Several months ago, Michal put forward that we should see how quickly we could do a 200k on our go-fast bikes. You know, the ones with the skinny tires, no luggage, no lights, and no fenders. Looking at the summer plans and rando schedule, this past weekend had to be it. The weather was going to be, well, not to put to fine a point on it - hot. With a headwind of sorts on the return.
We picked the Hillsboro-Dallas-Hillsboro perm, because it is a straight out and back, minimal controls, and not a lot of climbing, but for the middle bit from Perrydale Rd to Dallas and back.
Michal had yet to ride a sub-10 hr 200k, so we were surely aiming for that. I had a goal of beating my best-ever time on this route (9:23).
New equipment testing - PI Arm Coolers, a Nike Hypercool base layer under the summerweight wool jersey, and replacement Keen cycling sandals. After 5 years, my current pair has gone way soft.
Knowing that the Fred Meyer at the start would not open until 7, we set the start time at 7:15. Easily found Michal and Cyndi in the parking lot, faffed, got the receipt, twitched, and, at 7:15 (official time by Verizon), we were off. Michal had forgotten to grab his cue sheet, so he'd be relying on me for the route.
Because I ride out there SO much, of course I spaced on a turn, and we had three bonus miles. Bad me. But we had a tailwind, and it wasn't quite so hot yet.
Uneventful run to Dayton. Finished off that half of a Payday bar from my last ride. A quick stop - I made up another bottle of Calories in the Bottle (300 calories), drank an entire Cranberry-Grapefruit Sobe (250 calories), ate something - chocolate? and we were off again.
The rollers on Perrydale always seem to be soul-sucking. At least I know how many there are now, so I know when the end is near. It certainly was a pretty day. Munching on nutella-filled amaretti for this stretch.
Cross the highway, up a couple more hills, and into Dallas. We wasted a bit of time looking for cottage cheese, then Michal called a halt to that and we got some Greek yogurt. I also ate a banana. Some folks in the store asked the usual. Rode from Hillsboro. In 4 and a half hours. Riding back. Might take a bit longer. Big jug of water, filled our bottles, and then dumped it on our heads and jerseys. Time for those neck cooler things I had bought years ago.
And there was our headwind. It didn't seem all that bad; it was NNW and so usually not head-on. The rollers on Perrydale are more fun in this direction, and after awhile, I pointed to the grain elevator in the distance - "see that? We are going there."
Through Amity again (my favorite cafe, when I'm not pressed for time, seems to have closed :-( ) then onto the boring stretch. I was pulling, and generally riding between 17 and 18mph. There had been a comment earlier that I was pretty aerodynamic, and possibly not so satisfying to draft. Michal pulled ahead - what, was I not riding fast enough? :-) So he fell back and waited until I dropped off. I was feeling pretty good right there. We traded pulls all the way back to Dayton; Michal made me dump water on my head at least once. Another Sobe, plus bottle refills. We sat on the cool floor during consumption.
Hot. My hands started blistering here; must retire those gloves. I went with the thicker ones to compensate for not hardly any padding on the handlebars and the hard tires. Mistake. Drinking. Eating (sort of). More squirting water through the vents in my helmet. The salt content of the runoff was amazingly concentrated.
Onto North Valley. Onto Spring Hill. Just before the Laurelwood intersection (hill 2 of 3), my right inner quad started cramping. This is a new one for me; I've not yet cramped up on the bike. We walked the last bit up to the top, that seemed to make it go away. More water on the head. Our water bottles were hot; not very enticing.
We paused in someone's shady driveway for me to remove the base layer; maybe I'd be cooler without it. And I was, some. Wool really does keep you cool in the heat; I should have remembered that from the Wildflower Century (94 degrees, wool jersey there, too)
Turned onto Fern Hill, then Geiger. Somewhere along there, Michal remembered he had Tums for cramps, did a lot of fishing around in his rear pockets (which is why rando bikes have luggage!), and eventually produced them. A few miles later, Michal wanted more Tums. Brief pause. I offered up the cue sheet so he could set his PR. I wasn't going to get lost here :-) No, we'll finish a sub-10 together. I'd forgotten about that 15 minute offset. Yes, we would.
Past the golf course. Michal: "first thing I am going to do when we finish is throw up". Now, I wasn't feeling all that great, but it wasn't a subject that I would necessarily introduce. So that was conversation for the next 3 or 4 miles. Actually the first thing to do would be to get that finish receipt.
River Rd, Davis Rd, 234th, cross TV Hwy and DONE. We went directly to the Starbucks to get something cold to drink, and wandered around the store looking for a place to sit down.
9:31 elapsed time. Michal's fastest ever, and only 8 minutes longer than my fastest, in challenging conditions. Although it turned out we both had the secret goal of a sub-9. That will have to wait for another (slightly cooler) day.
I had a bicycle computer malfunction, but Michal's reveals total mileage of 129mi, with a 15.24 average. Just about an hour off the bike. We were somewhat more efficient at stops than usual.
There was no actual throwing up, but a lot of thinking it might be a possibility. That's good. Weighed 6 lbs less the next morning. It will return, of that I am very sure.
On the R-12 front, I am at R-22 :-), Michal is now one month short of his first R-12.