So today, when I heard that heavy rain would be followed by a major windstorm, I had two choices:
a. Ignore the dire warnings, because Portland weather forecasters habitually lose their collective minds over the slightest suggestion of danger. (Don't believe me? Come back next winter and see how they practically salivate at the mention of freezing rain on the valley floor. These people need to get a hobby. Or move back to Arizona.)
b. Consider that if the storm was real and would arrive by noon as advised, I had a window of time in which to run my last two errands before the deadline.
The rain was pouring. The wind was beginning to pick up. I opted to go out. Because I admit I also enjoy an occasional whiff of "danger" on my rides.
To make proper loop of it, I rode to the farthest point first: My local drugstore, where I had prescriptions to pick up. Because this is Portland, my drugstore allows bicyclists to use the drive-thru window.
While waiting for the window to open (I got there at three minutes to ten), I admired my rainwear choices: Thrown hastily over my sweats and sweater, I added knee-high rain boots, Rainlegs (demi-pants that are easy on, easy off, and ideal for quick trips) and my Burley rain jacket (twenty years old and still repelling water. Take that, Showers Pass; and damn you for stealing Burley's Touring jacket design and making it worse.)
After a lovely and very soggy ride through my neighborhood, I looped back to Ps & Qs for a quick cuppa joe. Hot, fresh, tasty -- and not nearly as foofily-priced as, ahem, that other coffee shop on Dekum. Because if there's anything I have learned from all this Coffeeneuring and Errandonneeing it's that $3.50 for a tall cup of house coffee is ridiculous. Especially when combined with surly wait-staff. Service at Ps & Qs can sometimes be slow (they tend to under-staff) but always cheerful and friendly.
Last shot: Another gorgeous tree in bloom as I head home. Spring is here, even if it's cold and wet. (Well, that's usually how spring is here. After forty-plus years I generally don't mind.)
Total distance: 3.6 miles
File under: Personal care, Coffee
Total distance ridden in 12 days: 38.6 miles
(**As I have no cyclometer on my bike, all distances checked with Portland Bike Map.)
What I learned:
1. Baskets. Totally. Rock. I don't know why I waited so long to put them back on my bikes. Add a small waterproof bag and you're all set for shopping, camping, what-have-you. (WALD makes a decent basket bag for those of you not living in the Pacific NW.)
2. I counted miles for the purposes of this little event, but really, I no longer care about how many miles I ride. It's about how much enjoy them simply by going outside and riding my bicycle.
3. Coffee is mostly what makes the world -- and commerce -- go around.
The wind is getting stronger and a little gustier as I type this, and in the southwest there is definitely a big, black cloudy front that I can see from my living room window. Oh yeah, this'll be fun.