The first thing that we try to do with people coming to visit for the first time is take them up into Forest Park. This is basically the ride that sold me on the Pacific Northwest and I often credit Ira Ryan himself for dragging me up there day after day and thus proving its merits as a Portland ride to the degree that I finally uprooted and made the move. Not that it took much convincing. The greenery is very Star Wars, the track is rutted enough to keep it interesting and with some fun loving company you really can't go wrong. So, when our friends Jolene and Jonathan made the trip from Austin, Texas, it didn't take much to know that this was going to be one of our first rides.
Being that the day fell on our first official day as an Oakley dealer, we thought that it could also serve as a bit of a "testing ground" for some new specs as well as a chance to take another look at all the furious combinations that the new Cubiste collection has to offer. Ha. Plus, to make matters better, David Wilcox happened to roll back in to town after another stint on the road with the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club and who could turn down the chance to ride with that guy? Pair him up with Abby Watson and Greg Johnson and you've got a recipe for riding disaster (in a good way).
It is fun to take foreigners into the park for a variety of reasons. If they are from Texas then there is a good chance that they will be all "ooh" and "ahh" over the greenery. That definitely happened with these two and as we climbed up Thurman and rolled through the gates and onto Lief Erikson trail there were sounds of delight coming from more than just our Texas riding companions. It never ceases to amaze me at how wonderful the ride up and out of the city can be — and yet it is so close. I mean, look at those two, are they not the picture of urban riding excitement? Added Bonus: looking resplendent in Golden Saddle and Team Yacht Club finery. These things are important. And that is just to say that looking good is important.
Greg was stoked that the Black and White Cubiste go so well with his new Giro Empire state of mind. Julie is more than stoked that she got some Rapha climber shoes that fit (she usually wears a 41, they are a 41.5). She was not stoked that we had to do a portage session and they might have gotten a little mud on the bottom, but hey it had to happen sometime. It's worth noting that GJ never mentioned a thing and his shoes are WHITE as hell. Anyway, JK's looked great with the wildberry concoction that is the Crazy Leggs version of the sock. Jonathan, on the other hand, was just plain stoked to be trying out some of the crazy looking, lightweight Vin Diesel XXX Bontrager jams.
So, after we got the impromptu photo shooting out of the way it was just time to cruise around and enjoy the (often times rare) sunshine that kept peeking through the clouds. But not before hitting some of the, er, trails that happen to exist just West of the city. We all know the Leif and Saltz and FireLane whatever are neat and well groomed and wonderful to ride your road bikes on, but whatever happened to good ol bushwacking? Oh wait, that's illegal and illegal is no good in the woods around Portland. Nevermind, we kept to ourselves and rode to the top and then descended Thompson like the law abiding citizens that we are. Ahhh, such an illusion of summertime, short shorts and short sleeves and short trips in the evening that do not end in darkness. What more can you ask for as a Pacific Northwesterner?
Oakley Side note: The new Oakley Fingerprint collection is so radical. The black and whites have enough zebra feel to them to make even Cipollini jealous. The Jaw Breaker ones aren't that bad either. Come visit our shop if you want to check some of them out.