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Friday, April 06, 2012

Thursday's Travels

Thursday was an interesting day, to say the least. At least in the weather department.

After the brief respite on Monday, it has been a more typical "moody" spring rain cycle over the last few days. Tuesday and Wednesday had their periods of rain, sometimes heavy. But Thursday was a new wrinkle: periods of hail. Hail isn't the most common form of precipitation in the wetter Cascadian provinces, but it does happen, especially during spring. And the weirdest thing about hail here is it generally is not part of a thunderstorm. Just hail by itself. One minute cloudy and ominous, and then a five minute burst of hail--and just hail. Then it's over. This happened at least three times on my Thursday travels, twice of which I was caught outside sans cover. Thankfully these "hailstorms" are brief.

Anyways, the greater portion of my Thursday was spent bicycling around to one outdoor store and several bike shops, ordering this and that. I'll talk about what the this and the that is when these particular items come in. Even though we had those brief bursts of hail, the riding was rather pleasant, if a bit on the cool side. I am looking forward to the Cycle Wild camping trip tomorrow, not just for the riding, but because we're supposed to have nice weather. Sun, high around 60F/16C. Finally!

I made a brief stop by The Hostel. This would make the third time this week, as I had the Bike Touring Workshop there on Tuesday and I worked a shift on Wednesday. The bike rack in back was quite full.

There's some early season bike tourists at the hostel. A group of four folks just toured down from Vancouver BC and got into Portland on Wednesday. I didn't have the opportunity to talk much with them other than to glean that they did it in four days--an impressive feat with the distance and weather. The distance between the Rose City and the Terminal City following the I-5 corridor, the most direct route between the two, is about 300 miles (500 km), meaning four 75 mile (125 km) days. A bit faster than I would normally want, but maybe someday I'll try it out. It would be nice to get to Vancouver at a faster pace.

Anyways, it's easy to spot Canadian bike tourists because they ride bikes by Sekine, Norco, or Devinci.

Also easy to spot by the copious amounts of MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) gear they sport. Especially the panniers with the tell-tale reflective stripes.


  1. Wow. That Sekine- I sold it to a girl last winter. Someone changed the bars, but I'd know it anywhere. Crazy to see it in Portland!

  2. I think that Norco's a little newer than mine.

    The aluminum rim upgrade was worth it, I actually ride it now.


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