Steel Bridge

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. πŸ™ 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 milesΒ 

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?



The Portland Century – Part 1

I’m writing this recap freshly showered, foam rolled, fed and wearing my compression tights. I have a few hours before my massage. When I signed up for the Portland Century Ride I had only one goal:

I’m not a fast cyclist. I’m pretty steady and consistent rather than speedy. I had no expectations of completing the ride in a certain amount of time. I just wanted to complete the 70 miles successfully. Michael and I woke up early Sunday morning, 6 a.m. early, and ate our normal breakfast before heading downtown to PSU. Michael was silly in his suggestion “we just bike from the house to downtown.” Hmm nah. If I’m going to do 100 miles it’s going to be on a course not commuting home. πŸ˜‰

We parked the car and checked our bags at PSU and then we were off!

It was about 7:45 a.m. and 65 degrees–no need for arm warmers or warm cycling gear at all! Michael and I set out following the yellow signs. I almost bit it right off the bat. We were biking down the street from PSU when suddenly the street ended in a sidewalk. Michael went over the sidewalk with his bike and was okay. I knew I would not be okay and I slammed on my brakes–of course forgetting I was clipped in. I came “THIS CLOSE” to just falling over two blocks from the start. Luckily I caught myself and did not crash at the start of the race.

We rode through downtown in the quiet of early Sunday morning. They had part of Naito Parkway closed near the waterfront. We biked along the water and then up to the top of the Steel Bridge.

I’ve never ridden over the top of the Steel Bridge–just on the lower deck. It was a little nerve wracking being that high up. We got to the Rose Garden transit area–part of where we’ve been riding during our training! It felt comfortable and familiar.

The trail changed from the familiar after that. We biked up Interstate to Greeley-which is a very slow, long, gradual hill up passed the Adidas Campus.

I’ve never biked over in that area. It was really scenic. It winded around to Overlook/Willamette and overlooked downtown and the city. I wasn’t familiar with that area at all and basically just followed the guy in front of me.

The bike paths through the neighborhoods in North Portland ended when we got to I think Columbia and the route turned onto a path that wound through the area to the first Rest Stop.

So far I was feeling really good. I think the first rest stop was at about Mile 10.

Bike N’ Hike (a local bike store here) was one of the sponsors and they had a booth set up helping people fix bike issues–which made me feel pretty safe and confident that if something happened along the course I’d be okay. I honestly wasn’t that hungry at the first Rest Stop. Our breakfast was pretty big and filled me up. But I did eat a few donut holes…

There was a lot of options but like I said, I wasn’t hungry. I skipped the Larabars, bananas and bagels. Michael had a bagel with peanut butter on it and then we continued on.

The first half of the ride was the most comfortable. The weather was perfect–not too hot yet. We left the area and biked through winding roads in the middle of nowhere and finally looped around to Marine Drive! Familiar territory!

For most of this part, including the Marine Drive path, I drafted off a group of riders in front of me. They were going about my pace and it made me work less! Smart Lisa. I barely had to pedal. It was a nice break. After Marine Drive the route diverted. The 33 Mile Route people crossed Marine Drive to the 1-205 Path and the 70/100 Mile Route people turned left onto Marine Drive. This was a pretty long chunk in areas I wasn’t entirely familiar with it. This part was a bit hard–my lower back started to ache. I was worried and anxious about it but tried to put it out of my mind.

We made our way to Blue Lake Park– the second Rest Stop. By that time we’d done about 24 miles I think.

I got off the bike and used the port-a-potty (which was super fun when you’re wearing bib shorts under your jersey!), reapplied lots of sunscreen and stretched a lot. At this Rest Stop I ate two mini cookies, half a banana, 1/4 of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and some cantaloupe slices. I just wanted a little pick me up before we got to the hard part…

Β To Be Continued….

QUESTION: If you are a cyclist, which part is more challenging: hills or sitting in the saddle for long periods of time?