Bike Project Day 27.

In which I attempt to ride all the yellow, green, blue & purple streets on the Bike There Bike Map while increasing strength, stamina, aerobic capacity and exploring Portland’s nooks and crannies.

Day 27

Weather: Sunny and HOT with little breeze

Time: about 1.5 hours

The Ride:
N Lombard & N Denver
Head south on Denver (towards Rosa Parks way)
L on Ainsworth
R on 37th.
L on Alberta Ct.
L on 52nd
R on Killingsworth
L on 55th
L on Ainsworth
L on 42nd
R on 41st
L on Holman
L on 6th
R on Ainworth
R on Williams
L on Rosa Parks
R on Denver to start.

Route comments:
I took two “Growing Fruits in Your Backyard” classes offered by the city of Portland and hosted by Glen Andresen who you can also hear on KBOO radio, or via your computer. During the classes, (which were fantastic) he told us where he lived, which I wrote down. I decided today to go take a look at his yard. I remembered his cross streets as being NE 42nd & NE Alberta Ct, so I plotted my route accordingly. When I neared my destination, I had the “uh oh” moment. Did he really live at those cross streets, or was I just making them up? I should have checked before I left the house. I also had to pick up the milk and that was done successfully.

How did I do?
Aside from my thrice-weekly 4 miles each way bicycle to work and back, I’ve not been doing much cycling. So I took it easy, partially because of that and partially because it was very hot and partially because it was my last day of vacation and I didn’t feel like a strenuous bike ride.

Glorious Bicycling Moments/Neat Things:

The metal leaf on the chimney of this house is visible from Rosa Parks Way and is quite lovely.

A nice example of a front yard garden.

I’ve had my eye on this plot of land.

Ainsworth is a pretty wide street, and nice to ride ones bike on.

The Rose Gardens at Peninsula Park.

Which are lovely.

This UCC church is open to all. The sign says, “Multi-Racial, Multi-Cultural, Open and Affirming to all.”

Concordia University is in this neighborhood. I liked their mural.

A man was watering his vegetables growing in his parking strip and we chatted about the amazing ability of winter squash to climb AND hold their squash up.

A closer look.

Here are the cross streets I thought I was given.
Apparently, I was wrong.

Very wrong.

So now I have no idea where he lives, but I decide to check out Alberta Ct.

A fun artsy gate.

And some road paintings. When I was taking this picture a guy walking by said, “Are you casing their house?” I told him I might be.

I first saw this from the side and wondered if large-chain mailbox posts would ever come into fashion again. But then I saw it from the front and WOW! Large chain and an address? Nifty.

Ainsworth between 55th and 42nd has these amazingly large lots. I was a little jealous.

As stated before, I’m a fan of clever graffiti and this tickled my funny bone.

Now I’m home and looking for the Glen Andresen’s cross streets and can’t find my notes. I’m afraid they were purged in the last great “reorganize the garden notes.” Poop. It was a nice bike ride, though.

Bike project Day 26: To Mirador

The Bike Project:

In which I attempt to ride all the yellow, green, blue & purple streets on the Bike There Bike Map while increasing strength, stamina, aerobic capacity and exploring Portland’s nooks and crannies.

Day 26

Weather: Sunny and hot.

Normally data such as ride speed, distance, etc. goes here, but I didn’t bring along any of my data collecting devices.

The Ride:
Lombard and Denver Ave.
Take Denver to Rosa Parks Way
Check out Recycling Center
Continue on Denver
L on N. Ainsworth
R on N. Vancouver
L on NE. Skidmore
R on N. 18th
R on NE Tillamook
L on NE 16th
Follow that around the Lloyd Center
L on Irving
R on 16th, follow that to Ladds Addition
L on Division
R on 21st.
Stop at Mirador

Route comments:

  • I needed to check out the Portland Recycling Center before I had my day-o-errands and I also wanted to get some two-quart sized canning jars at Mirador, so I decided to ride my bike. It was a good day for riding: hot, but with a breeze.
  • The ride itself was pretty uneventful. I’m still having that problem with my neck hurting if I spend too long riding. I think a more upright stance needs to be in my future.

How fun that I came across these children riding safely in a line. I suspect they were part of the Community Cycling Center’s Summer Camp, a program that I am very enthusiastic about, if not supportive monetarily (at this point.) Children learning to properly ride bikes = good adult riding skills!
Ladd’s Addition was sketched out by William Ladd himself. He was inspired by Pierre L’Enfant’s design of Washington DC. If you look at a map of Portland, Ladd’s Addition is easily identifiable as the suddenly diagonal portion on the map in a city of north-south and east-west grids. Unlike DC, there are not important buidings where the diagonals meet, but rather rose gardens. I enjoy getting lost in Ladd’s Addtion and admiring all the houses.
Mirador was good, as usual. They have all sort of household things: things for cooking as well as canning and other preserving, but also natual fiber shower curtains and bedding, etc. I even got some cute stationary made from recycled maps. After purchasing my large canning jars I rode the fast way home (along the Eastbank Esplinade) and stopped to pick some black berries at this bush. Luckily, I had a container to place them in.

Bike Project Day 25: I-205 to Hafidha’s Party.

The Bike Project:

In which I attempt to ride all the yellow, green, blue & purple streets on the Bike There Bike Map while increasing strength, stamina, aerobic capacity and exploring Portland’s Nooks and Crannies.

Day 25

Weather: Gray turning to sunny with a nice breeze. Good temperature for biking.

Part I
Ride Average Speed: 11.6 mph
Time: 1 hour 27 minutes
Distance: 17.03
Calories: 704

Part II
Ride Average Speed: 11.8 mph
Time: 1 hour 24 minutes
Distance: 16.64 mi
Calories: 642

The Ride:
to Marine Drive
To I-205 bike path.
to 23rd
R on Ellsworth
R on 10th
10th changes to SE McGillivray
R on 22nd
Take a few more turns until you get to Hafidha’s sister-in-law’s house.

Route comments:

· My first time solo biking in Vancouver and it went well. Vancouver has very nicely put a bike map online ( and I used it to plot my route. McGillivray is a great street to ride on—big bike lines and not very much traffic.

· I can’t believe I have lived here for 7 years and I have just now ridden over the I-205 bike path. It is a trip. I thought the sound was loud on the Interstate Bridge. Take that noise and double it and then quadruple the length of the bridge. It starts out all nice and flat so there is only the noise to contend with, but then it takes a turn and suddenly there is a persistent uphill grade to deal with on top of the traffic. I thought I never was going to get off of that bridge. It was much more fun riding back to Oregon when that persistent uphill turned into a fast downhill. And, despite the noise, it’s a trip riding in the middle of a freeway.

How did I do?

· This was much further than I should have ridden, given that my longest ride this year was 15 miles. I was very exhausted by the end. I was glad that all the up-hills on the way there were down-hills on the way back. I’ll be resting for the next few days, for sure.

· I’ve noticed that my bike needs to be adjusted. Suddenly, when I ride any length of time, my neck gets very sore. Maybe I need to raise my handlebars?

· My helmet has both a front and rear light on it. For rides longer than 12 or so miles in the daytime I will remember to take the front light off. It’s pretty heavy and it gave me a headache today.

Glorious Bicycling Moments/Neat Things:

· I was riding along Marine Drive at the part that overlooks the Columbia. There were water-skiers out and I think that in a parallel universe I married into a large wealthy family with a penchant for philanthropy and water sports. The family would be chock full of good-natured doctors or lawyers or stockbrokers and my only job would be to produce bouncing babies to carry on the line and take part in the family’s many activities on the water. I would spend my summers water skiing and windsurfing and swimming. My skin would grow dark and my children would grow up in the water with tan skin and prune-y hands and goggle eyes and the lake or river in their blood. In this universe, I miss the hot summers and time spent on the open water, or even at the outdoor pool.

Bike Project Day 24: Sometimes trailer parks have the best views.

This was a short, 12 mile ride. I decided to explore Hayden Island, home of Jantzen Beach, (a mall that seems to be rapidly approaching Dead Mall status) several big box stores and expensive condos as well as some floating homes.

When I think of Hayden Island I think of the woman who wrote a letter to the editor explaining that she was going to do us all a big favor and take public transportation to an event in the Rose Quarter. But she called and there was no bus that came to her house! So she drove. This caused a tremendous eye roll on my part as the idea that the buses come to each person’s door seems to be a very wide misconception on the part of people who don’t use public transportation. Living on Hayden Island there are couple very easy ways to get to public transportation. You can walk or bike over to Jantzen Beach where you can grab the #6 to Portland (it leaves every 15 minutes). That will take you to the Lombard Max stop. You can then ride the Max to the Rose Quarter. If you want to involve your car and at the same time avoid Rose Quarter parking fees (as well as the #6 bus which can be a bit colorful) you can drive–or ride your bike–to the Delta Park Max stop and park there FOR FREE and take the Max to the Rose Quarter.

Suffice to say that I don’t have a high opinion of Hayden Island.

I-5 cuts the island in half. I tackled the right half first. It was just what I know Hayden Island to be. Lots of big, ugly, modern houses on the water, many of them protected by their precious gates to keep the riff-raff out. Side observation: how are the buses supposed to get past all the gates to pick up the hoards of Hayden Island people who are dying to take public transportation once every six months?

The left side (probably known more properly as the west side) held a nice surprise: trailer park! I rode around the loops of various manufactured homes. They were very well kept up–I’m guessing that a lot of active retirees (ones not able to afford gates to keep the riff-raff out) live here. But then I found the surprise of the day.
There is a small asphalt path that runs along the Columbia River for the length of the park. It was quite lovely and peaceful and deserted.
It occurred to me riding home that the other side of the island might also have a similar path, but I, lowly bike rider with no friends in high places, will never get to see it.

Gated communities. Really annoying me since 1974.

Exciting Internet Discovery! From the main page, click on Dead Mall Features. Jantzen Beach is listed, as are two dead malls near and dear to my heart: Mt. Farms Mall in Hadly, Mass, where I went to college, and Assembly Square Mall in Somerville, Mass. I used to ride my bike to Assembly Square Mall to go to the K-Mart there and treat myself to a trip to the always delightful Building 19. Felicia and I, and maybe Jenna? saw the so-bad-it’s good movie Whipped at the movie theater near there.

Bike Project Day 23: The Missing Children’s Arboretum

In which I attempt to ride all the yellow, green, blue & purple streets on the Bike There Bike Map while increasing strength, stamina, aerobic capacity and exploring Portland’s nooks and crannies.

Day 23

Weather: Sunny & Cold

Ride Average Speed: 10.2 mph
Time: 59.43
Distance: 10.6 mi
Average Heart Rate: 132

The Ride:
N Lombard & N Denver
Go to Interstate and turn left
L on Ainsworth
L on Williams to Vancouver
R on Schmeer (hooks around)
R on 6th Dr.
Right into Children’s Arboretum
Come back out
L on 6th Dr.
L on Vancouver Way
L on Gertz Rd.
L on 13th
L on Marine Dr. to Bridgton
L on Gantenbein Ave.
R on Marine Dr.
At turnoff for Delta Park cut though park
Back to Denver.

Route comments:
Good route, though the whole Schmeer/6th Dr. was very heavily trafficked because a lot of industrial businesses don’t have President’s Day off. It would probably be better to ride there on a weekend.

The Columbia Children’s Arboretum is not well marked. I rode up and down that street looking for it and never found it.

How did I do?
It was clearly the first bike ride in a very long time. I had a longer route planned, but 10 miles was the limit for me, so I cut it short. I rode very slowly and it was nice to be out.

Glorious Bicycling Moments/Neat Things:
Mount St. Helens was out.

NE 13th Ave. was a mishmash of houses. There were older houses that felt free enough to do whatever they wanted, say paint large flowers on their garages.
There were gated communities. This made me laugh. That flimsy gate isn’t keeping anyone out who doesn’t want to come in, and anyway, a gated community in this area? You’ve got to be kidding.
There were also McMansions next to very modestly built houses. If you’ve got to locate your McMansion next to a run down 60s ranch, you still haven’t made it.
NE Bridgetown Rd turned out to be interesting. The road has been in the news lately
because the US Army Corps of Engineers wants to cut down all their trees. Bridgetown Road is a levee and the Corps doesn’t like trees on the levees. I was under the impression that the trees had all been cut down, but this picture clearly shows trees.
I was also surprised to see that Bridgetown Road had fancy condos on it.
From newspaper reports I expected a bunch of houses like this.

There are a lot of house boats in the neighborhood. It was a fun place to ride.