Yesterday a friend called to see if I could use a free ticket to a lecture by a visiting author, and naturally I said yes! Yesterday continued the string of amazing weather, so I decided to ride my bike downtown. The venue was 5 miles from my door, right in the center of the city.
It was so fun observing the change as I rode - first, the quiet, even suburban-feeling streets in my neighborhood, then the busier bike-laned road conducting me into the center of town, then the semi-busy bridge over the river into town, followed finally by riding along a main artery in downtown. I felt invigorated and so glad I rode.
That was nothing on my return commute! On my way home I was riding with my friend, so we rode straight down to the river, over a bridge, and headed north on the Eastbank Esplanade. The Esplanade is a loop that allows users to bike, run, or walk along one bank of the Willamette River, then cross a bridge, travel along the opposite bank, and complete the loop by crossing another bridge. It was a genius idea, has been universally loved, and it's been at least seven years since I last rode it. It was such a treat to glide along at water level, looking at the lights of the city and nodding to other cyclists and runners - even at 9pm or so it was pretty well trafficked. I felt really really happy.