Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Snow was a Nice Touch...

Foraging around for a ride this weekend.  The Portland Velo ride was a 47 miles loop in the flats.  I had no other plans.  Looked at the weather forecast(!)

Soooooo.  Up around 6:45, getting ready.  I ride to the start (10 miles), and like to get on the road an hour before the ride starts.  Foraged around for the least shredded pair of booties.  Decided to toss on another layer (nylon vest over the wool jersey and sleeveless baselayer) under the Shower Pass jacket.  Put the rain cover back on the helmet.  With all that, I found myself on the road at 8:15am.  Ooops.

Sweetpea is still set up as Commute Bike, but as long as I had stuff to fix a flat with me, it would be ok.

Heading up through my neighborhood, I passed through a band of big snowflakes.  Fun!  I knew it wouldn't stick or freeze, so I could enjoy it.

The wind was supposed to be whipping in from the WSW, 25 mph.  Fortunately it hadn't picked up yet, or I'd never have gotten to the start in time.  As it was, I rolled into the parking lot as the "fast" group (for some strange reason, not a big turnout today) was departing.  This was fine, I ride with the "less fast" group, which, today, was JRod and Dana, and for awhile Brian C.  I enjoy riding with all of them.

Headed south on the PV Southern Escape Route, with a bit of a headwind, then west along Burkhalter-Simpson-Johnson School-Tongue... with more than a bit of a headwind.  Brief stop at the golf course, where I shed the vest.

Bands of rain passing over, heavy rain, then sun, then more rain.  We all had fenders and long mudflaps (Portland Velo is very big on proper fenders/mudflaps in the wet season), so no spattering.

Heading into Forest Grove, I managed to suck down a gel at a light.  One challenge with these rides is that we are moving rather faster and in a tighter group; eating and drinking is hard.  (Yes, they made me work.  This is good.)  Another snow shower in Forest Grove.  Epic :-)

No other stops.  Heading out of Forest Grove, JRod and Dana had a conversation, and asked if I had any issues turning on Purdin, cutting about 7 miles out of the route.  By now we were headed north, with some tailwind.  After the turn onto Purdin, heading east, with a better tailwind.

Familiar return routes (randos - this is the outgoing leg for the Verboort Populaire), more rain and sun.  Heading east on Evergreen we merged with the fast group coming down Sewell.

As I had no car, I went straight to Longbottoms.  Dana, Dan ("my wife said I could stay"), and eventually Brian joined me.  I ordered the Farm Plate, and was trying to drink all their coffee.  Conversations about their planned event rides, my planned rides (mine are somewhat longer), and a long technical discussion on causes of interference with wireless bike computers.  Many cups of coffee.  Blotted my wool cap with some paper towels.  I did have dry gloves in my bag.  Should have checked for dry socks; that would have been nice.

The last 10 miles home was uneventful.  I warmed up about 5 miles into it, and had a tailwind the whole way.  One more snow/sleet/hail episode right around 185th and Evergreen, and then the sun came out and stayed out the rest of the way home.

Very hot shower, and the sad realization that eventually I'd have to turn off the water and get out...

In all 59.6 miles, 14.42 avg mph.
My fastest average this year.  It was 14.8 until the stop at Longbottoms, but I always seem to loaf that last 10 miles.

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