Monday, August 18, 2014

Portland Banner

Downtown Portland, Oregon: where bike commuters are everywhere and advertising, using the bicycle as emblems reigns supreme.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Gotta Love Those Oregon Plates

Oh, how I'd love to have the option to buy a Vermont vanity license plate like the kind offered in Oregon!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

San Francisco Biking is a Delight

Bike the Bridge—Golden Gate Bridge, that is.

Our family is on vacation in California and Oregon, so a little bike riding is on the agenda. Of course, with teenagers in tow, diversions are encouraged, like play time at an outdoor fitness center.

 Our youngest son must try every piece of equipment.

While the older, cautious son knows his limits, saving enough energy for later. We rode together, bringing up the rear.

He's the camera and video buff, so we stopped to take photos and admire long legged white birds, presumably egrets or cranes.

The golden Gate bridge slowly appeared, emerging from the ubiquitous mist.

My husband climbs the ramp to bridge deck level.
Biking the bridge is not a solitary affair. In fact, we rode with 1000 others. Besides following the same route we had much in common, all pedaling a similar hybrid bicycle—only three rental company's supplied all the bikes.

Pull offs provide ample space to enjoy the view.
Cycling over the bridge keeps you on your toes. With pedestrians, wisely navigating one side, bike riders are relegated to the other raised pathway. It is controlled chaos—the horde moves at different speeds, with locals zipping past or unnervingly head on, narrowly squeezing by.

The above is an example of our ride. Thankfully, my videographer son is a safe bike rider. As a mom though, I gasp when I  find he films while riding with one hand on the handlebars. And later, I contend with a 15 year old's attitude when I mistakenly refer to "video". Which apparently is not the correct term. My son rolls his eyes "It's a vlog, Mom."

Our youngest is a biking whiz, a bit cocky after finishing a week of
mountain biking camp just before vacation.
The ride towards Sausalito is smoother. The trail is wider; the crowds thinned when climbing a long hill.

Sunny Sausalito was a welcome treat. Even with crowds waiting for a spot on scheduled ferry departures.

Plenty of time to eat ice cream or purchase a souvenir.

Queue up and load. A nice cruise past Alcatraz then dock in San Francisco.

A ferry full of like bicycles makes for an interesting line up and retrieval when disembarking—a difficulty we encountered when our oldest son forgot where he parked his bike. To be fair, a ferry attendant insisted our boy place his bicycle separate from our three bikes. However, as 15 year olds are, he was unfazed (unlike his parents) when all passengers left and his bike disappeared. Fortunately, one bike from the same rental company was unclaimed. We had our son snag it and returned the bike without penalty.

Would I Bike The Bridge again? For sure, but next time I'd go further, visit, Marin Park and/or Tiburon. What's not to like about bikes and San Francisco?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Golf Ball Ingenuity

Photo credit: Simply Cycle
I've always admired kickstands with rubberized feet, the kind that displace the bike's weight and feel stable. Mine are the old fashioned creeky type that constantly loosen. The kind that scrape on asphalt. If I forget to position the handlebars just so, the bicycle may lean too far to the left and topple before I catch and save her from crashing to the ground. But yet, they still function so I'm adverse to replacing each (I have four) until they fail altogether.

Enter the golf ball solution. According to a fellow cyclist he suggests drilling a hole the diameter of your kickstand into a golf ball. Push the ball in place. It's easy and also allows the bike to stand up on grass.

Photo credit: RV Now
And yet, I'm not convinced it's what I want. Though, I may change my mind. You've got to admit, the golf ball has a certain sense of style. Especially if I use mini golf-type flashy colors.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Birthday Bike Overnight

The pole is a flashing red beacon at night; perfect
 as a nightlight on a moonless evening.
Scrambling to get somewhere before dark. My husband, youngest son, and me. 12 miles.

A nice breeze. Slipping poles into rings and sleeves, sometimes twice in the fading light. Water all around.

All for a quiet sunrise view on my birthday. Peaceful.

My husband and I watched a hot air balloon rise from the landscape. Silhouetted. I presumed it was a water tower. Water towers don't move.

Take down obvious yellow tent.

Wait for other son to rise. Snuggle time on bench. He eats popcorn chips for a snack.

Slowly pack.

Wandering. Exploring.

Reading posters, maps. Before causeway ferry gets underway at 10 a.m.

Early morning fishermen rumble through the opening.

By 7 a.m. the first bike riders visit us. Chat. "You did what?" they say in disbelief. "Get, out!"

Hungry. We beeline to town for breakfast. Coffee and bagel sandwiches. Yum.