Tuesday, January 22, 2013

it was like this: neighborhood ride, n/ne pdx 1-21-13

gorgeous day for a ride
Originally uploaded by periwinklekog

Nothing ambitious. I just hadn't been on my bike very much and I was missing it. The weather has been dry but very cold for the last week and a half, with lows in the high 20s and highs hovering around 40F. A temperature inversion has added to the fun; the air quality is poor and all the families burning wood to stay warm -- common in this part of town -- have only made it worse.

Still, I went for a ride yesterday, an easy loop around N/NE Portland that took in parts of N. Willamette Blvd, Rosa Parks and Killingsworth Streets. I wore layers of wool and topped it off with winter knickers and a heavy sweater, and toe covers over my shoes.

The sun was bright and low in the pale-blue, still-winter sky. As long as I kept moving it was mostly okay. I saw a Cooper's hawk perched in a tree at Overlook, and noticed the first buds appearing on the tips of the bare branches.

Towards the end of my loop, I ran into a former co-worker, Ryan, who had left Citybikes several weeks earlier to take a job elsewhere with more hours and health benefits. He was sweet, cheerful and as happy to see me as I was to see him. We agreed that when my scheduled calmed down a little we should go for a ride together. I'm looking forward to that.

After stopping at the store for a few items for dinner -- Monday is my day to cook and I was making soup -- I came out to unlock my bike and felt suddenly colder. I rode briskly to get home, where the soup tasted especially good after my cold-weather ride. I rode an unambitious total of 9 very sunny, pleasant miles.

Today, I am paying for the ride in poor air; my throat is scratchy and a little sore. I'm downing zinc lozenges and will probably take the bus to meet my student today. But I'm glad I rode. The air quality is expected to improve when the rain comes in late tonight and the temperature rises into the mid-40s.