Sunday, December 23, 2007

Probably the Last Ride of 2007

Beth and Cecil

Cecil, Beth and I were to meet up and ride out to Smith and Bybee Lakes, and Kelley Point Park. Cecil ALWAYS rides out here to meet me, so I rode over to her house to meet her. The weather was, um, wet and grey, and the descent through Washington Park and Portland was intense (note to self: new brake pads on Bleriot).

Over the Hawthorne Bridge, east some more, then south to Cecil's. At this point I elected to put on the booties - the PI gore-tex shoes were perhaps being overloaded by relentless rain. Cecil's agressively friendly Corgis helped.

Then northward to meet Beth. I couldn't tell you how we got there, exactly, although I did recognize Peninsula Park as we passed it, possibly because it had a sign. And rosebushes. I elected to change to dry gloves at this point.

Beth took us further north, then through the backside of the Portland Meadows racetrack, where several jockeys had the horses out training, in the mucky wet track. Then through the industrial area, and down a ramp the wrong way, which put us right on the trail along the Columbia Slough.

Eagle in the Columbia Slough

We saw a bald eagle, and lots of geese. No herons today. Passed behind PIR and Heron Lakes golf course, past the water treatment plant and out to Smith and Bybee Lakes. Looked pretty much like it did last week - gray, rainy. The ducks were in pretty much the same spot, too.

Smith (or Bybee) Lake

Bleriot at Kelly Point Park

Then out to Kelley Point, where today we saw some grain barges and a big container ship. We elected to go back the way we came, which would lead to a shop with hot-beverages-of-choice and pastries. I must say, Cecil and Beth know every pastry and hot beverage shop on the east side! The waitress in Cup and Saucer kindly let us drape our wet stuff at one table and sit ourselves at another table. Hot-beverages-of-choice and a basket of scones helped thaw out some.

Then Beth had to get home (figure skating viewing was waiting), so we all headed out. Eventually Beth peeled off, and Cecil and I continued south to the base of the Hawthorne Bridge, where she headed home. After careful direction from Cecil, I rode across the bridge, west on Main, left on 3rd, right on Jefferson, followed Jefferson all the way until it was just about a freeway on-ramp and hopped onto the bicycle trail, which took me up to the entrance of Washington Park. Nice! Avoided the Salmon Street climb!

Climbed through the park in persistent rain; fortunately no accompanying traffic at the steep pitch out of the Rose Garden. At that point, the climbs are easy, and then once I'm at Sylvan Summit, it is all downhill...

Today is a GOOD day to ride!

50.59 miles.

Riding on the east side of Portland is different. There are lots of wide, low traffic streets. It is MUCH flatter. I see a lot more cyclists. The riding is more stop-and-go, then out on the west side. There are still the drivers who blatantly run red lights at high speed. But it is generally not too high stress, and there are coffee shops on every corner.

More pictures here

3 comments:

bikelovejones said...

I'm sure there are plenty of nice coffee shops out your way, too. At least that's what my pal Larry says in his book, "Cafe Rider's Guide".

Nice riding with you today! Happy new year --BH

Cecil Anne said...

Glad to see you found the "secret" entrance into Washington Park route - nice, isn't it?

lynnef said...

re: the Jefferson "entrance". Oh my word, YES!

as for coffee shops out here. They are generally 15 miles apart, instead of a couple of blocks apart.

And now that the bike has new brake pads all around, it might really stop on the descents.