Thursday, November 20, 2008

Country Mouse visits the Big City

Or, I rode into Portland to have lunch with friend John. You've listened to me stress about riding into Portland - the descent through Washington Park, yadda, yadda.

So today I did it with lots of rain and leaves on the road. Not bad at all. I think they've repaved some, but not all, of the bad pavement.

Up to Sylvan (hey, that's the easy part), down to the Zoo, then winding around on Kingston. The last very steep drop before the Rose Garden is freshly repaved about 30 feet or so before the stop sign.

I always screw up, rather than make the hard left, I go straight and left and end up in the parking lot, and have to haul my bike back up the stairs to the road. I'll get it right one of these days. Then there is finding my way to the top of Stearns Way. Missed it this time; carried bike down stairs, walked along a path - I could see it, but I couldn't get there! Finally, almost back at the top, I got onto it and descended to Burnside. Hey, it has been repaved, too! Nice!

Cross Burnside, go behind the Uptown Shopping Center, and decide to descend on Lovejoy. Oops, no, streetcar tracks, cut over a block to Kearney. Did you know NW 11th does not have a street sign readable from the west? So, right on 9th, right on Davis up to 11th, where the Deschutes Pub and Brewery awaited. Open spot at a bike rack; good. Locked Bleriot and the Carradice bag :-) leaving Little Pink Bear on guard. John had just arrived; we got a seat by the window where I could watch the bike.

Nice lunch - I went for the Reuben and soup. Half the sandwich is saved for later. John and I had a great visit. We used to run together every day, then he was laid off. A year later... Yeah, well, now we can have lunch from time to time downtown.

I then headed over to the east side to Acme Welding, as they indicated they could fix the stem bolt for the Gitane. East on Everett, cross Naito, lower level of the Steel Bridge, and then followed the Esplanade to Salmon.

There were actual periods of non-rain, but mostly it was dumping, with a strong south wind, most noticeable on the bridges.

Acme Welding is great - they don't appear to have an office; one just walks into the large garage. They thought they could fix it, but not immediately, so I left the pieces, and headed out. South on 6th, west on Madison, over the Hawthorne Bridge, and wonder of wonders, no traffic behind me, so I could turn left, and then right onto Jefferson.

Climbed up out of downtown, passed the Goose Hollow Max station and under the Vista Bridge, then left on Murray Lane, another vacated street like Stearns. Fresh pavement there, too. Then up through the park, up the very steep bit (bail, all ye who enter here), then winding my way up to Sylvan and down to home, and a hot shower.

21 miles and change. 3 more miles, and Bleriot rolls over 6000!

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