Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Donuts to Total Domination

Michal has been wanting to ride this one so "I can see what those roads look like in daylight".  He took the train up on Friday, and caught our light rail (MAX) out to the Beaverton Transit Center, where we met up and rode back to the house.

This would also be a test of Minimal Packing, for my Bicycle Adventure (tm) next month.  Everything fit in the Carradice Barley and Acorn Rando bag, including some shoes.

Test run of packing light for a future Adventure.

As we had planned for a 7am departure, we headed out of the house at 6:15 (well, 6:17 :-) ) and rode over to Sesame Donuts on every single road I generally avoid riding on - SW Walker eastbound, SW Canyon, and SW Beaverton Hillsdale.  All narrow and fast traffic.  But given the hour, it wasn't all that bad.

Starting with the donuts!

Donuts and coffee at Sesame Donuts.  They are operating completely in pennies, so I handed over 2000 and got back 14-something in change.  "We are practicing for when we win the lottery and become millionaires."

Our first challenge was getting by the SW Oleson Rd closure and construction.  There is a ped/bike temporary bridge (automobiles have a significant detour), and once we found it and transited the deep gravel to access it, smooth sailing southward.

The stretch from SW Portland to Wilsonville is very definitely suburbs and traffic lights, and a LOT more rolling than I remembered it.

Michal: "this route doesn't go over the river on the I-5 bridge, does it?"  Well, yes, it does.  Fortunately we were only riding southbound, which is the less stressful crossing - wider shoulders and higher bridge railings.  The shoulder was full of hubcaps.

Finally now, out into the country, all the way to Keizer/Salem.  We were meant to have a tailwind, and I might have felt a slight one.

We were looking out for a Burgerville, because Michal wanted a hamburger (at which point I then wanted one as well!), but there did not appear to be any on the route.  Just into Salem, a red car got behind us on a four lane road, sat on my rear wheel, and wouldn't pass.  Other cars were passing - 4 lane road, lots of room.   No honking, but just sitting there.  Stressful.  As we did not find the Burgerville, we stopped at the Arco minimart on the outskirts of town.  I had my first of several V-8s, plus Gatorade to top up the bottles. The day was heating up.

River Road to Independence looks much nicer in the daytime.  Michal: "from desolate to bucolic".  Yes indeed. It was also revealed that it is rolling.  I always wondered why it felt so hard riding it in the middle of the night, and now I know.  The Salem housing developments are creeping out along the road; I expect traffic will increase over time.

Then around a corner, and we popped out from the hills/forest into the Willamette Valley, with the Independence Bridge just up ahead.

Evidence of participation

Independence, Oregon

Indepizza had gone out of business :-( :-( :-(, so we went to the suggested minimart.  Ice cream bar and some Sobe.  Note to self - next time, go a few blocks further north and eat at Moothart's (just across from the public restrooms), or ride a bit further west on Monmouth road to Subway or something else. Or hope a decent, expedient food source opens on the main road.

Seeing SPOTz

First ice cream of the day, Independence, OR

I had remembered that it was somewhat hilly south of Independence, and, indeed, I had remembered correctly.  Lots of recent chipseal as well.  Slog up, fly down, repeat as needed.  At one point I looked ahead and muttered "please have the right turn there..." Not.  Some of you may remember the transit on Prather Rd from the Buena Vista Ferry, the year we rode the unofficial 150 mile version of the Watermelon Ride (2004?).  Gravel then.  Chipseal now.

Smell the cornfield!

We passed through the western edge of Albany.  By now, my feet were starting to hurt, so I lobbied for a "shoes off" pause.  We pulled over in the shade just outside of town and sat for a few minutes.  We also realized we needed more to drink to get us all the way to Harrisburg.  Should have stopped in Albany.  Oh well.

Michal remembered that there was a minimart on Hwy 34; we'd stock up there.  Passed the info control, and then popped out on Hwy 34.  Ah yes, the minimart was where Peoria Road met Hwy 34, not White Oak (our turn).  Rode west to the store, where we stocked up on water and Gatorade, and drank more V-8.  By now we had progressed to the "it is so hot, let's dump cold water on ourselves".  Ahhhh.

And, being good little randonneurs, rather than turning south on Peoria Rd right there, we rode back to White Oak Rd and turned there, to meet up with Peoria Rd.  Three bonus miles. Our promised tailwind never did show up.  Peoria Rd is 17+ miles of flat, exposed, boring...  At least there wasn't a headwind.

As we did not avail ourselves of the blue room at the minimart, Michal recalled that there was one at Peoria Park, just south of Fayetteville Rd.  About 6 miles later, there it was.  I never knew it was there; good to know.  Not only was there a blue room, there was also running water, so more cold water to put to good use!  Another "shoe off" pause, and then off again.

I learned that Peoria, which is now only a roadside park, a few street signs and homes, used to be a major river shipping point - this was as far as the grain barges could get upstream on the Willamette River.

Michal: "I can tell when your feet are hurting, just listening to your pedaling."  Yeah.  Maybe these aren't the shoes for me either.

Willamette River alongside Peoria Rd

After quite some time, a friend of Michal's who was out riding on Peoria Rd came along; they chatted for a bit, and then he zoomed off.

Still hot.  Finally, finally, finally, we saw the silos of Harrisburg up ahead.  Stopped at the Dari-Mart.  By now, neither of us wanted anything to drink but water, so I gulped down a few Endurolytes, and had a mango popsicle.  I consolidated the Gatorade/Sobe/Orange-Vanilla Perpetuem into one bottle, and filled the insulated bottle with ice cold water.  There may also have been another extended water dumping session before leaving town.

I think the heat of the day finally passed, and it was perceptibly cooler.  The most recent drenching didn't hurt either.  Some very quiet rural roads and then we were on River Road for awhile, which takes us into Eugene through Santa Clara, which has amazing trees.  Under the beltline, onto the bike path, back onto the surface streets for a couple of blocks, and there was the brewery.  Ahhh.

We leaned the bikes inside the patio walls and went in search of some beer.  Cyndi joined us, and then we loaded up and went home.

Fini, Ninkasi Brewing, Eugene Oregon

And, delightfully, hamburgers for dinner!

The GPS track
All the pictures

Well, I need to wear different shoes.  My winter shoes (PI Water Resistant Winter Shoes) don't hurt, so perhaps I shall return to those.  My old Shimano sandals are still wandering around the garage.  I remember why I no longer wear them, but maybe my feet have changed.  I can test them out locally.

Packing- it worked well, until I went to stuff the riding things on the bike, because I was wearing what I had carried.  Now, I don't expect to have to pack my cycling shoes on my Adventure, but it is highly probable that I will want to have rain gear and maybe a bit warmer accessories along, which will take up more space.  This bag calls, and I do have a venerable Jim Blackburn rear rack which will work, if the other rack I have ordered from France doesn't arrive in time.  At the moment, it seems to be made of unobtainium.  Yes, it DOES have to be silver.

Getting home - Amtrak, of course.  The schedule now only has a 5:30am departure; the more reasonably scheduled morning departure is no longer on the schedule.  I arrived home in time for waffles, and took an afternoon nap.

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