30 Days of Biking 2021 – day 18

It’s April! That means 30 Days of Biking and biking every day and hopefully blogging about it each day.

Maria–of hill killerz fame–took me on a 50-mile ride today. We’ve got on long rides before–you can view our trip to the coast on Oregon Field Guide. Today wasn’t quite that epic, but our loop through Oregon City and by the Mompano reservoir was amazing. The reservoir is beautiful, but closed to the public, so we just rested outside the fence and had a snack. People who live behind the gates were on the water in kayaks, fishing boats, and on a standup paddleboard with a dog (they fell in, splash!).

It was hot out and I was pretty exhausted by the end of it, but so so happy to have gotten out for such a long ride with such a fun friend. I probably could have happily sat unmoving for the rest of the day, but Pixie needed walking and I had promised the kids burritos from nearby Laughing Planet. I was able to convince one kid to ride with me to the burrito pickup (which is great because then Pixie can come, too, and have someone to wait with outside while I run in for the food), but I’m not calling the weekend a total success since I didn’t get both kids outside. Better luck next time.

Today’s miles: 53.5
Total April miles: 399.1

30 Days of Biking 2021 – day 16

It’s April! That means 30 Days of Biking and biking every day and hopefully blogging about it each day.

My loaded trailer has been sitting in my family room (yes, our bikes all live inside since we don’t have a garage) since day 10, and today was a good day to bring everything back downtown to the office.

Last year, I added old innertube railings to the trailer to make it more comfortable when I carry my kids around in it, and it turns out that stretchy siding also means too-long loads aren’t too long! I stretched the front and rear stretchy panels to squeeze in the smidge-over-five-feet-long canopy.

And a general packing lesson for all bikes, based on an incident I didn’t share on day six: double check those loose straps you thought you sufficiently knotted and tucked away! Mere blocks after leaving the office, the canopy bag strap worked its way free and wrapped around my trailer wheel so tight it looked like a balloon animal by the time it stopped my forward momentum and I realized what had happened. I still can’t believe it unwound and everything was fine.

The storage area of my cargo trailer is 5×2, but its wheels and wheel wells make it one inch too chonky to wheel through doorways so getting it inside with my supplies meant I had to unhook, unload, and carry it in sideways. Totally worth it, though–I love this trailer!

Today’s miles: 14.7
Total April miles: 321.9

30 Days of Biking 2021 – day 15

It’s April! That means 30 Days of Biking and biking every day and hopefully blogging about it each day.

It was a good day today. My oldest turned 14 and we marked the day with a 12-mile bike ride to do some celebrating.

First up: candy from the market we used to pass everyday on the bike ride to school. Then: sifting through the used Lego bins at Bricks & Minifigs (masks, hand sanitizer, and latex gloves required; 10 people max in the store). Next: crepe from a food cart pod with distanced outdoor seating. Later: an outdoor art show in the windows of the Lincoln Street Kayak & Canoe Museum. I had planned on a little hike up Mt. Tabor to cap it off, but it was too hot for the birthday kid (not to mention biking 12 miles after barely going outside for a year was quite a bit!) so we headed home–but we discovered a beautiful dirt cut-through on our way so we still got a dose of nature.

For dinner we went back out to get to-go sushi because that’s what we always do for birthdays. Pixie had to stay home earlier since she’s not allowed in Bricks & Minifigs, but we brought her along for the five-mile sushi trip. I let her out to run at the usual spot (which hasn’t been usual for a couple years now, of course) and she got all turned around and didn’t move as quickly as she used to. So it seems she’s a bit out of shape and out of practice, too.

Today’s miles: 17.2
Total April miles: 307.2

30 Days of Biking 2021 – day 14

It’s April! That means 30 Days of Biking and biking every day and hopefully blogging about it each day.

I visited my hill killerz hill at lunchtime and for the first time the house with the driveway skatepark (plus other skatepark features in the front yard) didn’t have a car parked in it! Yes, I rode it. And no, kids, you shouldn’t ride in other people’s driveway skateparks.

I really like my hill. It feels like a slice out of yore. The tallllllllllest plum trees rained tiny white petals down on me near the bottom of the hill. Not that my own neighborhood is all that citified, but all our fruit trees are much younger and shorter. Everything here has been growing for a long, long time. The bottom of my hill ends near a creek and is flanked by a feed store and a stone supplier–the sorts of businesses that get displaced in other parts of Portland. I jockeyed for position with a forklift moving between the two businesses on a couple of my laps today. I guess that’s more industrial than rural and old-timey, but there’s more interesting stuff going on than just up the hill where I live.

Later on I headed down the street to my friend’s place of business for a post-work loop. We had planned on a repeat of Monday’s cemetery/Mt. Tabor double climb (“the usual”), but we were intrigued by a side road and ended up climbing to Council Crest (“Portland’s highest publicly accessible point”). This route didn’t have a horribly long and steep hill like the last time we ascended Council Crest (which was also my first time up ever) so that was nice! However, there was a long, gradual descent in the middle, and it’s a shame to lose so much altitude in the middle of a long climb. Even so, I liked today’s route more, but I bet there’s an even better route up.

I can’t believe how easy it has been to be on my bike every day for two weeks now. It’s really different than a year ago when I couldn’t bring myself to do much of anything.

Today’s miles: 29.6
Total April miles: 290

30 Days of Biking 2021 – day 13

It’s April! That means 30 Days of Biking and biking every day and hopefully blogging about it each day.

Ugh, so I forgot the Nutella when I went shopping at Safeway four days ago. I figured I’d try my luck one block over at Bi-Mart so I could also pick up a bag of dried corn on the cob for our squirrel picnic table. Unfortunately Bi-Mart had neither Nutella nor squirrel corn, plus the bike rack was mostly blocked by plants. I’m fine lifting my cargo bike up a curb to access the rack when it’s so blocked, but I felt sorry for the owner of the trike locked next to me who probably had a tougher time of it. It wasn’t my day for bike parking because at Safeway I found a bike parked sideways along the entire rack. I was able to squeeze behind the rack, but what a weird way to park!

Pedaling home I mused about how “long” my shopping trip took, having gone out for one item and needing to hit two stores to find it. At only 2.3 miles my trip wouldn’t have been any quicker by car, and navigating between side-by-side strip malls is probably quicker by bike than car, but it all felt painfully slow. But then, why shouldn’t it? In this age with everything available at the click of a button to be delivered to our doorsteps while we busy ourselves with other stuff, we’ve no desire to think about the time and resources spent packaging up our items, or the van drivers speeding to illegally park and toss them at our doors. I’m going to try to be more patient and appreciative of my slow trips to select Nutella and squirrel corn in the neighborhood.

The day wasn’t all shopping and parking, though! I’m lucky to live close to Maria, queen of the hill killerz, and sometimes I get to join her on her hill. So that’s what I did for lunch today. I realized last week that I need a better method of counting my five repeats. I always doubt my count at the top of the hill and think I should do an extra climb just in case, but once I’m at the bottom with the climb looming the feeling magically goes away. I’ve started saving my hills as private Strava recordings so I can verify my reps after the fact, but that’s not good enough. I think I’ll trust my counting one last time while recording my efforts as a ride on Ride with GPS and then turn that into a route to follow in the future. Problem solved!

Today’s miles: 8
Total April miles: 260.4

30 Days of Biking 2021 – day 11

It’s April! That means 30 Days of Biking and biking every day and hopefully blogging about it each day.

Today I biked out to my friend’s neighborhood for our weekly walk, but since I hadn’t yet done my weekly hill repeats for Hill Killerz (Hill Killerz was just featured on BikePortland!) I snuck them in before heading over. It made for a poky profile:

That plus a longer-than-usual walk of 12 miles, including four hiking miles through Tryon Creek Park, made for a big day. There was no additional biking after biking home (surprisingly not slower than usual) and just a tiny Pixie walk–thank goodness for old dogs with short little legs.

Today’s miles: 22.9
Total April miles: 228.3

30 Days of Biking 2021 – day 10

It’s April! That means 30 Days of Biking and biking every day and hopefully blogging about it each day.

Two identical trips today out to ReRack today–first one to check on table volunteers and second one to work the table myself and then pack it all up.

30 Days of Biking is always a good time to cycle through all the bikes so I unburied my singlespeed from two years’ worth of detritus, pumped up its flat tires, and used it for the first trip. My Straggler has the trailer hitch for the cargo trailer so I took that bike for the second. Soon I’ll get to tote it all one more time to return the supplies to the office…but I’m happy to be done with heavy hauling for the mo’

Today’s miles: 22.3
Total April miles: 205.4

30 Days of Biking 2021 – day 9

It’s April! That means 30 Days of Biking and biking every day and hopefully blogging about it each day.

Early this morning I took my first grocery run of #30daysofbiking. I overdid it–a few of the kids’ favorite things were drastically reduced, but had “must buy four” requirements. So the side of my bike you can’t see is full of loose groceries and the two canvas bags are tied to my handlebars and the roll cage. Thank goodness for long handles! I feel like I waste all the room on top of my deck when I tuck all my groceries into the Xtracycle bags, but I’ve never considered putting bins or milk crates up top…until now, that is!

Then I switched to my road bike and made two back-and-forth trips to ReRack for the tabling event. Fun mural on the way:

And since I felt guilty for being away from the kids so much I told them I’d get them dinner at Dairy Queen so I switched back to the Big Dummy and waited in a line of nine cars.

Today’s miles: 24.5
Total April miles: 183.1

30 Days of Biking 2021 – day 8

It’s April! That means 30 Days of Biking and biking every day and hopefully blogging about it each day.

The fruits of yesterday’s labor:

I toted the tent/table/chairs/etc on the right to ReRack in my cargo trailer yesterday (and came back today to set them up). If you have a bike/roof rack to donate, bring it to ReRack on NE Sandy Friday 3-7 or Saturday 10-6 and 100% of the proceeds go to The Street Trust. Plus you’ll qualify for a $99 ticket to the Oregon Active Transportation Summit. Or just come by if you’d like one of us to tell you about SB 395/Safe Routes for All or OATS.

Today’s miles: 10.8
Total April miles: 158.6