Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First Ride of the New Year

The new year is upon us and knowing this I felt the need to hit the gym for a spin class and then the road for a nice 30 mile ride.  The spin class is a new adventure for Kelly and I, we both like cycling but Portland, Oregon doesn't always allow us the luxury of warm, dry and windless riding.  So on Sunday we gave spin class a try, and both liked it.  The upbeat music and fun groups and instructors make the pain almost bearable...almost.  For those who haven't attended a spin class I recommend at least giving it a chance to see how it goes, it is a fun way to burn LOTS of calories.  Go on give it a try.

Mt. Hood from the middle of the I-205 Bridge 
The road ride that I embarked on this afternoon was with a friend from school who has recently gotten into cycling.  I enjoy riding with him because we can have both school and non-school conversations all while enjoying the unseasonably nice, albeit cold, weather.  Our ride started out from NE Portland Near 15th and Going, and took us in a fun loop back to the same area.  The ride started with a balmy temperature of 36 degrees, and really never got any warmer.  We headed through NE Portland to the delta park area where we could hook into the bike path that would lead us into Vancouver aka Vantucky.  The I-5 bridge crossing was a first for Abe, which like most people who cross it the first time comment on how much of a climb there is to get over to the 'Couve.  With the perfect amount of layers we zigged and zagged through historic Fort Vancouver, then into "old town" Vancouver (more like ghost town Vancouver).  Dodging frost and ice on the shoulder we found ourselves near our midpoint stop, my parents house.  Stopping and warming our toes and fingers with some hot coffee, emptying the bladders and chatting with my dad we suited back up for the big descents for the day the I-205 bridge.  For those who have never ridden across the bridge, it is 2 miles of dust, noise and exhaust with some pretty nice views of Mt. Hood.

Abe Enjoying the Tailwind on the bike path
Mt. Hood From the Marine Drive Bike Path
After the cold and windy descent from Vancouver to Portland we decided to head back west on Marine Drive and use the tailwind to our advantage.  Well played!  With almost zero effort we were able to cruise a modest 18mph for the entire 7 miles, what a joy!  Alas all good things and tailwinds must come to an end, and heading back up 33rd towards Abe's house we were buffeted by and COLD ESE wind, which made the last push home a bit harder than either of us wanted.  After navigating the sketchy overpass back into urban life we meandered the remaining 3 miles uphill with remorse that such a beautiful day was coming to a close and that school was starting up tomorrow.

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