Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving day fixie ride...

Even though David Auker's "chatty" pace is quite a workout for me, I still look forward to what has become his annual Thanksgiving fixie ride through the West Hills of Portland.

I don't know how long he's done it. My first Thanksgiving fixie ride was two years ago, where he and friends did his "traditional" route from River City Bicycles South through Milwaukie and back. (photo from Nov. 2007 above)

But last year, he and his wife Sarah started a "new" tradition of starting from his home near Dosch and Hamilton in SW Portland, and feeding everyone beforehand.

This year, though, I've been riding my fixed-gear bike a lot less. Ever since I moved to the SE part of Portland 6 months ago, I've been favoring geared bikes, particularly in commuting over the Sylvan Hill between Beaverton and home. Between that and randonneuring, my fixie's sat largely unused since last May.

Fairmount Blvd. loop (2)
Originally uploaded by tangobiker

And hills on a fixed gear bike are tougher than ever. Nevertheless, I more-or-less stayed up with David and friends. The group got separated around Sunset and SW 18th, but regrouped after a couple laps around the Fairmount loop.

cleat problem
Originally uploaded by tangobiker

As the group approached Patton Rd, my left shoe-pedal connection started to feel sloppy, but it never occurred to me the screws were about to completely come out. By the time I reached Hewett Blvd, the cleat had totally detached itself from my shoe.

It's hard to remove a cleat from a pedal when it's not attached to a shoe. My small Crank Brothers multi-tool didn't seem up to the task, until in the hands of passerby Lonnie (of Portland Velo).

Originally uploaded by tangobiker

John Forbes, and later David, were already returning back homewards on Hewett Blvd. when I finally got rolling. I continued over to Fairview, through Washington Park, and downtown. Started to rain by the time I crossed the Steel Bridge and returned home. Total distance: 35.5 miles.

a few more photos

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