Ray was rounding up riders for his newest perm pop, North Plains-Carlton. There was rumored to be a very nice bakery in Carlton. Every time I have ridden through there, it has been the grocery store or the convenience store. Adequate, really, but a bakery would definitely improve the ambiance!
It was going to rain. Bands of rain, interspersed with no rain. There would be a 10-15 mile headwind on the outbound leg. I kept muttering "not as bad as that ride with Theo, not as bad as that ride with Theo..."
Riders ended up being Ray, RB, Chris, and me. After second breakfast at the Mc D's in North Plains, we headed out. Strangely, riding west wasn't really an issue. And it was raining. At one point, there was a stop to adjust layers, but I kept on going. "I am slow, you all will easily catch me"
Now, after the last ride/flatfest, I bought new tubes, replaced one tire, and moved my front tire, which looked pretty good, and had not yet flatted, to the rear. You can see where this is going. About 15 miles in, just past Fisher Farms, I came up with a rear flat. On a new tube :-(
Pulled out my bright pink flat fixing stuff bag (to some trash talk), and Ray and I set about repair. Swapped on the spare tire and another tube, pumped it up, and off we went. I even remembered to wear the gloves, so my hands weren't filthy. "Aren't you all glad I went ahead?" :-)
The spare tire felt squirmy/weird the entire ride, but it held.
Onward through the wind and rain. The guys would pull ahead, but occasionally I'd come up on one or more waiting. Once we got to Hwy 240, the hilly part of the ride commenced. Usually, unless one is a certain perm owner who always includes a gravel/dirt interlude, one gets to Carlton heading west into Yamhill, then south to Carlton. It can be shortened by going OVER the hill one is mostly riding around. The views are great.
So there it was - a climb, and a descent on gravel. Very hard pack, with loose bits, so I kept the speed way down. Found the bakery in Carlton (it hides behind a coffee stand, but it is on the left, just around the corner) and everyone else.
So there was a sit to enjoy my croissant and Pellegrino. There was supposed to be a tailwind on the return.
Off we went, now climbing UP the gravel road. No stops. I am pretty sure there was a tailwind, but I didn't feel the love quite as much as everyone else. Don't know what it is, other than I am going to the gym 2-3 times a week now, and perhaps my body hasn't quite adapted. In any case, it is very frustrating to me, and my head was going to really bad places by this point. Fortunately, the scenery was great.
Ate a banana, half a pbj, some Endurolytes, and a gel, in hopes that it would improve my zip. And some ibuprofen for the hurts.
North on Spring Hill, eventually turning onto Fern Hill, and, a bit before the water treatment plant, I spotted a cyclist headed my way. It turned out to be RB, who had come back to see if I was "making adequate progress". We found the rest of the group at the Fernhill Wetlands, but kept going.
There were some double rainbows.
In my head: "Forest Grove to Verboort, 2 miles, Verboort to Roy, 4 miles, Roy to North Plains, 6 miles." I wasn't feeling quite so bad at this point, mostly because I couldn't see anyone up ahead that I felt I had to push to catch up to.
We had planned to finish at the cafe, and I found everyone in there, already drinking coffee. My coffee quickly appeared, and the owner already knew what I was going to order. She remembered from last time. I think I am now a "regular".
Good things: it did rain a LOT, but my feet did not get wet (Lake shoes with Endura booties over them). Rainlegs do a dandy job of keeping the "raining on you" feeling away. And I did finish with 24 minutes to spare.
The new tires arrived yesterday; I'll get them on the bike before the next ride.