALM has to have brown Jerseys, it's Holsteins
that are black and white.
From: igor - Sent: Sunday, August 22, 1999 5:17 AM
Jerseys are tan/brown and white like Guernseys, yes?
From: Dave S - Sent: Sunday, August 22, 1999 10:54 AM
I believe Guernsey's have no white. Very beautiful as cows go though.
From: Curt C - Sent: Sunday, August 22, 1999 4:49 PM
There's a Team Methane.
There should be a Team Bag Balm!!
From: Phil F - Sent: Sunday, August 22, 1999 6:34 PM
Hmmm, you have us there. Being "city folk" and all we thought they were brown, as in How Now etc. This does give us more latitude in jersey design though.
Anyone have the number for Pearl Izumi's design dept.?
From: Dave S - Sent: Sunday, August 22, 1999 9:45 PM
Yes Phil, you are right, they are brown and light tan normally, unless
they "mingled" with those wild group of Holstein's. Ya know,
you can't ever trust those Holstein's....
From: Phil F - Sent: Monday, August 23, 1999 9:34 PM
Something just occurred to me as I was reading the Bag Balm humor flying around. When it started out, I said that I didn't like Bag Balm as well as Chamois BUTTer. Then I got caught up in the spirit of things and have been right in there with everyone else. So...., the question is; do I actually have to USE the stuff to be a member of TEAM BAG BALM? Can't I just SAY I use it, and maybe carry a half empty can around, so I look like I use it?
If it gets right down to it, I will use it if I HAVE TO, to be on the
ORIGINAL TEAM BAG BALM. I guess that what is meant by the term, "what
From: Andrew B - Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 1999 12:41 AM
Phil: Exactly who is going to volunteer to check?
There you have it folks - the end of episode 3 - the finale.
The origin of Team Bag Balm.
From there on we went through legalization - thanks to Ken K, our Cow-nselor; artwork & banner - yours truly; jersey production - Andrew B; T-Shirt production – Bob & Rox H; and license plates Ted M.
And a good time was had by all.
TBB 2000 Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
Paisley, OR. (09/10/00) Team Bag Balm (PASTURPK: TBB)
Aging Bull, a spokesbovine for the group stated...
"We are pleased to return this year with an even larger herd". "Last year offered us some challenges but we've been able to master the cattle guards and have managed to forge a non aggression pact with the Anti Bovine Alliance (PASTURPK: ABA)". ("my gawd! it's full of sheep")
Founded in 1999 Team Bag Balm is a global leader in cycling fun, and bovine humor.
Look for the corral at the overnights, marked by the sign of the udder. Stop on by and get in touch with the bovine within yourself. Moooove on in, join the fun.
Written During CO 13 by the TBB who stayed behind...
I have thought about Cycle Oregon every day. Wondering what the scenery was like, wondering about the climbs, and the downhills. Remembering camp last year and picturing you all in the TBB coral talking over the days ride. I am writing on day 7, and thinking about my own excitement last year on day 7 at the prospect of finishing CYCLE OREGON! When I originally set out to do the ride, I thought of it as a goal, more than an experience. But, Team Bag Balm made it different. If I had done it solo, I know that I would not have wanted to return, but with the spirit and friendship of TBB (and the counterculture ABA) it is something I will do as often as I can.
I hope you are all having a wonderful ride, and I am eager to hear about it.
Thanks to Jonathan for the updates.
I think there must be a bunch of us echoing your reflections and thoughts. Yeah, the ride was on my mind first thing (after food/breakfast!) this morning, too. Wondering about the same things, especially the "last days blues" after having such a great time all week, with new friends and awesome scenery and experiences. Paul said something about the e-mails picking up warp speed with everyone returning to their own parts of the universe, and beginning to share what we are so curious about right now. Re last year's Day 7, or for me the day I crashed and burned---and got up to finish the day's ride! You talk about goals and experiences, getting back to LaGrande became a major focus for me, battle scars and all---what an experience! After I got back on my bike, having had lunch and the medics telling me the finish was my shot to call, cycling down the road and suddenly realizing my mirror on the handlebar was so loose from the crash that it wouldn't stay put and you coming along with the tools I lacked, tightening it up for me. Oh, I'm sure ALL of us have our own sweet memories of last year, just as all the riders will have this year. I can hardly wait to see their postings begin appearing on this list---perhaps even tomorrow! As I've thought about this year's tour and hoping everyone traveled in safety, and reflecting back while dealing with the bummed out feeling all week growing day by day, it just makes me want to be there again next year all the more!
You mentioned something about doing CO solo---three years ago this week I rode from Astoria to Brookings alone and it was wonderful! There's a lot to be said for solo touring, I think. The scenery that trip was awesome every inch of the way. I met a lot, A LOT, of other riders on that trip, but was as alone as I wanted to be, or had plenty of company whenever I chose to ride with others. Doing that ride definitely was a goal and an experience. I wouldn't trade those memories (or seven rolls of great pictures) for a minute, but I say the same thing about CO XII, too!
I can agree with both Phil and Penny. I think about you all every day on your ride, wondering what kind of terrain you are going through and the beloved camping camaraderie every night. I too, last year, looked at CO as a goal and then changed my attitude to an experience also . TBB made the difference for me also. I can not say enough to my friends about our group that formed last year and my thoughts are with you all daily.
Poll Results for CycleOregon:
The following CycleOregon poll is now closed. Here are the final results:
POLL QUESTION: Do you actually use Bag Balm? If not, is there another product you favor?
CHOICES AND RESULTS
What Is Team Bag Balm?
The TBB is a group of people who like to cycle who have become friends through this forum, riding together, laughing together, giving/getting advice, arguing, and telling (sometimes bad) jokes. This is now a group of friends to me. This group made CO XII and 2000 the best for me. It enhanced my enjoyment 10,000% and gives me encouragement whenever I need it.
Scott said it best....."I love you guys"!
TBB has evolved over two years of email chatter about biking and Cycle Oregon, and this evolved into frequent training rides and a mutual support, giggle, and admiration society. Most of us are in the Portland area, but there are many from out-there. Why, some of our most moovelous friends come from Florida, Canada, Colorado, and EVEN California. There are some amusing archived files that chronicle the gestation [see above]. We are the only officially sanctioned Team Bag Balm in the world, I would dare say.
[And Some "Ribbing"…]
Thanks Ken or should I say MR. KAHN...my mother always told me to be very courteous and polite to Attorneys.....really!!! :)
Now fer gawd sakes Roger. Now that I'm in my 40's, I've learned that there are two groups of people in our society who beyond any other, require steady and constant abuse to keep their feet on the ground and their heads out of the clouds. The other group are known as doctors.
I've met Ken. I've had Ken park his tent in a way that I couldn't get into mine. I've seen Ken in Lycra. I've heard Ken brag about being escorted by the police across the finish line, all the while musing, " If they only knew I was a defense attorney".
And you know what, Roger? The Great Cow-nsellor Ken... Mr. Khan... The omnipotent upholder of justice... blew by the finish line in the wrong lane just like a Leslie Nielson shtick. Oh man, imagine the crowd watching the LAST rider, the VERY LAST RIDER cross the line... and he MISSED IT!!!!! Ha Ha Ha! Oh, my stomach!!! They were probably thinking, "He must be an attorney!" Yuck Yuck Yuck.
Steve "I swear to tell the joke, the whole joke and nothing but the joke"Heim
PS: I love ya Ken.
Two things to add, Steverino,
First, we've also seen cownselor Ken in his silk bathrobe on Cycle Oregon. And second, hey whaddaya mean doctors need abuse to keep their feet on the ground? When I've been up all night on call, my feet have plenty of lead in them to stay on the ground. Find someone else to pick on, smart alek buddy.
Amy-easy to be tough electronically-Ream
My apologies Dr Ream, but I have a good friend who is an Ob Gynie and he positively NEEDS ME to keep him humble. In fact, Dr Ream, I believe that I was put on this earth to KEEP HIM HUMBLE!
And oh yes Amy, how could we possibly forget the silk robe and the tequila martinis? Bwa Ha Ha Haaaaa! Steve "Doctor spelled backwards is Rot Cod" Heim
Oh man, I'm going to pee myself! Hee Hee Heeeee.... Help me Doctor Amy, Help me!
Quick, Steve, take two dollops of Bag Balm and call me in the morning. (I'll be out, but you can call anyway.)
Amy-advice is cheap, you get what you pay for-Ream
The Defense Responds with two explanations, an emotional plea, and one apology.
First, I had fallen asleep in The Dalles Discovery Center having finished what would later pass for lunch in the parking lot. The Discovery Center (I discovered), had a huge theater featuring lively tales of the west. This day they were showing "A History of Barge Captaining on the Columbia River." If you're waiting for the DVD version of this one, don't hold your breath. When I awoke, the other 1900+ bikes in the parking lot were gone and the crew was packing up the blue toidies. This may help explain why I came in last.
Second, the final road to the finish line was split in two by a planted median. When I took the turn to go down this final road, I stayed to the right of the median (as required by law). This was an error. The police now turned into the INCOMING lane, running against traffic and when I looked over I could not figure out what they were doing there, until I looked up and saw the finish line. This may help explain why the photo shows me rejoining the escort just prior to the finish line.
Third, I loved camping with you guysez and couldn't bear the thought of doing CO without ya, much less camping outside the corral. (I'm getting weepy eyed here).
Finally, For all who saw me in lycra, please accept my apologies. I understand now that lycra is earned not born. The trainer is set up.
Yours in the balm,
In all fairness to the silk worms of China who have devoted their life forces to gentle cocoon weaving (and then are boiled alive by the Chinese so they can unravel the thread to form the precious thread), my bathrobe was COTTON!
OK, so you're keeping the underpaid boll weevils working, that's lots better. Think how the ambiance of the camp would have been if everyone had lounged about after their showers in their COTTON kimonos and bathrobes. Yes, and sipping their martinis, too. Do you have an extra cocktail onion, dahling?
Amy-off my rocker-R
You were too cool riding down that last hill.
You mean that no one else got the memo on packing their kimono's for cocktails? Oh, and could you add a little vermouth?
This really is a great bunch of folks and fun to be associated with. As to participating in riding time.. Let me clue you in on how this disorganization rolls along...
On announced rides (someone professes to be a ride leader) I do several of these.. We all ride at our own speed and regroup at directional changes. This can make what is normally a half day ride into an all day social event. Normally with route maps the group peels into two packs.. The low flying aircraft group and the rest of us (see pack fodder under racing).
You will likely find riding companions at or really close to your road speed and endurance somewhere in our ranks.
I've done five Cycle Oregons now, the first three were on my own or with a small group of friends. The last two have been with the TBB herd and that has made the tours far more enjoyable.
Don "Drew Carey lite, 1/3 less filling" Bolton
The best part of Team Bag Balm is that everyone is welcome, new comers and old comers and out of state riders as well as riders who live in the Portland area and get together often. Everyone can play, the only requirement is the ability to pedal your bike, fast riders and not so fast riders. I can't wait to see all our special friends from Cycle Oregon. Team Bag Balm made our first Cycle Oregon [CO 13] one of the best vacations we ever had. When Rich and I were planning last year to do CO we didn't know what to expect from this egroup when we were together live. I think it's the best.... Everyone does their own ride. Along the way you can connect with people at the rest stops or connect on the road or back at camp around a beer, at meals or during the entertainment, or not connect at all if you prefer. The banner was a meeting point where you could meet people you had read about here. When we started reading these emails a year ago we didn't even have our bike yet. Rich and I had a lot to learn. Whatever questions we had, TBBer's were always ready to give advice with a caring, sharing attitude, never a "know it all" attitude. Rich and I have put over 4000 miles on our tandem in over eleven months, the most special miles were the CO miles. Yes, Rich and I don't have experience with tours, but Cycle Oregon was all I hoped it would be. Seeing part of the state I hadn't seen before, getting up every day to ride, good food and good company (friends).
How many more days until the 20? My hope and prayer is that CO will be in the Steens this year, but there will be a price to pay....... train those hills this summer, weekend after weekend.
Just a few thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for a while... they were lonely and making too much noise, so I thought I'd let them out:
There's a lot of talk out there in the advertising world and in the fourth estate about "online communities"... AOL led the way and pretty soon every major ISP or web gateway was jumping on the bandwagon.
I've been involved with other mailing lists (I do have other hobbies) and newsgroups (strictly the .rec variety... none of that .alt stuff!). Through those, I learned a lot of stuff, "met" some great people, even got to help some folks out in ways that I had never even imagined (who knew that there'd be a guy in South Africa who needed a timetable for the Union Pacific Railroad's Columbia River Subdivision that I just happened to have?). All of that was fun and rewarding in its own way.
This group is different. This one really is a community. It's a really remarkable thing, when you think about it. We don't all know one another, but a great many of us do. The cross-section of ages, experience levels, goals and backgrounds is mind-boggling, and we all manage to get along like a close-knit family. We're not Ozzie and Harriet... there have been occasional dysfunctional moments... but we still manage to get along afterward.
I'm sure we're not entirely unique, but I think we're pretty rare. I don't personally know of any other "cyber communities" where so many of the members have actually shared time on the road, patched one another up (thanks, Andrew!), shivered through a morning pack-up (bed-head and all), or sat around on a patch of grass having a beer together.
I could spend hours being specific about how this group has helped me to grow, and I'd bet most of the "usual suspects" could do the same. Whether you use Bag Balm or not, whether you admit any connection to the group or not, this really is "An Udderly Cool Herd".
Scott "I love you guys!" Saulsbury
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