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Mondays are for bikes.

September 12, 2006

Mondays are never the best day for me and yesterday was no exception.  Just a general bad attitude, I guess.  But I decided to be proactive about it this week, so I filled my bike tires and headed out almost as soon as I came home from work.

I live in industrial SE Portland in a house surrounded by small businesses that deal in making cogs and wheels for bigger businesses.  With the occasional launderer and knife grinder shop sprinkled in.  Seems lame, but it turns out that I’m also located mere blocks from the beautiful Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade and the entrance to the Springwater Corridor. 

Eastbank EsplanadeI’ve coasted several times around the loop along the esplanade, which circles the waterfront and crosses the Hawhthorne Bridge to the south and the Steel Bridge to the north.  It’s an easy ride, except you have to watch out for all the pedestrians, who very nearly clog up the wide path along Waterfront Park.  The views are awesome though, and it’s kind of fun to weave through everyone with a dark visualization of terrible crashes that don’t happen (yet!). 

My favorite part of the Esplanade loop is the path directly along the river.  Stinky at times, but truly beautiful.

The Springwater Corridor is a paved path that starts on SE 4th just south of OMSI and the Portland Opera.  It is bordered by the river and grasses, running along an old railroad track.  The view of the river is great – I saw people on dragonboats and someone on one ski being pulled by a sharp white motor boat. 

Bikers are really nice people.  I was really surprised by how many people smiled at me or made other fun gestures as we passed.  A kind of community flirt on two wheels. 

In the end I clocked just over 14 miles on carless beautiful paved trails and came home exhausted and happy. 

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 12, 2006 12:01 pm

    The esplanade is one of the most surprising successes of the city. I use to take it home every day when we lived in the NE, and I was amazed how much traffic it got–rain or shine. The views are nice, but it is rather smelly. Hard to cruise along the esplanade and not be aware of the superfund site the Willamette has become. One day, though, it will be cleaner, and then it’ll probably take a truck with a snowploy to clear the people off.

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