Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Susan's Rando Weekend Birthday Extravaganza

Normal people have birthday parties, or, at the most, go out and ride their age in miles and drink some beer afterward.

Susan isn't normal.  She thought it would be great fun to ride Bill's Donuts to Total Domination 200k permanent (Portland to Eugene) on Saturday, then ride Michal's Five Rivers 210k Permanent (loop out of Eugene) on Sunday.  And return to Portland Monday on the 5:30am Amtrak Cascades.

Fortunately, she has like-minded friends.  Theo, Asta and I would join her on the ride down to Eugene, and Michal and Lesli would join in on the fun riding the Five Rivers perm the next day.

Weather was iffy - wet, but not cold enough to want to wear the full, mostly water-resistant tights.  My venerable Shebeest capris just aren't real warm when they are wet.  Team Estrogen to the rescue, 1 pair each of Ibex and Icebreaker wool capris.  They'll come in handy for the 18 mile round trip commute for my upcoming new job (she says, massively justifying the purchase).

Susan cleverly mailed a package of clothing to Lesli.  I wasn't quite that organized, and filled a pannier with a change of riding gear, some pjs, some real clothes and sundries.  Sweetpea had the rack installed, and I dug out my venerable racktop bag for the gear which normally lives in the Carradice Barley.  Also had a trip to my favorite hardware store for a c-clamp to attach a second rear blinky mount to the rack.

Donuts to Total Domination 200k perm

Up at 6am the next morning, fall into the cycling gear laid out in the other bathroom (doesn't disturb the sleeping spouse), breakfast,...  Oh darn, it is raining.  On with the booties and jacket, with my new reflective windvest over that.  Short ride over to Sesame Donuts, where we engaged in a pre-perm coffeeneur.  Asta and Theo claimed they had everything they needed for the weekend on their bikes, but it didn't look like they had any more stuff than usual, which isn't much at all :-)

The rain had ceased by our start time, and I started urging folks to get started.  Strangely enough, Susan wasn't ready to go at the dot of 8...

South through Beaverton and Tigard, over a bridge into Tualatin, a stop at the Chevron in Wilsonville for a few provisions for Asta and Theo.  I had several slices of fruitcake, and some bars, a banana, and a few gels in my bag, so didn't need anything at the moment.

Then finally, out into the country!  Headed south on very familiar roads all the way to Salem.  Brief stop there for coffee (45 cents!  And not bad!), then off to Independence, our first control.  Except we didn't quite get there before I had a flat on River Rd.  That Grand Bois was pretty tight on the rim; Theo helped me get it off.  I just put on an entirely new tube and tire (Hutchinson); Theo found and extracted the sharp shard of whatever that caused the flat.  Asta took a nap.  I think she had two hours of sleep the night before.

Did I mention the nearly constant headwinds?

Willamette River near Independence

Pizza and soda in Independence

Back on the road, we got to Independence, and I FINALLY got to stop at Indepizza.  It is always closed when I come through on the Eden's Gate 400k.  Slice of pepperoni and a soda, refill water bottles, and off we go.

Now off to the Corvallis Rd/Prather Rd/Buena Vista stretch.  Nasty rollers there.  The Eden's Gate 400k goes the other way :-)  Over the bridge and into Lebanon.  Now we were seeing many cars headed to the Oregon State football game.

84 miles into the ride, we had to cross Hwy 34, the main route from I-5 into Corvallis.  Traffic for the football game was heavy; we had to wait a bit for an opening.  And, just as we were crossing, who should drive by but my very own son, on the way to the game!  Smiles were exchanged as we each continued on.

Shadow on Peoria Rd

Now on to Peoria Rd, 19+ miles of winds, generally not in our favor.  But all things come to an end, and we eventually rolled into Harrisburg.  Only 17 or so miles to go.  I was pretty beat.  Susan shared an egg salad sandwich; she didn't want to eat the whole thing, and I wasn't sure I wanted to eat it at all.  Suddenly I did want to eat it, and crunched a few antacids as well.  My stomach was crabby, my shoulders hurt (note to self: Sweetpea doesn't like a single pannier; I wrestled with the bike the whole ride), and I wanted to be done.

Sunset, south of Harrisburg

The sun was setting and the temperature dropping, so we turned on lights, and I added my jacket under the vest.  It was never quite warm enough all day for me to ditch the vest.  We ended up following River Rd down the west side of the Willamette River, then crossing the river on a bike bridge.  Dark by then, so we all followed Susan, who had the route in her GPS.

Finish at the Ninkasi Brewery

And finished.  I had played the wimp card, so Michal collected Asta and me and drove us UP to his house, where he and Cyndi had a wonderful dinner waiting.  Chicken Mole and a chocolate pie with ice cream.

11:24 total elapsed time
13.7 avg mph.  Not bad, especially with the headwind
129.5 miles total for the day

Five Rivers 210k perm

Cappucino Art at Chez Young-Wenks

Up at 6am for this one.  Breakfast (pie, yogurt, granola, fruit, cappucino), and out into the dimness, light rain, and down the very steep hill.  I reefed on the brakes all the way down; Asta and Michal flew by.  Got to the coffee shop to find ourselves the first ones there.  Something about a flat tire over at the other house.  Ok by us, more time to sit and enjoy the coffee.  We eventually all rolled out at 8:30.  Drizzling.

I was definitely feeling yesterday's ride.  The out to Walterville was uneventful, but the rain got heavier heading back.  Not that I was cold, but not having fun.  Michal kept me company, and we passed the Mohawk Store, and followed Marcola Road up to the summit.  I had to walk for a bit.  Found Lesli and Theo there; Theo was repairing a flat.  Two more cyclists showed up - Susan and Asta!  We thought they were way ahead, but they'd stopped for coffee at the store.

We all flew down the hill and over to the Crawfordsville Store, where water bottles were topped up, and I switched to food in a bottle.  Lesli bought another losing lottery ticket. :-)  From here we headed over to the Fern Ridge climb.  A bit more walking here as well; Michal said he'd wait at the top and went on.  Found him and Lesli at the top.  Lesli went on while I filled out my card at the info control.  Michal and I descended and found no one at the Sweet Home market.  We didn't need to stop, so continued on.  It had stopped raining, and I felt really good all the way to Lebanon.  We picked up Lesli a few miles before town, and rode in together.

No bikes outside the store, but Susan was inside, with her bike in the seating area.  We all got some potato soup, and moved our bikes inside as well, wondering where Theo and Asta had ended up.  Turned out they had another flat and some bonus miles and would be along shortly.  Another long pause while we enjoyed our soup, and refilled bottles.  Only 46 miles more to go, and one more hill.

Potato soup, Lebanon

We headed south out of Lebanon, riding along the edges of the hills.  I took the only pictures of the day along here, as the sun was setting.

Michal at sunset

Riders at sunset

There was a herd of horses along the road somewhere that Michal had characterized as "better than average" horses.  They were on the hill right before Brownsville right on the Gap Rd climb, so I got a good look at them as I went slowly by (followed by more walking).  Found Michal at the summit and told him that I thought they were palominos.

After the Gap Rd climb, done with all the climbing.  Just riding along flat roads with no traffic in the dark :-)  I could see I-5 in the distance; we'd ride over it.  Then south on Coburg Road for 10 miles.  My shoulders were not happy.  Through Coburg, and the last few on-road miles.  Brief pause at Armitage Park to update Cyndi.  Riding through some neighborhoods, on the bike path, back on to the road, and counting up 10 blocks until we were finished.  Cyndi was waiting (yay!), and we loaded up.  We finished at 9:41pm (ow)

Showers.  Hot yummy pasta.  Seconds.  More pie.  Bed.
131 miles for the day
12.5 avg mph
13:11 total elapsed time


The four Portland riders were on the 5:30am train headed north.  Bed was sometime after midnight, which is what happens when one finishes the ride at 9:41pm.  Up at 4.  Michal and Cyndi got up as well (these are very, very nice people) and fed us breakfast and gave us cookies to go.  Michal delivered Asta and I to the train station; hope he got a nap before continuing on with the day.

Asta napping in the train station

I dozed the entire way back to Portland.  Retrieved my bike at the end, reinstalled the bags, changed my shoes (they were a tad soggy), skitched over the few blocks to the MAX station - the roads were all full of tracks, or one-way the wrong way, and caught MAX over the hill to my stop.  1.5 miles downhill and done...


Michal Young said...

One small correction: The "better than average" horses were on a hill just before Brownsville. Gap Road is just after Brownsville.

Oliver Smith said...

Sounds like a fun weekend with amazing hosts.

I'd like to do the 200k to Eugene/Amtrak back one of these days.

Oliver Smith said...

Sounds like a great, full weekend with amazing hosts.

I'd like to do the 200k to Eugene and Amtrak back one of these (not awful weather) days.

brown clark said...
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