As a last hurrah of Jamison’s spring break, he invited me to longboard the Banks to Vernonia trail with him. It’s a nice, long, gentle ride. The weather was wonderful and the trail was dry. Jamison also tooks some videos with his phone.1
Thanks, Jamison for the invite! That’s my boy. :-)
The tall, skinny pics are screen grabs from Jamison’s videos. Posted with his permission. ↩
Another Wednesday, so I headed off to longboard Mt. Tabor to get the PR that SpeedMeter glitched on last week. I was successful — 35.54 mph!1 :-)
I saw only two other longboarders on the hill and met only one of them. I’m looking forward to skating with (ok, getting dusted by) Hopkins again. At least I kept up with him hiking back up the hill. Once again, I continue to be impressed with the longboarding community here in Portland — it’s a very accepting and supportive crowd.
I skated twice from the non-Wednesday midpoint, once from near top of soapbox hill, and then six times from the top, where I took a few pictures and used SpeedMeter a few times. I’m looking forward to rain to quench the wildfires and wash the air.
In addition to longboarders, Mt. Tabor is a haven for bicyclists who want to work on their hill climbing and descent skills. Their presence made up for the dearth of longboarders. Turns out, my downhill time isn’t much different from the bicyclist I was tracking.2 More surprising, my quarter mile hike up the hill takes about as long as the return trip for him. ‘Course, once he got to the top, he kept going on down. I wanted to cool down for at least one of his cycles before heading back down.
Never Summer Clutch with purple Kegals. This setup seems to work for me.
Thanks to Ethan texting me Daddies was doing a demo day at Tabor, I had a great time at Mt. Tabor. Going down after a large pack really relieves the concern of pedestrians and dogs on the route (though one rider had a close call with a squirrel). Some of these guys are just fast. ‘Course, they’re the ones that talk about Tabor being boring, it’s so easy. I’m not there, yet. But I’m getting there.
I did all but my first run from the top. That, plus a better tuck from doing the Banks to Vernonia trail with Jamison multiple times, resulted in another PR for me. I think my next run was even faster, but SpeedMeter had an issue with that run. Oh well. That leaves more room for another time.
Wednesday means Mt. Tabor. Unfortunately, longboarding is just not the same thing without Jamison. Little buddy!
I did some runs from the bottom third or so. It’s the most efficient considering run length vs. return walking. And it does eliminate the risk of all but one blind corner, a good thing when skating alone.
The views are spectacular! My photography and the time of day don’t do it justice.
Jamison and I tried to get Longboard SpeedMeter going the last time we longboarded the Banks to Vernonia Trail, but it couldn’t get enough GPS satellites in view at Tophill.
This evening, I waited until the first gravel crossing before starting SpeedMeter and it worked — I think. It captured a top speed of 25.14 mph at the location I would have expected, but then recorded the run’s top speed as 9.73 mph. Oopie!
Regardless, I’m looking forward to trying my top-mount board on the trail and then at Mt. Tabor.
Ethan is the master of riding fast and looking fast. One trick I learned is to wear an untucked and unbuttoned shirt. When it flaps in the breeze, you look fast. Being able to “match” a plaid shirt with plaid shorts is just bonus! ;-) ↩
It takes a few trips between Buxton and Tophill to reposition the cars, longboards, and longboarders. ↩
It’s 5 miles each time. That’s 10 miles on the longboard — a good day. :-) ↩
One fat-tire bicyclist was so enamored by my steeze that he couldn’t avoid heading my direction. Fortunately, there was (barely) enough pavement left over to sneak by. ↩
Not an ad, just a hopeful observer of the consumer. The price and specs seemed right. We’ll see. ↩
Jamison and I took #goskateboardingday seriously and went to Mt. Tabor. It was my first downhill runs of the year, and just like last year, the first run was terrifying. Actually, that’s not quite true—preparing to go on the first run was petrifying, starting was a little less so, and by the time I was speeding down the hill, I was having fun. It only got better on the next runs.
We met up with nephew/cousin Ethan and made a new friend, Jeff, once again proving that longboarders are the nicest bunch you’ll meet on the hill.
I used the board I got for last year’s Fathers’ Day the whole time today.1 That way I can leave my double-drop set up for push and this one for downhill. It felt more comfortable than the last time I used this board. Now I wonder what the other board would feel like.
The strangest thing about downhilling: when I tense up, the board wants to go all skittery under me. When I relax, it calms down. I’m sure there’s a life lesson in there, somewhere… ;-)
What scary thing did you do today?
Yeah, there are four boards in that picture. Jamison and I both brought our top mount downhill boards and our double-drop push boards, just in case. Only two boards left the car. ↩