Saturday, February 2, 2008

That Was Novel...

Today is my friend Beth's birthday. She had a birthday breakfast, and I thought I'd ride on over and celebrate with her. Now, I live in the SW burbs (ok, 1 block east and north of Beaverton), and she lives NE. Totally do-able, other than I'm not the biggest fan of riding through downtown Portland. Planned a route.

Got up at 7. Weatherbug said snow at 500ft, but the temperatures were above freezing. Headed out about 8. It was raining, but I'm okay in that. Climbing up through my neighborhood, I started to see bits of snow in the grass. Headed onto the Sunset Hwy bike path... more snow patches. The rain started mixing with snow, and then, by the time I was even with West Sylvan Middle School, it was snowing. Some slush on the bike path; not much. I watched the other bicycle tire tracks so see if there were traction issues.

Still heading up. Slush getting thicker. No traction issues. I'm admiring the way slush is building up on the outsides of my wheels. I hear a slight rubbing sound. Snowing heavily at Sylvan summit, slush looks almost snow-like on the bike path headed down. I kept it VERY slow. Still snowing heavily at the zoo. Turn left into Washington Park, starting to wonder if I should perhaps consider hopping the light rail. Riding down through Washington Park...hmmm.

At this point I realize that my rear wheel is slipping with every pedal stroke. I slow down even more, then stop to chat with the zoo security guard. I notice that my fenders are packed with snow, and knock it loose. My rear derailleur is iced up as well. Can't get moving forward again - no traction.

I walked to the light rail station and took the train to the Convention Center (cleverly skipping both downtown and crossing the river). I was looking for N. Williams, but I see I went too far east.

In any case, a handy bike route sign on NE 7th said "North Portland This Way", so I followed it through a really cool neighborhood until it dead-ended at Webster and cut over to 9th and continued north until I got to NE Ainsworth, which was back on my route, and a really nice road to follow. Note to all - 7th/9th is MUCH nicer than Williams!

Found Beth's house. Aaaaahhhh. Hot drinks, hot food. Good company. I need to bring my knitting next time. Met Beth and Liz's friends and family. Watched cartoons (Daffy Duck and Porky Pig). Visited with Joel and Heinz and Ian. Long bike-geek conversations.

I chose to watch the shadow hunt from the front window :-)

Beth had a Simplex front derailleur for me, in case Gitane needed a different one.

It kept on snowing.

I finally figured I should go. Beth told me to head east and I'd run into the Interstate light rail. Given that it was snowing there, and Sylvan would probably still be covered, I did just that. Got to the Killingsworth station, where another bike rider admired my bike and we had a conversation.

Switched trains at the Rose Garden. Snow still on the ground heading into the tunnel. Nothing on the west side, just very wet and cold.

So, not nearly as many miles as I intended to put in, but some new riding experiences, for sure!


Anonymous said...

I am SO glad you made it for breakfast, and glad you could stay and enjoy as long as you did. Joel and Ian left around 2:30 (!!) and I was finally able to go out for a teeny tiny ride myself.
Cheers --B

lynnef said...

well, you just so much fun to hang out with! I don't blame them!

Cecil Anne said...

Snow, you say? I missed all the fun. I spent the day walking (yes, walking!) from one appointment to another - it's amazing how heavy a wool coat becomes once it is soaked through . . .