I haven't been on a bike to speak of since the Grab Bag 300k. We were away, and plans to ride a perm there didn't come to fruition. So, no riding for 2 weeks. That's not good.
Also, yet another new pair of cycling shoes to try.
Ray was planning to ride Where's Yankton? Not the gentlest perm pop to ease back into riding, but anyway, there I was at the Scappoose Library, along with Ray, RB, and Steve.
I remembered the first climb - up the Scappoose-Vernonia Hwy; about 11 miles of climbing. I could usually see Steve, but RB and then Ray went ahead. Found them at the top. Then down to Hwy 47 and the first control at Big Eddy Campground.
We then headed west a bit more, then north on Apiary Rd. I did start to rain a bit there, but looked like it would clear off. It did, so no pauses to add rain gear. Started to warm up, so I wrestled my wind vest off while riding. Apiary climbs up to Camp Wilkerson, about 6 miles, then drops for awhile. I brought Steve up to speed on the fleche, as he had joined my team earlier in the week. ("It is a balance between riding and stopping, except you can't stop at one place any longer than 2 hours. So you can't ride too fast, or you have too much time to use up!")
I knew there was more climbing in there, but didn't remember where. It starts up again about a mile before the turn onto Meissner, and keeps on going.
Found everyone at the turn onto Canaan Rd, where we discussed the upcoming gravel (Ray: "maybe it has been paved" Me: "don't be cruel"), and the chaser dogs at the other end. I suggested they hang around there and wait for me, just in case. We started on up, turned the corner, and found the gravel. It was actually in the nicest state I'd ever seen it in - very well packed. Which means, of course, that they'll dump more gravel on it pretty soon. Ray and I were talking about something, and then the grade kicked up and I fell back. Ray and Steve were waiting at the other end (they paved out to the chaser dog barn), and we continued on.
Bit more of a climb, then a screaming descent down Pittsburg Rd (FABULOUS view of Mt St Helens), a bit of a bump, and the Yankton Store came into view. The cashier was a delight ("my dad rides STP and all, but I'd NEVER be able to do that!" Me: "you are younger than all of us put together!"); wanted to know if it was a race, as we were collecting receipts (timestamp 15 years ago), stamps (the store DOES have a stamp; ask), initials and the time. Took a brief pause there for a candy bar and Red Bull.
One last climb (I don't forget this one!), but by mile 56 on Stone Rd, all the climbing is done. Lots of meandering in horse country, and then I got to corner which didn't match up with the cue sheet*. Checked google maps, and eventually figured out which way was north on the map (I was facing north), and all was good.
Got to the end just as Ray and Steve were pulling out to head back to the library. Bought a banana and joined them. Not the slowest I have ridden that route.
Sadly, the little restaurant from our last ride was closed.
The shoes might do.
*After some conversation with Ray, it turned out that the cue sheet I fished out from the pile in my garage was somewhat outdated...