#155 (banks – vernonia trail)

Several of my coworkers had mentioned that there is a nice bike trail that was located not too far from where I live. They also mentioned it was a nice ride with great views. So I decided to ride this trail.

It’s a 24 mile trail between two small towns of Banks and Vernonia Oregon. It’s about a 20 minute drive from my house. I decided to ride this trail on Sunday morning and would ride out about an hour then turn back. Reason for only riding an hour out on the trail is I had planned a BBQ test run for Lois’s party later that afternoon. 

I arrived at the trailhead, unloaded my road bicycle, geared up, and was on the trail by 10:40. Now according to the information I read on my AllTrails app, the first 5 to 6 miles were relatively flat (only a slight incline). However, between the 6th to about the 13th mile, the elevation gain was 900+ feet. So basically the first half of the 24 mile trail was uphill. 

The first five or six miles were flat. The slight incline were not a problem as I kept my gears in the middle range. I have an 18 speed road bike and I was probably in ninth or tenth gear for most of that time. 

I noticed the incline became a little steeper after the sixth mile. Also the roads crossing the bike trail were not always paved which causes slipping hazards for bikes like mine that are only equipped with the skinny road tires. Luckily I didn’t fall and maneuvered through those intersecting roads without incidents. Not falling on my face or biting it and tumbling over my handle bars were a good thing. 

About an hour into the ride, I stopped and pulled out the AllTrails app to see where I was on the trail. I was nearly at the halfway mark and almost at the top of the inclined part of the trail. So changed plans and told myself, “go a little further until you reach the top” (highest elevation point) of the trail. It took me another 15 minutes before I had reached the highest elevation point of the trail. It was a little disappointing as the highest point on the trail was located within the trees. I was expecting an open view. By the time I reached the top it was a few minutes before 12 noon. 

Since there is no stopping place, I had to continue another 5 to 10 minutes after reaching the top before I had found a place to turn around. Not shown on the map was a series of hairpin switch backs that required the use of breaking. The grade became steep and my immediate thought was “I’m going down this steep curvy hill. Crap! I’ve got to climb up on it again to get home!” 

Based on my Apple Watch, I had traveled almost 14 miles in just under 1.5 hours. I was back at my car, loaded, and rolling out of the parking lot a little more than an hour later. 

Summary of ride:

  • Distance: 28.5 miles
  • Road conditions: rolling paved bike/walking trail
  • Elevation: 900+ feet
  • Weather: sunny but trail was canopied by tree branches full of fall color leaves
  • Elapsed time: 2.5 hours with no rest stops 

 

#singleasianmale #buddingromance #dating #relationship #life #sprinttriathlon #bicycling #menshealth

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#140 (triathlon training bike ride)

It’s been years that I’ve been on a bicycle. Actually it’s been over 10 years since I’ve ridden a bicycle for a distance more than just around the neighborhood. Since I purchased my road bike a few months ago, I’ve only practiced clipping in and out, which I highly recommend before you actually take a ride, even around your neighborhood. Primarily for safety but secondarily so that you don’t look foolish falling because you can’t get your shoe out of your clips. 

After many practices of clipping in and out, I was ready for my first training ride. S and I planned a short training ride on some country roads where vehicle traffic were minimal. S doesn’t like riding in heavily traveled roads, which was fine with me. Since I wasn’t familiar with the route, S led most of the way. I felt badly as the lead rider does most of the work. If we do this route again, I’ll definitely lead and she can lag. 

The route was beautiful with rolling hills and views of farmland where some farmers were out working their fields. We even stopped and picked some blackberries growing wild along the roadside. It was great enjoying the fresh off the vine berry refreshments. 

I did experience an issue with one of my clips where my right foot was not fully engaged as I was taking a hill. It’s quite difficult to peddle up a hill with only one shoe clipped in. After catching up with S, she helped me adjust how I clipped in and out. The clip on my right shoe were slightly askew which required a different and awkward angle. It wasn’t that big of an angle but it’s enough to feel awkward. 

After readjusting the position of clipping in, I had no more issues for the rest of the training ride. I also learned I’ll definitely need to buy new shoes and possibly new clips. Great learnings for my first training ride. 

Summary of ride

  • Distance: 11.5 miles
  • Road conditions: rolling paved country roads
  • Elevation: 500 feet 
  • Weather: sunny with a slight north wind 
  • Elapsed time: 90 minutes with one rest

 

#singleasianmale #buddingromance #dating #relationship #life #sprinttriathlon #bicycling #menshealth

#121 (training ugh!!)

As I mentioned in a prior post, I purchased my new to me road bike for my upcoming sprint triathlon. First thing I’m learning is training is 90% mental and 10% physical. That is for me anyway.

The mental part is the combination of actual act of working out and the food I consume. It’s also easy to talk myself out of the training and eating the wrong foods. In fact I’ve not worked out in over two months now and have consumed more carbs than I typically do. Prior to that, my work out was consistently religious Monday through Friday 30 minutes a day and my eating habits were 5 to 6 smaller healthy meals. 

It’s also sad that it takes less time to regain weight and fat than it does to rid my body of the unwanted weight. In the two months that I’ve not worked out I’ve gained eight pounds and I’m back to 170+ pounds. It took over a year to drop 10 pounds by working out and eating healthy. That’s depressing!! Ugh!!

Now that I’m on the downside of the half way mark of being a century old (yep I’m over 50), it gets harder to stay fit and healthy. I hate getting older. I remember when I was in my twenties and thirties, working out was easier (mentally). 

How much longer can I hem and haw, rant, complain before I start my workout. Wait! I’ll start Monday morning!! 

Have a great weekend!!

#singleasianmale #over50 #menshealth #life #bucketlist #sprinttriathlon

#113 (first timbers game)

Growing in the southern part of Texas in the 70’s through the 90’s, soccer or global football was not a sport that was popular or in a sport I participated. In my junior and high school years, American football, baseball, basketball, tennis, and even volleyball were the sports I played. So going to my first ever professional soccer game would be a new experience. I’ve semi watched them on tv if I were in a place that had a game on but again since it wasn’t a sport I grew up with, I was indifferent. 

As a fun date and because S was a big soccer fan, she decided it was time for me to experience a live game. Our tickets were in the general admission area which is also the same seating area where the Timbers Army sat. 

The Timbers Army is the wild and crazy group of fans that creates the energy in the seats and spreads it throughout the whole stadium. We sat towards the edge of this rowdy group. S was against the wall and I was next to her. 

As traditional with all sporting events the national anthem is sung. As the national anthem started to play, the Army was already at work with traditional wand like movement of the scarves and their orchestrated and coordinated uttering of “swish” as the scarves were flung forward. It wasn’t chaotic but amazingly and stunningly uniformed. 

The singer and the Army sang together, “…And the rockets red glare…swish!…The bombs bursting in air…swish!” This exchange went on throughout the whole national anthem. 

Also traditional everyone would stand as the nations anthem was sung. The Army stood the entire game. They also sang nonstop. The only time they were not standing and singing were during the intermission. 

When the Timbers scrored, their mascot “Timber Joey” who is a regular outdoorsman cuts off a piece of a huge log. Also smoke bombs were lit, flags are flown, and confetti flying. 

Words cannot describe the experience. So if you’re ever in Portland or if you haven’t been to a soccer (football) game, you should add it to your bucket list. 

#singleasianmale #buddingromance #dating #relationship #life