Sunrise Coffee Club: Whitaker Ponds, 16 January 2014

It’s not a big secret that I haven’t been to too many Sunrise Coffee Club rides, despite my want to do them. Many factors come into play, but not enough time to get from the coffee spot to work (if I work at 8 am) and not wanting to get out of a warm bed so damn early are the chief ones. But this past Thursday, things worked in favor of me participating: the destination wasn’t super far from my house, the weather was going to be passable, and I didn’t have to be into work until the afternoon.

So I rolled out of bed around 7 am, got on my bike, and rolled the three or so miles to Whitaker Ponds Nature Park. I was mostly concerned about a fast and direct route there, so I hopped on NE Lombard St, aka “Bypass US 30”. True to its Federal Highway designation, it was much highway like, but had a passable bike lane. The big issue was the “off-ramp” which was narrow and shoulderless. That part was a bit scary, especially in the dark.

I got to Whitaker Ponds just around 7:30. In the foggy dark, I circled around the park until I found the “coffee” spot on the dock in the largest pond.** Quickly everyone rolled in, and we had eight total. Besides Chris, Kelley, and Zack, who are there for pretty much every Sunrise Coffee Club ride, there was Russ, and first-timers Aaron (who came out from The Dalles for this!), Eric,  Josh, and Stasia. Soon everyone*** pulled out their respective heat-the-water or make-the-coffee device, and we got to work.

We weren’t exactly greeted to a sunrise, as the fog was pretty thick. It made for a moody, peaceful setting. This is despite the noise all around us, as Whitaker Ponds are by the Columbia Slough, an area of grimy industry with all its associated noise. And PDX, Portland International Airport’s southern boundary was just a few hundred yards to the north. The blue herons on the far side of the pond didn’t seem to mind, though.

Soon, coffee was done, and everyone went their respective ways. I took a much more pleasant route back to my house.

I hope to catch another Sunrise Coffee Club ride in the near future. Just hope it doesn’t take me three months to do it again!

*With sunrise happening earlier and earlier until Summer Solstice, this will not be as big of a factor, eventually.

**A “splinter” group had decided to use the smaller dock on the smaller pond, but met up eventually with the big group.

***Josh brought pre-made tea.

SPECIAL BONUS: Russ made a video of the whole thing.

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