Howdy folks,

Summer has arrived in Central Oregon and it feels gooood. We've stayed busy with our (slightly massive) backyard project, but my mountain bike is getting some love too. Hope all's well wherever you are!
With COVID-19 in the air, I delayed publishing this week's blog post about a 100 mile mtb race that I did last year. Seems to me we need to start dreaming about these kinds of things again, so let's do this.

This week's newsletter:
The aforementioned post about 100 miles on a mountain bike (round two), a crazy value for prescription glasses, a virtual navigation course, and an engrossing trilogy to read this summer.



Speaking of the project: Sure is easy to tear up an entire backyard in a day with a tractor!

Pedaling the High Cascades 100 MTB Race

The ride summary of a fellow racer in the High Cascades 100 mtb race contained two sentences not often found together: “Fun day. GI issues for 20 miles, plus 2 code browns.”

Riiiight. Fighting a lurching stomach while pooping yourself twice is everyone’s idea of a fun day! Perhaps only for people with screws loose enough to race 100 miles on a mountain bike?
Check out the full post to read about about a bunch of nutcases on bikes. Yours truly included!

Zenni Optical: Goodbye to Expensive Prescription Eyewear
Ever paid $400 for prescription glasses and wondered if optometrists have a gold stash bigger than Uncle Scrooge? YeGADS those things are expensive.
Forget that nonsense and check out Zenni Optical. After choking at the price of typical glasses, I paid Zenni <$30 (not a typo!) and got prescription glasses sent to my door.
The process is simple. I used my webcam to scan my face and digitally try on a bunch of different styles. Then CLICK, boom. Done.
If you wear glasses, do yourself a favor and check out Zenni next time you need a new pair. Don't worry, your optometrist will be fine. Really.
80 miles into the High Cascades 100 and still able to summon a smile!
Take a Virtual Navigation Course (Because Getting Lost Sucks)

I'm fairly confident with a map and have navigated my way through various outdoor adventures. Still, a navigation course I took recently helped shore up some holes in my skills, including the planning stages.
If you have no idea how to set compass declination or use Caltopo (plus maybe have extra time at home these days...), check out Alpenflo's virtual navigation course. At $39 total for three 1.5 hour sessions, it's a STEAL and will leave you better equipped for when we all start getting after it outside again.
Never again will you wander around outside arguing with a compass about which way is north. Hint: the moss isn't always on that side.
The Broken Earth Series; An Expansive, Subversive Fantasy Trilogy

Looking for a trilogy to kick off your summer reading? Look no further than The Broken Earth trilogy. It's genre-splitting sci-fi/fantasy and wow, it's good! The series won the prestigious Hugo Award for best novel three years in a row, the first time that's happened.
The author (N.K. Jemison) is also the first African-American to win the award. Her fabulous acceptance speech flips a mighty bird at the jerks who kept this from happening for so long.
The book deals with themes of slavery, oppression, resistance and power, all wrapped up in a fascinating story. So, so good.
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