View out the aerial tram window of downtown Portland from the OHSU tram. Taken over the shoulder of a child in a bicycle helmet

Eyes and feet

Published 2013-08-26

This morning Orion and I rode to his eye doctor appt. at OHSU. This was a big day for us. First, because Orion was really excited about getting to wear glasses “like Daddy.” Second, because this kind of serves as a dry run for our long haul across town to school beginning next week.

His eyes

Are fine. Left a little weaker than right but both are stronger than mine with my glasses on. Jenny has better-than-perfect vision and I’m hoping the kids get those genes.

Our long haul

The ride to OHSU is approximately the first half of the ride to our new school. Strava says this is a 4.8mi ride with 604' total elevation gain, steepest grades are around 8%.

I’ve heard lots of reasons offered for why people don’t ride their bikes around SW Portland and probably the most common is “the hills.” They are so hard to ride over, you see.

Pardon my French but bull pucky. My five year-old did this on a singlespeed with 16" wheels that weighs almost as much as he does. Any healthy adult with two functioning legs is physically capable of doing the same thing. Sure it took 45 minutes but it was fun. (And we arrived 10min early.)

Perhaps the second-most common reason given for not riding around here is “too many cars.” Touché. I’m used to tangoing with those big Lexuses (Lexi?) around Pill Hill but it was a little hair-raising to experience this vicariously.

Orion rode between me and the curb, I took the lane where necessary, and as soon as we reached the MUP along Terwilliger, we rode on that the whole way in. Orion never betrayed a second of fear but I felt plenty for both of us.

How sick is this? “I have to drive a car because the built environment is not conducive to being outside a car.” How much does a bike path cost, anyway? Compared to a road?

I’m pretty sure we won’t be able to do 10mi to school every morning with Orion providing his own power. He may be physically capable of that but it means a 90min to 2hr commute, so we’d be leaving the house at 6:30. We’re hoping to move to SE before year end which will make this trek much shorter. Meanwhile, what’s Plan B?