Sunday, December 15, 2013

Playing Hooky

Patrick from New York was passing through town, mostly using up frequent flyer miles and riding perms everywhere he went.  I knew of him from Susan and Lesli's LEL pictures.  And, yes, since this job is coming to an end, I figured they could use a day seeing what it would be like without me around :-)

Mt Hood pokes out

The chosen route was Cedric Diggory, because it traveled through both Oregon and Washington.  I have ridden it twice, following the route owner both times.  The part where one is crossing from Oregon to Washington over the I-5 bridge has been known to be a little obscure.  A bit better now, there is finally wayfinding signage.

It was going to be below freezing, but, with any luck, only "occasional flurries".  As long as it didn't ice up, we'd be good.

Found Patrick at Marsee Baking (the traditional start in Sellwood).  We enjoyed some coffee and pastries, and waited for Kevin, who said he'd ride as well.  But right about 10-ish, I looked at my phone, and Kevin was regretfully bowing out :-(

Off we went.  The first part of the route is working one's way north through Portland.  Lots of stop signs and traffic lights.  Once we crossed over Powell it got a bit less claustrophobic.  I played tour guide.  Once we were headed out on Willamette, Patrick stopped to get a picture of Swan Island, because, well, he likes to take pictures. I understand that.

Looping around the furthest west of North Portland, we both needed to stop.  Every public park was locked.  Finally, spotted some facilities behind a fence.  We found the entrance, but they were still behind another fence.  So here we were in this big shipping container yard...  There were some on the far side.  As we were both wearing sufficient hi-vis gear, we cautiously proceeded across the yard.  Stacks and stacks of shipping containers.  No  zombified victims or Wesen, fortunately.

Necessary stop

Columbia River, east of I-5

Finally to the entry of the I-5 bridge crossing maze.  I had ridden over it 3 or 4 times, there is now wayfinding signage, and Patrick had the course in his GPS.  At the first turn, Patrick went left.  Nooo, we need to go right here.  After a bit of discussion ("Vancouver is THAT WAY"), we went right.  The way off to the left was after we'd done the Washington side of the route.  Nah, don't blindly trust that GPS.

Through Vancouver, and finally out to the part of the route where there are no stops until one turns around.  I looked behind me.  No Patrick.  Hmm.  Went back to the last turn.  Looked at the cue sheet.  Not sure if it was the turn; surely didn't look like what I remembered.  I went down it anyway, definitely didn't look right.  Pulled up the Maps with Me Pro on my phone; I had loaded the course track, just to see how it would work.  It told me I was in the wrong place too.  (Shout out to Mark Thomas!)  Went back, looked again back down the road, and found Patrick, just finishing up fixing a flat.

Ok.  Northward again, all the way to the turnaround.  That stretch seems shorter each time, probably because it is getting more familiar.    Bits of snow on the ground there.  We counted up things for the info control, and headed back.  No berries to pick, and too chilly to hike down to the river.

Patrick at the turnaround north of Vancouver, WA

Back into Vancouver, again looking for a stop.  I pulled over to a corner area full of little food shops.  Patrick's tire was squashy, so he pumped it up while I took care of business and bought a croissant to share.

Crossed the bridge and navigated the maze, this time heading east.  After a couple of miles on inner Marine Drive, we hopped on the bike path, which provides some really nice views of the Columbia River.  Pictures taken, of course.

Patrick on the Marine Drive bike path

Me, at the north end of the I-205 bike path

Then south on the I-205 bike path (great views of I-205, and more maze-like navigation).  Patrick paused to pump up his tire again in Maywood Park.  We did enjoy the new SE Division St undercrossing (yay!  no surface crossing!), and finally popped out on SE Harold, to finish up on the surface streets.

Did I mention that time was running out?  Yes, indeed.  East on SE Woodstock, in the dark and rush hour traffic.  Several blocks of narrow lanes and parked cars (eek!), but then it improved.  We turned left on the street which becomes SE Bybee (whoo! almost done!), admired the houses in Eastmoreland, crossed over McLoughlin on the pretty arched bridge, and a few blocks later... Done.

Of course the bakery had just closed - we walked in and they kicked us right out.  Starbucks right across the street, so receipt finish at 5:07pm, 7:07 elapsed.  9 minutes to spare.

Patrick finishes his paperwork

Kevin joined us for a visit, and entered our results right there.  (Hmm.  Maybe a page designed for mobile perm results submission?  I have been known to enter results at the finish as well.)

Overall, great fun, and nice to meet and ride with Patrick!

A few more pics here

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