Monday, September 8, 2008

Homecoming, Part II

Home is in downtown Vancouver, about a dozen miles from Clever Cycles. I'd never ridden that route before — in fact, I haven't ridden in Portland other than an occasional weekend ride through Waterfront Park and the Eastbank Esplanade and when we lived there five years ago.

That Esplanade was the first stretch of my route. Move it, roller-bladers and skate punks! Don’t you see I’ve got a 100lb, eight-foot-long bike, and I’m not used to steering it? Save yourselves, get out of my way! Switchbacks at the north end of the path proved a little bit difficult to navigate due to the turning radius of the bike, but they were nothing that couldn’t be handled with a wide turn as soon as it was clear.

I headed up Williams, cut across on Killingsworth to Denver and followed that until it joined Interstate near Portland International Raceway (if there's a better route, please let me know), then up through Delta Park to the maze that is the bike path system between there and the I-5 bridge.

The dreaded I-5 bridge. Here I was riding a huge bike with a wheelbarrow box in front, on a path that had always seemed to be only one inch wider than the handlebars on my regular bicycle. Slow and steady, I threaded the needle — OK, so it was a little wider than I thought — and was finally on familiar ground. I’d actually ridden from here on the Bakfiets we rented earlier in the summer, so I knew it was no problem getting up the hills to home.

Except that when I rode before, I hadn’t ridden 10 miles immediately prior. Oohhhhh, my achin' legs. But I made it. The bike and I were safely home.

Total distance: 12.75 miles. Total time: 2 hours (including stops for photos, text messages, and drinking fountains). Total calories burned: seventy-bazillion. Total smiles and waves: I lost count.

1 comment:

Travis said...

That's my commute route for a night class I teach. I have not taken my BAK yet, but now I will have to give it some thought.