At Least I Got Some Nice Pictures
June 8-9 was the SIR Olympic Peninsula 600k. I successfully completed the ride last year, and had no reason to think it wouldn't happen again this year.
Started out promisingly enough - Asta and I drove up the afternoon before, went for a short bike ride around Kingston, got a massive pasta dinner and ice cream, and visited with the other riders. Ian showed up (and we were given the rock star hotel room). We chatted, and eventually got to bed.
Up bright and early, stuffing things back in the car, grabbing my overnight bag, getting breakfast at Mc D's (sausage McMuffin, mmm), and crossing the street to the start. Visiting. Standing around.
And we were off. Leapfrogged a few riders along this stretch. It is kind of hilly (heck, not a lot of real flat on this ride). I had planned to stop 40 miles in at the QFC for more water, and did just that - in and out. The first control was at 58 miles, several riders there. I was ahead of time (from last year), got a Lunchable, some nectarines, topped up the bottles, and headed out.
Got to Matlock, again, the same clump of riders. Ahead of time. Banana, Doubleshot, more food from my bag, which I'd been eating all along.
Then, the stretch from Matlock to Humptulips. I had sort of forgotten about all the hills but for Cougar Smith Rd. (gravel, for extra bonus), and that one where Peg dropped me like a rock. Bill K was riding with me through here. We'd had a pretty constant headwind all day. Lots of ups and downs, in the 6-9% range.
At one turn - surprise! There were Dr and Mrs Dr Codfish, with chairs, cinnamon buns, fruit and beverages. We stopped for about 10 minutes and took advantage of the offerings.
Off again, up and down... and finally back on Hwy 101, heading north to Humptulips. There was a serious bike repair activity going in at the store. I learned later that a Fiber-Fix spoke was being installed. I topped up bottles, got an ice cream bar, and sat down to eat it. I felt crummy, and,, indeed had for awhile. Behind time now (but still well within the time limits). Bill took off. I finished my ice cream as Dominique and Annie arrived. Took off, but I was cold, so came back to the parking lot to add some layers. Off again.
Got a few miles along and stopped to pull on the knee warmers. It wasn't cold, either. 20 miles later we were at the Lake Quinault control. I ate some Greek Yogurt and a V-8, and took some endurolytes. Still didn't feel all that great, but we all pushed on.
It was hard work. A few miles along on Hwy 101, I saw a rider sitting on the guardrail. It was Joe L, and he'd broken his crankarm. And something in my head just gave it up, and I pulled over to join him.
Of course NOW, I realize I should have eaten a little more and kept going, but my head had totally checked out. Or consumed one of those 5 Hr Energy things. Or eaten a gel. 150 miles.
John P showed up and collected us - we went on to the next control (Kalaloch), where they were feeding riders who arrived after the store closed. Pretty sunset.
Then on to Forks. I don't remember the drive, because I conked out. Vinnie fed us big bowls of pasta. Took me awhile to eat. We grabbed our drop bags, and went on to the NEXT control - the park entrance at mile 219. I don't remember that either. I eventually woke up in the front seat of John's Element, scraped myself out, and joined the fun, chatting with and feeding riders.
Heidi dubbed it "Rando Cafe 219" and she was cooking up awesome tortilla-lunch meat-cheese quesadillas, and made me eat one. I passed out all my ride snacks, because I wasn't going to eat them. Vinnie showed up after the Forks control closed. He cooked more bacon. Lots more bacon. Everyone was eating it right from the pan.
Annie and Dominique showed up, and after they left, we all broke down and packed the control (pop-up, chairs, tables, food, stove...)
Our bikes were moved to someone's pickup; Joe and I piled in, and we then drove all the way to Kingston. Snacked, chatted, sat around, got a shower, and since it wasn't late, and I wasn't falling asleep, we elected to drive home that evening.
So, no 600. After long conversations with Michelle, I arranged to ride the Portland Portland Portland 600k perm with David and Kevin on Jun 29-30.
We got a heat wave. With humidity.
Reasonable enough progress to Ripplebrook Ranger Station. It was getting hot. 30 more miles of climbing to the 4000' summit before dropping down to Detroit. More hot. A few "I want to lay down and DIE" moments. Headwind. We cheered every time it clouded up (not often enough), and were happy to be riding on the side of the road with the most chance of shade.
I was getting dozy at the summit (at 2pm!), so ate some caffeinated things and took a 20 minute nap. All good for the descent, but we had a serious headwind there, as well. My headlight did charge my phone :-)
A pause at Detroit for snacks and liquid refill, then more of a descent down Hwy 22. Only 1 close call (and it was deliberate) with an idiot in a van.
My stomach started checking out on the climb, and never really cleared up. And I do not like those shoes. The previous model had MUCH stiffer soles. Pearl Izumi X-Alp Seek V, if you were wondering.
Another nap in Scio (with caffeine appetizer), then off to find covered bridges. It got dark, and everyone admired my headlight.
Wandering around, we went to the Stayton covered bridge, and then the Safeway. Got off the bike and just sat. And made a phone call. When the guys came out of the store, I went in and bought whatever looked good (watermelon, a roll, a banana, a Coke, and some Laughing Cow cheese). They went on, and I napped on the bench until Fitz came to collect me.
No Big Wild Ride this summer. Ended my 4th R-12 streak. Maybe nothing longer than a 200k for awhile.
More pretty pics here and here