Saturday, February 7, 2009

First of all, it was a great day to ride

The early fog cleared off as I headed the 10 miles west to join the Saturday Portland Velo ride. After a bit of conversation with various ride leaders, I put myself in Jim Mazzocco's 17s group. I was riding Lemond, so had a fighting chance of staying attached.

I needn't have worried. I stayed attached the whole time; no problems.

The clouds burned off, the temperature went up, and we had a great ride south through the eastern edge of Hillsboro, then into the Tualatin Valley. The trees are fuzzing up. Fields are greening up. The berry bushes are still that amazing purple. The alpacas have been sheared. I even saw three little pigs, somewhere along River Road.

We all stuck together pretty much, and generally in the 16-18 mph range. (What, who, me?) Tim the bike mechanic was a bit puzzled at first: "I heard your voice, but didn't recognize you on that bike".

Then over Fern Hill, where my slug-like climbing tendencies asserted themselves. I found everyone at the bottom, and we proceeded on to Fern Hill and Geiger, to pick up those to went around the hill, rather than over it :-)

Into Forest Grove, heading west on 18th. Full stop at stop signs, like I always do. Except at one of them, I yelled "STOPPING!", stopped, and... wham! I was on the ground. I'd been rear-ended by another cyclist on the ride. The cyclist apologized. We got ourselves up and checked the bikes; they seemed ok. I could feel a bruise starting where the handlebar whacked into my inner thigh, but otherwise, nothing else was obvious. It goes without saying that the other cyclist was profoundly apologetic, and I'm not going to beat on that person here. There is a much bigger issue at hand, which I will address in a separate post.

That said, into Forest Grove, a brief stop, then north. Heading up David Hill Rd, my bike quit shifting smoothly. Another ride participant played with the cable adjuster and got it to work. It appeared the derailleur hanger was bent in the crash; I'll have to get the shop to look at it.

North on Thatcher. We were to turn right on Kemper, but the lead riders missed the turn; those of us in the know yelled, and they turned around. It always cracks me up that there is someone willing to lead, at a quick pace, and they don't exactly know where they are going. Well, they'll get there faster, wherever it is.

At one point Jim asked if I wanted him to pull. Oh, I'm not going fast enough? I wound it up to 19 for awhile. :-) I can do that on Lemond.

Then heading back east, flying along Wren and Leisy. Like around 20mph. Or, as I said to Jim (the ride leader) "17's huh?". Not that anyone was falling off, so it wasn't a big deal.

Finally back on Evergreen, passing the airport and then things got bouncy. Rear flat. It turned out to be a big nasty staple. I changed it, with Jim's company and help, then back to Longbottoms for post-ride coffee, company and quiche. Note: share the quiche with someone. It is incredibly rich and filling.

Immensely enjoyed Matt D's rant about the non-racers who latched on last week's ride with the race team - they could go fast enough, but do not have the group bike handling skills for riding in close quarters at high speed.

Then back out to find a squashy rear tire. I briefly thought of asking someone for a ride home, but then... what would a REAL randonneur do? (WWRD; remember that, folks)

Pulled off the rear wheel, got my patch kit, tire levers and pump and went back inside. As my spare was flat (see flat #1), I was going to be patching. I can't count the fascinated number of PV members watching. You are PATCHING that tire? Uh, yeah, not gonna get home any other way. You use patches with GLUE? No CO2 inflator? I'm old fashioned, I guess.

So, now with 3 patches, replaced the tube, pumped it up, and headed the 10 miles home. I'm happy to report no loss of tire pressure this time.

So, I've got a sunburn :-) and a whacking fast pace for the 61 mile ride today.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Hey Lynne, it just goes to show you that you can make a randonneur faster by taking them off the rando bike and putting them on one of those light weight wonder bikes, but you'll never get rid of the "keep it moving at all costs" motivation that keeps randonneurs going....and going..........and going............long after the fast boys have given up and gone home.

Congratulations on a great ride!