Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Donuts to Total Domination

Michal has been wanting to ride this one so "I can see what those roads look like in daylight".  He took the train up on Friday, and caught our light rail (MAX) out to the Beaverton Transit Center, where we met up and rode back to the house.

This would also be a test of Minimal Packing, for my Bicycle Adventure (tm) next month.  Everything fit in the Carradice Barley and Acorn Rando bag, including some shoes.

Test run of packing light for a future Adventure.

As we had planned for a 7am departure, we headed out of the house at 6:15 (well, 6:17 :-) ) and rode over to Sesame Donuts on every single road I generally avoid riding on - SW Walker eastbound, SW Canyon, and SW Beaverton Hillsdale.  All narrow and fast traffic.  But given the hour, it wasn't all that bad.

Starting with the donuts!

Donuts and coffee at Sesame Donuts.  They are operating completely in pennies, so I handed over 2000 and got back 14-something in change.  "We are practicing for when we win the lottery and become millionaires."

Our first challenge was getting by the SW Oleson Rd closure and construction.  There is a ped/bike temporary bridge (automobiles have a significant detour), and once we found it and transited the deep gravel to access it, smooth sailing southward.

The stretch from SW Portland to Wilsonville is very definitely suburbs and traffic lights, and a LOT more rolling than I remembered it.

Michal: "this route doesn't go over the river on the I-5 bridge, does it?"  Well, yes, it does.  Fortunately we were only riding southbound, which is the less stressful crossing - wider shoulders and higher bridge railings.  The shoulder was full of hubcaps.

Finally now, out into the country, all the way to Keizer/Salem.  We were meant to have a tailwind, and I might have felt a slight one.

We were looking out for a Burgerville, because Michal wanted a hamburger (at which point I then wanted one as well!), but there did not appear to be any on the route.  Just into Salem, a red car got behind us on a four lane road, sat on my rear wheel, and wouldn't pass.  Other cars were passing - 4 lane road, lots of room.   No honking, but just sitting there.  Stressful.  As we did not find the Burgerville, we stopped at the Arco minimart on the outskirts of town.  I had my first of several V-8s, plus Gatorade to top up the bottles. The day was heating up.

River Road to Independence looks much nicer in the daytime.  Michal: "from desolate to bucolic".  Yes indeed. It was also revealed that it is rolling.  I always wondered why it felt so hard riding it in the middle of the night, and now I know.  The Salem housing developments are creeping out along the road; I expect traffic will increase over time.

Then around a corner, and we popped out from the hills/forest into the Willamette Valley, with the Independence Bridge just up ahead.

Evidence of participation

Independence, Oregon

Indepizza had gone out of business :-( :-( :-(, so we went to the suggested minimart.  Ice cream bar and some Sobe.  Note to self - next time, go a few blocks further north and eat at Moothart's (just across from the public restrooms), or ride a bit further west on Monmouth road to Subway or something else. Or hope a decent, expedient food source opens on the main road.

Seeing SPOTz

First ice cream of the day, Independence, OR

I had remembered that it was somewhat hilly south of Independence, and, indeed, I had remembered correctly.  Lots of recent chipseal as well.  Slog up, fly down, repeat as needed.  At one point I looked ahead and muttered "please have the right turn there..." Not.  Some of you may remember the transit on Prather Rd from the Buena Vista Ferry, the year we rode the unofficial 150 mile version of the Watermelon Ride (2004?).  Gravel then.  Chipseal now.

Smell the cornfield!

We passed through the western edge of Albany.  By now, my feet were starting to hurt, so I lobbied for a "shoes off" pause.  We pulled over in the shade just outside of town and sat for a few minutes.  We also realized we needed more to drink to get us all the way to Harrisburg.  Should have stopped in Albany.  Oh well.

Michal remembered that there was a minimart on Hwy 34; we'd stock up there.  Passed the info control, and then popped out on Hwy 34.  Ah yes, the minimart was where Peoria Road met Hwy 34, not White Oak (our turn).  Rode west to the store, where we stocked up on water and Gatorade, and drank more V-8.  By now we had progressed to the "it is so hot, let's dump cold water on ourselves".  Ahhhh.

And, being good little randonneurs, rather than turning south on Peoria Rd right there, we rode back to White Oak Rd and turned there, to meet up with Peoria Rd.  Three bonus miles. Our promised tailwind never did show up.  Peoria Rd is 17+ miles of flat, exposed, boring...  At least there wasn't a headwind.

As we did not avail ourselves of the blue room at the minimart, Michal recalled that there was one at Peoria Park, just south of Fayetteville Rd.  About 6 miles later, there it was.  I never knew it was there; good to know.  Not only was there a blue room, there was also running water, so more cold water to put to good use!  Another "shoe off" pause, and then off again.

I learned that Peoria, which is now only a roadside park, a few street signs and homes, used to be a major river shipping point - this was as far as the grain barges could get upstream on the Willamette River.

Michal: "I can tell when your feet are hurting, just listening to your pedaling."  Yeah.  Maybe these aren't the shoes for me either.

Willamette River alongside Peoria Rd

After quite some time, a friend of Michal's who was out riding on Peoria Rd came along; they chatted for a bit, and then he zoomed off.

Still hot.  Finally, finally, finally, we saw the silos of Harrisburg up ahead.  Stopped at the Dari-Mart.  By now, neither of us wanted anything to drink but water, so I gulped down a few Endurolytes, and had a mango popsicle.  I consolidated the Gatorade/Sobe/Orange-Vanilla Perpetuem into one bottle, and filled the insulated bottle with ice cold water.  There may also have been another extended water dumping session before leaving town.

I think the heat of the day finally passed, and it was perceptibly cooler.  The most recent drenching didn't hurt either.  Some very quiet rural roads and then we were on River Road for awhile, which takes us into Eugene through Santa Clara, which has amazing trees.  Under the beltline, onto the bike path, back onto the surface streets for a couple of blocks, and there was the brewery.  Ahhh.

We leaned the bikes inside the patio walls and went in search of some beer.  Cyndi joined us, and then we loaded up and went home.

Fini, Ninkasi Brewing, Eugene Oregon

And, delightfully, hamburgers for dinner!

The GPS track
All the pictures

Well, I need to wear different shoes.  My winter shoes (PI Water Resistant Winter Shoes) don't hurt, so perhaps I shall return to those.  My old Shimano sandals are still wandering around the garage.  I remember why I no longer wear them, but maybe my feet have changed.  I can test them out locally.

Packing- it worked well, until I went to stuff the riding things on the bike, because I was wearing what I had carried.  Now, I don't expect to have to pack my cycling shoes on my Adventure, but it is highly probable that I will want to have rain gear and maybe a bit warmer accessories along, which will take up more space.  This bag calls, and I do have a venerable Jim Blackburn rear rack which will work, if the other rack I have ordered from France doesn't arrive in time.  At the moment, it seems to be made of unobtainium.  Yes, it DOES have to be silver.

Getting home - Amtrak, of course.  The schedule now only has a 5:30am departure; the more reasonably scheduled morning departure is no longer on the schedule.  I arrived home in time for waffles, and took an afternoon nap.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Beaverton - Hagg Lake Perm Pop

This route is one of my perms.  The perm owner and I had a brief consultation, at the end of which I departed Jim and Patty's Coffee Wednesday morning at 8:15am.  I am trying to get in a midweek 100k, and something else on the weekends.

Start, Jim and Patty's Coffee

The day was not meant to be too hot.  It was early enough that the Beaverton to Forest Grove stretch was not heavily trafficked.  The ride west is on the major roads, SW Baseline and SW TV Hwy out of Hillsboro (it changes names several times), both of which have entirely adequate bike lanes or shoulders, but for a few blocks past SW Cornell in Hillsboro.  I kept my lights on, for all the contrasty shade in Hillsboro; a couple of local cyclists commented on my visibility.

Sweetpea lean on Maggie's Buns wall, Forest Grove

My Forest Grove control choice was Maggie's Buns.  When I rolled in, a customer outside commented on my Sweetpea.  I asked if we had met, and after some discussion, he was probably on a local populaire a year or so ago.  So I recruited him for the upcoming 9th Annual Verboort Sausage Populaire on November 1.  You should come out and ride it as well!

Maggie's Bun and coffee

South and a bit west to Hagg Lake.  I tapped the lap indicator on my bike computer heading in, and also heading out, because I wanted to see how long it took for me to circumnavigate the lake.  The contrasty shade was appreciated, and I did stop for one picture. 52 minutes to ride around the lake this time.

Hagg Lake panorama, south side, just before the dam

Onto my favorite bit south to the Gaston store, and then headed eastward back to the start.  Tongue Road was a bit busy and tight until after the rollers.  Uneventful back to Hillsboro.

Fern Hill Rd, just south of Blooming-Fern Hill (the hill on the right)

Heading east on SW Johnson, I did not carefully pay attention to (this is my route, yes?) the cuesheet.  There is a stretch where one loops around to the south, because of a creek and no bridge over it.  No substitute for reading the cuesheet. :-)

Then north on SW 170th to SW Merlo, possibly the sketchiest stretch of the route - a narrow two lane road with ditches, and more traffic than it was originally designed for.  I saw another cyclist take a sidepath on the west side; might do that next time.

And then very soon back to Jim and Patty's where a Mocha Mint Freeze was in my immediate future.

Finish at Jim and Patty's coffee.  Love that Mocha Mint Freeze.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Even More North Plains Banks Vernonia...

Since the last post, I have ridden it two more times.  I took very few pictures, though, because you all know what it looks like.  Gorgeous.  Shady.  40+ miles of trail.  There is a reason it is one of the most popular Perm Pop routes in Oregon.

Vernonia Lake with reflections

I took the Lemond out again on the first go.  Talked Andrew B (one of the first Team Bag Balm folks I met!) into joining us. Assume Ray O is there.  He is often the instigator.  Andrew was happy I got him out; he's not been riding as much as he'd like, and this was his first randonneuring excursion in a couple of years.

Nothing stands out particularly on this ride, other than the great company and superlative route. Finished it a bit slower than the ride of the previous week - 4 more minutes - faster riding, but more faffing around.

Now, I have been hating on my shoes all summer - the pain in the balls of my feet has been spectacular.  So for the first two trips, I went back to my Keen sandals.  I like them, but I could see where riding longer than 100k that my feet might be less than happy. Amazing, because I have successfully completed a 600k wearing them.

I had seen on a discussion, the thing called a metatarsal pad.  Hmm.  Something to lift the foot a bit more so the ball of the foot can't exert quite so much pressure.  They were promptly purchased, and temporarily stuck onto my current insoles.  For the record, the Superfeet Blue insoles were a total bust for me.

Sweetpea was finally reassembled, replacing the rear brake, cables, brake levers, front derailleur lever, and handlebar tape in the process.  Took it along for the most recent ride.  I might ride slower, because Sweetpea is somewhat more substantial than Lemond, but it would be a longer checkout of all the maintenance, plus a chance to test out the metatarsal pads on the intended end-use bike.

Sweetpea with new brakes, brake levers, cables, and new bar tape

For this ride, Ken joined us.  We started at the new cafe/diner not far from the McDs - the Hits the Spot Cafe (in the old Corner Bistro location).  Good coffee, excellent and friendly service.  No imprinted receipt, no rubber stamp.

So, as I said, I wasn't expecting a fast time on this one.  We stopped for a coffee and scone in Vernonia, plus a few other necessary pauses.

Sweetpea was somewhat more confident on the gravel bits.

Food on this ride - I am currently a fan of raisin bread with homemade peanut butter or homemade chocolate hazelnut spread, so I brought that along.  Plus a bottle of Gatorade and a bottle of Perpetuem with a scoop of Gatorade.  After this year's disappointing brevet season, I am hypothesizing that I really need lots of electrolytes.  Perpetuem doesn't have any, which I did not realize, and I had gone to just that in my bottles.  Once it is gone, I am going back to the previous potion, which did work for me.

But yet, as we left Banks, I looked at the time, and realized that it would certainly be less than 6 hours.  I finished at 5:38 elapsed, matching my PR on the route, and on the heavier bike.

And the feet - eversomuch better!  Next step is seeing how they feel during a 200k.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

NP Banks Vernonia 100k. Again.

Really, the nicest perm pop ever when it is hot, because 2/3 of it is on the Banks Vernonia Rail Trail, in the shade.

The trail

I would be riding with Ray O and Steve B (RUSA's newest member, joined the day before the ride :-) )

Sweetpea was (is) still in pieces, so I thought it might be time to take the Lemond Zurich out for its annual ride.  The tires needed air.  The last time I rode it, I was really hurting after 50 miles, so I gave it a spin in the driveway to figure out why.  The saddle seemed awfully high.  Dropping the saddle meant that I could no longer use the Detours High Tail rear bag - it would rub on the wheel all the time, rather than occasionally.  The trials and travails of a short person with a teeny bike and 700c wheels.  Maybe a different seatpost would let me mount the bag higher...  Two seatposts from the bike parts bin later - no.  Gave that up.  Again, rummaging around the bike parts and accessories selection, I found a seat bag that had some degree of capacity and didn't come near the rear wheel.  I think it used to be black, but it is faded brown.  So.

Would you look at those scrawny, underfed tires?

It was surprisingly chilly at the start.  Armwarmers, vest, legwarmers.

We all met up at the North Plains McDonalds.  I arrived first, and ate some more breakfast - sausage burrito and orange juice.

And away we went.  There is a gravel stretch by the lumber mill, and here I was riding the Lemond, with its scrawny, underfed tires.  Cautious, steady pedaling got me through it.

We stopped at the first info control, so Steve could find the answer.  Lost the all the outerwear at the trailhead.  Lots of people setting out to use the trail.  Ray said that was the most he'd seen on a weekday.  Romulus and Remus were not in evidence, nor were their feral chicken friends.   More gravel bits, all successfully navigated.  I guess after riding on sand last week, I am getting better at non-pavement.

The sweetpeas are still blooming, but the Queen Anne's Lace was the most prominent wildflower, white against the dried grasses.

Vernonia Lake, sparkling in the sun

Looped around Vernonia Lake, again stopping for Steve to get the info control answer.   Given that this was his first RUSA ride EVER, we were mentoring on how to go about it :-)

Bikes at Vernonia Lake

We then stopped at Black Bear for coffee and an expedient food item, before heading back.  Still cool in the trees.

Ray and Steve at the Black Bear.  Steve's first RUSA activity ever.

I saw a deer bounding across the trail on the return.



The last 10 miles featured a headwind, but we plowed along.  Found Ray in North Plains, chatting with someone in an SIR jersey, who turned out to be Alan W.  After a brief chat, I left, because I was hoping to finish in under 6 hours.

And so, at 5:38 elapsed (a PR for this route!), there I was at the McDs.  Diet Coke, lots of salty french fries...

Finished.  All time PR for this perm pop. :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Finding the Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Executive summary: it is still there

Grand Traverse Lighthouse

After taking July off, it was time to start the next R-12 cycle.  Being in Michigan, and there being only one 200k perm in the area (another in the design phase), well, it was off to the lighthouse again.

Fitz was golfing somewhere between Glen Arbor and Leland last Monday, and he thought that would be a great day for me to ride.  Fortunately, the weather cooperated.

Rode the familiar 3 miles into town, and over to Glen's Market for the start.  We were out of trash bags (trash pickup is two days a week, and it has to be in the official bag), so I bought a few more.  I'd drop them off on my way out.

Purchase at the start

7am, and off.  The best picture of the day that I did not take was heading up the biggest roller out of town - I looked up and saw two deer silhouetted against the sky, as they crossed the road.  I did stop to get a sunrise picture at the Assembly Beach, dropped off the trash bags, and continued north.

Crystal Lake Sunrise

This was a good ride for wildlife spotting - besides the deer at the beginning, I saw several more, and had to ride carefully to avoid a couple of collisions.  Also a squirrel, which was aiming for my front wheel, and several flocks of wild turkeys.  It is amusing to see the turkey heads poking up from the tall growth in fields.

First, up and over Sutter Road.  The pavement is still pretty cracked, but there were bits of what seemed to be smooth patch.  There was a stop by the Platte River rafting folks - construction had closed one lane over the bridge, and we had to wait for the traffic light.  Then the rolling climbs up and over to Empire, and, of course, the Empire Dome of Mystery. (see the picture text below for the mystery revealed)

Empire is just over that hill, by the spaceship. Details revealed:

I continued on to Glen Arbor, had a brief pause, and then on to Leland.  This is the longest stretch of the ride with farms, homes, and not much else.  Well, views of Lakes Michigan and Leelanau, from time to time.  Last year I was delayed by construction and a flagger who wasn't going to let me ride through.  This year, no construction, and the new pavement is wonderful.  This stretch also yielded the first sighting of a USBR35 sign!

USBR 35!

I had planned to get a sandwich in Leland, so pulled over at a deli right in town.  Ate my sandwich outside, and watched a local boy on a bike stop and very closely inspect my bike.  Bikes up here are either mountain bikes, cruisers, the occasional fully-loaded tourer, or fairly high-zoot road bikes.  Not rando bikes with luggage.

Next, the lumpiest part of the route - Leland to Northport.  Only 11 miles, but... yeah.  Biggest climb of the route - 280 feet over 6 miles.  Starting to get hot and sticky as well, as the route went away from the coast to cross over the Leelanau Peninsula to the east side.  Whoof.  Finally into Northport.  I didn't stop, but continued through town (it is picturesque), and northward to the state park and lighthouse.  There is a shady stretch along Northport Bay, before heading inland to the tip of the peninsula.

Pretty purple stuff blooming all along the route

Arrived at the park, left my bike in the rack (you can't take it any further to the lighthouse), and went into the gift shop to get a Coke and a RUBBER STAMP on my card.  Parks which have a passport type program are really good for this.  Sat on a bench in the shade, sucked down the Coke, refilled my bottles, and headed back.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Rubber stamp at a control!

Didn't stop in Northport.  The climb out is steeper than the climb in - 280 feet over 3 miles.  The wind was supposed to be from the north by this time of day, but I didn't feel it here.

Rusty roofs and red barns

Eventually got back to Leland, where I stopped at the Mercantile and picked up various food objects to consume on the sidewalk.  Some golfer guy found me there, chatted for a few, then went off to find real food and something other than the sidewalk to sit on.  I finished the yogurt and Red Bull, stashed the banana for later, refilled bottles, and continued on.

Snacks in Leland on the return

Arrived in Glen Arbor, and fruitlessly roamed the C-store for V8.  None, but I had my emergency stash, and drank it.  Only 30 more miles to go.  Hot and sticky.

Sleeping Bear Dunes, from Glen Lakes

I do like riding over the causeway between the Glen Lakes.  I should have stopped and dunked myself in the lake!  The tailwind showed up from time to time, and not too much longer, I was in Empire.

Empire town sign, on the return

Perhaps I spent a bit more time there than I should have.  I was enjoying a cold drink and some snacks, and a guy who wasn't in a hurry to start his run wanted to talk about my bike.  I also gave him a quick tutorial on one of the running apps, because he didn't know how to get it started.  Plus, there was that climb...

I spun my way up, went up and down the next two shorter grades, then slogged on south.  Finally started to see the "local" landmarks - the Manitou Fine Northwoods Dining, where someone would encounter a famous golf course designer a few nights hence, then, finally, the climb up Sutter Rd.

Now it was just a matter of zipping along M-22 into town, with those few big rollers to get over.  Dinged the bell as I rode by the cottage, but didn't see Fitz on the screen porch.

Over the hills, into town, and made a beeline for Stormcloud Brewing, the new (and only) brewpub in town.
Scored a glass of mead (they have cider on the menu, but are always out of it), paid for it on the spot (receipt!), then wandered out to the patio and shared a table with some folks passing through town.  Called Fitz, and he joined us.  Pizza and salad.  And some delightful dinner companions.

Finished. Stormcloud Brewing, Frankfort. Mead.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Little Lakes and Big: First Ride of the new Michigan Perm Pop

Over the last couple of years, when we visit up in Michigan, I bring my bike.  I finally developed a 200k perm, and more recently, a 100k perm, because I can only ride around the lake so many times.

My development process for the 100k was to have a vague idea of where I wanted to ride, then rummage around on Ride With GPS and the Strava Heatmap, to see the roads which cyclists preferred.  I'd try to use Google Street View, but it is sufficiently remote up here that anything other than major roads is not yet visited by the Google cameras.

So I created a plausible route and got it approved.  No one had yet signed up to ride it (amazingly enough, I am NOT the only rider on my 200k), so I would be the first rider.  I have driven the route as far south as Onekama, and know the stretch from Beulah around the lake to Frankfort quite well.  However, Onekama to Beulah would be all new.

Rode into town, and got my start proof of passage at the EZ Mart C-store.  This is the c-store of choice all around here.

Frankfort Perm Pop start

Headed south on M-22, aka USBR 35.  Lake Michigan was on my right somewhere over there.  Headed south through Elberta, and promptly started climbing.  It is hilly along the Lake Michigan shore.  Chugged up a couple of long ones, with respectably painful grades.  At the top of the second climb, I saw some bike tourists pulled over.  They had a trailer, so I expect they were recomposing at the top.  They cheered me on and gave me a very appreciated mist of water.

Passed through Arcadia (up and down), over Arcadia Lake (pretty; camera battery chose today to not be with me), up again, past the golf course, and finally, came to the Lake Michigan overlook.  So pretty.

Lake Michigan overlook, north of Onekama

Down again; surely I'd get to Onekama soon.  No, more up and down.  Did I mention the headwind? 

Finally I was there.  Found the ice cream shop, and enjoyed a scoop in a waffle cone.
Ice Cream control in Onekama, with identifying True Value Hardware in the background

Off to find Bear Lake, the second on-course control.  Note: there is an EZ-Mart on the corner where one turns onto 5th to go to Bear Lake.  Of course, it was a climb up :-)  then rolling through farmland, and eventually turning east for the last mile or so to Bear Lake.  Stopped at the EZ-Mart.  They had V8, which made me very happy.  It was hot and more humid than I am used to.

Bear Lake control (blow up to read the sign :-) )

The ride on Hwy 31 through Bear Lake was happily uneventful - it is a very busy highway closer to Traverse City - and turning left to ride along the lake was a delight.  Lots of cottages and people recreating in the lake.

The road then turns north, and rolls along for quite a while.  Then I got to where the road crossed Glover's Lane and... it wasn't paved.  Up here, not paved usually means sand.  Well, ok, it can't be that way for very long.  So I kept going, and it wasn't too bad for the first mile or so.  Hard packed, I could ride it.  Then it started washing out.  So I'd walk for awhile, and when it firmed up, I'd ride until I couldn't.
Imagine my surprise. Reroute is already designed.

Surely it would be paved around the corner.  After that... surely it would be paved at Taylor Rd.  Surely it would be paved at the next road...  And finally, it was paved.

As soon as I made the turn, I encountered a group of cyclists chugging up the other way.   We stopped and chatted briefly, then continued on our respective ways.  Getting hotter.  Time was getting short, too.  Would I make it to Beulah in time?

The terrain continued to be quite rolling.  Also quite pretty - farms.  Lots of blueberries and corn and roadside fruit stands.  But would I make the next control in time?  Finally I summitted, and enjoyed the precipitous descent to River Rd (16%.  Nice!)  Once I was at River Rd, I knew exactly where I was, and headed over to pick up the Betsie River Trail into Beulah.  But would I make it in time?  There might have been some flying low on the trail, and I entered Beulah with 10 minutes to spare.  Whew.

Got a bagel and cream cheese at the deli, and maybe spent a few more minutes than I should have, eating it.  15 more miles to go, all flat but for the climb out of the Crystal Lake Watershed - four big rollers.

I had had a unidirectional headwind the whole time, and it didn't let up for the 10 mile stretch along the north shore of Crystal Lake.  Sigh.  But once I made the turn south, the tailwind kicked in.

Past our cottage and one info control to make sure I rode around the lake :-) then over the big rollers.  I know exactly how long it takes me to ride into town, and knew I'd make it, so I backed off a bit.

Finished back in Frankfort.  Betsie Lake in the background

Finished at the EZ-Mart, then texted Fitz to see where he was.  I was planning to get another ice cream cone over at the Kool Spot in town, but he was headed for the beach.  Well, I could just as easily get an ice cream cone at the Crystal View at the beach, plus dunk my hot and sticky self in the lake.

So I turned around and rode back north, over those rollers again, then coasted down to the beach, parked the bike, got an ice cream, and joined everyone on the beach.

Aftermath, part 1.  Ride bike back to the Assembly Beach.  Fitz's bike in the background

Aftermath, part 2: dish of ice cream, then a dunk in the lake.

The lake was wonderful.  And the reroute is already scoped out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hot Hot Hot

My new perm pop needed someone to ride it :-)  Couldn't rustle up any other of the retired or flexible work schedule folks, so I was on my own.

After last ride's flatfest, I patched several tubes, and swapped on the new Hutchinson tire.  The one that flatted was cut clear through.  Only 918 miles :-(

Located my evaporative neck cooler and got it soaking.  I'd be checking out the Road Holland jersey (thanks MG!) - I was wondering how a wool-synthetic blend would work for me in the heat.  I also mounted a third water bottle cage on the right seatstay, and wanted to see how that would work it.  I bolted it to the braze on, and maybe it would jiggle too much and stress the braze.

experimental third water bottle cage mount.

Coasted down to Jim and Patty's for some coffee to get me started.  I was starting earlier than is usual for us here for a perm pop, because, even though it was supposed to be a bit cooler, I wanted to finish before the hottest part of the day.

Headed out to Forest Grove by a fairly direct route - straight out Baseline/TV Hwy.  While these are both major roads, they have bike lanes or generous shoulders the entire way.

There is a horse galloping along in there

First control, headed to Maggie's Buns and ate a berry muffin.  SPOT did not appear to be transmitting; I knew the battery might be a bit low.  My new bike computer then chose to inform me that the computer battery was getting low.  It was a sale model, and probably sat on the shelf for a couple of years.  I resigned myself to another electronics meltdown.  Oh, and the cadence pickup had gone stupid, so I couldn't play with the new Power function.


Then south on B St.  Hmm.  Why was the cue sheet telling me to turn left of 18th?  Who created this route anyhow? Phantom zero distance turn?  So I ignored it and continued on south, past the bison ranch and through Dilley, pausing briefly at the Lake Stop Store to refresh the sunscreen.

Bison are Wild Animals

Then off to circumnavigate Hagg Lake.  Note: when riding this route on a weekday, expect log trucks heading into the lumber mill by the lake.  

Hagg Lake is always a pace-neutral stretch for me - just can't seem to make up time here.  This is the stretch of the route with all the climbing, and the ramp into the park is definitely a soul-sucker.

Hagg Lake

Hagg Lake

Lots of sweetpeas in bloom :-)  Nice new pavement segments around the lake.

Sweetpeas blooming by Hagg Lake

Then back out, and heading south to Gaston.  One of my favorite little bits of road.  Bought a V8 here, because it was so hot. 25 miles to go.

Obligatory Barn, Old Hwy 47

Gaston Store.  Little Pink Bear wilts in the heat

Got to the intersection with Spring Hill, only to find flaggers, big trucks, stopped traffic...  I knew it was scheduled for new chipseal, but didn't think it was this soon.  Filtered up to the front, where the cheerful flagger told me they weren't paving yet, and I could go in just a few minutes.

The wind was stronger, and not entirely favorable.  Slogged north on Spring Hill and Fern Hill; got a bit of a respite on Geiger.  Wished I had some tunes along for company.  And I stopped again at the golf course, for another V8.

Haying on Tongue Rd

Finally into Hillsboro, turning onto SW Johnson just past the TV Hwy Fred Meyer.  Ah.  Lovely road - low traffic, and goes east all the way to SW 170th.  There are some major road crossings, but they all have traffic lights.  Beware at SW 185th - the traffic light won't see you; there is a beg button right at the curb.

The north on SW 170th, right on Merlo, right on SW Jenkins, a couple more familiar turns and done.  That mocha mint freeze at Jim and Patty's was outstanding.


Ride complete (and heck, I even filled out my card!), I headed over to my favorite battery store for refills.  

Aftermath: new batteries in the bike computer and SPOT.  New cadence pickup as well, so I have a Power readout.*  Fixed the cue sheet, too.

The Road Holland jersey was fine, although not the same as a 100% wool jersey - it dried out quickly, rather than working as an evaporative cooler.  I did like the fit.  The rear zip pocket wasn't quite big enough for my cycling wallet, but there were three traditional pockets, a rarity on a women's jersey.

And maybe I will explore plan B for mounting that water bottle cage.

*I know it isn't REAL power.  However, I can compare it against myself.