Birkie 212km Group Permanent

Riding out with Theo, Susan, Chris, John, and Paul, we covered 132 miles or 212km over 12 hours. But 44 miles into the ride, I got a migraine so I had to sit around for an hour waiting for the naproxin, ibuprofen, and two cans of Red Bull to kick in. I eventually got back on the back and slowly made my way back to the group.

Although it was a relatively flat route, I just haven’t spent much time on the bike in general, nor have I done anything longer than 45 miles on the new bike. But the fit on the bike was about as perfect as could be.

Near the final few miles, my legs got crazy and somehow found some sprinting power. I ended up finishing before the group but only by a minute or so.

This was the inaugural ride of my Soma Grand Randonneur bike and it performed WONDERFUL.

Training to Beat the Blerch

If you don’t know about “The Oatmeal“. You should.

Audrey and I have signed up to run the Beat the Blerch Half-Marathon next month in Carnation, Washington. It’s going to be a hoot!

What is The Blerch? He’s my inner sloth. The demon on my back telling me to eat more pizza. Run tomorrow. I try not to listen to his siren song. I will beat him.

In preparation for the Half-Marathon, I finally upped my mileage and ran 7 miles. It wasn’t entirely pleasant, it definitely pushed me hard, but I did it without injuring myself.


Keep running.

Still Living Tiny

Audrey and I are still loving the tiny house life and have been blogging about it over at Trying on Tiny.

Although we’ve had to face a few challenges in the last 19 months of living in 160-square feet, we’ve pulled through all of them while still loving each other more than ever.

All my posts concerning the house on my personal blog have been moved over to our shared blog at Trying on Tiny. Any feedback, tips, and encouragement are greatly appreciated.

The Hunny House


SAR Training

After attending the Search and Rescue Conference (SARCon) last year, I made the decision to join the Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue team.

So far the training days have been a blast!

We built snow shelters at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood.



I got to participate in a mock-rescue on a very wet and snowy day.

Mock SAR Mission Walkout


I passed the fitness test and selection day activities with my 2014 cohort.

2014 CohortIt has been a bit challenging, but I’ve loved every minute of it.

More stories as training and OSSA Certification continues…

Sketchbook Challenge – January 2014

Way back on January 1, a couple of artists I follow on Twitter decided to start a sketchbook challenge and had invited other artists to participate. I had been looking to do more drawing so this sounded like fun!

Funny Houses

A couple of houses, one from a photo, the other from imagination

Drawing each day for 31 days to fill a 110-sheet 5.5″x8″ sketchbook proved to be extremely challenging, fun, and very fulfilling.

To help keep me on track to draw several pages a day, I drew a calendar on the inside cover of the sketchbook then marked each day with a red X. This kept me on target to meet the challenge and a satisfying feeling to see the number of red marks grow. I believe Jerry Seinfeld mentioned this technique to get stuff done in an interview some years ago.


I also found it very handy to keep a table of contents of what was drawn on each page number. It made me realize just how much I actually drew during the month and made it easier for reference purposes should I want to find a particular subject.

What did I learn during this challenge?

  • Drawing with pens for an entire month is extremely challenging, liberating, and fun.
  • I can come up with more ideas than I imagined possible.
  • Drawing every day has become addictive.
  • Keeping a relaxed hand makes for less cramping during long multi-page drawing sessions.
  • Ball-point pens can draw all sorts of lines and textures.
  • Gel pens are great for very smooth and technical lines without bleeding or blotting.

It felt so good to do so much fun drawing that I plan on doing this challenge again in the near future.

Check out all the drawings from my January 2014 Sketchbook.

Who started this challenge? Mike and Victoria of Extracurricular Activities and their Ultra New Year blog post.

Old Bike New Life

I’ve had this Trek Singletrack 930 from Craigslist for almost 2 years now but for the last 8 months it’s been sitting around gathering dust after switching all the parts to a Soma Saga. It’s really kind of a mis-mash of new and old parts, color-coordination, and just parts I had handy.

It was a great touring frame for the time, but now I want to breath new life into it as a Gravel Grinder slash Randonneur bike to complete the Velo Dirt rides.

I’m very eager to try the Oregon Outback trail. Although I waited too long to register for the 2014 “Race”, I still plan on riding the trail solo at some point in the year.

  • Trek Singletrack 930
  • 170mm Square Taper Crankset 26/46t
  • Kore Race+ Red Anodized Cantilever Brakes with 50mm Shoes
  • WTB All-Terrain Tires
  • Tektro Brake Levers
  • WTB Silverado Saddle
  • Clarks Red Cables & Housing (Fashion First!)

So far after several hundred miles of riding around town and along the Columbia River, the bike feels quite comfortable. Let’s see how it does on a Century.



Search and Rescue

Over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly interested in volunteering in Search and Rescue.

A good friend of mine has been involved in the Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue (PNWSAR) for some years and had been kind enough to introduce me to other members, training exercises, and even admittance to the Search and Rescue Conference held by Clackamas Sheriff.

Going to the Search and Rescue Conference really helped me see that SAR was something I wanted to do to give back to my outdoor community.

I applied and was accepted as a prospect into the 2014 PNWSAR Cohort.

Training begins in January.

Joining the BPSA

The Portland chapter of the Baden-Powell Service Association is forming!

Welcome to the 55th Cascadia Scouts!

My badge #scouting #bpsa

I feel so proud to be on the ground work for such an inclusive scouting platform and look forward to helping parents and kids, boys & girls, discover the fun of the outdoors and scouting in general.

Yesterday was the first informational meeting held at Velo Cult. Ethan and Travis gave a presentation about the BPSA, the forming of the 55th Cascadian Scouts, and answered questions about the new chapter, who is included (everyone), and what might be planned for the year.

There were two camera crews and a writer for Portland Monthly.

I was in the Cub Scouts back when I was in 3rd Grade, but after less than a year, I grew a bit leary about the emphasis on service to the church while in a public school so I decided to withdraw from the group. I’ve been an atheist since the age of 12, but even back in 3rd grade, the blurring line between church in state, visa-vi the support of church groups in a public schools, was very bothersome. Although I was raised Roman-Catholic, I stopped going to church when I was 12 years old.

I was specifically told “Tomas, if you don’t believe in God, you can’t be in the Cub Scouts”

Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen. Bub-bye.

Ever since co-founding Cycle Wild back in 2008, I’ve been wanting to help people reconnect to nature and outdoor skills. After talking to Ethan about radios, scouting, Search & Rescue, and what it meant to be a scout many years ago, my interest has been re-ignited.

Let’s see how this goes.

Who is the Baden-Powell Service Association? Often referred to as the BPSA for short, it’s named after the founder Baden-Powell. The association is trying to go back to the roots of Scouting and connecting to the outdoors.

Here is the presentation given by Travis and Ethan

The 55th Cascadian Scouts online:

1 2 3 25