This year? Well, things are little different. It’s almost summer and our road bikes are still dusty, our legs are rusty, and we just haven’t managed to get back in the saddle for anything longer than a 5-mile jaunt. Part of the problem is we don’t have any races on the horizon to kick us into gear. Clearly we needed some incentive.
How about lobster rolls?
We’d climb Mount Everest for a lobster roll, so when we found out we could bike to a food cart serving up lobster rolls we immediately grabbed our helmets and hit the streets. The Maine Street Lobster cart is in Southeast Portland’s Cartlandia cart pod, which just so happens to be located on the bike-friendly Springwater Corridor. It’s a 28-mile round trip ride from the studio, giving us the perfect excuse to get back on our bikes and burn off the decadent lunch. A win-win.
The Springwater is a 20-mile-long, mostly-car-free, paved, bike/pedestrian trail that stretches from the waterfront to the outer edges of Gresham. We have a love-hate relationship with it, as do most Portlanders I suspect. Parts of it humdrum while other stretches are truly scenic. Some parts are simply residential, while others are downright dodgy. During commute time it’s crammed with riders on a tear to get home, and weekends are even worse, as road bikers and joggers jostle for space along with families walking dogs and toddlers on training wheels.
But during the middle of the day, on a weekday, with hardly anyone else around, it’s a little slice of Portland-style paradise. You can ride through cooling pools of shade, hear songbirds in the trees, watch geese and ducks paddling in Johnson Creek, and admire the lush greenery as you peddle your way to a frosty pint of beer and a plate of lobster rolls … or tacos, or bratwurst, or cheesesteak, or pad Thai, or even Voodoo doughnuts.
Whatever you’re craving, there’s a good chance they’ve got you covered at Cartlandia, and getting there is half the fun. Honestly, even on a weekend, when the Springwater is packed with people, it’s worth the trip. Just slow your pace, stay patient, and enjoy the ride.
A food cart pod, on a bike path. It doesn’t get much more Portland than that.