Today’s Stage

Roadside snow drifts crowded the field as today’s stage wound through ancient lava flows and over a high mountain pass.  As long time pro road cycling fans but brand spanking new road cyclists, Steve and I can’t help but share cheesy commentary about our own rides. 


Jill’s Grand Tour

So a couple Fridays ago Steve and I headed out for my first ride of any real length. It was supposed to be close to 20 miles. Started bad right from the start with my chain coming off on a side street as I was getting reacquainted with my gears and shifting. There I was no chain, no speed, clipped in and yelling for an also clipped in K-mann to rescue me. I decided it was time to learn the track stand. Somehow I stayed upright until Steve could get one foot unclipped. Then I sort of tipped over onto him. Whew. That ended well enough.

We are on our way. Everything is going well, my chain does come off AGAIN but no big deal as I smoothly unclip and call for my mechanic. Storms are approaching though. We decide it is best to keep moving steadily toward home. We’re smart like that.

Mile thirteen headed for home, five plus miles to go, I reach the top of a climb, KABOOM! Rear tire and tube blow. Steve gives it a quick look and thinks no way to repair. We have a patch kit but no tube. As we strategize where to leave me while he bikes home for the team car, a serious roadie stops on his bike and tells us it can be repaired. He leaves us with an old race # to boot the tire. Whatever, with no spare tube it ain’t happening. Clouds darken.


Steve takes off for home. I casually start walking my bike. I’m a mile or two from a park and shelter. Local kid’s bike/ski coach comes along in his van; gives me a ride back to town as the skies open. We pass Steve. Coach drops me off near the Mormon church, I hang out on their covered patio, successfully dodging both the storm and missionaries.  I give Steve a wave on his way past, he quickly returns with team van and all is good.

In the rest of the story department it took two weeks for my bike store employee husband to show up with a new tire. GASP!

Action Sports Avalanche

For years now in all those where to live conversations, Steve’s constant refrain is, “I want to be able to do stuff right out my door.”

Way back when before New Zealand, before winery work, when we were just hatching out of Kentucky our plan was to find and settle in a place that had climbing, skiing, trail running and biking close by, really close by if possible.

Now we have all that and more within a short drive or no drive at all.

We are enjoying the bounty, climbing one day, biking another, skiing on the first day of summer. With us though, that is not where the story ends. We are completely overwhelmed trying to find time for it all.

Summer Nord

Did I mention we have three-day weekends? We were lucky to land jobs that have us working through the weekend leaving us to play mid-week. We love the idea that we have fewer folks to share the trails and cliffs with but this is Central Oregon everyone is out all the time.

Its going to get a little wide...

Lately we’ve managed to fit in climbing, skiing, running and some form of biking into those three days. We want to sign up for a couple trail races this fall but that would require us to run more than once or twice a week which might mean we would have to not do something else one of those days. Ahhhhhhh TWEAKED!

I’m counting on Mother Nature to bail me out of this one. The temps are rising and the snow is melting. This should take climbing and skiing out of the weekly rotation. Of course that opens up the potential for peak bagging. And what about a SUP (stand-up paddle board)? Those look fun.

LTD Bend

Such a poser.

We’ve got road bikes, but no couch! We’re a half hour from Smith Rock! A town of 80,000 people shouldn’t have this many micro breweries!

While the dream of the nineties is alive in Portland, Bend is our high dessert, mountain dream town. Dismissed in our road trip of 2009 but with a second look, we’ve fallen hard. Even tossing around the H word; Home. Stay tuned for adventures as we settle down and get out the door and out of the van more than ever before. Living the dream!

Sick Daze

Now on my third box of Puffs, nothing seems to stop the tidal flow from my nasal marshland, occasionally I hit upon a combo of cold medicine that for a moment gives me hope but it lasts only a moment and I’m back creating a snowy pile of bedside tissues. The coughing has abated enough that it no longer leads to throwing up but I still find myself doubled over heaving like a pack a day granny but perhaps with a bit more gusto.

We’re on day ten of this misery. I say we in a nod toward my “in sickness and in health” partner. Bet he’d like to take that back. Poor boy is so patient. He tries to get me out and about, to explore this new place we’re trying to call home. I go along, barely hiding that I only have interest in a fresh ginger ale and reruns on Hulu.

“Toughen up! It is just a cold,” I told myself on days 1-8. “Don’t go to the doctor. DO NOT beg for antibiotics. Taking antibiotics is simply naughty. Don’t contribute to drug resistance.” Day 9 found me at the UTC lamenting my misery.

The nurse he didn’t care, reducing my tale of woe to, ” So a runny nose and cough?”

“Yes,” I said with a chastised slump.

The doctor was a bit more compassionate toward my complaints of aching gums and cough strained throat. Impressed she was that my nose didn’t look stuffy. A raging river does not stuff. A sinus infection diagnosed. Antibiotics and full octane Sudafed prescribed.

With hope restored I took my new meds, tucked in and waited to feel better. I woke this day ten as I have every morning through this cursed journey thinking, “Maybe just maybe….SUCKER.” Three steps out of bed and Granny Gusto cough returns and a river of raging…well you know.