Sunday rides are a ritual for me, even in winter. But today’s glorious sunshine accompanied by a warm spell (60 degrees!) made getting out on a bike today a real delight. I often ride out Springwater Trail, along the Willamette River, to visit Tadpole Pond, and the wetlands of Oaks Bottom, accompanied by a swing through Portland’s bustling Sellwood district. Today, I decided to stop in at Oaks Amusement Park, one of the oldest continually operating parks in the U.S.
Being an amusement park, there are fun rides, including this swooping roller coaster which now induces a slight feeling of nausea, even though I once relished joining my pals for a spin on this magnificent, multi-colored joy machine.
But in addition to having the option to get sick, Oaks Park also offers picnic areas along the river, an historic wooden-floor roller rink complete with a Wurlitzer pipe organ, and is the home of the Herschell-Spillman Noah’s Ark Carousel, which is itself listed in the National Register of Historic Places. I like visiting the park in the winter, when it’s closed, to enjoy the quiet river views and to marvel at the nostalgia-inducing feel of the place.
I’ve been riding my 1975 Centurion Semi-Pro, which I converted to 650b about a year ago. I re-used the Sunshine Pro-Am hubs, laced to V-O rims, and installed Mafac Raid brakes to accomplish the conversion.
The Grand Bois Cypres 650b 32 mm tires are holding up well. They are a nice alternative to tires offered by Rene Herse and Pacenti. However, it appears that these tires are no longer available, although some models can still be purchased on eBay. Below are photos of the bike’s features and current components. In addition to re-using as many of the original Dura Ace pieces as made sense, I tried to stay true to the bike’s 1970’s roots.
My ride was capped off by watching a hawk flying overhead, chased by a murder of crows, only to land nearby with its prey in its talons. My iPhone camera was no match for that photo opp, but the memory of that scene will live on, accompanied by many other memorable Sunday Rides.