Thursday, January 28, 2010


It looks like Jackie (the UAR Event Director) made quite the impression on Adam Turman, the designer of the 2010 UAR poster and t-shirt. I may be a bit biased, but I think there's a striking resemblance. All I said was "girl on a road bike, flowing hair, maybe a little cleavage"....and BAM!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

pretty clever

A packable (flat) foldable, recyclable bike helmet.

..but I don't know if I'd trust it to hard knock to the noggin. It kinda reminds me of the leather hairnet helmets that protect against 'abrasions'. But somehow, when falling off a bike and hitting that oh-so-unforgiving concrete, I'm concerned about severe head trauma - not abrasions. You know?
In other news...Tara Llanes is back again, this time on 4 wheels. Big props to Tara and for all of us able to ride on two wheels...we need to carpe diem - everyday. For a little background on her, check this out.

I read a book called Born to Run - which I really enjoyed. It's about ultra endurance running, the Tarahumara indians, and how running shoes are apparently the cause of so many injuries. Not only did it inspire me to run a lot more, but I think that I want to try a pair of these this summer...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sweet bike!

I found this beauty on ebay. A bit too rich for my blood, but the chrome is shining and the cork is holding...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"I'll get my forceps"

Behind the Scenes at the UAR: part two

Portland OR May 2008:

This was our 1st time to produce the Urban Assault in Portland and were psyched. Everything was in place and it was the week of the production. On Thursdays before the UAR, we meet with our staff and volunteers. Usually this is at a restaurant or bar, but our friends at Keen Footwear graciously let us use their HQ as our meeting place. We arrive a bit early to check in with Dave at Keen. This is the 1st time we've met Dave. He seemed like a super cool guy on the phone and we were looking forward to meeting face to face. When we got there, we introduced ourselves. Dave gave us a quick smile and his eyes kept darting back and forth - between us and a roly-poly man with thick bottlecap glasses walking around the Keen lobby . We shook hands, Dave welcomed us and said, "You must know Calvin, right?". We had yet to meet Calvin, who was this Roly-Poly man. Calvin was a volunteer through our non-profit in Portland, Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

Dave tells us that Calvin arrived an hour early to the meeting and since Dave was our contact, he had been in charge of entertaining Calvin until we got there. You see, Calvin was special. Perhaps autistic, perhaps one too many bike crashes, who knows. When I said hello to him, he warned me about a 'methane cloud that's orbiting around him'. We're happy to work with anybody and knew that we'd be able to find a good job for Calvin and just tried to run the meeting as normal in the meantime. This was a little hard to do as he was slamming pool balls on Keen's pool table while I gave the volunteers instructions. Then when Jackie gave all the checkpoint managers her phone number in case of emergency, Calvin calls her - while she's talking to everybody.

The next morning at 7am, Jackie receives a call which she lets go to voicemail. Calvin leaves a message explaining that he has a couple pair of shoes that he needs to give away and he wants us to have a 'shoe depository' at the UAR on Sunday. Jackie returns the call to thank him for his recommendation, explaining that it's a bit too late for us to do this, but perhaps he can visit GoodWill.

I'm starting to freak out a bit. I wanted for our non-profit to know that we were appreciative of the helpers that they were able to provide us with. Yet...every job I think of for Calvin, I think of things that could go drastically wrong. I call my mom for advice before the race - she's a psychologist and has worked with many people like Calvin. She assured me that he'll be fine with a repetitive task. Fingers crossed.

Race Day morning - Calvin arrives asking for his volunteer t-shirt and states that he's ready to work. Jackie didn't have a job for him at that time so she told him to 'hang tight'. He took this statement to mean "stand as close to me as possible". And he was wheeling his bike (a recumbent - of course) around the venue with him. Jackie makes a quick turn, trips over the bike, and falls onto her head. "Soooryyyyy", Calvin says. Finally, Jackie finds a task for him. She asks him to pick up the trash around the venue. Calvin lights up with a big smile and says, "Hold on - let me get my forceps". (perhaps he's been given this task before) Then, for the rest of the morning, that's what he did. Picked up trash with his forceps. Well, except for the 10 minutes when the teams were about to start - then he put on a hip-hop dance performance for the riders. Good ol' Calvin. Once the food arrived, he ate some pizza and was on his way.

We did hear from him the next year. He offered to ride from Portland to Seattle and camp out if our venue will allow a tent. We told him to come out, but we didn't see him in 2009. Hopefully he'll bring his forceps and his recumbent bike to a UAR in 2010.