Monday, August 04, 2014
Washington Cascades bike tour, prologue
We went on a two-week bicycle ride, Adventure Cycling's Washington Cascades van-supported tour, but first we had to get there. That involves way too much planning, staying in motels and my least favorite part — driving. But none the less, with our bikes on the roof and a custom road tune playlist blasting through the bluetooth, we launched toward Portland and our ride start.
When we can we try to stay at a Best Western. I could say it's because they're clean and a reasonable value, but really it's because of the Richard Shindell song "Next Best Western" from his "Reunion Hill" CD which we both love.
I also had more fun than I should have making corny jokes about the rest area sign in Weed, CA.
We eventually arrived at the ride start a day early which gave us a chance to explore the bicycle Mecca of Portland. It ain't like here.
From the many well-signed bike paths to the bike-friendly airport and (gasp) on street bike parking, we were in bicycle wonderland. And if the bicycle parts weren't awesome enough the place is so totally Portlandia quirky it was unreal.
They even have blackberries growing right on the bike path for our nourishment. And they are really good.
We were exploring downtown and came upon a long long line. I thought it might be for a show of some sort, but no, it's the normal out-the-door line at Voodoo Doughnuts. Apparently its a Portland institution. We saw people at the airport heading out with multiple boxes.
And if that isn't enough, there's a whisky library. Really. The Multnomah Whisk(e)y Library. It looks like a library, with large tables and bankers lights, but the sky high shelves are stocked with whisky, whisky and more whisky. I had one of the best deep dark smokey single malts I've ever had.
But wait, there's more. The biggest bookstore I've ever seen, Powells, covers a city block on multiple floors. Their cycling book section alone fills multiple long shelves. They even have another store for tech books. Tricia and I had to drag each other out.
We had a day until our official ride, so we went out on our own past the airport on a delightful trail along the water. This city is just wonderful.
And that's just before our ride started. In my rich fantasy life I will post all our days of summer bicycling delight, a day at a time. We'll see.