One year ago I celebrated July 4th in Yellowstone and was well into my journey. Today I am working with my friend Scott on a couple of projects related to internet marketing. I’ve joined the Vancouver Bicycle Club recently and am starting to do some of the club rides.
As I reflect back on that four months in my life I realize that it changed me. Today as I am out riding it feels different than before I left. As many of you know I wasn’t really a cyclist before my journey. The bicycle felt uncomfortable to me in a way. The action of turning the crank was strange. Now I am one with my bike. In the afternoons when I go out to my garage and see my old Surly it’s almost like visiting with an old friend. I climb on and it’s natural to turn the pedals. While I may not be as fit as when I was in the Rocky Mountains I’m still in good shape and ride between twenty and fifty miles several days a week.
I’m always out trying to find new routes in Clark County and at least once a week I’ll either ride over to Portland or load my bike in my car and go find a new cycling route over there. A couple of my favorites are Sauvie Island and Larch Mountain. Sauvie Island isn’t really an island per se but rather an isthmus at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia River’s. It’s a very flat, scenic ride with lots of farms. Because a lot of cyclists frequent Sauvie Island the motorists tend to be courteous which makes for an enjoyable riding experience. Larch Mountain, that’s another story altogether. Larch is a grinder with nearly four thousand feet of climbing over twenty three miles to the top. This is followed by a twenty three mile descent at breathtaking speeds for those that enjoy that kind of thing which I do. A couple of weeks ago I was descending at near fifty miles per hour at one point. It usually takes me about two and a half hours to get to the top and about forty five minutes to get back to Troutdale.
One of the things I’m working on is getting the word out about Road ID. Road ID is a personalized wrist band that contains information to help first responders in the event of an accident. There’s an online Emergency Response Profile (ERP) that contains information about contacts, allergies, health insurance and other data relevant to treating an accident victim. I don’t ride without my Road ID and now realize I should have had one last year. Just the other day I was riding out in rural Clark County and a guy in a pickup truck blew by me at 70MPH about two feet off my left shoulder. Either he wasn’t paying attention or simply didn’t care. In any case I was happy to be wearing my Road ID. Click on the image above to get more information about this important piece of gear.