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Mine is an evil laugh

Ha ha ha ha! I have inducted a new member into the cult.

Today I met my good pal roseambr at Waterfront Bicycles* in downtown Portland, where she rented a bike so she could experience this thing I've been raving about for six months.


Or not...
*snort* Yeah, or NOT.

It's the first day of spring. The sun was out, the wind had died down, the temperature rose to 70F/21C, and Waterfront Park looked like Waikiki Beach. Thousands of people were out. The whole city seemed to have ridden downtown, and when standard bike parking was full, they locked up on the seawall, so thickly that it looked like it was made of bikes.

This lot is full
This Lot Is Full

Saturday Market (a "tourist attraction") was hopping.

First Day of Spring
Heading to Saturday Market

We threaded our way through that crowd (a challenge because it's composed of people who forget to keep right or watch for bikes, and one is constantly dinging one's bell and slowing to the tipping-over point), then crossed the river and went in search of lunch on the east bank.

Lunch plan number one didn't pan out (NOTE TO PORTLAND BIKE-RIDERS: ClarkLewis, in addition to not serving lunch on Saturdays, has zero bike parking. Fail.), nor did our lunch backup plan (Park Kitchen DOES have bike parking, but also doesn't serve lunch on Saturday, alas.)

An ad hoc lunch plan--PF Chang's in the Pearl--worked out well. We cruised right to a bike staple, locked up, walked a bit, looked in some shops, and ate a good lunch.

All told, we rode about five miles. Until today, roseambr hadn't been on a bike for more than 40 years, but she hopped on the rented cruiser and after the faintest of wobbles getting started, she was rolling along, navigating the crowds, pumping up inclines and flying back down 'em.

We had the full experience: riding on car-free paths, getting stuck in bike traffic, waiting for a bridge to go down, riding on city streets with the cars. roseambr did it all on her first day!

She talked of feeling ageless, and weightless, and free, and full of life, and like a kid. She spoke of the flying feeling, and the wonderful fresh air, and the endorphins, and the sheer joy of it all.

She is so hooked. Ha ha ha ha ha!

*If you ever want to rent a bike in Portland, go to Waterfront Bicycles. They are extremely helpful, their prices are good, their service is outstanding, and they have lots of good bikes to rent. I watched them treat every single customer--young, old, fast, slow, newbie and old hand--exactly the same, with friendly respect. They are my new bike shop for sure.

This entry is cross-posted from DarkEmeralds on Dreamwidth.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 21st, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
The Cult
I love it! Welcome roseambr to our not-so-secret world! I have that feeling of agelessness and freedom EVERY TIME I get on my bike. Every day!
Mar. 21st, 2010 04:03 am (UTC)
Re: The Cult
The more I think about it, the more important this day seems to me.
Mar. 21st, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)
Way to go arm twister! I may have to add this shop to the very small list of places I would take my bike to be repaired. Thanks for the tip!
Mar. 21st, 2010 06:05 am (UTC)
I HIGHLY recommend that you keep them in mind. The owner (last name Ruby, and darned if I retained the first name) was very familiar with (and positive about) Specialized--I got the impression that he might have done a stint at River City--so if that's what you're still riding, you'd be in good hands there, I'm sure.

And the openness, the real love of ALL bicycling, the whole atmosphere in the place, was excellent. Oh, and they have a loaner bike program for when they need to keep your ride for a couple of days! I was VERY impressed. I'll be leaving Clyde there soon for some maintenance. I'm just thrilled to have found such a welcoming bike shop.
Mar. 21st, 2010 06:26 am (UTC)
Yep, still on the Specialized. That loaner bike program did catch my eye!
Mar. 21st, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
I've got to tell you, I'm not even sore this morning! I was a little stiff and sore last night so I thought I'd wake up and barely be able to walk. But no ill signs at all! It was one of the best days I've had in ages! I talked excitedly all evening about it. To Hubby Bob, and the neighbors Cal and Lisa. What a thrill to be 12 again! And, by the way... it's closer to 60 years since riding a bike for me! Whoo Hoo!
Mar. 21st, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
*points at icon and grins*

ha ha ha ha! You have a bicon! Yay!

I'm so glad you weren't stiff and sore. I never am either. Immediately after a longer-than-usual ride, my knees bother me, but that doesn't generally carry over to the next day. It's the no-impact nature of the exercise, I think, that makes the difference. That, and the sheer fun of it.
Mar. 21st, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
Oops, I really mean 50 years since triding! Wow, I was really aging myself!
Mar. 21st, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
Hah! I was gonna say you were holding out on me, and can I get the name of your surgeon?
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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