A Second Check-out Ride

Coweeman River Bike Path 800px

Wheel full 70pxYesterday I took the bike out for a second check-out ride before I return it tonight to Bike Gallery in Portland for disassembly and shipment to the ZenCog bike shop [linkie] in Jacksonville, Florida.  I won’t see it again for a little bit more than another month.  This is unfortunate, but bringing the bike back to Alaska for the next four weeks would cost me about $400 that isn’t in the budget.  I’ll have to make do with the stationary bike and possibly a rental from a local bike shop for my continued prep rides before I head for Jacksonville around the 19th of July.  I’ll keep you posted.

Wheel full 70pxEverything went great on the ride, which was a shade under eight miles/15 kilometers in just over 50 minutes on a gravel path.  I’d estimate that the loose surface on the path slowed my pace by about 20%.  The loose gravel gave me the jitters in a few places, too.

Wheel full 70pxThe path was on top of a flood control dike along the Coweeman River, a minor stream that drains into the Columbia just south of where I started.  If I looked to my left for the first several miles, I had down-at-the-heels industrial scenery.  To my right I had the river, which is mostly a high-banked ditch, and Interstate 5.  The last mile or so of the ride before the turn-around point was prettier- through a park on the left and with the river much more natural looking in the other direction.  It rained big drops for a few minutes, but I dried pretty quickly.  Each of my days the first week will be on average five times this distance on pavement.  I’ll need to get up super early, as the July summer in north Florida will be brutal if I’m not done (or most of the way with a short evening ride remaining) by mid-morning.  I figure if I’m sustaining 12 miles/20 kilometers per hour by the day I start the ride I’ll be in good shape.

Wheel full 70pxI can do this.

David Edgren

Donations? Heck yeah!

Wheel full 70pxSeveral (well, two) of the readers of this blog have messaged me asking how to contribute to my ride. I really appreciate that, and I encourage folks here to give generously.

Wheel full 70pxJust not to me.

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Wheel full 70pxWhile you are in the giving mood, though, let me make a couple of suggestions.

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The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has done work all over the country that is near and dear to my heart.  The organization provides funding and other resources in seeking to preserve abandoned railroad rights-of-way as multi-use trails.  Bicyclists are a primary beneficiary of the RTC’s efforts, and its website [linkie] is a wealth of information about and links to the growing network of rail-trails out there.  If you would consider giving to the RTC, click here [linkie] or on the logo above.

TNC Logo 313px

The Nature Conservancy, despite the fact that I couldn’t get a job there after graduating from law school, is another favorite of mine.  I like the way it does business- instead of knee-jerk opposition to land development and the use of tactics like lawfare and back-door lobbying to tie the process up and to make things so expensive that the developer finally just gives up, if TNC sees something worth preserving, the organization buys it or buys the development rights.  Over the years, it has compiled an incredible track record of preservation of some of the key remaining natural places all around the country.  If you would consider giving to TNC, click here [linkie] or on the logo above.

Shifting gears (subtle bike pun, sorry)-

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My grandchild Aidan died of an aggressive cancer of the brain in 2011 two days short of his second birthday.  He was treated at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, where he received incredible care from some of the most compassionate doctors and medical staff in the world.  While the situation ended so very sadly, we know that the SCH is on the forefront of work that will give some future child and her or his family hope for a normal life that is cancer-free.  If you would consider giving to the SCH, click here [linkie] or on the logo above.

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The Massey Cancer Center is part of my grad school alma mater: Virginia Commonwealth University. A great friend from those days participates every year in the Massey 10K fundraising run with Aidan’s name on her T-shirt along with that of her husband, who also died of this terrible disease. Massey is one of the leading cancer research institutions in the country.  If you would consider giving to the MCC, click here [linkie] or on the logo above.

Wheel full 70pxNo pressure, folks.  I’d be really pleased to know that my ride has resulted in even a single donation to any of the places I have listed.  Or you pick a worthy place.  And thanks for doing that.

David Edgren