Saturday, December 1, 2012

One Big Hill and Silver Falls, Bonus Gear Review

Really, a 100k would have been fine for last weekend, but David was up for riding One Big Hill and Silver Falls, and, as the spouse was out of town, I could ride all weekend, if I wanted.

North Falls

We arranged to start from Marsee Baking at 7am, as the daylight is rapidly dwindling, and we didn't want to waste any of it.  The weather was to be very low 40's, but no rain.

The first order of business was to ride south to Oregon City, and up and over the Boring Lava Flow (David is up on all the geological features, so I learn a lot on rides with him).  Ooof.  Then the fun descent on Central Point Rd, left on New Era, and into Canby for our first control at the grocery.  It was cloudy the entire way over, but I got warm enough that I lost the jacket and heavy gloves.

After Canby, we continued south.  David wanted to check out Needy Rd as a route change, since the absolute ban on bicycles at Silver Falls Lodge put the route 660 feet short of 200k.  Headed south on Needy - the pavement is much better than David described.  Mostly flat, with some rollers, none of which are particularly oppressive.  More to the point, pretty farm scenery and no traffic whatsoever.

Two barns flank the road
Picture by David Parsons

Eventually we were back onto Meridian Rd and into Silverton.

My rear blinkies were looking anemic.  I'd turn the Turbo on, it would flash a few times, then turn off.  David spotted a Radio Shack in downtown Silverton, so we paused briefly for me to buy some batteries and install them in one blinkie.  Oh, ever so much better.

From here, we then started up the One Big Hill.  We had ridden Victor Point/Drift Creek for the spring 200, and there had been rain and a headwind the entire length.  I did not have entirely positive memories.  No headwind, no rain.  Plus, someone to talk to.  Hey, this wasn't so bad!  The road climbs 1000 feet, then rolls for awhile, going up and down 200 feet several times.  Spotted some oncoming riders.  The lead woman looked familiar, but I wasn't sure.  Then, several riders later, one called out HI LYNNE!.  Me: HI JOHN HENRY!

Turned onto Hwy 214 for the 700 foot climb to the park entrance.  Again, not bad at all.  Not as quick as David, but I got there.  The sun decided to finally appear.  Found him at the park entrance enjoying the view.  We then swooped down the 2 miles to the Lodge parking lot.  Refilled bottles, ate something, answered the info question, changed the batteries in the other blinkie, swapped the cue sheet around...

Signage Fail

Now, you'd think all the climbing for the one big hill was done.  Not so.  One climbs past Winter Falls and North Falls (picture stop), and rolls along for several more miles.

Me at North Falls

Eventually, at mile 69, one reinstalls the jacket and warm gloves, and starts down in earnest.  Lots of fun, ending up in Silverton again.

Under the Gallon House Bridge

We then rode through the Gallon House Bridge and into Mt. Angel.  The Mt. Angel convenience store is all updated and clean and shiny.  Not clear if they'll let anyone use their bathroom.

Two rando bikes in Mount Angel
Picture by David Parsons

Mountain and Moon


From here we rode back to Canby, except the return route doesn't really go through Canby.  I did call a stop at the swim center to borrow their bathroom.  The brighter Lynne might have realized her calorie bottle needed refilling.

It was dark by this point.  And there was that pesky Boring lava flow to get back over to get to Oregon City.  The actual climb is on Leland, then it rolls along for awhile before the drop down into Oregon City proper.  We stopped halfway down, and I was feeling the wobbles of a pre-bonk, so inhaled a gel and a couple of cookies to take the edge off, which it did.  Finished the descent, at which point it was the familiar 7 or so miles back to the start.

Quick finishing up of the card, whereupon David scampered home (2 blocks), and I loaded up and drove home.

Bike computer claimed 8431 vertical feet.  Ouch.  While probably a bit over, it is useful to compare to other rides using the same computer.

129.82 mi, depressing 11.9 mph avg.

The pink one

Bonus gear review:  I had dropped my 6 year old thermal water bottle on its head, and the top shattered.  As it was a promotional sort of thing, I could not buy a replacement top.  Bought the Thermos bottle that was on Bicycle Coffee System's site, but it was 1) unscrew to drink, and 2) too tall for my itty-bitty frame.  Bought the Contigo coffee mug (also reviewed on the site), and, while it does work, only 16 oz, and doesn't seem to keep liquids hot long enough.  Good for my 10 mile commute to work, but not for an all day cold wet ride.  The spouse ran across the Pistol Creek thermal water bottle.  24 oz, and it had a sippy top (water bottle top).  He had gotten an Amazon local coupon for it, which is how he discovered it and went to buy himself one.  Except the store only had pink ones, so he bought it for me.  He also bought the sippy top (extra).  Filled it up, went to drink, and the spout leaked.  Annoyingly so.  And that might have been the end of it, but I was shopping and saw the Klean Kanteen replacement sippy top, and it looked about right.  Bought it, took it home.  PERFECT FIT.  And a much, much higher quality top.  And so, filled it up with a hot drink and took it along on the ride.  It fits in the down tube water bottle cage (King cage) with no issues, and does not rattle.  Beverage stayed acceptably warm for the first 4-5 hours, at which point it was all gone.  I am also looking forward to using it on hot day rides - ice!  cold water!

Bonus Bonus Gear Review:  Regular readers may have noticed that I have finally joined the Safety Hi-Vis Green wardrobe club.  I am wearing the Gore Visibility Vest (ladies version) pretty much all the time now, because it is the dim and rainy season.  It is reflective enough to carry the EN 1150 certification, and, as such, meets the RUSA torso reflectivity requirements.  It is VERY comfortable.  I really like it.  It fits over my Showers Pass jacket as well.

1 comment:

Deb Boulton said...

Lynne, I love the "Bonus Gear Reviews". I have the vest and wear mine all the time. Need some new water bottles..will try to find the pink one! Thanks for another wonderful story!!