As I said in the last post, leading a bike ride right before hopping on a train is a bit…irrational. It would have been more practical to leave on Sunday. But the big problem with that is that I only have so much vacation time, so leaving a day later would mean one less day in Minneapolis, and I can’t have that now, can I?
As it was, I was running later than I hoped, since I had to throw everything on my bike. I got to Union Station (with roommate Jon in tow) at about 10:50 am, about 30 people waiting for me. And even though going into the planning of this ride I had two cohorts/ride leaders, I was flyng solo, something I wasn’t hoping for. I do a bit about Portland and trains, but not as much as Dan or Sir Andrew!
Despite it all, the tour went well, with just a few hiccups. I talked up some of my favorite train-related spots like Union Station, Steel Bridge, Sullivan’s Gulch, the Bellrose/Oregon City Interurban Line, Brooklyn Yards, and Golf Junction. Seemed like everyone was having fun, though we steadily lost people as the ride progressed.
And while I could have checked some baggage before the ride started, since we started at Amtak, I decided to do the ride fully loaded. It wasn’t for cool points, but more to just test how the damn thing rode fully loaded! And it did okay. I definitely felt the added weight back there, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I definitely got used to it after a while. I think I’ll do okay on the tour after all!
Now I’m on Amtrak’s Empire Builder, hurtling eastward through the dark eastern Washington night, Spokane in a bit, Minneapolis on Monday morning.