Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Rains Return - North Plains Carlton 100k

Ray was planning to ride the Orenco-Gaston 100k.  After a very dry summer and early fall, the wet weather pattern has finally returned.  It was going to be windy, and, later in the day, very, very wet.

He reconsidered, and suggested North Plains-Carlton, at which point I was game.  Sort of.  I was worried about flooding.  Spouse was less than supportive.  Ray figured it had been so dry that it would take a lot of rain to cause flooding.

I had the usual obsession over What to Wear, which happens every year when the weather changes.  Got dressed, stepped outside (it was WARM), and removed a few layers.  My only concession to the possible rain was a helmet cover.

So there we were, Ray, Mrs. Ray (she was just there for breakfast), and me, having breakfast at the Spot and snarking around with the owner.

Not raining when we departed, and indeed, although there were occasional bands of rain, nothing that rose to the level of needing rain gear.  There was a stiff headwind the whole way to Carlton.  We were looking forward to the corresponding tailwind on the return.

Ray got a flat on Fryer Rd, just a couple of miles from the turnaround in Carlton.  He changed it in less than 10 minutes.  I am impressed.

We stopped at our usual place, the Carlton Bakery.  They were pushing various pumpkin baked goods, but I stayed with the Pain au Chocolate and a cup of coffee.

(For the record, I had calories in the bottle and a pbj sandwich for on-route consumption).

No rain headed back, and we did have that tailwind, which blew us north for a good long while.  All good until somewhere between Gaston and Forest Grove (about 50 miles in), the rain decided to be more consistent.  And persistent.

I finally pulled over just before Forest Grove to add a rain jacket, but didn't bother with anything else.  I was already wet, but not sopping. Feet were still dry.  How much worse could it get?

Ha.  The skies opened and the wind shifted to smack us in face.  My shoes filled up.  Fortunately, it wasn't cold.  That was a long 14 miles to the end.  Ray and I see-sawed, and finally stayed together just after Roy.  Which is good, because even though it is only 5-ish miles from there, that stretch always seems longer.

We noted our time at the finish, loaded up the bikes, and went inside.  In my case, I had tossed in a towel, a dry shirt and some flip-flops, and walked in drying my hair.

The owner brought us coffee, and suggested that if we wanted to wring anything out, we should do it in the bathroom.  I poured out my shoes (really), extracted gallons of water from the socks, changed my shirt, and did a LOT of blotting on the knickers.

No pictures, because I thought it would be raining more.  Which is too bad, because the fall colors were wonderful, and we saw deer, buffalo, cattle, a whole bunch of cute goats, a heron in flight, and Ray spotted a beaver.

No flooding on the route.  The Fern Hill Wetlands still have lots of capacity.  The weather reporters did say that even though it was not quite a record rainfall day, it was close.  Almost 2 inches.

Shoes are drying on the furnace intake.

Learning: be more proactive with the rain gear!

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