Last night, I went to a goodbye party for our friend Matt, who’s leaving on his own long tour just a few days before Shawn and I leave on ours. I missed the arcade portion of the night, but I met up with the group at Cartopia, the grouping of food carts on SE 12th and Hawthorne. I showed off my new handlebars while chatting with friends and eating a Whiffie fried pie. (If you stop by Portland, you have to try a Whiffie. They have vegan, vegetarian, and omnivore options. So fantastic. The crust is somehow always perfect.) There’s also a cart there that sells vegan poutine, but I’m optimistic about finding vegan poutine at some point in Canada.
After we all ate, we made our way to the Galaxy for a night of karaoke. A few friends didn’t come with us to the bar, but while we were there, more friends showed up, until it felt like one of those nights where half the people I knew were in one place. And despite it being a Friday night, I’m pretty sure anyone who put in a song, got a chance to sing. (Shawn wasn’t there, not only because he worked that night, but because he’s allergic to karaoke. Nobody’s perfect.)
I was brave enough to go first, and did “Bicycle Race” by Queen (warning: video contains naked ladies on ten-speeds). It’s one of my karaoke standards, so I would have done it no matter who I was with, but of course it was a hit with that crowd. I always wear my helmet while singing it, and if I’m wearing pants I’ll put my rear blinkie on my back pocket too. Because I’m goofy like that.
“I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike. I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like!”
Originally, a bunch of people had planned to leave early and make the Midnight Mystery Ride, but I don’t think any of them did! We were just having so much fun. After karaoke some of us went to Voodoo Doughnuts on NE Sandy, where I got a huge vegan apple fritter. I couldn’t finish it! And while I normally would go home from there via the Ankeny/Davis/Everett bike route of residential streets, it was so late by that point that traffic was close to zero, so I just took Stark, a thoroughfare, all the way home. There’s a bitch of a hill at one point as it goes over part of Mt. Tabor, but all in all it was much faster than taking the longer way.
This morning after I ate breakfast, I was posting goofy stuff to facebook when I realized: I am going to miss these people. Yeah, I’m coming back in about five months, but still! Both among my bikey friends, and the people I met before I got into bicycles, I have some of the best friends any person could hope for. My friends are fun, kind, and generous. They’re all real humans with their faults, but on the whole they are just good people, and I enjoy having them around, and I’m going to miss them. A lot.
But at the same time, I can’t get too homesick, because I’ll be doing so many cool things! So I’m taking this opportunity to remind myself of things I’m looking forward to:
Getting to see Vancouver B.C. when, in theory, the weather is better; and going on some bike rides and eating at least one Nanaimo bar.
Hopefully seeing a moose on the rails-to-trails we’re taking in Idaho. I was told there was a good chance of seeing a moose. Moose are an old family joke, plus I just love them.
Visiting the Adventure Cycling headquarters and getting our picture on their wall, as well as hanging out with our friend Heather who has a summer internship with Adventure Cycling.
Going through Glacier National Park, and hopefully not seeing any bears.
Biking the prairie provinces of Canada, and doing some long days in the saddle.
Seeing if Minneapolis really is a better bicycling town than Portland. I think Bicycling Magazine said it just ’cause they were sick of talking about Portland as opposed to because they were actually better, but we’ll find out.
Biking the Lakefront Trail in Chicago.
Having my picture taken in front of the White House with my bicycle.
Visiting the Smithsonian. Part of it, anyway.
Seeing New York City and biking the Brooklyn Bridge. I do hope to do a few tourist-y things while we’re there, like visiting a few museums and Central Park and Ellis Island.
Meeting Shawn’s mom, and his dad and stepmom. Okay, I don’t know if I’m looking forward to that necessarily. I’m kinda nervous about it. (He’s already met my parents, they live nearby.)
Staying in Boston with Zoe, whom I haven’t seen in years.
Riding some of La Route Verte in Quebec.
Possibly meeting other bicycle bloggers.
Going on rides in other towns, and meeting other cyclists who are doing fun things.
And I can’t forget that whole touring thing, where we’re biking long days and camping or staying with Warmshowers hosts.
There are a lot of fun things going on in Portland this summer that I’m going to miss–but there are cool things going on every summer! I’m just noticing it more because I won’t be here. It’s good to remind myself that I will be plenty busy with new experiences this summer!