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    Confessions of a Bike Junkie  
    Confessions of a Bike Junkie, Pt. 1

I woke up Thursday morning having prepped the bike and Camelback the night prior, flipped on the weather channel.. "Light Rain". "that’s odd" I thought to myself "its not light out".. Later the doppler shows its all gone. The weather channel says its "Cloudy".

I suit up, connect up the lights, wheel the bike to the door, open it, and DOH! It’s a heavy mist. "I could use the trainer, no all set up, go outside". I toss on some booties and light out for a shortened ten mile slosh.

Within blocks the glasses are obscured, visibility is poor, cars passing by actually spray me as they go by no doubt wondering what sort of idiot would be out in the rain in the dark on a bike.

Interesting ten miles in fact I stretched it out to twenty miles.

Don "what a glorious way to start the day" Bolton

Confessions of a Bike Junkie, Pt. 2

I wake up this morning lights charged, grit cleaned off the bike from yesterdays paddle fest, chain waxed. Weather channel says its "Cloudy" 7 mph winds from the north. I get suited up, lights connected, toss open the door and am amazed at how damp the roadway is but nothing is falling.

I decide to take a northern loop to have me hitting headwinds on the way out. As I take my warm up lap thru the neighborhood I encounter an elderly man speedwalking with what looks like small dumbbells in his hand. We exchange greetings and go our separate ways in the darkness.

About four miles later on Boones Ferry Road I encounter a jogger all decked out in the Illumilite fabric. (stuff really does reflect light. I feel better about the jacket I'm wearing).

I turn west and cross the freeway into the small town of Donald. The Donald Cafe is open and I'm almost lured to stop by the smells in the air. Oh my, I could almost taste that country gravy. The air carried this wonderful lure for miles it seemed. I was still drooling when I rolled through Broadacres.

Don "Another twenty mile slice of early morning heaven" Bolton

Don, Don, Don...

What are we ever going to do with you? Up in the morning (in November no less) and hoping for dry! We do live and ride in Oregon.

Yes since Gayle and I have been getting up and riding we have been blessed with only heavy fog/mist (once) but no rain yet, only some days with wet pavement. We only ride 15.3 mi., but boy is it dark! And it is a glorious way to start the day. We don't see joggers or speedwalkers just cars and only about 20 of them. The only thing I do (as you) before riding is to check the Weather Channel for temperature so we know how much to wear for staying warm and hopefully dry. But it is only an hour, then into a warm shower, and off to work. There is also something to be said about excising before work, it makes one more able to handle the stress of the day. And it helps this older body ward off germs and stay a little healthier a little longer.

You're an inspiration to us biking novices with your humor, knowledge and the ability to make great word pictures of your "experiences". Which you freely share for all of us to enjoy. I don't yet consider ourselves to be "bike junkies" but we do feel a bit blah when we can't ride.

So it's out to make the bike ready for another ride tomorrow, rain or shine. But it does look promising. CO2001 can't come soon enough!!

Looking forward to riding with the heard again soon.
Rich, captain Team Buttbuster

I love riding to work on dark winter mornings. Half of my commute is on a trail through a watershed forest. Dark, narrow, mud holes, exposed roots, branches made visible only by a single 15 watt headlamp. A sudden drop over a log sends me hurtling over the bars. Giggle, giggle, sheesh, I'm getting too old for this. In winter I arrive at work covered in mud. In spring I arrive with bloody forearms because the blackberry bushes invade the trail. Once a year I take a knife and cut them back. My employees just shake their heads and wonder what kind of an idiot they work for.

Steve "I are a idiot" Heim

I, too, ride about 10 miles in the AM on my way to work. I leave at 0530, when the world as I know it is still dark. I use a 5 watt Nitehawk, and a Cateye halogen. I have a blinker on my rear rack and a whale-tail on my helmet. Since the weather turned even 'dismaller', I have a third blinker on my rear pannier.

I love riding in the morning. Traffic is usually heavy, and I have had a few close calls (Those damn paper-delivery folks who like to turn the corner as if they lived in England!), but it is very enjoyable. I haven't ridden thru' a bonafide storm yet, but I have ridden thru' 30 MPH gusts, and hard rain. Whew. It just makes me tougher!!

The ride home is a different story, however. By then the drivers have forgotten how wonderful they felt in the AM, and forgot that last dose of caffeine for the commute home. I still use all my lights so they won't have an excuse. Usually the streets I travel on are light (sometimes Salmon, sometimes Gladstone, etc.), so it's not totally life-threatening. I do believe in being seen, but not in being run over (i.e.; driving up Hawthorne on a weekday). I do love the view at the top of Mt Tabor. And it's always a challenge to see which gear I can sprint up in by the hill at the golf course. Life is full of these little pleasures.

Enough spewing. Hope all is well w/ the herd.
Stacey "Grey" Gray

Confessions Of A Bike Junkie, Pt. 3

This morning had a spectacular sunrise...

Bright red clouds silhouetted the foothills between a dark grey sky and a black foreground. As the sun rose above the peaks the clouds tinted more toward orange but still mostly red. The black landscape painted into subtle shades of color only dimly illuminated by the thick grey sky.

Don "batten down the hatches mateys" Bolton

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