Archive for September, 2009

A Lake Oswego Spinning Class With Good Music — It’s About *%$#@&ing time!

Friday, September 11th, 2009
I know damn well the tunes will be great, 'cause I get to help pick them

"I know damn well the tunes will be great, 'cause I get to help pick them" -- DJ De-Z

Hell yes! My friend Shannon — of Shannon Corey Fitness — is finally bring back her own ass-kicking version of spinning classes back to Lake Oswego. These classes are 90 minutes long and include strength-training and core exercises.

The best part of Shannon’s class is that she is one of the few Portland-area spinning instructors who is not afraid to play great music. In fact, she has agreed to let me assist her in developing the play lists.

There will be an eclectic mixture of classic rock, hard rock, punk, techno, trance, angry gangsta rap and hip hop with a smattering of psychedelic jam music, lounge music, bluegrass, and gospel thrown into the mix just to keep it interesting.

There will not be any of the generic milquetoast bullshit that most spin instructors play at the big, corporate-run gyms. No pop, no 80′s hits, no George Michael. And there will absolutely, positively, under no circumstances be any Five for Fighting.

It is so good, that I probably won’t complain about the 5:30 am start time. For more detail, check out Shannon’s Website.

Classes start in October. They are limited to 10 people so sign up early. Maintain that fitness you’ve worked all summer to build! This just goes to show the persuasive power of PDX Cycling Online.

Portland Recognized as Bike-friendly City by New York Times

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Team Fartlek Looking Ready for Cycle Oregon

Friday, September 4th, 2009
Time to see if all that training paid off. I have a feeling that it has.

Time to see if all that training paid off. I have a feeling that it has.

Canby Ferry Ride

Friday, September 4th, 2009
Canby Ferry

Canby Ferry

This ride is NOT the one in the Rubber to the Road book. It is similar. It starts and ends in Lake Oswego for one simple reason — that’s where I happen to live. It is a good ride with a fair bit of climbing. The most important thing to know about this ride is that, if the bridge at Oregon City is closed,┬áthis ride won’t work.

Chehalem Mountain Loop

Friday, September 4th, 2009
Clovers on the way to the beginning of the first climb

Clovers on the way to the beginning of the first climb

This is another great mid-season ride when you are looking to add in more climbing. The first big climb is Chehalem Mtn. itself. It is steady but not steep. The drop down the backside is nice, but don’t overshoot Bell Rd. The climb up Bell Rd. is also steady but not steep. There is a short climb on Leander Rd. that IS steep. It seems fitting that there is a cemetery right at the top. The good news is that, when you finish that bit, you are done climbing.

This particular route is a variation of what is found in Rubber to the Road. This version uses SW Chapman instead of Kruger Rd. to descend back down to 99. I prefer this because Chapman is like a straight roller coaster. The other difference is the return back to the start at Tualatin Community Park. The route in the book uses Tonquin Rd. This is fine, but adds a few miles to the ride through an area that isn’t particularly scenic. I prefer to just motor back on Tualatin/Sherwood Rd. It is busy, but there is a bike lane and you can just get ‘er done.

 

Crown Point

Friday, September 4th, 2009
Crown Point from Womens' Forum. Nice.

Crown Point from Womens' Forum. Nice.

The ride from Troutdale past Crown Point to (or past) Multnomah falls is a classic. It is a great ride to do when you are ready to introduce climbing into your training regimen. Climbs are steady and fairly pleasant so they are good morale boosters. The descent after Crown Point makes it seem like the climb back up is going to be really tough. For some reason, this just isn’t the case.Obviously, the scenery can be outstanding. There are two things that can take away from this ride. The first is tourist traffic on this fairly narrow road. The second is the residents of Corbett, some of whom find it amusing to scatter tacks or broken glass on the road. Neither of these things should keep you from doing the ride, but go prepared. Start at Lewis & Clark Park in Troutdale. You can turn around at Crown Point, at the bottom of the big hill past Crown Point, at Multnomah Falls, or 10 miles past the falls where the road just ends. CP2 (Small)

 

Mt. Angel Loop

Friday, September 4th, 2009

070916_stock_mount_angelThis is a great ride for any time. You get some changes in elevation, but it is pretty flat overall. You can climb up to the monastery in Mt. Angel. That is a bit of a climb, but no big deal. In the spring, this ride is particularly pretty as you go past some flower farms.

Be aware — drivers in this area seem somewhat hostile toward bikers. I don’t really know why as the roads are wide and straight. The only place worse than I can think of is Corbett.

 

Champoeg

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Champoeg (Small)Champoeg State Park is located in the northern tip of the Willamette Valley. There is a ton of pretty and flat riding in the area. The ride mapped here is a good beginning of the season ride, or a good, solid ride for weekend warriors who don’t train every weekend.

If you are going to park by the visitor’s center, bring a few singles because you have to pay for parking.

 

North Plains

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Helvetia Tavern (Small)This is a classic first of the season ride. There are lots of variations you can do. I like this one because it puts a little climb at the end. This climb wouldn’t even be noteworthy if it was mid-season, but it can seem like Mt. Everest if you have been off the bike for a few months. It is a good way to see if you’ve maintained your fitness through the winter. If you haven’t, it will remind you that you’ve got some work ahead of you.

Park at the school on Helvetia. The Helvetia Tavern (which you will pass at the end) gets a lot of praise for its hamburgers. I don’t see what the big deal is — they are just regular old burgers. However, regular old burgers are sometimes fine.

 

John’s Hagg Lake Ride

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

hagg_lake_reflecting_cloudsThis isn’t just any Hagg Lake Ride — it is John’s Hagg Lake Ride. John is an excellent person, so you know any ride he recommends is going to be a good one. It starts in Forrest Grove then loops around Hagg Lake. After that, it winds its way through some lovely rollers to Yamhill. The route goes right past the front gate of Willakenzie Winery. I love Willakenzie. However, there’s no way in hell I’m riding up the hill that is their driveway to taste wines. That’s what cars are for.

There are a few good places for lunch in Yamhill. The pizza place is surprisingly good for a pizza place in the middle of nowhere. They will also let you park your bikes inside, which is very nice. The Mexican joint in town is also pretty good. There is also another passable cafe.

Don’t load up too much because there are still 20 miles of riding left. If the weather is good, this is a really nice ride. When it is really, really hot, it is torture (and, sometimes, it is really, really hot).

This is a very nice ride. A good one for mid-season when you are trying to add some distance while still going easy with the climbing.