Nancy Cycles!

Nancy Cycles!
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ... Yogi Berra

Saturday, April 29, 2017

30 Days of April: April 29

The penultimate day of this year's "challenge".

It was somewhat hard for me to get out there today, and when I did it was a relatively short ride. I have had lots of days with long miles and I felt just a little tired today. Plus this is the day of the annual Great Mukilteo Garage Sale.


This made for a very busy neighborhood! Susan wanted to ride around the garage sales and at first I thought I might join her. I quickly changed my mind once I was out of our driveway dodging sale customers! She went on to several yards for a few miles but I left her right away to get out of the most busy areas. At least she was the impetus for me to get out on my bike. I rode around for a little under an hour and was ready to come home.

It was colder than I thought it should be, and I didn't feel like being cold! It seems that cold is colder when one is tired ;'-). Not much in photos today, but I did go by the elementary school garden again and I see that there is a little bit of planting going on.


Pinwheel is a fun addition.

Home to warm tea and a good book!

30 Days of April: April 28

I had been pondering what ride I would do on this day -- my first day home from Portland and no rain ;'-). Then I got an email from Cindy that she and Kathy were inviting me to join them on a ride from her house. Yes! I said.

Three Lakes minus one!

Cindy's house is very near Silver Lake. We didn't ride by it this time, but have done so many times before. Cindy is scouting this ride to lead as a club ride sometime later, so we didn't bike to Silver Lake, the ride start for her future ride. We wandered on trails and surface roads to Lake Ballinger and then on to Martha Lake.


Cindy, our leader ;'-)


Kathy enjoying the route


A construction site offered some pleasantly ;'-)

The entire route was quiet and light in traffic -- mostly. We enjoyed a snack on the dock at Lake Ballinger.



There is either something interesting at their shoes, or they are continuing their pennies search!

Retracing a part of our route, we opted to skip the trail for a bit and stayed on the road that took us UP over the bridge that crossed I-5.


Interesting yard art along the way.


Kind of have to look closely to see the different ornaments hanging on this tree.


Martha Lake

Fishing season is open at Martha Lake but we couldn't quite get the idea of eating fish from this lake so close to a highway carrying lots of traffic. Not your clear, clean mountain lake.

Almost home...


...and one more yard display of "art".

Great ride today. Thank you Cindy and Kathy for inviting me along ;'-)

Friday, April 28, 2017

30 Days of April: April 27

Our last day of biking in the rain in Portland.

We packed up everything from our rental to be checked out on time. Then we took one last ride -- a shortish ramble on the waterfront loop. And yep, we rode mostly in drizzle which came to a stop as we finished our last couple of miles.


A little bit of Portland from the eastside trail


Babies came to see if I had some food for them. I didn't


Old Steam Wheeler now a Maritime Museum


More of the trail


Downtown part the trail where we departed for a moment to find the bike shop. Vickie needed to purchase a tube ;'-) for possible future need.

And so ends this trip in Portland. But I have a few more days left for the 30 Days of April rides ;'-).

Thursday, April 27, 2017

30 Days of April: April 26

Shall I begin with rain again? Or maybe the moments without rain!

One moment without rain was fortunate during Vickie's flat tire repair ;'-), The major other moment --- we had sunshine while we were in the tavern having our lunch! And in between those two things we got totally soaked in a very heavy shower that lasted for about three miles before it began to taper. The tavern for lunch wasn't just for eating -- it was for drying out.

But first -- the beginning of the route took us through some nice neighborhoods in that ever present mist that became drizzle.


A little color to brighten up this gray day.

Our ride today took us by the University of Portland again, from the other direction. So we did a little loop on the grounds before continuing on.



Beautiful trees line the driveway entrance.


Our intention was to continue across the slough along a foot/bike bridge and onto the slough trail. We had seen the "bridge closed" sign that said it would reopen on 4/29. Curious, we continued on to see if maybe we could scoot around some barriers or something, as often happens with a bike. But...


...we had to turn around and look for another way.

Vickie found us an alternative way to get across the slough on her phone map app. The alternate route took us onto some industrial area roads and that is where we think Vickie picked up the industrial "tack" that ran right through her tire, her tube and to the wheel rim.

We were heading to Kelly Point Park for an overview of the confluence of the Columbia and Wilamette Rivers.


Squinting into sun!
The ship is heading out on the Columbia. The tug in leaving the Wilamette.


This is where Lewis & Clark got confused.

We had our moment of sun while looking over the rivers, took the trail all around and through the park, and rejoined our route on the bikeway/sidewalk along a highway. There was traffic, but at least we were not riding on the road.

In just a few moments the deluge hit us and we were in full hard rain for several miles. Cold, wet and hungry, we found a tavern that served food. Walking through the parking lot to the entrance of an old building, it looked like a place where you might "knock three times and tell 'em Joe sent you".



Bartender said we could put our bikes in the enclosed patio. And with the sun coming out again we considered eating out here. But we were too cold from our rain episode.



The bar had some decent choices for food also ;-)


There were about half a dozen regulars at the bar.

After our comfort food of pulled pork sandwiches with a side of mac 'n cheese we were at least warm if not totally dry. The five more miles of our return trip retraced some of our outgoing route as we cut it a bit short due to that detour that would not allow us on the slough trail going the "other" way either.

Blue sky came out as we neared the car. We pass through some to the Port of Portland area which explains the truck traffic.

Another day, another ride in the rain. Glad we did I it, no need to do this one again either. Both of us are a little underwhelmed with the bike rides around Portland. Lots of highway riding, big trucks and not a lot of scenery. The in-city bike infrastructure is definitely a plus for Portland, and we will be on some of those roadways tomorrow as we do the short waterfront loop before heading home.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

30 Days of April: April 25

I am tired of the rain!

It rained for our entire 38 mile ride and was so consistent that at one point I forgot that it was raining.

We drove to a park to begin our ride today. The bike ride to Sauvie Island was ... ummm... awful. It was on a highway that had huge trucks and lots of cars speeding by and spraying us with gritty rain water. The shoulder was fine in most places, but some parts had heavy grit or mud or gravel one had to maneuver around.

We finally got to the bridge that took us to Sauvie Island.



Most of my photos seemed to be blurry on this day. An indication of how I was feeling.


Our route was around the 13 mile loop on the right of this photo.


Some history

Any place that has the word "island" in it always draws me to it, and I had, for a long time, wanted to bike on Sauvie Island just outside of Portland.

Vickie and I both ended up feeling that the loop ride on Sauvie was bland and boring. The season has not opened yet, so all the farm fields are empty and all the produce stands are closed. It is a totally flat island so there are no views to climb up to see, and no picnic areas or shelters to stop at for a rest or snack stop. We finally came to one porta potty about halfway around the loop which also had a trail heading "up" to something. We took the short trail up to the view of a pond and sat on a bench there to eat our lunch under the rain.

Not too much to take photos of but I did find a couple of mailboxes of interest, and flowers in truck beds.



I think there is a lot of beauty in the fields and at the produce stands once the season opens, but that would bring a lot more traffic to the island and with no shoulder on the road, biking may not be too fun.


We took a stand up snack stop here.



Once off the island we faced that traffic highway again for the return trip. Several miles along this highway the route map took us onto the Rte. 30 bypass. Sounded great to get off that Rte. 30.

Up a climbing hill, we came to St. John's bridge which by passed the highway, to get us across the river (the Willamette I think).

The bridge was high and long, and the two lanes carried fast and crowded traffic. With the sidewalk narrow and the bridge rail close, we walked over the (long) bridge. Still raining, still getting sprayed with grit.

Finally arrived at a quiet neighborhood to ride through, and to our tea stop. As we enjoyed our tea and crumpet in nice a little coffee shop the rain poured in earnest. We were in the right spot at the right time.

Back in the saddle we did enjoy some nice back streets of quiet neighborhoods and were surprised to ride through the University of Portland, and even more surprised that it is a Jesuit school.


With more time and less rain, it would be nice to ride through campus. We just rode past it.

Dreading crossing another bridge to get to "our" side, we were so pleasantly surprised by yet more bicycle infrastructure of Portland.


Cars and trains roll above us as we cross on the bike and pedestrian level of the bridge.

We are each proud to have done this challenging ride, and both say -- we will never do it again, even withiout the rain!


You know what they say ... April "showers" bring May flowers.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

30 Days of April: April 24

Today would be a two parter. My friend Vickie was to pick me up at about 9:30 for the drive to Portland, OR where we would have a few days of bike riding adventures. There was definitely potential for rain in Portland that could thwart any plans for riding, or we might arrive there too late for a ride. To ensure that I would ride today, I got on my bike at 6:45 a.m. and had a delightful early morning spin.

It was the very quiet time that would soon awaken with school bus and car traffic jamming the roadway. But for another half hour it would be my roadway. My trip had to be relatively short as I needed to get ready for pick up. Riding to one of the elementary schools and back was perfect, and as no one was arriving at this hour I could roam around the grounds.


The climbing wall at Endeavor Sdchool


This is the first year that I have not seen planting done at their garden.

Got home in plenty of time to breakfast, finish last minute packing and be ready for Vickie. We drove to Portland in heavy, non-stop rain. It was far from pleasant, especially with all the truck traffic making visibility poor with all the rain spray they produce.

Vickie had arranged an air bnb -- my first experience with staying in someone's home. We are on the top floor of the three story house so have a little climb each day ;'-). Two bedrooms, kitchen, bath and living room make it very comfortable, and it is near public transit should we need it.

We unloaded everything, changed into cycling clothes and took a ride! We had the sucker hole of sunshine overhead.

With a little help from the downstairs tenant, we found our way to the beginning of the ride. This was one of several that Vickie had found online that includes map and cue sheet, and we could start from our house in the southeast neighborhood.


We paid heed to this sign and carefully crossed the tracks


Tilikum Bridge


There is a bike of different color and design on top of the Clinton St. sign on every corner.


Squirrels live on a good place ;'-)


Along Stillwater Trail


A local man walking the trail told us this is a crematorium.

In the few hours we rode, we had the sucker hole of sun, some light mist which became a drizzle, heavy rain, dry sky, and several repitions of this cycle. So you see -- just like Bogie and Bacall, we had it all!

The bicycle infrastructure in Portland is very impressive. Wide green bike lanes when possible, sharrows on the smaller streets, bikeway signs, easy access for crossing to all the streets a bike uses, bike traffic lights, too much to even explain. And there are lots of bike commuters as we became part of them on our late return to the bnb. They are all in a hurry and know exactly what they are doing and where they are going in a hurry as we fumble along -- reminiscent of Montreal, Canada where Susan and I jumped up onto a sidewalk to "think" what we would do next as the bike traffic sped by us.


Got home drenched again. Showered and went to one of many pubs for dinner. A full day!