A touch of class - An Autumn by the Sea - CycleBlaze

August 13, 2018

A touch of class

Not much news to report here, but I feel compelled to pass on this morning’s sighting outside of Caffe Umbria.  The Cafe is a hotspot for Portland’s Italian community: Portland’s Italian Consul holds court here, along with the waiter from our favorite Tuscan restaurant, soccer fans, bikers, and the like - there are bike magazines on the rack, jerseys on the wall - that kind of place.  It’s one of the spots from our old neighborhood that I miss the most, and I still stop by fairly often.

Today is an odd and ends day: coffee with my friend Bruce, a trip to Kaiser to pick up my new eyeglasses, a stop at the dry cleaners to drop off my Pendleton to ready it for the coming tour, a trip to DMV to renew my driver’s license which will expire while we’re on tour.  In the midst of that I found time to stop in at Cafe Umbria, enjoy another cup of coffee and an almond croissant, and stew again over which route we should take through the Dolomites - in particular, should we tackle iconic, awesome Stelvio Pass?  We’re not getting any younger, so it’s now or never.  We’ll see.

On leaving, my eye was caught by the brilliant glare off of this thing.  Pretty gaudy, almost gauche, I thought.  I decided to add a touch of class to the scene for a minute  by bringing my nearly new New World Tourist up close to it.  I would have leaned it against the car itself, but didn’t want to risk any gold paint rubbing off onto my own nice Black Diamond finish - or getting shot by some mafioso dashing out of the cafe with a tommy gun.

I can’t decide - which vehicle should I tour the Dolomites with this autumn: the NWT, or the Ferrari?
Heart 4 Comment 4
Steve Miller/GrampiesWhat an easy choice. The NWT is beautiful the Ferrari is ugly.
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4 months ago
Scott AndersonPerhaps. I’ll bet I’d pick up more chicks with the car though. For one, there’s a second seat.
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4 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Scott AndersonRachael might have one or two choice words to say.
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4 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltIt "shore is purdy," but not nearly as versatile as the 2-wheeler... Doubtful I could afford the insurance though... nevermind gas or maintenance. So...
Yeah, the bike wins my vote.
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3 months ago
Rate this entry's writing Heart 6
Comment on this entry Comment 8
Kathleen ClassenHello Scott and Rachel. Keith and I will be cycling in the Dolomites this fall. We leave Victoria August 23rd and fly to Zurich. Keith is affectionately known as the Chief Navigator (CN) and I am his GTW...the Go This Way device. We too are talking about the Stelvio, and also taking a wait and see approach. We will be blogging on CycleBlaze for the first time, the creatively named Poking Around Europe 5.0. You can guess the name of the first four blogs 😁. Your comment in your last blog about making the effort primarily for your own purposes and enjoyment really resonated with me. It is an effort, particularly with sketchy European wifi, but it is amazing to us how it all would be impossible to keep straight if I didn’t do it. Truth be known it has settled a few ‘discussions’ too! We will follow your blog with interest and while crossing paths seems unlikely it would be such fun if we do. Safe travels.
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Kathleen ClassenHey there! Yes, I’m familiar with you two and the Poking Around series. In fact, I’m not sure that we haven’t exchanged comments before. I can’t be sure though - I get all you BC folks mixed up. What do they put in the water up there, anyway? It seems like half the bloggers I hear from hail from your province.

Yes, that would be a hoot if we could cross paths somewhere. We’ve made up our minds about Stelvio, btw. We’ve picked that option, and will at least be biking beneath it and staying overnight at the base. If weather cooperates, I’m pretty sure we’ll give it a go.

You may have picked up that we (I) plan things out pretty thoroughly. We have booked our lodging through the Dolomites and Lake District, so barring surprises that part of our itinerary is pretty well set. If you like, I’ll send it your way (my email: scoandpdx@gmail.com) and we might see if we’re likely to intersect anywhere.

And if not now, sometime for sure. We’re looking at a short tour up around Vancouver and Victoria next summer. And welcome to CycleBlaze!
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Kathleen ClassenAn afterthought. I have a feeling we would hit it off pretty well. I was just browsing through your fourth edition and found the lovely photo of you sprawled out beneath an electric fence. It’s a scenario we can relate to in multiple ways. Rachael always wonders why I need to get the camera out first before coming to her rescue also.
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3 months ago
Kathleen ClassenTo Scott AndersonWhen I had my big fall (Poking 3.0) Keith documented it so thoroughly I think he scandalized the lovely German couple who came to our rescue. I didn’t mind as I was still in the ‘give me five minutes and a bandaid phase’. By the time we both realized I was hurt, we had lots of pictures. I didn’t let him post any of them though, except of me being carted away in an ambulance. Our poor trail angels must have wondered though, as she was a nurse and I think she knew right away I wasn’t getting out of there under my own steam. We still laugh about it.
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Kathleen ClassenOh, my gosh. I hadn’t looked at THAT tour yet. What a frightening experience. Rachael has had one bad, concussion inducing fall herself, and I think it’s always in the back of both of our minds. You obviously healed well over the winter though, and it looks like it didn’t scare you off of returning to your bike.
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3 months ago
david alstonScott and Rachel,

Maun and I are currently in Santa Monica in the land of fancy cars. Yesterday we saw a Mclaraen parked right on the street marked as a bike route in Venice Beach. And the day before while waiting to cross the street to get to the Getty Villa we saw an Alfa Romeo with the model name "Stelvio." Is that a sign?

While riding on the Neckar it was important to me to stop in Tübingen because one of my favorite professors had taught there. There was, of course, a Fest with no rooms to be had so we ended up in a splurge hotel a few minutes away from the center. We were in an annex and had to go to the main building for breakfast. We parked our bikes right next to a beautiful silver gray Porsche, pretty close to exactly the same color as our titanium bikes. As we ate I speculated as to who it belonged to but couldn't guess. But we left at the same time so we were getting on our bikes as he was unlocking the car. I said to him that our Porsches were the same color but he reminded me that his would go much faster.
Reply to this comment
3 months ago
david alstonScott and Rachel,

Maun and I are currently in Santa Monica in the land of fancy cars. Yesterday we saw a Mclaraen parked right on the street marked as a bike route in Venice Beach. And the day before while waiting to cross the street to get to the Getty Villa we saw an Alfa Romeo with the model name "Stelvio." Is that a sign?

While riding on the Neckar it was important to me to stop in Tübingen because one of my favorite professors had taught there. There was, of course, a Fest with no rooms to be had so we ended up in a splurge hotel a few minutes away from the center. We were in an annex and had to go to the main building for breakfast. We parked our bikes right next to a beautiful silver gray Porsche, pretty close to exactly the same color as our titanium bikes. As we ate I speculated as to who it belonged to but couldn't guess. But we left at the same time so we were getting on our bikes as he was unlocking the car. I said to him that our Porsches were the same color but he reminded me that his would go much faster.
Reply to this comment
3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo david alstonNice to hear from you again, David. I’m glad you appreciates this photo - I was really delighted by it myself. Do you have a photo of your bikes with the silver Porsche? We should start an album.
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3 months ago