No plans for this weekend, really. Susan O mentioned that RACC was on Saturday - a century ride (there's shorter options, but we don't go there) around Clark County. I had given the century a try a few years back (2007?, 2008?), but the weather, which was supposed to be quite decent, took a decidedly bad turn. Like many riders, I ended up shortcutting the route for an 80 mile day. So I'd never ridden the stretch from Moulton Falls to Daybreak Park...
Weather was supposed to be decent, but, no fool me, I tossed in a rain jacket and booties. Just in case. The ride started at 6:30, but, lazy slug that I am, I got up at 6, endeavored to park my car as far away from sign-in as possible, and was on the road by 8:02, after saying hi to KRhea, LJ, and Dean. A funny at check-in... "now these are Dan Henry arrows, do you know about them?" Yes ma'am, thank you.
Sweetpea had just had a right shifter replacement, so this was going to be the checkout ride (Susan: "wouldn't you want to do that on something shorter?").
Heading out, after a few miles, it started drizzling. Shades of the last time... But it didn't get any worse. There seemed to be an on-course detour before Lacamas Lake, but this course is SO well marked, and volunteers are parked at all the tricky intersections.
Found Diane at Lacamas Lake, and also the fabled Trail Putty. The volunteer wanted to know how many I'd had (oh NO, I hope they aren't rationing it!). None yet. He made me take two, plus "if you put some in the little cup and take it with you, it won't make a mess." Ok then.
Then the next 29 miles to Moulton Falls. Jeff A came up behind me, and we rode together for awhile, then I stopped to get a picture of Lucia Falls and he went on. He won't be able to do the 400k in a couple weeks :-( Business trip. At Moulton Falls I met his riding buddies, who it turned out I already knew one, and had briefly met the other (!) Also chatted with Nat K and his son-in-law.
The nice people there (including the man who had saved my very frozen feet the last time) were pushing all kinds of food - did I want a half or whole burrito? Whole :-) Plus a rando mocha (not what they call it), fruit, and many more chunks of Trail Putty for the road. Plus applying toe warmers. My feet, while not wet, were pretty chilly. Daybreak Park was 33 miles down the road.
This was a stretch I had not ridden before. Pretty. It was pretty. It was also quite hilly. Not long climbs, but there were a lot of them, and they were all of the steeper variety. Somewhere after Amboy, the intermittent drizzle decided it really wanted to be serious rain, at which point I pulled over and donned the rain jacket.
A tandem went zipping by at one point, the stoker wanted to know if I was Lynne (!) Well, yes, but who was she? "Diane's friend" and away they went. I think we did the Unreach the Beach together a few years back. Maybe?
On the climb on Lockwood Creek Rd in La Center, I did have to pause briefly. And eat more Trail Putty, which I'd been doing every so often.
And then, finally, Daybreak Park! More food and a rando mocha, restocking my Trail Putty supplies :-), chatting with the volunteers, and off again.
I found myself riding in the company of a couple of men, who spoke English to me and Spanish to each other. I'd drop one of them on every climb, but they'd catch up on the flats. We admired each other's bikes (hammered fenders, custom bikes :-) ) and eventually got around to introducing ourselves. These were my new best friends Rafael and Alejandro. We had a great time on that last 23 miles, except they forgot there were a couple more pretty special hills in the last 10 miles :-) Turns out Rafael and I have some cycling friends in common from Olympia.
I made it up Felida (11%) and Bernie (12%) without stops, yay me! And then, finished!
Loaded up the bike, changed shoes, said farewell to the guys, and drove over to Rebecca and Jessica's for shower and dinner (bison burgers, salad, and enormous baked potatoes). The dogs were very happy to see me, because I was a giant salt lick, until I got in the shower :-) We sat around, ate, and watched the Timbers on tv. And then I went home before I fell asleep.
100.96 miles, 7:20 ride time, for a 13.75 avg mph. Total ride time 8:45. The new shifter behaved perfectly.