Since that last 200k, attempts at actual riding have been a bust. We sat in the North Plain McDonalds watching people slip and fall, and decided to be prudent. Then there was another attempt last week, only to find the trail closed with many downed trees from our snowstorms. Plus all those snowstorms. We've gotten a decade's worth of snow so far this winter!
The Oregon Randonneurs Feb 200k was Hillsboro-Dallas. It isn't a difficult route. I've set personal speed records on this one.
The day before, we had freezing rain (!) It melted early enough that Michal could drive up the night before.
It was going to rain. We had ALL our rain gear organized for the next morning.
So, the next morning, it was warm (high 40's). We both ditched a layer, but I, at least, stuck mine in my saddlebag. It wasn't even raining very hard.
However, the headwind was relentless. Trying to draft Michal was challenging; the wind kept shifting little bits, making it really hard to find that sweet spot.
By the time we got to Amity, we were right at minimum pace, with the hilliest part of the route in front of us, and no places to shelter from the wind. My pace had been dropping, and I didn't see that changing.
I called it in Amity (46 miles) and was completely prepared to ride back solo, indeed, I told Michal (several times) to keep going. I could even ride home from the start, or, barring that, visit my newest grandson, who lives close by. He wasn't buying it, so we went over to the Amity Market (wait, what, it is a Mexican Restaurant and Bar now?) and got something to eat before heading back.
I did put on that dry baselayer.
The tailwind was nice for awhile, then it tailed off (boo). Graham found us in Dayton, and we rode along for a few miles, then he went ahead.
We eventually made it back shortly after 6pm, so we'd been out there 10 1/2 hours. I'd been hoping the tailwind would have pushed us all the way back, but not so much.
On the bright side, my heart rate was 30 beats per minute lower on the return.
Only a randonneur would consider a 94+ mile ride a failure.