A bikeman packeth


"March is not the ideal month to bicycle from Portland, Ore., to San
Francisco. Anyone living in and between those cities will tell you — even if you
don’t ask.

But even if the unsolicited advisers in every diner, restaurant, hotel,
campground, hardware and bike store don’t inform you that the ideal time to ride
the Oregon-to-California coast is summer, the sleet, snow, wind and sideways
rain ought to clue you in.

Why did I engage in an unassisted late-winter bicycle battle on the
Northwest coast? No bet was lost, as some have posited.

My brother, Jason, and our friend Travis wrangle forest fires on the
West Coast. When the time is prime for cycling — summer — they are inhaling
smoke, scarfing meals ready to eat and hiking mountainsides.

Their work season begins in early spring, so we decided on a three-week
cycling send-off until we would meet again (in July at a wedding attended by
Lyle Lovett, the singing gentleman from Texas, but that’s a story for another

In any month, cycling the West Coast mountains would present
challenges. Northeastern and southern Ohio boast several nasty climbs, but few
require 45 to 50 minutes to ascend. In March, add cold, wet weather to the
equation, and the challenges double…"

"A bikeman packeth: Wet chill separates needs from luxuries"
By Aaron Beck
The Columbus Dispatch

[Thanks Chris!]