I hadn't planned on making another Coffeeneuring trip this week, even though my eye surgery looms closer every day. I figured I could find a way to squeeze it in at the last minute.
But then my sister called and said, hey! Let's meet up. Since I'd already planned bike errands I decided to tack on a quick cuppa joe at an outside table somewhere.
We settled on the Starbucks at 15th and Fremont, since it would be at the end of my errand loop and then I could head home.
Wanting to ride the singlespeed again -- I've fallen in love with this bike! -- I loaded up my backpack with the box I planned to drop at the Post Office, and rode up and over the little hill in bright sunshine. The sun is carving a much flatter, lower arc across the sky these days, so I wanted to enjoy the warmth while I could.
The Chrome backpack is an older model that was really designed for errands by bike, for messengers and others; its size and shape accommodate mailing boxes nicely with room to spare.
Riding on such a bright afternoon is challenging these days, thanks to my being between eye surgeries. The surgeries address both cataracts AND my need for partial corneal transplants in each eye. After the first surgery in mid-September, my left eye became immediately more light-sensitive, to the point where my first few weeks of rides have required me to wear sunglasses. Today, with the sun not as high in the sky, I decided to try riding without sunglasses. It wasn't as bad as before, though it wasn't ideal, either. My ophthalmologist has told me that over time my brain and eyes will adjust, but in the meantime it has been interesting to ride on sunny days. I am hoping that after the second surgery and some time, both my eyes will adjust so that I might not need sunglasses to ride.
After dropping the box off at my Post Office, I continued on down the other side of Sabin hill to the Fremont Starbucks, which was not far from where I needed to make an ATM deposit.
I parked and ordered coffee and an egg sandwich. As I finished my order, my sister pulled up and we grabbed an outside table.
I kept my mask on until S. had gotten what she wanted, then took it off to eat and drink.
After I finished my little lunch, I noticed an uptick in pedestrian
traffic, and decided to put my mask back on, even though technically it
wasn't required. I figured I'd see how it felt, since it seems likely
we're headed into a time when restrictions will be increased again.
It actually was fine. I had no difficulty breathing or talking.
While we sat and talked, a guy walking by called out, "I like your bag!"
He pointed at the patches that basically covered the front flap of my backpack, and smiled broadly.
I admit it. I covered my bag with patches to personalize it and set it apart from the thousands of other bags Chrome has made. But it also brightens up an all-black backpack rather nicely, and shows off one of my favorite Coffeeneuring awards from previous years.
Yeah, she's amazing.
I wanted to get going before the sun sank low enough to make things cold again, so we said our goodbyes and I pedaled off, taking a scenic loop to find a gentler slope past the ATM and back up Sabin hill and then home.
On the way, I passed ReRun, one of my favorite second-hand shops. It was open for business, with racks of clothes in the parking lot and a sign requiring face masks for entry.
I didn't need anything so I rode past, and stopped briefly to admire the sky.
Looking at the bike rack I'd leaned up against, I saw this and couldn't resist.
Sadly, it's not so true anymore, especially in inner northeast Portland where expensive condos are breeding like rabbits these days.
I was really enjoying the sunshine, knowing that in another hour it would begin to fade and temperature drop. So I worked up some sweat to stay warm while riding back up the hill, and then meandered home while admiring turning fall leaves and the dry breeze gently rushing past my cheeks.
Special thanks to Mary G. for letting me start early so I could get in all my rides before my eye surgery. I know it's all in fun (and coffee!), but still I want to play by as many of the rules as I can.
For those of you completing your Challenge within the official allotted time, enjoy every ride and every cup of coffee along the way.