David Auker, a 62-year-old Portland resident who has been racing and riding in the Pacific northwest since the 1970s, will once again lead his annual Thanksgiving day ride tomorrow.
The ride was first held in 1997; but this year’s edition is especially sweet given that it comes just over two years after Auker suffered a serious stroke while on a ride and spent three weeks in the hospital. (I shared more about Auker and his road to recovery when I chatted with him and his friends at his birthday celebration back in January.)
Auker’s recovery was difficult and slow and he even got lost riding in the hills near his house a few times. The same hills he has ridden for many decades.
Today, Auker shared his gratitude for life and for his long-awaited return to daily bike rides. “So now, I’m just beyond two years,” he wrote on the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association email list, “Oh so happy for life! Got my license back, got a new car — but riding every day. Here I am, almost like I was, but with shorter hair, loving being!”
The David Auker Thanksgiving Fixed Gear Ride (my name for it, not his) starts — as it has for as long as everyone I’ve asked can remember — with a big brunch at his home in Portland’s southwest hills. (If you are on the OBRA email list, you can find the address and details.)
If riding fixed isn’t your thing, there are a few other rides on Thanksgiving morning. Why ride on Thanksgiving? Not only has it been scientifically proven to grow your appetite; but the streets are usually very quiet on major holidays (especially downtown!).
Appetite Enhancement Ride
Organized by volunteers from Shift, this ride will meet at the Red and Black Cafe at 10:00 am and ride for about 90 minutes. Loop will go across the river into downtown. Relaxed and social pace. Details here.
Hammer Velo & Friends – Meet at 8:30 am at River City (706 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd). Two-plus hours.
Portland Wheelmen – Meet 9:30 am at 11100 NE Skidmore. More details here.
If you know of other rides going on, please share info in the comments. Have a great holiday weekend!
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