59 isn’t all that old. Well, it is. We are on the short side long slow side to the the eternal dirt nap with fewer days in front than behind. But I can still put my socks in the morning standing on one foot and we try to keep active. The spirit may be willing but the body? It wants to stay in the recliner. As I have slowly fallen apart I have gone from running to roller blading to walking as the joints just do not tolerate the pounding and even I am unlikely to fall with during simple hike. Bicycling, being non-traumatic, is a pastime even geezers can do comfortably. Ageing is about adapting and you have to have the right bike. For years I have had a dual pad (one pad for each cheek) bicycle seat so my, ahem, doesn’t go numb and swept back handlebars for comfort. It makes all the difference.
We have taken to the road this summer and have had the good and the ugly for biking.
When we first moved back to Portland, out near the Gresham border, we used to bike the Springwater corridor and we now live less than 2 miles from the 92nd street entry. The corridor is a nicely paved path and a very gradual uphill if you go east, which means downhill all the way back.
As you know from 92 to Powell Butte the corridor is now one long homeless camp. It is really quite awful, lined with tents and some scary looking people living in the undergrowth. Back in the day the path was filled on a summer night with families, runners and bicyclists. Not now. We were just about it outside the homeless and it was a little spooky.
But. Once you get on the Gresham side of the trail, the homeless are gone and you can bike all the way to Boring along Johnson Creek. It is quite a contrast: the county surroundings from Gresham to the east to the totally trashed ecosystem along Hales Homeless Camp. I have taken care of innumerable homeless over the years; it is not a healthy life and they are prone to infections of all kinds. I have no idea what to do with the broken people who live along the corridor, but it is safe to say they are hard on their surroundings.
You can bypass the ruined part of the trail if you park at the Linneman Station Trailhead and you can have a pleasant 15 mile round trip to Boring and back.
The other nice thing about the Linneman Station Trailhead is it is near Gresham. Yes, Gresham. The old downtown is increasingly nice with some good dining and drinking options, like The Hoppy Brewer. Yes, I hate those puns as they are so obvious. Just like every acupuncture headline has to have ‘point ‘in it. People just have to go with the obvious.
The Hoppy Brewer is a taproom with a nice outside beer garden, next to a restaurant, the Local Cow should you be in the mood, no, wait, in the moo-d for a burger. See, I can do it as well. We spent a pleasant hour after our last bike ride, enjoying the heat and a beer and wishing I had an appetite for the food. Next time. The Local Cow was full on a thursday at 5 and judging from the burgers that went past, with good reason.
Other good options for geezer biking? Try Willamette Mission State Park and Minton-Brown for two very enjoyable bike rides around the Willamette River. All mostly flat and well paved. Minton-Brown is a park to keep an eye on as they are building a connecting bridge from Salem to the park and will extend the bicycling to a little over 20 miles. A perfect distance for us geezers.