21 April 2010Cargo Biking

Loaded with delicious cargo.

I recently had Eli at Lemolo Baggage make some custom bags for my Big Dummy. The stock Xtracycle bags were not doing it for me anymore -- things were bouncing out and not protected from the elements (mostly rain).

These new bags are so enormous I could probably fit in the main compartment. There are two other pockets with flaps on the outside, and unflapped (unflappable?) pockets on the front and rear. So far I've mostly used the outside pockets for things like a lock, bungees, a rain jacket, and sammiches. That leaves the main compartment ready for cargo, and keeps all that other stuff easily accessible.

The mass of groceries.

On Monday Karen and I noticed we had no food left in our house. I had gotten my work done and it was a nice day, so we got on the Dummy and rode down to the grocery store. We needed everything and then some, but even with everything loaded, the Dummy could have probably handled a bit more. I am loving these bags!

Two big grocery bags and a baguette.

Two big grocery bags, two plastic bags, and a bottle of wine. (We didn't have enough reusable bags with us)
These have worked out great for tire runs too; I can probably fit about 15-20 tires in them before I have to start stacking them up top. This keeps me from spending time attaching them with bungees. Today I have some more Dummy-oriented errands planned and I am looking forward to it.

19 April 2010Made in Oregon

I like that Saturday Market is near this sign.

We had some great weather this weekend for Saturday Market: warm, sunny, we'll forget about that brief rain shower on Saturday. It was great to be out on the waterfront taking it all in. We even had a rainbow on Sunday thanks to some low flying moisture.


I spent a couple days last week learning how to use our sewing machine and making some new fitted tablecloths. Those combined with some new tables and table leg extensions added some substance to the booth. I made a couple mistakes sewing the tablecloths, but they aren't really noticeable.

Test run in parking spot B2.

We even got a corner spot on Sunday!

They definitely helped make the booth a little more professional looking, and gave us some hidden storage space too. Next in the plans is some fancier signage and some sort of wall to hang art from.

Steel Bridge from the waterfront.

15 April 2010Racing Action!

Sunday I took some time off from working at the market to do some mountain bike racing. This was my first time on the mountain bike since moving to Portland so I was not quite sure what to expect. After some confusion with the GPS taking us through gravel roads, we arrived at the peacock-filled Horning's Hideout.

The GPS wanted us to go though this gate. It was welded shut.

I brought all my belts and my tent set up since I made some super cool trophies for the pro class. Not many sales here, but it paid for racing at least! Plus there was free Hopworks beer and some delicious vegan chili.

It was quite the nice day!

I want to do more trophy type stuff.

Best kit ever!

After setting up it was time to get ready to race! I wandered around a bit to get warmed up and noticed the uphill start (boo!) and uphill finish (boo!) - not my strong points. It had rained the night before so the singletrack was pretty greasy, which was a possible advantage. Last year's racing was pretty much all mud!

 And I'm off!

The start of the race was a long climb up a gravel road. It led to some singletrack (still climbing) to a short flat section, then another climb. The view here was spectacular: mountains in the distance over the valley we just climbed out of. After that it was a long descent through pastures into some wooded, muddy, singletrack.

Climb to the start/finish area.

There was some ups and downs, the usual type of thing, pretty fun course. No rocks though, and only two log piles. This place would have been super fast if it was dry! Right before the climb to the finish was a rather cold water crossing.

Big wheels kept me a little drier.

The first lap was shorter than the next two, presumably to spread out the field on that initial climb. The full lap had a shorter singletrack climb to some more up and down singletrack and eventually brought you back to the bottom of the big road climb. Lap three hurt a bit. I wasn't ready for all the climbing, but I still put in a good effort at the end when I passed a guy I thought was in my class (he wasn't) on the finish line climb. Ended up 12th out of 33, pretty good for my first off road outing in many months!