Sunday, March 27, 2011

All Good Things

Yesterday's Three Capes 300km brevet had lots of good.

the Pacific from somewhere on Cape Meares

My goals for the ride:
Finish before midnight - previous best was 2007, at 12:33am.  Last year: 12:47am.
Don't bonk
Drink enough
Have fun (which I seem to, anyway, even if the wind/weather is adverse)

The weather was supposed to be AWFUL - "‎80% chance of rain. Winds S, 22mph. Temp low 40s. Possible thunder. All the makings of an Epic Bike Ride".  So awful that I bought yet another pair of rain tights (Craft Storm Tight), and packed an entire change of clothing, just in case.

Usual suspect riding buddy was not riding.  Looking at who had registered, I figured I wouldn't be ALONE or LAST, but still...

Last year, I had a spectacular bonk at mile 123, followed by 60 miles of meltdown.  Didn't want to repeat that THIS year.

Got home a bit early on Friday.  Early enough that two bicycles had their drivetrains cleaned.  Probably futile, given the weather, but I'd at least start with a clean drivetrain.

In an amazing burst of organization, bike was clean, food and spare clothing was on the bike, bike was in the car, bag for after the ride was in the car, breakfast and coffee setup was done... before 9pm.  So I set the alarm for 4am and conked out.

Woke up to, of course, rain.  Got to the Grand Lodge - it was raining, but it wasn't a heavy rain.  A quick check of the weather radar before leaving the house showed rain over the area, but pretty clear to the west.  Hmm.

There was a HUGE crowd at the start.  Voice from the crowd (a really tall voice): "Nice jacket!", referring, of course to my electric blue RUSA-logo Showers Pass Elite 2.0.   I did see another one on the ride today, so I guess they have been released into the wild. 

I'm always a little jittery at the beginning, so I let most of them go before I started.  Too many bicycles, rain, darkness.  Nah.

Found Michal on the way out of Forest Grove.  We'd ridden together on the second loop of the Grab Bag in February and he wasn't riding with anyone else either.  So we joined forces.

Did the stretch on Stringtown Rd (the ferocious chihuahua pack was still asleep), merged onto Gales Creek and headed NW.  Enjoyed the sight of many red blinkies strung out ahead.  Brief stop at the Glenwood Store (daylight now), then up to the Timber Rd turnaround control.  Saw a HUGE crowd heading back - all the fast folks putting in some early distance consumption.  Susan F. mentioned to Michal that if he stuck with me, he wouldn't get lost.  True that.  At least on this route.

So continuing on in the light rain, up to the summit on Wilson River Hwy (Hwy 6), about 1500'.  There was snow by the roadside.  Then down.  Miles and miles through the Tillamook State Forest, not hardly having to pedal.  The scenery is spectacular, more so for not being filtered/framed by a car windshield.

Michal and I both need longer mudflaps :-)

Working on one goal, the one involving eating enough, I ate a couple of bars through this stretch.

Eventually it got to where we did need to pedal some, if only to keep our speed up.  By this point I was QUITE ready to pop out of the forest and onto the flat stretch into town.  It seemed to go on for quite a while.  But eventually we did come out onto the flat, and I amused myself by watching the breathtaking amount of water sheeting down another rider's rear mudflap.

Arrived at the Tillamook Safeway in less than 5 hours.  Several riders noted that I should clean off my face before going in.  :-)  Much wiping and I was presentable.  Bought a mocha ("do you want a double shot?" um, yes), and sat down with a well buttered rye molasses muffin and a hard boiled egg.  Michal had a sandwich.  I followed that up with a Bonbel cheese bit.  Yum. 

Off to the Three Capes, really the most challenging stretch of this ride.  To my mind, the first one, Cape Meares is the hardest.  The road surface is TERRIBLE, and it has the longest sustained steep pitches.  Plus there are four summits :-)  Pretty, though.  The promised "gale force winds" did not manifest; I was not blown to a stop at any point.  Divested of the jacket and heavy gloves on the first climb.  Changed to sunglasses from the clear lenses.

Evidence of participation

Evidence of participation

Michal: "do I need to remind you to eat?"  Yes, thank you.

Pretty ride along Netarts Bay, then up Cape Lookout.  Obligatory picture stop at Anderson's Wayside.

Posing at Anderson Viewpoint

Humorous interlude with muggles: "is there a race?"
No.  Best described as a car rally, except with bicycles.
"Where did you start?"
Forest Grove.  Finishing in Forest Grove, too (Michal was doing the talking)
"What's that, about 40 miles?"
More like 186.
"No way!"
Together: way.

And then finished it off.  The descent had been publicized as "worse than last year, potholes, cracks, road falling off".  Hmm.  I was more careful on the descent than usual, and only saw one or two bad spots.

Continued south to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City.  Longish stretch inland, then over the Cape (EZ!) and into Pacific City.  All roads lead to Grateful Bread, and that's where we ended up.  I had soup and a tuna sandwich; Michal had soup and a turkey sandwich.  As we were finishing up, Holden, and then Marcello joined us for awhile.  Just over halfway (97 miles).  Holden: "you've gotten faster".  Me: yes.  

Michal was looking sadly at his empty Vitamin I container.  I had just refilled mine, so I shared. We headed outside, to find it raining again.  Crud.  Back into the rain jacket and heavier gloves.  Of course, once we started out, it finished.

Heading over to HWY 101, Michal came up with a flat; pause while that was remedied.  Finally onto the Little Nestucca Road, heading gently upward to what must be the lowest pass through the Coast Range (657 feet).  The river was spectacular.  We eventually caught Holden and Marcello, who had passed us during the flat repair.  Finally summiting, there was a rainbow!

Rainbow at Sourgrass Summit

Zipped everything up in preparation for the descent.  The grooved pavement is still there, but there seemed to be less of it.  Also, there was a tailwind, so it was a more satisfying trip down this year.  Into Grand Ronde (123 miles), where I found a Starbucks Doubleshot at the little market.  Consumed that along with another muffin and piece of cheese.  (another goal for this ride - finish with less food than I started with.)  I should mention that I was not bonking.

East on Hwy 18, looking for the spot where we jump off the road, do a bit of cross-country action and get onto Little Yamhill River Rd.  It used to be connected to the main road, but isn't any more.  Glass-smooth pavement, no traffic, more river scenery.  We had gotten to the "not chatty" portion of the ride :-)  Through Willamina, through Sheridan (brief pause to pull out the night riding gear and turn on (more) lights), then up the hill past the Federal Correctional Institution, turn east and... tailwind!  Whee!

Blown into Ballston, located the info control (cool.  Still light out.  I could see what color the zipties were without using my headlamp!).  Blown into Amity.  Elected to continue on the Dayton  before pausing.  Brief pause before Dayton to unkink my very unhappy upper back/neck/shoulders (thanks Michal!).  Into Dayton, to the Center Market, where I have stopped at every ride that passes through Dayton since November.  As that is most of them, they know me there.  "Cold, wet, and tired?"  Just a bit tired.  "How do you folks ride after dark?"  Really good lights.  Like car headlights. Michal and I shared a bag of pretzels sitting on the curb.  If this was an even longer ride, I'd have eaten more, but right then, a bag of salty pretzels was about right.

Back to the light thing - my Supernova E3 is so wonderfully bright, it seems like there should be a car coming up behind me.  But there is nothing there.  Love it!

Last 26 miles to go.  Heading out of Dayton, there was a brief encounter with a young man with a big mouth and big pickup.  I was pretty sure he was yelling encouragement in between the obscenities.  Michal: "maybe he's overcompensating for something?"  Me: "as Cecil says, inversely proportional..."  Michal just about fell off his bike; he was laughing so hard :-)

Short bit to Lafayette, Abbey, Kuehne, Ribbon Ridge (wheeeeeeee!), then onto North Valley.  While I'd been on autopilot since Amity, I was REALLY on autopilot now.  Tailwind was still with us.  Michal: "how much further, do you think?".  I figured 10+ miles from the intersection with Flett Rd; we weren't quite there yet.

Almost to the Fern Hill turn, and the wetlands right there were FULL of frogs.  Billions and billions of frogs.  Almost deafening.  Same with the Fern Hill wetlands just before the end.

Rolled into the parking lot.   Michal's wife was waiting for us with congratulations.  Nice.  Hauled the bike inside right by Susan's room.  Mmm.  Pizza.  Soda.  Cindy (Ms. Michal) walked me out to the car and helped me load the bike.  Grabbed the  bag, went back to Susan's room, and started peeling off the outer layers preparatory to getting a shower (across the hall; Susan gave me her key).  Received offers of peeling assistance from Marcello's wife ("I'm  good at this; he can't bend over after rides :-) ) and other random riders in the room for post-ride socializing.  Thanks guys.

Look at that ending

Lovely shower.  Working my way into the compression tights without a chair or bed was a bit of a challenge, but I did eventually succeed.  Back for more post-ride socializing.  Received a lot of advice on how to stay awake for the 30 minute drive home.  Did make it home without falling asleep, but it was a challenge.  Cold air, loud music...

186.59 miles., 13.42 avg mph. 2:25 hours stoppage time. 17:11 elapsed time.  Whoo!

all goals met!
all the pics here

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bike Shorts - My Favorite Ones

For the last number of long rides, the cycling shorts I have grabbed out of the drawer have been my She-wool (or Smart-beest) hybrid shorts.  Mind you, I have a BREATHTAKING number of cycling shorts; they all fit, but these are the ones I wear.

I reviewed the Smartwool Ewetopia shorts for Road Bike Review a couple of years ago.  I really, really liked the fabric and the fit, except that I just couldn't wear the wool-faced chamois for any length of time.

Now, I have no reservations remodeling clothing that needs it.  And I had an unattached Shebeest chamois (my all-time favorite one, I might add).  After some quality time with a seam ripper, and some careful pinning and sewing (note: wooly nylon thread does not work in a standard sewing machine), I had the perfect pair.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Better and Better

Rode the Birkie 200km brevet this weekend, like I do every March that I am in town.

Not riding with anyone this year, sadly, someone had to work :-( and someone else was on a mission. So I thought I'd be on my own mission, and see how quickly I could accomplish this ride.

Weather - ick. Rain, 40's, some wind. Did I forget to mention rain? Not that I don't have the gear. I thought it would be too warm for the Sugoi Firewall-Z gloves, and left them home, electing to take the Descente Wombats, and some shortfinger gloves with wool gloves to pull over them, if it got nicer. And knee warmers and spare socks.

Sweetpea was still grubby from last weekend.  I wiped off the chain and applied a fresh coat of Finish Line Cross Country lube; that would have to do.  And it did.  No squeaky chain :-)

Had a bowl of well-accessorized oatmeal and some Greek yogurt with fruit for breakfast, in an attempt to get more protein early on.

It was not raining at my house, but a mere 5 miles west and it started. Darn.

Big crowd at the start, said my hellos all around. Went to check my front light and it did not light up. Brief moment of panic, then I remembered that I had disconnected it last Saturday. Joel helpfully held the bike while I reconnected the wiring.

And off. Rode with Eric A through Forest Grove, but, as he is MUCH faster than I, it was short lived. Once we hit the first uphill, I watched a lot of people go by. Oh well.

Saw Susan with a flat on Hwy 6. She assured me all was fine, so I continued on. Brief stop at the Glenwood Store. Ran into Oliver (from the Verboort ride last November) there. Then off Hwy 6 heading up to Timber. I felt pretty strong. There must have been a tailwind. The abandoned ATM machine that had been by the side of the road in November was cleared away. Bits of snow beside the road the entire way up.

It was raining. My hands were wet, and getting colder. Feet still not soaked through, but it was only a matter of time. I have yet to find a rain tight/bootie combination that stands up to persistent, heavy rain.

Caught up with a crowd heading north from Hwy 26 to Vernonia - Lyn G, Geoff S, Marcello, Holden, Harth and some others. Lyn said she had wanted to meet the OTHER Lynne, and I had wanted to meet her :-) Lots of position changing - I'd be ahead, they'd catch me, I'd pull ahead again... Finally, into Vernonia. My gloves were SO WET and my hands were really cold. And it was only 9:30am (!) 2 hours 30 minutes to go just over 36 miles with a climb. I like it.

Vernonia control

Refilled my thermos with a rando mocha, had a banana and some baked goods, and visited with Susan and Joel. He was pretty cold and wet as well, but philosophical about it. David P shared some of the fruitcake he'd baked. Susan O. came in just before I left.

Susan France, RBA (this pic by Lesli Larson; that's my bike in the back right of the frame, click for the whole thing)

The ride out to the info control at the corner of Keasey and C Burn Rd was a non-event. Found a few folks writing the answer, filled out my card and zipped off the other way. Had a very scary moment on a right bend in the road, where a loaded log truck decided to pass me ON THE TURN and started squeezing me over... Good brakes (mine). Eeek. But I am still here. Whew.

My frozen thumb chose the descent on Stoney Point to return. Ow ow ow ow. But it stayed defrosted for the rest of the ride. Susan O. caught and passed me on the descent. Too much rain and gravel; I was not in a hurry.

North on Hwy 47. What with all the rain, the Nehalem River was pretty spectacular. Also, with all the rain, I wasn't taking pictures. Sorry. So, happily riding along at speeds which said "tailwind assistance", I eventually came up on Susan and John and someone else. John Henry came along and kept right on going. Eventually I decided to keep right on going as well, and went on ahead.

I am very pleased to say that I did not see ANY returning riders (Ken Bonner, specifically) until mile 58.75. The turnaround is at mile 66 :-) Last year I saw returning riders at Big Eddy Park, which is somewhat earlier in the ride.

Riding along, and I could see something in the road, but couldn't quite make it out. It was tall and not moving. Got closer...closer... There was a HORSE in the road! An untethered, unattended horse. Slowed down, so as not to spook it. It decided discretion was the better part of valor and went back down the driveway.

I did not see a lot of returning riders, so figured there must be a big party going on at the Birkenfeld General Store. When I arrived, a large group was just leaving. Asta shared some of her peanut butter balls. Tasty.  Did I mention that I arrived at the store in 5:04 elapsed time? :-)

Susan's Sweetpea and Joel outside the Birkenfeld Store

Susan, Kevin and Nick at the Birkenfeld store

Lesli and Sara at the Birkenfeld store

Fitz texted me asking about the weather and the ride. My reply: "sunny, 80's, mai tais". Got my card signed, bought a canned mocha and Fritos, and got some food out of my bag. Susan O. arrived and bought a bowl of soup, so I joined her, Nick, and Kevin inside. She was bummed that her mission wasn't going to happen (25 minutes to change that flat with frozen fingers), so I invited her along on mine, as long as it worked out for her. Nick wasn't inclined to eat his entire sandwich, and offered up half. I took some of it. Nick and Kevin had lots of rando strategy questions, so we shared. Time to go. Nick's sandwich still sitting there... "you gonna eat that?". Yum.

Spent 40 minutes there, which was, perhaps, a tad excessive.

Headed back. Gloves were still wet, but it had warmed up a bit, and it was no longer raining much. The rain eventually gave it up. Susan and I rode on back to Vernonia, finding Kevin and Nick at the gas station (a faster stop than the Black Bear bakery, yummy as it is). Topped off our water from the communal jug; clued the guys into the custom. Filled my thermos with more hot chocolate, ate a banana and some fruitcake. The four of us continued on south. I took off my jacket on the road between Vernonia and Timber. Susan shivered. The sun came out! I also changed to dry shortfinger gloves.

Some driver in a red pickup with poor road manners buzzed us at high speed along there, and (wait for it) Susan yelled at him.  She's often on me for having words (usually to the air and nearby cyclists; the offending driver is long gone), and I guess she finally hit the edge of her comfort zone.

Susan, headed back to Vernonia

We stopped at the Hwy 26 crossing for a more extensive clothing rearrangement - off with the rain tights and booties, on with the knee warmers and dry socks. Also more eating - the Cran-Lemon twister ProBar.

Then across Hwy 26, up to Timber, up over Timber Summit (last climb of the day), where I fell back and lost everyone.

Climbing out of Timber

Evidence of participation

Cautious descent (gravel on the road), then down to Hwy 6 and east to the Shell Station (last on-course control). Susan and the guys were there. I had no pressing needs, so bought a candy bar, got my card signed, stuffed the candy bar in my mouth and headed off. 5 minutes, tops.

They caught me a few miles down Gales Creek Rd. The wind was not entirely favorable, and I was feeling it. We attempted to paceline. Eventually Susan and I pacelined and they went on ahead.

A few miles out of Forest Grove, it started to drizzle. Then drizzle more heavily. We did not stop. Too close! The guys stopped to put on jackets, so we all ended up finishing together.

10:17 total time. 14.56 moving average, 1:40 faffing around. Best time ever for the Birkie.
(to compare to last year, 10:27 total time, perfect weather, and I was riding the Lemond... 5 minutes less faffing, 5 minutes less riding)

I mentioned at dinner last night that I'd had a good ride.  Daughter's partner: "do you ever have a ride where you don't have a good ride?"  No, not really.  Sometimes it is a type 2 good ride, but I can really only think of one or two that might have been not fun.

More pics here
Bill A's pics
Lesli's pics (good pics of how wet it was...)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

5 minutes to spare, or, we got our money's worth on THIS 200k

20:21.  That's what my finishing control receipt from the Chevron convenience market says.  We started at 7am, so, yes, our elapsed time was 13:21.  Whew.

So, back to the beginning.  Susan proposed that we ride Michael Wolfe's Urban Growth Boundary 200km permanent.  Cecil and I were in.  We asked for a dispensation to start from Kettleman's Bagels, rather than under the Hawthorne Bridge, as Kettleman's has food, restrooms, is in a much less sketchy location, and the distance difference is nil.

Michael's email on the registration: "Kettleman's is an inspired choice for a start to the UGB 200.  I think you'll like the ride; no new territory, other than climbing through the Boring Lava flow (which is more interesting than it sounds), but it's got a really nice flow to it.  Think of it as a greatest hits mix-tape of roads in the country around Portland."

Since I sometimes plan ahead, I had scored some 2032 batteries and changed the batteries in my headlight, and also in one of my PB Superflashes.  The Radbot had a battery change last week, so I was feeling pretty bright and flashy, if you know what I mean.  Also upgraded my "torso reflectivity".

Working on upping my bad-ass cred, I decided to ride to the start.  Susan offered to give me a lift home.  It's a start. :-)

Weather was predicted to be not bad at all, really, but I was prepared for Rain, just in case.  Generous bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, brown sugar and Craisins, cup of coffee, brief argument with the rain booties and...

On the road at 5:40am, climbing over Sylvan, down through Washington Park, downtown Portland, over the Hawthorne Bridge (oh SO pretty, the river at dawn!) and thence to Kettleman's.  Cecil was already there with her bagel; I ordered mine along with more coffee.

Susan arrived.  We then proceeded to do final assembly - well, Susan did.  Cecil and I had ridden over (in Cecil's case, we are talking a few blocks, lucky her) and had everything we needed.  We did spend some time trying to outdo each other in listing all the extra clothing we had brought along.  Susan started listing her stuff, and we both looked at her trunk rack in total disbelief.  If she opened it, it would have exploded.

getting ready to depart at Kettleman's Bagels

South to the Springwater Corridor, to our first control, a convenience market.  The hardest part was finding the door (!)  Quick purchase of a Snicker's Dark candy bar ("receipt please") and we were off.  The control was so close to the start (7.64 mi), so no wasting time getting there, or we'd miss the closing time.

Another 12 miles on the Springwater, through parts which Cecil characterizes as "very sketchy;  best ridden with others".  Mostly we just saw folks out walking their dogs (same effect, I guess) and the occasional runner.

Into Boring, where we found a gas station/convenience store, and a cheery employee who also was a cyclist.  Frappucino plus a Lemon Fruition bar from my bag.

It might have drizzled a bit, but not really.  By this point I had shed my rain jacket and was wearing a ls Luna wool-silk jersey and a Shebeest thermal vest and was perfectly comfortable.

patiently waiting at the Clackamas River crossing

Clackamas River, early spring leafing-out

We then continued heading south, to cross the Clackamas River just past Barton State Park, and found ourselves on Ridge Road, which, I think is where we cross the Boring Lava Flow.  It was a lot of up and down, which is what should be expected, when a road has the word "ridge" in its name.  (See also: view, panorama, sky, hill, mountain, top, upper...)

After (or before, I forget), we came across a llama ranch ("if it is grazing, it is a ranch").  All the llamas had to come over and look.  We looked back.

Food?  Got any food?

A bit further along, we found a castle!  Picture stop!  Also, I peel off the Sugoi Firewall tights and switch to knee warmers stop.  I was suffocating.  MUCH better.


On the outskirts of Canby we came onto Carus Rd and Central Point Rd, at which point I was back in familiar territory.  Clearly I need to do more riding in the far SE :-)  In to Canby and the Thriftway (50 miles on the route).  It was about 11:30, and we were hungry.  I went inside, not sure what I was looking for - I did have a tasty muffin along with me, so I guess I was foraging for protein.  After much wandering around (too many lights and signs; on long rides grocery stores are like walking into a pinball machine.) I found a nice little brie cheese, cracker and fruit plate, and after MORE wandering around, some bottled water, and bought that.  Back outside to eat.  Opened the muffin ziploc so I could munch on the road, and, after too long a pause (for which I take full responsibility), off again.

Canby to Champoeg to the Willamette River crossing.  Susan came up with a flat just across the river.  Sharp, nasty piece of glass.  Fortunately we were at a place in the road where it went from one lane to two, so my proximity sensors weren't TOO disturbed (yes, I have space issues).  She swapped both the tube and tire; I changed to shortfinger gloves with the Smartwool liners at the ready, ate some more, and patched her punctured tube.  Cecil fed us pretzels.

Susan, repairing her flat


Tire patched, we headed into Newberg, with a stop at the Thriftway - not a control, but I needed a stop.  Took advantage of that to put fresh hot water in my thermos and dump in Susan's Special Hot Cocoa mix.

Then off again, on the very familiar roads north, with a side trip to the Gaston Market (84 mi) as a control.  Susan zipped on ahead, flexing her awesome wattage, Cecil and I arrived a bit later.  I found a Starbucks Doubleshot (my new drink of choice), and Susan and I shared her bag of wonderfully salty Tim's Vinegar and Salt chips and my Cran-Lemon Twister ProBar (this one is a winner!)  A store patron admired the bikes and we all talked cycling for a bit, but we had to get a move on...

Mmm, hay

Wetlands on Spring Hill

North again.  Cecil stopped and told us she'd meet us at the next control (Rock Creek Tavern).  She was, I think, a bit tired by now.  We reluctantly went on.  On Hornecker (just outside Hillsboro), we decided to pause for a snack and a stretch, then rode through Hillsboro.  Cecil called when we were just the other side of town, and told us not to wait.  We waited anyway.

She showed up about 10 minutes later.  "You two don't take instruction well, do you?"  Uh, no.  Dispensed some Advil and bribed her with the offer of tater tots at the Rock Creek Tavern.

After crossing Hwy 26, we started climbing again.  We'd had about a 50 mile stretch of mostly flat.  Phillips Rd is big rollers, then we were at the tavern.  It was not dark yet, but I'd gotten across 26 and Cecil and Susan were stopped by the light, so I took advantage of that to turn on the helmet blinkie and Radbot.  The Superflash on the bike had been on all day.

Parked our bikes in the covered employee smoking area, went in, and got a table.  Ordered various things to drink - the waiter was telling us what was on tap, but we couldn't drink that now and expect to complete the ride :-)  Lemonade (me), Diet Coke (Susan), water (Cecil), two orders of tots and the avocado cakes.  McMenamin's same-day service did not disappoint; I had to get a register receipt before our food even arrived, just in case.  As it turned out, our real receipt was still barely within the control's closing time :-)  Eating.  Sitting.  Nice, but we'd pay for that when we got back on the bikes.


Fuel for the last 13 miles

Cecil went out and came back and told me it was raining.  {Expletive}  Got my rain pants out of my bag and put them back on.  This takes longer than you'd think; I have to take my shoes off to do it.  Fortunately I can do THAT without removing the booties...

By now it was almost full dark, so reflective gear and lights all on.  We were to climb up Old Cornelius Pass and then head east on Skyline (which, I might add is STILL climbing).  Now, back when I started training for Cycle Oregon V (1992), I'd make myself ride up Old CP.  I thought it was a really hard climb.  I have since learned what a really hard climb is :-)  So, easy spin up, cross Cornelius Pass onto Skyline and eastward.  Very little traffic (yay!); Skyline (mostly) has a white edge line, and Cecil and Susan were usually a bit ahead of me, so knowing where to go was not an issue.  My job was to call out cars coming in from behind.  The rain stopped, whew.

We got to Thompson, where we were supposed to descend (and join onto Cornell), but it was closed.  Landslide (!)  Ok; we'd continue onto Cornell and descend into Portland there.  I had been trying NOT to obsess (or, at least, obsess out loud) about that descent.  I reef on my brakes the whole way down in DAYLIGHT, and here it was, pitch black.  The top of Cornell is steep, and, as we are headed through Forest Park, no lighting because no houses.  Yes, I do have a really good headlight.  It doesn't make me feel that much more relaxed about it :-)  Followed Cecil down; she called out gravel.  As we were descending, I heard a distinctive rattling sound on my right.  Another (small) landslide.  Ok then. Fortunately, hardly any (none) traffic; I stayed more toward the centerline, where there was no gravel.  Got to the Audobon Society, with streetlights and much less steep.  Susan was waiting there.

Then, through the tunnels (hey, with all our lighting and reflectivity, I wasn't at all stressed about THAT today), then into Portland.  My bike was exhibiting a bit of a shimmy, which was, in all probability me being stressed.  Slowed down, tried to relax.  Right.

We were supposed to turn left on something that "looked like a driveway but wasn't" and go through town that way.  We didn't find it (subsequent examination of google maps shows it before the hairpins), so took the NW Overton bike boulevard down to the river, crossed the Steel Bridge, and headed south on the Esplanande to the Hawthorne Bridge.  Very pretty and colorful, but also kind of surreal.  Paying close attention so as not to hit a random bollard or something.

The convenience store in Ladd's was our best bet for a quick receipt (time was running out...).  Susan bought something, I got a Sweet Salty Bar, and Cecil bought a quart bottle of 22oz bottle of Lagunitas IPA beer.  Heck, she just had a few blocks to go :-)  Whew.  Done.  Just about wrung every minute out of this one.  We felt just like another rando who is known for using every possible minute allowed.

Loaded the bikes in Susan's truck.  Got home.  Took a shower, pulled on the compression tights, and fell asleep in the family room.

UGB 200 Elevations

Starting from home:
136.58 miles, 12.74 mph avg, 7821 vertical feet
YTD miles: 1021, and it is only the first week of March :-)

a few more pics here