Wednesday, April 2, 2014

One Speed

Water Avenue Coffee: what a perfect place to meet.  Centrally located, amazing coffee and a big window where I can watch my unlocked bike.  I got excited when I saw the line up of single speed bikes on the rack.

But, alas, only one rider was inside waiting for me.  Then, another one showed up, proclaiming sickness and saying he'd catch up with us at the alley cat race later.  Another bit of perfection - he took my heavy bag full of prizes and dry clothes so I wouldn't have to carry them all day. 

Hardcore single speed aficionado Mark and I set out, into the rain and onto the Esplanade.  He rides a beautiful frame he made himself.  It's a fixed gear.  I was coasting, trying to put a few miles on my old single speed before attempting a double century on it this summer.  Riding on the dock portion of the Esplanade bike path is extra fun when it's raining.  Water everywhere!

Riding the up the little hill of Interstate Avenue felt like swimming upstream, there was so much water flowing quickly.  Up and over the corkscrew Concord bridge and out to Willamette.  Peninsula Crossing trail and a quick break on the bridge over the Slough.
Riding along the Delta Park golf course was gorgeous of course.  Birds flying every which way.  Tons of 'em.  For the first time on this path, I could see and hear cars racing around Portland International Raceway.  You could smell them too.

We found the connection onto the new bike path near Schmeer and more rain. Weaving back and forth over busy Columbia, we finally came across the a hidden nature park and gazebo.  This place feels secret.  We explored the different paths thoroughly and were surprised to find this:
And surprised to pop back out on Columbia.  Was it just a couple weeks ago I had my Brevet Card signed for a Permanent at this same mini-mart?  Up the hill, down the hill, to Velocult and the Alley Cat  s c r a m b l e race.  Then copies, then race!

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