Amber waves of grain by tandem…



The annual Northwest Tandem Rally  was held in Pendleton, Oregon this year.

It was our first time at such a big event.  Something like 170 teams turned out for three days of rides past rolling waves of grain.  The ‘rollers’ were a challenge in the 90+ degree weather but the perks of good company, good food, and great scenery made it worth the while!  We’re already signed up to do it again somewhere else next year!

For the pre-rally warm-up enroute, Jim thought we should try riding up Cypress Mountain in N.Vancouver.  I mean why travel with a bike and miss such great opportunities to try it out?!

So up we went to the ski slopes, site of the 2010 Winter Olympics–IMG_20140702_112308052IMG_20140702_113144242

IMG_20140702_113604116_HDR It took an hour and fourteen minutes to climb up there, but only 14 minutes to get down!  What a hoot it is going 51mph on a bike.

Well, then we hit the road and made our way to Washington (by van!) for the night—and of course had to ride our bike out to eat, logging another 20 some miles but really enjoying dinner, (No eating’s as good as the eating you’ve worked for!) in the quaint little town of LaConner.  IMG_20140702_183216122_HDRIMG_20140702_191236696_HDRIMG_20140702_192018820IMG_20140702_192038854

We arrived Pendleton, Oregon next afternoon after a rather HOT drive minus air-conditioning but PLUS ICE CUBES!  They evaporate wonderfully on hot skin and do a fabulous job in dry climates ( :


We set up our tent right beside the rodeo grounds, within view of the big screen from which we kept track of the Bull-Riding event in the evenings… Homesick bulls serenaded us to sleep at night and bellowed us awake in the morning…


The three days of rides were fabulously scenic, and hot.  Here are some highlights from the vantage point of the stoker (me!):






O Beautiful for Spacious Skies, for Amber Waves of Grain….



A welcome rest stop and watering hole!IMG_20140705_085022297_HDRIMG_20140705_090314043IMG_20140705_092506813


The final ride was a delightful climb into pine-scented hills to a historic ranch, now owned by Calvary Chapel…



IMG_20140706_094532893(Note: the ‘special effects’ on this photo are thanks to the sweat accumulating in my jersey pocket! Did I mention this was uphill?!)

IMG_20140706_095955317IMG_20140706_100028130 IMG_20140706_100205290

Not only did we get lunch here but also a swim in a spring-fed pool…




It was a fine destination for a 95 degree day!

All that remained was to repeat the ride back down through the once-shady canyon, now baking in mid-day sun and out into the blow-dryer head-wind past the hot wheat fields set in endlessly rolling hills—back to our tentsite with the river running by. Here we jumped in and lolled about like happy seals till all the heat was soaked away…IMG_20140706_155145939

…followed by eating watermelon–IMG_20140705_205910187 Nothing quite abates heat and thirst like watermelon!!!

And a rest!


It was a wonderful rally! We’re so grateful for the strength and health to do these things, and hope you’ve enjoyed the scenery through a stoker’s eyes…


IMG_20140706_192825652(local graffiti)


All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you!

[For more views of the rally, don’t miss the parade post…]

Looking back at Three Hundred Miles…

Well, it has been quite the vacation…a fitness vacation for sure.  We logged just over 300 miles in just over a week’s time and are now on the ferry home…Today, some clips from the journey in which we found not only beautiful wide open spaces but also the joy of touring them in the company of like-minded others…

Bellingham and beyond…

Every once in a long while you must stop by the road and consider another point of view…

cow noseP1110432

This was a long day for me, my longest to date—72 miles of pedaling across hill and dale, with and without company—P1110433P1110449P1110458P1110460P1110464



It concluded in an unexpectedly beautiful way,  huddled with 3 other tandem teams in an upper room of one of their homes overlooking Bellingham Bay, watching fireworks across the water…having shared not only a ride, but wonderful hospitality, a summer’s supper and a long walk getting to know each other. Such was the delightful day #2 of our tandem vacation!

Then off to Portland and surrounds…


There’s this amazing feature of cycling that enhances any food eaten, making even a 7-11 hotdog something worth raving about!  When you need food it tastes so good!




We passed many farmland miles.  I couldn’t get enough of snapping photos on the go…



And then we found this great bike shop…


…and spiffed up our ‘kit’ with memento jerseys and matching helmets…


…before heading back to Canada-land.

Heading home via Victoria…



One last ride around town…


…before packing it in to head home.


It’s been quite a vacation!


Oh LORD my God, you have accomplished many things; you have done amazing things and carried out your purposes for us.  No one can thwart you!  I want to declare them and talk about them, but they are too numerous to recount! Ps.40:5