Where have all the boomers gone?

Still riding and living here in Bend. Several days ago I thought to look for riders my age (late 60s), seems that they were all younger. I have missed out on connecting with younger people.

Initial PT session by Dave revealed that my back is “locked up”, stiff as a plank of oak. Treatment is this week stretching then next 2 weeks work on abdominal muscles.

Now have 2 Cura brakes on bike. Sunnyside shortened the hoses. Still pleased with brakes. I bought an Enve handlebar with a little rise. Handlebar has held me in place for lots of miles. New color coded grips also.

Tuesday my fridge received its yearly cleaning by Jerrys who have serviced it in the past. A bit of dirt on the orifice plus lots of dust in the enclosure. Runs a bit cooler now.

I dropped my bike off for service.

Beers at 5 at 10 Barrel almost every evening. The guys keep me slaked. Some nights the Mariners are on one of the TVs. Some days someone will engaged me in conversation usually i start then they join.

Wed was a short quick loop of Phils: climb Bens, continue on Pine Drop then turn mostly down on Phils back to parking lot. Today I passed a rider off the trail on Phils. I asked if he was OK, he said yes. I continued pedaling and coasting. I sensed something behind me, it was him and he was hard on my wheel without having said anything. Shit, to me that is rude and inconsiderate to roll up behind me, an unsuspecting rider. OK, trail is dusty and I did not want to ride behind anyone. I put effort into pedaling and carving the twists and lofting over the stuff on the trail. I kept him behind me. A duel. I smoked. Catalyst pedals puts more power to the metal. Bike is so much fun to ride. Guy bailed at an intersection.

Learned that there is another moth blooming here which is Pandora which larva feed on pine needles. Big things. That’s what’s down here. I no longer believe that the caterpillars up high feeding on the ceanothus are ceanothus moths. Yesterday on Tylers I rode thru another patch of stripped leaves and saw lots of the same moths. I videoed one on the ground, next is to identify it. Whatever it is they have sure eatened lots of the bush.

Been staying at old favorite spot out past Phils. RD 41 is packed. Good water from FS visitor center at RD 41.

Yesterday I parked at visitor center and rode Catch and Release to Storm King up to Funner climbing up to Wanoga picking up Tiddlywinks to Kiwa Butte connecting to downhill Tylers dead ending at Catch and Release for pedal back to van.  25.37 miles climbing 2480′ pedaling time almost non stop of 3 hrs 11 mins. Said I burned 1367 cals, lost 3 pounds. Just so dry from lack of rain, lots of riders, and the dirt itself. Don’t want to ride 2nd. Quite a few blown out corners on Tylers from poor riding choices. Ride can be shuttled which loads skilled as well as the less skilled on the trail. Lots of brake bumps right before a turn. Front brake and looking ahead to plan will lessen the damage.

Wed night was the Bend Mountain Bike movie night at the Tower Theater downtown. Most movies filmed riders riding fast and getting air. Yet to see one of a rider pedaling up. Perhaps Ebikes will make an uphill movie as Fisher says with them you get uphill flow. May I never have to share a trail with them.

Clean clothes yesterday. I washed the van and vacuumed. Chores done. I drove past The Lot which is a corner lot with food trucks. Narrow street with parking on both sides. I was about mid block closed in by parked cars when a Fed Ex big truck turned onto the street. I doubted that enough room for us to pass by. I spied a gap in the parked cars at an alley. I turned sharply into the gap as the truck driver cranked a turn into the alley across the street. He passed. I started turning out of the gap. I heard something rattling inside my van, a sound I did not recognize. Something not right. I checked the passenger mirror: I was tight to street side cars. I put the van in park blocking a lane and got out. I had side scraped a car because I did not turn out sufficiently. The car is a Subaru. The left front bumper was torn free dangling down and a green paint stripe. I queried the Lot for the driver. A young man walked over saying it was his car. I put my docs on the car’s hood and he took a picture. Young people, no writing down. A piece of plastic was on the street. I discovered that it pulled free from the right rear corner and a scrape mark down the side. Something ain’t right with his damage. Hard to imagine the resistance put up by my snap in place trim could have pulled his bumper free like it did. I made an appointment next week at a body shop to reinstall my piece and or order parts.

Made today a rest day. Yesterday’s ride worked me.

David Turner was interviewed by Pinkbike. Informative about small frame makers pushing the envelope more than big box store bikes who sometimes make small changes that they tout as the next best thing. Owning my Turner RFX will be sustainable resisting any unnecessary changes just because.

My back is responding to the stretching allowing greater freedom of movement. I actually did a situp meaning that stomach muscles are firing. I am here for PT till second week of August.

Still hot, dry, and dusty around Bend

Weatherman is teasing with 20% prob of t storms. If dry lightning possible fires. Dirt here has no organic, it’s crushed very fine volcanic ejecta. Best to first or way off the back.

My back is allowing me to just about standup straight. Became aware of lower back lack of give. Started specific stretch.

Today my plan was to either go on a Woodie ride or my ride up high on part of Metolius. Met a local at burnt out Swampy shelter who said still sufficient snow to create route finding to say nothing about hiking and pushing my bike. I rode a loop to shelter at sector 16. Big 2.5WTtires create some floatation. “Dirt” erodes on downhill side of roots creating drops, not much air but a smile for a pump.

S Fork Tumalo creek lodge pole fuel load forest

Before man attempted manifest destiny nature would have burned small fires to consume and reduce fuel load. Now fires have way more fuel to burn hence hotter and more expensive fires to put out.

Localized high density population of ceanothus silk moths. Last ride there w/Steve I saw mass quantities of black “caterpillars” feast on name sake plants. This visit saw only the veins in the leaves and a few cocoons. No cocoon material was know. I saw movement in a manzanita, it was an emerging adult from the cocoon. Very violent gyrations as it worked to free its self to a one night stand, she to lay eggs and suffer the males’ fate of starving to death or be eaten. Today at snap i saw lots of moth wings in a tree island, no bodies. Splat marks on asphalt said they died with their wings on. I freed one and placed it on a rock in front of my van and settled down to watch. It freed itself then beat wings to the sky. And then a robin snatched it out of the sky. It prolly pulled off the wings as unnecessary roughage before shooting it. Casual observation indicates the birds are having easy pickings. I watched a female lay her eggs on blades of an evergreen grass

Yesterday I rode S Fork then down Tumalo creek. Same as with Steve on July 9, 14 days ago. This day I rode a bit slower allowing radar to kick in to see that the infestation was down low also. Snowbrush leaves eaten down to the veins. defoliation. Metamorphis  moves to cocoon and an aging process. I saw very few cocoons. As I observed I saw movement in a bush, violent enough to move leaves around. A metamorphisizing moth was working to shed its cocoon. I took video of the gyrations. I didn’t stay around to watch the adult emerge. What I saw was eaten down leaves, a few stray cocoons, a few attempting to emerge but no flying adults. Had natural predators picked them off?

Bachelor and Tumalo
this season fire this side of Mrazek

This morning a cramp attacked my left leg. Shit! Remedy is to stretch it out but first I had to shed the sheet and comforter while not starting camps elsewhere. First time for one in the AM. Working muscles differently with these Catalyst pedals. Last Sun I really put in some effort on Petersen ridge. Pedals allow more application of what leg power I have. Worth reading bikejames.com to learn about his take on body dynamics on a mtn bike. I am a much stringer rider with these pedals then learning how to put power to my feet. Smokin.

I made Thurs a normal wash day into a rest day allowing my back to rest. Stopped at medical clinic where I am a repeat customer and asked for a PT referral. Fri the PT office calls while I am huffing up Funner. An appointment is made for Tues. I camped at spot off rd 41 which has become very popular. Fri I started out on a short ride form camp on Catch and Release intending to ride up on Funner to Larsen’s then cut over for lower Tylers. I missed the turn onto Tiddlywinks and rode all the way to Wanoga. Turned around and rode back down. Stiff lower back ain’t now fun.

Friday night I drove up to Wanoga finding a neat spot off the pavement. However, nothing but dried up volcanic dirt, Lots of easily created dust. Sat I rode from Swampy down South Fork, zooming down Tumalo creek then climbing up Tumalo Ridge then Swede ridge back  parking lot.

Let me say this about that about shuttle riders. Money eliminates sweat work. Unscientific analysis tends to believe the lesser practioners of Trail Love are pay to ride riders. I have paid my way up also but I have not given up to me proper behavior.

Today I drove back to town for a shower and beer. I ran into Todd, the math prof, he said he would come drink a beer at 10 Barrel when I was there. He and his wife sat with me under a shade umbrella at a10 Barrel. we regaled each other with stories and insights to life. Both are college profs.

Tomorrow is fridge service date and turn my bike over to Sunnyside to shorten the brake hoses. Hot and ry. Perhaps get a ride in before the appointment.

Monday I stood in line at the post office for the mailed test strips. I saw 2 young women with PCT packs.I asked if it was PCT, yes they said. We stood chatting for several minutes with each of them wearing their pack. One woman’s name was a take off on nail painting. I saw that her nails had remnants of past polish. I offered mine to which she dove into painting her friends and her nails. I offered and they accepted a short ride to the outskirts of town on rt 20 to Sisters then up to Santiam pass to pick up the trail. No test strips, PO couldn’t find per the sender that the package was delivered: Overnight UPS to USPS. Something triggered Verizon to upload voice mails from weeks ago. One was a UPS person asking for an address to drop of the package. If shipped USPS “general Delivery’ is correct address to use. UPS needs the street address of the PO. However if shipped general delivery to city PO with the PO street address things get crazy. Tomorrow I will call UPS and give them the street address of the PO or pick them up.

Life goes on: dry, dusty, and extreme fire danger.

3 beers, a long taste of corn, and numerous puffs affected this blog.








Poked way too many times

Way back in the ’80s before mountain biking really consumed me I was a mountaineer and back country telemarker. I moved to Spokane and the continental snow pack that didn’t corn up like the Cascades which shorted out my spring skiing. I still backpacked 1 week solo trips. I missed spending entire days in the back country. Mountain biking trails open for bikes gives us riders a glimpse of what is out there. We ride, pedal out to our rigs, maybe drink a beer, then head back to lots of people and pavement. I miss spending nights out and hiking where bikes can’t go and at a slower less attention demanding pace.

Hence a 4 mile out and back overnight at Sister Mirror Lake in 3 Sisters Wilderness. Monday I got my backpacking stuff together. I took over a grass patch in a shopping center parking lot setting up my tent, blowing up the air mattress, and cleaned and started the Whisperlite stove. Enough dried food things, some I forgot what they were went into my food bag. Yesterday morning I parked at almost empty small lot and got it on. Laced up above ankle hiking boots and slung my pack on my back. Two years ago I made this my first backpack trip of the shoulder recovery year. Took about 1 1/2 hours to hike to the lake basin. Trail is thru hemlocks blocking any views and most of the sun. Mosquitoes attacked in manageable numbers on my shorts and short sleeve covered body. As I drew closer to the lakes basin the numbers increased.

I pushed to camp spot on a bluff above the lake believing that being above would escape being a part of creating the next batch of suckers. Not so. I dropped my pack and dug out my rain parka and pants. My hands were full not able to even shoo the suckers away. The rain pants are too narrow to fit over boots meaning I had to sit down and unlace each boot, slip on the pants then relace. All the while being fodder. Covered except my face I walked around the lakes basin. I encountered 3 male thru hikers. One said that the snow in the Sierras nixed their thru route causing them to drop off and head north for less snow. One guy had a great head net. Back in ’15 a drought dried up the mosquito nurseries, this year, with bodacious snow cover, the beds were back nurturing a bountiful crop. I sought relief inside my tent. Dinner was a quick affair then back inside. My tent is essentially a mesh tent attached to a coated fabric material rain cover. Every time I zipped open a door to leave then zip shut after crawling out then reverse the process getting back in. A new population flew in. Once the screen door zipped shut I began shortening the lives of the insiders.

so close so far away… on their side of netting

My sleeping bag is a Feathered Friends down comforter and I used it as such. Worked out OK. Didn’t sleep well. I started up about sunrise hoping that the chilly temp would keep them grounded. Way wrong. Seemed like there were even more. Breakfast was a hurry up affair. I packed up my dew wetted tent and the rest of the stuff just stuffed into the pack then headed out wearing rain gear. I walked thru frosted grasses on the lake shore and the snow patches were frozen solid. Yesterday hiking in 4 guys hiking out were dressed the same way. Just nasty. My back stiffened up like it did last year. What’s up with that? what exercise and / or stretch am I missing. Back at my van hardly a mosquito was seen or felt.

My original plan was to ride South fork today as I am already up high. I am curious to the growth phase of the ceanothus moths. But my back said no. I drove to MT Bachelor parking lot parking on pavement. I unpacked my stuff and dried everything in the bright sunshine and low humidity. Everything ready for another go. Sucking on 4G all bar speed.

Local knowledge says don’t wide Waldo Lake until at a minimum end of July. Prolly holds true for here also. Back in ’78 when I was hiking the PCT I passed thru here about August 13th and the start of the wet summer. Rain kept the count down.

Yesterday marked the start of the 10th year of my odyssey. Nine years doing what I want. No closer to a house build date.