I’ve said this on ye olde blog before, but spring is my favorite season. And it’s great being a spring lover in the wet side Northwest, as spring arrives sometime in February and goes to about May, when we start getting our first tastes of summer (though summer doesn’t really lock in until July.) Once mid-February hits, it becomes harder for us to get “real” winter (snow/ice) weather, though there is always a chance for frost. And flowers and buds make their first appearance. The deciduous trees usually fill out in early April (vs mid-May in Connecticut.)
It’s been a mild January here. Our only freezing temps happened during the first three days of the month. We haven’t hit 60F/16C, though we’ve gotten up to the upper 50’s a few times. Our temperate climate is being all temperate this winter, and I’m okay with that.
But we’ve still seen our share of wet this January. We’re at about 5 inches of rain, which is spot on the “average” for January. We’ve had some dry days and spells, but they don’t always align with my days off (or my health!) For example, I had four days off last week. Most of them were wet, the one that wasn’t I had other things going on. So no fun bike rides. Sure, I can ride in the evening if it’s dry, but sometimes it’s nice to see things, y’know?
But Sunday January 28th was promising to be a dry and mild day. And I wanted to take advantage of it and ride a bike. The big problem was I had to work. Normally I have Sundays off, but I had to work this one because The Boss was out of town. And thankfully I had the PM shift which starts at 3 PM, so I could take advantage of the morning and afternoon. Of course, I didn’t get out of the house as early as I wanted, mostly because it’s hard to wake up early after working the night before until 10 PM. And of course, once I get outside I wish I did get out earlier! It was so beautiful. So it goes.
I decided to take the Robin Hood, since it’s the newest bike and I’m still getting used to it. I enjoy riding it, but it needs a few more tweaks. And there were a few tweaks I needed to do before and during the ride, like reseating the rear wheel* and adjusting the kickstand I recently installed.
Since I didn’t have much time I decided to do something easy. I headed south from my house to the Willamette, passing the Rodney Goats on the way. The Eastbank Esplanade was surprisingly free of people on such a beautiful January Sunday. I wondered if maybe I forgot about the Superbowl going on, but realized it’s next Sunday instead. Oh well, more for me to enjoy!
I kept on going south, eventually riding on the Springwater’s Willamette section. The river on my side, trees overhead, birds singing. I felt pretty good. I arrived at the Sellwood Bridge and decided to cross it, meaning I’d be heading north along the west side of the river. A quick pause for coffee and a snack at the Five Points Coffee on SW Dakota, one of the shops owned by my former roommate. It was getting late, so I hustled a bit more, which is hard since the Willamette path here meanders around various condiminium complexes, and the pedestrians picked up. So I didn’t linger over the not-crowded Tillikum Crossing Bridge to get back to the east side.
I got to work right at 3 PM. The ride was fifteen miles, not bad. And it put me in a good mental space. But now I want more. The next few days don’t look good, but it looks like Wednesday may be dry though not as mild as Sunday. (Sunday’s high was 57F/14C, Wednesday promises 47F/8C.) And I have Wednesday off. Let’s hope the stars align. And let’s hope more spring weather is not far away!
*The biggest thing I hate about three speeds is removing and installing the rear wheel. I needed to take it off to change the rear fender light (I just got a Spanninga Vena), and I never seem to get it positioned right and/or fully tightened n the first take.
Yes, I also have to fuss with the rear wheel position, it is a pain, there are so many variables. I have one with track ends , adds one more little thing to fight getting the wheel on and off with fenders.
I am looking forward to you posting up images of the very first hints of spring, I am so tired of this Northeast winter. Raw and cold.