June. The penultimate month of my current R-12 cycle. The entire world seemed to be conspiring to eat up my weekends (yes, I can ride any day, but I like company!) After working through a couple of available dates, Kevin and I settled on Sunday, June 1. Jeff decided to join us. Excellent! A ride with some of the Usual Suspects!
We settled on an expedient route - minimal controls, not overly challenging, and not much travel time. Hillsboro-Dallas.
For this ride, I had a couple of homemade peanut butter on Costco raisin bread sandwiches, some packets of Perpetuem and some Heed and Skratch. And fruit cake. I could get V8 and bananas along the way.
Met at the Hillsboro/Century Fred Meyer, and departed only 7 minutes late. This time, my fault. It was chilly, making me very glad that I tossed in a windbreaker and knee warmers at the last minute, and cloudy. The clouds were supposed to burn off by midday.
Outgoing, the wind seemed light and undecided. I couldn't tell if it was helping or not. Brief pause in Lafayette, because I couldn't last any longer. We admired Jeff's Rice Cake of Perfection. I make the same ones, but they are never as firm and precisely shaped. I did buy and consume a banana, so I'd be a customer.
Off to the control in Dayton, where I bought V8 and a jug of water, to refill my bottles. We told the cashier we'd see her again in a few hours.
Once through Amity, we entered the prettiest part of the ride. Everything is freshly green and leafed out, and the fields of meadowfoam are blooming. I learned the difference between a silo (round) and an elevator (oblong, squared edges).
We zipped past the antique machinery in Perrydale, but Jeff planned to get a picture on the way back. Up and over the four big rollers, admiring the view. I like that there are ponds up on the hillsides. And interesting barns.
Crossed over Hwy 22, then the last three grades into Dallas and the Safeway. My lunch consisted of a ripe peach and hummus and pretzel chips. Plus a jug of water. I have decided that either I do not like Heed, or those packets are really old. Ditched what was left and restarted with Skratch. Getting less fond of Perpetuem as well, but I'll suffer through it until I have used it up. Fortunately, I still like fruitcake and peanut butter on raisin bread. Anyway, we managed to fritter away time here, before heading back.
Before departure, we all applied sunscreen. First usage of the season here in the northwest!
We had a headwind sometimes, heading back, but it didn't seem oppressive. Of course, I could park myself behind Jeff just about any time.
The view headed back on Perrydale is even better, because on the last roller, the entire valley spreads out in front.
Aside: We discussed a possible route variation on Perrydale, which cuts off Hwy 99 long before Bethel Rd. I did some research upon getting home - it would be 1.1 miles less each way, and there appear to be 2 miles of singularly nasty, deep, loose gravel. Nah.
Jeff: "didn't your bear used to be pink?" I could replace it, but as Jeff said, and I agree, it just wouldn't be the same.
Kevin was by now being overcome with sneezes. I suggested getting some Claritin in Dayton. And we pulled into the Dayton market, greeted the cashier, and... there was Susan O! and Asta! They were out doing the inaugural ride of her new perm. She had invited me along, but Kevin and I consulted and thought we'd leave climbing Bald Peak for another day :-) It was mile 88 for them as well, and delightfully serendipitous to meet up. Susan took her helmet off at the control (Unheard of), and SAT DOWN on the sidewalk to eat. She also showed off her new handlebar bag (!) The upshot of all this is that Susan had some Claritin she gave to Kevin.
Caught some flak for the Red Bull I added to my water bottle. I like it, and it doesn't mess with my stomach at all. (and NO, I didn't drink any on the 400k attempt.)
They set out to climb Bald Peak, and we set out for approximately the same distance, but not any real climbing but for a few rollers. Kevin was now in his Claritin happy place.
Jeff pointed to a field which looked like a swarm of insects or an alien life form was rising up and floating by. Except it was neither - that was pollen. I had never seen that before; pretty cool, unless you were Kevin.
Heading through Gaston, a driver pulled out as if to pass; there was oncoming traffic RIGHT THERE, and he passed me anyway. There really wasn't room; fortunately, no ditch to my right. This ride had an astounding number of exceptionally bad drivers, who would pass when they didn't have a clear line of sight up ahead (hills, curves), or would pass with oncoming traffic and cut back in unsafely. Usually there are only one or two stupid ones.
Kevin was stung by a bee, but after a quick check, we kept going. He didn't want Jeff's sting stuff, because the sting was right by his eye.
Paused at the golf course. Sadly, right after the snack bar closed. There was a water fountain outside, and I filled my empty bottle. Then I took a sip. Worst. Tasting. Water. Ever. Checked the contents of my other bottle; that would get me to the end.
Last few miles. We were planning on a celebration at the Hawaiian BBQ at the corner, but, sadly, they closed just before we got there (story of our lives, this ride). We elected to go over to the Carl's Jr and have big burgers instead. And yummy milkshakes.
Fourth R-12 in the books!
Many more pictures here