A little more Portland

Last morning in Portland. We rode up to Waffle Window which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s on the side of Bread and Ink Cafe which sounds like a tattoo parlor/bakery, but is just a restaurant. I love walk-up windows. It’s such a luxury leaving the kids in their bike seats and not having to lock up. More drive-through windows that allow bikes would be great, too, of course.

After a dog walk and romp at a nearby playground, I crammed our luggage back into the two big blue bags. I decided I didn’t want to wear the laptop in my messenger bag again, so I shoved that in a blue bag, too. I figured the boys shouldn’t have to carry too much, either, and bungeed their little backpacks atop the blue bags. As well as the bike lock, since it no longer fit in a blue bag. My laptop is pretty big and heavy and I probably should have listened to Mr. Family Ride and left it at home, but between free Wi-Fi on the train and at Inn Beervana, I couldn’t resist bringing it. I think I may have scared Brian off from cargo and family biking, though, as I yawed left and then right as I wobbled my way upright and away from the inn. I shouted over my shoulder than I’m not usually so heavy and unsteady and he shouted back, “I sure hope not!” so I think we’re cool.

Next up was tweetup part two where we met @inkandpen, owner of the marvelous Yuba Mundo with boxes pictured below and @sarahgilbert, maker of the one less minivan bumpersticker creator and rider of the stylish Electra Townie Xtracycle. Not to belittle the awesomeness of Seattle biking families, but there are some wonderful people down in Portland! Now I see why Totcycle went down to visit so many times last year.

The train ride home was pretty much the same as the ride down, though I’ve discovered it’s easier to take long trips in the morning so the journey is more of an adventure and not a tired and tiring schlepp. So this afternoon’s 3.5-hour trip felt even longer than Monday’s morning excursion. This time we got our own set of four seats, though no table in the middle…which meant jumping back and forth! Also no toddler on a leash across the aisle this time. The couple closest to us escaped to a different train car as soon as we sat down. Probably a wise move–ours wasn’t a very quiet train car.

We arrived to Seattle at 6:30, by which time we were all exhausted and I had a headache. We’re rarely out in the dark so that was novel. The lit-up buildings led to our discovery of a model train display in the window of the downtown Macy’s. We’ll be back in light of day to check it out. Both kids fell asleep on the ride home, which took until 8pm. I moved even slower than normal and had to stop and rest on the way up Densmore twice on account of the heavy load.

In retrospect, I don’t think I’d do anything different packing-wise other than leave the laptop behind. We didn’t run out of clothes or need to purchase anything other than food. That’s a success in my book. And odds are our next trip will be in warmer weather and require less bulky clothing. I think we’ll be back once the big kid is on a pedal bike to have Clever Cycles install a FollowMe Tandem Coupling on this bike. I’m hoping this happens before the little kid outgrows the Bobike mini front seat. He’s OK weight-wise, but at some point he’s going to start complaining of his knees hurting as his brother did. I could probably swap in different handlebars if the timing doesn’t go according to plan, but that’s not as cheap as not needing new handlebars.

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6 thoughts on “A little more Portland

  1. So fun to read of your fun-filled and successful bike+train trip!! Good for you! Thanks for all the helpful pictures of xtracycle accessories! Speaking of which, I had a question if I may: why didn’t you ride the big dummy on this trip? Would it not have fit on the train?

    I just love the bike-through picture – I am so glad to see they already exist somewhere!!

    • Only normal-sized bikes are allowed on Amtrak unboxed. I’ve heard of people showing up with big bikes and getting them on board, but I didn’t want to risk it. I need to check the rules for ferry boats…that might be our next adventure!

    • So boring–I got them each a plain one so it wouldn’t be too hard to hold on the bike. And then ended up eating them both myself since they didn’t want them. But even plain, they’re great!

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