The Night Ride

Kelly and I rode The Night Ride. It started at 9:00 p.m. (much better than the midnight start it used to have.) We started at Union Station, and rode out to North Portland and back. At the end, there were donuts. Mmmmmm. Donuts. It was a 15 mile ride in all, and there were two rest stops, one that was a movie rest stop, with popcorn to eat, and one that was a disco party where they gave out candy. The ride was a fundraiser for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, but the best part was the glow-in-the-dark t-shirt.

Kelly and I at the start. The glow-things around our neck were what we wore in lieu of race numbers.

Mmmmmm. Maple Bars

Mmmmmm. I had two!

The War of the Bumper Stickers

I’ve been watching this war for a year or so now with much amusement. Someone who felt strongly about kids needing both parents decided to print up a bunch of stickers and plaster them all over downtown. Many, many newspaper boxes have these stickers on them. I’m assuming that this person means one father and one mother.

Someone else also feels strongly about the issue. Bit by bit, they cannibalized the original stickers to change the meaning of the originals.

July 6: The Bike Project Day 22

The Bike Project:

In which I attempt to ride all the yellow, green, blue & purple streets on the Bike There Bike Map while increasing strength, stamina, aerobic capacity and exploring Portland’s Nooks and Crannies.

Day 22

Weather: Sunny with a breeze. Wonderful summer.

Ride Average Speed: 11.8
Time: 1:21:14
Distance: 15.94
Best Pace: 2:56/mi
Best Speed: 20.4 mh
Calories: 678
Rest Time: 2:31
Rest Distance: 5.15 ft
Total: 1:23:45
Average Heart Rate: 130

The Ride:
N Lombard & N Denver
Head North on Denver
L to get to bike/ped path that goes by Raceway and golf course
R on N Portland Road
L on Peninsula Crossing Trail
Stay on bike path as it merges with Marine Drive
R at Kelly Point Park
Reverse to come back

Route comments:
This is a great ride if you aren’t in the mood for stoplights. Also, it is almost entirely separated from the general traffic, so it is a good one for families and people less into biking. Also, there is wading at Kelley Point Park.

How did I do?
I wasn’t in any hurry so I wasn’t riding quickly. More accurately, I couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm for any fast riding, despite the fact that I had all of the trails to myself. I am clearly in no-hurry vacation mode. It was about the amount of time I was looking for, though.

Glorious Bicycling Moments/Neat Things:
Portland International Raceway (which we thankfully can’t hear very often from our house) has got something going on as the usually empty parking lot was covered with cars and tents and trailers. The web site had this to report:

“Friday-Saturday-Sunday, July 6-8: 31st Annual Baxter Auto Parts Portland Historic Races The thunder of vintage Trans-Am cars returns to PIR as part of the weekend of more than 200 vintage sports car racing on the road course.”

The sewage treatment facility was a bit stinky today.

I hadn’t been on the bike/ped turnoff to Smith and Bybee Lakes before. It appears to be a road that has been blocked off. Also a parking lot for train cars that aren’t going anywhere at the moment.

Smith and Bybee Lakes are popular with paddlers and there is a new canoe launch. Also, due to a park bond measure passed a few years ago, there has been some signage and art work. Witness the lovely birdhouse trees and carved rocks

After riding through the lake areas the trail rejoins Marine Drive, though there is still a bike path next to the high traffic Marine Drive. Marine drive has acres of industrial areas. I saw manufacturing and distribution for Rodda Paint, Honda, Portland French Bakery and more.

It doesn’t look much like a cute little French Bakery, eh?

The turnoff for Kelley Point Park is suddenly just there and you make the turn. After a brief time pedaling, the sound of the cars on Marine Drive fade and there are tall trees all around.

The path takes you around the point. There are a lot of good access points to the water, but there are no lifeguards and you would be swimming in the river. There are many “No Lifeguards, swim at your own risk” signs.

There was cotton from the cottonwoods all over the path. It’s that time of year.

Coming back, I caught a glimpse of the St. John’s Bridge through the trees.

Quote from Chris Hedges

“Do not support or give money to any church or religious organization that preaches bigotry and intolerance of others, whether they’re outside the faith or the nation, or that says God endorses any act of violence. All sorts of morally indefensible things, including slavery and the subjugation of women, are defended at one time or another by writers in the Bible. That does not make these acts Christian. Finally, remember that Jesus taught us there are two ways to be rich: we can amass wealth or have few needs. Defy the consumer culture. Live simply. When Jesus died, all he owned was a robe.”

The Bike Project Day 21

The Bike Project:

In which I attempt to ride all the yellow, green, blue & purple streets on the Bike There Bike Map while increasing strength, stamina, aerobic capacity and exploring Portland’s Nooks and Crannies.

Day 21

Weather: Hazy in the morning, clearer in the afternoon. Good temperature, no wind.

Ride Average Speed: 12.4
Time: 1:15:57
Distance: 15.64
Calories: 693
Average Heart Rate: 144

Ride Average Speed: 12.1
Time: 1:11:48
Distance: 14.46
Calories: 612
Average Heart Rate: 142

The Ride:
N Lombard & N Denver
N on Denver to Expo Center
R on Marine Drive
Go a long way
R on 205 Bike Path
L on Airport Way
Airport way turns into 181st.
R on San Rafael

Reverse the above route except turn off at E. Delta Park
Ride through Delta Park
R on N. Whitaker
L on N Interstate Ave to start.

I had a training in NE Portland and I decided to ride my bike. It was pretty far, but I figured I could make it. Tomorrow, though. I’m going to take public transportation.

How did I do?
This is one of those Urban/Flora rides. On your left for part of it, you have the mighty Columbia River.

On your right you have a lot of cars passing you at fairly high speeds. The birds are quite lovely, though and going out there is a whole section where the bike path is totally separate from speedy Marine Drive. And nice views of Mt. Hood.

It was a good ride, though I am quite tired. I figured out on the way back that cutting through E. Delta Park is not only much more pleasant, it is also faster.

Glorious Bicycling Moments/Neat Things:
I found out that I can take this route to the new Ikea when it opens in late July. That’s pretty exciting. If I was superwoman, I could even buy a couch and haul it home on my bike trailer. Not that I own a bike trailer.

June 22. General Assembly

Yesterday was all about learning and thinking, today (mostly) was about music.

Making Music Together: Musical Ways to Build Your Community with Kellie Walker
Kellie had a great presentation of songs you can sing as a congregation and also ways to get non-singers singing. I realized a drawback of attending a large congregation while attending this lecture. We have three adult choirs. There is little need to press any non-singers (like me: an enthusiastic singer with no choir training) into singing, aside from normal hymn singing during church. She talked about a “come as you are” band her church has at Christmas where whoever digs up their instrument and brings it along to play. They also have a special mother’s day choir made up of mothers and daughters, and also a father’s day choir. I love the music at our church, but this was a wake up call that perhaps other churches have wonderful music too. But in a different way.

This Is My Song? Reflections on Cultural Misappropriation.
This was a somewhat confusing panel discussion that was partly the report of the committee that met after the “incident” at the 2006 GA. I didn’t really get what the incident was and why it was such a big deal that they needed to convene a panel to meet several times over the year and discuss. This was a major failing and had me confused. What I did get was that when you use music (or anything, really) in a public realm, you had better know the provenience of it, and the proper way to use it.

What in God’s Name Am I Doing? Robert Fulghum
My only goal was to see this program. And luckily for me, my friend Kelly saved seats so I did get to see it. Robert Fulghum was my introduction to Unitarian Universalism, though I didn’t really realize it at the time. He is 70 now, and was dressed in a sport coat and bow tie. He gave us a PowerPoint presentation in which we had to use the power of our brains to see the slides he was “showing” us. A big part of his presentation was about how the things your mother used to say to you, such as, “What in god’s name are you doing?” really become questions you ask yourself throughout your life. I marvel at how he can tie so much to his stories.

Let’s Make Music–Anyone Can. Melodie Feather, Ellie Hodder
Another music program. We got to divide into five sections and spend ten minutes learning our parts. Then we came back together and performed. It was much fun and a nice way to end the day.

June 21. General Assembly

I got to attend the following two sessions during GA today. Both were quite informative.

Dr. Riane Eisler, “The Caring Revolution: Turning Economics Right Side Up!”

Dr. Eisler talked about changing our society from a domination society to a caring one. Apparently she has written a book called “The Chalice and the Blade” which outlines the differences between the two ideals. She pointed out that in a caring society, education and care taking of children (by their parents, or child care professionals) would be something that was justly compensated. For instance, plumbers make $70.00 an hour while many child care professionals make minimum wage. “That’s not logical, it’s pathological.” she said, to great applause.

The other things I enjoyed about Dr. Eisler was one of her answers during the Q&A session. “Don’t you think it’s so-and-so’s fault…” a woman began her question which rambled only a bit before getting to the end.

“Well,” said Dr. Eisler, addressing the first part of the question, “I don’t really do blame.” We all laughed.

Thomas Hartman. “Choices That Matter–‘We the People’ Choosing Democracy”
Thomas Hartman gave a very inspiring speech. I was impressed that he just talked off the cuff for 90 minutes, though he is a radio talk-show host and probably gives a lot of speeches.

The first point of his that I connected with was about the middle class being “made” Not in an Italian gangster type of way. More like the set up of the tax structure and government regulation ensure that our society doesn’t just have rich people and poor people. He talked about four times in American History when we had great disparity and how the majority of the people in the country did not benefit from this.

The point I really loved was his mantra that we do not elect leaders, we elect representatives. He discussed Theodore & Franklin Roosevelt and also Lyndon Johnson. All were the “establishment” candidates, all were expected to make modest changes and keep the status quo. All of them got into office, looked at the country’s situation and, in Hartmann’s words “got it.” They then made sweeping changes that made an incredible difference in America and left America a better place.

Hartmann believes that if you have a cause that you believe in, and you find enough other people who also believe in that cause and you are public in your support of that cause, eventually some politician will look around, see your parade marching by, and have an epiphany. He will run to the front of that parade and proudly proclaim, “I feel very deeply about this cause. This is my cause. I will do whatever I have to, to champion this cause.” And that is how change happens.

Thomas Hartman ended with the words, “Tag, you’re it.”

June 20: General Assembly, Banner Parade

General Assembly (GA) is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists. It is held in different cities around the country and this year, Portland got to host. GA being in my town, I decided to go this year. I avoided the hefty registration fee ($285.00 for early bird, $330.00 normally) by volunteering.

My volunteer position is on the Ambiance Committee. We are in charge of decorations for the meeting rooms, but most importantly, the Banner Parade.

The Banner Parade opens GA. All the attendees gather together in a huge hall and each church designates a person to carry their banner. They all march through the hallway, while music is playing and people are clapping and it is all so dramatic and fun.

Organizing the banner parade was also fun. People were in good moods as the assembled their banners and waited in line for the parade.

The parade was fun as well. All the people marching to the music and waving as they carried their banners. I got to stand inside during the parade so I could see all the multitudes of congregations represented.

After the parade, everyone deposited their banner and the Ambiance Committee got to hang them up. We had a great system, which made hanging simple and used all 18 of the ambiance committee members. It was hard work, though. There were 320 banners which took us 3 hours to hang. I was very sweaty and tired by the end, but it was worth it to look up and see the results of our hard work. And the banners looked beautiful.

June 17: YRUU Beach Trip

The youth in my youth group took a trip to the beach today. Ron, Jimmy and I were there intrepid leaders. We rented a van and drove down to Manzanita where we used Ron’s beach house as a base camp. Despite my constant exclamations of the 80 degree and sunny weather, it was gray and overcast. This did not keep Katie and Colin out the the frigid water.

We played Aw Shucks, walked into town and then roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for s’mores. Just as we were leaving it began to rain.

Oregon beaches. They’re nice if you never want to go in the water.

ps. Until I googled “manzanita” I had no idea that the town was named after a shrub.

June 5: Spirit Week. Crazy Hair Day

Spirit week this week. Today was crazy hair day. I improvised some crazy hair to show my spirit!

It looks somewhat normal from the front

But from the back???? Office supply mayhem.

The best part of crazy hair day was that tonight was Kindergarten Round Up. All of next year’s parents got to see me with crazy hair. Not all of them knew it was crazy hair day. My boss and I were discussing this after the event and I remarked that no one had said anything to me.

“Well some of the asked me!” she said, laughing.