Grand Theft Seatpost - Winterlude 2021 - CycleBlaze

November 16, 2021

Grand Theft Seatpost

Grand Theft Seatpost

Somewhere in Italy a while back Rachael was telling someone how much she’s been struggling with discomfort issues riding on rough road surfaces and was advised to consider getting a suspension post.  (Update: it was Suzanne Gibson that suggested this, back in October when we met her and Janos.) Neither of us is techies and didn’t even know what such a thing was, so some research was done and she soon ordered a highly regarded one from Cane Creek, to be delivered to Elizabeth’s for us to pick up when we returned home.

She’s been eagerly awaiting its arrival but has been getting increasingly exasperated that delivery is taking so long.  It’s been a month now, and finally she’s gotten fed up and found another supplier who says they’ll ship one out tomorrow.  She doubles back with Cane Creek to see if she can still cancel that order first, and is surprised to be informed that it was delivered over two weeks ago.  So where is it?

We contact Elizabeth who double checks the areas where packages are delivered at her building, but it’s not to be found.  Something’s gone wrong.  Rachael contacts both Cane Creek and UPS but they just point fingers at each other.  As a last resort she contacts the HOA that manages the condo.  They do their research well by going back through images from their closed circuit security cameras, and find the package.  They found it being carried into the building by a UPS delivery driver on October 30th, and then leaving the premises again four days later in the arms of a recognized thief.  If Rachael had known delivery occurred she could have alerted Elizabeth to watch for it, but she missed the notification.

After reading news reports of the worsening situation in Portland  we’ve been apprehensive about what we’d find when we returned here.   The homelessness crisis in particular is distressing, but crime is worsening too and shootings are at historic highs.  In general we’ve been pleasantly surprised so far that it feels no worse here than it has, but this certainly doesn’t help the mental attitude.

On the plus side, Cane Creek is shipping out a new post on a rush order at a 50% discount; and we’re working with the HOA to see if there are any restitution possibilities.  And, Rachael’s back to enthusiastically waiting for the new post to arrive.  It should be here in a few days.

Arrival!
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Departure!
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Bruce LellmanTerrible that this happened but great documentation!
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyWow! Impressive that they could get to this thief-busting image so quickly.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyNow if they could just get the thief! We just received notification that he broke in again Friday and walked off with a fresh armload. They used the call box to call up a resident and said they were Amazon here to drop off a package and needed the door opened.
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2 months ago

City life

We’re just starting our second week here.  We’re over jet lag, we’ve gotten most of our housekeeping tasks done -  getting booster shots, seeing our dentists, getting the Bike Fridays in for maintenance - and now we’re down to the usual winter routine - watch the weather, hunker down when it’s raining, get out when it’s not.  Come rain or come shine, the time will go fast and we’ll be packing for sunny Tucson before we know it.

Yesterday we got a bit of everything.  After finishing yesterday’s post at Cafe Ponte I checked the weather and saw that if I hustled I could make it over to Bruce’s home on the east side for coffee and bike back home before the rains hit.  So I hustle.  I skip the refill I’ve already paid for, ask Kiana to credit my account and I’ll claim it tomorrow, and dash off.

It was the right decision.  It’s windy but dry on the way over and I enjoy biking across the Hawthorne Bridge and through the southeast neighborhoods for the first time in almost half a year.  Bruce and I have a fine visit, me sitting on the couch facing west out the window keeping an eye on the weather.  At about 10:30 I see the skies darkening and call time.  It’s nearly perfect - the first sprinkles come down about four blocks from home.

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At the welcoming entryway of the Lellman/Brown residence: four chairs and a lurker. It looks the scene is all set for when those twins come calling on a play date.
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Bruce LellmanSo, I thought since the peeling chairs match the peeling siding.....why paint the house! They're appealing together.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanReally. It makes a very nice overall effect. I appreciated it because I’ve been on the lookout for some chairs to show to Graham Finch.
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2 months ago
Graham FinchNice assembly - five in one shot!
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyTo Bruce LellmanThis makes perfect sense! And, to be honest, I never noticed any peeling paint on anything.

Because the peeling is appealing!!
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2 months ago

That’s it for weather for the day though.  It rains steadily all afternoon - the perfect time to check off another item on the homecoming task list: my financial review with Elizabeth.  We meet at a nearby coffee shop to go over her budget which I reviewed last week and discuss how she’s doing and whether she can still take that trip to Portugal that she and her friend have postponed twice now because of Covid.  And of course she can.  It’s a good consultation, marred only by my failure to look the part.  Usually I’d wear a tie to go with my tee shirt and Pendleton, but I forgot to get one out of storage this year.

This morning finds me back at Cafe Ponte, claiming my refill from yesterday.  I get out the door a bit earlier and see a more interesting sky along the waterfront but not much of a sunrise.  It’s cold and windy - not much over 40 - and it was a mistake to have not packed my warm gloves.  It’s appreciated when I receive my coffee in a ceramic cup and can wrap my stiffened fingers around it.

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Three bridges: the freeway, Tilikum Crossing, and the Ross Island Bridge. I want to get them all into a frame before leaving town, and it helps to batch them up like this.
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And here’s the Hawthorne, with a gull enjoying the best seat in the house.
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Jen GrumbyLove this shot! Such a beautiful bridge.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyThis was pretty lucky. I actually wasn’t thinking about the bridge so much as the gull at first.
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2 months ago

Afterwards I swing by nearby Great Harvest to pickup granola and oatmeal, and then stop at the dry cleaners to pick up the two Pendletons I left off last week - the one I’ve been wearing almost daily since leaving Minneapolis, and the older one that I tried to destroy on some tour last year by carrying it on the rear rack of the bike and letting a sleeve slip off and wear through rubbing against the tire.  I’m hopeful that the cleaners can do a creditable job of repairing the damage.

They’ve done well, better than hoped for. Looks like it can stay in the wardrobe.
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It’s supposed to remain dry today so we both make plans to go out for rides, but separately this time.  Rachael’s bound for Oregon City, and I’m off to climb up into the west hills.  I don’t really have a fixed plan when I start out, but as I work my way up the ridge above the zoo I decide I’ll head over to Council Crest to see if the mountains are out at all, and then bike south to River View Cemetery, add the Sellwood Bridge to the collection, and bike home along the river.

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This is my first time across Flanders Crossing, the new bridge in town that spans I-405 in the northwest district. We just missed the grand opening when we left town last summer.
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Most of the autumn colors have passed on now, with a lot of it falling in the recent rains and high winds.  The roads up through Washington Park are partly coated with rotting, slimy leaves that I’ll have to be careful about when I get some speed.  Not a problem now though as I slowly work my way up the stair-stepped climb through the park to the ridge at Cedar Hills.

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The deciduous trees are getting mostly brown or bare now but there are exceptions.
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This is the first time I’ve climbed through here with our new Garmins and could get some metrics. It’s gratifying to see that this stretch above the Japanese Gardens registers at 18%.
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The mountains are definitely not out when I reach the viewpoint atop Council Crest.  Visibility is good enough at the lower elevations, but there’s too much cloud cover for any of the peaks to break through.  Still a beautiful scene though.  I take a few snaps and then hop on the bike and start coasting, trying to decide whether it’s warm enough and I’m still committed enough to bike south to the cemetery and the Sellwood Bridge.

A few unexpected drops of precipitation help me make up my mind.  I look up at the darkening sky, decide I don’t trust the lying weather app after all, and take the most direct route home by steeply dropping down Montgomery.  I’ve made the right choice, as the precipitation amplifies from sprinkles to showers to light rain.  By the time I cross I-405 near PSU it’s a pretty gloomy scene - I’m wet, and it’s cold enough that I’m getting the shakes; and the homeless camps along the overpasses here are the ugliest I’ve seen since returning home.  Unpleasant and depressing for me, but I’m just passing through.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to actually live like that, especially with winter coming on.

As I race down 12th Avenue I’m thinking of Rachael, maybe down in Oregon City getting wet and cold and still fifteen miles from home.  I’ll call her when I get home and see if she’d like a ride in the Raven; but when I enter the bike room I’m happy to see the Straggler there already.  Upstairs I find her under the covers napping and getting warmed up herself.  Her ride plan fell through when she got frustrated by all the construction along the waterfront and decided to go for a walk instead - which she did, until the rains caught her out.

Now when are we due to leave for Tucson?  Let’s check that calendar again.

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On Council Crest. The Bigleaf maples have dropped their leaves, but I think they’re really the most striking this way with their mossy skeletons exposed.
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The view east. Hood’s out there somewhere, but at least we can see the Boring Hills and maybe that’s Larch Mountain.
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And the view west. That sky is less friendly than I’d been expecting.
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Racing down Montgomery I’m getting chilled and need a spot to stop and put my jacket on. I find one with a decent setting worth getting the camera out as long as I’m stopped. That grass-like carpet is really a layer of moss atop the concrete.
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Today's ride: 35 miles (56 km)
Total: 55 miles (89 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 12
Comment on this entry Comment 5
Bruce LellmanOK, so I noticed your "Winterlude" journal posted two or three days ago but I thought, 'What! He's added some little something to his year old journal!' So I ignored it. What I hadn't noticed was the "2021" after "Winterlude" which means that when I had coffee with you and we talked I could have been more up-to-date about our topics of conversation had I read your new journal. I have to be more observant.
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2 months ago
Kelly IniguezWhen DO you leave for Tucson? I know you've said, but I don't remember.

I do remember your recommendation for El Charro - Jacinto thinks we've eaten there already. I'm not recognizing the photos. We'll have to see when we get inside.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Kelly IniguezWe’re not sure of our departure date, but at the latest it will be 12/09. We’re due in Tucson on 12/14. We may leave Portland a few days early and swing by San Diego though if the rain forecasts up here look too wet, but in any case we won’t hit Tucson until 12/14
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2 months ago
Eva WaltersWe've been very pleased with the Cane Creek Thudbusters on our Bike Fridays. We got them with the bikes when we purchased them in 2009, and they've been working well ever since.
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2 months ago
Rachael AndersonThat’s good to hear. I’ve ordered the EESilk+ which is suppose to be very good for both smooth and rough roads. I’ll get a good chance to test it out in Tucson.
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2 months ago