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    Taking the Hills Too Fast!

Hey everyone- examine brake shoes and tires daily (and remind me to also). A crash at that speed [42 mph] may not be pretty. Speaking of which...has anyone ever taken a hill too fast?

Ted Magnuson

Yup, cruising down from Spencer's Butte in Eugene. A red stop light, a small rock and a fearless teenager all met at the bottom Eugene's steepest "fly". WIPEOUT two days in Sacred Heart, massive road burn, and the wonderful headache. The good news...... I no longer have to shave my right leg. Speed is fun, I learned that skinny tires are saved best for the "flat" land, and ALWAYS wear your helmet. And yes, I have mastered that hill since.

Hairless Amy and the Grahamcrackers

In answer to your question. Just this weekend I hit too fast of descent. I hit the bottom of a rain soaked descent (see "toad strangler") with no braking action. The road did a modified "T" at the bottom and I was forced to choose the shallower angle. It required a bit of discipline for me to straighten up the bike and bend my body while still grabbing for some braking affect while slooshing through the corner.

Of course the path I chose turned out to be the right direction for the route we were on so I was able to claim "I meant to do that" :-) Right! WHEW!

Don "Oh *that* corner" Bolton

My crash and burn speed story occurred about 4 years ago. During the MS150 on day 1, we had left Silver Creek Falls and came to a steep hill. I don't believe there was a sign showing the corner (or perhaps I had tears streaming from my eyes due to my speed). I was going about 42 mph when I realized it was one of those hairpin 20 mph-type corners. I hit the brakes and found myself in the oncoming traffic lane (still upright). The next thing I saw was pavement up close. I was sliding on my side after somehow doing an endo (brakes?) sliding feet first down the road, into the shoulder and to a stop. A few seconds later I heard a loud POP as my tire blew. Go figure! Wearing tank-top and short, I was quite rashed. Then I noticed pain. I ended up breaking my clavicle and scapula on the right side. Two surgeries later, I sold my roadbike.

I am back on the saddle again, but now on a recumbent (less back pain)!

Mark Williams


A well told story! Unfortunately, I feel your pain. My crash was almost identical, occurred during CO XII, between Butte Falls and Diamond Lake. Same speed, same unsigned curve, same injuries, only mine were on the left side. Got me a 65 mile ride in an ambulance to Medford.

The good news is that with a lot of attention to rehabilitation, I'm riding better, and my shoulder is stronger than it was prior to the injury. Still looks funny, and the scars are attention-getting.

I re-rode the same route the next year just prior to CO XIII. I'm still irritated with myself for what I consider a stupid mistake, but it was helpful to go through the curve successfully and exorcise the demon.

Mike Woiwode

The Tow

[Written after Wendi requested he give her a tow…]

Wendi, you're right, you have requested a tow before... I've just never been properly equipped.

Strange that it took so long for this memory to resurface, but your last post reminded me of one of my earliest memories about being on a bike.

We were living on a cul-de-sac in Forest Grove (Cedar Circle, just north of PU, anybody know it?), and the "big kids" across the street had the first 10-speeds I think I'd ever laid eyes on (this being about 1966, such things were still pretty rare). The big kids didn't really have much use for kiddygartners like me, but they watched me first learn to stay up on a two-wheeler (no training wheels in this family), and then struggle for more speed around the circle.

I guess they'd decided that I'd reached terminal velocity as far as my own power was concerned, but they offered to tow me up to their speed. They took a water-ski tow rope from their parents' boat and looped the handle over my handlebars and tied the free end to one of their bikes, and proceeded to drag me up the entrance to the circle. We were already going faster than I'd ever gone as I started the turn. I remember being very scared, and I was probably screaming, but I managed to hang on until just before I could straighten out again. Just as I thought the terror would end, my bike flipped to the outside of the circle.

I remember very little of the actual crash. I'm pretty sure the big boys disappeared as soon as they saw all the blood. Nothing was broken, so I ran (stumbled? I can't remember) into the house to find that my Mom's best friend Betsy (a Registered Nurse, how nice!) had come to visit just after coming off shift... she was still in whites! Still had her "magic bag" with her! I never knew what my face looked like, as Betsy steered me away from the bathroom into the laundry room, which became her triage center.

My hands, forearms, parts of my legs, and a big part of my face were covered with road rash. It was my first (unfortunately not my last) session of subcutaneous gravel-harvesting. Was I a brave boy? HELL NO! Did I shut up and sit still? HELL NO! Mom was probably ready to administer some cast-iron anesthesia, but Betsy patiently cleaned me out and patched me up. I looked like I'd walked off the set of "Preschool Mummy" when she was done. I remember her saying something about being afraid she didn't get all the gravel out of my forehead... Mom translated it as something like "You've STILL got rocks in your head!"

I might still!

So, Wendi... still want that tow rope? I promise I won't try to get even with the "big boys"!

Scott "Rash" Saulsbury

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Sore Lower Back


I take my mountain bike into a new shop to have it's condition assessed. He says, "Steve, it's a good bike, I can fix it." I say, "OK". He agrees to straighten the frame, replace the rear wheel, new seat post and new seat. He gives me a price that's so good I'm nearly snickering.

I pick the bike up, it looks great. The stays are straight, the wheel is round, the seat looks like I can sit on it again and the new seat post is of the suspension kind.

I say, "remember I was complaining about lower back pain?" He says, "Yes, I know an excellent Orthopedic office that can get you all fixed up. Cyclists are prone to back problems because of over development on certain muscle groups..."

I interrupt him, "No, I only have problems on this bike." He says, "Oh yeah, have a look at your old seat." He reaches behind the counter and brings out my old post and ground up seat. Close inspection confirms that the seat rails had been badly malformed causing the seat to be out of skew in multiple directions. He says, "It was as though you were driving 500 miles with a big fat wallet in your back pocket. Your back problems are over."

I rode to work today. Half of the 11 miles is on trail. Half of that was under water. As deep as 18 inches. It was so deep that my feet never broke the surface. It was dark and all I could see was what was a small area illuminated by the headlight. Black water, dark spruce. I prayed that I was still on the trail. It was a lot of fun. I was riding with the current (the stream beside the trail had overflowed) which was a good thing. It gave me momentum. The rain had been torrential during the night.

My back? Problem solved. The moral of the story? Aaaaaphthplplpl heck..... there's no moral. But I did learn how important correct alignment is. Oh yeah, and fenders. They're pretty good too although they tend to get in the way on the technical stuff.

Steve Heim

Mikkel loves Cyclo-Cross

What can I say, after all, he is a 16 year-old boy. One would have to consider his history.

He grew up, age six through twelve, riding in large, lumpy fields in Bridal Veil. When it rained and turned the fields to mud he was afflicted with mud-pox. (mud-pox, a disease you get when you ride fender-less in good sloppy mud, looks like chickenpox only mud colored and is lots more fun.) He and buddies learned to hose off and strip down to shorts before heading into the bunk house to shower off.

When we were training, we used to take the tandem up Crown Point. We did not get the guts to ride up the steep side (the East side) until he was six or seven. From then on when we were training, we rode up the East side before breakfast 4-5 mornings a week and did Larch Mountain on weekends.

At six years of age, on CycleO III, we rode most of the day in a heavy downpour all the way into Newport. I joked about how many moms let a kid ride their bike all day in the rain.

At twelve, he became separated from friends because he broke his rear derailer the last day of CycleO Ten. (Mom wimped out on the last day and had sent Mikkel on ahead with friends.) After waiting for about 20 minutes in the cold and rain at the top of the last hill, he discovered the broken derailer. He rode back down the hill to find a mechanic. Friends reported to Mom that Mikkel had been sagged because the bike was unride-able. Meanwhile the persistent twelve-year-old, talked the Mechanic into gluing his rear derailer together resulting in three speeds, low, medium and high. Then Mikkel climbed 8-10 miles back up the hill, waited in the rain/cold a second time and rode down the very steep, windy, moss covered Forest Service Road into Yachats.

Mikkel explained later that he had no intention of being sagged. He had thought it through, he would have hidden in the trees and let the sweep sag pass. He was determined he was going to ride every mile. This was the first year I had let him go on without me and ride with other faster riders.

This is the only year we do not have a finish picture for him. Grandpa, Mom and Uncle could not find him, we thought he had been sagged. He came in when we were looking elsewhere. He finally found us long after the course was closed. CycleO friends who knew he was missing helped reunite us all.

So you see riding in wet, cold, muddy conditions comes naturally to Mikkel.

Mikkel discovered Cyclo-Cross this year when he finished with the Alpenrose Velodrome races. He has raced the first five races in the six race series. He is currently in fifth place overall. Check out the Cyclo-Cross web site via

Mikkel’s big accomplishments this race were: he didn’t crash, he wasn’t bleeding and he didn’t break anything on the borrowed bike this time. A TeamO friend has loaned him an old road bike made into a six speed cross-bike.

The races are great fun to watch. The last two races are the next two Sundays. It is the Cross Crusade.

Mikkel's Mom (AKA Geri)

Back in the Saddle

I had the good fortune to ride with a few of you TBB folks this season and wanted to share an experience with people who understand how important bicycling can be for some of us.

Over the objections of my doctor, partner, various relatives and friends, I took a bike ride this morning. This was the first time on the bike since crashing on August 26, just two weeks before CO. (Exactly 3 months, one week and one day ago.) The ribs, shoulder blade, collarbone and pelvis are back together, so now it's just strength and mobility to work on. I figured that supporting myself on the bar was not that different in effort from the wall pushups, so why not? If something hurt, I'd turn around. Or call home.

I pulled out my trusty old Bridgestone RB-1, slid the saddle forward to help compensate for my current lack of flexibility, pumped the tires, lubed the chain and set out. It was dry, cold and exhilarating! An encounter with a small patch of gravel within the first few blocks was uncomfortable, but successful (it was gravel that put me down in August). Soon the rhythm of the road kicked in and well-practiced skills began to restore themselves. It felt so wonderful!

I didn't go far, just 14 miles. I chose a flat route, (as flat as possible...I live in Hillsdale, and climbing is a given) didn't go too hard, tried to spin lower gears. The left shoulder was tired when I returned, but didn't hurt (and now, five hours after returning, it's more relaxed than it's been in three months!). So it was successful. ...and the bike worked wonders for the spirit!

Life is good!!! I hope to see all of you for CO-14, with any luck, before.

Mark (back in the saddle again!) Ramsby

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Saturday Ride – Nov. 18, 2000

Well, I tried. I got to Brown Jr Hi maybe 25 minutes after 10:00, and everyone was gone. Totally my fault, I only live about six blocks away, but I had to work on my back tire (which then performed flawlessly, unlike my front - see below). I'm actually glad I missed, 'cause I went ahead and did the Hagg Lake loop, and it was not totally uneventful. If you care not for the details, feel free to skip the next paragraph.

First of all, I was slow, and even slower on the very moderate hills on my route. Also, at the start, my crank was making an awful creaking noise; I was glad only me and the dogs on the route had to hear it. It cleared up pretty well by the time I finished. Then, there was the two flats and the low tire (close to home, so I just pumped up and finished). I learned two things -- I have to loosen my quick-release on the front to get the wheel off, and I now know what snake bites look like. Both flats were snake bites, no holes in the tire. Again, I suspect these were my fault - I failed to check and correct the air pressure on the front tire, and my patched tube I then installed probably had a slow leak. At least according to that infamous Chain Reaction web site I've developed a close relationship with, the main cause of flats is inadequate pressure. I'm now a believer.

BTW, did the BABG gang end up doing Hagg Lake? As I was finishing up my first tire repair, a group of 4 or 5 (4, I think) came by going the other way. It was just below the dam, and based upon my pace and starting time, that would have been just about right.

Anyway, enough drivel. Maybe next time, when I'll hopefully have properly inflated tires, a quiet crank, and better conditioning. (I can dream, can't I?)

Don "live, learn, and ride" Gross

BTW, there was frost on the road at Hagg Lake, but I never felt the slightest bit cold. Other than the flats, it was quite a pleasant ride. (Darn snakes.) Computer said it was 54 miles.

Don "enjoying the dry spell" Gross

One Bike's Story

There it sat in the exercise room impaled on a Blackburn mag trainer. The once shiny new jet black hybrid GT bought back in 95 was getting rust blossoms around the bottle cages, cable stops, and bottom bracket. Its paint looking dull, it's once shiny crankarms now dull with age.

Sure it had been upgraded and cared for over the years, its drivetrain had been replaced by one off a bike that had its frame break. The stock skyscraper stem had been replaced by a lightweight aggressive one, it's mild steel handlebars replaced by lightweight aluminum ones. Its wheelset had come from the broken road bike. But still, it was a hybrid with mountain bike style bars and shifters and didn't get out much anymore.

Oh, it got "ridden" all the time in winter, just never left the same plot of floorspace. Didn't get to glide down or muscle up hillsides, didn't get to wander through the valleys exploring the countryside as it once so proudly had.

It hadn't always been that way. When it was young it went all over this state exploring its covered bridges, wandering alongside rivers, proudly rolling up hills and whooshing down them, the occasional foray onto a unoccupied BMX track taking its owner back to his childhood.

In the garage sat a spare set of road bars and shifters gathering dust from the bike that had donated its drivetrain when it's frame had broken years before. A trip to the local bike shop for a major overhaul, new stem and bar swap and the once disheveled hybrid sat shiny and new again reborn as a road bike.

The magicians in the shop marveled at its aggressive lines. "Its a cyclecross bike" they chimed as if in chorus. It's owner replied "maybe someday".

It sits back again in the exercise room impaled on the trainer as before, but now it gets tended to after it's trainer sessions. As it's owner gazes upon it he thinks about its beefy construction and long wheelbase and loaded touring, all the clearances it has for fenders and how good of a rain bike it will be. He thinks about how once again the bike can take to the backroads to explore while the prissybikes sit waiting for the right types of weather to return.

Many thanks to Micheal Magahay at the Beaverton bike gallery for his stellar restoration/transformation of this beautiful steed!

Don "support your local bike shops" Bolton

Oh Granny Gear
(sung to the tune of Oh Christmas Tree)

Oh Granny Gear
Oh Granny Gear
Oh how my winter legs love you

Oh Granny Gear
Oh Granny Gear
Tis the season to enjoy you

My summer legs
They make me zoom
But winter legs
are full of gloom

Oh Granny Gear
Oh Granny Gear
Oh how my winter legs love you

This is just a reminder for the group (and to myself), working out in a gym is no substitute for riding the hills.

Lonnie `hey I'm a kid again, I got fenders' Wormley

Booties and CO War Stories

Did you use a One Dollar Bill? That used to work but is no longer sufficient. Now you must use a Ten or at least a Five. It's due to "inflation."

Ray (whatch the PSI) Ogilvie

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Booties for your tires:

Twenty dollar bills are definitely better than those old skinny ONE's. :-)

It's true - it's true - - I've seen it done and tested :-) A friend used a Twenty to boot a slashed side wall, while coming off of McKenzie Pass in the cold rain CO X. It held just fine - and it makes for a interesting story.

In God We Trust was on both our minds as we descended quite rapidly off the pass. Cold and Wet, but still one of the most adventure some days of any CO.

We were sh-shivering so much I couldn't even hold a cup of Hot Chocolate still enough to drink at the rest stop.

( I Love It All ! )

Any other personal Cycle Oregon "positive" war stories to share.

Capt. Dink ~

Installment number one of Icicles on Bicycles :-)

I stopped with intent to have some hot liquid but was too cold to even try. I pushed on and remember having skads of fun on the twisty wet downhill with numerous insecure riders running "roadblock" all the way down. I ended up smacking a blam-blam (monster pothole) during one of my "Oh SH*T!" passes. Hadda get a wheel true the following night :-(

I was cursed at by more than a few riders when I chose the inside line for my pass after following for several curves and continually announcing presence, but they wouldn't maintain a consistent line. In my motorcycle racing days I would have dove under and rode out up into them and forced them offline, they had no clue how nice I was being during those passes :-(

I remember talking with a couple from GA that hadn't listened to the weather report for the day. They were in shorts, short sleeve jersey, and wind shell. No long gloves, booties, no cold weather gear whatsoever! Oversized Smurfs they were :-)

Don "I had cold weather gear and was freezing" Bolton

I remember that hill climb (CO X - the century day). It started sleeting (on me) a few hundred yards before the summit where the band was hastily packing it in. I remember sheltering in one of the blue rooms mounted on the trailer - with three other (lady) icicles as we donned whatever extra gear we had, i.e. light weight rain gear, and then charged off into the wind before dropping off to the "scream section" of the day's ride. I didn't see enough traffic to elicit harsh words but we did provide our own entertainment as we dismounted and tried to disrobe at the parking area at the bottom. (We were too cold to move properly). The rest of the way into Rainbow was beautimous.

Next time.....

The Adventures Of… Droop, Croup, and Zoom

Linda "Are you guys sure you should be here today?" Kimbell as Zoom
Nanette "Catch that! Its my good lung" Hoheisel as Croup
Don "Sore throat, blocked nose, little sleep" Bolton as Droop

Our Sat ride from Tenino was greeted by fog and near freezing temps. Nan had been home sick most of the week prior and I had developed serious cold symptoms just hours before. Nonetheless we began our trek thru the beautiful Thurston/Lewis county paradise.

I was concerned I wouldn't have much working energy, but managed to muscle the black bike along at what I considered a respectable pace. I'd stop to let the others catch up and show me which direction was next. Nan would roll up with a hacking cough which Linda and I would back up with the chattering choppers chorus from the frozen tukas suite.

We traversed some wonderful low use backcountry roads and a section of rails to trails bike path into the outskirts of Lacey where we imbibed on warm food.

Getting back out to the bikes it was still arctic so we decided to head back the way we came (it being the shortest path back). Around 1:30 the sun finally burned through and it got a bit warmer, though the shaded areas were still pretty cold. We continued out past Tenino to a local store several miles away for hot chocolate and then wound it up back at Tenino with a tad over 40 miles done.

When all was said and done we had all had a good ride.

I went back to my trailer and by 6:00 was feverish and fell asleep. Droop had dropped. :-(

Sat. AM was a low of 25 degrees Fahrenheit. My water supply to my trailer (plastic hose) was frozen solid. I spent some time outside hooking up the spare hose to another bib so I could run hot water to fill the coffee pot so I could use that to thaw out my bib and pressure regulator. Denise picked up foam pipe insulation and tape and when I returned from the ride had the hose all insulated so we had no problems during Sunday mornings freeze. Ahh, winter camping. :-)

Don "waiting to get well again" Bolton


I know how rummy you can get on a long hot up hill climb. Or even at the end of a long day.

I remember a time on CycleOregon when my son was young (about 6-7). We were near the end of a long day. We were really tired. There was this beautiful down hill. We were on the tandem. We tucked down. We went flying!

I called out "on your left" and was about to pass a group of 3-4 riders, when they suddenly all started turning left. I was dumb-struck. All I could do was emit "Ahhh!, Ahhhh!, Ahhh!" Luckily they were much more with-it than I was and understood the language of the dumb-struck.

They all pulled back on line and allowed me to pass them before they turned left. As I was passing them they shouted that the route turned left into town. My son lectured me on going so fast, then we turned climbed back to the turn.

That is how I knew how young he was when this happened. He didn't like going fast until he was a little older. He told me that when he was little he just closed his eyes and hung on when we went downhill. He did not like going so fast.

Now, at 16, he has "THE NEED FOR SPEED!" He took up bicycle racing this last summer. He did quite well. He is looking forward to doing even better this year.

Geri (AKA Mikkel's Mom now the Unrider)

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Contrary Weather, Indeed!

Just finished up a 40+ mile romp. Mostly it was just cold and windy, but I was prepared for that and felt good for the whole ride (after I got warmed up, anyway). Some little snow pellets started flying out around Troutdale, but they weren't serious.

Those last couple of miles were a new experience for me, though. BIG snowflakes, and lots of 'em. It wasn't the cold or wet of the melting snow that got to me... it was the realization that my Bolles don't have windshield wipers! I kept getting smacked with these potato-chip sized flakes that obscured half my vision at a whack. I've treated my lenses with Rain-X and that works remarkably well in rain, but the snowflakes just stuck there until I wiped them off with my glove. At least the Rain-X kept the residual water beaded up and blown away.

Ah, well, it was all still fun, and I still got a great workout in before the stuff started flying.

Scott Saulsbury

Don't Drink and Pedal

By way of true confessions, I can vouch for that.

In 1989, I went on a diet and lost 64 pounds.

Near the end of the diet (like 540 calories a day!!) I rode my trusty 1963 English steel Raleigh downtown - and much to my delight there was a wine tasting going on. I thought surely a few half ounce tastes wouldn't hurt. I had a few and felt no pain.

Of course what I did not reckon on was that - on what amounted to an empty stomach, it went right to my system - like lightning - after all, I was exercising(!) While riding up to a corner where I needed to stop (still downtown), I actually fell over - you know - like Artie Johnson (Remember "Laugh In").



Realizing I was not completely in control (yes, there WERE a few active brain cells), I rode the next 11 miles home - VERY carefully. When I got to my street (which some of you know has about a 12% grade - albeit only about a tenth of a mile long) - - - you guessed it - -



That was the first and last time I drank and rode.

Curt (the ol' drunk on the bent)

Just in case there is any doubt.

Since that day in mid-summer 1989, I DO NOT DRINK AND PEDAL!!

A paraphrase of the old cliche applies: "Once falling over, Twice wise."

Curt Coleman

And I thought that was why you got a bent. So you wouldn't have so far to fall -) As I recall, Artie Johnson was usually on a tricycle when he toppled, so a bent is pretty close. I'm probably gonna get flamed for that...

Bob Heath

What a Beautiful Day – March 6, 2001

The toughest part of winter is going out for a ride and feeling totally wiped after 50km. The most disgusting part of winter is the chalky, white complexion on my calfs. Oh Lord, we beseech thee; bring us sunshine that we may be warm and own bronzed rippling calfs!

I rode on Sunday and for the first time since October, felt good about it. Winter is psychologically tough. The cold weather wipes me out. It makes a 60 km ride feel like 120 km. It's like riding into a head wind for 4 months. I check my times and average speeds and wonder, "Am I getting old? Why am I so slow?" and, "I've got to give this up, it's just too hard".

Fortunately, eventually the sun comes out. I rode to work today. Both directions in daylight. I think we set a record high temp for this day. My ride on Sunday and today brought back the passion for cycling I was afraid was dwindling. I love to ski but otherwise I have a significant dislike for winter. It robs me of my mistress, the two wheeled monster.

Steve Heim

This Really Happened!

I forget which hill I was climbing but it was one of the tough ones:

I move out to pass a cyclist who is riding along side another rider. With a ring of my bell I make my move. As I come along side him he swerves into me.

I call out, "Hey, I'm beside you!"

He swerves away from me and replies somewhat sarcastically, "You're supposed to call 'On Your Left'."

Being equally tired, focussed and grumpy I yell back behind me, "I rang my bell, buddy."

There is a pause and he responds, "Oh... I thought that was something going off inside my head."

Whoever you were, I just want you to know that I've told this story a hundred times and I still laugh. Thanks for your quick wit.

Steve "ding" Heim

Dufur Do?

Just a reminder from last week... [CO 13]

Ask not what Dufur can Dufur you,
Ask what you can Dufur Dufur!!!!!!
With that said, Goodnight!

Stacey 'duhfer' Gray

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  Page Last Updated: Jan. 20, 2003  
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