Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happiest on Two Wheels

Yesterday we didn't do a long ride, but we did do a shopping trip in the morning. We also did a lunch trip to the cart pod (above) for gumbo, a burrito and a lemon curd, lingonberry and chevre crepe.

Today was the best day that I've had since returning from Finland. After a nice breakfast of oatmeal and rye bread open faced sandwiches (a breakfast we saw a Finnish woman have in Finland), we headed off on our bikes for a long ride to the Columbia River. We headed east zig-zagging our way through the bike boulevards almost all the way to the I-205 bike path. The bike path mostly runs along the interstate and isn't beautiful but allows you to pedal unimpeded for miles at a time. There is a little stretch at Maynard City that is pretty darn cute, complete with flowers and grass and adorable little houses.

After passing the airport we turned west on Marine drive and rode along the beautiful Columbia River. I remember driving into Portland along this river nearly 10 years ago with my face pressed to the window and thinking we had found the garden of Eden. "I can't not look at it," I said to Peter as we drove in. Today we were riding about 15 miles an hour with an about 15 mile an hour tailwind so it felt like we were almost floating. It was rainy, but pretty and there were birds floating on logs in the river. At one point we saw a Great Blue Heron.

We turned back at a little neighborhood of houseboats and into the wind. As we headed back east we drafted off each other, taking turns in the lead. We turned south and stopped at Ikea for some meatballs and coffee.

I'm not sure if you can ever truly stay dry on a long ride on a wet day, but wool socks help you stay warm. Peter didn't have any so we rode over to The Sports Authority after our meatballs for some wigwams. "Oooooohhhhhh, that feels so good," said Peter as he pulled on the socks.

We heaeded back home, away from the river so it was uphill. We were grateful for the hills to keep us warm.

A couple of hours later, I had an appointment downtonwn and I was psyched to test out my cute outfit raingear. I got dressed on some fun slacks and a cute top and completed the outfit with my Finland scarf. Then I pulled on my bike booties and my cycling waterproof pants. Peter stayed home to finish his demiglace and I headed back out into the rain. I pedaled across the river, through downtown and up giant hill to my appointment. When I got there, I stripped off my raingear and wahlah! all dry! The appointment went great and I headed home.

On the way home I stopped at the two grocery stores for dinner. One for cheese, a baguette, and orzo salad. Another for wine for tonight and our dinner party tomorrow. I even got a wine called Red Bicyclette. As I was riding home I realized I was having the best day that I had had since Finland. With a smile on my face I also realized that I am happiest on two wheels.

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