“Halloween is tough in Portland.” This according to Terry, who runs the Everett Street Guesthouse where I stayed in the funky neighbourhood of Laurelhurst. What she meant is that Portlandians are generally so tattooed, pierced, bearded, and eccentricly clothed, that, as Wolfman Althusser might say, it is always already Halloween in Portland. When October 31 rolls around, how do you step it up?
Friday, October 31, 2014
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
I’ve never seen so many fenders. Or, for that matter, so many Subarus, or Priuses, or beards, nudie bars, doggy daycares, or really fine craft beers I’ve never heard of. But it’s the fenders that warm my heart. Rain is reality in Portland, so if you’re going to ride a bike here—and an impressive number of Portlandians do—then it only makes sense to fender up.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
This is Saltzman Road, just west of Portland, Oregon, easily my favorite part of today’s ride up along Skyline Road and then around lovely Sauvie Island.
Saltzman Road isn’t really a road so much as a path up a mountain. Cars, technically, can drive part way up a narrow, switchbacky, crudely-paved laneway, but a gate forces the car people to park and walk. Bikes, however, can keep going up. And up. The climb is about 3000 feet, and the road gets narrower and narrower, while the forest gets thicker and thicker, ferns and moss closing in on all sides. Near the tippy top, fog filled in the few remaining open spaces.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
My O2 cycling jacket is mortally wounded. As you can see, it’s got a huge gash down the back, a bloodless death wound that severely compromises its status as “raingear.” I will attempt to patch it up with duct tape, but I fear the jacket’s days are numbered. Which is too bad because it served me well.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Somewhere out Villeneuve way, there’s a little pull-out beside a fenced field populated by a couple of horses. In our little cycling community, this pit stop has come to be known as Pee-Horse Corner. We almost always stop at the pullout to say hello to the noble beasts and take a quick break. And to pee.
The correlation between this corner, horses, and peeing is not something we ever planned. It just kind of happened. The corner is a convenient halfway point on our usual northern loop, so it makes sense to stop thereabouts. But over time, somehow, I’ve become conditioned to associating horses at the corner with the act of urination—my own.