Sunday, December 7, 2008

The R-12, Completed

Well, almost. I still must send the permanent control card and receipts in.

Cecil and I selected the Three Prairies route for our final ride. We've already done it this year, so the kilometers wouldn't count for RUSA distance awards, but Cecil got her 5000km (!) in already, and I'm not near enough to a transition point to get too excited about it.

Cecil advertised on the OrRando mailing list, and got lots of takers. The weather even cooperated.

So there we were, in the dawn and cold (28 degrees), in the Newberg Public Parking lot - me, Cecil, John Henry and Joanne, Sal, Bill, Vincent, John (the Kramer), and Kevin (the rando-curious). Well, Sal wasn't there yet...

I got there, and quickly revised my clothing estimate - it was a LOT colder than the weather site I had been following hinted at. On with the PI AmFib Tights! On with the Descente Wombat Gloves!

Off to the Thriftway for a starting receipt, and, in my case, a pack of Fig Newtons. Going back to basics in the food department. Bananas, hard boiled eggs, and Fig Newtons. Sandwiches are just too much effort to consume. Sal appeared at the last moment.

Cecil and Kevin at the start

West on Hwy 99W (ick, yuck) to the Hwy 18 turnoff to Dayton. We all reassembled at the Historic Blockhouse, to learn that Kevin had a flat before even leaving Newberg. I figured I'd go on ahead, since I'm slower than everyone else; they'd catch up. Sal's plan for the day was to keep up with me (!), because he'd been installing billions of square feet of wood floor the day before.

So we all yoyo-ed back and forth until we got to Amity, and then spread out. Bill and I headed south on 99W until the right turn onto Bethany Rd. We engaged in one of the favorite rando road conversations: "so, what are you putting on YOUR new bike?" I learned that John is also getting a new bike.

Bright. Sunny. Whacking cold. Lots of fall foliage still out there, as well as various farm animals. This part of the route contains most of the rollers and climbs, not that any of them are major.

Bill on Perrydale Road

South on Perrydale Rd, past the antique fire engine, and into the rollers and climbs. Up into Dallas, where I couldn't find anyone. I went to the McDonalds and got my receipt and a hot chocolate, which I enjoyed with a handful of Fig Newtons. I saw some riders go by, and headed out right after Bill and Sal passed. Caught them on Ellendale Road. Everyone else had stopped at the grocery store.

Looking west on Perrydale Road

A nice ride back to Amity on 99W, except it was too noisy for conversation. And at several points, I think a gravel and dirt truck was filling up the shoulder. We found John Henry and Joanne, watching Kevin repair a flat (#3). Kevin apparently never gets flats unless he's along on a rando ride.

Then east from Amity, retracing our route back to Newberg. I drafted John Henry and Joanne for awhile. We traded jokes. They stopped to fix something, but then zipped by us. I should have jumped on right then, but didn't. Sigh.

Got passed by lots of fast-moving and very large traffic on 99W, only to have the joy of passing all of THEM when they were stopped in Dundee. HaHAAAA!

Saw a bunch of familiar bicycles at the Thriftway in Newberg, so we joined everyone there for a snack and control stop. I had done the first 70 miles in 5:37 total time. Not bad! I was on track for a fast 200, at this rate.

Cecil and Vincent at lunch (the Thriftway)

John and Sal at the midpoint control in Newberg

We all then headed out of Newberg to the south, John Henry and Joanne joined us at that point ("we had lasagna"). Again, we got strung out along French Prairie, which we ride on for MILES. Sal and I kept plugging along. I was actually riding consistently faster than I usually do on the Bleriot. I think everyone else was riding faster, too. No wind, which helped.

East on St Louis Road (a wave at friend Don's house, just before the turn), over I-5, through Gervais, across Hwy 99E, and then, the Dog Incident. Three dogs barking, but it didn't look like they were chasing. Then Sal yelling something. Oh dear. Dog right at my heel, trying really hard to latch on with sharp pointy teeth. He gave up on me and went to harrass Sal, who slowed down so as not to run him over. At some point after that, my phone rang; I figured I'd see what it was about in Mt Angel, which wasn't at all far away.

A rider headed the other way turned around and rode with me awhile; he wanted to know what ride we were on. So I told him. Turns out he's done 300 miles in a day. I told him he ought to check out randonneuring. "That's what my dad tells me". Hope he does. He was riding a cool 0ld-looking Centurion.

I figured we'd see everyone headed back out of Mt Angel; we only saw Bill. Sal and I found everyone at the Mt Angel Market, enjoying the sun and salty snacks of dubious nutritional quality. Cecil: "did you get my phone call about the dog?" Oh.

I got a closer look at John's vest. Besides being eye-hurtingly bright (safety orange AND green AND reflective), it has pockets. The pockets have pockets. One could put all one's snacks and a camera in there, and still have pockets left over. This was a good time to pull on all the night-riding gear, so we did.

About 27 more miles to go, so, off we went. The rollers out of Mt Angel, then back to the flats of Howell and French Prairies. The dog did not come out this time. Regroup at the 99E crossing, then off again. The clouds we had not seen all day were coming in from the west, making for a spectacular sunset. We all stopped on St Louis Road to take pictures.


Riders at sunset
North on Manning Road, which turns into Arbor Grove. Full darkness settled in here. Sal has a Dinotte taillight, which, even in solid, is so eyepiercingly bright, coupled with my weird eye issues, that I could only see that light, and nothing else, which was making me very stressed. So Sal rode behind me, or later, next to me, which, at least, worked better for me. I hope it didn't cause Sal too much trouble.

We negotiated the left-right turns from Arbor Grove onto 219/214 onto Arbor Grove with no issue, only to have Cecil come riding back (her front flashing light is similarly blinding), worried that the second turn was not .4 miles from the first, and maybe we were on the wrong part of Arbor Grove, and we'd have bonus miles and .... I didn't think there WAS another way to get on Arbor Grove (a visit to Google maps confirms this). We always return to Newberg this way, so I wasn't worried. By this point, it was almost impossible to view the cue sheet without stopping, but I was riding by memory. Right on St Paul Hwy, left on Case... I'd think it would be Cecil up ahead, but no, just someone's holiday lights twinkling away.

Past Champoeg, onto Hwy 219, over the Willamette River (those guardrails are NOT HIGH ENOUGH; Lynne's head goes to its happy place), up, oooh, new pavement!, left on Wynooski, lots of holiday lights to enjoy riding through Newberg.

Sal and I headed for the Thriftway to finish, then back to the cars, then off to Burgerville for our R-12 celebration. My fastest 200k ever, too.

Everyone except Vincent and John (long drives home) was at the Burgerville. We all had large quantities of, again, of nutritionally dubious food. Mmm, cheeseburger. Hot chocolate. Sweet potato fries. Many pictures taken. Kevin's 5 flats commiserated with. Epic rides revisited.

R-12 Finishers!  Bill and Cecil

John Henry: "gee, we are acting just like kids after the football game". I do not see where this is a bad thing.

My pics here
Cecil's pics here
Bill's pics here


beth h said...


Congrats. When's the par-tay? --B

Cecil Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cecil Anne said...

So, what's next year's goal? "Super Randonneuse" has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

lynnef said...

you know, I just outed myself to that goal this evening at the TBB gathering...