Saturday, February 20, 2010

ZOMG! NICE Day for a ride!

I just love the sucker weather we get here in February. Enjoyable until the rains return, and don't depart until, say, July 5.

Mt St Helens from Skyline Drive

Off to lead the Portland Velo 15's again today. As the weather was going to be amazingly excellent, I took the dirty Race Blade fenders off Lemond, wiped the dirt off the rims (the bike actually got a gentle hosing-down when it arrived home last Saturday), put some White Lightning on the chain, and was ready to go.

Clothing consisted of Shebeest knickers, wool socks, PI shoes (still not quite ready to wear the Keens), lightweight wool tank, PV ride leader jersey and vest, and wool armwarmers. And a thin cap under the helmet, short finger gloves with Yehuda Moon ragg wool gloves over those. Perfect. I ended up ditching the wool gloves about halfway up the climb.

Nice ride over, picking up another rider also headed in for the club ride. "I see you are a ride leader, I bet you know exactly how to get to the start :-) "

I started out with 2 riders. Robyn and Meagan had other plans, but Meagan stopped by (she was doing a run) to say hello. We left before the 17's - dispensation from JRod. We are the slowest group, and if we wait for everyone else to leave, that's 20 minutes we could have been riding. My only goal for these rides is to make it back to Longbottom's before 2pm, so I can enjoy a nice leisurely second breakfast and post-ride socializing.

Corner of Helvetia and Jackson Quarry

That said, today's ride had 2 major climbs. We headed north up Helvetia, up the Jackson Quarry Hill, then turned right onto Mason Hill/Solberger/Moreland, to continue the climb all the way to Skyline Drive. About 1000 feet of climbing. I had never done the entire climb - we would turn left on Dorland and drop down to Shadybrook.

One of the riders decided to head off with the 17s before we started up the Jackson Quarry Hill. At the top of the Jackson Quarry Hill, I noticed a group turning left (down) instead of right. Another group bailed at Dorland. But Sandra and I continued our merry way on up. And up. And up. Like, where's the top? For that matter, where's Dorland? Clearly I had forgotten bits of this route, as I haven't been up there for over 2 years!

After we passed Dorland and continued on, Sandra started wondering how far we'd gone. The summit was about 13+ miles from the start. Oh... somehow she had the thought that the entire ride was 15 miles... But she was fine, so no worries.

Ride bonus - near the top, a deer crossed the road in front of us!

We must be getting close

The top! (Moreland and Skyline)

Finally, the summit, with an OUTSTANDING view north to Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens and Mt Adams. Then rollercoastering down to Cornelius Pass Rd... Sandra: "do we pass a store? I need more water." Me: "maybe. Don't recall if the store at Cornelius Pass and Skyline is still extant".

But it was, and we stopped. Then continuing east on Skyline, climbing... It goes up again for mmm, another 500-700 feet before our turn south onto NW Springville. Every bicyclist in Portland was out on Skyline, as it is a favorite ride when the weather is good.

I'd never descended on Springville before, either. Oh MY, that was fun! And not so long or consistently really steep that my hands hurt. Plus more outstanding scenery. (Meagan really needed to be on this ride so she could see more pretty stuff :-) )

Then into the Urban Growth Boundary for a few miles on Kaiser/Bethany, then west on West Union, with its amazing appearing/disappearing shoulders. I remember when that historic house on Kaiser was there all by its lonesome. Nothing around it but fields. Not anymore.

South on Helvetia/Shute, and into Longbottoms to enjoy a great second breakfast with Sandra, Brian, and LJ - everyone else had gone by then. Peaceful ride home (10.4miles) afterward.

My bike computer buttons are not actuating well because the brake hoods are getting worn - the little Flight Deck nubbies are long gone. Mileage for the day - I'll say 56 miles. No idea how fast I went, but I will say that I managed all the climbing with absolutely no problem. Better every day!

Lemond and Little Pink Bear take a break

(it helps that I have lost 10 lbs over the past month :-) )


Evelyn Green said...

Portland looks like a beautiful place. If you're ever in the Carolinas or Tennessee, you might like the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Good luck with your biking adventures.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lynne, that DOES look like great riding/outdoors weather. And I particularly like the concept of "second breakfast"!

lynnef said...

second breakfast is a very important part of the ride.

Anonymous said...

Yummy ride! One of these days when I'm not being such a stress-puppy I'll get out for a long Sunday ride before the sucker-weather fades.