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42 degrees and Xmas

December 25, 2009

The GTS at Pioneer Courthouse Square

There’s sunshine. No snow. It isn’t that cold. I’m always telling people to ride their scooters on major holidays, so I suppose I should eat my own dog food, as they say at Microsoft.

The temperature readout sez 39°F, but it feels a lot colder, even bundled up as I am. Must be the wind. The trees are bent way over.

I hit the starter button. The GTS goes blup… blup… blup before the engine catches. Being parked outside seems to affect the battery more than I thought, even if I do ride it almost daily. It’d be nice to be able to park it in the garage, but at the moment there’s no room.

If the battery is down a bit, the ride I have planned should charge it right up.

Heading west on Broadway, the street is not quite deserted.

NE 24th & Broadway, Portland

The Broadway Bridge is, however.

I don’t mind. Even with the sun so low in the sky it’s shining directly into my eyes, the Broadway Bridge is a pleasure to ride on. It’s got a nice, smooth concrete surface and no grating (if you like grating, there’s the Hawthorne Bridge, which is nothin’ but).

Union Station

Union Station is where Amtrak stops. Greyhound stops there, too, and so does TriMet. It was restored to a state of grace about 20 years ago, when King Street Station in Seattle was literally falling apart. These days, Union Station is said to be fraying around the edges as King Street Station (finally) undergoes the renovation it has needed for freakin’ ever.

This is where you hang the left to go downtown. Things are not exactly hoppin’ there, either.

Broadway and Oak, downtown Portland

The instrument cluster shows 42°F. While I’ve always been inclined to say it’s optimistic, I can see the Benson Bubblers are bubbling.

The Benson Bubblers were turned on

It feels much colder. Must be the wind.

I go left at Morrison, left again at 6th. Pioneer Courthouse Square is deserted. The tree is looking rather naked. Not in the manner of Concord, Calif.’s Charlie Brown tree, but lack-of-decorations naked.

Closer examination reveals little gold lights. But no ornaments?

It’s probably better viewed at night. I get the lead picture just as someone who appears to be a cop starts walking in my direction. I hop on the GTS and fire it up, making a clean getaway.

I decide to take the Steel Bridge going back. It’s called the Steel Bridge because at the time it was built bridges tended to be made of wrought iron. The light was good, so I thought I’d get a picture on the way.

The Steel Bridge

While I was at it, I got a picture of the GTS.

The GTS on Naito Parkway

Orin O'Neill photos

Hope you had a nice Christmas. Did you get a chance to ride? Favicon

  1. December 26, 2009 12:05 am

    I had the chance to ride but didn’t. Went for a walk instead -:)

    I take it scooters on the plaza are verbotten? Too nice an opportunity to pass up. Glad you did it anyway -:)

    Hope you had a good day Orin. I’m remembering Alvin and the Chipmunks! LOL!!

  2. December 26, 2009 12:18 pm

    Chuck, where you live a walk would be more pleasant–views of the sound and downtown Seattle. Where I am, there’s a noise-abatement wall (I-84) at the north end of the block, a water-cooled Volkswagen graveyard across Halsey, and houses that most likely look like they’ve seen better days. The ride to downtown offers nicer sights.

    Parking a motor vehicle on Pioneer Courthouse Square is verboten if it’s not part of a display, but there are barriers to keep cars and trucks off. Scooter, no problemo. The cop, the GTS and I were the only occupants of the square. And he might not have been a cop—the Portland Development Association has these quasi-security people stationed throughout downtown Portland whose job it is to ask people not to misbehave.

    A couple Xmases ago, Chuck, Safety Ed and a few other scooter types convened for a short ride to a multiplex in the U District. The original CGI Alvin and the Chipmunks was what we ended up seeing. Good times, good times. Chuck, the Chipmunk “Squeakwel” is now playing…

  3. December 27, 2009 9:21 am

    Of course I rode. I rode past a house where they were making snow for Christmas day witha snow machine. Energy crisis? What energy crisis?

    The cop was probably bored and looking for someone to talk to. You just have a bad conscience you anarchist, you.

  4. December 29, 2009 12:02 pm

    If you were at Union Station the Security people there use segways. They can outrun you in town because they use the sidewalks.

    Eat your own dog food? At Microsoft, no less? Man, that one is going to mess up my head.

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