Rickey Smith organized a 106km populaire for Memorial Day. He promised a few roads we hadn't been on. He delivered :-)
As it was going to be a nice, dry day, I rode the Lemond. The latest adjustment was to tip the handlebars up, to eliminate the ramp down to the ergo levers. Generally flatter along the top, and much nicer.
Cecil and I planned to meet at the top of my neighborhood at 7:30am. We were both there, Cecil a little worse for wear, because some driver forced her off the road climbing through Washington Park. Scum. One can only hope that bad things come back to one threefold...
So after a little tinkering with her rear derailleur, we headed west, ending up at the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse at about 8:20am, with a scheduled start of 9am. So we visited with Beth and Mike and Andrea and Rickey and Susan. We visited the gas station across the street. I was wishing I had thrown in my arm and knee warmers; it was projected to be 75 degrees, but wasn't getting there anytime soon.
Ate a doughnut, checked in, got my brevet card. Shortly before 9, Rickey gave the pre-ride talk... "there is a little bit of gravel up on Carpenter Creek. Don't worry, there is a sign. It used to say dip, now it says gravel". Oh, and there was going to be a secret control. Not a secret NOW, is it?
Headed out, west on Evergreen. Cecil and I stopped to make a brief clothing adjustment - she had too much, I didn't have enough. Worked out nicely. I got to test drive the Descente leg warmers :-) As we turned onto Sewell, we noticed Del and another rider fixing a flat. They waved us on. Probably the only time in my life where I will have passed Del :-) It should be noted that he finishes the brevets in half the time I finish them in.
I had my camera along, and was planning to take pictures. Can't do that on club rides.
Lots of conversation about Cecil's impending new bicycle (the Sweetpea).
When approaching the North Rd/Gordon Rd intersection, I noticed a cute little Mini Cooper S at the stop sign that looked just like Fitz's new one. The driver looked really familiar too, so I rode over to say hello. The pickup sitting behind him wasn't in any hurry for us to move along; it was Ricky and Susan :-) Wished Fitz a good golf game and headed off.
There was some nice clover along Aerts Rd, so got a picture of Andrew in the clover. He was in his Team Bag Balm jersey, so it was very appropriate. Headed in through Banks, then west on Cedar Canyon Rd. There is hill that is covered in red clover. I was prepared to take pictures this time, and did. We then headed on toward the wetlands; Phil V. caught us - he started late, and must have been hauling to catch up. He got to catch his breath, because we stopped and took pictures at the wetlands, too.
We were talking about what fun I was having with my USB turntable. Andrew wanted to know what I was doing with it... Turning all my LPs into MP3s, of course. The discussion turned to which LPs we had, and which ones I was converting. Phil: "I saw Janis Ian in concert". Later, Phil: "what are these records you keep talking about?"
West some more, then south to Hwy 6, where we had to stop at... The Secret Control! cookies, doughnuts, chips, bananas, strawberries, things to drink. Rickey signed our cards while we tanked up.
(Cecil's picture of me at the secret control)
Right on Hwy 6 (I can now say I've ridden Hwy 6 from Stafford Rd, clear out to the coast), climbing up a hill, then coasting down toward Gales Creek Rd. I saw some nice picture material, but not a safe place to stop. Then across Hwy 6 onto Gales Creek, where we turned out of the headwind that had been with us since the start. A speedy run down Gales Creek, although not fast enough for some drivers. We were all happy to turn off onto Stringtown Rd, where there were more stripey fields to take pictures of.
Then the new roads that Rickey mentioned - Carpenter Creek and Plumlee. Carpenter Creek was a nice meander past farms, meadows, and cute sheep (pictures!). We stopped at the control at the corner of Carpenter Creek and Plumlee, finding Andrew and Phil standing around, filled out our cards with the answer, then headed up Plumlee. Nice, fresh chipseal. It was a pretty climb though, and the view from the top was outstanding. As it was still chipseal, I had a very conservative descent. Plumlee gives out onto Dilley Rd, just past the barn.
We headed off to the next control, the store on the way to Hagg Lake, although we weren't going all the way to Hagg Lake today. After a brief stop there, filling in our cards with the required information, we headed off the last on-course control, the store in Gaston. some kind individuals left us some water and chocolate milk outside the store (Thank YOU! The chocolate milk hit the spot!), and we bought Idaho Spuds (Phil: "now I know why they are listed as one of the best 100 candy bars. I didn't know there WERE 100 candybars"), Payday (me), Wasabi potato chips (Cecil), and Fritos (Andrew).
Down Main/Gaston Rd, left on Spring Hill, left on Fern Hill, left on Geiger, working our way over to Golf Course Rd, and then along roads skirting the southern edge of Hillsboro, until we got to 231st, then north all the way to Evergreen, and back to the start.
Parked our bikes outside, went in, signed our cards and handed them over, then Cecil brought her bike inside (you've GOT to love a pub that lets you do that); Andrew and I just locked ours up. We had a very late lunch, plus fries and other pub snacks. Long conversations strategies for the upcoming 300km (I still need a kitchen pass; Cecil wants me to ride with her). Fitz finished golfing just a little too late to join us.
Finished up, and Cecil and I headed eastward, parting at the top of the hill. 87 miles for the day for me. It was a great ride!
Notes for next time:
- take armwarmers and legwarmers ANYWAY
- put on some sunscreen!
and Cecil's pictures: