Today, it was all about MY ride. I elected to ride the Salem Bike Club Monster Cookie Ride solo, so I could go as fast or as slow as I wanted, and not stress about trying to keep up with the groups from my club. Rode the Lemond - this is a flat and fast course, and the weather promised no rain.
Wore the Team Bag Balm colors today; we haven't been riding as a group much in months, and I hoped I'd see some of the others there. Don was at the start. I saw Ron, but he was too far away. Cecil was in the pre-reg line; she was intending to ride a Double Cookie. She got her packet, said hi, and left :-)
Richard and Nance were also at the start, and Einar showed up somewhere in there.
The PV group was planning a pre-ride photo. I elected to skip that and start riding. Off around 8:30. Getting out of Salem was a big crowded, but once we got into Keizer, the pack thinned out.
I ended up sitting on Dean's wheel from outside Keizer all the way to the first rest stop. Got some cookies, chatted with Don, heard the usual: "Team Bag Balm is here!". Someone always says that - TBB is often a larger presence at Monster Cookie, Reach the Beach and other event rides. We aren't organized, but we do have fun riding together.
Said hi to Jonathan from Nike (he's a product test analyst; I'm a product tester). Visited with John Henry Maurice from Salem Bike Club (the wonderful folks that put this ride on every spring). Whew. Headed on to Champoeg.
The PV Race Team had arrived at the rest stop just before I left. A couple miles later, they blew by. Then a couple more miles later, I saw a few of them rearranging clothing, and a bit further along, I caught up to the rest of that group. They were riding slower so the others could catch up. So I rode along with them for a few miles. It was surreal, hanging in the double paceline with the fast boys. Then the other two showed up and zip... they were gone.
Then I heard "is that Lynne?", so I waved. The other PV group passed, each one of them saying "Hi Lynne!" as they passed :-)
On to Champoeg. It was surely novel, riding this stretch in daylight. I don't think I've done that much in the past few years. Mostly we are headed north finishing a permanent or brevet, and, well, it's DARK by then.
Walking to get lunch, ran into Sal. Ended up eating with a mixed group of Portland Velo and TBB riders. Renata from Team Estrogen stopped by. I saw John O and Edna as I was leaving.
Mike Y rode out with me. He went for the PV Velo Vie frame, and did it up nicely with blue handlebar tape, the matching seat, and blue tires. Very spiffy. He sat on my wheel until something faster came along - one of the PV groups.
Did a quick pass through the rest stop, where I saw Jack and Kelli (remember them from the BOG ride many years ago?). More cookies (mmmmmmm) and off again.
Came upon Sal and Geri; we rode together for awhile. I had a great 50 miles. Unfortunately, the ride was 62 miles. The last 12 were ridden at a more sedate pace. Dan and Jeff came upon me in Keizer - Jeff wanted to know more about randonneuring. Einar came up just a few miles before the end, and we all finished together.
Posted my fastest average ride pace year-to-date.
Got a really big snickerdoodle, and, eventually a cup of coffee. Visited with Lisa O and her junior escape artists working the Livestrong booth. John O and Mike H finished; more visiting.
I finally took my leave, although it is possible that I could have stayed and visited for much longer. Solo rides clearly aren't, and much more fun because of it!