I was still looking for a successful March 200k. And a time in which to ride it. Family circumstances dictated that I get it ridden BEFORE March 19, and the 15 and 16 (Saturday and Sunday) were booked. Now, I am retired and can ride anytime. It is more fun if I have company, so I put it out there that I was looking for ride partners, knowing that there are one or two folks who might be available on a weekday. Best weather day was Tuesday, but had a conflict there also (this retired stuff is exhausting!)
Kevin B was up for it, and at the last minute, I got an email from Greg O, saying he'd be there as well. And there we all were, standing outside the Hillboro-Century Fred Meyer at 7am, to get our receipts from the in-store coffee stand for our 7:15am start.
Our route was Hillsboro-Dallas, which, along with Mill City Coffee Run, is a fairly easy and scenic 200. Perfect for that "gotta do it" ride.
And off we went. The first four miles get us outside the Urban Growth Boundary, and, at mile 12.2, the left turn onto Fern Hill is where I feel completely in the country.
We had a headwind :-( I was hoping for a tailwind on the return, but Greg was sure we'd have a headwind that way as well.
South, past many turns to wineries, through Lafayette, and then the short bit to Dayton, our first control at 36+ miles. No bananas :-( They had them last time. I got more stuff to drink (Doubleshot to add to the thermal bottle of coffee and hot cocoa mix), and Greg was eating some potato egg cheese thing from the hot fried case. It looked like a McD's hash brown, but a little bit thicker. I bought one, and it was surprisingly tasty. Greg figured it had been sitting there for days.
Pulled off the jacket somewhere in the first stretch. Maybe even somewhere on Fern Hill. It didn't go back on.
Boring stretch to Amity. Continued headwind. Yeah, said Kevin. Like you have a flat, or something is grabbing your wheel.
BUT! The left turn onto 99W, with the nasty pavement and narrow, nastier shoulder - GONE! Lovely new pavement, wide shoulder, all the way into Amity. Then it reverts. We didn't stop, but there is a wonderful new market on the left side, heading south. Many, many alpacas at the alpaca ranch.
The new wired tail light was duly admired (Secula Plus seatstay mount).
Now onto the hilliest part of the route - 99W to Bethel Rd to Perrydale Rd into Dallas. Headwind/crosswind. It also started drizzling a bit. We expected that, but hadn't seen any until now. Up and down (x4), and then the evil double ramp into Dallas.
Pulled into the Safeway - I got more things to drink, and a banana. It being St Patrick's Day, I had brought along a corned beef sandwich on Irish brown bread, and ate that as well. Greg commented that I was doing pretty well on the hills with the crosswind. :-)
Then back - the flags were not looking good - standing straight out, the wrong way.
Kevin vanished ahead. I figured we'd see him in Dayton. It was raining. Almost. Sort of. But not enough to pull on raingear. Greg and I could see where it wouldn't last long.
Riding back on Perrydale is always fun, wind notwithstanding. At the highest point, you can look NE, and see all the way to Bethel Rd over the fields. Right now, after last week's rain, it was all very clean and green. Nice.
99W was another story - the crosswind was strong enough that if I did not pay close attention, there might have been a "blow Lynne into the ditch" episode.
We were hoping for a tailwind at least to Amity, but the wind inexplicably calmed down at that point. Can't win here. Greg and I chatted about lots of stuff, all the brevets he's going to ride in California over the next month (he should complete his SR), and bicycle maintenance. I have 4 bikes (3 in residence) and a notebook where I write down the date and mileage when something exciting happens (clean the chain. New headset. Flat tire. New tire. You know). He has 15 bikes and doesn't bother...
Still trying to get the saddle position in a good place. It was tipping me forward, but there were large blocks of the ride where I didn't think about it. That is a good thing, but more adjustment needed.
Got to Dayton. No Kevin. The cashier said he'd been through some time ago. Got some more things to drink, and headed out again. I was working on not stopping except at controls, and trying not to dawdle too long. Greg cheerfully assured me that this was exactly the kind of ride he needed this week.
The last leg was slow - headwind. Except, when we finally turned east on Geiger - tailwind! Slight, but much better than the headwind/crosswind we had been fighting all day.
Pulled into the Fred Meyer at 11:40 elapsed. Got a text from Kevin - he'd gotten ahead of the bit of rain out of Dallas, with the accompanying tailwind, and finished an hour ahead of us.
The route is certified at 3000 vertical feet, but Greg and I both had 4200 vertical feet on our bike computers, and RWGPS has it somewhere around there as well. So I am guessing it is more than 3000 vertical feet :-) Average moving speed 12.27mph.
March, check. Three more months to finish off the R-12.