This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 20, 2009 9:20 AM. The previous post in this blog was Trifecta. The next post in this blog is Laying himself off. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

You can stretch right up and touch the sky

Yesterday afternoon, we had an errand to run a couple of miles from the house, and we decided we'd get there on our trusty bicycle. We applied the sunscreen, threw some ice and water in a red plastic water bottle, grabbed our backpack and helmet, and headed out into the day's record heat.

Given our primitive biking skills, we never ride fast, and under these extreme conditions, we really took it easy. At a slower pace, the ride was enjoyable. There wasn't much traffic, and we stayed on the green streets according to the bike map. A mellow scene, particularly since most of our route was shaded by Northeast Portland's wonderful canopy of trees.

Our destination was 52nd and Sandy, and man, when it's hot on a Portland afternoon, it doesn't get any hotter than Sandy. "Back of my neck gettin' dirt and gritty," indeed. The cars seemed louder and a little more threatening than usual, and everybody who, like us, was out in the open had a bit of a serious look on as he or she moved along in the blistering sun.

On our way back, we took a roundabout route and wound up at the liquor store in Hollywood. We parked a ways off of Sandy and crossed that street as a pedestrian. The corner of 39th was more brutal than ever, and we even heard a rear-ender nearby -- what a drag for the drivers involved. Inside the booze store, it was cool as a cuke, though, and some nice Motown was being pumped in. We got our bottle and headed back toward home.

Grant Park was an interesting scene. Hardly a soul was playing tennis at the height of the heat, but of course the pool was pretty busy. Lots of tykes on wheels, too -- most of them at about the same level of riding skill as ours. We managed not to hit each other, which was good, because a few of them didn't seem too alert for hazards.

On one bench sat a very pregnant person, who had that look of anticipation about her. Given the size of her tummy, it won't be long now. She didn't look as uncomfortable as we suspect she actually was. We recalled back when the Mrs. was at that stage -- twice -- and how all the folks who had already been there themselves advised us to savor every moment of it. They were right, of course.

It was nice spending some time outside on such a remarkable day. It reminded us a little of those neighborhood cross-country ski jaunts that we enjoyed back at the end of last year. They're both Portland. It's a blessing to be able to get out and experience the extremes for a little while. It's also a blessing to get back to the climate-controlled house and chill out afterward.

Comments (9)

39th? What is this 39th of which you speak?

I'm sure that he meant César E. Chávez Boulevard. Didn't you. DIDN'T YOU!?

You went to 52nd & Sandy on a 100 degree day and DIDN'T stop in at the Laurelwood for a cold one? crazy.....

I'm sure that he meant César E. Chávez Boulevard.

Isn't that funny? It honestly slipped my mind. I'll probably never call it that. The other day I gave directions to the Pie-Off referring to Rosa Parks Way as simply "Rosa." Maybe just "Chávez," eventually.

You went to 52nd & Sandy on a 100 degree day and DIDN'T stop in at the Laurelwood for a cold one?

I learned once years ago on a fateful trip to the Clinton Street pub that balance is the first thing to go on alcohol. And so I don't drink when I'm biking. I did think to myself how cold the beer would be, however.

Did the booze store still have a sign telling people not to drop their bagged ice on the floor to loosen it up because they are tired of cleaning up the mess of torn bags?

I've only been to that outlet a handful of times, but I always got a kick out of that.

I missed that, but I wasn't at my most observant by the time I got in there.

Drinking beer and riding a bike--you just need to practice more.

Heck, with Hopworks, Portland now has a brewpub actually themed for and dedicated to bicycle riding.

"Heck, with Hopworks, Portland now has a brewpub actually themed for and dedicated to bicycle riding."

mmmmmmmmm 7 grain stout-black beer w/stumptown espresso-nectar of the gods...

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