Another Wednesday, another PR

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!1Sing along with me! :-)

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.2His bright yellow shorts and jersey made him easy to pick out. 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.

Credits: Map tiles by Stamen Design, under CC BY 3.0. Data — OpenStreetMap contributors.

Wednesday at Tabor

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.

I miss Jamison on the hill.


Going downhill at Mt. Tabor

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.

Longboarding Mt. Tabor with Jamison

Being Wednesday and all, Jamison and I decided to downhill Mt. Tabor. And, being Wednesday and all, we ran into other longboarders.

Robin and Sky showed us how it’s done, with tight tucks and fast runs. Sky was hoping to break 33 (or was it 34?).

I was happy to hit 30.49, a personal record.

Regardless, it was nice to have other longboarders precede us down the hill, alerting any pedestrians1And toddlers and chihuahuas? ;-) to our approach.


#goskateboardingday at Mt. Tabor

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Mary Schmich

Today, I succeeded.

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. 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.

Bombing Tabor to close the summer

A day or two ago, Jamison asked me if I could longboard Mt. Tabor with him on Wednesday. As Jamison is getting ready to head off to college, that was a definite yes.

The last time I’d downhilled was in April, so I was a little nervous.1Okay, I was terrified, but that’s okay. :-) The first couple of runs helped both of us get back in the groove. By our last run, we were again feeling comfortable and relaxed.2I don’t understand it, but faking being relaxed helps the board run smooth underneath me. Tense up and it wants to jitter around. It’s a lot more fun actually being relaxed, though.

We met some other skaters and bombed the hill a couple of times with them. They are definitely faster than we are, but it was still great.3I bombed the hill doing the “Ethan”: wear an untucked, unbuttoned shirt — its flapping in the breeze gives the illusion of speed and looks cool. :-D

Although I took both boards, I used the drop mount because that’s the one I’m more comfortable with. It’s the one I ride during lunch, pushing through Hillsboro.4I think it’s time to make the transition, though, and keep one more focused on push and the other on downhill. Or not. ;-)

I skated from the top for the first time. Other than a wet, chundery patch in the middle parking lot, the top portion is easier than the bottom.

I feel like I’m a few more skate sessions and a full-face helmet from next year’s Mt. Tabor Classic. :-)


I PR’d Mt. Tabor

I have had trouble longboarding faster than 30 mph, last year’s braggy post notwithstanding. I had hoped that a new board with some awesome wheels would get me over the hump … but it was not to be.

Then I noticed something new on Longboard SpeedMeter — a mark indicating where a run’s maximum speed occurred. All I needed was a little tighter tuck a little uphill of that spot1That, and the absence of toddlers and chihuahuas loose on the hill…but that’s apparently being a little unrealistic. :-/  and let gravity do the rest.

When a couple more runs didn’t quite get me there, I brought out my older board and cranked the trucks down tight for a solid tucking platform.

That did the trick!2Next steps probably should be yoga so I can hold a tuck longer and a full-face helmet so I don’t bomb the hill contemplating what it would feel like to do a face plant. ;-)


Good weather means Mt. Tabor longboarding

Portland’s weather yesterday was incredible — it hit 73!

But that’s not where the story starts. Last Friday, I get a Slack message from coworker Caleb:

Hey, we should go longboarding next week sometime. It?s supposed to be pretty warm the last half of the week. What days were best to ride longboards at Mt Tabor?

Because Mt. Tabor Park is closed to automobile traffic on Wednesdays, that’s the best day.1Though my favorite run is closed to traffic all the time. :-) It’s also the day that Robin’s Longboarding 101 class was to start, so it would be fun to see my friends from that.

So we planned to knock off early on Wednesday, meet up at the park, and do some runs.2It would also be a great opportunity to take my first runs on my birthday presents: Never Summer Reaper board, Bear Kodiak trucks, and Purple Kegal wheels, with my homemade footstop. Thanks to Caleb for recording this run and letting me post it here. And I’ve reversed my longboarding emoticon so left is up to avoid getting “Wait, is it a guy in an office chair lifting his longboard up to his eyes?” from Caleb. :-D Thanks to the best weather of the year so far happening on a Wednesday, a lot of Portland’s longboarding community descended on Mt. Tabor, too.

Good times!


Longboarding 101 by Robin McGuirk

Last summer, Jamison and I took Longboarding 101 from Robin McGuirk.1Robin also designs longboards and owns Eastside Longboards. What a blast! Prior to the class, I’d tried going downhill on my longboard only a couple of times. I definitely needed a class. :-)

By the end of the summer, Jamison and I were bombing Mt. Tabor. Thanks, Robin!

Robin just released a video advertising his class and it shows a lot of the students from last summer’s classes, including Jamison and me.2What’s even more fun, is that SkateSlate posted the video. Haha! I never dreamed there’d be a video of me downhilling on SkateSlate. :-D

Class starts this next Wednesday. We’re not going to have time this session, but hope to hit the hill once or twice when the class is there. Maybe next session.