Monday, November 20, 2017

I Am Never Going to Catch Up - Rides since August

Sigh.  Not Keeping Up Here.  So you'll get a summary.


We were in Michigan in August, and I took cards and cue sheets for my 3 routes up there, as well as a registration form :-)  I now have left them in my storage box.  I decided to ride the 218km route to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse and back.  Getting there was uneventful; big lunch in Leland, pavement from heaven.

Lunch in Leland, MI.  Grand Traverse Lighthouse 218km perm.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse control documentation.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse turnaround.  Evidence of participation.

The day got hot.  The headwinds from the south were evil.  The hills were killer - not very high, but with the wind whipping in on the bare crests...  Ow.  My feet are telling me to not ever do a 200k wearing my Keen sandals ever again.  Long conversations with myself the last 40 miles.  I officially finished at the Blarney Castle gas station c-store, then met Fitz at Stormcloud.  Except they were having an employee thing, so we relocated to Dinghy's and had the Fred Flintstone plate.  They don't call it that, but the ribs are big.

Also August

Ray rounded up Paul and me to ride the Banks-Elsie 200k.  The weather was excellent, as was the company.

Paul, Banks-Elsie

Stray goat, Banks Vernonia Trail.

The outgoing leg on the Banks Vernonia trail was notable for one of the Wingham Farms cows standing right in the middle of the trail.  We edged by.  This being a weekday, it seemed that every log truck in the universe was out on 47/202/103.  They all passed politely and professionally; I waved a lot.  I like to acknowledge courtesy.  Still, the thought of riding BACK with log trucks was a bit intimidating; tight curves at the western end of the route.  The Elk Refuge bathrooms have been reconstructed and are quite nice.  The one I used had a big wooden bench, possibly suitable for taking a nap on, should one's fleche route go by here in the middle of the night.  No elk, but they are rarely there in the middle of the day.  We got lunch at the turnaround in Elsie; sat outside on their covered porch entry.

Ray and Paul (and unidentified person) enjoying lunch at the Elsie turnaround

So, time to ride back.  Hey, no log trucks!  Paul: "they've been out here since 3 in the morning; they've all gone home."  And a tailwind of sorts.  We paused at The Birk just because; the owner (Mike) invited us in to refill our bottles and use the facilities.  He's got some massive Bull Mastiffs.  Fortunately, they were off duty and quite friendly.

Nine miles back to Vernonia, with shade and a real tailwind after we turned south.  I love that shade.  Paul and Ray were counting the number of times we crossed the Nehalem River.  They came out with 24 in all.  I kept losing count.  I had some ice cream at the gas station c-store.  Now only 20 miles on the trail; easy peasy.  It was thinking about dusk, but not really, when we finished.


Susan wanted to know if I would want to ride my Beaverton-Hagg Lake-Carlton 200k with her.  I knew EPP (electronic proof of passage) had been approved by the RUSA Board, because this route has a large number of info controls, and she's not fond of them :-)

There was going to be a NW wind, which would make parts of the return a bit challenging.  I chose to ride the Lemond (the fast bike).

Historic Helvetia Church

That's a pretty mailbox.  Cedar Canyon Rd, Beaverton - Hagg Lake - Carlton perm.

Really nice in the morning, all the way to Forest Grove.  Lovely new pavements.  We stopped at the c-store for expediency.  I may have also had a salt pause.  Old Hwy 47 to the Lake Store, formerly a mass of potholes and cracks has been repaved.

Circumnavigation of Hagg Lake - website said the lane was "restricted".  At the lake, it was "closed". We rode as far as the info control, then back to the intersection w/West Shore Drive by the dam.  and rode an out and back on the dam to find the missing .4 miles.

Lynne and Susan's bikes at the Hagg Lake dam, verification of distance makeup.

As it was getting hot, we stopped at the Lake Store again for more water; I also inhaled a V-8.  The wind might have been helpful on the way to Carlton, but it was hard to tell.  We did the Carlton control at the bakery, where I had an EXCELLENT lemon tart and a citrus soda of some variety.  It was really hot by now. 

Susan at the Carlton Control, Beaverton - Hagg Lake - Carlton perm.  Hot day.

There was nice shade on Hendricks, another salt pause, and then we turned north into the wind.

Info control at corner of Ribbon Ridge and North Valley.  Easiest to take a picture.  Susan and the bikes.

Lots of traffic on Kuehne and North Valley (riding on a weekday will do that), until we passed Flett.  The 20 miles from Carlton to the turn east on Geiger seemed rather longer than they should have.

But then we had a tailwind and were coasting along, sometimes doing 18-20, without even trying.  We zigzagged north to Hillsboro (yes, short stretches of headwind) to the final on-course control, with V-8 and a banana.  The temperature was finally dropping, and we got a small snack at the finish (Starbucks).  12:43 elapsed.

Susan: "have you got a way to carry a pumpkin home?"  Uh, no.  She drove it to the house and elected to stay over rather than do the long drive home in the dark.

We did lots of picture control verification.  Yay, Timestamp Camera!


Ray, Paul and I rode the Hillsboro-Dallas 200k perm.  Starting at 7am has been problematic, because Fred Meyer doesn't open until 7am, but the "new" Fred Meyer gas station has a c-store, which opens at 5am.  Ray and I watched Paul drive around the parking lot; guess he didn't see us standing out in front.  It was a mite chilly!

Paul and Ray; Hillsboro-Dallas 200k Dayton control pause.

As it was another weekday ride, the traffic heading south on Spring Hill/North Valley/Ribbon Ridge/Kuehne/Abbey into Lafayette was rather heavier than we are accustomed to seeing.  After Amity, the route heads south on Hwy 99 for 6 miles.  Hwy 99 has been repaved, and the shoulder is wide and smooth.  The traffic was heavy, but that doesn't bother me much, as long as I've got a shoulder to ride on.  Turned onto Bethel Rd, and then south on Perrydale, eventually ending up at the Dallas Safeway.  I had packed lox and bagel for ride food, and had consumed (wolfed down) a couple halves in the way to Dallas, and then proceeded to demolish a sushi tray.

Hillsboro Dallas sushi tray at the turnaround control.  This works.  With Ray and Paul.

We then headed back, into, you guessed it, a headwind.  There's nothing to slow it down out there on Red Prairie.  When we arrived at the corner of Perrydale and Bethel, Ray wanted to check out an alternate to Hwy 99.  I consulted Google Maps to figure out which way to go, as we knew it was there, but were unclear on the specifics.  Aha.  Turn left on Bethel, right on Broadmead, stick with it, and we'll end up in Amity, which was where we were going.  Since it wasn't shorter, off we went.  Less hilly, too.  Bonus.  The headwind was strong; Ray, as always, pulled ahead; Paul and I dropped off.  I found Ray in Amity on a park bench, but went on to the c-store for more beverages.

Still had the headwind, but I kept plugging along north.  Almost to the turn onto Geiger, and Ray came up BEHIND me!  How did that happen?  Here I thought I was chasing him!  Paul appeared, and we finished off the last 13 or so miles to the finish.  It was definitely dark before we finished.  My headlight needed adjusting; I was lighting up the sky :-) That was much harder than it should have been.  Granted, I dnf'd it as a brevet in January, but still.

Various Populaires

I rode the North Plains Banks Vernonia Trail perm pop a few times, once solo.  If I had to restrict myself to one perm pop, that would be the one.  The owner has ridden it 120 times, I am a distant second, with 37 finishes.  The rides were notable for the escaped goats.  Ray and I watched them pour out of a hole in the fence, and they were already on the trail on my solo outing.

Goats!  (And Ray)

Sweetpea at Vernonia Lake.  Pretty picture as well as photo verification.

Goats on the Banks Vernonia Trail.  Again :-)

The Annual Verboort Sausage Populaire was earlier this month ("always the first Saturday in November!").  It didn't rain.  I again, completely enjoyed the stretch north of Hwy 26 on Timber Rd.  Twice in a row.  I did not used to like it, and I don't know why.  Quiet road, lots of trees and farms.  Ray and I rode together, although we were in with other riders until the Timber Rd climb, where we went ahead.

Verboort Populaire turn around control in Vernonia.

I know there is a trail in there somewhere.  Just south of the Mendenhall trestle at Buxton.

Heading into Wingham Farms on the Banks Vernonia Trail

Coffeeneuring, Verboort Sausage Festival.  No disposable cup!

There was also a Dart Populaire, elaborated on in another posting.

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