Since my return from this past weekend’s Oregon Manifest show, my brain has been awash in the sights and sounds of a bicycleboozefueledstripperladenandfriendlyfaceexplosion train wreck.
This is an image of a simple, white square, because any other attempts to create or provide an illustration of a bicycleboozefueledstripperladenandfriendlyfaceexplosion train wreck proved to be unsuccessful.
Suffice it to say, I’ve been saddled with the task of barely explaining a number events I’ve attended over the years, and this one might be the most problematic. As has occurred in the past, I’ll at least start with some photos and see what shakes loose from there.
From the second I was expelled from the airplane I had an idea that this trip might be different. Primarily because as soon as I walked outside to board the light rail I didn’t feel as though I was constantly going to bump my head on the low hanging ceiling of grayness that Minneapolis West tends to have hanging above it. The skies were blue and I had nothing before me but everything, so I did what came naturally and went to the bar;
This was just a temporary stop over mind you, as Cheever and the crew from Portland Design Works had hatched a plan to go ride Sandy Ridge. I’ve not ridden here before, but have heard from anyone in the Portland area that this spot was a little slice of Heaven. Then again, I’ve also paid close attention to the fact that there’s very little off road riding to speak of within a ride from town, so as far as Portland’s mountain bike community goes, anything would be better than nothing.
Suffice it to say, I was overwhelmingly surprised and once again reminded that when I die, I want my ashes sprinkled across trails in the Pacific Northwest.
Thankfully Cheever pulled out my home-away-from-home bike;
(one of which I have to ride in Minneapolis West, and one of which I have to ride in Portland East), and we drove to meet up with our compatriots;
According to my addled memory, this ride begins with an easy three mile paved climb which turns onto a network of mountain bike specific trails consisting of two or three loops varying in length, which have all been painstakingly built with such care, it was everything I could do not to constantly stop, lie down and hug the ground;
The trail network is so new, evidence of those who are responsible for their construction is still lying here and there on the hill;
As a subtle thank you, I left a gift;
(*note* I got an email from Shauna which is germane to the topic at hand);
“Hey Stevil –
In your post today……you might want to give a nod to Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA) for a major role in the Sandy Ridge trails. Anyone who rides this area should consider becoming a NTWA member. More members = a larger representation ‘at the legistative table’ = more trails. For $30/yr plus gas *wink* to get there, it’s definitely a deal. Like a half day lift ticket that gives back all year long!”
She makes a good point.
Anyway, from there, we continued on;
and then stopped;
and then continued on again;
In response to this image, DPow! said “”look where you are going, not where you are”, which was good advice, as daylight was burning and we had to get back to town to begin what at this point seems like fifteen days of celebrating handmade utility bikes, not to mention the resilience of the human liver.
The Manifest kick-off was downtown, so we got cleaned up and went that way with quickness;
There we found a collection of individuals who were all as handsome as the next;
Towards the end of the evening there, it was time to do away with our name tags and go to someplace considerably more suited to our ilk;
which resulted in Cheever peeing on my (his) bike, and a long swerve to the Bye and Bye (go there, get a jalapeno grilled cheese sandwich, give Abe a high five and a generous tip) with my old friend, and former partner on the mean streets of San Francisco, Skhülie;
At this point it had been a long day, we were tired, and sleep was calling.
Check in time, 2:30 am.
Four hours later I emerged from my cocoon and prepared for the day. On the itinerary was a media lunch at King Precision Components World Headquarters, which was followed by a tour of the facilities. For the attentive among you, you might recall that this was my second time though there. My first being with the rolling shitshow that was Friendly Paul’s bachelor party back in 2010.
Way back then, cameras weren’t allowed in the facility, so I had to get creative. This time however, I was free to roam, and shoot, and touch what and whomever I wanted to. After a delicious meal (during which I made my mark);
California DiStrepano proceeded to give us the royal treatment as we walked though the corridors of the bicycle world’s version of Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory;
At this point in the day I had to bugger off to meet up with Scheriner, and clean behind my ears in preparation for that evening’s gala reception at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. I thanked my host, shook hands with my fellow tour-ees, and made my way back into the outdoors to saddle up for whatever was next.
So to recap- So far during my trip, I saw nudity, got rad, drank drinks, slept four hours, ate lunch, drank other drinks, looked at stuff, had Tony Pereira write ‘biopsy’ in Sharpie across the top of my biopsy (which, by the way was benign, for those keeping track) and I’ve only been in town about 24 hours.
Tune in on Friday and I’ll tell you all about that same combination, but in a different order.