Sunday, March 14, 2021


The cold snap broke last week.
After what felt like an interminably long, cold winter, Portland finally saw its first 60-degree days, and I rode in them. Mostly solo coffeeneuring rides, but occasionally an added errand here and there allowed me to ride a little father than the boundaries of my little neighborhood.

Things are growing, blooming at last. Cherry and apple trees are blossoming now, a few weeks later than usual. It's as if everyone and everything is waking up, lifting their heads to see the sun and feel its warmth. And while I am still beset by the lethargy of winter, and loss and grief and depression, and inactivity, it's a very welcome development.

Here are some photos from last week's out-and-abouts.

A ride over to Rhythm Traders, to pick up a couple spare parts for a drum refurb project.

The sky was gloriously blue!

It was still a little nippy out, so I suited up in traditional Portland plaid and my favorite between-season cap.

Of course, all of this was supplemented by hot coffee in a thermal cup, which I sipped while I pedaled. It felt good to be out and about and more like a person again.

It's been hard to get myself up and out of the house, even on sunny mornings. I live at the bottom of a long gradual hill -- the result of living in a city built on top of a bunch of small, dead volcanoes -- and if I want to go more than a couple of blocks south, I have to ride up and over it. So it takes some serious mental coaxing to get on my bike and go farther.

So far, when I do it, eventually I start to feel better. My knees don't creak so loudly, and the wind feels good on my cheeks, and with the sun peeking out I begin to almost believe that there will be a light at the end of this sad, lonely tunnel of COVID isolation.

Sweetie and I won't get our shots till probably sometime in May, but I can always go outside in the meantime.

Yesterday, I rewarded myself for doing a bunch of yardwork by taking the singlespeed for a scenic loop that included what I call sushineuring. If you want an amazing lunch that will fill you up and make your mouth supremely happy, get the Sashimi Combo Platter at Mio Sushi. You can thank me later.

(Above) My friend Harriet passed along a hat someone had given her. It wasn't her style -- and to be honest, it's sort of not mine, either -- but it's made by the folks at Double Darn, so it fits my little head perfectly. I wore it yesterday to celebrate spring and flowers and warmth and sun.

(Double Darn makes caps in multiple sizes and types of fabric. They're comfortable and fit easily under a helmet. Check them out.

Golden Pliers has, in the wake of Rivelo's brick-and-mortar closure, the Portland Rivendell dealer. So I like to ride past now and then and see what's parked outside.

Last time, it was a newer Atlantis, an old and very tall Bridgestone XO-1 and an even older Motobecane ten-speed from the 70's that had been cleaned up and refurbished.

I don't miss dealing with the crap about running a business, but I do enjoy visiting the better bike shops just to see the cool bikes and smell the vibe.

I look forward to the day when Golden Pliers can open fully, so I can go inside and order a cup of slow-drip coffee and a sandwich and hang out in the undemanding atmosphere. And when I can do that, I will celebrate. I will throw a fucking party. Come join me.

Until then, happy riding! Wear a mask, wash your hands and stay safe.


amidnightrider said...

I added you to my list of followed sites. Also, I have been hitting the like button on your Joyful Riders Facebook page post. If I had know about your blog, I would have followed much sooner. It's good.

I've been doing some "ketchup" reading of your post during this cold spell in Southern New England.

B.J. and JoLynn Ondo said...

Boy do we know how you FEEL, we got out of the DEEP FREEZE most of country was in, had a couple of really nice and rideable days, then WHAM, 3 days worth of Blizzard weather, winds up to 60+ mph. blowing and drifting snow, etc. The only thing is that we here in central Colorado Springs, managed to miss out on the 8 to 24 inches of SNOW that got northern Co. Springs all the way up to Denver and then Ft. Collins, CO.!! Well now we've got a slow warming trend into the upcoming weekend so we should be able to get the bikes out again YEA!!!:) As far as Covid, like you it's been a RPIA, we are both 65 senior's so we've got shot #1 a month ago and are scheduled to get #2 Tue/Wed this week, will be SO HAPPY to get it over with as just getting a appointment was a HUGH PIA!!! Let's hope the vaccine's will keep us ok from the new and multi-variants of this damnable plague! Take care, ride with the mask for now and hope for better days ahead!! :)