Rick Glos Life in Portland, Oregon.

Chicagoland - Mon & Tue & Wed

24. April 2008 22:38 by Rick Glos in

Panoramic03

Monday

Mid-day we headed downtown (Chicago) after another nice morning breakfast served up by my Dad.  Saying goodbye is never easy although it seems to have gotten slightly easier since I initially announced I was leaving for Portland.  I'm still trying to get him to move out here.  He loves the weather and outdoor attractions (the Gorge, mountains, coast, etc) but his wife has family in the area.

Once downtown we walked down Michigan Avenue and headed directly to Gino's East, the famous Chicago deep dish pizza joint.  Thick crust, cheese, one large sausage patty covering the entire pie, and sauce, in that order.  After tasting the pizza I can confirm that I have made it at home and tastes just as good.

We then headed out to Navy pier.  I've never ridden the Ferris wheel out there before and it was decent ride with a good view at the top.  It's amazing how much cooler the air is out on the water.  Easy 10 degree temperature swing.

I can't say enough about the weather while we've been here.  Basically sunny and 70s the entire time.  Ironically, back in Portland they got snow above 1000 feet.  So  we even enjoyed some ice cream while we walked out to the end of the pier and back.

Afterwards I needed a nap and Heidi wanted to do a little shopping down Michigan ave.

That evening was the highlight.  We hopped a cab over to Buddy Guy's blues bar.  Normally it's open mic on Monday night.  A surprise band from Chicago was in town.  They played for about and hour and then they opened it up to the local talent.  Man those guys play.  There was also a local woman on the mic that was tearing it up.  Her song about, "not needing no instant breakfast" was great.

The view looking west at the Chicago River from our hotel room on the 26th floor of Hotel 71 (it has 38 floors).

IMG_3509

Gino's East is a true Chicago Style Pizza joint.

IMG_3510

The entrance to Navy Pier.

IMG_3517

The Ferris Wheel.

IMG_3526

The view inside Buddy Guys before they take the stage.  The jambalaya was good.

IMG_3533

Tuesday

We woke up with plans to hit the Lincoln Park Zoo because the weather was so nice but in the morning, the forecast had changed to a possible rain front moving through.  Storm front's in the Midwest are big.  This one went from southern Wisconsin clear down into Louisiana.  So we switched it up and decided to hit the Shedd Aquarium, even though we found out later that the rain never really did come.  What a great job to have eh?

After about 4-5 hours at Shedd, we went on a 1 1/2 hour boat tour.  Chicago is located on Lake Michigan and the Chicago used to feed into it.  Until they polluted it so badly they actually reversed the flow of the entire river into the Mississippi.  The tour was worth it.  I learned alot about the buildings and history I never really knew even after living here for 35 years.

My only last request before we left was eating an Italian Beef.  That evening, Al's didn't dissappoint.  Even Heidi was really impressed at how good a Chicago Italian Beef can be. 

We washed the beef down later with a few beers at Harry Caray's.  One thing I noticed while there was all the pro sports games that were on.  Hockey (Stanley Cup playoffs) on one screen, Baseball on another, the NBA playoffs on yet another.  When in the Pacific Northwest, it's some pro and a lot of college games.  Not sure if that is because there isn't many pro teams out there?  Another thought I had was the time zone difference.  Many games are just plain over by the time you head out at night on the West coast.  It still is something I'm getting used to.

The steps to the Shedd Aquarium.

IMG_3536

Komodo dragon's are big.  The sign said this guy gets mean at feeding time so they stay out of the habitat.

IMG_3574

A shark swims right past Heidi (they were very specific about not using flash).

IMG_3577

 

Three Pacific dolphins get airborne.  Behind the window, Lake Michigan stretches into the horizon.

 

IMG_3568

The view of the tour boat we took the cruise tour on from the Michigan Avenue bridge.

IMG_3583

The view of the Sears tower from the river boat.  It's immense.

IMG_3584

It wouldn't be a city if you didn't see some guys butt while he was dumpster diving.  A few seconds later he finally pulled his pants up.

IMG_3586

"Hey... you talking to me? Order Online at Alsbeef.com ...and just fuhgetaboutit!"

IMG_3609

Getting ready to chow down on some Italian Beefs from Al's

IMG_3610

Right before we head into Harry Caray's

 IMG_3611

Wednesday

Up early for the flight out.  I'm sitting here in the airport as I finish this post.  A nice thing about the time zone change is that it doesn't take up your whole day coming home.  We should have some time this afternoon to relax before heading back to the grind tomorrow.

Later

Chicagoland - Sat & Sun

23. April 2008 16:57 by Rick Glos in

Saturday

Saturday we slept in, then hung out with my Dad, and then headed over to Woodstock mid-afternoon.  I showed Heidi the High School I graduated from.  Then we checked into our hotel which was a nice 2nd story room overlooking the downtown square.  Queued up in the DVD was Ground Hog's Day, filmed here in Woodstock, IL.  Interesting that Return to Me soundtrack was in the CD player since we both enjoy that movie and soundtrack and it's set in Chicago, IL.

image Ryan and Mandie's wedding party was conveniently right across the street.  It was good to see some old friends and racing buddies I haven't seen in a few years.  I miss them.  The party started at 5pm and we finally rolled back to the hotel at 1am, 8 hours.  Towards the end I must admit that I was just getting tired of drinking even though the Bacardi Solera and Coke's were going down smooth.

We seem to be having trouble finding Solera in Portland.  Alcohol is plentiful back home.  One of Heidi's favorite parts of the trip was heading into the fully stocked liqour stores that carry Beer, Wine, and all flavors of alcohol in one spot.  The grocery stores do the same.  In the Pacific Northwest, grocery stores cannot carry liqour and so you must by your beer and wine in one spot and hard liquor in another.  Dumb.

Sunday

We had a nice breakfast on the town square and then headed back to my Dad's for a family dinner.  My wife finally got to meet my brother, his wife, and their 3 children.  Besides the fact that the middle child liked to use me as a beating post for her 'sword' (stick she picked up in the yard) the kids are great and listen to adults very well.  The turkey dinner my Dad's wife whipped up was good.

It was good to have a lazy day and watch some more movies on the 50 inch plasma.  My Dad is trying to get me into Battlestar Galactica as that is his thing atm.  We also watch quite a few battle scenes from various movies (charge from the Riders of Rohan in LoTR3, opening battle in Star Wars 3, battle of little round top in Gettysburg, etc).  The big screen is nice.

Some pics...

The happy groom and the Woodstock Square with the Opera House on the opposite side.

IMG_3484

The local movie theater.  I watched a few movies here as a kid and in high school.

IMG_3485

Look at where my hand is on my wife...

IMG_3497

Hanging out at the bar for the afterparty fun.

IMG_3503

Sunday morning breakfast on the square.

IMG_3504

The crepes were good.

IMG_3505

Later

Chicagoland - Friday

20. April 2008 13:14 by Rick Glos in

We cruised up to Milwaukee to see Harley-Davidson where I used to work before I moved out to Portland.

Harley-Davidson Juneau Avenue

Met up with my old friend Kevin.  Gave a little tour to Heidi.  The big news was the racoon stuck up on the 5th floor walking bridge.  You can see the bridge connecting the two buildings in the middle of the picture above.  There was a little sign next to him calling him George.  He appeared to be sleeping although when I looked close he was shaking a little.  Perhaps just really tired from his whole ordeal.

IMG_3476 IMG_3477

 

Afterwards we drove down to Salem on the Wisconsin/Illinois stateline.  Checked out the old house I lived in.  Noticed the new garage they were building but otherwise it looked the same.

Then we went to the local pub so that Heidi could partake in a real Wisconsin fish fry.  I used to come here a couple times a month.

Seibert's Pub

The original owner, Brian and his wife Sue, ran the place and made home-made batter, german potato salad, rolls.  They were quite the hard working couple having renovated the place themselves and had a huge family (6+ kids if I remember correctly - all of them adopted) and were very generous.  They have since sold the place but the food was still just as good.  Of course the beer was good too.  Hacker-Pschorr in a tall glass.

IMG_3482

We spent the better part of the late afternoon meeting the locals, even getting the name and number of a girl who came in by herself for a shot and a beer.  She was a grade school teacher from down the street and looked like a good matchup for Butch.  My buddies then showed up and we proceeded to eat the great food.  I think Heidi is ready for some vegetables now.

Later

Chigacoland

20. April 2008 12:40 by Rick Glos in

Thursday

It takes a day to get back home.  4 hour flight.  Get to the airport 2 hours early.  Plus getting out of O'Hare.  You basically waste a day getting there and a day getting home.

As soon as we got above the clouds in Portland we saw the major volcanic peaks. Mt. St. Helen's to the left.  Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams to the right.  Mt. Hood was on the other side of the plane.

 Mt. St. Helen's Mt. St. Rainier and Mt. Adams

Avis pulled a 180 and impressed us this time.  I waited 45 minutes in line when I was here last October.  With a free preferred membership we were the first in line in a different building and got a free upgrade to a Chrysler 300.

Once we got to my Dad's, we had broasted chicken and potatoes waiting.  This is a midwest favorite.

Broasted chicken and potatoes

Afterwards my Dad showed off the 50 inch plasma.  It looked good.  Now we know not to bother with a 42 inch.  Go with the 50.

Later

Chicago bound

17. April 2008 07:59 by Rick Glos in

We leave for Chicago this morning for one week!  The weather looks pretty nice the later half of the week.

image

We're heading out for Ryan and Mandie's wedding party as well as to see old friends.  I've planned the trip around eating.  Introducing Heidi to Midwest cuisine.  This includes, broasted chicken, deep dish pizza, Friday night fish fry (with Wisconsin cheese curds), Chicago red hots, and italian beefs.  Basically artery cloggers.

image

Hopefully catch some Chicago Blues downtown Mon & Tue night and checkout old Seibert's Pub in Salem, WI for the Fri night fish fry.

Top that with a little single track riding on Saturday and it should make a fun get away.

Later

Horning's Hustle MTB Race - 2008

7. April 2008 22:51 by Rick Glos in

Did this race last year and DNF'd it.  Horning's Hustle is held in the eastern foothills of the costal range about 30 mi / 45 min west of Portland.

Pre-race photo just before I left for the race Sunday morning.

Pre-race

Last year it was a mud pit.  Walked the bike 1/3 of each lap.  On top of that my bike was having shifting problems.  I gave up after 1 lap.

This year was also a mud pit.  I walked the bike 1/3 of each lap.  Again, my bike is still, even after trying to get it repaired at 3 different bike shops, sending the rear wheel to Mavic in New England to have it rebuilt and spending maybe ~$500-700 in small repairs and tweaks, it's still having shifting problems.  In any strong climbs, I cannot use gear 8-4 on the rear cassette or it will slip and skip.  Very frustrating.

I refused to DNF.

Finished in about 1:50 maybe 2 hours.  No idea where I ended up placing.  There was a good turnout, maybe 400-500 people.  I fought the bike more than the course and mental angst.

Post ride mud (minus all the mud I scooped out from the catchers mitt suspension pivot).

Post-race

Observations:

  • I need a new bike.  Not throwing anymore good money at this one.  Since I'm not locked into team, would be good to investigate different models.  Could wait until July/August and try demo bikes at Oakridge.  Also get opinions from guys when in Chicago in two weeks.
  • Need more water.  Went through 2 24oz water bottles, one for each lap.  Bring extra gallon next race.
  • Chairs.  Normally tote around 2 folding chairs for relaxing.  Don't forget them next time.
  • As much as I have complained about the truck lately, it sure was nice to toss my muddy bike and gear in the truck bed after the race.  Also, the extended cab door which opens in reverse, makes a nice changing room and pee spot when open along with the driver door.
  • Although the re-useable Hammer Gel bottle is environmentally friendly, I found it hard to squeeze out one-handed on the course.  Also, I only filled it 1/2 way.  I had to stop 2 times on the course to try and squeeze out as much as I could.  Fill it more or find another solution.
  • Seriously think about skipping this race next year if it's going to be so muddy.  Walking 1/3 of each lap because the mucky, peanut-butter like mud, 2-4 inches deep is not fun.  Is it worth the 1 hour I spent afterwards at the hose at the house cleaning up everything?
  • What is it with the courses out here?  Granted, I've only done 3.  More singletrack!  And btw, XC mountain biking doesn't mean ride straight up hill 1000 feet and then descend down a double track fire road.  Dumb.  Use switchbacks and single track during the ascent and descent.  There's tons of trees out here!  Make the singletrack wind through it.  You only did this for about 1/3 of the course and the 1000 foot climb up the gravel road sucked.
  • I forgot how much I missed mountain biking.  I only raced once last year.  I missed the camaraderie and suffering you do with the other riders.  The banter and discussion out on the course.  I got a nice complement by a pro rider (as he was lapping me).
  • As much as I wanted to throw in the towel after 1 lap, if felt 10 times as good when I finished.
  • That's all I can think of for now...

Commuting digger?

1. April 2008 22:38 by Rick Glos in

Elbow DiggerI took a digger tonight on the commute home.  Only 1/2 mile from home, after climbing 4 miles, there's a short steep downhill where it's easy to hit 25mph without pedaling.  It's sort dangerous because it's a long right where you can't see well and at the bottom of the hill there's a 4-way intersection with no signage.  Just another unimproved road/intersection in Portland (yes it's that weird here).  It'd be better too take it easy and use some brake, but many times I do not because on the other side is a short steep climb and it's good to get momentum to make it up the other side without much effort.  However, this usually means I have to drift slightly into the oncoming lane through the turn.

Over the last 2 years I haven't seen a car at the bottom of the hill.  Sure enough, this time, out of the corner of my eye, even with the sun setting right into the direction I was heading I saw a car coming.  I hit the brakes hard while trying to lean harder right to make the turn.  The back-end lifted up, swung a little to the left, leaving my front pointing in a different direction.  When the wheel came down, with the weight of both panniers and me on the seat it tacoed the wheel and sent me flying.  I do remember thinking as I was coming down and my back of my head hit the pavement that, "thank god I have a helmet on."

I was a little shook up.  The woman in the car must've had a spectacular view.  She asked me if I was ok.  I was thinking at the time that I feel ok but there's been a lot of talk lately about the post-crash adrenaline rush you get, only to find out later you're really hurt.  So I replied, "Not sure yet.  I think so."  She said, "OK" really quickly, and took off.  Thinking back now, I bet she was laughing.  Hell, I was too inside.  What a retard I must've looked like.  It's not like it was raining or something.

Other than a bruised elbow and a wheel that is now going to need fixing (I just at the shop yesterday getting new brake pads installed too) only my ego was hurt.

 

 

Next time, use your brakes.

Later

Update:  Here's a view on google maps of the intersection.