December's 200k ended up being my Beaverton-Hagg Lake-Carlton route. I recruited Ray to join me, and, after publicizing in various Facebook groups and mailing lists, Holden and Greg also joined in.
A first in a long time - I was the youngest rider in the group :-)
Got myself down to the Starbucks about 15 minutes before the start. I could see Greg assembling by his van; he, Holden, and eventually Ray came on in. Ray was still faffing with something, but we were easily on the road at our appointed (dim) 7:30am start time.
About 9 miles into it, we stopped at the Powerlines Soccer Field, to visit their portapotties and remove layers.
Big northern loop to Forest Grove, an 18 mile straight shot from my house, but a 45 mile arc by our route. Lots of info controls. Ray: "you should re-do this one as what color is the white church?" Misty, high 30's; but not raining. Holden hadn't ridden out here much before, so he got to meet all my favorite roads.
Stopped at Maggie's in Forest Grove - I had my standard sticky bun and some juice; the others had coffee and maybe something else.
Off to find Hagg Lake. We generally rode within sight of each other. The guys were all wearing orange vests, which are highly visible. The guys pulled ahead on the opening ramp, but we all met up at the info control, and proceeded along, generally in sight of each other.
The part of Lynne was played by Ray. Lynne appreciated that.
Hoped to find Holden at the first market in Carlton, but he was at the one on Main Street. Longish pause there. I had some pretzels, and topped off water and food in a bottle, and shared the water with Ray. After both of us made a sticky mess with the drink powder, the bottles and hands got a rinse as well. For excitement, I swapped my very damp wool cap for a dry one with earflaps.
Holden pulled ahead out of Carlton; we didn't see him for the rest of the ride. Greg, Ray and I rode along together. I had fun taking pictures of my shadow on Kuehne Rd, and then we were treated to a great rainbow.
Of course, that meant the only rain of the day would find us, heading north on North Valley. I stopped once to consider my rain jacket, and on the second stop I definitely wanted it. Greg and Ray came along; Ray went on and Greg held my bike while I pulled it on. We caught up with Ray north of Flett Rd and proceeded along together. Darkness fell by before we turned onto SW Fern Hill, so I turned on my auxiliary flamethrower (Ixon IQ), just because. The rain had by then turned to a light rain, but it never did stop.
We paused a bit at the corner of SW Fern Hill and SW Geiger Rd for me to stretch and to listen to all the geese and ducks in the wetlands.
At the control on the bridge on Golf Course Rd, I remembered I had a chocolate bar, and shared it out. Ray handed around chocolate-covered espresso beans.
The bridge construction is complete on SW Johnson School, and the road appears to have been repaved as well. Wonderful!
Finally into Hillsboro proper, wandering our way along to the last on-course control. I bought another chocolate bar (they have Milka bars in the Jackson's convenience store), sucked down a gel, and we proceeded on our last 6 miles.
The Starbucks was long closed, but the YoPop a bit west was still open. You can get hot and cold stuff there; good place to finish.
12:16 elapsed. not my fastest :-)
All the pics here
This ride did keep the R-12 streak going, and also put me over randonneuring 5000km for the year, a new record, and one of my 2012 cycling goals.