Another decent fall day in Portland, a day I had off. What to do? Well, I have been wanting to ride the eleven miles of unpaved that is Leif Erickson Drive through Forest Park for quite some time. Not only would there be some fall color, but I have not yet ridden the Bantam Rambleneur through there, a bike that just says “unpaved roads”. And why not get in another coffeeneuring adventure to boot!
I zoomed from my house down N Vancouver to the Broadway Bridge, then worked my way up through NW to the Thurman Street gate, with a quick pause at Food Front for lunch supplies. Leif Erickson was surprisingly busy for a mid-week mid-afternoon (at least the first half), but then again, since the sun goes down now around 5, people have to get their Forest Park action in early!
The Bantam Rambleneur handled surprisingly well. Part of that is due to handling, but also because I smartly lowered the pressure of the tires to about 20 psi. This is something I should always have done with my high-volume tires, but stupidly rarely do. Even the really rough first couple miles didn’t feel bad this time. The trail was pretty damp and muddy in spots (and will be this way until spring), but the tires handled everything well.
At about milepost 3 1/2, at the junction of Chestnut Trail, is a picnic table where I customarily stop for lunch, so I did. This is where I also made coffee. Coming into duty was my classic Esbit coffee maker. I used some of the Five Points “High Score” beans (ground with a GSI Java Mill.) I drank coffee and ate while watching a bunch of mountain bikers zoom by, plus some people on cross bikes. (Tis the season.)
The rest of the miles glided by. It was a bit past peak foliage, but there was still enough color to be found. I made my way to the end of the trail, zoomed down paved Germantown Road to the Saint Johns Bridge and then into Saint Johns itself where I had a nice pint of Altbier at Occidental. Then home, through the dark North Portland night.
- Bike taken: Bantam Rambleneur
- Distance: 26.3 mi/42.3 km
- High temp: 53F/12C
- Coffee: Five Points “High Score” blend
- Brewed via: Esbit coffee maker
- Bike friendliness: Off roading, man!
- Route map: Ride With GPS
- Special note: I have now completed the seven rides needed for the coffeneuring challenge, as two of the weeks had two rides! But I’ll still coffeneur…