Baked a fruitcake to share. This one was the best yet, but I haven't figured out what I did differently, other than use pastry flour for half the flour.
So, down to Eugene Coffee Company shortly after 7am; Kathryn and Anna were there. Virginia appeared just before 7:30, I handed out fruitcake, Michal handed out cookies, and we took off. It really wasn't cold, and I ditched the jacket, cap, and heavy gloves at the first info control.
Out to Walterville, on a slightly undulating road. I'd fall back on the ups and catch up on the downs. Bought my standard banana there, and ate some fruitcake. I was really concentrating on eating.
(Anna does not have wings. I think that is a dog)
Then the long, long, long ride to the first climb (really, Marcola Rd seems to go on FOREVER). Kathryn, Anna, and Virginia pulled ahead. I munched on cookies. We found them pulled off at a fire station, snacking. Well, okay, we could do that. I started getting chilled, so I took off. Michal: "Wait for us in Crawfordsville!" Haha.
I sucked down a gel before the start of the climb, and was on my way up, almost to the top, when they caught me. But no stops, no walking. One down, two climbs to go.
Down to Crawfordsville, where we paused at the store. Mmm. V-8. More fruitcake. Make up another bottle of calories. Michal ate a corndog. I have still not gone there. I am not sure I will ever go there.
Then undulating along Crawfordsville Rd, which is one of the prettiest bits of this ride. As Fern Ridge was approaching, I sucked down another gel. Two big undulations at the end. Everyone else paused at Holley School, but I kept on going, so as to get a bit up the climb and not hold them up waiting at the top.
Last time, I walked most of the climb. Not a good day. Ground my way up. One stop to get the heart rate down, then spun my way up to the top. They caught me as I pushed off from the stop, and we all worked our way to the top together. MUCH better day, no walking, no other stops! Cheers all around!
|Headed up Fern Ridge (picture by Virginia Xing)|
Then down and through Sweet Home, heading off to Lebanon. Pleasant Valley Rd is another really pretty stretch. Then Mc Dowell Creek, and other roads I forget. We encountered a bike club out for an outing, and chatted a bit, then we headed in towards Lebanon, and the lovely Safeway deli area.
This day they had chicken noodle soup (yum!), to which I added a mocha. Virginia got a whole plate of Chinese food, and inhaled it. Ann and Kathryn had their own snacks, and Michal got a bowl of chili. We planned on a half hour stop, and kept to that.
We were now heading south, and expecting a bit of a headwind. It never did really materialize, yay! As we were wandering along the edges of the hills (I am told they are called "buttes". They do not resemble the buttes from Texas...), we were also wandering along the edges of precipitation. Never got heavy enough to consider rain gear.
Past the Better than Average Horses, with a quick picture pause, then in through Brownsville. There was a stop in the DariMart parking lot, but not for much and not for long.
|Heading South (picture by Virginia Xing)|
(Butte in the background)
Then out again on Gap Rd, which contains the last climb of the ride. Which I also completed, in a slow and steady manner. Oh, and the sun had not yet set. Down and on to the flats, eventually crossing over I-5 and south on Coburg Rd. Some of the newbies were feeling fried at this point, so we slowed way down. Leisurely 10 miles to Coburg, where we learned that there are public flush toilets in Coburg! That was certainly worth a stop.
Except, after that stop, Kathryn, Anna, and Virginia (well, heck, Virginia never got tired or needed to slow down; she's a rocket in real life) perked back up, and we didn't see them...
Last few miles through Eugene. Michal: "I think I don't want to ride up the hill". Me: (inside: YAY! WONDERFUL!) "uh. ok. If Cyndi wouldn't mind picking us up..."
Then we were off the bike trails and onto Chambers (there are probably some other streets in between), and at 18th and done. Virginia was waiting for her ride.
Oh, and time check... Fastest ever circuit of this route.
11:34 elapsed, 130 miles. :-)
Cyndi took us up the hill. Michal: "we'll get dinner that much faster". They thought I shouldn't drive home afterward (dark, raining, just did a long bike ride), so Cyndi and I had a rousing game of Bananagrams, and we all conked out.
Drove home in the sunlight after a great breakfast. Much better.