Festive 500 Part 2: Christmas Day

Sadly, the partly sunny conditions from Christmas Eve couldn't last forever and we woke on Christmas morning to a day of extra shitty Portland winter weather.  Clouds hung low, temperatures were only a few degrees above freezing and the rain fell in bucketloads.  After our traditional morning festivities the skies hadn't cleared in the least, rain still fell heavily and temperatures hovered around 38 degrees.  Clearly, the smart thing to do would be to stay inside and sip bloody marys while reading new books and snuggling with the cat.  However, something foolish in our brains told us that we couldn't stay indoors modeling new winter tights all day while bikes sat unridden.  We had to get out and put them to the test, put in at least a handful of kilometers to stay on a good pace toward the 500km goal while riding across town to take care of Jemima Bean, our other feline charge for the holidays.  We delayed setting out for as long as we could but were eventually spurred out the door by the threat of finishing the ride in the dark.

Vera didn't understand why we'd want to leave and we were unable to explain.  It just doesn't make sense.

India - clad in her technical cookwear - prepped the pot roast for Christmas dinner before hitting the road.

We headed across the Steel Bridge through cold wind and blowing rain and continued through Old Town toward the foot of Washington Park, hoping that the uphill roads would help our chilly bodies warm up.

Merry Christmas, Portland!

We crossed over Burnside and onto the narrow switchbacks of the multi-use path through the woods into Washington Park.  We warmed up pretty quickly on the climb and were able to keep our toes and fingertips warm while our effort increased and the windchill abated.

We reached the Rose Garden and were treated to a gray haze where the Portland Skyline is usually visible.  No big surprise.

We continued climbing through the park, past the Oregon Zoo up to Fairview Road and had achieved a reasonable level of toastiness when we reached the intersection.  Now we were faced with a choice of descents, none of which sounded very appetizing given the frigid chill and persistent rainfall.  We chose what we percieved as the least of all possible evils and turned right onto Fairview, descended back into the Washington Park neighborhoods, passed by the Japanese Garden and Rose Garden and continued the down Sherwood Blvd to the foot of the park.  

At this point, the fact that we had greatly underestimated the warmth of our rain jackets and gone out significantly underdressed was abundantly clear.  We had been warm briefly when climbing but had  otherwise been locked in a battle for body heat and blood flow to the extremities since we started out the front door.  We attempted to warm up a bit before continuing the descent into downtown by making a short ascent to a monument and overlook but felt little benefit. 

India was ready to get out of the cold and rain, take care of our catsitting obligations and get home so we braved the soaking rain and chill of the descent down Park Place to Salmon and into the city, barely able to pull the brake levers firmly enough to stop our wet rims in time for the downhill stop signs.

We headed directly across Broadway Bridge to the Sullivan's Gulch neighborhood to take care of Jemima, warm up gloves and search Brooke and Anton's apartment for warming alcoholic beverages (we found none) while attempting to shake off the persistent chill.  After attending to the big, furry lady's needs, we pulled our saturated gloves and jackets on for the return home via Broadway and Williams.  We yelled Merry Christmas a roving bike posse who probably were toting flasks instead of water bottles.  Smart folks.

After nearly two hours locked in a struggle for warmth we made it home, put the pot roast in the oven and poured another bloody mary to ward off disappointment while playing with Christmas toys.    Here's hoping for better weather and smarter layering tomorrow.

Today's Totals:

355m ascent
654cal (a gross understatement, I'm sure)

Cumulative Totals

909m ascent
3362 cal

1 comment:

  1. You two are WAY tough! Sounds like a terrible day to be on a bike. Admire your dedication, question your sanity!