bike lanes

An Uncertain 40 Miles

Saturday we planned on going for a long bike ride but I was uncertain how my body would hold up after the painful hike the day before. The good news: I could walk around the house without pain or discomfort. I was worried about my knees. I slept in and was SUPER lazy all day. We watched the rest of the Californication, had leftover pizza for lunch and then finally left the house around 1:30 or so.

I had no idea if I could ride at all but I wanted to try. We rode from the house to the trail and headed to downtown. Michael wanted to do 40 so his total for the week would be 75. We biked down to OMSI and took a quick break for GUs.


After the quick snack, we continued on the Esplanade to North Portland. I was feeling good so far. No knee pain.

We took the bike lane by the Rose Garden to N. Williams because it has a wide, safe bike lane.

Last time we did this route we ended up on a horrible street that had no bike lane. It was terrifying and we almost got hit by a car (scary!!). This time we found a route that was much safer!

The bike lanes in North Portland are really nice and the scenery is pretty cool. Lots of buildings had beautiful graffiti art on them. There were some other cyclists going the same way as we were going and we asked if they knew a safer route than that scary street that had no bike lane. They gave suggestions and they turned out great.

We left the Vancouver street with the bike lanes. We followed the signs and ended up on MLK. It was scary but short and we were quickly on Marine Drive.

We rode passed Salty’s to the Marine Drive trail. We stopped for another GU break and continued on.

So far I was feeling good. No issues! We were about halfway there–20 miles done.


For once the wind on Marine Drive was at my back. It was a quick and easy stretch. I enjoyed the water and watching the people on boats. It seemed like a nice way to spend a sunny summer day.


We left Marine Drive for the I-205 Bike Path. I had a huge hill in store for me and I was not looking forward to it. The hill is a long steady climb that doesn’t seem to end. It’s definitely a challenge–I usually see people on bikes walking up that hill (well, people on mountain bikes or cruisers).

We stopped at a small park on the trail to rest, eat another Gu and drink some water before facing The Big Hill. It was a nice break.


We got back on the bikes. It was time to face it. Michael took off and I grinded up the hill. I wish I could accurately capture the size of this hill but pictures just don’t do it just. And honestly, when I’m at the base of the hill I’m counting on momentum to get me part of the way up so I don’t stop to take photos.


I took the hill slow and steady but SURPRISE! The hill was not as bad as it has been in the past! I just hunkered down and made it up that hill. It wasn’t bad. I was so happy and surprised that I made it up the hill. Going into it I’d wondered if it would be the first time I’d have to WALK up that hill…


I got to the top of the hill where Michael was waiting for me at the light and I asked, “That was the killer hill right? I’m not mistaking it for a different one right?” He said no, that was the killer hill and I happily made it! Woo hoo! The rest of the ride was smooth sailings–mostly downhill. Instead of continuing on the I-205 trail we veered back to the Springwater home. It was good to be home!

 

Ride Stats:

Times: 3:31
Calories Burned: 1464
Distance: 38.25 miles 


Michael and I split a GenUCan Recovery shake as soon as we got home. It was a good snack to tide us over before dinner. Since we’ve been so busy the last few weeks we had no food in the house! Grocery shopping was a must (not exactly what you want to do after biking almost 40 miles).

For dinner Michael made us grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. I steamed some fresh green beans as my side.


By almost 7:30pm we finally were able to sit down and eat dinner, watch some TV and relax!


And enjoy a little dessert. 🙂 Total miles for last week (in two rides): 56.36.

QUESTION: When you’re sore and tired, do you take a day off or do continue with the planned activities?

Nervous Nelly Rides a Bike

As I drove home from work Tuesday night, mentally preparing myself for my home workout, I whined a little bit about having to get on the bike trainer. After Sunday’s gorgeous ride it was hard to imagine riding in my living room. I got changed, had my snack and set up the living room when Michael walked in the door and said, “Let’s go for a bike ride!”


“Okay!” YAY! No bike trainer! He had an hour-long loop we could do together and since it was such a nice, warm day in Portland it was hard not to take advantage of that.


Confession:
I’m a nervous bike rider when it comes to riding on the road. I’m not used to riding with traffic, it makes me super nervous and I’d much prefer a rural road or bike trail. When we were training for Reach the Beach last year we rode around Portland a lot. I got more comfortable with road riding but since it’s been so long since we rode around the city I was nervous last night.


PLUS: it was rush hour. We left our house at 5:30pm and headed out. We had to cross a busy highway and ride on some neighborhood streets that don’t have bike lanes. There was a funky 6 way-intersection with so many weird turn lanes that we had to get in the actual lane in front of a car while we waited for the light to change. I was really anxious because we had to cross train tracks, immediately go up a steep hill and go fast enough that the cars weren’t annoyed behind us. Pressure! I made it up the hill, panting and out of breath, and then we were in bike lanes again.


We rode through neighborhood streets and then connected to the Springwater Corridor.


I was able to relax a bit once we were on the trail. Something that Portland does pretty well is create a lot of bike lanes throughout the city. It really is a good cycling city and somehow I need to get over my Nervous-Nelly ways so I can enjoy it!


We rode down the trail into Sellwood and then left the Springwater and picked up another neighborhood bike lane. We rode through downtown Milwaukie. The sun was out and it was warm. In fact, I’d overdressed for my ride. It’s hard to gauge with biking though.


We made it home with the loop completed in 58 minutes! It was a great ride for after work and I am SO happy that the weather is cooperating and the sun is out much later in the evening.

Bike Stats:

Time: 58
Calories Burned: 437


We made dinner together: spicy bratwursts with grilled zucchini. I added a little herbed goat cheese to the zucchini.


I had a sip of Michael’s beer. Only the good stuff in our house! (Check out Marie’s awesome letter to Miller Light. I agree 100%!)

 

Dinner was quick and easy and the perfect thing for after a bike ride. I think the trick to getting over my nervousness is to just do it more. I noticed that I wasn’t sore on the bike too, I think riding on the trainer all winter has helped a LOT! Focusing on my core this winter too has kept me from experiencing back pain or neck pain on the bike too.

 

Since we went for a bike ride, I missed out on the #fitblog chat. I’d been looking forward to it because the questions sounded so interesting (will talk about them tomorrow).

Enter Giveaway Here!

QUESTION: What’s your favorite way to take advantage of the lighter evenings? And are you a nervous rider? How do you get over it?