Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mostly, I do this ride for the ice cream...

While deciding where to ride this weekend (that I'm riding is rarely questioned), Cecil proposed a ride out to Multnomah Falls. We'd meet up at the Kettleman's Bagels close to her house. Other persons were planning to also ride out to the Falls, but starting later in the day.

Following my practice of doing as much preparation the night before, I made a couple of sandwiches (smoked turkey, cream cheese, cranberry chutney in a pita), set out the water bottles, 2 bananas and a couple of bars, picked out riding gear, pumped up the tires (better to find the potential flat the night before), made sure the right stuff was on the Lemond (bike of choice for the day), and conked out.

Up at 5:30am, out the door by 6:40am (it somehow always takes me almost 30 minutes to make it from the bed to the kitchen). Nice ride over the hill, again going by way of Skyline/Fairview Blvd. Much more fun descending Fairview when it isn't pouring! Arrived at Kettleman's Bagels right at 7:30. Didn't see Cecil's bike. But I did see her inside, and as her bike was inside as well, mine went in to keep it company.

First stop, bagels at Kettleman's

Everything bagel, lox cream cheese, coffee. This is a plan. We should consider this for a good am ride meetup point!

As we were not meeting anyone at Edgefield, we took the I-205 bike path north to Marine Drive, then into Troutdale from there. There was some wind assistance. Not much, but a real plus over wind harassment.

Brief pause at Troutdale City Park. There was a large group of Portland Wheelmen, who were still hanging around when we left. We figured they'd catch us at some point, but I am not sure they really ever did. By this point I'd already ridden about 30 miles.

Stripey fields climbing up from Troutdale

Climbing up to the summit, and down to Vista House. Pause for the view and a sandwich and banana (third meal of the day :-) ). A cute young Japanese tourist was carefully inspecting and documenting the bike rack (donated by the Portland Wheelmen. Sadly, very poorly engineered; no one actually puts their bikes in it) and taking pictures of the crazy American cyclist eating her sandwich. Then down (me to Cecil - wait for me at the bottom). The road surface is starting to deteriorate some - holes, cracks... With the contrasty light/shadow, I had to exhibit a bit more caution than I would have. Still, a fun descent, if a bit chilly.

Rejoining Cecil at Latourelle Falls, we zipped eastward to Multnomah Falls. Seemed like the fastest trip to the Falls ever. It was Family Day, with the Forest Service booths (dead animals, skulls, fire prevention), Native American crafts, good music... And, of course, the reason *I* ride to Multnomah Falls - ice cream! Now, the last time I rode out here, the conditions did not suggest ice cream, and I passed on it. Today, however, it was bright and sunny, warming up, and the Forest Service smokejumper guys were watching our bikes.

The homemade ice cream sandwich is wonderful - two sugar cookies with ice cream in the center. It seems to have grown in size since I last bought one. Didn't matter. I still ate the whole thing. It lasted all the way back to Troutdale, too.

Actual Size

The Forest Service guys had a prize wheel where they were giving away Smokey the Bear items if you could answer their question correctly on fire safety. Now, I didn't want a Smokey the Bear[pencil, plastic hat, key ring,....] No, I wanted the historical reproduction Smokey the Bear bandanna. Stan the smokejumper was chatting up Cecil (we need to get her a more blatant wedding ring :-) ), so I took advantage of that. After slowly remembering the 3 parts of the fire triangle, I had a bandanna. (pictures for my friends at Archival Clothing to follow; it is currently in the wash)

As we were heading back west, we saw what might have been the Wheelmen arriving. Again, a shorter ride back to the base of the climb than I remember, then up. I knew I'd find Cecil at Vista House. For all I knew, she was already there. Did about ten 30-30's (ow. they'd better pay off in the long run), wound around the last curves, and heard more than one cyclist cheering me on from the Vista House overlook. Behold! Dave and Edna, on their way TO the Falls.

Dave, Cecil and Edna at Crown Point

After much chatting we went our separate ways. Up the last mile, then down one of my favorite descents. Pause at the Troutdale gas station for liquid input/output, then back out to Marine Drive. We thought we'd take Cornfoot south of the airport and head home by way of North Portland.

Mt Hood from Marine Drive

The wind was not that bad on Marine Drive, although Cecil said it was picking up. We stopped at the Cascades area Starbucks by the airport for liquids and snacks. They had such an array of vegan options that it took Cecil some time to pick something out :-) Watched no fewer than three Southwest planes land.

South on 47th ("closed!" Cecil-"there's closed and there's closed"), onto the sidewalk, across Columbia, then climbing up the ridge. Did I mention that it was getting into really hot territory? We saw what we thought was a lemonade stand and stopped. It was shave ice, but they offered up ice and syrup in our water bottles. As I had another 15+ miles and a big hill to go, I went for it.

Back to Cecil's, then off to go home. At the corner, checked my phone for messages, just in case. Sure enough, husband - meet me at Overlook Park? Back to Cecil's to get directions (all of 3 blocks), then off again, north on the Esplanade, north on Interstate, and there it was, the Organic Brewer's Festival, with a local band we follow playing at 5pm. Husband showed up shortly thereafter.

Steel Bridge from the Esplanade

Listened to the band while consuming a huge cup of lemonade, visited with the trumpet player afterward, visited with daughter and partner (hey, where'd THEY come from?), got dinner, tasted 2 of the 3 ciders and a beer, chatted with friends. Then, finally got home.

Target for Tomorrow playing at the Organic Brewers' Festival

Where I had to eat MORE ice cream, with fresh Oregon strawberries.

I had hoped to put in a least 100 miles, but the diversion at the end had it right at 95.

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