Here I am thinking: "self, you need to up the miles if you want to be riding a 200km in March."
Email received later that day from Cecil: "want to do a century this weekend?"
It isn't like we read each other's minds or anything.
I haven't ridden a century since, um, last March, the Scio Covered Bridges Permanent.
Weather forecast: excellent. Bicycle selection: Lemond
The route was basically Seven Corners by Ladd's Addition-Springwater Corridor-17th Ave-Milwaukie-Oak Grove-Oregon City-Up the Hill-Down S. Central Point-Township Rd-Canby-Ivy-Lone Elder... heck, go here:
After 15+ miles working our way south to Oregon City, and UP the hill (complete with train passing by below us), we headed out on S Central Point Rd toward Canby.
Excellent descent, way cute little twin lambs in a field of sheep, and amazing castle-like construction, rollers, part of the Gator Grinder bike course, more rollers, then right onto Township Rd into Canby. And then out of Canby on Ivy (Lynne points out the Gator Grinder parking/transition area/etc; we are both entered), and off to the Lone Elder store for a stop. I had a banana and a well-buttered Rye Molasses Muffin (my additions - raisins and walnuts); Cecil had her Diet Coke and other items from the store.
By now the route was essentially flat, but for the few downs/ups on Meridian Rd. Really nice day. I had ditched my jacket and mittens way back in Milwaukie somewhere, and took off my wool cap at the Lone Elder Store.
Now heading south on Meridian Rd (which goes on forever, but not quite as long as, say, Howell Prairie. Scenery is nicer, as well), passing by the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, through Monitor, eventually to turn onto E Marquam Rd, and into Mt Angel.
We elected to go out to the Gallon House Bridge before stopping for a snack. On the way back from the bridge, we saw a group of cyclists. First we thought it was the group of women we rode with for a bit out of Canby, but no. One was even in a Team Bag Balm jersey! We turned around directly to visit. Diane, Don, and Andrew! (and someone not known to us). Amazing who you run into out in the wilds of the Willamette Valley!
Back to the Mt Angel Market, where I purchased some water to top up my water bottle and mix more Gatorade, and a bag of Smartfood. Plus I ate another well-buttered (and peanut-buttered) Rye Molasses Muffin. And some cashews.
Many flowering trees, daffodils, crocuses, etc, etc. It is definitely SPRING in the valley.
Ok. Just over halfway there. Headed back to the Lone Elder Store (another muffin) where we saw a nice cross-section of, um, Merkins, back through Canby, and... back to the rollers.
Somehow, they were a bit harder than on the way out. I was dreading the eventual climb back up on S Central Point, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the rollers. Found Cecil at the top - she had enough time to enjoy a photo session with Granny Reniche-Smith and a flowering pink plum tree.
Back through upper Oregon City, then the descent. Lots of road construction, so it was very chopped up and bumpy going. Or, to quote Cecil at the bottom: "Well THAT took all the fun out of it!" We did get to admire several Victorian houses and checked out the Carnegie Library (brick and cream building, very attractive).
We didn't cross the Clackamas River quite the same way - we went on the west side of 99E, then crossed it on the 99E bridge, then headed north on River Rd and back.
I was definitely fading. There was some question as whether we would break 100 miles, and we decided we'd just ride around until we did. Gorgeous light through the elm trees at one point, where my camera decided it was really and truly broken. Darn.
And then we were done, and the odometer read 100.6 miles. 9.5 hours total riding time.
And 312 miles for February, most miles since LAST February.