Yeah. The weather forecast was for a dry, sunny day on Friday, another dry, sunny day on Sunday, and an astounding amount of rain on Saturday.
With that in mind, I made sure Sweetpea had the raingear and extra gloves on board. My helmet had its first raincover and neckcover event of the season, and I'd finally get to test out the new Showers Pass Waterproof Socks (wool version).
No plans to ride with anyone, but I did see many familiar names on the signup list, most of whom exercised good judgement and stayed home. However, Anita was there, and we'd ridden the first half of the Solstice permanent together almost a year ago.
It was raining lightly when I arrived at the start, but it slacked off to perhaps a faint mist heading north on Gales Creek Rd. It was so light that I swapped the jacket for a vest. That lasted almost all the way to Hwy 6, where I pulled the jacket back on. At the Hwy 6 turn, I suggested to Anita that she didn't have to wait for me, because she was pulling ahead and then having to wait in the rain.
Hwy 6 was a pleasant surprise - it had been repaved, and all the rumble strips were now buried under a layer of pristine asphalt.
About 3 miles later, the route left Hwy 6 for the delights of Timber Rd. It has a brief initial climb, then rolls along for several miles, then gains 500+ feet in the space of two miles. The rain increased on the climb (of course). Victorious. Nothing going to stop me now.
Then the drop down to Timber itself, another brief climb, some flat, and then another drop down to Hwy 26. I was very lucky, and was able to cross right away.
After crossing Hwy 26, the route continues for another 9 miles through a valley, before joining up with Hwy 47 a mile or so outside of Vernonia. I headed right for Black Bear Coffee Company - there were some cyclists leaving, and Anita sitting inside. She said she hadn't been there long. Consumed the traditional sticky roll and a mocha, refilled my bottle, and we headed back out.
We had a fun ride back along the Banks Vernonia Trail. The muck right at the summit had all been cleared away, and I completely enjoyed the descent.
We spent the final stretch from Banks to Verboort chatting. And yes, it was raining all the way from Vernonia to Verboort.
|Michael, Lynne, and Anita. Picture by Michael Powell-Parich|
So, finished in 6:18 elapsed, which is quicker than last year. Always good.
Anita and I then rode back the 2.8 miles to the start, in steadily increasing rain. While it had rained the whole ride, it hadn't been heavy. Nowhere near that projected inch of rain. It was trying to make up for that now.
My feet were a bit damp, not unexpected, because they do sweat, but they weren't wet. Nor were my feet cold. I am declaring the socks an initial success.