Saturday, April 28, 2007

What are the odds of dying?

odds of dying

The Rickreall Open

The Rickreall Open is officially under way. Well, at least Jaden and I are partying and more people are expected tomorrow. Unless Dee and Claire show up tonight, I haven't heard from them.
I have heard from the group leaving Friday at 1pm. Led by Disco, Beefa and Dabby, they have requested I procure for them $60 worth of cold beer and "food". I hope they save some of their money for poker as Jaden brought his new chip set that he picked up in Vegas. It's got a lock and he keeps the key tied to his belt loop. What a hustler.
I'm expecting the Polo Haus crew and the Yamhill crew to arrive Saturday afternoon. I hope they hurry as I want to get a few competitions out of the way.
If you're coming remember a flashlight and some mosquito repellent might be a good idea too, especially if you're sleeping without a tent.

The Rickreall Open : July 13-15
This will be the fourth Open and I plan to make it the best yet. Please bring a tent, sleeping bag, warm clothes, flashlight, food and drink or $$, a bike and a positive, wining attitude.
Events this year may or may not include bocce ball, bird watching, grass flat track, Uhaul Futsol, Red Ryder marksmanship, match sprints through the woods, fire jumping, speed scrabble, home run derby, wine tasting, storytelling, ditch style, poker, uphill TT, bird watching, etc. Points will be tallied and prizes given out Sunday afternoon. Anyone who rides down instead of driving gets 100 points right off the bat.

Here are two routes I've planned out that avoid Highway 99 for the most part.

The West valley route starts from the Hillsboro Max station and meanders on some beautiful country roads. It's an easy route apart from two short climbs and a few miles of gravel at the end.

The East valley route leaves town on 99, then follows the Willamette, crossing at the historic Wheatland ferry (free for bikes). It concludes with the steep but short ascent of Eagle Crest (L'Alpe d'Huez of Eastern Polk County), then a screaming descent straight down to the farm.

Here are pictures from 2005 and 2006

Friday, April 27, 2007

I forgot to post this photo of Team Portland with their trophy from Canada.

Our champions with their...golden bowl?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

We are mental, we are barmy...

A view from the middle of the Timbers Army

There were several penalty kicks in the first half. The Timbers won 3-1 and we had a blast. I've got to print out some lyric sheets before the next game.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What does it mean to be part of Team WRECK?

So Team WRECK didn't make it to the Mudslinger yesterday. Teammates offered various answers when asked if they would participate. Let's run them down.

Cowboy Mike : No

Dabby : Sure, but didn't have money for race fees or gas and he has a sprained ankle. He was showing off, trying to skid on my bag at the stoop and he grabbed the wrong brake lever. Ha ha.

Beefa aka El Torque : No
*note that Baby Beefa is displayed here. I found her more pleasant to look at.

Mary Lou : In Seattle with Tall Joe

T-Bone : working

Mace : In Hood River, plus his bike is too heavy

Timmy : In Canada for a polo tournament

There are some decent excuses up there but when it really comes down to it being a member of Team WRECK hinges on PARTICIPATION. I guess I must have overestimated my persuasive skills, (aka nagging) so now I am proposing a new concept : Sponsorship (aka bribery). Yes, that's right, I am so determined to be a directeur sportif that I am digging deep into my own pockets.
Here's the deal, the next two races I have targeted are the Falls City Firecracker and the NWSSC/Test of Endurance. Anyone showing up for either gets gas money for free, plus I'll kick in $10 towards the race fee. If you show up and start both races (no pulling a "brue") you get a full custom team jersey or t-shirt. These will only be available to teammates, just like the Stumptown t-shirts.
So here's your chance to experience something difficult and rewarding, and ride beautiful trails that are only open once a year. Sure you could sleep until 10:30, then amble down to Alberta park to drink beer and listen to the same old stories over and over again, or you could be out in the woods creating exciting new stories to tell next Sunday. As you struggle with this choice I want you to think about one of the founding members of Team WRECK. He helped bring us the championship in the first Westside polo tournament.

WWDDD. What would Dr. Doom do? He would race. He would ride hard and have fun and would be widely considered to be a badass.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sunday Polo

Abby and I were chanting "Dave-y, Dave-y". I think he liked it.

Abby on the phone.

LP gets physical with the Sensei.

Grasshopper in the red zone. Nice D, Dabby.

Count it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rip City, baby.

The Portland Trailblazers have been a big part of my life since I can remember. They won their only championship when I was four. My grandma Pauline was a big fan and she took me to a lot of games. We would always sit in the nosebleeds, the cheapest seats that are all the way back against the wall, which was nice in some ways as you could stand up and jump around without pissing anyone off. We would always go an hour early to get autographs. Back in the early 80s at the Glass Palace the players were a lot more accessible. I remember meeting Jim Paxson, Darnell Valentine, Wayne Cooper (Coooop!), Kiki Vanderwhe, Maurice Lucas (Luuuuke!) and others. We would always stay for the postgame interview with Bill Shonley (bingo, bango bongo baby!).
As a teenager I was a rabid fan. In the glory years of 1988-1992 I rarely missed a game, whether in person, on the radio or on TV with the sound turned off and the Shons turned on. A highlight was when a coworker shared his dad's 9th row seats for a playoff win against the Suns that went to double overtime and we could hear every profane thing Charles Barkley was saying.
Then, finally came June 6, 2000 and the collapse in the fourth quarter of game seven in the Western Conference championships. After that game the Trailblazers entered a dark period, as did I. I still watched a few games but my heart wasn't in it.

I wrote the preceding as my second blog entry but never posted it becase I thought it sucked. Now my standards are lower and I'm using it as an intro to a post about today, April 18, 2007, henceforth known as "Portland Trailblazers 1977 Championship Day" or something. Mayor Potter was not the smooth talker I assumed him to be but I still enjoyed his proclamation.
Bill Schonley was great as MC and it was nice to hear Dr. Jack Ramsey speak so warmly of his time in Portland. The only current Blazers there were Joel Pryzbilla and Ime Udoka and of course Nate and Maurice Lucas. I was a little disappointed at the turnout, both players and fans, but it was still fun.

Here's El Torque posing with the championship trophy. The trophy had two handlers who wore white gloves and had their hands on the trophy at all times.

Monday, April 16, 2007

a day in the life

Jaden spotted a bunch of morels in the woods. We're going to let the little ones grow more then saute them in butter and garlic and serve them with fresh pasta.

Two of my favorite weeds.

This is one of my least favorite weeds, tansy ragwort. On Sunday as I was swinging a mattock into a patch of tansy it came to me that my war against tansy is in some ways analogous to the war in Iraq.
When we first started spending weekends down here there was a little tansy around but I ignored it as I had a lot of other projects. When I did get around to it the tansy was tall and had gone to seed. It smelled really bad and was blocking out other plants, so I hacked it down with my trusty machete (made in Columbia, they know machetes down there). A few swings and it was in shambles. But then it came back, not growing tall but spreading out, rapidly, and showing up under the plum tree, in the grass, near the blueberries. I was alarmed so I went to the big guns, my Honda mower, which so far has chopped the shit out of everything I've pushed it over. Of course it came back and spread even more. Only then did I consult the experts (google) and find out that when mowed tansy turns from a seed producing annual to a perennial that spreads from the root crown. I've had some success in the herb garden with a pick axe, rake and barkdust mulch method, but it still comes back. Digging out individual plants with my Japanese gardening knife is effective but hard and by the time I've cleared a sector the tansy is on the offensive elsewhere. We're considering implementing a new "security plan" involving several bales of old alfalfa hay, not even tansy can get through a foot of that. If that fails though we'll be forced to pull out and leave the garden to govern itself or use the strongest weapon in our arsenal...2,4-d, aka Roundup aka Agent Orange.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

So it goes.

R.I.P Kurt Vonnegut. Mr. Vonnegut's books had a huge impact on me as a teenager. I think a lot of my worldview comes out of his books. I met him at a book signing once on my 20th birthday. He told me I looked like Jim Mcmahon, who used to play quaterback for the Bears. I don't see the resemblance.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Double Walk Out

Friday's Team Wreck ride was fraught with challenges but we overcame most of them. We had intended to get an early start and make it out to the Wilson or Washougal rivers. To that end I got up early, packed up and schlepped two backpacks, a Zo bag, my IF and an anxious dog 2 blocks uphill to the car. Wait...didn't I park here 3 days ago?...Why are the streets all wet? Fuck. Apparently in NW they clean the streets 3 times a year and if you don't move your car it gets towed. The nice woman at the neighborhhod association explained that fliers were sent out at the beginning of the year. Not much help for me as I moved in 3 weeks ago. The nice woman with the police dept. explained that it's against the law not to move your vehicle every 24 hours. I asked if it wasn't in the city's best interests for me to park my car during the week and ride a bike instead? But of course she doesn't make the rules she only blah blah fucking blah. Riding down to the impound yard I got a flat and had to walk back to get another bike. Anyway 2 hours and $189 later we were on our way. Or I thought we were. I collected Dabby fairly easily. The delay gave him a chance to pull it together. (he is slow...It took him close to 3 hours on Sunday to make pancakes...but they were worth it). Mary Lou wasn't quite as prepared. Having just fallen asleep after a night of heavy drinking and petty crime he needed a little persuading and his (my) bike needed a new chainring and shorter chain. Only one of the bolts was stripped out, so after some futile wrenching, some bloody knuckles, and a trip to NoPo bike works we finally gave up and drove back to NW to get another set of cranks and a crank puller. Mary Lou was worried about sobering up so we went to the Lucky Lab to swap the cranks. That proved to be a good choice as we all relaxed a bit after an imperial pint.

By this time a long drive was out of the question so we went to Scappoose again. The trails were in perfect condition, dry and fast. There were quite a few other riders out there which is weird for a weekday but I guess it's spring now. We got on the trail around 1:45, right on schedule!
We got in some good riding before I got my second flat. All the trails are signed now so it's easier to navigate. We climbed on the road up to Purple Haze, took it to CT3 then down Kamikaze, which we formerly knew as the bottom of the Nettle trail, and which Dabby once bombed on a polo bike.

He couldn't make the switchbacks with only a rear brake so he just went straight down. I still think his blog should be called "the fall line" or "a huge pit of irony" or really anything that doesn't conjure a mental image of Dabby defecating. Anyway I got a second flat (a valve stem tear) and had to walk out, having already used my extra tube.

We made it back to the parking lot and Dabby bummed a tube off someone and we went back out. We got in some more great riding, and I cleaned the hill up to the North Shore for the second time ever. Dabby took a good video of Mary Lou jumping a gap, maybe he'll post it some day. Then, as predicted, my tire blew out again and I had the rare double walk out. Personal Record!
Dabby thinks the Ritchey rim strip that came with my wheels is to blame, it lets a little bit of metal show, so now I have another reason to hate Tom Ritchey.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Chaos on the court

Here are some photos from Brian's birthday/polo night on Wednesday. I'll add desciptions and stories later, right now I've got to put the brakes back on my IF and go meet the rest of Team Wreck (in this case just Mary Lou and Dabby) for an excursion to the hinterland.

These guys were cool, the one on the right said his name was Ghetto Ghost. I didn't get a name for the dude on the left but I like his style. Notice he's decked out in Budweiser gear but drinking Tecate. I guess Tecate is like the Budweiser of Mexico...maybe it's a subtle commentary on the effects of NAFTA.

Happy Birthday Brian

Dabby knows how to have a good time.

Don't ride too close to these two, they'll take you out.

Heather took this one

Heather took this one of Chakra, Erica and Bjorn.

I took a bunch of long exposure shots, none of them turned out great but these are two of my favorites.

Heather took this one of us.

Bjorn and Dabby got into a fight. It was short and ugly, nobody got hurt but Dabby's glasses were mangled. Please note I took pictures instead of interceding only because I could see that Ringer, C Murder and Jerry had the situation well in hand.