Ride Report: Palm Tree Ride 2022

Since leading my first ride after the year-plus COVID-induced “pause”, my Sunset/Moonrise Ride, in June 2021, I hoped that I’d be leading at least a ride a month. The rest of summer into October looked good. But the rest of 2021 was a drought of rides. Oh, I had planned a few, but I cancelled most of them due to either weather, lack of interest, or in one case “exhaustion”. I was starting to worry that I’d lose my touch.

Thankfully everything came together for the Palm Tree Ride I led on Sunday January 23. The Palm Tree Ride is mostly an annual tradition going back to 2005. The only years I didn’t do it was 2016 and 2017, when I was burnt out, and 2021 due to COVID. (I got my 2020 ride in right before pandemic.) So I was really hoping that I wouldn’t have to cancel or postpone. But I need not have worried. Omicron is still a concern, but I felt that we could be safe enough with precautions. And the weather did not disappoint: there was a bit of fog at the start, but that burned off, and we had sun and temps in the mid-40s F.

About twenty folks joined me as I wound through SE Portland from Ladd’s Circle to Montavilla. The almost nine mile ride hit up lots and lots of Chinese Windmill Palms, plus some other interesting evergreens like Oregon Myrtle, madronas, Southern Magnolias, and more.

The only wrinkle was due to winter and pandemic. I had hoped that the bathrooms in Clinton Park would be open, but they were not. Thankfully Emee led an expedition of toilet seekers a few blocks away to a private residence. I also hoped that we could all hang out and get food and beverages afterwards, but I’m just not comfortable with that scenario right now. Hopefully in another month or two things will be okay enough for that.

Below are photos from the ride (flickr album.) If that doesn’t work, click here. And click here for the route.

Could this be the current tallest palm in Portland? SE Division at 64th, 23 Jan 2022

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