A ride to St. Johns, 4 December 2020

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been trying to do a “good” ride every week. A good ride is defined for me as something in the 20 or more miles. Now some weeks it doesn’t happen because of weather and/or obligations, and sometimes I might be able to sneak in more than one good ride. And during the winter, it’s not the easiest thing to motivate myself for such a long ride, so it helps when a ride has a particular purpose to it.

The purpose of the ride I took on Friday December 4th was to pick up film. I had made an order at Blue Moon Camera. It is great having a shop such as Blue Moon in town, but since it’s in the far-flung North Portland neighborhood and former city* of St. Johns, I don’t get up there regularly. 13 miles by bike isn’t obscenly far, but it’s far enough. And during the winter days, finding a day that’s just right for this ride–not wet, not too windy–isn’t easy. Thankfully the weather for this December ride lined up just right: sunny, high of 50F/10C, a bit of wind but not that much.

As always, I left later than I wished. It wasn’t that big of a deal, though, as long as I can get up to St. Johns in the light, I don’t mind riding back in the dark. And my Bantam has good dynamo lighting, so night riding wasn’t an issue.

The ride there was great. I didn’t really have a specific route in mind, I just let the bike guide me along. I made a stop in Columbia Park where I ran into my former co-worker along with her mom and her husband. We chatted for a bit. It was nice to catch up, and also nice to have some interaction with other folks during this pandemic. (Don’t worry, we stayed far enough apart.)

I got to Blue Moon after 3 PM, picked up my order, and rode down to Cathedral Park underneath the St Johns Bridge where I had a little coffee outside action. It was now getting dark, a chill was definitely in the air. The ride back was okay, though a little tougher than I hoped since I was facing a headwind. The lights of the city were beautiful from above Mocks Crest.

It was a great ride, a good chance to test out my Olympus Pen EES-2 camera. I definitely want to get back up this way again, since it’s been a long time since I made it out to Kelley Point Park. I don’t think I have been out there since last October’s Three Speed Ride. And I’m sure I’ll swing by Blue Moon again if I do!

Photos from the ride are below, or via this link.

Under the St Johns Bridge at Cathedral Park. A rare moment when no one is taking engagement photos! 4 Dec 2020

*Incorporated into Portland in 1915. You’ll often hear the term “Downtown St Johns” to refer to its distinct and coherent business district.

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