The West County 100km. Riding with the Usual Suspects (Ray and Kevin L). This one starts 7 easy miles from my house, so I did not need to use my car, and the spouse would have something to drive. Being Oregon in the Spring, rain was expected. And headwinds for the first 42 miles.
Left the house right after 8, for a 9am start. Arrived; went to the convenience store. No other riders there. Bought something, and then, with 10 minutes before, thought I'd tour the parking lot. Found them over at Subway. Which is apparently now open for breakfast. Good to know.
Off we went, heading towards Banks. I was already wearing the rain gear, since it was inevitable. And it did, indeed, start raining lightly. Through Banks, out Cedar Canyon (info control!), then west on Hwy 6, for the only real climb of the ride.
Ray would get going, and move right along. Kevin calls this his "Robo Ray" mode. After the control at the Shell Station, we headed back west and then south on Gales Creek. Me to Ray: "something is wrong here". Ray: "yes". Tailwind! For a while anyway. Then it turned around and started hitting us in the face, with more rain. Fairly insistent rain sometimes.
But since we ride this so often, my brain doesn't stress over it. Shell Station to Stringtown Rd. Stringtown Rd to Dilley Rd and Hwy 47. Old Hwy 47 past The Lake Store and south a few more miles to Gaston.
The Gaston Store is great. They've got a nice selection of cyclist friendly food, including bananas. Friendly staff and customers. Really good chocolate bars. A bathroom. Wonderful soundtrack. And an awning outside.
Did I mention awning? As we were getting ready to depart, Kevin looked down at his rear wheel. So we had a pause and I ate more things. The puncture was caused by a wire. All things considered, a good place to have to fix a flat.
One goal of this ride was to check out my new shoes - men's Sidi Dominators. I would wear the smallest size. My women's Dominators just didn't have the volume needed.
The other goal was to give my new saddle one last chance, although careful measurements, of both me and the saddle were not indicating probable success. I think 1500k is probably enough riding to know if it will work out.
So, by now, I decided the shoes were keepers. Finally, some shoes that work!
And now the last 20+ miles, again, very familiar territory. We pulled into the Subway, ordered lunch, and visited for awhile. I changed into my dry socks. Ahh.
Then I got the message that I was going out to dinner with the parents, so prepared to depart. I could see some nasty clouds to the SW, and aimed to beat them home. Which I did.
I have given up on the saddle; it will go back. Not naming names, because the concept is great, and if it was wider, I'd be really happy. Pulled my most recent saddle out of the closet. I still will not be comfortable on the flèche, but it will be differently uncomfortable. I am sure there will be a perfect saddle for me someday.
Total miles for the day 77+