Road bike
Road bike

Back when I was a young man, living in the big city, I rode my bicycle all over town. An abandoned train track nearby had been converted into a pedestrian and bicycle path (called the Springwater Trail) and we quickly became very good friends. I even rode from my apartment in the city to the home where I grew up.

I moved to a smallish town in the foothills where everything was uphill both ways, and my poor Trek hybrid bicycle fell by the wayside of time.

Twenty years have passed and, after being stuck at home due to the COVID-19 quarantine, I decided to get back into bicycling. The intent is to get out of the house and get some exercise.

Back in April, I purchased a Giant commuter bike, the Escape 3 Disc, which is basically a rigid frame road bike with lower gearing and wide, flat handlebars.

Giant Escape 3 Disc
Giant Escape 3 Disc, 2020

I had the bike shop throw some rain fenders on it, and I changed to an after-market saddle, and away I went.

As the weather has allowed, I’ve ridden an average of twice a week on the Springwater Trail, typically from the terminal end in Boring, Oregon to downtown Gresham and back. It’s just shy of 12 miles round trip and is uphill on the last leg back to the trailhead in Boring. It’s been a great workout and I’ve noticed my ability to get back to the car with fewer stops, and my average speed has improved.

A common goal of road cyclists is to ride their first Century, 100 miles in a single outing. I’m a long way from being able to do that. So far my longest ride was 15 miles in 1 hour, 15 minutes. I intend to get there, though, but it will remain to be seen if I can reach that goal by the end of next season.

In the meantime, now that it is mid-September and the rainy season will be soon upon us, I got a spin bike for inside my home. This will help me maintain the fitness indoors that I’ve gained on the outside bike.

Next season, I hope to upgrade to a proper road bike with drop bars and better gearing. Right now I have my eye on the Trek Domane AL 5, but time will tell.

[Update 9/28/2020: After speaking with a local bike shop, they told me their back-order for bikes from the Trek factory are due to arrive sometime in April, 2021. Yikes!]

For now, though, I’m not getting much riding in at all due to the wildfire smoke that has blanketed my state. Breathing outdoors is a dangerous activity.