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We Like These Rain Pants

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Zip it like a regular jacket but on your legs.

Rain pants are not all created equal and too often we don’t put them on because they’re a hassle.

That’s why we were so pleased to try out the Legs Jacket rain pants from VEAR. What we love most about these pants is that the waist comes together with snaps and then the zipper goes from the waist down to the ankles. It’s hard to describe, somewhat like the way a diaper is affixed. Basically, it means you don’t have to take off your shoes, don’t have to struggle to get your rain pants over your regular clothes. It’s easy.

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The pants also come with simple shoe covers, just enough to keep the tops of your shoes dry in a standard commute.

This Kickstarter-funded product far exceeded their goal and is now in production for pre-orders.

The Drawback

These pants are like the Art of Survival Century: Flat, flat flat. If you’ve got a belly or a booty, they probably won’t be all that comfortable.

You can read more about it here.

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Cool Route: Two States/Two Bridges

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Take an awesome spin from Portland to Vancouver using the I-5 and I-205 bridges. This is a cool ride that sneaks along the historic Evergreen Highway. We love the hidden roads and exploration of this ride! Even that wacky bike crossing on the I-205 is a thrill.

VIEW THE FULL ROUTE HERE >>

This route comes from the Best Bike Rides in Portland book by ORbike editor Ayleen Crotty and published by Falcon Guides.

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Evergreen Health 7 Hills of Kirkland

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The EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland on May 29 is an incredible tour of Kirkland, Washington, just outside of Seattle, in support of the non-profit organization Attain Housing. The ride features three route options with a little of something for everyone – as long as you’re up for some climbing.

Check out the different route options and get ready for an awesome day of riding and climbing with a huge group of fun-loving other cyclists. The finish line features delicious strawberry shortcake at the gorgeous Marina Park on the edge of Lake Washington.

Traditional 7

In a mere 38 miles, you’ll climb seven hills and 3,023 feet of elevation. It’s a fun, rolling route that gives you all the bragging rights of hill climbs in a manageable distance.

View the route >

Metric Century

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, sign up for the Metric Century. This route is a beautiful extension into rural east King County. You’ll pedal 58 miles and bump up that elevation to 4,635 feet.

View the route >

Full Century Route

Here’s where things really start getting interesting! The ride launched this route in 2015 to rave reviews. You’ll cruise further east before heading north to the Snoqualmie Valley. This route features all seven climbs, plus a significant amount of additional elevation. Over the course of those 100 miles, you’ll climb 7,036 feet.

View the route >

A Well Supported Ride

No matter which route you choose, you’ll be well supported all along the way. EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland is well known for being a friendly ride with awesome services.

You’re Tough! Feel Amazing!

This early season ride is a fantastic way to warm up your legs, and your ego. You’ll feel powerful after a day of riding and conquering those hills. And what better way than on a beautiful course along an event that’s raising funds for a good cause?

About the Cause

This event is a fundraiser for Attain Housing, an organization that helps individuals and families caught in a homelessness crisis. Whether people are living in their cars, housed temporarily in shelters, or facing eviction, Attain Housing helps stabilize their family in safe housing and works on goals to create a stronger future.
Learn More >

More Ride Info

To learn more and register, see the ride website >

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Cool Route: Rocky Butte Loops

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This fun little route will give you some climbing – it makes for a great training ride if you’re getting ready for a distance ride – do it more than once. Trust us!

VIEW THE FULL ROUTE HERE >>

This route comes from the Best Bike Rides in Portland book by ORbike editor Ayleen Crotty and published by Falcon Guides.

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Tour de Fronds: Beloved for a Reason

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Guest Post by John Barker

Just going to the store – be right back

The Tour de Fronds added a ‘trip to the store’ route in 2016 that will quickly become a favorite of riders who like to combine scenery, great food and a good sweat. The Agness Store route, 71 miles with about 5,000 feet of climbing, begins with the gentle rollers from Powers to the Daphne Grove rest stop, then the climb to Agness Pass.

At Agness Pass, after the standard genuinely warm and friendly greeting by volunteers who want to hydrate and energize you with excellent snacks, you take a left and start a bumpy six-mile gravel ride downhill to the Rogue River. You can stop at Foster Bar and cool off all or part of your body in the Rogue or just keep going to the Agness Store.

The Agness Store is not your typical outpost. The food is good enough that there is a strong temptation to overload on a Bigger Better Burger – I did and that’s my excuse for the post lunch semi-coma ride up the 11 mile hill back to Agness Pass on hard packed gravel. About 2/3 of the way up the hill there is a spring with the kind of cold water that makes for a nice, shady rest stop. This part of the route up from Agness Store is quiet, beautiful – and lonely, which is a good thing every once in awhile.

The ride is best done on a cross bike or mountain bike because of the downhill from Agness Pass. Otherwise, a road bike would work.

Whichever route you choose, do add in the spaghetti dinner on Friday night and pancake breakfast on Sunday morning. You simply can’t overdose on the people of Powers! That’s a huge part of what makes this ride so special.

Every year I drive the four hours back to Portland thinking about how much I look forward to next year’s Tour de Fronds. Of all the many events I’ve attended, none combine the routes, scenery, organization or the friendliness of townspeople who volunteer to make this the best ride around.


About Tour de Fronds

Tour de Fronds won the 2016 ORbike Riders’ Choice award – a 200 person ride that won the vast majority of the contest’s 900 votes – and don by a landslide.

The 2017 ride is June 17.

MORE INFO >

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Three Surprising Tools for Your Repair Kit

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Whether you’re going out for a quick jaunt to the grocery store or a 60-mile joy ride, it pays to be prepared. After all, limping a bike home even just a dozen blocks is a pain, so is having to end your ride.

You’ve probably already got the basics in your repair kit (and if you’re wondering what the basics are, read this post). Along with a spare tube, CO2 cartridges and tire levers, these three things will help get you home without calling the sag wagon (aka friend, boyfriend, wife…).

A DOLLAR BILL

Nothing can ruin a ride quite like a slashed tire. Even after you’ve replaced your flat inner tube, the new one will just bulge through the tear and you’ll have another flat in no time.

Good thing you have a dollar bill! To reinforce the tire wall, fold the dollar in quarters (making sure it’s longer than the gash), then slide it in between the tire and your new tube. Pump it up slowly and keep an eye on the slashed spot to make sure the dollar bill is holding.

For a smaller slash, or if you’re getting flats from the rim, wrap the bill around the inner tube to protect it.

An empty goo packet also works, but just remember: this isn’t a permanent fix. Replace your tire when you get home.

ZIP TIES

A couple zip ties in your repair kit can help keep you on the road (or fix that annoying rattle you hear). From fenders to loose housing, zip ties help secure things that need to stay in place.

Broken spoke? Use a zip tie to secure it to its neighbor so that it won’t puncture your inner tube or wreck your derailleur.

In a pinch, you can also use zip ties to replace broken shoelaces, or even attach a flashlight to your handlebars. Your imagination is the limit here.

ELECTRICAL OR DUCT TAPE

Wrap a short length (1-2 feet) of electrical or duct tape around a piece of cardboard (or your pump) to make a portable mini roll. Alternately, adhere a strip of electrical tape to the underside of your downtube, so it’ll always be there when you need it.

Like zip ties, tape secures that which needs securing: loose housing, unraveling bar tape, broken water bottle cages and more. Tear your saddle in a crash? Wrap it in electrical tape for a barely-noticeable solution that will last for years (ask me how I know).

As a very last resort, use a bit of tape to patch your inner tube. You may have to stop and re-inflate it several times on the way home, but at least you won’t have to carry your bike.

WHAT’S YOUR TRICK?

What unorthodox items to you make sure to always have in your repair kit?


Jessie Kwak is a writer who loves to type about the good life: travel, outdoor adventures, food and drink, and (of course) cycling. You can find her at Bictoro: Bikes and Crafts.

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