Fridays start early and go long, around here. Our auto assist leaves our street at 8am, which is freakishly early for a couple night owls like my son and I. I discovered today that it also means that I am dropped off in the midst of very aggressive rush hour traffic.
I only began attempting the commute to Portland State by bike this week, and other days my ride over the mountain drops me off about 10:30 am, well after the morning rush hour, and before the Lunch Rush. I missed those days as navigated one of the few bike lanes I have encountered that places the cyclist between two lanes of traffic.
I am still at the point in my --er-- training where not only am I regularly passed by sleek, Lance-Armstong-wannabes, but half expect to have kids on trikes pass me.
After beating my way through rush hour traffic, and surviving another day at PSU, and experiencing my first fall of this bike year, I was leaning toward the notion of skipping what has become my evening excursion along the Spring Water Corridor, but coming over the Hawthorne bridge and looking out across the water, colored by the waning afternoon light, the trail called, and I answered.
My efforts were handsome rewarded: the first buds were just emerging on the willows along the trail, native flowers had begun to bloom and I saw my first humming bird of the year. Flocks of Canadian geese and ducks filled the meadows along the shoreline. It is hard to imagine that such a peaceful and ecologically diverse sanctuary exists and thrives just beyond the asphalt and chaos of the city.
The Springwater Corridor continues for 20 miles, but I do not, I stopped at the 3 mile marker took a moment to take in the beauty of it all, and headed back.