Monday, February 2, 2015

Rainy February Tour of Washington and Yamhill Counties

Earlier this week, the spouse asked: "are you riding this Sunday?"  Wondering what brought this on, I asked why.  "Well, it is a new month".  Indeed it is.  Also a day of a major sportsing event on the tv. So major that everyone would be inside watching.

Except me.  And, after an email exchange with Michal, him, too.

Bribery works.
He and Cyndi arrived in time for a yummy dinner - Fitz made tortilla soup, and I made up a batch of cornbread.  I'll take just about any excuse for making cornbread.

We were riding my 1401: Beaverton-Hagg Lake-Carlton perm, and after some discussion and negotiation, settled on a 6:30am start time.

I was looking at Wundermap as we were eating breakfast.  The forecast had been for "showers early, clearing off in the afternoon".  The map was solid green and yellow.  Well, that was unfortunate.  We were prepared, but still...

Our options for start locations that early on a Sunday were limited, but the Starbucks was open.  Not only that, they were now open until 8pm, so we wouldn't have to finish at another place.  Even better: "If you save your receipt, you can get a pastry for $1.00 after 2pm".  We assured them we were all about saving our receipts, and would see them that evening.

Starbucks Start
And so we set out in the rain.  We headed west and north for about 10 miles, popping out of the Urban Growth Boundary just west of NW Cornelius Pass Rd on West Union.  My legs felt vaguely leaden.  The route is not flat - goes up and down forever.  After passing through the Helvetia area, we looped around and through North Plains, past the lumber mill (pause for me to pump up the front tire; seemed surprisingly squashy, but not going flat), Banks, where there was a brief pause, and then out Cedar Canyon and back along Stafford/Strohmayer/Kansas City... to Forest Grove, our first timed control.  Now, I can get to Forest Grove by a fairly direct route; 18 miles.  Or we could take the scenic 42 mile route, which is this perm.

Again, because Sunday, not much open in Forest Grove, especially before 11am.  Since we arrived about 10:30, our options were the convenience store and the lottery deli.  Wanting to be expedient, we stopped at the c-store.  There was cue sheet flippage here, done very carefully, because we didn't want to get them wet and we were awfully saturated by this point.

Now we were headed off to Hagg Lake, which has the most concentrated climbing of the route.  As always, once the initial ramp is surmounted, it is a fun loop around the lake.  It seemed by now that we had been riding forever, but it wasn't even after noon.  I think the rain started clearing away here, but I don't remember.  My gloves were pretty heavy; I squeezed them out, which helped.  They'd be cold after I took them off, but would warm up in about 15 minutes.  I felt somewhat zippier after the stop in Forest Grove, but I don't think it showed much :-)

After leaving Hagg Lake, we discovered that there was a headwind.  We did stop in Gaston, because we needed to top up liquids (Lynne eats a banana and some fruitcake).

So, 15 miles of headwind to Carlton.  While I wasn't flying along, my pace wasn't too bad, except on the three bigger hills, where I fell back.

Michal's GPS was actively trying to sabotage his route in Yamhill; I had to retrieve him from a wrong turn.  Now just 3 miles to Carlton along the shoulder of Hwy 47.  A little narrow for my taste, but certainly rideable.

Ray had introduced me to the Carlton Bakery a couple weekends before.  Oh my goodness, yes!  Not only are they a bakery, they've got soup, sandwiches, coffee, and, of course, many tasty baked things.

And a rubber stamp.
Of course I can make that stamp work with the card!
One of the best half hour control stops ever.  I decided it was truly done raining, and removed the Rainlegs.

Now we were headed north and east, and fully expecting a tailwind.  And, indeed, the pace we were riding increased, with much less effort.  One of the more enjoyable traverses of North Valley/Spring Hill.

Brief pause to apologize for not a lot of pictures - I wore different gloves, and they weren't conducive to pulling out the camera while moving, nor, for that matter, getting food from my bag.  They weren't wool.  I was hoping for serious water resistance, but they gave that up.  At least my hands stayed warm.

Just before Forest Grove, we turned east, and then a few miles of south (boo), then back east and some north again.  Just north of the Rood Bridge, we found ourselves back in the Urban Growth Boundary, and had only a bit over 10 miles to go.  One more on-course timed control.  6 miles to go, all mostly on SW Baseline; a straight shot to Beaverton.

We pulled in at 6:40pm, for 12:10 elapsed time.  And we produced our receipts from the morning and got our $1 pastries!

Got home just as the sportsing event ended.  Excellent timing.

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