Category Archives: Cycling

Stories about me and my bike, or something in that general area

A Passover biking adventure – 08-Apr-2020

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Wednesday, 08-Apr-2020

 

Well, we’re not doing an in-person Seder this year, I’ll tell you that.

Instead, We’re going low-key – Matzos Ball soup and roast chicken for dinner tonight, possibly even with Latkes and asparagus on the side.  Then, this weekend, we’ll do a family Seder via Hangouts (or Zoom, or whatever video conferencing technology the cool kids are using these days.

 

For today, though, I took the day off from work.

The plan for the year involved quite a few major trips – Sarah and I hadn’t gone on any full-week climbing trips last year, so this year was supposed to make up for that.  I’d gotten an extra two weeks of vacation as a benefit, and we were planning on burning those vacation days up in Colorado, Joshua Tree, New Hampshire, and who knows where else.  Friends would visit, we’d visit them, and we’d be all-around jet-setting cool kids.

Instead… COVID-19 hit, the stock market imploded, and we’re under stay-at-home orders when I’m not going into work as an essential employee.

So I took a day off.

And you know what?  It was an amazing decision.

 

The weather seemed to know that today was a day for being outside, and being calm.  No wind, no rain, just beautiful sunlight and clear skies.  I took my bike out from the garage, and went for a long ride down the empty streets.

With the city being under semi-lockdown, there wasn’t traffic, and almost everyone I saw (and it wasn’t very many) was simply sitting.  Some kids were quietly playing, and a lot of people were mowing their lawns… or more accurately, a lot of people had yard workers mowing their lawns for them… but still, the sound of lawnmowers was ubiquitous.

It was gloriously calm and serene, just slowly pedaling around the city.

 

I don’t think have any other words to describe how relaxing it was, so I’ll fill in the details with photos.  Sit back, relax, grab a glass of iced tea, and enjoy.

Portland Autumn by bike

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Week preceding Sunday, 29-Sept-2019

As you may recall, my Bike had been stolen back in May, after mother’s day.

Insurance had been difficult, as had been bike shops in general – it turns out that not only is Portland much more expensive than Boston when bikes are involved, but that sales people aren’t always the most knowledgeable… After searching through half a dozen bike shops, being told that my budget was impossibly low, and being told that my previous bike had never existed (sales people… Arg!) I gave up.

After giving myself a few weeks to cool down, I threw down.

I went to the neighborhood bike shop, and told them that I wanted a bike. I told them every specific that I wanted, then handed them my credit card and told them to go hog wild.I mean, I also got a quote, compared them to other shops in town, and discussed a lot of options. But that doesn’t make for good reading, so let’s just pretend I acted like a badass instead, and just threw down.

Anyways I got a new bike. Just in time for the Portland Rain to hit. Exactly in time, actually, and I biked home in the rain.

You know what? That’s fine, because I biked. And that’s exactly what I’ve been waiting to do!

Thankfully the rest of the week wasn’t quite as rainy, and I got to take a few after-work rides around town. It’s amazing how much different Portland is when traveling by bike… I’ve noticed so many more murals, but I’ve also just how quiet our neighborhood gets early in the evening. It’s kind of creepy – it’s as if everyone is on exactly the same schedule regarding when to eat dinner and then when to go home.

Still, though. I’m enjoying being back on two wheels, getting to poke around and take pictures of all the pretty streets and ridiculous hipster stores full of artisanally-crafted, single-sourced, small-batch, super-expensive chatchkes that are fun to poke and prod.

I’ve even been able to bike to the gym again, and bike to the local taco spot, and bike to pick up my car… I’m biking again!!

12-Mar-16,Biking adventure in Portland!

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When I first moved to Portland, I planned on regularly tossing my bike onto my car and spending the weekend exploring the city.

Obviously, that plan of being bored and solo on the weekends has been a bit overcome by events – specifically going on a ton of amazing adventures with Sarah. But this weekend, after a long climbing competition the night before, there was a day that was basically begging me to get on  bike and stretch my legs.

 

So I did. I biked downtown, across the bridge (fixing a flat tire on the way) and through the woods.

Lunch found me at a little cafe called Chef Naoko, eating a bento box full of fancy organic, sole-source, sustainable (and many other Portland-verbs) meal. The tea was tasty, as was everything else. A bit expensive… But this is Portland, so what can you expect. Not quite San Francisco grade, but probably a bit above Boston grade.

I biked.

I went straight when the lights were green. I turned when they were red. A dodged and weaved around traffic, and followed detours when necessary.

I found myself in Washington Park in the rain, watching the clouds move through the city below.

I saw the Portland Holocaust Memorial; with its haunting brass sculptures of kids shoes and discarded Teddy bears. There was a school group walking through, so I stayed to listen to the description. It was a bit lacking, in my opinion… Saying “the German government did bad things” doesn’t seem to  quite convey what really happened. <shrug>

I met some LARPers, fencing with foam swords in the park. We chatted. They were cool.

I talked to a missionary, who offered to help me fix that flat tire that I’d gotten. He was cool, and surprisingly insightful. I thanked him for his offer, and wished him luck.

I kept biking.

Rain fell, pedals turned, and I enjoyed the long ride.