After the past two weekends of epic rides, I, at least wanted a break. A month ago we had planned a Sweetpea ride - Natalie (Ms. Sweetpea herself), Cecil, Susan, and me. We'd meet up at a coffee shop/bakery in Portland, and ride between other ones. And take a few pictures.
Since then, Cecil hurt herself, but she is allowed to GENTLY ride a bicycle. Natalie is a bit slower these days, but still faster than me :-) Susan and I are maintaining, except my lower back is not my friend. I am laying off running for awhile, in the hope that it gets better.
So. Easy ride. Later start. We agreed to meet up at the Kettleman's by Cecil's home at 9am. The weather forecast was not promising. So much so that snow was forecasted. Susan and I were going to ride in from our side of the hill, but if it snows anywhere in Portland, it snows on THAT hill. Susan got on the MAX (our light rail) out by her house; I joined her at my stop. Yes, there was some snow.
Two stops later we were at the Goose Hollow stop, where we disembarked, headed east through downtown, and over the Hawthorne Bridge. Got to Kettlemans, locked up the bikes, sat where we could SEE said bikes (Susan thinks Lynne is very paranoid. Damn right.) and dug into our beverage and food.
Cecil arrived, followed shortly by Natalie. We sat and ate and talked for a very long time. Cecil: "in the event that we actually go and RIDE our bikes, here is a proposed itinerary..."
We started wending our way a bit east and then north. Eventually we arrived at Cup and Saucer on N. Denver. Coffee, tea, fruit cups, basket of scones...
While unlocking the bikes afterward, a girl out with her mother allowed as how they were cool bikes. Cecil (or Susan) said it was even cooler that (pointing to Natalie) built all of them. :-)
It hadn't rained, and the sun was peeking out. We headed off to Smith and Bybee Lakes, only to be presented with a possible roadblock of a very long train sitting right on the crossing we needed to cross. We noticed that the end wasn't far away, and there was another crossing of sorts there, so a bit of cross-wet soggy grass later, we were headed back to the lakes. Birds in the Slough, ducks in the lakes. Brief pause for a few pictures of my favorite spot at the lakes.
Then back, where Natalie peeled off to go home and we continued on to the New Deal Cafe. Mmm. I went for the amazing hash and chai (I was coffeed out. It happens). Susan had the cranberry-walnut pancakes with cranberry-orange sauce; Cecil had the hummus plate.
It was raining lightly when we finally left. After some discussion Susan and I elected to ride back to the Goose Hollow station, rather than catching the MAX on the east side (Slow. Many stops. We can ride faster.)
From my MAX station, 1.5 miles downhill to home. Fabulous company, and a great ride!