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Monday, April 30, 2012

Where is he going? Where is he coming from?

Yesterday April and I took a bicycle ride. We had originally planned on doing an overnight camping trip over the weekend (keeping my camping streak going!) but questionable weather and other stuff got in the way. So we decided on a bike ride for Sunday, which was a pretty nice day: partly cloudy, high 65F/18C.

We took the Springwater Corridor out to the I-205 path and then back home via Mount Tabor. Nothing special about the ride itself, pretty standard in our books. Yep, April stopped by the goats in Sellwood.

The most significant event of the ride was someone we passed. As we were cruising out on the Springwater, we came upon a rider who was "fully loaded". No, he wasn't drunk, at least it didn't seem like he was. (Of course he had just passed the infamous Hobo Junction* so maybe he stopped for a brief refresher?) Rather he was sporting both front and rear Ortlieb panniers with a tent atop the rack. While four panniers doesn't always speak "touring mode", the tent screams it.

When I see someone like this, I'm always wondering, what's the scoop? Is he actually on a bike tour or camping trip? If so, where did he go? The Springwater isn't the most obvious touring route, but if one was going out eastward into the Columbia Gorge or out on the Clackamas River, one could use the Springwater to get back into town. Maybe he's going on beyond Portland, out to the coast? Up the Willamette Valley? Or maybe he's getting ready for a tour, and he's riding it around town on a shakedown ride.

When I see people like this I do like to ask them what's up. But unfortunately we didn't get the chance, as he passed us going in the opposite direction. So speculation is all I've got.

*Nickname I gave for the spot where the Springwater crosses Luther Road. Transients tend to hang out here to drink and smoke pot.


  1. The bike tourist in me always screams "Tell me your story" and "Can I help/house you for the night?". The pedestrian in me says "they need their privacy."

    I'm always torn between the two, yet if it's late afternoon I tend to speak up more, knowing they might appreciate a bed.

    1. Good point! As a cyclotourist I definitely like a bed! But I sometimes get frustrated by endless questions by curious onlookers.


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