Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Snow was a Nice Touch...

Foraging around for a ride this weekend.  The Portland Velo ride was a 47 miles loop in the flats.  I had no other plans.  Looked at the weather forecast(!)

Soooooo.  Up around 6:45, getting ready.  I ride to the start (10 miles), and like to get on the road an hour before the ride starts.  Foraged around for the least shredded pair of booties.  Decided to toss on another layer (nylon vest over the wool jersey and sleeveless baselayer) under the Shower Pass jacket.  Put the rain cover back on the helmet.  With all that, I found myself on the road at 8:15am.  Ooops.

Sweetpea is still set up as Commute Bike, but as long as I had stuff to fix a flat with me, it would be ok.

Heading up through my neighborhood, I passed through a band of big snowflakes.  Fun!  I knew it wouldn't stick or freeze, so I could enjoy it.

The wind was supposed to be whipping in from the WSW, 25 mph.  Fortunately it hadn't picked up yet, or I'd never have gotten to the start in time.  As it was, I rolled into the parking lot as the "fast" group (for some strange reason, not a big turnout today) was departing.  This was fine, I ride with the "less fast" group, which, today, was JRod and Dana, and for awhile Brian C.  I enjoy riding with all of them.

Headed south on the PV Southern Escape Route, with a bit of a headwind, then west along Burkhalter-Simpson-Johnson School-Tongue... with more than a bit of a headwind.  Brief stop at the golf course, where I shed the vest.

Bands of rain passing over, heavy rain, then sun, then more rain.  We all had fenders and long mudflaps (Portland Velo is very big on proper fenders/mudflaps in the wet season), so no spattering.

Heading into Forest Grove, I managed to suck down a gel at a light.  One challenge with these rides is that we are moving rather faster and in a tighter group; eating and drinking is hard.  (Yes, they made me work.  This is good.)  Another snow shower in Forest Grove.  Epic :-)

No other stops.  Heading out of Forest Grove, JRod and Dana had a conversation, and asked if I had any issues turning on Purdin, cutting about 7 miles out of the route.  By now we were headed north, with some tailwind.  After the turn onto Purdin, heading east, with a better tailwind.

Familiar return routes (randos - this is the outgoing leg for the Verboort Populaire), more rain and sun.  Heading east on Evergreen we merged with the fast group coming down Sewell.

As I had no car, I went straight to Longbottoms.  Dana, Dan ("my wife said I could stay"), and eventually Brian joined me.  I ordered the Farm Plate, and was trying to drink all their coffee.  Conversations about their planned event rides, my planned rides (mine are somewhat longer), and a long technical discussion on causes of interference with wireless bike computers.  Many cups of coffee.  Blotted my wool cap with some paper towels.  I did have dry gloves in my bag.  Should have checked for dry socks; that would have been nice.

The last 10 miles home was uneventful.  I warmed up about 5 miles into it, and had a tailwind the whole way.  One more snow/sleet/hail episode right around 185th and Evergreen, and then the sun came out and stayed out the rest of the way home.

Very hot shower, and the sad realization that eventually I'd have to turn off the water and get out...

In all 59.6 miles, 14.42 avg mph.
My fastest average this year.  It was 14.8 until the stop at Longbottoms, but I always seem to loaf that last 10 miles.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Permanent #1470: Beaverton-Birkenfeld-Beaverton 213km

Holden riding along the Nehalem River

RideWithGPS (for those who like a GPS format; no warranty expressed or implied)

The Tri-Met Beaverton Transit Center is one block to the west.

Starting in Beaverton at the corner of SW Canyon Rd and SW 117th Rd (Starbucks next to PETCO, Jim and Patty's Coffee...) you'll head northwest, finally escaping the urban growth boundary crossing over SW Cornelius Pass Rd.  Expediently working your way through North Plains and Banks (still pretty, just direct), you'll stop for a control in Banks (grocery on the right, after crossing under Hwy 6, restroom at the trailhead), then hop onto the Banks-Vernonia  Trail, where you will enjoy 20 miles of fields and forest before arriving in Vernonia.

Ray on the trestle over Mendenhall Creek

Ray and James on the trail

Another control pause - Black Bear Coffee is the tastiest stop, but the Shell Station works if you are on a mission.  There is also a Sentry Market and a Subway.  Be prepared for The Birk (turnaround control) to be closed.

Then following the Nehalem River north and then west, you will eventually arrive at the Birkenfeld Store The Birk.  There is a cafe, groceries, lots of liquor, and a restroom.  It may be open, in which case you can get some food and a receipt.  If not, there is an info control question.

Nehalem River

Birkenfeld Country Store

And then turn around, and return the way you came!

Note: the Starbucks by Petco at the start closes at 7pm.  Many other options - the Starbucks at Fred Meyer is 24 hr, YoPop one shopping mall west (take the alley next to Jin Wah, it will be on the left), plus lots of fast food along Canyon Rd right there.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Riding MY Permanent!

As perhaps mentioned elsewhere, I knew which perm *I* wanted to ride in February.  And, indeed, a week or so back, the 10 day forecast looked promising.  And it kept improving.

Michal wanted to ride, and I publicized after we settled on a date and time.  Greg, Bill, Theo and Asta joined in.  Excellent!

So, some cleaning, cooking, and preparation (ever so much easier when it isn't going to rain or be astonishingly cold); Michal arrived, a bit of visiting, and an early night.  Probably one of the earlier times I've been organized the night before.

Bill and Michal, waiting to start

Oatmeal, coffee, and we coasted down the hill in the dark, to be at the Starbucks by 6:30 for the 7am departure.  First Greg, then Bill arrived.  A text from Asta - they were on the MAX, and would arrive at 7:05.  We decided to wait.  We watched them ride by on Canyon to the OTHER Starbucks at Freddies, and called over to retrieve them :-)

Asta and Theo LOVE rides which start in Beaverton - the Beaverton Transit Center is only a block from the start.  Clearly, Bill and I will just have to create more of them.  I love rides which start a mere 1.4 miles from my house.

So, only 15 minutes after 7 :-) we headed out.  I had already told Michal he was the cue sheet beta tester - everyone else was local, and probably knew where they were going.  Kevin had ridden on Tuesday, and reported no issues, but I wanted to make sure.

We started out chilly, but it would eventually warm up to a pretty nice day.  Not much traffic heading west, and once we turned onto West Union from Cornelius Pass, we were out in the country.  My favorite bits of road up through Helvetia, and I found everyone at the church figuring out the info control answer.

Through North Plains, Roy (another info control), Banks, Cedar Canyon Rd, then back on Hwy 6, up the hill, and past the plum orchards on Strohmayer Rd, which are already leafing out.

Strohmayer Rd, orchard leafing out

Got to hear about Asta's bike tour.  This ride was her one-year Randoversary - her first brevet was the Grab Bag 200 last February!

Upon arrival in Forest Grove, we converged on Maggie's Buns.  We had the sensible and healthy food choices table (Theo, Asta, and Greg), and the nutritionally dubious food choices (STICKY BUNS AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD!) table (Bill, Michal, and me).  Portland Velo (my other bike club) was passing by, but not really stopping and coming in.  LJ did come in, said hi and wondered if I was going to eat the whole thing.  You betcha.

The sensible and healthy food choices table

The sticky bun table

The sticky bun table

By now it was really warm enough to ditch the wind vest, cap, and wool mittens, so I did.

Thus fortified, we headed out to Hagg Lake.  Perhaps a clarification on the cue sheet - the road curves right heading out of town; the route is straight.  It is signed Pacific, even though mapping programs say Ritchey.  Up and down on Old Hwy 47, passing the Lake Store and sawmill.  No elk in the field.  Patches of snow by the roadside along the lake.  Perhaps a small cue sheet issue - there are apparently two intersections of Scoggins Valley and West Shore, although the one which was intended is at least 5 miles further along.

Greg, Hagg Lake

Greg and I rode along together here, and found everyone at the info control, another question-rich environment. I think Bill is using the very same control for a populaire route he's working on.

Info control pause, Hagg Lake

Suggestion to put the info control up the gravel road a bit... "that'd be cruel"...

Looking north Laughlin Rd

From there, finished circumnavigating the lake, and then headed south.  Theo, Asta, and Michal had pulled ahead.  We passed through Gaston and headed south on Spring Hill.  Strangely enough, we did not see them up ahead, even though we had long sight lines along several stretches.  Must have turned on the afterburners.  Through Yamhill and into Carlton.  We stopped at the little convenience market on Main; I got a Ruby Red grapefruit juice and some Kettle Chips.  I'd been munching on the bag of home baked cookies Michal gave me, plus a chocolate mint protein bar (20g!) that I'd gotten from a co-worker and had been saving for just this occasion.

Bill got a big bottle of water, and we topped up, finished our snacks, took some pictures and...there were Theo, Asta, and Michal.  They'd stopped in Gaston and we didn't see them. :-)  We offered them some water.  Michal: "we left some water for you in Gaston".

Asta, Theo and Michal

The wind had been blowing steadily from the NE all day, and I figured there would be an annoying headwind from here on out, but not so.  I didn't mind one bit.

Michal was leading the way along Hwy 240/Kuehne, and rode by the Ribbon Ridge turn.  We yelled, and he came back.  Maybe add a note to the cue sheet - "top of hill, easy to miss"?

Yet another info control at the other end of Ribbon Ridge.  There were suggestions that I add one that asked for the most unusual winery name, but that would have been a hard call.

Michal, info control rituals

Theo and Bill, info control rituals

Rode in two groups northward.  I was dropped at the bottom of the steep little s-curve hill north of Gaston; took me about 3 miles to chase back on.  It was easier riding in a pack!

Greg, Bill and Michal in Gaston

We paused at the Forest Hills golf course for snacks and a pause :-)  I had a big chunk of a brownie-peanut topping confection from a co-worker.  It probably had a million calories per cubic inch, so, again, saving it for a bike ride.  Asta and Theo helped me with it.  It was really good, and not too sweet.

Pretty sunset as we rode north on Rood Bridge into Hillsboro.

Sunset on Rood Bridge Rd

One more info control on Burkhalter Rd (on Volume Three of the card), with another round of picture-taking, then off to our last on-course control.  Bought some cheesy crackers; managed to pawn some off on Greg.  Called Fitz to let him know we were about 6 miles out.

Last info control on Burkhalter

Told everyone I'd take pity on them and lead us back in, although it was pretty much a straight shot from here.  We did clump up and take the straight through lane crossing 185th, which made it really nice.  Six bikes taking up a lane is so much more authoritative than just one.  By now it was pretty mindless riding for me...

Turn onto Hocken, through the shopping center, all taking the left through lane on Hall to set up for the turn onto Center, down Center, left on 117th and yay! back at Starbucks!  The folks working there were kind enough to take our picture (with more than one camera), and told us to do more rides from their store.  Works for me!  They seem friendlier than the crew at the other store.

Happy finishers at Starbucks

Learning - Izze Sparkling Clementine is really good at the end of a ride.  Then Michal and I rode back up the hill, and we fed him and sent him home.

My bike computer said 131 miles, and 6000 vertical feet, both of which are probably slightly optimistic.
11:37 total elapsed time for the permanent, 13.96 avg mph, my fastest average for the year for all my riding.

Everyone's results will be entered as soon as I get the secret handshake from the RUSA Permanista.



I'm almost ashamed to detail what I ate all day (and was just FINE, no bonks)...
oatmeal with craisins, brown sugar, walnuts, butter and milk,
a mocha,
cookies from Michal (these are really good cookies)
enormous orange sticky bun
more coffee
chocolate mint protein bar
Kettle chips
Ruby Red grapefruit juice
Chocolate-peanut brownie
a couple of blood orange segments (yum)
Clearly not a nutritional role model.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Maybe I Got A Little Carried Away...

At the frame shop.  The framer had a wonderful time.

Rando Trinkets, 2011

(no wearable jerseys were sacrificed)