Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cascade Lakes 200

As part of my ongoing quest for that R-12, I needed a September ride. Fitz wanted to check out a golf resort near Bend... "You know, if we go THIS weekend, I can ride while you are playing golf!"

either Devils or Sparks Lake

It looked like I'd be riding all by myself (yes, there were other riders signed up, but I'm usually close to being the Lanterne Rouge), but then Friend Diane thought she'd do it too! Yay! We haven't ridden together much in awhile, so this would be great!

Off to Bend on Friday. Fitz was going to have to get up at 4:30am with me on Saturday, drive the 15 miles into Bend to drop me off, and then pick me up afterward. It seemed ok to him.

So there we were just around 5:30am, looking for Sawyer Park on O.B. Riley Road. (I want to know who O.B. Riley was). We did find it, although the sign is near invisible in the pitch-dark. For that matter, so was the park. Good thing I had a light on my helmet :-) It was pretty darn chilly, too - knee warmers, wool armwarmers, windbreaker, wool gloves over the shortfingers.

Diane showed up right afterwards, we found Scott (It was really, really dark!), had the pre-ride route rap, and set out just after 6am in the, well, dim. We were a huge group; 5 riders.

We all rode through Bend proper. Bend is much, much bigger than it was in the late 70's. I'm surprised every time we go there how much it has grown.

Then out onto Century Drive, heading up (and that IS the operative word) to the Sunriver cutoff. Diane: "It says chain-up area. Are we really going to start climbing now?" It was pretty much a grind on up, with parts of less steep. The other three riders pulled on ahead; we did not see them for the rest of the ride. Heck, some of them might have been in Portland by the time we finished...

Top of the first climb

Made it to the first control; located the sign with the answer. Ate something. I had taken off the wool gloves. I was warm, but we were about to head downhill, so I kept the jacket on. My feet were slowly freezing, but I figured that would reverse itself eventually.

Oh, FUN downhill! The pavement was perfect, and there were no cars at all. Not a one. Wheeeeeee! It then leveled out, and we came to the cue sheet: "turn left on FR 40". FR 40 was a TURN to the right, with a sign. The main road continued. I thought we should stay on the main road, because I knew we were headed for Sunriver, and then would parallel US97 to LaPine. Diane was dubious. We started out, and then stopped and called Scott. The intersection has been majorly reconstructed - it used to be a turn and now it isn't. So.

Diane heading down past the Sunriver turnoff

Onward to Sunriver, then right to head for LaPine. CO 5 used this route. Lots more houses on it now! Rode on into LaPine, and out to the intersection with US97. We stopped at the coffee shop on the corner to get out cards signed. While we were faffing around outside, an older guy asked about the ride - "way to go, girls" he said. He might have been older than us :-) A patron in the shop pronounced us "crazy". Sure. Everyone has their own crazy, that's what I say. You know, some people buy lots of shoes.

My feet finally warmed up about then. Took off the jacket. Ate a sandwich.

Mountain views near LaPine

South on US97 for a block then west, heading through meadows back into the forested area, where we would spend the rest of the day. We eventually found ourselves headed through the Pringle Falls Experimental Forest. I now see that the trees really weren't mutants.

Pringle Falls Experimental Forest

Aftermath of a forest fire

Diane on Burgess Rd

Then onto Century Drive (aka Cascade Lakes Highway), heading off to Crane Prairie Resort. The road had been fairly flat heading out from LaPine, until we turned onto the road to the resort. Stairstep up. Then down, got passed by a couple of vehicles, and into the resort. Oh, the lake was amazing! Located the store - the first aisle is bait, then people food. Cold drink, creamsicle, candy bar for on the road. Got our cards signed, then sat on the shady porch overlooking the lake and enjoyed the food. It had warmed up quite a bit by now.

Lake at Crane Praire from the porch

Off again on FR 4270, rolling along onto FR 40, crossing the Deschutes River a few times. Lots of cars parked there - all fisherman.

Deschutes River from FR 40

Then onto the Cascade Lakes Highway, headed for Elk Lake Resort. Rolling up for the most part. We passed the Lava Lake turnoff, and elected to skip it and waste time at one stop, rather than two. We had plenty of water and food; no reason to stop, really. More stairstep climbing, and eventually, Elk Lake. This is a big sailing resort, with a store, restaurant, and boat rental. We got water and Gatorade, had our cards signed (the guy knew just what to do, and there were only 3 other riders on the ride!), and sat outside and drank the water and Gatorade that didn't fit into our bottles, and I ate another sandwich.

Elk Lake resort

To this point (92 miles) I had eaten bowl of cereal and fruit for breakfast, cup of coffee, two sandwiches, a banana, a creamsicle, a bottle of cranberry juice and half a Payday bar. I'm starting to think now that perhaps that was not enough.

Elk Lake resort

Lava by the side of the road

Back out to the road, then right, which would take us all the way back to Bend. Except we still had to climb up to the Mt Bachelor base area (elev 6300 ft). The stairstep climbs up to Sparks Lake were steep. Actually, it got less steep just before Sparks Lake, and I was thinking "this isn't so bad". I did have nice views of Devils Lake and Sparks Lake.

Sparks Lake

Then, after Sparks Lake... It was hot, too. I kept having to pull over and rest. It was annoying. 4mph is a speed, really. I just could not go any faster. (insert comment about warp engines)

My phone bleeped; Fitz was wanting to know where I was. Well, I was at 100 miles, and figured I'd be heading downhill by now! I told him I thought I could see the top of the climb, and it was pretty much all downhill from there.

I found Diane at what we thought would be the top. Nooooooooooooooooo. About 5 more miles of it. Climb. Stop. Climb. Stop. The conversations in my head were pretty defeating, but another part was going can't. stop. now. get. your. butt. up. that. hill.

FINALLY, the Mt Bachelor base area, and a great leveling off of the grade. The actual downhill starts at the Sunrise base area.

(aside - this is the bike leg for the Pole Pedal Paddle relay race held in Bend every year. Co-worker Einar was scaring me about it, long before I ever even told him about this event. "Parts of it are technical, you know". Yeah, if you descend like Wacko Boy, Wacko Boy Junior, or Cecil.)

I kept my speed around 30, and the shoulder was entirely adequate. There was one uphill bit just east of the Sunriver turnoff. Funny, I do not remember a corresponding downhill on the way out that morning! Definitely fun! I found Diane at one of the chain removal turn-offs. As we were about 10 miles out, I called Fitz to let him know, so he'd be there at the end.

The grade dropped off, and we actually had to pedal from time to time, but were still easily holding around 20. Then into Bend, through the greatly-gentrified old downtown, and out to the park. We finished just before 7pm.

Scott and Fitz were waiting; Scott with a cooler of V-8 and other things and bags of chips. End of ride formalities, a can of V-8, then Fitz and I had to take off, or we'd miss dinner. Otherwise I would have stuck around a bit longer.

Thanks Scott, for organizing this one!


All the pics here


John Kramer said...

Thanks for the write up. It looks like it was an exceptional ride. Wish I could have been there. This is a great time of year for cycling!

lynnef said...

You would have enjoyed it greatly. Lots of climbing :-) I guess I'll survive Bingen now. See you in a month!

David said...

Lynne - hope Scott got the news to the skeleton crew ... I ran headlong into Friday and couldn't break free of the workload in time to prep for the trip to Bend. Dang it! Glad you got out there; Scotty's rides are well designed and the countryside is ... well, your photos show how crystal clear it is.

Keep the pedals turnin,


Anonymous said...

Lovely, just lovely!

Cheers, Gene in Tacoma

bikelovejones said...

This sounds like a beautiful ride!

You simply MUST throw a party when you complete your 12 brevets!