Of course, the perfect weekend in Portland would also include wandering through the farmer’s markets – which sadly do not open until March 20.
(Or happily DO open March 20th, thus occasioning another ride soon into my closest Bike Utopia . . . )
But even in the heart of winter, Portland has . . .
Uncle Paul offers better prices than the grocery stores and a nourishment to the eyes and nose before a single piece of fruit is eaten.
We can personally recommend the 99¢ Tangelo as well as the Golden Shasta mandarin. We splurged on out-of-season berries (but, hey, high in antioxidants even if the EFSA has recently pooh-poohed the idea that “antioxidant properties” are “beneficial to the maintenance or improvement of the functions of the body”) and long-stemmed mushrooms. The lovely fragrant apples, crisp and sweet, kept us company on the ride back home.
There is, to me, an integral link between cycling and outdoor markets. Both encourage a neighborliness even in the middle of urban space. Both recall us to fresh air and the living earth. Both reconnect us with our bodies’ senses.
My partner-in-crime asked on the ride in, while we stood shivering in the rain changing a bike tube, what I would have thought of joining my path with his if I’d been able to see into this drippy darkening moment along the roadside.
Sitting down to dinner our last evening, I was able to ask back, “And what would you have thought, if you’d seen yourself sitting down to this for dinner – ?”
But it’s been years since he moved beyond meat-and-potatoes. We’ve both learned something over the years about the good life.