Ah, brevet season started! Path to qualifying for the Big Wild Ride underway!
Lesli, Michal, and Cyndi came up from Eugene on Friday night, so we'd all have a reasonably good night's sleep before the ride. We established that my bike could also fit in the van, freeing up my vehicle for daughter and partner to borrow to buy and transport more baby furniture :-)
Right. It being Passover, my on-route food choices would be a bit constrained. I researched Passover fruitcake recipes, found one, and sort of merged it with my non-Passover fruitcake recipe. That will be another post, but I will say the results were pretty darn spectacular. So I had food for the ride.
Fed everyone matzah brie for breakfast. I think they liked it. We also consumed full-caff coffee, and headed out. Cyndi dropped us off and headed off on her excursion for the day.
Route rap from Ray. My contribution - "ends at the pizza parlor, not here, right?" Yes, thank you :-)
First 20 miles to Vernonia were all on the wonderful Banks-Vernonia trail. I was a bit jittery from the full-caff coffee, and had to stop to put my water bottle back on the bike. Happy when that wore off. Another pause to lose the jacket (starting temp 40 degrees).
Michal was on ahead; Lesli and I arrived in Vernonia, and went to Black Bear for a coffee. Only a coffee. Michal's FB post said he was at the Shell Station, so I called him, and he came over to meet us.
We headed out of town on Hwy 47, which would eventually turn into Hwy 202. Although it was not a control, we stopped at The Birk (formerly the Birkenfeld Store) to remove layers and apply sunscreen. I pulled on the first cycling cap I made from extremely expendable fabric. Lesli totally wants one. I think I have enough fabric still, so she'll get one.
Twelve more rolling miles and we were at the Elk Refuge. Water bottle refilling, answering the info control question, and removing the last of the layers - off with the toe covers, knee warmers, and baselayer!
From here we turned back and then right on Hwy 103. This was an entirely new road to me. All I knew was that we'd end up on Hwy 26, for the control at Bakers General Store. Very scenic road, and very little traffic. Oliver was riding with us by this point.
Crossing Hwy 26 was a bit tricky, but we found many other riders at the picnic tables outside the store. I bought V-8 and a bag of Fritos, and envied everyone else their sandwiches and pups in a blanket. Ah well. Tuesday night, bread blowout!
Jeff A finally caught us here - he started almost an hour late. Bet he hurts a bit today!
Back onto Hwy 103, this time stopping at the lemonade stand. I think pretty much every rider stopped on the way back :-)
And back onto Hwy 202, back to The Birk (open now), where we refilled our bottles. Not hardly anything to buy - chips, drinks and beer, unless you were ordering something. I'd do that on another day; they make great sandwiches. I had purchased a V-8 for the road back in Elsie, and drank it here, and ate my banana. I'd been nibbling on chunks of fruitcake and eating gels every so often all along.
It was getting pretty hot; my bike computer suggested 80 degrees. Too hot for me this early in the season; I was feeling it.
20 miles to Vernonia; off we went. After finishing off the seriously rolling parts of the road, it was level/slightly climbing to Vernonia. I paused once for some Vitamin I - knees were less than happy. Two ambulances, a police car, and an incident command car went the other way, sirens and lights on. We hoped it was not someone on the ride.
Just outside Vernonia, Michal though his front wheel was going squashy. We got to the Black Bear, and he decided to order first and then fix the tire. He wanted what the guy in front of him got, what was it? It was a Big Train - basically any coffee drink blended and cold. Lesli ordered a Big Train, and I ordered a Mexi-Mocha Big Train :-) It was hot. I also swallowed some Endurolytes and ate more fruitcake. Michal's drink appeared; Lesli took it out to him. I got his waterbottle filled just as he finished the repair. Maybe a longer pause in Vernonia than anticipated, but that was ok.
After much scrubbing of hands :-) we headed back to the trail for the last 20+ miles. Peaceful. Quiet. Except for the sound of Lynne breathing heavily trying to keep up with Michal and Lesli.
And then, finally, the summit of the climb, and flying downhill to Banks.
Ken and Rose were checking riders in at the finish.
I checked my riding average - 14.4mph. No WONDER it hurt!
Our elapsed time was 11:45; my bike computer read 132 miles.
Lots more pictures here
Spot track here