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Sunday, February 3, 2019


If Punxsutawney Phil lived in Portland, he’d have retreated into his lair without delay on Saturday.

Just as I finished applying my aqua-colored facial mask, I heard sirens and shouting outside. My whole block was shut down with a half a dozen cop cars strewn across the street in front of my house. When I saw whose wrists they were zip-tying, I ran outside.  I told an officer that this dear man hands me green beans over the fence at summertime.  I went back inside to rinse my mask off and when I came back out they were transferring him to an ambulance.  As they strapped him onto a gurney, I looked into familiar eyes weeping.
This may be the deepest second paragraph of any Bicycle Kitty blog post, but that’s how the day began.

There’s nothing quite as motivating as leading a well-advertised ride.  I dressed quickly and headed to the Caddyshack! start.  On the way, I saw my co-Tour de Beaver-leaders doing the Saturday morning Sorella ride. A quick hug then off!

I love the approach to what used to be the green triangle. There’s a slight hill that blocks the view of the meet spot so you don’t see how many riders are there til you’re quite close. I was bowled over to see over thirty riders waiting! Jan and her brightly clad club riders made a nice showing. Jan is the person who coaxed me to start leading rides, which has become such a large part of my identity these dozen or so years.

Old friends and new, including two Team AF teammates, came to ride in the 11th annual Caddyshack!  Bill didn’t show up, again, but, hey, at least he’s consistent.  Good thing anyway because I ran out of spoke cards.  Everyone got a Bicycle Kitty sticker and a pink map with a mark showing our mini mountain bike exploration through Colwood Golf Course.

One lovely lady rider got an ambulance ride and a free emergency blanket. It was my first time meeting Vicki, who was on a brand new carbon racer. It struck me how beautiful she looked, mascaraed and lipsticked, laying on the tarmac bleeding. We had a nurse in our midst and a lot of calm, wise, safety-minded folks helping direct traffic. Soon not one, but two, ambulances made the scene.

The remaining riders continued on somberly. A few miles later, we stopped at Whittaker Park, an old favorite of mine, with a gazebo and a lake view and a portapottie. I broke out a precious roll of Necco wafers and doled them out.  Candy is way more delicious once it becomes collectible.

A few intervals later, we rolled up to the always hospitable Heron Lakes golf club. Beers and burgers and fries and onion rings were enjoyed by all, along with very friendly service.

It wouldn’t be a real ride without a flat tire, so Mark volunteered for the job.  A respectable seven minutes later, we were on our way.  We rode the 33rd Avenue ramp southbound twice. I could do repeats of that ramp all the live long day.

Arriving at the Marine Drive bike path,  we stopped to see five identical kites flying together. We’d lost half the pack, all Vancouver-ites, on the zig zag to Dekum, so now we were only eight strong. Three of us went for beer and MMR planning at the Sextant, because good things start with sex.
Finally, we swung by the Half Fast team party for a quick mingle. All new faces, all very bikey and friendly, in a cool industrial space, made for a nice close to a very full day.

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