Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Done with August, on to the Fall


Well August has come and gone. Biked 31 days straight, rode to work when there was work, rode for no work when no work, borrowed a kid's bike from a cabin in Port Refrew, BC to keep the string alive>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

It's too bad we couldn't ride bikes all the way to Canada, but time is a thief.

So besides the little bike rides (I didn't ask permission, and I didn't want anybody to call the RCMP on me, so the rides were short...10 meters or so. I would have written "10 yards or so" if this was done in the USA, but it wasn't. So when in Rome...... actually, if it was in Rome it would have been "XI gradium or so "; if if were Scotland it would have been "a wee pedal eh wot?")

Anyway, Alindo, Tyler, Max and I slaughtered the halibut and the salmon.
I chummed a bit on the first day, but Alindo and I split a patch after that and although the seas were lumpy, our breakfasts stayed down.

Alan and Tyler are great hosts, an Alan is a great chef. I was relegated barbecue duty. Maybe if I do it again, I'll use a pedal-boat like on the canals in Amsterdam?

Canadian beer, in Canada, is expensive. But tasty. Lucky Lager, the bane of my young, impoverished, alcoholic youth, is different in BC. It's got good color and decent hops. And, it's 5.5% ETOH. That's right. But Alindo took us shopping in Belvue before the trip and we stocked up on Kokanee, figuring the Mounties wouldn't bust us for smuggling beer back into the country of origin. And we had a 6 pack of Blue Paddle pilsener.

Our reasoning was that if the motor failed on the boat, we would "break out our Blue Paddles" and head for shore.

Of course, our guide was all-business. We found out that his nickname was "Cougar Hunter". We thought that meant that he was into the whole "Peggy Hill is a hottie" thing (although Peggy Hill and Sarah Palin are pretty much interchangeable, and Peggy can speak Spanish)
But he was "Cougar Hunter" because he shot a mountain lion. (I once shot an elephant in my pajamas, but next time I go elephant hunting I am going to do it in Alabama, with Captain Spaulding, the African Explorer)

So I timed my rides to work. It takes me 5 minutes to get there, and I only have to crank the pedals 26 revolutions! Three when I hit the County bike path to gain a little elevation, four along the mobile home park, four more to gain some elevation onto Shady Lane, and then the rest in the County parking lot. But coming home, oy! It only takes 16 minutes, but it's a grinder either up highway 207 or through the woods.

Below we'll do an update on the Blacksheep/New Belgium bike, But first, another plug for Susan's trip on bike through Viet Nam to Cambodia.

We are doing this in February. It will be fun (Bia Hoi? o, yeh) And it's only about $70 a day for the hotels, bike and a local guide so we don't get too lost. ("I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks," Dan'l Boone)

The bike portion will end in Phnom Penh, but from there we will take a riverboat to Angkor Wat, home of the temple complex, happy pizza and the namesake of Angkor Beer (My country, my Beer! Seriously, that's the stupid slogan of the Angkor Beer Company.

I think it's a partnership with Carlsberg. And it's really no more a stupid slogan than the 21st Amendment Brewing Company's "Brew Free or Die". I mean, the 21st Amendment is located in San Francisco and it cans its IPA in Minnesota. So what's with the New Hampshiresque threat to commit suicide?

Anyway, once in Angkor Wat (or Siem Riep, the town) the guesthouse gives bikes to all the clientele. But if you go, take a pump and a crescent wrench. The tires are all low and the seats are all 'Cambodian-sized"

After the Tour-de-Fat in Truckee, a very nice journalist from the local paper interviewed me for a piece about the Tour, the philosophy of TeamWonderBike and cycling in general. She was headed for a vacation with fam/friends in Luxembourg. I told her we were all rooting for Kim Kircher to take the yellow jersey in La Tour, and that if she got to Bruxelles or to Bruges where to go for a good bike ride. I thought I may have infected her with the appropriate spirit. She emailed yesterday:

"Hey,I just wanted to let you know that I traveled to Bruges and took your advice about the bike riding there. We bought the Cyclo-3 Pass, and it was great. The sun came out, and biking along the canal to Damme was fantastic. I loved seeing all the people fishing along the way. We also biked around the perimeter of the city, which was beautiful. I wanted to thank you for the advice and tell you that biking in Bruges was the highlight of our stay there. Thanks again, and I hope your biking adventure has been going well."

See? It is infectious. And no plug for that Brendan Gleesan (no relation) film, but it was a good flick. And Meg and Beto pedaled from time to time while going coast-to-coast, including rides in Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Chicago ("Let's leave Chicago to the Eskimos -- that town's a little too rugged for you and me, babe")

OK. What about the Blacksheep, New Belgium bike? I did change out the handlebars. I used a "Crowbar" from the box-o-bones, repainted to look nice, and added cut-off climbing sticks, painted flat back to match the bars and the bike. It really helps on the hills. But this bike is headed for a home in San Francisco, to be my commuter there. So the original bars will probably go back on. The hills can be avoided there, and they are all short ones, anyway.

And I had a contest to name the bike. My entry won!

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