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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Bike Ride Denied: What I did on Wednesday

The Wayfarer looks sad and forelorn on the pedestrian bridge over I-205
Lately there's been a Wednesday morning "before work" bike ride that meets up at 6:30am. Last week I could have done it, but the iffy weather (snow?) kept me in bed. And this week I wasn't reminded about the ride until about 9:30pm Tuesday night. I wasn't mentally prepared for it, preferring to sleep in on my day off. So I passed.

And anyways, I was planning on doing a ride of my own during the day. Despite the shitty weather we've had as February turned into March, I decided I was going to go on an "official" bike ride. * Where to?

Well, I got word that a long awaited trail had finally opened. The city of Gresham (our suburb to the east) had finally opened the section of the Gresham-Fairview trail from Ruby Junction at Burnside to Linneman Junction, where it meets the Springwater Corridor trail. I wanted to see the new trail, so today seemed to be as a good a day as ever. Plus, I could use the Springwater to get to it, so I'd actually see a little bit of nature as I passed places like Beggars-Tick Wildlife Refuge and Powell Butte. And at the end, I could hang out in downtown Gresham** for a bit, get coffee and finish some art then have dinner at an awesome Lebanese joint, Nicolas.

The weather forecast called for "showers", but here in the Northwest that can mean anything to "somewhat cloudy with an occasional sprinkle" to "somewhat cloudy and it looks like it will rain but it doesn't" to "it's raining." Before I got in the shower, the outdoor thermometer was listing a positively balmy 50F/10C and the sun was shining. A fine time to ride!

Of course, when I got out of the shower, it was raining and the temperature dropped down to 45F/8C. Oh well. Still going to do it! Ol' Raleigh, are you ready?

Once I got out of the house, I headed south on the I-205 bike path which connects with the Springwater. I was met with a stiff headwind. I didn't feel like riding into the wind for the next few miles, so I decided to head east along the Main-Mill-Market bike route, an on-street low-traffic route that would lead me all the way to Ruby Junction. More urban than I planned, but what the hey? At least I'm not facing the headwind.

Well, I went about a mile and then heard the unmistakable hiss from my front tire. Great. A flat.

If you remember from the post about my new front wheel on the Wayfarer, the newer hub/axle is wider than the old one it replaced, requiring Mr. Raving Bike Fiend to manually spread the fork to get the wheel in. I hadn't had the fork properly spread yet, and I didn't want to do a side of the road flat fix and find out I couldn't get the wheel back on. So I decided to scuttle the ride and head back to Montavilla, where I could have Jim at Oregon Bike Shop fix it.

I managed to ride another mile before the tire got too low for safe handling. Coincidentally I was right in front of the Adventist Hospital, so I took a break and enjoyed the weird fake meats*** from its cafeteria. Then I walked the rest of the way, about a half hour journey, over the ugly I-205 freeway.

Jim managed to get the wheel back on, but it was a workout for even him, a skilled bike mechanic. Yeah, glad I didn't try to do it myself!

Do you ever have days like this, where everything seems to conspire against your desire to go ride your bike?

*Yeah, I ride every day. But I don't consider my commute to work or a trip to Trader Joe's as a "bike ride" per se.
**Say what you want about Gresham, but I'd rather hang out in downtown Gresham than downtown Beaverton or Hillsboro anyday.
***Seventh Day Adventists are theoretically vegetarians, though not all practice. Many older "natural markets" are Seventh Day Adventist run, and would stock canned fake meats made out of soy protein.


  1. Hey now, downtown Beaverton has a pretty rad library, and a city park next to it that hosts a big farmer's market during the summer-ish season.

    And, if I remember correctly from babysitting for Seventh-Day Adventists in high school, the canned fake meat is made of wheat gluten mostly. Still weird. I'll take my seitan un-canned!

  2. i'm so glad i read this! i had no idea about the gresham-fairview trail, and now i've ridden it. lovely trail! thank you!

    also, where do you recommend for coffee in gresham?

  3. Coffee in Gresham? Why Starbucks, of course! ;-)

    In all seriousness, I go to Cafe Delirium on Main Av and NE 3rd St (just a couple blocks north of Powell):
    It seems to be the hub of downtown, decent coffee and all that.

    Looks like there are a few other non-Starbucks options in the area, but I haven't tried them yet. Jazzy Bagels at Main and Powell has really good bagels! And there's a real good Lebanese bakery in the area as well.

  4. thanks! i haven't known if anything there was decent, and it's a pretty easy area for me to get to.

    how did you know the path was open?

    (also: sorry about your flat.)

  5. Gl--The Urban Adventure League is all knowing when it comes to bike paths in the metro area!

    (Actually, I know the one of the parks coordinators of Gresham.)


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