Friday, September 5, 2014

Even More North Plains Banks Vernonia...

Since the last post, I have ridden it two more times.  I took very few pictures, though, because you all know what it looks like.  Gorgeous.  Shady.  40+ miles of trail.  There is a reason it is one of the most popular Perm Pop routes in Oregon.

Vernonia Lake with reflections

I took the Lemond out again on the first go.  Talked Andrew B (one of the first Team Bag Balm folks I met!) into joining us. Assume Ray O is there.  He is often the instigator.  Andrew was happy I got him out; he's not been riding as much as he'd like, and this was his first randonneuring excursion in a couple of years.

Nothing stands out particularly on this ride, other than the great company and superlative route. Finished it a bit slower than the ride of the previous week - 4 more minutes - faster riding, but more faffing around.

Now, I have been hating on my shoes all summer - the pain in the balls of my feet has been spectacular.  So for the first two trips, I went back to my Keen sandals.  I like them, but I could see where riding longer than 100k that my feet might be less than happy. Amazing, because I have successfully completed a 600k wearing them.

I had seen on a discussion, the thing called a metatarsal pad.  Hmm.  Something to lift the foot a bit more so the ball of the foot can't exert quite so much pressure.  They were promptly purchased, and temporarily stuck onto my current insoles.  For the record, the Superfeet Blue insoles were a total bust for me.

Sweetpea was finally reassembled, replacing the rear brake, cables, brake levers, front derailleur lever, and handlebar tape in the process.  Took it along for the most recent ride.  I might ride slower, because Sweetpea is somewhat more substantial than Lemond, but it would be a longer checkout of all the maintenance, plus a chance to test out the metatarsal pads on the intended end-use bike.

Sweetpea with new brakes, brake levers, cables, and new bar tape

For this ride, Ken joined us.  We started at the new cafe/diner not far from the McDs - the Hits the Spot Cafe (in the old Corner Bistro location).  Good coffee, excellent and friendly service.  No imprinted receipt, no rubber stamp.

So, as I said, I wasn't expecting a fast time on this one.  We stopped for a coffee and scone in Vernonia, plus a few other necessary pauses.

Sweetpea was somewhat more confident on the gravel bits.

Food on this ride - I am currently a fan of raisin bread with homemade peanut butter or homemade chocolate hazelnut spread, so I brought that along.  Plus a bottle of Gatorade and a bottle of Perpetuem with a scoop of Gatorade.  After this year's disappointing brevet season, I am hypothesizing that I really need lots of electrolytes.  Perpetuem doesn't have any, which I did not realize, and I had gone to just that in my bottles.  Once it is gone, I am going back to the previous potion, which did work for me.

But yet, as we left Banks, I looked at the time, and realized that it would certainly be less than 6 hours.  I finished at 5:38 elapsed, matching my PR on the route, and on the heavier bike.

And the feet - eversomuch better!  Next step is seeing how they feel during a 200k.

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