clean clean clean

2016-09-24 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON, USA -- Summer is almost over. We clean our bicycles, wash the truck, wipe the mailbox, sweep the driveway. It's a chore that we enjoy and perform well.

Cleaning chains and gears is easy with solvent, lots of rags, and patience. I learned perseverance through trumpet practice.

Wash the truck top to bottom, inside and out, including the underside and engine compartment. I must be getting some dirt off because our mechanics tell us our truck is the cleanest in town!

Wipe the interior for the lady of the house.

Bleached and dried our garbage can. Ours smells clean!

Trim ivy and blackberries from around our Japanese maple tree and hydrangea.

toad hill court

2016-09-22 OTIS, OREGON, USA -- Between the communities of Otis and Rose Lodge there is a side road named Toad Hill Court.

Naturally we insisted on visiting.

Just another side street connecting to a country road.

We stopped by the Rose Lodge market. We have driven past it hundreds of times, but it was our first time in the store.

We had brunch at the
Otis Cafe. They are known for gigantic portions. Somehow the meals didn't seem as large as I remembered from last time. Maybe I'm gaining weight!?

grand ronde bike ride

2016-09-20 GRAND RONDE, OREGON, USA -- We went for a bicycle ride in an area with gentle hills located about 50 kilometers east of our home.

We transport our tandem bike with the front wheel removed. The fork attaches to a clamp on the truck bed.

Attaching the front wheel takes only about 20 seconds.

Behind the
casino in Grand Ronde we found an idyllic pastoral area. We walked our bike over this wooden bridge because our wheels might get caught in the gaps between the slats.

The rolling hills behind Kero and Noriko are part of Oregon's coastal range. This row of hills keeps the ocean weather on the coast. Lincoln City is cool and moist. Inland, the summers are hot and dry. Grand Ronde is in between.

Bicycling lets us appreciate roadside views that cars would miss.

We took a break at
Fort Yamhill state heritage area.

Our luggage bag lets us carry snacks and extra clothing. The bag was expensive but worth it.

bike upgrade

2016-09-15 NEWPORT, OREGON, USA -- We had our tandem bicycle serviced and upgraded. We took the bike out for a spin. The bike feels much more solid and responsive, mostly because the timing chain (which connects the pedals of the 2 riders) is tight.

Our bike now has a detachable pannier (a side bag) to carry Kero, snacks, and weatherproof clothing.

We started at the Hatfield marine research center, and headed via Idaho Point marina to Yaquina Bay bridge, the south jetty, and South Beach state park.

The boardwalk at South Beach state park is popular among vacationers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Noriko had her handlebar adjusted so that she ride with improved safety and comfort. Kero admires his reflection in Noriko's side-view mirror. The mirror also reflects sunlight onto Noriko's jacket.

co-motion visit

2016-09-12 EUGENE, OREGON, USA -- We visited Co-Motion, a company that manufactures full-sized tandem bikes that can be disassembled for travel.

Co-Motion is located several kilometers away from Bike Friday.

Co-Motion exudes a high-class top-end image.

Co-Motion's headquarters houses their factory, sales, and showroom. They were preparing for a major bicycle trade show in Las Vegas.

The model I salivate for is the
"Java" tandem with Rohloff internal gears and carbon belt drive. All bikes are built to order, starting with frame material.

bike friday visit

2016-09-12 EUGENE, OREGON, USA -- We visited Bike Friday, a company that manufactures folding bikes.

Bike Friday is located in the west side of Eugene.

Bike Friday's headquarters houses their factory, sales department, and showroom.

Oregon has an impressive array of manufacturers that produce mechanisms requiring precision, for instance bicycles, light aircraft, trumpets, and folding portable tools. I suspect this is due to the large number of craftsmen who work in Oregon.

This jig, nicknamed "Fluffy", stress-tests bicycle frames.

Each bicycle is built to order. Each sack contains parts for each order. Some parts are made in-house, some are delivered from suppliers. Bike Friday keeps a just-in-time inventory. Bicycle assembly commences when each sack is filled.

The model I salivate for is the
"New World Tourist" with Rohloff internal gears and carbon belt drive.

Walter, a sales consultant and avid cyclist, gave us a factory tour and explained bicycle mechanisms to us.

tandem bike ride

2016-09-08 WILLAMETTE MISSION STATE PARK, OREGON, USA -- We took our tandem bicycle out for a spin. We hadn't rode for several years because we were enjoying our kayak.

We removed the tailgate from our pickup truck, and loaded up our bicycle on the truck bed. We wanted an 8-foot bed but the longest bed on a Nissan Frontier is 6 feet. I decided that suspending the bike frame would damage it the least. 4 straps hang the bike. The front wheel is removed, and the front spoke is fastened in between bolts.

Our bike is an KHS Tandemania Comp. This is a nice 2-out-of-5-star tandem.

No luggage container means Kero must stay with the car. He is visibly disappointed.

We biked through the Willamette Mission state park and watched the Wheatland Ferry. This is a high-tech electric boat that carries up to 9 passenger cars to and fro. We rode it several years ago when the boat was brand new.