Monday, November 5, 2007

Three Prairies 200km Permanent, Director's Cut

ok, not so beat-up tired now...

There were meant to be three of us on this ride, but the instigator managed to put herself on injured reserve before the ride. So Rickey and I traded emails trying to determine a meet-up place. Not helped that he knows his way around that part of Newberg and I don't. We eventually settled on McDonald's, and we'd proceed from there.

Made sandwiches, planned wardrobe, fed my company dinner, and went to bed. In theory, coming off daylight savings time, I'd get an extra hour of sleep. What it meant is that I frittered away another hour before going to bed.

Mm. 5am. Up, dressed, eating, out the door by 5:47am, only 2 minutes behind schedule. Found Rickey at the Newberg McDonald's, sitting down to a breakfast that only McD's can provide. He ate. I watched.

Then over to the public parking (a few blocks west of the library on 99W, now we all know), to effect our departure. We were quickly assembled, and rode over to the ATM to get our starting timestamped receipt, 6:59am

Then out of Newberg on 99W. Mmm. Newberg and Dundee should be ashamed, painting the bike lane symbol along the side of the road. Varying pavement levels across the lane, and an amazing amount of trash and such. Some traffic, not too much. After 6+ miles of that, we turned left onto SR-18, then got off to go through Dayton.

I got to see the Dayton blockhouse (relocated on the route), plus point out the Joel Palmer House to Rickey. A fabulous restaurant, if you like wild mushrooms. Best done on someone else's nickel, though.

The fog, starting to collect in Newberg, had set in by earnest now. Or, to quote Rickey: "I'm sure there is scenery, we just can't see it". Then the long stretch to Amity. A road sign: "Amity, 5 miles". A few miles later... "Amity, 5 miles".

We passed through Amity without stopping, heading south on 99W to the Bethel Rd intersection. There was a nice bit just before, with tall trees reaching over on either side of the road, with the fog swirling around. It was condensing on my helmet and mirror, with continual drips from both of them. My booties were shiny wet, but my feet stayed dry.

Then on to Bethel Road. Nice pavement, no traffic. Perrydale Rd, more fog, and stair-step climbing. (This was advertised as a remarkably flat route). Crossed a busy road, more climbing. Eventually we summitted a hill and found ourselves in Dallas.

Stopped at McD's for snacks and a receipt. Their cash registers were still on Daylight Savings Time. Oh well. Our RBA will work it out.

Then out on Ellendale, where I saved Rickey from a wrong turn - the main road goes left, but we had to stay right to get back onto 99W in Rickreall.

(For those of you who have read SM Stirlings Dies the Fire trilogy, it all happens right here)

12+ miles on 99W, mostly climbing. I know this defies the laws of physics, because it felt like we climbed most of the way to Dallas, but there you are. Decent shoulder, so it was ok. Even better, the pea-soup fog began to lift. By the time we returned to Amity, there were blue patches in the sky.

Back to Newberg the same way we came. We did do the first 100km in just under 5 hours.

Off to the Coffee Cottage for receipts (their cash register was off by 30 minutes, go figure), and snacks - a scone and big bottle of juice for me. Then back to the cars to pick up our lights and put on lighter outerwear.

Now heading south east out of Newberg, through the nice part (old houses), then onto Hwy 219, crossing the Willamette River on a bridge with a highly inadequate guardrail and very fast traffic. Saved Rickey from another wrong turn at the corner of Champoeg and French Prairie. South on French Prairie for many miles, stopping my friend Don's driveway to lighten up the clothes some more, as it had warmed up quite a bit.

Then left on St Louis Road, following it all the way into Gervais (more urban renewal completed, 4th Street is restored; looks nice), thence on to Mt Angel. A bit of tricky riding up a curvy hill with cars really wanting to pass. I pulled over and let them. Lots of ups and downs here, then I could see the abbey (plays a supporting role in Dies the Fire trilogy) and we were in Mt Angel. Found the market and deli (I don't think I'd eat the food), bought a candy bar and got another receipt (still on daylight savings time). Note: the Food 4 Less is no longer in business.

We figured we make a lighting decision at some point past Gervais. It was still quite bright, but the sun really drops this time of year. We had fun riding DOWN the curvy hill part, then it pretty much went back to flat, flat, flat. Still light in Gervais, so we kept going. Somewhere on Arbor Grove we thought we'd pull over and apply lighting and reflective gear. The dog on the adjoining property was pretty excited by our presence.

We then had the same discussion at the corner of 219 and Arbor Grove that we had on the 300km. Note for future - go left, then right again on Arbor Grove! No need to discuss it again. Then the counter-intuitive right on the St Paul Hwy, left on Case Rd. Rickey flew up the hills - I didn't know he did that. I had to start attacking them too, just to keep him in sight! The sun was definitely getting low by this point. Gorgeous sunset through the line of tall trees on the left just before Champoeg Park (you know, the climb with the barn on the right). All the sheep were up by the fence, making sheep sounds. Past Champoeg, right onto Champoeg Rd.

Rickey's reflective gear made him very visible in the rapidly fading light. Right onto Hwy 219 (don't hit me don't hit me don't hit me I really don't like riding that stretch not at all the guardrails pinch in and the bridge is scary....)

Then the left onto Wynooski; fortunately a big break in the traffic, whew! A quiet finish through Newberg, then back to the ATM for our finish time receipt. We can at least trust the banks to have the correct time :-)

10:53 elasped time; one minute longer than the Birkie 200km last spring.


Anonymous said...

200km in 10-plus hours?
You're rockstars.

lynnef said...

Fueled by big bowl of oatmeal, half a sandwich, banana, candy bar, half a scone, 2 McDs hash browns, water and Gatorade tea.