A month or so ago, my buddy Pablo finally picked out his new ride. It’s a sweet new Trek Madone, which I finally got to see today when he brought it over for a spin. I don’t see Pablo as often now that we live 50 miles apart, and our schedules don’t allow us many opportunities to connect. This afternoon, we got our chance.
Pablo was coming my way, so I had to think up how best to show off Salem to him from the handlebars. I chose to start with the fun climb/descent that leads to Ankeny, then we hooked up with the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway for a bit, and then over to Independence before we returned home. We’re still a few weeks off from seeing Spring really green things up, but all of these sights still had their own kind of beauty. Especially along the water. It’s hard to beat 46 miles of good riding on a Sunday afternoon with a good, good friend.
There is very little car traffic on these roads; for the most part we got to ride alongside each other, catching up on what’s happening with kids and jobs, spouses, church, etc. We stopped occasionally just to look around, especially at the marshes. The scenery was stunning; although we couldn’t quite see the mountains today, the wildlife made up for it. Dusky Canada Geese were quite busy in the air and on the water, never really stopping in any one place for very long. At one point we were riding directly underneath a group of more than a hundred of them, flying low and loud. It was kinda trippy.
Pablo has been enjoying cycling for a while, but he realized it was time for the old heavy Rockhopper to be replaced. He’d been shopping around for some time, and made a very good choice. Seeing him so happy on his new wheels, I was reminded what wonderful gifts are given to us every day. The ability to ride, the amazing Oregon sights, good road, and great friends....that was what today was about. I was glad to share my “backyard” with my friend.