Saturday I rode to Beaverton on the other side of the Portland metropolitan area to visit my good friend, Keith. We used to work together at a dot-com and haven’t seen each other for nine years. He’s thinking about getting into motorcycling so in addition to the visit among friends it was also a chance to have a little Q&A about bikes, riding, safety, training, etc.

The ride itself was about what you’d expect. I took expressways (Highway 26, I-84, I-405, and Highway 26 again) to get there as it was the fastest way across the city. Traffic was thick but wasn’t slow. Riding a motorcycle in an urban environment like that is both stressful and kind of fun in a sick sort of way. There is zero margin for error if you crash — emergency responders would be using sponges to get you off the pavement — but you can maneuver amongst the cars a lot easier. I’m fortunate that my bike is rather tall so I have excellent visibility, and cars see me easier, too. Plus, my jacket and bike combination makes me look similar to a police officer, so that helps as well.

It was foggy and cold going there mid-day, and even foggier and colder on the way home. I got back to my house in Sandy just before dark amidst very thick fog, cold but safe. It’s tiring to ride a motorcycle in the city, and doing so when the weather isn’t 65 degrees and sunny makes it even more of a challenge.