Monday, October 1, 2012

Long Ride for a Donut...

Talked Susan into riding Kevin's Nicholas Flamel 100k permanent with me on Sunday.  She wanted to "sleep in" AND ride to/from the start.  I was fine with that, as it was my intention as well.  She lives a bit further out, so would have 15 more total miles than me.

Mt Hood near Sandy

A bit chilly in the am, so arm and knee warmers, light vest, long finger gloves and toe covers.

Met shortly after 9am at the start of the Sunset Highway bike path, up and over Sylvan Hill, down through Washington Park into Portland, across the Hawthorne Bridge, and then a lot of wandering around figuring out where exactly we should start (existing start location is closed, and road construction precludes a few other logical points.  Permission given by Kevin.)

We shifted north a couple miles on the course, and started at SE 12th and SE Hawthorne, planning to make the food carts our finish control.  Yeah!  Food carts!

Uneventful ride north through Portland, eventually ending up on NE 33rd, where we were to find our first control.  Hmm.  Thought we had gone far enough, but we were counting from the turn onto 33rd, rather than the bridge ramp over NE Columbia on 33rd.  We did find it, but not until we took pictures of ourselves at the Food Bank and sent Kevin a snarky note :-)

Columbia River

This pic has everything

Lost the arm warmers, gloves and vest along here somewhere.  We turned onto the Marine Drive bikepath, and worked our way east to Troutdale.  The river was very calm.  Susan ran into a friend and we stopped to chat for awhile.  He had the most amazing and beautiful Renovo bike.

Susan ran into a friend on the Marine Dr bikepath

Quick stop in Troutdale; I removed the knee warmers as well.  We went straight up Graham Dr/257th through Troutdale and Gresham.  That was the longest and steepest pitch of the ride; 200 feet up in a fairly short stretch.

Once the road became Orient Dr, we were out in the country - nurseries, farms, gradual uphill...  It was pretty.

Stripey fields near Orient

Then Bluff Rd, so called because just before it enters Sandy, it goes right along a bluff overlooking the Sandy River, Mt Hood, and all the pretty stuff in between.  Breathtaking view.

Susan, the bikes and Mt Hood

Photo by Susan Otcenas
And so, into Sandy, then east a bit to get to Joe's Donuts, our turnaround control.  I bought a cream-filled donut with chocolate frosting; Susan went for the Maple-Bacon.  She suggested we go over to Mountain Moka and get coffee there, and sit on their deck.  Good plan.  Nice afternoon.  I discovered my face looked a little crispy, so added some sunscreen to keep it from getting worse.

Me and my cream-filled donut

And then back out - retraced our route for a bit on Bluff Rd, but then turned onto Kelso Rd and Orient Drive.  At this point, my drivetrain was making funny noises, and briefly locking up.  This was strange.  And then, suddenly, I had no drivetrain - my chain broke. (!)  The master link gave it up.  It might have been a master link re-used from a previous chain.  Don't go there.

We found a shady driveway.  Susan had a master link; I wasn't sure if the one I was carrying was meant for Bleriot (fatter chain).  While I addressed the chain, Susan had a chat with the guy living there.  I overhead discussion of donuts.  This would not have been so bad if Susan hadn't been photographing and posting to Facebook, tagging the one person who I had just told that I have never in 5 years had a problem with using a master link...  Susan came back over and helped me keep the chain from slithering around; I installed the master link, and directed Susan where to find the wipes, because my hands were more than a little bit greasy.  Note to self: gloves in the repairs bits bag.

photo by Susan Otcenas
Off again.  The master link was not quite right; it skipped with every revolution.  But we were mostly descending, so I could live with it.  And for the 23 miles back to the food carts, I did live with it, but it was making me more than a tiny bit crazy.  And it wouldn't work for the climb back over Sylvan Hill to get home.

Where we got onto the Springwater Corridor Trail in Boring was pretty quiet, but then we started seeing lots of cyclists, wearing salmon hats and so on.  We had entered onto Sunday Parkways.  That slowed us down a bit, and we were happy to eventually leave the route.  Passed the last on-course control. We elected to follow the Springwater Corridor Trail all the way in, since we were finishing at the food carts.

Headed north, we spied a oncoming bicycle with a very bright front light.  It was still daylight.  Surprise!  David P was returning from a grocery outing.  We waved in passing.  And then, looking in my rear view mirror, the bright light was now headed back. :-)  He rode alongside for a couple of miles, and then turned back homeward.

We were hoping Clever Cycles (a block from the food carts) was still opened; otherwise I'd take the MAX over the hill.  And they were still open for another 20 minutes.  The house chain was SRAM (right answer), so I paid right then to get the receipt within the finish time, and watched the mechanic swap on the new chain.  Bliss.  No skips.

Found Susan at the food carts.  She was eating something from Potato Champion; I checked out the Whiffie Pies, and got a peach filled one and some soda.  And we loafed in the sun for a bit; neither of us was looking forward to the climb to get home.

Did I mention that I had gotten out for my first run in months the day before?  Owwwww.  Over the river, up from downtown to the park entrance off Jefferson (Madison Trail; switchbacks much?), up the trail, up to the Rose Garden, pause to refill water bottles and delay tackling the inevitable 17% pitch.  We both made it without toppling over, at which point it was a mostly gradual climb through the park, descend at the zoo, then  a gradual climb up to the Sylvan summit.

Definitely fall

All downhill from here.

All downhill from here

90.5 miles for me; 13.7 avg mph.  15 avg mph for the permanent populaire route.  Just a lot of long stops. 4500 vertical feet overall; 2000 of those climbing Sylvan twice.

All the pics here

1 comment:

Bicycle Specialists said...

A truly happy cycling experience you had there! Awesome post and splendid views! Keep cycling for more great places you can share!