Archive for July, 2009

The search for Video hosting…….

July 22, 2009 Leave a comment

So there are not a lot of video hosting sites out there, Google Video is really a search engine, YouTube seems to be the only one out there.  This is Yahoo, its an older video but 1 I know how large, and of what the quality is. 

Let me know what you think, I know its probably not going to be the quality of Soapbox (SO annoyed about this).  But before I move and re-embed 70 videos I want to make sure the new location is good enough for all the viewers 🙂

If you know of a decent video hosting site, let me know?


Flying Solo

July 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Mom is away at a conference, its just BigG and me.  Gav is still the only guy with a helmet at Daycare, maybe its starting to get weird, at least he is safe…… 🙂

Sad news, our video host site, MSN Soapbox is closing in August.  We have posted 70 videos, and have had 60,000 views.  I am looking for an alternative – I don’t want to use YouTube (their file size and video compression limitations are poor).

Oh, and we finally got his sunglasses.  These ones fit.

We are both looking forward to mom coming home.


Seattle to Portland… on a bike

July 13, 2009 Leave a comment

This past weekend Ian, Chris and myself did the STP.  It was a long day, but we made it in 1 day.  I thought I would share a short summary of it.

We have been doing some training, nothing close to 202 miles, but generally we all felt pretty good about the day.  Nerves of course, and then I had the week from you know where leading up to the day, sick as a dog with a major chest infection.  So I wasn’t feeling absolutely perfect Friday night. 

Sat 3AM wake-up call.  The plan was to roll with the other 1-dayers at 4:45AM, from the UW parking lot, so that meant picking the guys up by 4.  We had all the bikes up at my place Friday night, so Sat was just grab the lads and go.  3AM is early to wake up. No matter how you slice it. 

We got together in the rig, and made our way to the UW parking lot.  It was definitely a place where a large event was ‘going’ to take place, but at 430AM it was still pretty subdued.  We got the bikes ready, grabbed our bags to drop at the trucks – they took them down in a bag check system for us.  And we headed to the start line. 

They let us off in small bunches, we were in the 2nd cluster of riders, crossing the start line somewhere around 4:50 AM.  It was busy.  A LOT of bikes.  The pace was also really high.  Nerves, extra energy etc everywhere.  We headed out along Lake WA, which was just starting to see a sunrise.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  Dry, warm, and promising to be sunny.  Within the first 5 miles, we probably saw 10 riders already dealing with flat tires.  Something none of us had to sort out all day.  Lucky there.         

The first 24 miles were pretty hairy.  A LOT of bikes, in groups, going at a pace we were surprised to see.  We hit the first major rest stop at the REI store in Kent, but we kept going.  Needless to say that place was an ants nest.  We finally hit our first scheduled stop at Puyallup, 41 miles in.  At that point we were averaging 18.5 mph.  Next, we stopped at the 67 miles mini stop, McKenna, averaging a similar 18.5mph.  That was 3:39 into the ride. 

We carried on, well above our planned 15mph average, but because of the large numbers of riders, the pace was a lot easier to keep up.  We stopped for our formal lunch break at midway.  Centralia – 100 miles.  At that point we were averaging 18:6mph, 5:26 into the ride.  Some beautiful roads and trails along this stretch, but it was warming up, and the riders were thinning out. 

Next stop for us was Vader.  7hrs in, averaging a little lower, 17.7mph, but at 128 miles into the ride, definitely making good progress.  We carried onto the 150 mile mark, dropping the average to 17.7mph.  It was also REALLY thinning out, many riders did the ride in 2 days, and we were now past the point for 2 day schedules, so all the riders left out there were going for it.  Next we stopped for water at Goble, along the Columbia River valley, at 162 miles .  This was just past the huge Lewis and Clarke bridge – a treacherous LARGE multi lane arching bridge over the  Columbia River between WA and OR.  This thing was crazy scary.  Large, heavy traffic, no bike lane, and we were WIPED.  Huge climb, then fast descent.  Right into an access ramp onto the highway.  It was nuts.  Add to that how tired we were, and the descent off it was rough.  I genuinely thought it was the place a lot of accidents must happen.  We were inches from cars going at speed, there was a cross wind, and a metal /cement foor.  Add the expansion joints, metal plates, did I mention a cross wind, and it was a LONG 15 minutes. 

Our next stop was St. Helens, 175 miles into the day.  Although only 27 miles left, less than to work and back, it was 27 miles, and 2 hours.  It was also 2 rest stops and done.  We were managing to stay well hydrated, and fed, all carrying bars and snacks.  We hit 1 more stop at the 188 mile point, at Scappoose, before making the kick to Portland.  There was hardly anyone left on the road, and with only 3 in our group the speed dropped more.  Hutts was definitely the ‘Maillot jaune’ of the day as well as our polka dotted hill climber.  He led most of the way for the afternoon, proving to be a much more consistent pace rider than anyone else.  :). 

Then, we saw Portland skyline.  What sucked was that from the ‘Welcome to Portland’ sign, it was another 10 miles.  Thats like at least 30 minutes more riding.  So as relieving as it was to see that, we had more riding to go.  Once inside the city limits, it became a bit of a race, with a small breakaway group leaving the peloton and going for the finish.  The last few miles were deep in the city, over a couple of bridges, and into the downtown.  Also a couple of hills that took out more riders.  How rough would it be to hit the 199 mile mark, on a major hill, and take a flat tire?  I saw 2 in that boat.  Man, I felt for them.

The finish was crazy.  There were hundreds of people screaming and cheering, as we rode into the park.  There was quite a party going on, with a New Belgium beer tent, food, and music.  I am sure on Sunday that place was chaos, with another 8000 people passing through the gates compared to riding right up to the finish line alone. 

Final stats for the day, 11:55:21hrs. 202 miles total covered.  Avg speed 16.7 mph (thats 26.7Km) , average cadence 72 (lower than I thought).  We completed the ride together with no accidents, injuries, flat tires, or other incidents.  It was a REALLY successful ride for all of us.  We had a couple of beers at the finish line, then jumped on the Portland tram system to our hotel where we had a burger and crashed.  Sunday was a 1mile ride (ouch) to the car rental and a LONG drive home.  

7Trees, Canada Day and July 4th

July 7, 2009 Leave a comment

We spent the long weekend up at the cottage with the family, and we had a great time.  It was obvious though that the most fun was had by little Gav and Alex.  These guys rocked it all weekend, playing, chasing each other, talking in Finnish to each other, and generally having a blast.  It was a great weekend! 

Plenty of pics to share, and a few vids.












Canada Day BBQ and Heading for the Long Weekend

July 2, 2009 Leave a comment

So to celebrate Gav’s 2nd Canada Day we BBQ’d some burgers.  Even though he threw his to he birds, we know his thoughts were appreciative.  This morning, as G dealt with his Canada Day hangover, we tried a quick bike ride to clear the mind.  He is looking forward to seeing his Grande Pere and Grand mother this evening.

In other news, Vesta Men in the Thames cup have ended their quest today dropping by 1.5 lengths to Tideway Scullers.  The Britannia cup (M4+) have a day off, so a Friday row tomorrow in the quarter, and the word is VRC is the favorite, so it might be the first Saturday row for the VRC men in a long tie. 

With continued high temperatures at the regatta, men are permitted to remove their blazers, but are reminded that ties and cravats are still required.


Kim and Daphne “Rekindle” the Romance

July 1, 2009 Leave a comment

 Daph and Kim got away for a girlie weekend at Alderbrook Resort on the Hood Canal. The resort is gorgeous. Kind of a modern Kellerman’s from Dirty Dancing – although they probably wouldn’t want it described that way.  We managed to get in plenty of scheduled fun 🙂 and R&R including kayaking, a big hike and a couple of massages at the spa. It was nice to get away and enjoy the gorgeous scenery and yummy food and drinks but also great to get home to our little ones (and our big ones).


Happy Canada Day

July 1, 2009 Leave a comment

So for those that are aware, it is Canada Day :).  While not a holiday here in America, our friends to the North are celebrating.  This morning Gav felt especially spirited and wanted to wear his Canada T Shirt, and mom felt some obligation to sing the national anthem until she realized that she was being recorded.  It trails off in the Video ending up with  Raffi and the ‘down by the bay ‘ favorite…………

In other news, Henley Royal Regatta started today.  The Vesta Men in the Thames Cup (M8+) made it through to Thursday beating Combined Services R.C. by 1 3/4 lengths –  and the Britannia Cup (M4+) also made it through, beating Mosman Australia by 1/2 length!  An exceptional result in beating a seeded boat as well.  Listen to it live at Henley Radio.

A rare occurrence, due to the soaring temperature at HRR, the men have been given permission to remove their blazers.  It must be absolutely scorching.