Oaks Park

The Recovery Ride

On Tuesday I biked into work. I wanted to take it easy after doing the Portland Century so I drove to the Park n’ Ride and biked from there. It was a good mid-way point and I wasn’t quite ready to bike from the house. I wasn’t sore but I wasn’t sure if I had the energy to do it. On Monday I felt really good, wasn’t too stiff or sore, but I did kind of crash in the afternoon and got really tired.

The weather was iffy. It was gray and muggy, 66 degrees with a 30% chance of rain. But I felt like the Century had toughened me up and I was ready to bike no matter what! I set out and biked about 1 mile before I was too damn hot. I stopped and took off my jacket and put on my arm warmers instead (see below).

I ended up biking only a few more miles before taking those off. Definitely did not need the warmth.

There a small stretch of the Springwater trail where the trail ends. Lots of newbies get lost at first. There was a guy on the trail who asked me how to get downtown. I told him to turn left at Umatilla and bike through Sellwood to get back to the trail.

I got to Oaks Park and reconnected to the Springwater. It was cool to be there again after Sunday’s event. It was a pretty quiet morning, not many people out. The wind wasn’t too bad. It started to sprinkle but it felt kind of nice. I biked FAST. I just pedaled away and felt like I had wings propelling me forward.

I biked passed OMSI and connected to the waterfront. I felt pretty warm.

I crossed the floating ramps and took the Steel Bridge to the west side–on the lower deck this time. I made it to work in no time at all. I felt great! It was the perfect recovery ride after the Century.

Ride Stats:
Time: 44 minutes
Calories Burned: 316
Distance: 8.33 miles

I was so happy that I wasn’t sore. No saddle soreness, no lead legs. The ride was GREAT. And I’m still feeling high from Sunday’s Portland Century. I have renewed excitement about cycling and doing events. The last event I participated in was running the Hood to Coast Relay. That ended with a sour note and kind of made me wary of doing organized events. I am so glad I am back to loving them!


It was about 89 degrees when it was time to bike home. Don’t get me wrong–after a very long winter and spring of gray and rain I am happy for the sunshine. But biking in 90 degree weather with lots of humidity feels like biking through water.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the hardest part of my commute home is the first mile. Sometimes it takes forever to just get out of downtown. Dodging people on the waterfront trail is not my favorite part. It was hot, I was slathered in sunscreen and I hadn’t had time to eat the rest of my apple before heading home so I was starting to get hungry. The ride was decent until I got to the Springwater Trail. I was hot and there was a headwind. I was slowing down. I stopped in front of the Oaks Park Amusement Park to drink some water in hopes that it would revive me.

I was glad that I had driven part way instead of biking from the house. I continued on and made it back to the car. I was pulling into the Park N’ Ride lot where the car was and some lady in an SUV almost hit me. She was going the wrong way out of the lane. Her window was down so I pointed out to her that it was the wrong way. She said something snotty to me. Why is there such a hatred toward cyclists?? I just don’t get it. I follow the rules of the road, I watch for cars and try not to be annoying. There’s no reason for such aggressiveness.

I was a bit grumpy when I got to the car. For a lot of reasons. The blissful glow I’d had since the Portland Century was starting to wane. 🙁 Anyway, it was a decent recovery ride. I wasn’t sore for any of it, no saddle soreness, no back pain. That’s all I can ask for, right?

Afternoon Stats:

Time: 42 minutes
Calories Burned: 311
Distance: 8.11
Total Distance: 16.44 miles 

Hmm, which puts my total mileage for the week at almost 89 miles! Woo!

Michael made a comment about his own commute–he said the distance felt like a joke after the Portland Century. I kind of agree with him…Have we been ruined for shorter distance rides??

QUESTION: How do you deal with road rage from drivers as a runner or cyclist?



Lessons Learned

Wednesday morning I woke up ready to commute to work by bike. I learned very quickly that I need to figure out a new system of transporting my stuff to work on days I bike. My backpack was WAY too heavy! It had my lunch, my clothes and shoes to change into. It was annoyingly heavy and not comfortable. Lesson Learned.

Not only that, I was eating the wind the entire ride downtown. I rode down passed Oaks Park and there was hardly anyone on the trail. I was surprised because it was such a nice day.

My legs felt okay considering I was still a tad sore from Monday’s strenuous hike. I was also glad that the detour has been fixed. The trail is now open again around OMSI. They built a small footbridge over the construction to re-open the path.

The rest of the ride over the Hawthorne Bridge was uneventful and easy (although the wind made it difficult). I think most people are still on vacation because it was not crowded.

The day was gorgeous. When I left the house it was 60 degrees but I warmed up immediately. The jacket I wore was TOO HOT. I need to figure out an alternative. Lesson Learned.

The path I normally take off the Hawthorne was closed due to last weekend’s Blues Festival so I had to take an alternate route. No worries, it meant I got to enjoy the fountain!

The morning commute was quiet, fairly easy and hot. But I survived and I did not fall. 🙂

Morning Commute:

Time: 36 minutes
Calories Burned: 279
Distance: 5.89 miles


The lesson I learned from my last commute on the bike: TAKE IT SLOW. Especially in the afternoon. Traffic is worse, and I need to not get frazzled and make stupid mistakes. Lesson Learned.

I decided to try going home a slightly different way. I rode down to the waterfront and took the Esplanade in the opposite direction to cross over the Steel Bridge. Going this route added almost 2 miles to my commute, but that was good because I was in a mood to ride longer.

I’d never ridden across the Steel Bridge on my commute before. It was a VERY windy ride! I’m not sure if it’s always that way or yesterday was the exception. It was terrifying how windy it was. I felt like I was going to be blown into the water!

I got to the east side and easily rode to the Springwater Trail from there. I was glad I avoided the congestion around the Hawthorne Bridge.

It was a really gorgeous day–87 degrees by the time I left work. I was glad I had also learned from my morning mistake and left almost everything at work! My backpack was super light! Much better! I’m also going to leave a pair of shoes at the office from now on so I don’t have to pack those ever. Lesson Learned.

I was wearing my sleeveless biking jersey and it felt really nice in the sun (yes I remembered sunscreen too). I stopped a few times to drink some of my G2 (I needed it on that hot day) and then continued on.

Everything went smoothly. I wasn’t in a hurry and took my time and that meant I had no incidents like last time. The ride through Sellwood traffic also went much better and I arrived back at the car safe and sound and feeling much more confident.

Afternoon Commute:

Time: 36 minutes
Calories Burned: 306
Distance: 6.96
TOTAL DISTANCE:  12.85 miles

Not only was it a good ride home that made me happy, I realized it’s time to lengthen the ride. It’s just too short!

Portland Century Update: Training is spotty right now. I need to be more consistent about riding and my goal starting next week is to commute twice a week no matter what. I hope I can do it. I need to be biking 100 miles a week by mid-August in order to successfully do the Century. As it stands this week I’ve done a total of 50.85 miles.

QUESTION: What lessons have you learned lately?