Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer is on!

Another long stretch without posting.. As usual that means I've been busy!

Justine and I are still together, and enjoying each other's company. We took a great road trip to Arizona earlier this year, passing through Death Valley and Bootleg Canyon along the way. While there Justine met Win and Mark, and we had a bunch of good adventures together.

Summer has been a blur of friends passing through town, good rides all around Oregon, and lots of work for both of us. Justine found work as a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) supervisor. She leads an invasive species removal crew, and leads teens all around the area doing just that. I've been at the Mercantile about 40 hours per week. Repairs, keeping it looking sharp, and helping the passers by find good adventures fill my days with smiles and lots to do.

I'm also in the process of putting together a mountain bike race, the FAT55. It is a sampler of many of Oakridges best trails. Starting in Uptown Oakridge it heads up into the hills around town, making a big 55 + mile loop on six of our best local trails before finishing in Greenwaters park. Check out the website @ to see the course map and learn more about the race.

Thanks for keeping tabs on me. I'll try to post more frequently as the fall season comes around.


Monday, February 8, 2010

First Mountain Bike Ride

I met Justine October 19, 2009. Just having left the garage on my jump bike headed for Diamond Park Jump Track, I hit the little road gap floater behind the cul de sac. At the same time Justine and my friend Brandon Clark were turning into Diamond Park. Justine and I first gazed into each other's eyes that moment, and have been intrigued and entranced ever since.

We connected that day, and continued to build our connection over the coming weeks. As the weeks passed, and we found ourselves growing closer despite the distance between us, as she had gone home to Crescent City, CA and then on to Maui where she had been living earlier in the year. Conveniently, I had planned a road trip to the San Francisco area during November to visit The Family Sard, a family of traveling performers I had met in Oakridge earlier in the summer. Justine was planning to be in Crescent City with family around the time I was returning from San Francisco and we planned a meeting at her family's home.

In the midst of a wintery coastal gale we met, Justine embraced me, and I her, on the shores of the Pacific. We enjoyed the few days we had together there near Crescent City exploring the redwood forests and coast she explored when she was younger, and began to forge a strong bond, united by our common goals and desires.

When the time came for me to return to Oakridge neither of us wanted to leave the other. She came to Oakridge with me that day, and we've been making a home together ever since.

The picture here is of Justine on her first real mountain bike ride. Alpine Trail of course! We climbed the short south facing 5828 climb to intersect Alpine on a warm Decembers day before descending the trail to the Covered Bridge in Westfir, then on up the North Fork Trail to 1910. She rocked it out, only crashing once (into a blackberry briar). Unhurt, she laughed it off, and we had a splendid time.

That's the short story, stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Desert Rat Life

Life in the desert. Color is vivid, life a standout against the backdrop of rock and sand, wind and expansive openness. I've been reading Desert Solitare, Ed Abbey's book about living in Arches National Monument in the late 60's. A season in the wilderness. For me it is a season in the city; lattes, burritos, wi fi, and mountain bikes, juxtaposed with the harsh environment here and the reality of living out of a vehicle and a bike shop.

It's a fun life, although challenging to make the personal space necessary to write a good blog entry, or dig deeply into old Ed's book, as the wind is often blowing, and I'm often finding myself heading out to camp just as the sun tips over the horizon.

The pics I'm posting today are a mix of traveling here with Ben through Death Valley and the inexplicable Racetrack, where the rocks move about helter skelter on their own, and a couple of the desert life here. Red flowers against the harsh dry rock, and a beautiful desert camp with the good folks of Magpie Adventures as we rode the White Rim in Canyonlands National Park.

I'm off to meet up with Hanka, Bowman, and Troy, for what is sure to be a great ride out exploring the endless sandstone near Gold Bar Rim.

Cheers from the Love Muffin Cafe. 'Till next time.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gusset going on legs (thanks Wade!)

New style pivoting dropout (probably 20 hours of work here for both)

More pics.

Natty's Uni

Viewed from bottom to top, here are a few pics of Natty's lil 19" uni during construction at Wade's Vulture Cycles shop in Bend in early March. I just received the rim, and will be and I will be building the wheel very soon. It's fun to be building again!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Moab 2009

I left Oakridge on March 2, headed for Bend, OR to spend some time with friends and to build a new 19" unicycle for Natty, on my way to Moab, Utah for the spring. Nearly a month has passed since I pulled out of town in my old red Toyota, and many adventures have been had.

Today I'm recovering from a nasty stomach flu that hit me yesterday on my way back to Moab from a couple of days of riding in the Fruita area. I'm headed in to work at the Poison Spider Bike Shop in just a few minutes, so I'm going to have to spare the narrative for now. Instead I'm posting a few pics from along the way: Mac building a new frame in Vultures Shop, Mark McD shredding near Bishop, me on the rock near bishop. Enjoy.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Finding the Line

My dad, Skip Cathcart, aka Jack Mirfak, died the day after my last blog post. A month and a half later I sit in a little brewpub in Oakridge, Oregon listening to a singer sing "... down the road."

His life changed me. His death changed me. Yet here I am, still me, still following my thread.

Nearly a year has passed since I wrote of my thread from a distant place, in this life. In that time I'm not clear that I've really figured out where my thread leads, no I'm following my thread. But, I've had some clarity about what my thread is made of: friends, honesty, bikes, photography, exploration, curiosity.

It seems that more questions arise, and few questions are answered as this life moves ever onward. My dad once said, "the bigger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of mystery." I think it is someone else's quote, but relevant to us all.

I've been in the usual routine again since Dad died. Go to work, go home, think of stuff to do, think of places to go, think of people to see. But do any of these things get us any farther down the line? Do they answer any of the questions that go unspoken?

Where am I?
How did I get here?
What does it mean when I say the word I?
Is there a purpose to my life?
Is there any way for me to answer these questions?

These are questions my dad asked, and kept asking, until he moved on. Maybe he found some answers to these questions where he went, maybe he is still asking them where he is now.

I'm grateful for my life every day, and for each and every friend I have.

I'm moving on towards another adventure this spring; a trip to Moab to work at the Poison Spider Bike Shop. I'll be there from mid March until late May. I'm looking forward to all of the newness of adventure, to the smells and sights of the Southwest, and to all to the unknowns out there.

See you on the road.

Ad Astra..