Yeaaaaaaa!  So we finally got out there and raced cyclocross--CrossCrusade--today.  Dan bought some shoes & pedals (all he had were speedplays) and I quit being a sissy and decided it was okay to race my mountain bike (I was being stubborn about it and wanted to wait for my cross bike).  

It was SO FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was chilly out, cloudy, a bit misty, and MUDDY.  PERFECT!  The race was in Hillsboro; we picked up the max (lightrail) right next to our apartment and it took us directly to the race.  So easy! 

Dan raced first.  He started in the back of a field of about 100 riders (Cat. B) and moved up fairly well.  I guess he had a bad crash into a wooden wall or gate on the last lap and was knocked off his bike.  He ended up in the second half of the field.  Poor guy, racing his trashed-after-riding-3000-miles cyclocross bike with an uncomfortable Brooks saddle, running a clunky-shifting 9 speed chain and cassette on a 10 speed group...  yuck.  He'll do better next time!  Now that he's in shape, he surely didn't look as tired as I'd seen him after races last year.  He was covered in mud too, and had a great time.  45 minute race.

I went next.  Lined up toward the back of a field of about 50-60 riders (Cat. B) and gunned it on my 29er when I heard the whistle.  I chased the leaders and got up toward the front of the pack.  It was hard to tell where the front was because the masters women went before us, and some were dangling off the back toward the front of our field.   If I went too hard at first, I was afraid I'd lose steam...but then I just quit thinking about that and went hard, because the worst is when you finish a race thinking you could have worked more.  

That 29er is awesome!  The course was muddy and flat; there were a lot of tough corners.  My tires gripped the corners so well!  I ended up passing a lot of girls on those corners, but losing time in the flat straightaways where the cross bike has a sure advantage.  People kept yelling "catch the mountain bike!"...."don't let the mountain bike beat you!!!" and some people were cheering me on, which was cool because I was afraid I was going to have a serious disadvantage with that bike.  There was one spot where there was a straight part that had a deepish trench, and a hairpin.  Most people took the low line, but I stayed up high and was able to take that sharp corner quickly and pass people every time.  There were only two barriers (two pairs) and those went better than I had expected also.  I can't shoulder my bike, and my upper body is weak, but I managed to pick the thing up alright.  Luckily, my dismounts and remounts when smoothly and fairly quickly.  A cross bike definitely has an advantage on barriers though!  

I ended up placing 7th, which was a whole lot better than I had expected!  My fitness felt great.  The course was fairly mountain bike friendly, as there were no stairs or huge hills where you have to shoulder the bike and run up, so I got lucky there.  Woot woot.... It was soooo muddy!  AND we raced 45 minutes also, just like the guys.

Watching the pros race is pretty amazing.  They are so smooth.  So good at bikes.  Geeee......  

Both Dan and I agree that it feels so amazing to be racing again.  It's so satisfying--Dan's words.  Really, life doesn't quite seem complete without racing bikes.  It's fun to feel fast, to compete against people, to get caked with mud, and to be seriously tired after the race.  

We'll race again next weekend in Astoria, Saturday and Sunday.  It's Halloween so it should be a blast.  We've rented a car to get there...it's my birthday on the 2nd :-)  

So now, B.Chan and I are thinking about reinstating fastgrrrls  !!!!!!  


hoi! a new dinette set!

Dan & I got a kitchen table and chairs today!  It's a faux wood grain piece from the 60's with some gold & white print vinyl kitchen chairs.  Real classy!  It looks cute in the apartment, and the table is nice and small so it fits.  Dan also got a small table/desk for his computer.  It's nice to get off the floor!

We've been hanging out with friends here more than we did when we lived in Champaign, which says a lot about our former social life.  Tonight Anna & Jeff came over for dinner, and we went to their place a couple of days ago.  They are perfect friends because they also eat burrito variations almost every night.  Last night Dan & I went to Amnesia Brewpub, and played cards with Ryan & Ashley for about four hours.  I totally shot the moon in hearts.  We played a hilarious partner game that Ashley knew, and ate tofu-brats.  Yes, they were grilling tofu-brats outside the bar!  To be fair, they did have "regular" brats.  We've spent nearly every night with friends, which has been a whole lot of fun.  We all just moved here and are having a lot of the same experiences.  

During the day we've been out exploring.  Today we went to the farmer's market in downtown.  They have an amazing mushroom stand with chanterelles, shiitakes, fried chicken mushrooms, lobster mushrooms (really smell like lobster), chicken mushrooms (not to be confused with fried chicken mushrooms), and others.  They are pretty pricey, and because I only had a bit of cash we opted to buy a bunch of veggies instead.  I'll definitely be back another week to stock up on cool mushrooms though!  We bought some fingerling potatoes, dinosaur kale, a huge red pepper, the juiciest grapes ever, pears, and carrots.  Tonight for dinner, we had polenta foccacia, which you make by just putting polenta in a hot cast-iron skillet and baking until it's crispy.  The polenta had jalapeños in it, and we put caramelized red onion on top.  We also had lentils, roasted golden beets and turnips, and broccoli.  Obviously, I go ga-ga over vegetables.  

Tomorrow I am going to the Portland Children's Museum for an orientation because I'll be starting to volunteer there soon.  That way when baby Lonnie visits I can show him the ropes.  


Oh, the essentials...

Manda & Billy visit. I forgot what it's like to have an appetite ginormous enough to eat a whole thing of ice cream in one sitting.

The Interwebs
love the window in the kitchen <3

Long awaited PB Texas-French toast with egg on top


Our first meal in the apartment! Note: Cast Iron Skillet

Now imagine 5 more bikes and a few wheelsets and a trainer and... ha ha !

Our New Apartment !

When you come to visit, this is how we will buzz you in to # 406 ! It really works !

Checkered kitchen floor. Note: Our tiny fridge makes it possible for us to only eat the freshest of foods

Windows with real trees outside !

Claw foot tub !

The bed rolls out of the cabinet, so it's not always taking up space. Note: new bamboo floors!

Last stop before we moved in: The Joyce Hotel in downtown PDX

Taking advantage of the cleanest surface (?)

Very secure.

We rolled out our sleeping bags.

It's too bad my camera failed to capture the puke on the windowsill!

The Last Day

We finally stopped to look at the view.....wow