An impromptu bike tour of the “other Portland”


I made it to the other Portland today! I said goodbye to my Westbrook host Mary this morning, and hopped on my bike to ride the 6.3 miles to my new Warmshowers host, Beka. She showed me around briefly and then headed back to work, and I headed out to see if I could catch the tail end of the nearby Saturday farmers’ market, at her suggestion.

As soon as I arrived at the market, what should I see but a bright yellow Brompton! I struck up a conversation with its owner, a longtime Mainer named Reggie, and he offered to give me a bike tour of the town.

So we did! He had a few errands to run, including stopping at his favorite local bike shop to order new tires, and then pausing at his community garden plot to drop off his farmers’ market plant acquisitions.

Then we headed down along the waterfront and into the quaint downtown area. Along the way, we followed a paved rail trail that crossed a working narrow-gauge tourist railroad. The train passed right in front of us, which was fun.

Eventually he dropped me at the Portland Food Co-op, where I picked up a few items and then began cycling back to Beka’s place, because the afternoon was growing a bit chilly for my taste. I went back past the picturesque Deering Oaks Park, where the farmers’ market had been.

Beka and I talked touring (she has done a lot of it, including Europe, and had some great stories) and life in general, which I always enjoy doing with my hosts.

Tomorrow I’ll meet up with another local Portland cyclist who is up to some cool things in the world. Temps should hit 73, and I’m ready for it!

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