What’s that image coming in out of the fog? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s Cycle365!
Pretty corny, I’ll give you that. We’re excited though about the idea of having a community website to share our day rides and other bike-centric activities, so I’m kicking things off with a modest entry about this morning’s ride out Springwater. In case anyone stumbles on this website before we’ve broadcast it, note that it’s in the early developmental stages. It will undoubtedly go through multiple revisions while we figure out what we’re doing, so for now I’m just throwing some posts in so that Rachael will have some materials to work with.
So, here’s today’s exciting post. After watching the small bit of snow and ice that fell on Portland Christmas Eve, we’ve been waiting impatiently for the streets to clear off enough for it to feel smart to venture out. We’re leaving for Hawaii in a few days, and we’re feeling risk-averse. It wouldn’t do to fly in to Kona with a broken wrist because we slipped on the ice.
This morning gave us just enough room. It has warmed up a bit, to about 40, and it’s foggy but not raining for a few hours. We decide to ride out the Springwater Corridor toward Gresham, because it’s flat and safe; and I decide to take my camera along, because I like fog. Also, out and back rides like this one work well when we ride together and I have the camera along. I can stop for photos and let Rachael get ahead of me, because if nothing else I can meet up with her again when she turns around and comes back my way.
We get about a mile from home, and I feel the need to stop. I’d like to take a picture of the Hawthorne Bridge in the fog, but Rachael doesn’t want to go that direction – she wants to cross on Tilikum Crossing, her favorite bridge in town. We decide to part ways, and I’ll try to catch up with her at the restroom about 8 miles down the road, where she always stops on this ride.
I catch up with her much sooner than that though, as I thought I might. It’s about a half mile shorter going across the Hawthorne Bridge, so I’ve got a couple of minutes to spare if I want to catch up. After taking a few shots, I pedal hard and am happy to find that I’ve caught up with her – in time to catch her as she’s coasting off the bridge.
Reunited, we bike together again for another mile or so; and then I feel the need to stop and take a picture of the layer of fog hovering over Oaks Bottom. She’s off again, with the same plan – meet at the WC, or when she turns back after the midpoint of the ride.
I catch up with her four miles later, exactly as we reach the facilities. I’m able to do this because there’s a shortcut available that lops another half mile off the ride – just enough. She has just dismounted and is preparing to wheel her bike in with her when she looks around, startled. She hasn’t been watching her mirror, apparently.
From here, we head due east toward Gresham. We aren’t sure how far we’re going to go today, and are mostly concerned about the weather. We want to get back before the rains hit, which were predicted to arrive at about 11. As it turns out though, that’s not what limits us – it’s the road conditions. As we continue east on the bike path we gradually gain elevation – not much, but enough so that we’re gradually seeing more white stuff along the way. First it shows up on the bridges and overpasses, and there are a few places we need to walk. Before long though, we encounter snow on the road; and then, suddenly, it doesn’t feel prudent to continue any more. It’s surprising how abrupt the transition occurs, but not far from Powell Butte the path is slushy and turning whiter in the distance. We’ve only climbed about 150′ from the river, but it’s just enough. Time to turn back.
Distance: 29 for Rachael, 28 for me. Elevation gain: negligible.