Friday, September 25, 2015

A Three Day Hiatus from Driving - Day 1

Sometimes being in the right place at the right time can result in a phenomenal, unique opportunity. That is exactly how I ended up on a streetcar/light rail tour in Portland, OR with John Schneider of the Alliance for Regional Transit in Cincinnati. A historic library, an evening to hear about the streetcar progress in Cincinnati, and wa-la, an airline ticket to Portland.
Well, what the heck. The streetcar tour was only scheduled for one day. Why not take my folding bike in a suitcase so I could tool around town on two wheels? Velo Junkie and Sis were travelling with me so we all took the Tern Foldies, which made for some pretty interesting travel moments.

Tip #1 – It doesn’t matter if you can fit the folding bikes in a regular suitcase. Three adults with five suitcases will not fit in a Toyota Prius, even if you don’t save room for the driver. The Prius Taxi driver finally admitted defeat. MEEP-MEEP! And all I kept thinking about was that time we fit our high school softball team in a Beetle with people stacked three-high.

Let me mention that I had more than one agenda for this trip. Cycling, street car riding, and craft beer tasting. (Tasting = a pint or two with each meal except breakfast)

Time to assemble the bikes. After assembly the wobble in the wheels was more than a little obvious. Off we went on foot to find the REI for a spoke tool to true them up a bit. $180 later I had some new bike commuting clothes, new socks, and a spoke tool.

Poor Sis was getting sicker by the minute. She went back to the hotel to hibernate for a good part of the day. Velo and I walked; and walked; and walked. He had one place on his agenda for the weekend – Tanner Goods. He’d had his eye on an all American-made bike bag and was successful in procuring one. 

We ended up at Deschute’s Brewery for a late lunch. Imagine that. Let’s see, a flight of six tastes for each of us. Our gracious server, Ken, even brought us a complementary, seventh taste of a peated Scottish ale, of which I held him accountable for the pint I couldn’t leave without. We were off to a good start. Found our way to VooDoo Donuts before we headed back to the hotel to grab the bikes and hit the streets for a short ride before sunset.

I thought the Hotel Clerk said “turn at the first light”. Velo heard “turn at the first right”. I hesitantly told him I would follow his lead. When he asked ”what’s the worst that could happen?” I responded “you lead us into a den of thieves”. Uh-huh. We ended up in a street with streetcar tracks designated “Buses Only”, made a U-turn onto a one-way street, cut across the tracks and ended up……in one of Portland’s tent cities of nomads. I am not saying they were thieves. They are actually very cordial and nonthreatening. The point is,we went the wrong way.

Finally made it out for a late dinner at Bridgeport Brewery. They had a brew dedicated to the new Tilikum Bridge, so I tried that one. Too bitter for me but I couldn’t hardly keep my eyes open so I drank it. I took most of my pizza back for sick Sis.

#ternfoldies #portlandstreetcar #cincinnatistreetcar #bridgeport brewery #deschutesbrewery #voodoodonuts

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