Show menu

One Year On Sage

Breezer Downtown EX

One year ago, my family surprised me with a new bike for Fathers’ Day. They’re pretty awesome that way. :-)

Since then, I’ve ridden “Sage” quite a bit1 and bragged2 quite a bit on the way. Here’s my year in review.

  • I biked 3,207 miles. The number seemed really big to me, but then I looked at some math. At nine miles each round trip, I get more than 2,100 miles just on my daily commute. With lunch rides and a family vacation where I rode 200 miles in a week, the miles really add up.
  • I went through some parts: 1.5 sets of tires, 1.5 sets of brakes, and a chain. Rotating the tires probably could have made them last longer, but it’s amazing how much broken glass was embedded in my tires3 by the time I swapped them out. I probably should have gone through more brake pads. I’ve heard of going through a chain, but had never done it before. I do clean and oil my chain at least once a month, but in the winter, should probably do it a lot more often. Oh, and I broke a spoke. When I had it repaired, they were surprised it had been my first.4
  • We went “low car.”5 When our family minivan finally died after 295,502 miles, we didn’t replace it. Suzi now drives the CRV; I bike.
  • I slowed down a bit. I used to think I commuted at 15-18 mph. Yeah, maybe. But that was in a more hunched down, uncomfortable posture. Now I sit up and enjoy the view. I stop at Starbucks on the way.6 I take a bunch of pictures.7 And when someone blows by me, I think of Linda Ronstadt.8

Year two starts now. I wonder where Sage will take me. :-)

  1. I guess I’m awesome that way… ;-) 
  2. Or “shared personal accomplishments with close friends and family.” I like it! 
  3. And not causing flats. Bike commuting tires are awesome these days. 
  4. I didn’t take it as a weight comment, I’m just tall. And I’ve stopped jumping so many curbs. 
  5. Well, as low car as a family can go when all the kids have their own cars. But they use them. 
  6. Yeah, I’ve done that for a while, not just the last year… 
  7. Ditto
  8. Yup, and her song, “Blew By You.” 

Portland to Portland


Today, I passed another milestone on my new bike:1 3,198 miles! What is the significance of that number, you might ask? Perhaps I’m a pair of miles premature for my pride?2

No, my fine friend, because 3,192.7 is the distance from Portland, Ore. to Portland, Maine.3 Sometime this morning, on my ride to work, I was figuratively riding off the Maine State Pier into the Portland harbor. Splash!

  1. Well, it was new almost one year ago. Two more days to go. 
  2. No, that will be another opportunity to share personal accomplishments with close friends and family, in other words, brag. :-D 
  3. According to Bing maps. 

I’m Moving My Blog’s Email Subscriptions To MailChimp

To improve the quality of my email subscription service, I’m now using MailChimp. Those of you who have already subscribed to my daily1 blog updates should not notice a difference, other than getting the emails more reliably. It seems that emails might not have been sent for over a week. If you didn’t get any, you could have missed:

MailChimp provides an awesome service. They demand that emails be sent out only after double opt-in2 by all recipients. I believe that describes everyone already on my list. If you think you received this email by error or don’t remember signing up, please accept my apologies and feel free to click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

Those of you reading this on my blog who want to subscribe, please use the handy dandy subscription button at the bottom of this post. Thanks!

  1. No more than once a day, and no email if there’s not a new post. 
  2. Sign up plus confirming email. 

Photo Spot, A Year Later


More than a year ago, I posted my last “photo spot picture.”1 NE Veterans Road is now done, cutting through the field. You can just make out the lights in the distance. It’s a great road, curvy to keep traffic speeds low. It features Hillsboro’s second cycle track2 and a separate pedestrian pathway. A traffic circle controls and routes traffic without stop signs or signals and bicycles can either take the road or merge with pedestrians.


I’d use Veteran Road if it took me where I wanted to go. Once NE Belknap Court is extended3 to meet Veterans,3 this could be my preferred route to work. Well, maybe. It wouldn’t go through Dawson Creek Park. And it wouldn’t go by Starbucks. Okay, I probably wouldn’t use it at all… ;-)

I don’t bike by the photo spot much anymore. Cornell has narrow car and bike lanes and some curves—and a dangerous intersection with Brookwood Parkway. Instead, I bike north of the airport on Evergreen, which recently also received some love from our local civil engineers. It’s been widened, with a couple feet of buffer space between the rightmost traffic lane and the bike lane. No longer is a 4X4 pickup with its wheels on the paint stripe going to have its trailer-appropriate mirrors extending into the bike lane. That’s huge! For me, it’s worth riding an extra mile to avoid Cornell.

  1. Across the street from the Hillsboro airport. 
  2. Our cycle track is a raised bicycle path adjacent the road. It makes travelling by bike feel safer. In some respects, it probably is. No more can a distracted driver drift unawares into the bike lane. Unfortunately, I suspect the raised edge will “suck” a drifting car onto the bike lane. Time will tell. A square curb would stop cars from drifting, but would make biking near the edge much more dangerous for those on bikes. 
  3. Or should I say, if NE Belknap Court is extended… 

Stand Tall in June


Last December, I photographed this stand of trees as “Stand Tall.” It ended up being one of my ten favorite photographs of 2013. At the time, I said I was going to come back and photograph the same scene in different weather and at a different time of the year. Yesterday I did.

I’m not convinced I like the colorful scene better. So I tried a black and white version. Better, but I still like the December version best.

bw stand tall in june

Which do you prefer?

Outstanding in the Field


There’s a field near my house that has bunches of these flowers, but I’ve never stopped to take pictures. It’s too close to the beginning of my ride to want to stop and besides, the weeds around the plants are growing tall. This morning, as I passed the empty field just north of the Hillsboro Costco,1 I noticed a few clusters of the flowers. Out came the phone for a couple shots.

I wonder whether my point and shoot would have taken a better shot. Or maybe, there’s always a better shot to take.

20140604_173209Update: On the way home, I again stopped at the field. The weather was clear and the sun had changed sides of the sky.

  1. Nearly to my Starbucks stop and much closer to work. :-) 

Why You Hate Work, by Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath in the NY Times. “The more effectively leaders and organizations support employees in meeting these core needs, the more likely the employees are to experience engagement, loyalty, job satisfaction and positive energy at work and the lower their perceived levels of stress.” Good piece.

Evening Commute


The weather was beautiful during my regular lunch ride. With my morning’s successful panorama at Dawson Creek, I figured I’d take another pano at Rock Creek Trail Park. I parked the bike, spun the circle, and continued my ride. When I got back to my cube … no picture. I’m not sure what happened. Guess I’ll try again tomorrow.

I tried another on the way through Dawson Creek on the way home. Huh, that one worked.

I’m not sure how useful the 360-degree panorama is. The are very wide, very short pictures without a lot of visible detail. Maybe I need to find a better way of presenting them on my blog.

Time for more experimentation… ;-)