Saturday, November 15, 2008

Amazingly Gorgeous Ride

A sunny November Saturday, the rando ride for the month is done, time for another Portland Velo Saturday ride.

With all the traveling, my riding has suffered somewhat, so the past couple weeks have been "whip myself back into shape". Today was no exception.

Met Cecil at the top of the hill, collected Jason along the way, and got to Longbottom's in plenty of time for pre-ride faffing. In Cecil's case, buying and consuming a muffin. By the time she gets to the start, she's already ridden 20+ miles. I figure my substantial bowl of steel-cut oats with brown sugar, Craisins, walnuts and milk will stick with me for awhile yet, and it is only 10 miles for me.

Back to the challenging bit. When riding with the Velo these days, I've tended to hang with the least velocitous group. Some days, like the very rainy previous Saturday, I was riding Bleriot and leaving the generator on, so I found myself as the Lanterne Rouge.

This Saturday, it being bright, dry and sunny, Lemond came out of the garage. I attached myself to the non-tempo 17's group. And hung on for dear life. Well, not the first part, up to the Laurel Store. That was fine. Then we climbed Holly Hill. I've never done that stretch of road. Oh my goodness! Not as stiff a climb as Carpenter Creek, and outstanding views at every turn. Views out over the valley (farms, nurseries in full fall color blazing out), plus amazing views of Mt Hood, Mt Adams, Mt St Helens, AND Mt Rainier. Wow. Kicked myself that I did not have the camera along. That said, I was a bit at the back, because I stepped into the store for a moment, and then everyone was gone. Fortunately, Bud had on a bright orange jersey, and I caught sight of it at crucial turns. I eventually caught and passed two riders, even.

Then, excellent scenery, and a fun descent, once we hit the straight part. Then out onto McCormick Hill Rd, Vandeschuere Rd, where bad things have happened, and sure enough, there was Bud, extracting himself from a ditch. New bike, and the chain kept shifting off into air. On the rollers of Vandeschuere, that's enought to fall over.

He reassembled himself and we headed along. As we were coming into Scholls, he realized that his wallet was not with him. After reassuring me that he had a map and knew where he was, he went back. I caught the group at the corner of Scholls Ferry; Cecil and Brian went back.

We pressed on, enjoying the short but steep climb that is Clark Hill (oh, but the descent on the other side!), and paused for about 5 minutes, in hopes that Bud, Cecil and Brian would appear, and then went on.

As I'd just had a couple of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups at the store, I was starting to fade a bit. Kept plugging along, though, and caught the group at the stops.

Eventually returned to Longbottom's, where the Omelette Special was ordered, in hopes of reviving me. Just as my food appeared, so did Cecil, Brian and Bud. And Bud's wallet!

The usual post-ride socializing (with J-Rod this week), then Jason, Cecil and I headed east. Wow! What a GREAT ride! 63+ miles. And faster, too.

1 comment:

Evo Davo said...

Thanks for keeping up the blog. It has at times been a real comfort to me to follow the exploits of another lover of bikes. I've been off of my road bike for a short bit and I was back on yesterday and it was glorious here in Seattle as well. The simple joys of riding a bike cannot be understated.