biking in Portland

Riding and Eating

I was a little reluctant to bike to work last week. It was in the high 90’s and expected to be 100+ by the 4th of July…Ooof. That’s a little too hot for me.

Breakfast – I had two fried eggs with hot sauce and a toasted English muffin with cinnamon and Splenda, unsweetened iced tea. Calories: 338


I drove to the Park and Ride and then set out. I wore my arm-warmers but probably didn’t need them. I was a bit on the hot side, even though it was only 7 am! I was feeling really good on my bike ride in. It was quiet on the Springwater Trail.

I passed OMSI and was biking up the circular “on-ramp” to get to the Hawthorne Bridge and some runner was running on the wrong side of the path and almost crashed right into me as I was climbing up the ramp! Ugh! So frustrating. We almost crashed but she jumped out of the way just in time. Which was good because it’s kind of a steep climb and I was clipped in to my pedals and there was no way I could have unclipped in time. Thankfully I didn’t fall over.

I biked on the waterfront and saw they were setting up for the Blues Festival. I used to love going to that every year!

It was a good, slightly humid, bike ride into work. I was a little bit slower this time and didn’t burn as many calories as last time.


Morning Stats

Time: 37 minutes

Miles: 7.92

Calories Burned: 332

For my mid-morning Snack I had cottage cheese and some blueberries. Calories: 118. I ate my snack about 30 minutes earlier than normal. I was SO HUNGRY.


During my lunch break I went for a walk. The AC in the office was on pretty high and I spent most of the morning cold (crazy, I know). The walk was nice. It wasn’t TOO hot outside yet. I walked just under 2 miles. I tried to stay in the shade as much as I could. I estimated I burned between 50-60 calories.



Lunch – Two slices of ham with cheese, mayo, mustard, spinach, and Craisins rolled up. Also had some yogurt covered pretzels. Calories: 328


Snack – Guacamole with yellow and orange peppers and baby carrots. Calories: 116


It was a hot ride home but not too uncomfortable. If I kept moving it was okay. I created enough of a breeze. But dang it, when I stopped to rest or drink some water it was HOT.


I was feeling pretty good on the ride so I decided to keep going. Instead of going directly to the park and ride, I kept going up the trail towards Johnson Creek. I got to a bridge over a nice, cool creek and stopped in the shade for a moment to rest before turning around.



I think I might be ready to start biking from home…I think! We will see. Maybe next week I will give it a try. Here is the afternoon ride (with that little bit extra):



Afternoon Stats

Time: 39 minutes

Miles: 8.97

Calories Burned: 355

Total Miles: 16.89!

When I got home I took a hot bath with epsom salts. Sounds weird after such a hot ride but I wanted to relax my muscles a bit. They felt good but just in case.

Dinner – Dinner was delicious (and I was famished). 4.5 ounces of melt-in-your-mouth steak, steamed broccoli with Goddess Dressing and sauteed sweet potatoes. And a glass of red wine. So good! Calories: 640

We took Bella for a walk around 8:30 when it had cooled down a bit but man, my legs were shot. I was so slow. My legs felt like they were weighted down with concrete blocks. I just could not find the energy to go for a 1 mile walk! Crazy. I was just pooped. Period.

All in all it was a good day of biking, despite the heat, and looking forward to progressing soon!

Friday Biking Buddy

Friday morning I had a buddy join me for my bike ride into work! Michael decided to go with me, which was a fun surprise. First things first: adjust my bike seat. For a few weeks now my lower back has bothered me on the bike. I need to take my own advice to prevent injury and get refitted. Or adjust the seatSomething. Something is not right and my body has been telling me. Stop ignoring it! Adjusting my seat at 6 a.m. was not preferred but it had to be done.

We ate a quickie breakfast–he had two turkey sausage links and toast. I had plain Greek yogurt with strawberries and Fiber One cereal. Then we hit the road.

It was fun having a riding buddy. It’s pretty quiet early in the morning. We rode together on my usual route and then took a detour through Sellwood that I didn’t even think about taking. It was easier and safer.

We made our way through the Springwater and downtown where Michael left me at the Steel Bridge. We stopped at the “Breakfast on the Bridge” people (see below) where I’m pretty sure Michael got a donut 🙂 and I continued on to downtown and work.

Biking to work gives me a lot of time to think. And observe. And ponder. Being out there on the road, I see a lot of stuff. Sometimes weird stuff. Sometimes things that make me angry (like the jerky cyclists that break all the rules of the road and give the rest of us a bad name or the drivers that blow stop signs and near miss me on the bike). Here are some things I wanted to share:

Breakfast on the Bridge

There are a lot of cool things about Portland and this is one of them. While I’ve never had the chance to partake in it, I think it’s a very awesome idea: Breakfast on the Bridge. It’s hosted by Shift volunteers and I think it’s a great way to encourage a positive community in the biking culture.

They have coffee, fruit, cookies and donuts. It’s fun to see cyclists just hanging out, meeting new people.

Spandex Sucks…But It’s Necessary

Spandex is not fun. Ever. Unless you look like a greyhound. (See below.) While spandex cycling clothes may look ridiculous, there are major reasons for wearing it.

First, it’s made of wicking material that is quick drying (which is nice if you sweat buckets like me). Second, there’s pockets in the back to carry snacks, sunscreen, keys, etc. so you don’t have to have a backpack. I also hear that they have UV protection built in.

Finally,  it’s form fitting so it doesn’t flap in the wind. I see so many people on bikes with these jackets that billow out like a parachute. Not only is it uncomfortable, it slows you down. Spandex just has less drag. So yeah, it sucks wearing it but it works.

My morning calories were about the same as they usually are. Oh–and yes, the bike seat adjustments Michael made were great! The back pain was reduced a lot.

My ride home in the afternoon was solo. It was also really quiet, very light traffic I’m guessing as a result of the upcoming holiday. It was also one of those rides where everyone SAW me! No scary incidents but incredibly polite and patient drivers. It’s always a nice thing when I complete a ride without feeling frustrated.

The last mile of my ride introduced rain. Luckily it was not much and actually felt quite refreshing. I made it home with a decent time and calorie burn. Unfortunately, my knees weren’t very happy with me. I don’t know if it was the seat adjustment or something else. Time will tell.

It was a nice way to end the week, despite my creaking knees. Ice, ice and more ice. 22.6 miles for the day. 45.21 miles for the week (two rides). I’m glad I got in a second ride. I really really hope I can get 3 days a week very soon!

QUESTION: Do you wear spandex for cycling or running? How did you get over the embarrassment?