Tag Archives: bike touring

A Bikish Year (2012) in Photos

Over the past week, I’ve been realizing how much I have to be proud of this year. My friend who goes by Mudlips over at Peregrination inspired me to post a year in photos like she recently did. I thought it would be tough to fill up the year in photos on both this blog and Bookish without having holes—I was wrong. There were times I was doing more booking than biking, or more biking than booking, but I managed to get at least one photo per month this year of both.


I babysat Lily’s Xtracycle the first few months of the year. I only ended up riding it about four times, and I never had reason to haul anything, but at least it was in good hands while she was in Germany. I didn’t even remove the narrow saddle that made me wince every time I rode it. This photo is from an outing to Bar Carlo, my favorite restaurant that is relatively close to me.


Under the inky cover of night I assisted with installing a series of bike rack cozies at Bertie Lou’s Cafe in Sellwood. A knotty yarnbomber named Lefty O’Shea has created a number of similar installations across Portland, which aim to tie in with the adjacent business. For example, Bikeasaurus got a bike rack cozy that had a dinosaur spine, and the cutesy decor at Bertie Lou’s was honored with roses on top of this series.



I was mostly in the throes of working on my MPub project report titled Publishing to Inspire: The Role of Publications at Adventure Cycling Association. On this sunny day I managed to take the Xtracycle for a spin over to the Woodstock Library. I also discovered that I could wear my hair sticks if I used my Union Jack helmet, as shown. A good discovery!


Work on my project report was coming to a close, and I got myself a bikish graduation present: I signed up for Adventure Cycling Association’s Introduction to Bike Touring course. In celebration, I took Sweetpea due south along the I-205 path until we got to the bridge at High Rocks. The bridge was still closed for some construction, but I had never traveled that far south on that deplorable multi-use path. It would not be the last time I would do so this year.

April was also the month I decided to forge ahead by myself in my biking activities.


In May I enjoyed my first solo bike overnight trip. Wrote about it for the Bike Overnights blog (My First Solo Bike Overnight: Champoeg State Park) which then got chosen by Mac as one of the Top Five Bike Overnights to be used whenever they want to market or promote the site. W00t!

It was also the first time I got to see the exhibits at the Champoeg visitor center—exhibits that I helped develop in 2004. Working on that project was how I met Marie Naughton, who has since become my mentor and one of my best friends.


Emily and I biked to Metzler Park near Estacada for an overnight trip (The Adventures of Lycra Grrl: Traversing to Metzler with a Ninja).



In preparation for my bike trip I climbed Mt. Tabor, Mt. Scott, Rocky Butte, rode the 40 miles from my house to Kelly Point Park and back (on the way home, above), got some mechanical issues solved, and the last few days of July I was on my bike trip.


Bike trip (The Adventures of Lycra Grrl: Certified Excellence in Bicycle Touring)! Oh, but it was great. The people were interesting and nice, we had a good route, and I experienced parts of Oregon I’ve not been to for decades, if ever.


Completed the pronunciation guide for this project. Greg had bandanas made earlier in the year, but when he knew Adventure Cycling was to start selling “Bikelingual” T-shirts, he asked for me to do a little more research and come up with a pronunciation guide that would ship with the shirt.


Diana (Zippy Diana Finishes her Trip) visited Portland and we did the Brewcycle Tour (Brewcycle Portland and the Triumphant Return of Diana), during which we just happened to run into a pair of cyclists making their way from Seattle to Utah.


This month’s biking mostly took place in the rain. But this fall I hiked much more than I biked.


First guest blog post for Adventure Cycling (Winter Tips from a Rain Expert)! This photo is one of the “DVD extras” I wanted to include in that blog post, but didn’t.

It looks like the next year will bring a couple more guest posts for Adventure Cycling Association, but beyond that, things look hazy. My housing situation is problematic, to put it mildly, and my time is increasingly crunched. Even if I can get out on my bike, I may not be able to document it as thoroughly as I’d like. Only time will tell.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bicycles, Oregon

Brewcycle Portland and the Triumphant Return of Diana

Readers of this blog may recall Diana, a spunky cross-country cyclist I had the pleasure of hosting last summer when I was living in Missoula. Diana has since landed in rural Wisconsin, where she is a practicing small-animal veterinarian (dogs, cats) and is also working toward a Master of Public Health degree.

Diana recently visited Portland! She and her boyfriend John were planning to attend a wedding on the Oregon coast, and would be in my fair city for fewer than 24 hours. What could we do that would give us time to catch up, allow Diana and John to enjoy some of Portland’s masterful microbrews, and would be oh-so-Portland?

Quick, someone reserve the last three tickets on the Brewcycle tour!

If you’re not familiar, the Brewcycle (or Cycle Pub, Beer Bike, etc) is a truck-sized, bar-looking contraption that runs on pedal power. It’s a pretty popular concept: it seems that there are similar vehicles running in Germany, The Netherlands, and even Bend. The New York Times covered the Beer Bike phenomenon earlier this year. Never to be outdone when it comes to either beer or bikes, of course someone had the brilliant idea to build one for Portland. Although ours doesn’t look quite as spiffy as the others, and due to various laws (mainly ORS 811.170 I think?) it doesn’t actually serve beer on the bike itself. Unlike others.

Diana, John and I met up at the tour’s start location, and after a brief jaunt into an unfinished space (supposedly the company’s office), the 16 passengers were vying for space on the Brewcycle. Our tour was pretty much as full as it could be. Not only were all the non-pedaling stools occupied, but the three-bum-wide bench at the back was full up, and one person even ended up sitting behind the bar on a small portable stool. Brewcycle tours have a city-approved route, and so each tour selects three of four available stops they would like to visit. We discussed our options, and off we went!

Rogue’s public house in Northwest Portland was our first stop. I knew I could not drink a full pint during the mere 25 minutes we had per location, so I ended up splitting a pint of Rogue’s Double Chocolate Stout with Diana, and it comprised the bulk of beer that I had on this trip. Left to my own devices, I’m not much of a drinker—a fact I mention mostly because of this exchange:

Diana: “Ooooh, it tastes just like a tootsie roll! Taste it, John!”
John: “That’s chocolatey alright!”
Me: “It tastes like beer. Oh, maybe I can kind of taste a little chocolate at the end?”

I fail to notice taste subtleties unless I’ve been drinking beer way more regularly than I have the past year. However I do appreciate a good mouthfeel, which is why I enjoy the darker, chewier beers than the lighter stuff.

Caps and Corks was the next stop. As soon as the Brewcycle pulled over, Diana noticed a couple of loaded touring bikes parked outside, right behind me. It was not tough to find the owners, Monica and Bill, and we sat and chatted about bike touring. Monica and Bill quit their jobs and are riding from the Seattle area to Zion National Park—we crossed paths with them on the third day of their journey. They asked Diana about her experience with Warmshowers, and we pointed out that she and I had met through Warmshowers on her cross-country bike trip!

Our last stop was the good ol’ Lucky Lab, a business which is near to my heart. Not only is their mascot a dog (and they’re a pretty dog-friendly business!), but their locations feel less bar-like to me. They serve food I don’t mind eating, and you’ll often find board games or other fun at the Southeast location. Now and again they even have a pear cider on tap—but not on this night, so I drank nothing. Instead I tried a new vegetarian sandwich on the menu which featured pesto, roasted tomatoes, onions, and mozzarella on whole wheat bread. Once we were seated, Diana and I continued catching up—pets, houses, jobs. It was really nice to be able to say the words “aural hematoma” to someone and not have to explain what that meant.

Diana and John weren’t done with their drinks by the time the Brewcycle was leaving, so they opted to stay instead of pedal the four blocks back to the end of the line. I did go though, and it seemed the intoxication level had jumped on this last little leg of the journey. (Naturally, this is when the tip jar got passed around!)

Aside from getting a chance to catch up with Diana, my favorite part of the evening was pedaling the ginormous bike. At first I wasn’t sure I’d be able to use one of the pedaling seats since the stool height is apparently challenging for shorter people. But with a little extension in my feet, I was able to pedal just fine. Another treat—navigating the urban streets of Northwest Portland on First Thursday. Not only did a streetcar actually stop so we could cross Lovejoy, but we traveled a couple blocks on busy NW 14th and despite the long line of cars piled behind us…there was not a single honk. People on the sidewalks stared and took photos, even though this contraption clearly travels through this area very regularly. It was nice though, to be seen by other traffic as amusing, rather than as a scofflaw menace to society—which I got a dose of today in Sellwood.

Normally this isn’t a tour I’d have done on my own, but I’m glad I went. It’s difficult to have discovery and adventure in your life when you’re in a place you’ve lived more or less your entire life. In addition to occasionally partaking in things like this, I’ve also been contemplating buying a hiking book and trying to check off all the hikes inside. Or planning more solo bike trips. How do you keep from being bored to death by your current surroundings?

See more photos from the Brewcycle tour on Flickr.


Filed under Bicycles, Montana, Oregon

Taking the Lane Profile on Heidi Beierle

Just finished writing a guest post for Elly Blue over at Taking the Lane! It’s a profile of Heidi Beierle, a woman who did her master’s thesis about the economic impact of bike tourism on rural economies.

Check it out!


Filed under Bicycles