Thursday was the first of three consecutive days off, the first three day weekend I'd had in a few weeks. The sun was bright and there wasn't a cloud I could find. I suited up and headed out for the West Hills on my road bike. Willamette Boulivard into St. Johns, over the St. John's Bridge, down the hill to Hwy. 30. As I rode I began to question my choice of routes. I hadn't ridden any significant hills aside from the 640' Mt. Agamenticus in years. I wondered if my legs, lungs, and heart were up for such an undertaking. Maybe I should work up to it I thought. Then across the highway I saw the street sign for McNamie Road and I knew what I had to do. I crossed the road and pointed the front wheel up and began the climb.
At first I felt pretty good. But quickly realized I was going to need to pace a bit slower to make the entirety of this climb. I had forgotten how the road climbed and then dipped, dropping off elevation I'd worked so hard to gain. This continued for some time with false tops dropping again only to reinstate the climb. Finally a speedy descent culminated in a stop sign at Skyline Boulivard. I had made it once again. I felt as if I was revisiting an old friend. I turned left and rode along at a steady pace that was easy to maintain. The views were incredible looking out over the valley that contained Beaverton and other suburban communities out there then farms, all framed in the coast range and the Colombia River range.
It wasn't long before I reached the next challenge; descending Gemantown Road. I stopped at the intersection and checked my tires. Germantown is no joke. I thought about what it was going to take to safely descend the next few fleeting minutes. And then I dropped in. The road winds down the hillside with the sun breaking through the canopy occasionally. I was more conservative than I would have been in previous times, not having the same bike handling skills I once had and having just been reunited with the road after so long. Towards the bottom just after the speed bumps I did catch up with a few cars which meant something was going right. You can see the route HERE:::
Back home I showered and changed, got on a different bike to ride down to the bike shop in downtown. It is rare that I would elect to go into work on such a beautiful day off. But this was a special occasion. I had told the store manager I would accept the position as Service Manager that morning and had to go down and formally meet to discuss details. We talked for at least a half hour about what was to come and training opportunities. When we were done I walked out to the shop. "Well, how did it go?" one of my coworkers asked. I told him the news and he smiled. "Thanks" he told me. I think I've done the right thing by stepping up to fill the role, if not for myself, for the overall health of this department I have chosen to work in. But I still have a lot of roots to grow to fill this new pot.