Web-log entries from 2020


The races we’re missing: Cyclocross Crusade: Cascade Locks

A great race & venue I arrived at late in my career  more


The races we’re missing: Cyclocross Crusade: Alpenrose Dairy

Iris and Ada watching races in the Velodrome

I would spend an obscene amount of money to be able to race my least-favorite race this year  more


The races we’re missing: Heiser Farm

Myself in the infield, 2019. Photo by Mettle Cycling.

Heiser Farm is the kind of race that reminds me I like racing BECAUSE I suck at it  more



Kayakers and swimmers on the Willamette River in a heavy fog

Imagine the worst, cruelest, most incompetent, most ineffectual CEO you’ve ever worked under. Remember what a total shitshow that job was? Now imagine that CEO just…vanishes.  more


The races we’re missing: Ninkrossi

Orion in the rain at Ninkrossi, 2018

Ninkrossi is one of my favorite venues despite being historically one of my worst races.  more


This worked in August

A clear morning sky

Taking another social media break.  more


The Litany Against Fear

Yellow cones will be on your left, red cones on your right. You and your bike must go over all barriers.  more


Burned forests

Backpackers bushwhacking through secondary growth in an old burned area

The fires will leave a patchwork of death and rebirth in the forest, but where they touched human habitations there will be only destruction  more


We have spent an entire week indoors

Hazy yellow sky with a dim orange sun

As a fresh air addict, this past week has been trying  more


We are already in the refuge all our neighbors are fleeing to

Inner Portland is probably the safest place in western Oregon right now.  more


The fires this time

Monday the fires were a potentiality. Today we are capped by their creeping murk.  more


No cyclocross

Paul in costume as the Purple People Eater at the Halloween race at Deschutes Brewery

Every year since 2011, from Labor Day to Thanksgiving, our family ritual was CYCLOCROSS. Not this year 😢  more


We weren’t off the grid, so much as adjacent to it

There was a house with a roof & plumbing & electricity & internet, after a fashion. I liked the fashion: satellite. It was just fast enough to work, barely, but not fast enough to want... more


Eagle Cap Wilderness

As a Nebraskan I am a cheap date, scenery-wise. Oregonians come to the Wallowas for the beauty not the solitude. It’s the backpacking equivalent of the brunch place with the 2 hour wait list, where... more


Skies outside cities

I grew up with skies outside of cities which are the skies most people in most of history grew up with. At the cabin there is an old spotter scope and an even older tripod... more


The best bike is the bike you have

I regret that I didn’t bring my own bike but I regret more that I didn’t bring tools to fix up the bikes that are already here  more


Adventure Dad is proud

Four knives

All the kids brought knives along for this adventure without me nagging them.  more


August 2020

I’m taking a break from social media. Check my web-log for occasional updates.  more



For OBRA’s Wy’easting Challenge, today I rode 13 repeats of Montgomery street from the old PFD No. 1 Station to Council Crest. Each repeat was 5.38mi long and gained 875ft in the first 2.7mi. This... more


What Portland feels like right now

Portland is in the national news right now and if you didn’t live here you might be forgiven for thinking our city is a hellscape of crime and chaos. That is not my experience. Excepting... more


Aspects of backpacking, rated

For much of my 20s many of my jobs looked suspiciously like backpacking and I lived for weeks or months at a time in tents. So the glamour of all this was kind of lost... more


All my interactions with cops

When I was probably 7 or 8 years old, a dog attacked me and bit me in the ass. A sheriff’s deputy took pictures of my ass. The dog was current on its rabies shots.... more


Rickety local builds are a bad project smell

Everyone (engineers, designers, project managers) on a web project should be able to spin up a local dev environment in less than two hours, using their preferred hardware and a README This is a two-way... more


Covid-19 diary: Quarantine fatigue

Crowns of mature Oregon white oaks, shot from underneath; the crowns are not touching, despite the trees growing very close together

Been a while since I’ve done this. Straightforward: we are busy, and we are tired. Less straightforward: it is obvious our federal government has not used the last two months for anything productive. Very bendy:... more


Covid-19 Diary: Quarantine books

A stack of books, as described in the main text of this post

I have made three or four Powell’s orders since March 16. Here’s what has arrived thus far: Selected Writings — Hildegard of Bingen. I only knew her as a composer but recently learned she was... more


Covid-19 Diary: sleep and dreams

With hundreds of millions of people sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic, some dream experts believe that withdrawal from our usual environments and daily stimuli has left dreamers with a dearth of “inspiration,” forcing... more


Covid-19 diary: at the river

This kind of thing never gets old Shake it off from Paul Souders on Vimeo.  more


Covid-19 diary: Inside

Today was the first day of the quarantine that I spent entirely inside. It was a beautiful day and I got up early for my bike ride. I was groggy from Benadryl (terrible allergies) and... more


Covid-19 Diary: Fear of Contamination is the crowbar fascists will use to pry open liberals’ hearts

Which is scarier?— Paul Souders 🐌 (@axoplasm) April 12, 2020 Admit it: when you saw ppl arriving at your neighbors’ for Easter brunch you wanted to call the cops you noticed all these people at... more


Covid-19 Diary: Timmy Failure

This post was written 2020-04-15 Last night as a family we watched the new Timmy Failure movie, set and filmed in North Portland. It was funny! Genuinely funny! And not animated! Today the kids and... more


Covid-19 diary: Resources / fraying

I need to stop and count the resources our household has for coping with the coronavirus crisis: Two grownups with secure jobs those jobs require a lot of meetings & phone calls etc. which keeps... more


Covid-19 diary: Council Crest

This weekend on our family bike ride everyone rode to the top of Council Crest. We were kind of focused on the youngest, I mean this is pretty epic ride for a grownup but how... more


Covid-19 diary: a bad day

I had a bad day yesterday. Maybe the first day I would characterize as such in the past three weeks. I was up early to work (I did get a lot of work done). I... more


Covid-19 diary: cozy catastrophe

From my Twitter: so half my friends have time to learn to bake bread, the other half barely have time to shower guess which half has kids (Our schedule is above. Today I had to... more


Covid-19 Diary: Wild

It’s wild that the Developed world more or less intentionally went into a medically induced coma to shut down this virus with “only” a 1–3% fatality rate. I would not have predicted this as recently... more


Covid-19 Diary: third week, second weekend

Adjusting to the surreality of Social Distance Commutes. Traffic every day is like Christmas or quieter. Weird though that people are not driving any better, or more accurately any less rage-y and entitled. If anything... more


Covid-19 diary: social distance

I worry that Portlanders, already prone to anxieties about personal space and body purity, are going to be psychically damaged by “social distancing.” Already I’m noticing people have stopped making eye contact, saying hello, etc.... more


Covid-19 diary: bodega

So far this week I’ve made three trips to grocery stores. The first two stores were mostly well stocked except each store was missing some key item. Trader Joes had no coffee or canned tomatoes... more


Covid-19 diary: outside

This post was authored on 2020-03-25 We took a family bike ride today to Powell Butte, and then up it and over it. I have ridden bikes at PB dozens of times and on the... more


COVID-19 Diary: habits

@11:27 I have done 4 things that made this week much less stressful than it might have been: get up at 6:30 am & ride my bike 20mi every day scaled way back on alcohol... more


COVID-19 Diary: Fortunate

@10:05 I (and my family) have been extremely fortunate so far in this crisis: I have a relatively secure contract through at least early summer my wife is home full time but doesn’t have to... more


COVID-19 Diaries

Occurs to me — occurred to me a week ago? — that I should be keeping a diary of my experience during COVID-19. Daily. Consider this blog post a placeholder. I will try to update... more


Freedom Machine

For the nth time in a year now I have an internal infection that’s keeping me, very specifically, off the bike. I can do most of the other things I normally do but it’s nearly... more


I Never Quite Recovered From My First Exposure to Kombucha

From this Twitter thread ca 2002 at Last Thursday on Alberta st., there was a 20-something white dude with dreadlocks, selling kombucha at a card table. In keeping with my life philosophy (“if it’s not... more


Five percent more chill

Every morning I wrestle with this feeling that maybe people driving cars are just lazy. I’m thinking this as I ride with my kids five miles in the rain and cold to school. Depending on... more


Human spaces reconceptualized for machines

Almost every day I ride through Riverplace, a lovely wide car-free path, lined with shops & apartments, opening onto the Marina, just south of downtown. But I keep encountering signs that read: PEDESTRIAN PRIORITY ZONE... more


Testimony in favor of the Residential Infill Project

Selfishly: I want more — and more diverse — neighbors, and I want more commerce.  more


No matter where you’re from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor

The central urbanist question for moderately posh urbanites like myself is: “should poor people be allowed to live in our neighborhood?” If the answer is “no,” then let’s applaud our intellectual honesty, and bid this... more


Energy → Technology → Culture

What if humanity didn’t have access to eons of solar energy stored in the form of fossil fuels? What if our technological progress were constrained entirely by the energy falling on its surface, and not buried beneath it?  more