Archive for the ‘bike’ Category

Jerry Baker

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Jerry Baker final med
Jerry Baker, oil on canvas, 10 x 8 inches, 2016.

As you may know, I am a landscape painter, not a portraitist.  My passion is the natural world, how we affect it, and how it affects us.

My other passion is bicycle racing.

Jerry Baker was the father, godfather, and enthusiastic kid brother, all rolled into one, of bicycling and bike racing in this region.  He started or had a hand in starting nearly every significant cycling organization in Seattle.  Including the Marymoor Velodrome, a 400-meter banked concrete oval where I learned to race and have spent nearly every summer for the past 20 years.

velodrome race
Photo credit: Terry Olmsted

After his unexpected death last year, the velodrome he founded and nurtured in King County’s Marymoor Park was renamed the Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome in his honor.  I knew I also wanted to commemorate Jerry, to thank him for his leadership, enthusiasm, and doggedness in building a wider cycling community with opportunities and joy for all.

My commemoration is this portrait, donated to the velodrome association for their annual fundraiser auction.  I didn’t know if I could pull off a portrait again after so long painting trees and running water, but Jerry’s no-excuses voice in my head said, “You won’t know if you don’t try!”

The auction was a terrific success, and after spirited bidding the generous winner of the portrait gave it to the Baker family: truly a beautiful example of the community Jerry Baker built.  A win/win situation – but I feel like the biggest winner.

I thought I was creating the painting for the sake of the velodrome and its fundraising.  But really, I created it for myself.  For a week, I spent each day in the studio, alone with the radio and Jerry Baker, seeing him more carefully than I ever had in life, thinking about his energy, his lessons, and above all, his example.  I can’t help but be a better person for it.

More about Jerry Baker and his velodrome.

Supporting Marymoor Velodrome

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

This painting is for the Marymoor Velodrome Association’s annual fundraiser auction.   Funds support velodrome operation and maintenance; four nights of racing a week all summer; training classes; youth programs; and scholarships to send our top women and junior athletes to national and world competition.

The Stage is Set, oil on canvas, 8 in x 10 in, 2012.

2011 RAMROD jersey

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The painting….

…and the jersey design.

The jersey will be available from Redmond Cycling Club, but there is only one day left to register for the RAMROD entry lottery!

Back on track: my non-comeback

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

It’s very fashionable for cyclists to come out of retirement these days; everyone is doing it. However, I don’t think you can call my hiatus from the sport retirement, since that takes a real career to have retired from.  Lance can retire.  Jennie Reed can retire.  Me, I just stopped racing my bike two years ago.

And if it wasn’t a retirement, then it’s not a comeback.  I just started racing again.  I have a little more time now that I’m out of school, and the new women racers I’ve been working with on my team are infectiously enthusiastic, so why not get back on the velodrome and find out if it’s still as fun as I remember?

Whatever you call my non-comeback, you have to call it FUN!  It’s great to be back.

It turns out that some of the speed is still there, and canny riding makes up for some of the rest.   I was still able to play my preferred role of heat-turner-upper and doer-of-the-unexpected.

Last Friday was a terrific night of racing: strong field, some great moves, and even good weather for a change.    Hear that?  The gal is BACK!

And the jersey is…

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Jersey Back updated
Jersey Front updated
2010 RAMROD souvenir jersey.  I reprised the heartbeat theme from the popular jersey of 1997 at the request of Redmond Cycling Club and the RAMROD committee.  Some of you might even remember the old one.  By the way, the darker gold curve at the bottom is the ride’s elevation profile.

1997 happens to be the first year I ever rode the Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day myself.  I still have that year’s jersey, which featured a day-glo yellow box on a blue ground.  The yellow is still day-glo on the front, but has faded to a soft whitish lemon on the back, which bore the brunt of the sun on many rides.

If you were fortunate enough to get entry into this year’s RAMROD, I hope you also get the jersey to remember it by.  May your jersey fade to tatters long before your memories of the ride, and may you wear it in good health.  Rubber side down.

High on Sunshine?

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Last Saturday’s 60-mile bike ride was extraordinary:  my  ByrneInvent teammates and I had more than a half dozen actively positive interactions with drivers and passers-by — and no negative ones!  A guy crossing the street with his cup of coffee cheered us as we went by.  A Metro bus driver passed us with an entire lane to spare, and then gave us a thumbs-up as we passed him at a layover.  Drivers made space for us to change across lanes when we signalled.  The traffic sensor in the turn lane at 145th has been fixed to detect bikes.  People waved.  Walkers on the trail smiled.

Can it be that we’ve finally turned the corner to a society in which cyclists are recognized fondly as legitimate road users?  Even admired?

Or was it just one of those bluebirds-singing, everything-right-with-the-world Disney moments that occur on the rare occasions when Seattle has sunshine in February?

They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse…

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

I am designing the 2010 Ride Around Mt. Rainier (RAMROD) souvenir jersey for Redmond Cycling Club.  I’m not posting it here yet, it’s under wraps until we post it on when registration opens.  Suffice to say it revisits (with permission) the theme of one of the most popular RAMROD jersey designs of the previous century.  Retro?  Wool?  A corny rebus?  Stay tuned to this station.

RAMROD 2007 front ramrod_jersey_frontRamrod Jersey 2009Q

Dean of Women

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I was saying I wanted to get involved in racing again now that I’m out of school; I didn’t mean to jump in with both feet.  But the team needed an experienced woman racer who has time to coordinate the women’s program, especially with some promising cat 4s this year but less depth to the program than in some years.  I’m not the best, but I’ve been doing this for a while, and I like mentoring new riders.  Riding with the guys is fun, but it will be a treat to have some women’s rides and hopefully help the new racers jump into it.

We survived HotROD

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Whew.  Michael and I completed RAMROD (Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day) on the tandem, despite record heat.  For those not familiar with the ride, it is a 154-mile, one day event which completely circles a 14,000 foot volcano in Washington state.  Usually it is lovely.  One legendary year it snowed on the mountain during the ride (in July!)  This year it started at a comfortable 78 degrees F before dawn at the base of the mountain, and hit 100 degrees before 11am.  There is a long, long exposed climb up a south-facing slope midday, but breezes across the pass when you finally make it to the top.  Unfortunately, the denouement after the final pass was a descent into a blast furnace; it was well over 100F at the finish line in the afternoon.

Our ride this year was a complete success, if by “success” you mean “finished the ride,” “avoided heat-related illness,” and “were still speaking with each other.” The organizers provided fantastic support – handing out ice-filled tube socks at the base of the longest, hottest climb was a stroke of genius.

File in the category of “things we can check off our list and don’t need to do again.”

Afterward I modified the t-shirt design … just a little…

Hotrod Tee 2009

All’s well that ends well

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Pre-season track racing began in early May at Marymoor Velodrome. I have raced May 9th and 16th so far, and had a great time. Training has taken a far back seat to art and school this year, but fortunately there seems to still be enough in my legs to hang in, contest a few sprints, and generally have a whole lotta fun. It’s great motivation to work on tactics and ride smart. May 16th was particularly fun due to a good women’s turnout and unseasonably warm weather. What a beautiful evening. Check out Stephen Rusk’s flikr site for photos of racing on the 9th.

All’s well that ends well, as the bard said. My vision is nearly 100% again. Something finally clicked (metaphorically) about three weeks after the last surgery, and one day I simply realized I had been using stereo vision all morning. The convergence continued improving and now functions in most of my visual range. I rarely notice double vision anymore. It makes a big difference to many activities we take for granted: pouring a glass of water, accepting change at the store, driving, walking down stairs, and of course riding in a pack of cyclists. Pacelines feel so much easier and safer now, I’m amazed looking back on it that I was able to compete in mass-start races at all last year! Apparently I’m stupider and far more stubborn than I ever thought; it would have been much simpler and very sensible to have just given up racing. Huge thanks to Dr. Raghu Mudumbai and the other doctors at UW Medical and Harborview where I had my surgeries.