Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Where'd that Nice Weather Come From?

We've had an exceptionally wet winter/spring so far.  As the joke goes "it has only rained twice - once for 45 days, and then for 35 days".  Riding has not been happening.  It isn't so much the RAIN, but the accompanying floods and thunderstorms.

Ray was casting about for company on his North Plains - Carlton perm pop.  I haven't ridden it since Halloween, 2015.  Time to get back out there.  Kevin L, who has not been riding much for the last couple years, but was a consistent ride companion before that, also joined us.  Excellent!

Epic Ride Weather's Prediction for the Day
We had the standard meet-up (note: niece A, who will, in a few weeks move from being Ensign A to Lt Dr A informed me that the proper term is "rally point") at the North Plains Mc Donalds.  As always, I get in line behind someone who doesn't know what they want, have never been to a Mc Donalds, and the guy (who is nice, but) running the cash register is super chatty.

Pre-ride faffing, signing of the release, discussion about team formation for a Will Rando dart pop (or maybe it is a Dart.  Route planning for the dart pop would be easier), and eventually we were off.

Headed down Vadis Rd, Kevin was explaining why he was on his plastic bike and not his Rawland: "it is in between saddles".  I asked him how many bikes he had.  After much mental calculations... "Do I really have 13 bikes???".  Heck, he could have borrowed a saddle from one of the others!  Another person to mention when the spouse thinks my bike collection is excessive.  Actually, he can't now, because he's got just as many as I do.

I had started out the day with arm and knee warmers.  Ray and Kevin had on jackets and baselayers.

Heading down to Verboort on Evers Rd, we found two recent additions to the Washington County Quilt Barn Trail.  If RUSA ever allows photographic proof of passage, I might make up a perm pop which visits many of them.  Although I could come up with some lame info control questions, I suspect most will go for the picture proof route.

Quilt block on NW Osterman

Quilt Block on NW Osterman

There was a substantial pause at the Fern Hill Wetlands.  After this one, I reverted to my "I'm going now; you'll catch up" practice.  The wetlands plantings have grown, and the water is wonderfully high.  Lost the armwarmers here.

Fern Hill Wetlands

Ray and Kevin discussing bike builds

There was a noticeable headwind, which boded well for the return.

The route itself is relatively uneventful, but for the One Hill.  It is a steeper climb from the north, but paved.  Withycombe (the descent) is gravel, steep, and this day, much loose gravel.  There was a lot of trepidation, but I did successfully descend.  I wasn't worried so much about the climb on the return, because it is a lot slower.

Ray, Carlton elevator, and perm card at the Carlton Bakery
We arrived at the Carlton Bakery to find it full of bicyclists, also out enjoying the nice weather.  Fortunately, they were all leaving, so we ordered our pastries and coffee, and had an outside table to ourselves.  Removed the knee warmers.

And then we headed back.  The tailwind was an excellent push.  I did end up walking the last bit of Withycombe, because I lost my line and had a choice of stopping or toppling.

Kevin and Ray at the summit of Withycombe Rd.
Yamhill elevator
Sun.  Tailwind.  Not a lot of traffic.  I even got sunburned.  This was a great day.

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