Sunday, May 22, 2011

Multnomah Falls with Best Cycling Buddy Ever

Continuing on my path of keeping the mileage up as I prepare for next month's epic ride, Cecil and I planned an out and back to Multnomah Falls.  I hadn't ridden to the falls since last June, and was a bit behind in my "rides to the Falls" count for the year.  From my front door, approximately 100 miles.  (80 for Cecil)

Columbia Gorge

Up at 5:30 for a 6:30am departure (I am SO pokey in the mornings).  Stopped 5 times in the first half mile to fiddle with the bike computer. :-)  That resolved, up and over, down through Washington Park, passing three joggers who were using the whole road on SW Salmon where it is the jog over from SW Park.  They wanted to know if I followed Lance, and recommended that I stay away from the drugs.  I told them it was too late, and doping was good stuff.  They thought it was the best thing they'd heard all day.  They also thought I was joking.

We met at Kettleman's at 7:30.  Probably first breakfast for Cecil, second breakfast for me.  I will point out that we RODE our bikes there, as several cars were outside with bikes on top.  Young man behind the counter wanted to know if we were finishing a ride.  Mmm.  Awfully early for that, unless one is finishing a 400k.  Told him we were riding out to Multnomah Falls.  He didn't know where that was, or what it was.  (Lynne is rendered speechless)

Suitably fortified, headed out east to the I-205 bike path, north to Marine Drive, and east again, to Troutdale, taking the nice off-road path behind the Troutdale Airport.  And then, right around 30 miles for me, the ride finally started. :-)  Back in the day, I'd drive out here and start the ride.

Oh, not raining.  Only wool on the body was socks and armwarmers.  Wearing a lightweight vest, no base layer, no rain tights, Keen sandals, no booties, lightweight gloves, and the day ride helmet without a rain cover.

Brief pause for photos at the Job Corps dragon sculpture in Springdale.

Sweetpea, me, and the Job Corps Dragon

Riding through Springdale, saw evidence of the rapture on the shoulder - clothes and shoes with no occupant.

Changed to shortfinger gloves and removed my vest... while riding.

Summit at Women's Forum, down to Vista House (not far behind Cecil), down to Latourell Falls (again, not far behind Cecil), then east to Multnomah Falls.  Pretty little pinkish wildflowers blooming (Cranesbills?).  Not much traffic, but there was a wedding at Wahkeena Falls.  I'd say most of the traffic was cyclists.  Lots of them!

We had a long pause at the Falls.  I could not decide between the amazing ice cream sandwich and hot cocoa, so went for both.

Ice cream sandwich and hot cocoa

One gentlemen in a "Dude" Pendleton sweater was waxing enthusiastic over our lovely Sweetpea bicycles.  Someone walked by mine later and said "oh, what a cute bicycle!".  Cute AND functional, thank you!

Multnomah Falls

And then back.  A bit more auto traffic, but nothing too annoying.  Throughout the ride, Cecil shared "how to be successful on a 600k" hints.  Must figure out the timer thing - drink every 15 minutes, eat every 45 minutes.  Plus carry avocados and bananas.  And hummus wraps.  (I am getting similar advice from Susan O)

Cecil climbing up to Vista House

I think I had my quickest ascent ever back up to Vista House/Crown Point - 19 minutes.  I could see Cecil at the railing from below, she was just removing her helmet.  Another pause (soda, chips) and generally appreciating the view.  Every time I ride by Vista House, I tell myself that I am so very fortunate to live here.

I am so lucky to live here

Applied sunscreen for the first time this year.

Real Sun!

Up the last mile, pause for pictures in full-on sunlight, then...

Cecil: "um...?"
Lynne: "Bell Rd?"
Cecil: "that is just what I was going to ask!"

Down my favorite descent (never too steep, big sweeping curves, great scenery, with, of course, the Bell Rd option (screaming straight descent on great pavement).

Stopped for snacks before getting back on the path by the Troutdale airport (well-buttered chunk of fig bread).  Another pause at Blue Lake Park for fluid exchange, west on Marine Drive.

Cecil and the Columbia River

Then south on the I-205 bike path.  Started fading around Maywood Park, so pulled out a bar and munched away.  Eventually found Cecil at one of the transit stations... "I must take you home and feed you.  I'm bonking too!"

The bar did eventually kick in, but I still stopped at Cecil's - hummus, baba ghanouj, Strawberry-Banana smoothie and a garden tour.

Then moved along, because we were meeting up again at the Portland Timbers game in 4 hours.  Heading up through Washington Park (you know, not quite as fresh as I was at 7am), looking at the mileage, I knew I'd have to find a few extra miles somewhere to make it a true century.  I could loop around my neighborhood (boring).  Then, flash of brilliance!  I could do an out and back on SW Hewett (south of Hwy 26, right where I cross Skyline/Scholls Ferry), which would be just about right.

Heading home, climbing through Washington Park

Great out and back (SW Hewett is on my Council Crest climb route), then across SW Scholls Ferry onto Raab and... pshhhhhhhhh.  There went my rear tire.  First flat on Sweetpea in 2900 miles of riding.

Much struggling to remove the tire (gosh those Aerohead rims are a LOT tighter than the Synergys; note to self, put a metal core tire iron in the bag).  There was a hole near the tire bead, so changed the tire as well.  While struggling to get it back on, a couple walking their dog stopped.  6 hands made it much easier. :-)  As I was doing the post-patch, reinstall get-everything-back-in-the-bag activity, a cyclist stopped to ask if I had everything I needed.  Yes, thank you, just about done.

Given the conditions of the flat, a trip to Bike Gallery to discuss brake adjustment/modification options should be considered.  And I guess I'll be getting to try out those Soma Xpress tires somewhat sooner than I planned.

So, home.  101.68 miles. 12.54 avg mph, 6200 vertical feet.  Elapsed time... well, let's just say that efficiency and discipline were not part of the plan for this ride.

route map

Multnomah Falls Profile

Aftermath: Portland Timbers 1 Columbus Crew 0.  Greg was a bit bemused, as Cecil and I kept ducking out to the concession stand for more food.

And best of all, Cecil's sense of fun and adventure has returned!


Cecil Anne said...

Yes, the sense of adventure and fun is coming back - it helps to have an adventurous and fun riding bunny. Soon I will once again be in a mental place in which we can encourage each other to do stuoid sh** on our bikes, and follow through . . .

Cecil Anne said...

I meant "riding buddy" of course. The riding bunny has not been doing his job.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a fun day. For "timing" help on alerts for drinking & eating - if you don't mind adding one more gadget to your handlebar - look at - I got mine to do intervals - on the trainer and on the road.