Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Portland - Part 1

I've been in Portland since Monday getting ready for the Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge.

The track is very different from ours back home, with steep transitions between the straight sections and the exits/entrances of the corners. This means it's far easier to get thrown uptrack if you're not paying very close attention to your line, but also means there's free speed available if you ride what locals call the "water line", which is the smoothest way through the corners.

I am staying with a an extremely fit, all-cyclist family (very typical of Portland, it seems) less than a ten minute drive from the track. My host family has cooked me up the most delicious gluten-free meals, showed me the best road rides in the neighborhood, and are planning on coming out to watch some of the racing this weekend. You guys are awesome!

Other than the amazing velodrome and the huge cycling community, there are a few other things unique to Portland that I've had the chance to enjoy:
-food carts!
-gluten free bread/cereal/beer/etc in every grocery store
-Powell's Books (it actually spans an entire city block!)

I'm sure there's more than that, but I'm too tired from riding (read: lazy)to go any further. Suffice it to say, I will be coming back to this city again at some point.

Some low-quality photos after the jump.

My bike (or should I say, Andy's bike) has been spending a lot of time in this position. Changing gears every five minutes without a proper workstand is less than elegant, to put it mildly.

The view from my homestay family's house.

Best kitchen ever?

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