Sunday, November 30, 2008

Trimet video

Very good video on how to ride your bike around buses and trains in Portland. 

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Leading a group ride

2008_0927 RCB ride leader-4Today was a beautiful (although chilly) day to lead a ride from River City. My first ever official lead. Kronda assisted in co-leading. There were five women who showed up to ride: Emily, Emily, Cherene (new to Portland), Laura (a new rider), and Therese. We took a NoPo loop, heading up the Esplanade, to Williams, Ainsworth to Interstate, through the Expo Center, west on Marine Drive to Kelly Point Park, through the industrial area, back down Willamette Blvd to Interstate and back to the Esplanade. Total miles--approximately 28.

All went well with some help from Kronda to Laura about a few riding techniques and lowering her seat height. Then, just after the industrial area in NoPo after Kelly Point Park, there were some RR tracks around a corner and Cherene took a dive on them head first and Emily and Therese also took a spill as a result of Cherene crashing. Cherene remarked that she was bleeding badly, so I yelled for someone to call 911 and for someone else to watch for traffic, even though it was a low traffic road, we were still in the middle of it. Soon after, we were able to sit her up and see that the bleeding did not appear to be too bad. She did a face plant so her lip was bleeding and she felt that her front tooth was damaged. She decided she did not want an ambulance, so we told 911 not to send anyone after all. We moved her off the road and Therese conveniently lived very nearby in St Johns and offered to ride to get her car and come back to pick up Cherene and take her home. So Kronda and Therese picked up the car, some ice, and other essentials. When Therese came back with the car, she shared some awesome apples and some sour gummy pumpkin candies with the group. One of the Emilys also worked for Kaiser dental and had a great connection to call and get Cherene (who just moved here from Canada to be a student and did not have health insurance yet) some phone numbers of dental clinics that provide low cost care to the uninsured. It sure was a team/group effort. Everyone really did provide support of some type. It was great to see a bunch of strangers jumping right in to help each other out.

So after Therese and Cherene were on their way, the rest of us headed back toward River City, as originally planned. One Emily cut out in NoPo where she lived and did not head back with us to RC. At the Rose Quarter, I noticed I had a flat. Since we were already running late and there were only two more girls to lead back, I told Kronda to head back to River City with them. Boy, was I glad I had an awesome co-leader! So on the side of the road, I fixed my flat. One biker who rode by even asked me if I was ok. Just as I finished fixing my flat, Kronda was back at the Rose Quarter so we could ride home together.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I know it has been a really long time since I have posted anything.  And still, there won't be much I will be writing for today.  However, I must link to K's blog because she posted a video and short story about my bike commute the other day.  I actually bikepooled.  Yes, I said bikepooled, not CARpooled.  I picked up one of my coworkers on K's new Surly Big Dummy bike and biked her in to work.  It was tons of fun.  You should watch the video. 

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Let me roll...

J's first rideLast weekend I did a couple of cool things, but the most notable was my first ever bike ride since breaking my wrist.  It was the first gorgeous spring weekend, starting with Friday.  I told K I was going to ride around the block per my physical therapist's suggestion.  Since the weather was so nice, of course I wanted to go farther.  We were going to head to Little Red Bike for our first spring ice cream, but we called and they were closing the bike-through window in a few minutes.  :(  They are now closing their shop at 2pm instead of the usual 3pm.  So instead, we just headed out through the neighborhoods north of our house.  It was a good route since getting on and off my bike and breaking proved to be the most difficult tasks.  I held myself up mostly with my left arm, but getting on and off a bike really requires the rider to put equal pressure on both the right and left arms.  Huh.  Well, I still managed to ride 3 whole miles! 


On Sunday, we decided to go to Little Red Bike, again, this time for breakfast.  So we headed over there on our bikes to find out they were closed due to refrigeration issues.  Boy were we bummed and starving.  Now I had to make a decision about where else to go and could I make it there on my bike our would we have to go home to get the car.  Well, there was a place, John Street Cafe, in St John's that I had been wanting to try, and the bike route there was mostly non-stop (not too many stop signs/lights).  So I decided I could probably make it there and back since we would be resting in between by eating breakfast.  I managed pretty well both there and back.  Breakfast at the new place was decent, but nothing to brag about.


I then spent the afternoon in the yard--weeding and planting.  I got some more raspberry plants from my friends T&L and some new ground cover.  Along our sunny new fence, I planted the raspberries.  And in the back, shady part of our yard, I have a plan in my head for how I would like to landscape that area.  I need to consult a few people and get ideas on what plants would work back there.  I also repotted my tomato seedlings into their own pots so their can grow their root systems properly.  This gardening thing is entirely new to me. 


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


Going back to Saturday...since it was such a beautiful day, the best we have had yet this year, I wanted to get outside.  The weather was predicted to be sunny and temps in the high 70's.  K had gotten up early to lead the Sorella Forte ride from River City Bikes.  I sure wish I could have gone, but since I cannot ride that far, I planned a hike with T&L.  I decided we should go to the gorge since I had been to Forest Park for the past several walks/hikes I have done.  The Triple Falls hike was gorgeous, but seeing that the weather was amazing and it was a weekend, there were TONS of people on the trails.  The people ranged from serious hiking children using their fully-loaded new backpacks to train for backpacking this summer to people in flip-flops carrying their coffee cup and cigarettes.  The hike was definitely worth dealing with the crowd.  Afterwards, I went to T&L's to pick up our very desirable raspberry suckers to plant in our yard.  I cannot wait to have those succulent right-off-the-plant raspberries in our backyard.  They are to die for.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


It was an awesome spring weekend.  Much unlike this weekend which consisted of cold rain, lots of hail, some sun, and not much outdoor time.  I did have a great time at the Ani DiFranco concert on Friday (read K's blog for our night's event) and at our friends L&S's for dinner on Saturday. 

Monday, April 7, 2008

Back to Work

Last week was my return to work after being off since January 15th.  That was a long "vacation".  Certainly not the way I had intended to spend my vacation time or money.  But oh well, I keep telling myself, it is not cancer.  And it certainly is not, which is a very good thing.  Just a bump in the road we call life. 


Everyone at work was very happy to see me, so that was a warm welcome.  I have done a few computer projects and am in the process of checking off all of the yearly competencies for all of the nurses.  This involves watching them do all of their IV related work and checking that they are doing things correctly per our protocols.  It is a bit of a tough job after being off of work completely for so long and also still feeling sort of new to the job.  Although, one of the nurses who has been there a while pointed out that I am probably better at knowing how things should be done since I more recently received training.  That made me feel a bit more comfortable with this role I originally thought might be better suited to someone who has been doing this job for a while. 


On the home front, K has very kindly and diligently been working on our new raised garden bed.  I found the plan on the internet, we modified it to fit our smaller space and we went and bought the lumber and materials together (K hauled it all) to build it.  K then built it (and I requested one minor change which she kindly and willingly made).  I am still unable to use heavy equipment and power tools.  We were ready to buy some healthy soil when K discovered her ex-housemate had bought too much dirt and she offered us the rest if we hauled it away.  So we used my Zipcar funds and rented a Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck for a few hours.  And again, K did all of the lifting and I provided the moral support.  She not only shoveled it into the truck, she then shoveled out into our driveway, and then again wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow to the back yard and into our newly placed garden bed.  But before being able to put it in the garden bed, she had to spend a day in the rain digging out the ground it was going to sit on since the ground was very uneven.  I assisted, with my one arm, moving the garden bed into its eventual place several times before the ground was level enough and the right shape to hold the bed.  While K worked on digging, I worked on weeding the mulched area of the yard and coming up with an eventual landscape plan.  However, I am definitely not a landscape designer, so we'll see how this goes. 


So far, we have sugar snap peas and two kinds of tomatoes for our garden bed. 


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Quickie wrist update

Tuesday, I went to see Barry, my physician's assistant who has been watching over me for the most part during my broken and now mostly healed wrist.  He has been great.  I cannot say the same for all of the staff in that office.  When I arrived, he asked me how it was going.  I said, "good and bad".  Just the day before, my physical therapist said that she cannot diagnose me per se, but I was showing signs of tendintis in my wrist where my thumb joins.  Barry indeed confirmed that, but does not want to put me in another restricting splint since I was just in a cast for about five weeks.  News to me, that tendinitis can happen as a one time event if the event is bad enough.  Well, I guess a blow that causes a broken bone would be something bad enough. 


So now it is additional and different physical therapy.  If that does not help, likely a cortisone injection (icky!).  Also, this means back to work.  Barry wanted to send me to full time light duty work, but both I and my physical therapist think that is not wise, especially with this new discovery of tendinitis.  So I will be returning to part time light duty work on Monday.  I am looking forward to getting back into a more daily routine and to see some of my work people and do something outside of the house.  I am sure K is ecstatic (even if she is only celebrating internally).  :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Baby cheek

Today I woke up to banging outside.  They are building a new house behind us in the tiniest lot ever.  Sure, we too have a "skinny" house (as we call it), but at least we have a bit of a front yard, and a small, but decent sized backyard.  This house will only have enough room in the backyard for the tiny slab of concrete that we call our patio, if they even provide the patio space.  So I am a bit short on my sleep for the day.

2008 03 17_Essex homecoming_0003_edited-1.jpg

I spent part of the afternoon helping Lisa, new mommy, sort through clothes they received for Essex, their new baby.  I was extremely happy to help and pleasantly surprised that Lisa asked for help, as she, like most Virgos do not like to ask for help.  I like being a new Auntie.  :)   Essex was being a bit fussy today, but he has much be fussy about.  Many many changes in his life--new parents, new surroundings, new time zone (three hour difference), new teeth arriving.  Lisa said from the beginning, that he is a pretty good baby, but does not like change.  I met Essex for the first time on Monday night when we had the absolute privilege to pick them all up from the airport.  He was in fairly good spirits considering it was the middle of the night for him--11pm here, 2am on the east coast.  I probably would have been more cranky than him. 

So to distract Essex, Lisa has resorted a few times to putting in the DVD of "Baby Van Gogh".  She demonstrated how when he is inconsolably fussy, that he quiets right down with his eyes glued to the TV.  It was pretty amazing, but of course she is not very keen about this.  It is one of the ways the previous caregiver entertained him.  I am sure they will be able to wean him from that once he is a bit more adjusted.

After a few minutes of quiet with the TV on, I started to play with him to distract him, then Lisa turned it off.  To keep him quiet, I suggested we go on a walk.  She thought it was a great idea since he loves the stroller and being outside.  By this time, Kronda had ridden over on her bike after finishing her JAVA final exam.  The three of us headed out for a quick stroll in the neighborhood.  Around the corner, we ran into Lisa's neighbors who have a few kids so we chatted with them.  Of course, we ran into someone Kronda knew.  Well, actually she knew both of us.  She works at REI and recognized us both because we are there so much.  It was a lovely afternoon and I cannot wait to get some more baby cheek soon. 

2008 03 19_Essex homecoming_0001.JPG