1 Commuting to work is one of my favorite rides. The round trip distance is about 32 miles and has some decent climbing. The ride includes in traffic bike lanes,, bridges (Portland AKA bridge city), and bike paths. The ride makes the daily grind so much more tolerable.
2 My favorite training ride is a 50 mile ride loop from my house. It is amazing to have access to such a prime ride through the countryside leaving from my front door. The route is 50 miles and has 5,000 feet of climbing. From scenic vistas along Skyline Road to rolling, bucolic fields in the valley below, this ride has it all.
3 The third place I most enjoy riding my Vendetta is over every paved nook and cranny in the state of Oregon. Having ridden 8 of the past 9 Cycle Oregon rides, I have covered a good portion of the state. I have ridden this ride on everything from my 35 lb Burley Hep Cat in ’06 to a Freedom Ryder hand trike in ’08. 2014 was the first Cycle Oregon I have ridden on the Vendetta and it was by far the most enjoyable platform I have ridden on this epic ride. Each day of riding was a blast but the fun continued well after the ride each day as droves of people would approach me to inquire about my unique bike and to marvel at how fast I was going when they saw me on the road.
Pink is my favorite color. There, I said it. While this is a common source of ridicule from my colleagues at work, I stand firm by my conviction that pink increases your speed on a bike by at least 2-3 MPH. Of course it doesn’t help my cause that my nieces started calling me Chrissy and the name stuck. I look at it like this: If the winners of the Giro d’Italia are man enough to ride for the distinction of wearing a pink jersey, then I am all over it - more than happy to embrace the color most commonly used to dress princesses in our country. I am happy to report that my two sons, ages 12 and 14, have followed in my footsteps and incorporated the color pink as well. It is not unusual to see them walking the halls of their middle school wearing a pink t-shirt that says, “Tough guys wear pink”. The new offering of the Vendetta in red is certainly a step closer to the color dearest to my heart. And if you happen to see a pink Vendetta on the road in the future, know that it is a custom paint job and be sure to holler hello to Chrissy.
To be quite honest, Maria Parker made me choose Cruzbike despite the fact that we had never met. Having seen what she accomplished on RAAM really caught my attention. The fact that she was able to overcome a 24 hour set back following a motor vehicle accident with her crew van and pass the other female riders in a mountain section of the ride caused drool to accumulate at the corners of my mouth. Of course the engine and drive of Maria Parker is a big part of that equation but her feat left me with no choice but to own a Vendetta.
I don’t know exactly how to answer this question. I don’t get many miles in during the dark, wet months of winter but like most roadies in Oregon, I wipe the sleep out of my eyes and relish the beautiful days that spring, summer and fall offer. In the summer, I love to stop off downtown for a crafted Portland beer for a calorie boost on the way home. The Lucky Lab on Hawthorne is always convenient and bike friendly.
Last year on Cycle Oregon, I had many Cruzbike moments. Experiences like pulling my three hammer head, upright bike riding friends in a pace line at 25 mph despite a 30 mph headwind. Or allowing a large group of riders at the beer garden to take turns sitting on my comfy saddle. The latter left me with the slightest sense of celebrity status.
One particular Cycle Oregon Vendetta moment stands out in my mind. It occurred along a rocky, desert climb near Maupin, Oregon. I had spent a good long time visiting with friends at the rest stop in Maupin at mile 65. It was now a magical time late in the day when the sun crept lower in the sky casting long shadows and glowing light effects from the rocky terrain. With 20 miles left to ride, I decided on a leisurely pace in order to better enjoy the scenery. As I embarked on a three mile climb away from the banks of the Deschutes River, I passed a roadie in his early 20’s. He wore a deliberately matching, colorful lycra kit as he slowly rode and socialized alongside a stunningly beautiful girl rider. I gradually made my way past the two riders and continued upward and onward. Something about being passed by a middle aged guy on a recumbent must not have set well with young Casanova. When I was about 50 feet uphill from the couple, the rider came out of his saddle as his girlfriend let out a gleeful shout. The shrill “ya-hoo” emitted by the girl was tantamount to an air horn at the start of a race. As you might imagine, I had no intention of helping the young roadie with his social endeavors, so I put my back into it. He cut the distance between us in half. I mustered some heroic effort, shifted gears and watched through a hypoxic haze as the young man faded in my rearview mirror. At the end of the ride, I was collecting my bag from the truck when I noticed the rider searching for his duffle. I asked, “ Hey, aren’t you that guy I saw racing that recumbent guy up a steep climb?” Not recognizing me as the recumbent rider, he smiled smugly and replied, ”Yeah, it was. Recumbents pass people on flats and down hills. They aren’t supposed to do that on a climb, so I had to do something about it!” His answer implied that he had chased down the rebel on the yellow recumbent and restored order to the world. When I thanked him for the workout and the challenge, he at first looked confused… but then quickly surveyed the area to make sure his lady friend was out of earshot.