Saturday was a beautiful day ’round these parts. Sunny and dry, with temperature peaking at 47F/8C. I’ve been riding the Rudge Sports the past few days because the weather’s been dry enough that I can get away with it. Soon the rains will be back, and the Raleigh will be the prime bike (until I get the LHT worked on.) But this time of year I’ll use any excuse to ride the Rudge. And why not take a little ride?
Of course, I have “stuff to do”. A deadline looms, and I should have had more done by this point. I don’t know what it is with me and deadlines, but unless someone prods me along the way, or I have to show the work in stages, I’ll cut it down to the wire. Do I just work best this way? At 36, I’m beginning to think so. Still, it makes me stress out. I don’t have time. I should be “buckling down.” No time for a ride. At the same time I realize this, I also realize that a nice bike ride is good for stress relief, for clearing out my head, for figuring out what I need to do. I figured spending a few hours on the bike isn’t going to hurt things in the long run.
I have been wanting to take a longer ride on the Rudge Sports for awhile, to test its limits and see how it feels when I’m on it for hours. For a longer ride, the direction was obvious: eastward toward Gresham. The obvious way to do this would be take the Springwater Corridor the whole way. And this is convenient since we live close to the western entrance of the path. But why do obvious? I decided to ramble through some of the deeper SE neighborhoods and meet up with the Springwater around
Avenue of the Roses SE 82nd Ave.
And I’m glad that I did. While I’m no stranger to this neck of the woods, I don’t have many reasons to regularly get down this way. I made sure that I took some streets that I don’t think I’ve ever been before. And I saw some streetscapes I’ve never seen before. This was cool. I’ve lived in this city for almost 11 years, and have seen a lot of it. But I have not seen all of it. There are still nooks and crannies that are waiting to be discovered. This is what I love about a city like Portland, Oregon: I have my own little world that I normally travel in, where I feel most of my needs are fulfilled. This leads one to feel like Portland’s a “small town”, and that’s not always a bad thing. But Portland is a rather large American city, nonetheless. The current census puts our population at several thousand shy of 600,000 people. And the city itself covers an area of about 145 square miles. It feels small enough to live in, yet big enough to still be explored. My kind of town.
When I got to the flat and open Springwater Corridor path, I was able to “open it up” and see how the Rudge performed. She did well! I sped along the path at a moderate pace. While she’s no speed demon, I kept up a good pace without feeling like the bike was fighting me. In no time I buzzed by Powell Butte and crossed the Gresham city line. I hit Linneman Junction around 4:45pm. With the sun just about to set, I decide that this would be as far east as I would go. I headed north on the Gresham-Fairview Trail until I hit Burnside, then headed west on the Main-Mill-Market bike route (or as I like to call it, “The Three M’s”, even though the easternmost section follows Yamhill.) This route brought me back into Portland and finally to the east flank of Mount Tabor in my old neighborhood of Montavilla. A hop, skip, and a jump down Woodward and Clinton to get back to my house. All in all I did a 25 mile loop, as you can see from this map.
The Rudge did fine, for the most part. There are still a few tweaks and adjustments that need to be done. My hands were a bit numb for the last few miles, so I’ll have to play with handlebar position. The left crank is funked so that will need replacement. The rear hub is a bit rough, so I think it’ll need more oil. And the bottle dynamo isn’t properly aligned, so it’s been busy chewing away at the sidewall. Not good! But these are minor things. Overall the bike is great. Now I’ll just have to wait for another sunny day!