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Friday, June 20, 2014

Kissing the Trail

As you probably know from reading Troubadour's blog post, we bought new bicycles last Saturday. While he went for the full-on Trek X-Caliber 6 mountain bike, I opted for the hybrid Trek Verve 3 with 29 inch wheels (and 24 gears).  

While the tires aren't as aggressive as mountain bike tires, it does ride very smooth with very little effort.  Something I can actually ride to work easily enough once I find a messenger bag or back pack.  When test riding bikes, I found the traditional mountain bike leaned forward a little too much on my wrists.  The grips and shifters on this model suited me perfectly with a more upright position.  I opted for a step through model so that I can ride it work and not worry about whether or not I can wear a dress that day.

Saturday afternoon we drove to REI in Salem and poked around for a few farkles.  Troubadour needed a water bottle holder and something to hold the light on his bike.  I happened to find a book called Kissing the Trail, that we also purchased.  It is a resource book for single track mountain bike trails in the Northwest and Central Oregon areas.  More than 70 trails are listed by difficulty and location.  Should provide days and months of fun, once we get a bike rack for the car that is.

Sunday, under ominous skies and spitting rain, we took the bikes out for the first time.  (Not counting Troubadour and Polar Bear riding them home from the shop. - Thank you for riding Andy!)

We cut through the tree farm into Grand Oaks and then through the chain link fence and over to Bald Hill Park.  While we didn't do the switchbacks to the top like Troubadour did a few days later we did some time on gravel and dirt track before looping back around to the paved path.  Within 10 minutes of being out the sun came out and decided to end its game of hide and seek with the clouds.

(Troubadour on a Trek)

(Trobairitz on a Trek)




Since the sun was nice and toasty and we hadn't had enough riding time yet, we circled back to the house, picked up a few dollars, and rode downtown for coffee.  We sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine.  After coffee we took a longer way back to the house.  Beginning at Front Street (First Street) in downtown Corvallis there is a paved multi-use path that winds East along/near Philomath Boulevard  all the way to Philomath I believe.

At one point we rode under a railroad trestle.




Further East the path runs through a park where we stopped for a few photographs.




Down from the park a little bit, I stopped by a row of flowers for a few glamour shots trying to hide/disguise the hideous yellow flowers on the frame of my silver bike.  Why manufacturers think women need flowers on anything is beyond me.  I don't see beer cans and lawn mowers depicted on the men's bikes. :-)

(This picture makes the tires look a lot skinnier than they really are)
It was a great day out on the bikes.  We covered about 10 miles or so and I am looking forward to our next ride.  The hard part is that we now have one more hobby/sport to try and fit into the schedule.  Let's see - gardening, yard work, mountain biking, motorcycling, hiking, canoeing, camping...... luckily a few of those can be combined in a weekend trip.

- Au Revoir

"After your first day of cycling one dream is inevitable.  A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go.  You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow." - H.G. Wells
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28 comments:

  1. Makes me want to go and get my bike out. Hasn't been ridden in about 5 years so tires probably flat, chain probably rusty, controls probably seized. Uh, maybe I'll go for a ride instead.

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    1. Brad has been looking for new mountain bikes for about 2 years. We finally pulled the trigger and bought these. Now it is just a matter of finding time to ride. I am sure I'll be wishing for a throttle on some rides.

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  2. Damn right, I want beer cans and lawn mowers on my next bike. Collectively us blokes have been robbed in the last few years without this important addition, so that others can appreciate that a real man rides such a machine.

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    1. Funny! I was thinking mustaches painted on the bikes, but then they aren't exclusively for men, Bahahaha.

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  3. Trobairitz:

    You two are killing me. I'm starting to dream about riding my bike too but we have a lot of hills around here. I can go downtown BUT then it's uphill all the way home

    I have an old Jean Jacket that I had in the 70's, and I had to sew my own flowers on. I still have it

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    1. Can you take the bus back up the hill if you ride down? Our busses have racks on the front for that purpose.

      And as far as that jean jacket - Brad says pics or it didn't happen. We want to see pictures in a post now. :-)

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  4. Nice bikes!

    How come Troubadour isn't as color coordinated. His gloves and helmet don't match his bike. Maybe he needs a different bike and you need his vest...

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    1. Thanks Richard. Brad bought the helmet over a year before the bike so unless he paints it.....the helmet not the bike. At least his shoes matches his helmet and vest. He is the one with the fashion sense, not usually me.

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  5. Nice bikes!! Love the "retro" look to your hybrid. I also have a Trek Hybrid and love it. Sort of a "do everything" kind of bike. Enjoy!!

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    1. Hooray, another hybrid rider. They sure do ride nice. Bigger seat than hubby's bike too, his hurts, lol.

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  6. Sweet Bikes!

    You mentioned beer cans and lawnmowers as decoration... Some years ago a bicycle shop I visited had a fixie (are those still trendy?) decorated with PBR logos on display.

    To be honest, I kinda wanted it until I noticed it didn't actually have a place to keep my can of PBR as I rode. Utility first!

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    1. Thanks Lucky.

      Not sure about the fixies still being trendy, you never know this close to Portlandia. The PBR bike sounds good though. Zip tie a coffee can on the handle bars and you have your beer holder, lol.

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  7. New Bikes! Woohoo!! Everyone needs to get new bikes now!! :) I see that you are following tradition of having someone else ride your bike home? hehe

    I totally agree with you on "finding the time to fit another hobby in." I need to find the picture of the guy that has a bicycle mount on his motorcyle, and pulling his canoe. :)

    Check out Timbuk2 for good, durable, stylish bags. Sign up for email notifications. They send out a lot of discount emails.

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    1. I think your new bikes trump our new bikes. :-)

      Andy was nice and rode it home for me as we didn't have a bike rack that would work for the women's bike. I don't think it even occurred to us that Brad's bike would have worked on the car rack and he could have ridden my bike home.

      Will check out those bags, I will need something to carry my lunch and iced coffee to work since there is no basket on this one.

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  8. Trobairitz,

    I haven't ridden a bicycle in years but your pictures made it look fun. I don't know where you live but the scenery is fantastic.

    As motorcyclists we'd all be in better shape if we rode sans motor every now and then. What a wonderful example you guys are setting for the rest of us. Keep on pedaling!

    Cheers,
    Curt

    Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy

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    1. Thanks Curt. We are in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Corvallis to be specific. All the pictures were taken within city limits. We are lucky to live in a bike friendly town with a lot of trails and multi-use paths.

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  9. I can't remember the last time I rode a bicycle....I dimly recall it involved effort.... :)

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    1. Effort would be correct, but don't forget, huffing, puffing, and wheezing. I think those are involved too.

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  10. Everybody is getting back on bikes while I ponder doing it myself but never pump up the tires on the 2 I have!

    Good for you two for getting out and using the old leg muscles!

    Nice lookin' rides!

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    1. It is summer, we have to ride those bikes while we can. Sure it is easier to twist the throttle, but it is nice not to have to put on 30 lbs of gear in 80˚F temps.

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  11. Bikes? Woo Hoo!
    Good on you Brandy. Can't wait to see pics of your rippling thighs and calves from all that riding! ;-)
    How to make more time? Just ditch that yard work and maintenance of any sort on anything you own. Sorted.

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    1. About time wasn't it? Thanks for all the inspiration and motivation to get back on mountain bikes.

      I dunno about rippling muscles, but we'll see. Ditching the yard work sounds lovely, but not always a possibility. Which reminds me, I must go put the sprinkler on.

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  12. Well, I see a new trend coming up... bikers going cyclists. I am not a friend of mountain bikes (I don't like mountains, per say) but your hybrid has a lovely retro touch. Sometimes it is too hot to ride a motorcycle but you can still ride the bicycle, right? Happy trails.

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    1. I have exercise induced asthma so mountains are not necessarily my friends but as long as I take breaks I'll be fine. I refuse to use an inhaler, have since high school.

      I agree that sometimes when it is really hot, I'd much rather not put all that riding gear on. No gear, no ride, so bicycle or hike it is.

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  13. Lovely trails. I do envy you them. But I now live in a much more bicycle friendly neighborhood and am enjoying my old ride. cheers.

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    1. It is good that you are in a more bike friendly area now. Cheyenne would love all the trails we have around here. They are pet and horse ride friendly. That means the hikers and bikers have to keep their eyes open to avoid big surprises on the trails.

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  14. If only work weeks were shorter... Looks like a fun new hobby-sport for you guys. You need a cute little basket. ๐Ÿ˜„

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    1. I had a basket on the beach cruiser and I think it just made the front end very wobbly. Especially when my lunch and stuff was in it. I felt like a drunk monkey trying to ride it the last time. Maybe it was just really wobbly compared to Max.

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