Pedal, Pedal, Cooooooaaaast

ice creamIt’s 105 degrees or something outrageous here in Portland and, like most Portlanders, we don’t have air conditioning, but I have to admit I kind of like it. Granted, it only gets this hot a couple of times of year here, so there’s definitely the novelty factor. Plus, it isn’t even humid like it was in Madison when we’d get a heat wave. I’m sure it’s very annoying when you live somewhere where it’s like this for months on end to hear that I’m welcoming the heat wave like an exotic bird visiting me on vacation, but I can’t help it. It’s kind of fun now and then.

Reasons I Love the Heat:

1) This is a rather long reason, but to sum it up, extreme heat gives you a bicycle high with virtually no effort on your part. Normally I’m a peddle, peddle, coooooooaaaaaaasssssssst kind of biker. I like to take the scenic route and take my time sucking it all in. When we lived in Madison and I biked downtown to work I made sure I hit every possible beautiful thing on my way to work weaving in and out of neighborhoods to hit them — the Thai Pavillion at Olbrich, the community gardens, every park along the lake, streets with particularly beautiful houses or gardens, even a little trip along the Yahara River (which runs north/south, my workplace was directly west of our house).

It took me 1 hour and 45 minutes (or so) to get to work.

It took Barrett 30 minutes.

His work was further away.

When you bike in the pedal, pedal, cooooooaaaast fashion, taking in all the sights at your leisure, you really don’t ever exert yourself enough to get a biker’s high. EXCEPT when it’s 100 degrees and so humid it feels like you’re biking in molasses. Then it’s pedal, pedal, aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh, that’s niiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. The biker’s high hits fast when you’re so unbelievably hot.

2) As someone who is a bit cold nearly all of the time (any temperature below 90), it has to be this hot to wear cutie pie tank tops and skimpy sun dresses without wearing a sweater over the top. So liberating.

3) Everyone tends to slow down when it’s this hot. I love that everyone is going Bridget Pace for a little while. Especially now that Bridget Pace has slowed down even slower than the previous pedal, pedal, coast pace that I was used to.

4) Ice cream. Also gelato which isn’t anywhere near as good as Wisconsin Ice Cream, but it’s pretty good for being just down the street. (I don’t want to go on too long of a tirade but I was once at home writing away when this loud, awful music came from outside and my response involved a lot of curse words wondering who was interrupting me in such a vile way and it turned out to be the ice cream man. I felt a bit bad about hating the guy so much sight unseen and cursing him behind his back when he was probably bringing joy to the masses, but I still can’t bring myself to buy from an ice cream truck — the music is just too, too vile).

5) The heat really makes me appreciate all of the rest of the spring, summer and fall when it’s nice and cool here with just enough sun and a bit of a breeze to keep things just perfect.

I hope everyone else is surviving the heat wave!


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  1. Mmmm… ice cream. Definitely the best thing about hot weather!

    One thing I love about biking in the summer is the awesome feeling when you lock up your bike and take off your helmet. Because your head gets so hot, and it is so nice to suddenly have air circuation up there.

  2. Good choice! (not buying ice cream from the so-called ice cream man with vile music) It is NOT ice cream! It is something akin to spray-foam insulation with chemical coloring and sugar. So many chemicals you can’t even taste the sweetness of the sugar. Bleah.

    On the other hand: snow cones from a cart in the park are deeLISHus.
    And real ice cream! Made from real cream, and other real goodness.
    Also: fruit sorbet made from fresh fruit! Yummy yum.

    Glad you are finding a way to enjoy this heat. Of course you are! Well done.

  3. Ha, ha, HAH! you make me laugh out loud with your ironic observations and lovely comedic timing. Are you sure you are not writing a memoir or a screenplay here in the guise of a blog?

    My dearest husband (who happens to be very cranky in this heat, though he thinks I am the cranky one) drinks a homemade malted milk shake EVERY night in the summertime). I find I can resist the fatty sweetness myself, but love the frozen yogurt at Tart on Division and 21st-ish.

    Keep the love light shining my dear Bridget!

  4. That is EXACTLY how I bike. My husband does laps around me, back and forth, when we bike together. From now on I’m going to be humming “pedal, pedal, cooooaaaaaasssssst” as I mosey along enjoying the view.

  5. I have to say that I’ve been enjoying the heat, too, if only for the novelty factor. I was hoping we’d break the record Wednesday. Let’s face it, if it’s going to be over 100°, it may as well be 108°. The only problem is I’m so burned out from organizing my high school reunion last weekend that the heat has been giving me something quite similar to your jelly brain. Just don’t ask me to operate any heavy equipment and everything will be fine.

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