28 April 2009

hot [bike] date

hot date
Originally uploaded by Ben McLeod
On Saturday, Nikki and I went out on a hot bike date. A classmate of Nikki's stayed in with the boys, so we rode our bikes to the MAX stop near her school and rode into town.

We hopped off the MAX at Kings Hill/SW Salmon and rode NW 18th about 20 blocks to the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall on Quimby where we had a few slices of yummy veggie pizza and a few rounds (OK, maybe I had a few and Nikki had like one...) of delicious beers!

The Lucky Lab is a fun, open beer hall with long tables full of people playing games (provided in shelves by the door), using laptops (using free Wi-Fi - or maybe Clear?!), or just hanging out with friends (or a hot date).

After the Lukcy Lab, we rode along NW 20th, up the hill by PGE Park, and down into Goose Hollow. The Goose Hollow Inn has a fun, small, dark (and maybe on the gritty side) bar that looks right out at the MAX stop, so we had a round while we waited for our train.

I love riding my bike through Portland at night. The bike lanes are full of riders moving all around the city and bike racks outside (and in the case of the Lucky Lab, inside) bars, brewpubs, restaurants, stores and all types of establishments are full.

26 April 2009

two rides; one week - only in Portland!

I recently rode in two rides that exemplified why Portland is such a great city for riders.

Crazy, crazy climbs!

On April 3rd, I rode in the De Ronde van Oeste Portlandia, an undergroundish-group-ride with about 600 people. It was 47 miles with over 7000 vertical feet of climbing and was probably the most challenging ride of my life.

The course zigged and zagged up and down Portland's west hills, climbing the steepest inclines I've ever attempted on a bike. There were moments when I figured I'd just quit, but I ended up riding with a great group of riders who kept encouraging each other all the way to the finish at Council Crest, Portland's highest point.

It took me alomost as long as it took me to ride 100 miles in last summer's Portland Century! 

my bunnies
Originally uploaded by Ben McLeod
Bunny on a Bike

A little over a week later, the McLeod family joined about a hundred other Portland riders for the 5th Annual Bunny on a Bike Ride.

It was one of the funnest rides I've ever been on, as we paraded through the streets of Portland with everyone dressed as bunnies. We started the ride in southeast, where we rode through parks and down bike lanes to the Eastbank Esplanade.

Groups from northeast, northwest, southwest and north Portland met up with us at the Vera Katz statue at the riverfront, and from there we circled the waterfront, then rode through the city to Irwin Park for a teaparty potluck and easter egg hunt. It was a perfect day for a ride through the city with a bunch of bunnies!

Check out the map of the De Ronde van Oeste Portlandia