Non-rando times

Hello all. Remember that last post, where I was on the fence about going on the 100 km populaire randonneuring event on Saturday? Well, I didn’t go. The weather forecast did not look too promising, with a half-inch of rain forecast. Also, I’ve been feeling some hand discomfort so I need to tweak the handlebars on the Bantam. I didn’t want to ride 60 miles in wet and wind with my hands killing me as well.

But of course I felt that slight twinge of regret when I woke up Saturday morning to see the sun shining for a bit! Oh man, I should have been out there on the ride, I thought. This changed when I left the house later and hit that wall of wind as I headed southward. (Pretty much every ride I do heads south first, as I live so far north.) Then on the way to my friend’s house, a cold rain poured down on me. Yeah, I made the right call, as five miles of riding in this weather was enough for me.

And as discussed previously, I’m probably not going to attempt another local randonneuring event, as I realized that the riding style and the local scene is not my thing. I may try to attempt a 100K or 200K in another city where the rides are more fun (like Seattle), so I won’t give up the idea of doing something rando related. Heck, maybe even pull off a 300K at some point. The problem is that most randonneuring organizations don’t seem to offer a lot of 100/200K rides, a few during the beginning of the season, a few during the end. But during the middle of the season it’s more the 300, 400, 600K rides, the “real” rides for the hardcore randonneurs. I understand that summer is great for these long rides, but those are rides I’m not into. I wish there was more of the shorter rides offered throughout the year. I guess I’ll just have to go out on my own.

*****

I did get a little bit of riding in this week, though. I had to go to my dentist on Thursday morning. My dentist is in the deep-deep SW neighborhood of Garden Home.  It’s a thirteen mile ride from my house. When I tell folks where my dentist is, they wonder why I don’t just get one closer to me. It’s true that there are plenty of dentists that are closer, but there are two reasons I keep my Garden Home dentist: 1) I’ve been going to him for the better part of a decade. I like him, and he knows me. 2) It gives me the excuse to get a long ride in and see a part of town I wouldn’t check out otherwise.

And thankfully, the ride to the dentist was pretty nice. The rain stayed away, too. Cruising up SW Terwilliger is the best part of the ride, since it’s mostly a winding path through forest with occasional glimpses of the city below.

On the way back, I did a detour onto SW Slavin, a “dead” street that used to connect SW Corbett to Barbour. I believe it got taken out when I-5 was built through this area. Slavin may turn into a nice bike path at some point (and there was a plan back in the 1970’s to do it then*) but right now there’s a very, very informal goat trail connecting the two stubs of the road. (The section connecting Corbett is still active, the one at Barbour is fenced off.) For some reason, this is the first time I ever succesfully attempted to ride all of Slavin! The one time I tried before, I came up from the Slavin side, but the trail was hidden in the underbrush. Now it was pretty clear. And muddy. There was more push-biking than actual riding. And of course it started to pour on me right then! 😉

Anyways, it’s always nice to know that there is still things in Portland I haven’t explored!

*The 1970’s plan was a pretty radical document for the South Portland neighborhood. It proposed having at least one car-free street. Because of this, the plan got nixed.

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