Monday, August 29, 2005

All the Help You Can Eat: bike resources here and abroad

Lindi and I biked over to breakfast at Bridges, a tiny restaurant with excellent food that we frequent only during the summer because if we can’t sit outside we find it too loud and claustrophobic inside. (We avoid restaurants where we have to shout to hear each other.) On the way home we stopped by DR’s house to ask where she got those cool sneakers Lindi wants that DR wore on our bike trip on Springwater Corridor a few weeks ago.

In case we thought we were dropping in for just a couple of minutes, DR hauled out the deck chairs and planted us on the front lawn. No, Deborah, we did not come to see you, we came to see your shoes. She darted back inside saying she’d send them out to play, but instead returned with an armload of materials from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, which she’d just joined. We’d already met them at a booth at the Farmers Market where they plied us with pamphlets on all aspects of biking, and half a dozen bike maps. DR hauled out a number of their maps and outlined rides we should go on while the hot weather still lingers. In a couple of hours she’d be heading out to Blue Lake on her bike to meet friends for a barbeque and urged us to join her, since the other friends had elected to meet there by car. Alas, we had other plans – a trip to Hood River in the Columbia Gorge – news that elicited yet another map and an excited demonstration of how we could get there by bike on a new beautiful secluded path along the Old Columbia River Highway. Enticing as that sounded, we elected to stick with our plan to go by car (yes, car – so sorry), since such an expedition by bike would require several hours more than we’d allotted to this trip. But we’ll add it to our growing list of pleasure bike trips for the near future.

Did we think we’d head back home? Not so fast. DR wouldn’t hear of it till she’d dragged us to her computer and introduced us to – a website she’s been mired in for weeks. Pick any spot in Europe and this organization will provide schlepping services for you as you glide over hill and dale unencumbered by cargo. A rolling bike shop will retrieve you should you experience a mechanical breakdown of the smallest degree. Choose your strength level and they’ll map out a route for you and if you like, ride with you. If not, they’ll simply roll out the red carpet at your designated stopping point where you’ll eat and sleep. They’ll even provide you the bike if you’d rather not ship your own. Too good to be true – to be looked into later.


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