Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Coffee Ride

As friend Natalie missed our last excursion, she proposed we try something closer in, with coffee. I'm always up for that, although closer in for Natalie, Beth and Cecil is further away for me.

South from the Hawthorne Bridge

Cecil planned a route that started at Grand Central Bakery on N Fremont, heading north and ending up at Kelley Point Park, then back via Smith and Bybee Lakes, the PCT, Willamette Blvd, the Little Red Bike Cafe, and then back to the Grand Central Bakery. We'd start at 9am.

If I was to meet Cecil at her house at 8:30am, I'd have to leave my house around 7:15am. Sooo, all preparations done the night before, I was up at 6:30, ate a bit, poured a full commuter cup of coffee, and headed into Portland.

I am delighted to report that the "riding into Portland over the hill and through downtown" uneasiness was entirely not present today. I hope it is completely gone, because it is weird. I'll ride all over the Willamette Valley at all hours of the day and night, ride my bike to and from Detroit, OR, ride to the coast and back, etc, with none of this. I don't know what it is. Anyway, to make a short story long...

North from the Hawthorne Bridge

A brief pause for some pictures on the Hawthorne Bridge, than over to Cecil's. Brief pause, then we headed north to meet the others. They arrived a bit before us; we all ordered starting snacks (Natalie convinced me I needed a jammer) and visited. Natalie felt a bit under-luggaged, what with Cecil, Beth, and I on our fully retrogrouched bikes :-)

Beth on Willamette Blvd

Then, off we went, wandering around North Portland. Parts of it I was familiar with, others, not so much. We were riding through the industrial area west of St John's, on our way to Kelley Point Park, when Natalie came up with a flat. She realized she had no spare tube. My 650B spare tube to the rescue (650B and 26" tubes are practically interchangeable), and then my Topeak Road Morph pump, when her CO2 inflator didn't cooperate.

Natalie fixes her flat

Flat repaired we headed off to Kelley Point Park. We did a circuit of the park, then realized we had forgotten to go to the actual Kelley Point. Oh no! So we headed back into the park and enjoyed the view at the confluence. A bit of sprinkles here, but they quickly dissipated.

Cecil and Natalie at Kelley Point Park

Beth at Kelley Point Park

Then off to Smith and Bybee Lakes, through the water treatment plant, into North Portland and... "Cecil! Is there another food stop planned?" I was running low. And sure enough, we were headed to the Little Red Bike Cafe. Interestingly enough, it was crowded, but only 1 bike was parked outside. We greatly increased the number of bikes parked outside, and went in to get some food.

Natalie's and Lynne's bikes waiting outside

Cecil went for the vegan BLT, Beth and I ordered Paper Boys (fried egg sandwich with cheese), and Natalie got a latte. A nice long sit there, where we all helped Cecil with her potato chips, then off again. Ow. Sat a bit long. More riding through North Portland, eventually popping out on Willamette (NOW I know where I am), then back to Grand Central Bakery.

Lynne's Paper Boy sandwich

Beth and Natalie had to get along home. Cecil and I rode over to Dave VG's Bon Voyage Party in SE Portland (he's setting out on the Southern Tier Adventure Cycling Bike Route on Tuesday!).

As we were headed toward that evil hill on Holgate, a familiar vehicle passed and tootled. We waved at Fitz and arrived about 15 minutes later. Nice visiting all around for a few hours, then Fitz and I took our leave, and hit up the grocery on the way home....

All my pics here
Beth's pics here

1 comment:

SMB tech geeks said...

What gorgeous pictures. Now that's my kind of ride, food served at regular intervals! I guess that's probably what makes the uphills a bit tricky...