Wet Wet Wet and Sunny Seattle

I drove from Weed Ca north on US-97 to Klamath Falls, Oregon, to spend the night. My intention was to drive to Crater Lake the next morning and ride around the lake. In the morning as I drove north toward Crater Lake, the weather kept getting more ominous, but I hoped that maybe I would climb above it to the rim of the lake and be able to cycle in glorious sunshine.

At the south gate of the park there was SNOW coming down. Crikey, it’s not going to get any warmer or drier the more I climb, and I’ll probably not even see the lake from up on the rim. So I abandoned the idea and headed west to Medford and I-5, then north to Portland. I did stop briefly along the upper Rogue River to check out the small gorge that runs through collapsed lava tubes.

upper Rogue River gorge (stock image)

upper Rogue River gorge
(stock image)

Living at the beach in Southern California as I do, I have a tendency to forget about checking the weather in advance. 99% of the time it’s going to be nice enough for a ride, so my weather check usually consists of looking out the window just before I pump up the tires on the bike. Here in Oregon that approach fails miserably. If I had checked the weather for Crater Lake way back in Redding, I would not have bothered going to Klamath Falls or Crater Lake, and instead directly to Portland. By not checking the weather I wasted a lot of miles and seat time in the car.

From Crater Lake to Medford, and on to Portland it was mostly wet, with torrential rain coming down at times. No wonder it’s so green here, and I’m glad I installed new wiper blades before the trip started.

Many of my friends from Beach Cities Cycling Club happened to be visiting Portland for the Grand Tour of Portland cycling event, staying at a hotel in Tigard. I checked into a Motel 6 nearby and met them all having happy hour at a PF Chang’s restaurant down the street. I was hoping to join them for a ride the next day, but when I got up in the morning it was pouring rain. Meh, I don’t ride in the rain unless it’s unavoidable. Cold, wet, uncomfortable, and you have to clean your bike after.

Tout a l’heure mes amies, I’m off to Seattle, and the weather kept getting better the closer I got. By the time I arrived at Alki Beach where my cousin Laura Jean lives, it was gorgeous. Sunny blue skies in the 60’s, distant clouds over the Olympic mountains across Puget Sound. I pulled out my bike, kitted up and went for a ride around West Seattle. (click on any image below to pop a slide viewer)

Seattle is all hills and shoreline. If you want to ride in the straightest line from point A to B, you’re going up and down. If you want to stay as flat as possible, you need to ride the shorelines, which makes the route go squiggly. Either way it’s good (as long as it’s not raining). When I got back to chez Laura Jean, she pulled out her cruiser bike and we rolled down the Alki Beach bike path to the Marination restaurant at the water taxi terminal for fish and chips, sitting outside on the patio with downtown Seattle gleaming across the harbor water. Ah, relaxation.

Alki Trail bike path

Alki Trail bike path

harbor kayaking

harbor kayaking

Laura Jean on her craigslist cruiser

Laura Jean on her craigslist cruiser

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