Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Did you go for a ride this weekend?

I've got a new manager.  We were chatting about his weekend (he surfs), and he asked if I went for a ride this past weekend.  It is rare that I don't ride.  He'll learn that.

Being the weekend bookended by the 400k, and the upcoming SIR 600k, I wanted something, but not too much.

OrRando had a lovely Forest Grove-Vernonia Populaire.  Ride to and from, and I'd probably have more than 100 miles.

This ride was going to be the test ride of Calories in the Bottle.  Specifically, Carbo-Pro and EFS - 2 scoops of one, 1 scoop of the other, 300 calories.  Filled one bottle with the magic potion, another with plain water, and tossed a few bananas in my bag.  I can always eat a banana.  I wouldn't get to the point where I would bonk - that takes approximately 300km, but I would at least see if my stomach was ok with it.

Advertised as the "Sleep In" Populaire, it started at 10am, which meant I could leave the house at 8:30, and still get there in time.  Took the expedient route to Forest Grove - straight out Baseline, which eventually merges with TV Highway, which goes directly into Forest Grove.  Except there was a farmers' market in Hillsboro, and I had to go south a block somewhat earlier than I wanted to.  As I was doing this, two cyclists rode up.  "Going to Forest Grove?" they asked.  Well, yes, riding a populaire.  So were they.  We continued westward, and, of course, on the climb up from McKay Creek, they pulled away.  Still got there with 20 minutes to spare (16.6 miles), registered, and visited with Ray, Bert, and RB.

Ray and Bert at the start

Yes.  Well.  Theo told us there was construction on the trail, and not to impinge on the orange netting because there was a very deep hole.  And, off we went.  


Standard route to Vernonia - out Gales Creek, west on Hwy 6 (quickest crossing ever), north on Timber Rd...  I was riding by myself, although I knew Bert, Ray, and RB were not far away.  Played with the camera.  At the top of the Timber switchbacks, started looking for the info control.  Pink zip ties on a speed limit sign.  Found it!  Started drinking the the liquid calories along here (breakfast at home, banana in Forest Grove)

Then, down into Timber, with a pause at the post office to remove all extraneous clothing and apply sunscreen.  There is a real person working in there, and those cool old post office boxes.  Ray and Bert zipped by while I had stopped.

Sunny and warm in Timber

Brief pause outside of Timber to document the bison ranch.  This one guy looked like he wanted to charge the fence.

Bison - just north of Timber

Then down to the Hwy 26 crossing.  Cecil should take note - 29mph on the curves.  There is hope for me yet.  I had the road to myself but for the last curve.  As there was no place for me to go, I took the lane and enjoyed the ride.  Not entirely sure the driver behind me had quite as much fun.

Met up with RB and Ray at the Hwy 26 crossing.  They all stopped for some reason; I continued on.  You know, on a nice sunny day in late spring, that 11 or so miles into Vernonia is EVER so much more pleasant.  Ate half a Payday bar, kept drinking.

Meadow near Vernonia on Timber Rd

Verifiable danger panda

Ray and RB came along at some point, and we all decamped to the Black Bear Cafe.  Cyclists everywhere.  They so need a proper bike corral.  Eventually got someone to take our order at the counter.  Outside seating was full, got a booth inside.  Coffee and a sticky bun.  Mixed up another bottle.  My stomach was absolutely quiet.

Coffee and sticky bun in Vernonia with Ray and RB

Then back out and onto the Banks-Vernonia trail.  Love this trail.  Ray and I were chatting; this is fairytale forest, which led to him talking about Grimm, and how the forest scenes are filmed right across the street at his neighbor's place.  He needs to invite me out next time they are filming; I'll bring beer.  And a camera.

Banks-Vernonia Trail

RB (and Ray behind him) on the Banks-Vernonia Trail

I think I ate the banana and the rest of the Payday bar somewhere along there (and kept drinking).  Somewhere between the Manning trailhead and the Banks trailhead, a cyclist felt that traffic on the trail was not to his liking, and passed between me and a oncoming small child.  Couldn't wait just a few seconds there.  I called him a name (unworthy of me, I know).  Ray - did you just...? me: yes.  Ray: thank you!

Loitering at the Banks-Vernonia trailhead

Canola hill above Banks

Then the end of the trail, a bit of loitering at the end of it with several other randos, and then the last 8 miles into Forest Grove.  Passed a young boy on an ATV in his yard.  Helmetless.  Ray: I'll see him at my place in a few weeks.  He said one of the more interesting ones was a 6 year old boy on an ATV.  What was interesting is that his BABY SISTER was driving.  <soapbox> Now, I have nothing against free-range children, and, indeed, my (now successfully grown and launched) children were not overly supervised.  But never mixed with internal combustion engines!  They can get into enough trouble on the self-powered variety.</soapbox>

Picked up one of the riders I had met riding in; we finished together.  Long visit with David P and the others at the finish.  It was asked if I was heading back home via a MAX station.  Well, I was, but it was the Sunset MAX, at which point they'd be better just riding into Portland :-)

Mixed up one last bottle, and headed home.  The route home is my preferred route back from Forest Grove, 22+ miles, and much quieter.  So it took a little longer to get there.  But get there I did. :-)

Supported entirely by the wisteria

Total 108.+ mi, 14.38 avg mph

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Eden's Gate 400km

Disclaimer: this was a hard one to write.

Barn with the new groundcover of choice

Last year, my only goal for this ride was to finish it in time.  This year I was hoping for a better performance on my part.  The weather was going to be about as perfect as it could be.

To make it easier (I am getting SO spoiled just falling out of bed and doing a ride without having to drive anywhere.  Owning perms does that to you.), I got a room at the motel near the start, and scoped out expedient routes to the start, involving shortcuts through a shopping center that didn't used to be there, and walking paths through the office park.

Tried to get ODOT to sweep the Boone Bridge shoulder on I-5 northbound, but they just couldn't get to it before the weekend.  That would be fun, it looked pretty trashed when I drove by it last weekend...

Asta was going to stay as well, but was delayed in town, so she'd ride to the start.  I told her I'd get two room keys, and we could revert to plan A for after the ride - she'd beat me in by HOURS, get some sleep, and I'd get her back to Portland.

Packing accomplished (throw everything in a laundry basket), food prepared (hummus wraps, a couple of homemade guacamole-bean-cheese-mild salsa burritos, cookies, some gels), bicycle loaded, and off to Wilsonville.  Michal and Cyndi visited for awhile, engaged in our pre-ride food swap, then all off to get a good night's sleep.

Cyndi had some real coffee for me, saw us off, and Michal, Norm and I headed over to the start. Not a huge crowd (Susan F: "about what you expect for a post-PBP year") The usual round of visiting, standing around,  and finally it was 6am and off we went.

A large-ish group did stay together until just before the turn onto Ehlen Rd, at which point Sweetpea threw a chain, and it was just Michal and me.  Uneventful ride south to the Gallon House Bridge, where we found a couple other riders.  Brief pause in Silverton (removing extraneous layers, among other things), then winching ourselves out of town and onto the (endlessly rolling) Cascades Hwy.

Cascades Hwy out of Silverton

The winds were not unfavorable, and we were both feeling pretty good, and found ourselves in Stayton about 9:15am.  There were a couple of riders eating outside; asked where they were riding.  Wow.  400k.  That's a LONG ride!  You all ride careful, ok? :-) Got a mocha and ate something.  I forget what, probably a hummus wrap.

Of course, after Stayton comes the fabled rollers of Cole School Road. I was hoping to even up the score (rollers 3, Lynne 2), but it was not to be.  2/3 up the second (steeper) roller and the warp engines decided it wasn't the day.  Hiked up the last bit, and found Michal at the turn onto Ridge Rd.  Enjoyed the twisty drop down to the Shimanek Covered Bridge, where we stopped and filled out the info control question.

Continuing south on Richardson Gap (this is the original route, which gives Scio and many other covered bridges a miss), we set out for the Larwood Bridge. I spent this stretch munching on the bag of cookies from Cyndi.  Another pause at the bridge to fill out cards and take pictures (it is a very pretty bridge).

Me and the Larwood Bridge

Then off to Sweet Home, through a somewhat hilly section.  Lots of fields with white flowers; a crop I had not seen before.  Theo said afterward that they smelled wonderful, but my nose had decided to get all stuffy, so not able to smell much.  A brief navigational confusion - our bike computers were both a mile optimistic, and we thought we'd missed the turn onto Lacomb, so went back a bit, and no, so retraced our steps and found it a bit further along the road.

fields of the stuff

20 miles after that, and just before 1pm, we were in Sweet Home. Bought some pea salad from the deli, and a Doubleshot and had lunch with Michal and Ray; Norm was heading out.  Except I couldn't eat it all.  Hmm. Bill arrived shortly thereafter.  Removed all my extra layers here, applied sunscreen.

Lunch in Sweet Home

Michal, Ray, and I then headed out.  Out of Sweet Home is initially kind of UP, but then it backs off and is a very pretty ride along Old Holley Rd, working our way to Crawfordsville.  Turned navigational control over to Michal, as we were now in his normal riding area.  Up Brush Creek/Marcola.  Michal pulled ahead (not unexpected; he's a very strong climber).  Passed some locals out for a ride.  And soon there was more sky than trees, and I summitted.  More pictures.

Lane County line, Marcola summit

The descent was great - no rain (last year) or bad pavement (year before that).  As we were getting low on water, we stopped in at the Mohawk Post.  Last year it was the halfway point, but not this year.  Water and (yum) deviled eggs.

McKenzie River

Then, east to Walterville, following a gently rolling road along the McKenzie River.  Sat down outside and ate most of a burrito.  Michal offered chips, but the burrito was more than enough.  Chatted with Ray about the Lane County line sign ("Nuclear Free!"), and how Fitz's niece and her husband work at the Calloway Nuclear Plant in Missouri, and their flood contingency plan (highly unlikely is overstating it).  Ray - what about the Missoula Floods? Me - If those happen again, it might be that we'll have much bigger problems.  Kind of like when we were doing disaster preparedness at a Brownie meeting (oh, SO many years ago), and one delightful little girl piped up: "the sun will go out eventually." (GS Leader Lynne excuses herself into the hallway and decompensates.)  Yes, well, where were we?  Bike ride.  Yes.

Going askew in Walterville

Back the way we came, eventually ending up in Coburg (pause.  eat.  I think.), then north to Harrisburg.  Pulled on some layers. Joined up with Ray and Holden.  This was the easiest and fastest transit of Peoria Road ever.  I think there might have been a tailwind.  Glorious pavement.  Darkness fell along here, and with the four of us riding together with our awesome headlights, we lit up quite a stretch of road. Was getting a bit dozy, so crunched on some caffeinated mints.  That was better. Then onto White Oak Rd, crossing SR 34 onto Riverside Dr.  There was a lively celebration with great music going on.  Holden pulled over, so we all pulled over, figuring he wanted to check it out.  Well, that wasn't it, so we moved on down the road a bit :-)

Crunched on a few more mints.  You know, my stomach didn't think that was the smartest thing I had ever done.

Michal and I were going to stop in Pop's Branding Iron (24 hour place in Albany) for some food.  Ray and Holden went on.  We went in and... I bonked.  Couldn't eat.  Couldn't stop shaking.  Did finally manage some soup and a gel.  Wrapped up in my mylar blanket.  I didn't lose it mentally, but I just couldn't eat or stop shaking.  After much too long of this (and by then it was Sunday, so Happy Birthday Michal) we set out again, at a steady, but not earth-shaking pace. "Let's go shut down that bar in Independence".

Given that the caffeinated mints were not helping, I quit eating them, and took a short nap on Buena Vista Rd.  Apparently right by Worlds of Wonder, with mint fields I did not smell :-)  So, very unhappy stomach.  At this point my head was exploring all the options to DNF.  Michal: "we'll finish".  Someone needed to be optimistic, so I was glad he was.  I sure wasn't.

Eventually into Independence, where the bar was closed, so we had to do the info control.  They had nice chairs outside, so we sat for a bit.  Watched the police cruisers go by.  They were singularly incurious about a couple of brightly flashing bicycles and riders on the sidewalk somewhere around 2:45am.  Tried to eat some of my chocolate bar.  Did get some down, but it was much harder than it should have been.  When I can't eat a chocolate bar...  I think I took three little naps in all.  Many fewer than last year.

50 more miles to go. 6 hours to do it in. Not normally a challenge.  About 10 miles to Salem, where there was an all-night convenience store.  Michal: "we'll get you some noodle soup."  The clerk got the soup started (sort of.  Filled them up w/cold water and pointed us at the microwave).  Soup heated, we sat on the floor and started slurping.  He came over and said that it was against store policy to have people hanging out in the store (!)  4am.  Two tired cyclists.  What were we going to do, exactly, other than sit on the floor and try to eat our soup?

Outside (darn.  It was warm in there.).  I think the clerk just wanted to step out for a smoke, and didn't want us in the store when he was outside.  Through Salem (the route in does a lot of outskirts riding, so it doesn't seem like you are getting anywhere, and suddenly you are in downtown), one last porta-potty stop...  Michal: "sun is up.  You do better when the sun is up."  Yes I do.  Not that I was eating much of anything, because every time I ate a little something, my stomach got really upset.  Better to sip on Nuun and water.

Right turn on Keene, and the last 20 miles.  Passed by the Old Believer church right at Keene and Broadacres before 7am.  The parking lot was full.  Me: "I guess I'm not going to DNF".  Michal: "nope. too late."

 Michal: "given the time, we'll have more options than Shari's for a finish control receipt."  Yes indeed.  I even knew where a convenient Starbucks was located.

Over the Boone Bridge (shoulder full of junk), and to the Starbucks.  Hot cocoa.  7:45am.  The clerk: "starting out on a ride?"  No, no, we just finished one.

Faster than last year, but didn't make our goal of 24 hrs.  When we finished, I was seriously considering avoiding any more 400s until next year, and just get through it once.  Also questioning the wisdom of a 600 in 2 weeks, and the 1000 in July.  Now I am slightly more optimistic.  I don't know why.  Sleep deprivation does strange things to the brain.

That said, I still need to get better at the nutrition thing.  Time for calories in the bottle.  I will drink, even when I won't eat.  (Cecil: "you made it further this year before you bonked...")

Moving average 13.47mph.  Somewhat faster than last year.

Things to do before the 600:

  • new rear wheel (rim arrives today) - I dented it last summer, and got it trued (sort of), but the mechanics at the bike store remind me of it every single time I am there.
  • possible new front derailleur - too much chain throwing.  Shimano Tiagra, and it does not stay adjusted.  I have the very same crankset on Bleriot, with a 90's era Deore front derailleur and it has never, ever given me  any trouble.
All the pics here.  Only until Walterville; didn't take any after that.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Annual Triathlon Post

Gator Grinder time again.  Like everyone else, I was up at 6am back in December to register; it sold out that day.

Age group results

I didn't NEED any new triathlon gear - I've already got enough for two triathlons.  So, when Susan at Team Estrogen asked Linda and I if we wanted to be sponsored athletes this year (she dresses us, we write reviews), of course, we both said yes.

The fit session was entertaining.  I was kind of high-maintenance; stuff we thought would look good didn't (at least to me), and I tried on many tops and bottoms.  Then Susan asked if I wanted to go out on a limb and try a one-piece suit.  Ok.  First one suit came out, but it was black/gray (ok by me), and she didn't want everyone in dark colors.  Did I really want to go out on a limb?  Out came the very bright red Tyr short jane. Took a bit of serious wiggling to get it on, but it fits like a second skin, which, I believe, it is engineered to be.  But you'll have to read the review on the Team Estrogen site...

Ms. Incredible!

Linda, Susan and me, pre-race

Had to be there before 7am for pre-event photos.  My start time wasn't until 9:45am.  I did get an awesome parking spot, and the choice location on the bike rack in the transition area.  We took pictures (while the weather was going to be outstanding by the time my start rolled around, it was still in the high 40's), then I checked in, set up my transition area, and watched a few swim heats.

Lemond and Little Pink Bear hanging out in the transition area

Took a little nap in a corner of the bleachers.  Twitched.  Met Linda's friend Heidi, who was talking about her races, her fast new bike, etc...  Guess which age group she was in?  And who are you? she asks.  Oh, just the defending age group champion.  My goose was cooked. :-)  At which point got a kick in the pants from Susan - "it is about your time.  You can't control who else shows up!"

Finally wandered back out to suck down a gel, remove the warm-ups, and get my towel, cap, and goggles.  Watched Jeff and Susan swim (same heat, adjacent lanes).  Their swimming technique and pace has really improved!

The four swimmers in our lane got together and chatted about who was doing flip turns and passing protocol.  One of the women said we had to be sure to keep track of our laps, because maybe the folks at the other end weren't (they did a kickboard in the water on the last one).  It would be very, very hard for me NOT to keep count; I can do the count to 20 (lengths) in my sleep.  And, we were off.  And so very close in swimming pace that we kept exchanging the lead and trying really hard not to swim over each other.

And then done.  Given the time on the wall clock, I figured 9:25, but my official time is 9:45, because I had to get myself out of the pool, grab my towel, and pass over the timing mats.  Last year 9:37, with a 3:53 t1.  This year, a 1:54 t1.

Out to the bike, sort of drying off, socks (pre-powdered), Keens, gloves (pre-powdered), glasses, helmet, bike, gone!  I had a great bike leg - going really, really fast until the hilly bits, which impeded some, 72 (from my lane) and I traded leads, cheering each other on.  Managed to suck down another gel about 7 miles in, and drink some Fizz. Last year 44:15, t2 of 2:02, this year 41:40, t2 of 1:45.  The avg riding pace was 17mph.  Whoo!

Keens off, Nikes on, helmet and gloves off. I wear shoes with traditional laces.  Maybe next year I'll get some of those Yankz.  I lose time tying my shoes.  Also time moving the scratchy timing chip strap to outside my socks.  Must investigate putting it on my Road ID strap next year.

Halfway out of the transition area, I realized I had forgotten my cap, but I was not going back.  Plod plod plod plod plod.  My only strategy for the run is to keep a steady pace and not drop off.  It was quite hot and sunny, but there was a faint breeze, and the suit did its thing of not making me hot and sticky.  72 and I cheered each other on.  Also exchanged encouragement with 70, and high fives with Linda, Susan and Jeff, who were on the return for the run leg.  Got water both times I passed the water station.  Then back out from the school and onto the road, last bit.  Cyclists were still finishing their leg.  I was wondering if anyone had a kick I could borrow.  Did manage to scrape one up for the last quarter of the track (I am sure no one noticed but me), and done!

Susan: "you did a PR!  Lots faster than last year!".  I didn't remember what I had done last year, so I didn't know. For the run 29:06 this year, 29:14 last year. But I was faster overall, 1:24:13 vs 1:29:04 last year. Not my fastest ever; that was 1:23:12 in 2006. Something to shoot for next time.

Heidi (Linda's very fast friend) and I were checking out the posted results.  I thought I was second.  She wanted to know how I knew...  I just found my place on the overall list, and counted all the women in my age group who finished faster.  There was only one - Heidi :-)  By 11 minutes.  She finished 5th overall for the women.

A round of post-event pictures by the Team Estrogen photographer, then we all headed back for showers and our group's post-event party.  We had a great spot under the trees, Jeff and Susan provided burgers (veggie, salmon, turkey and beef); we all brought sides.


I did not win any fabulous door prizes, but I did get to take home a pretty red ribbon.  And, as I mentioned earlier, my fastest time in a very long time.

All the pics

Gory details of time:
bib number:71
location:Portland, OR
overall place:68 out of 172
division place:2
gender place:21

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Riding around Clark County

No plans for this weekend, really.  Susan O mentioned that RACC was on Saturday - a century ride (there's shorter options, but we don't go there) around Clark County.  I had given the century a try a few years back (2007?, 2008?), but the weather, which was supposed to be quite decent, took a decidedly bad turn.  Like many riders, I ended up shortcutting the route for an 80 mile day.  So I'd never ridden the stretch from Moulton Falls to Daybreak Park...


Weather was supposed to be decent, but, no fool me, I tossed in a rain jacket and booties.  Just in case.  The ride started at 6:30, but, lazy slug that I am, I got up at 6, endeavored to park my car as far away from sign-in as possible, and was on the road by 8:02, after saying hi to KRhea, LJ, and Dean.  A funny at check-in... "now these are Dan Henry arrows, do you know about them?"  Yes ma'am, thank you.

Sweetpea had just had a right shifter replacement, so this was going to be the checkout ride (Susan: "wouldn't you want to do that on something shorter?").

Heading out, after a few miles, it started drizzling.  Shades of the last time...  But it didn't get any worse.  There seemed to be an on-course detour before Lacamas Lake, but this course is SO well marked, and volunteers are parked at all the tricky intersections.

Found Diane at Lacamas Lake, and also the fabled Trail Putty.  The volunteer wanted to know how many I'd had (oh NO, I hope they aren't rationing it!).  None yet.  He made me take two, plus "if you put some in the little cup and take it with you, it won't make a mess."  Ok then.

Trail putty dispenser

Trail putty enroute

Then the next 29 miles to Moulton Falls.  Jeff A came up behind me, and we rode together for awhile, then I stopped to get a picture of Lucia Falls and he went on.  He won't be able to do the 400k in a couple weeks :-(  Business trip.   At Moulton Falls I met his riding buddies, who it turned out I already knew one, and had briefly met the other (!)  Also chatted with Nat K and his son-in-law.

Lucia Falls upstream

Lucia Falls, downstream

The nice people there (including the man who had saved my very frozen feet the last time) were pushing all kinds of food - did I want a half or whole burrito?  Whole :-)  Plus a rando mocha (not what they call it), fruit, and many more chunks of Trail Putty for the road.  Plus applying toe warmers.  My feet, while not wet, were pretty chilly.  Daybreak Park was 33 miles down the road.

This was a stretch I had not ridden before.  Pretty.  It was pretty.  It was also quite hilly.  Not long climbs, but there were a lot of them, and they were all of the steeper variety.  Somewhere after Amboy, the intermittent drizzle decided it really wanted to be serious rain, at which point I pulled over and donned the rain jacket.

The middle 33 miles were very hilly

A tandem went zipping by at one point, the stoker wanted to know if I was Lynne (!)  Well, yes, but who was she?  "Diane's friend" and away they went.  I think we did the Unreach the Beach together a few years back.  Maybe?


On the climb on Lockwood Creek Rd in La Center, I did have to pause briefly.  And eat more Trail Putty, which I'd been doing every so often.

And then, finally, Daybreak Park!  More food and a rando mocha, restocking my Trail Putty supplies :-), chatting with the volunteers, and off again.

Sweetpea glamour shot

I found myself riding in the company of a couple of men, who spoke English to me and Spanish to each other.  I'd drop one of them on every climb, but they'd catch up on the flats.  We admired each other's bikes (hammered fenders, custom bikes :-) ) and eventually got around to introducing ourselves.  These were my new best friends Rafael and Alejandro.  We had a great time on that last 23 miles, except they forgot there were a couple more pretty special hills in the last 10 miles :-)  Turns out Rafael and I have some cycling friends in common from Olympia.

I made it up Felida (11%) and Bernie (12%) without stops, yay me!  And then, finished!

Loaded up the bike, changed shoes, said farewell to the guys, and drove over to Rebecca and Jessica's for shower and dinner (bison burgers, salad, and enormous baked potatoes).  The dogs were very happy to see me, because I was a giant salt lick, until I got in the shower :-)  We sat around, ate, and watched the Timbers on tv.  And then I went home before I fell asleep.

100.96 miles, 7:20 ride time, for a 13.75 avg mph.  Total ride time 8:45.  The new shifter behaved perfectly.

Service and Speed

In what was a bicycle-event filled weekend, I got in cycling activities both days.

About a month ago, I was appointed to the Advisory Board of the NW Bicycle Safety Council, the stated goal of which is to get people more comfortable about riding bikes.  My specific areas of responsibility are working on some way for volunteers to sign themselves up for events, and outreach/safety fairs to the local Girl Scouts (this one came about because I looked at the schedule and saw all the Cub/Boy Scout events... Where's the GIRLS?.  This is what happens when I open my mouth.)

Ready to go!

I volunteered to work the Beaverton Safety Fair at the local mall (and a few more events later on).  Our part is free helmets and fitting thereof.  Rode over to the mall (very close to home), encountering fellow Rando James B enroute :-)  He went off to ride, and I went inside to learn what to do.  First order of business was coffee and doughnuts.  Then getting my official polo shirt, and training on fitting helmets.  And, promptly at 10am, I had my first (wiggly) customer.  Steady business until the end at noon.

Bruce fits a helmet

Most of the children were K through, um, maybe 4th grade.  One very wiggly young man had to have his parents get the fitting lesson; they could take care of it later.  I learned all about their bicycles, and where they liked to ride and...  (keep em talking, and they don't squirm so much).  Great fun.  At the end, we gave away 125 helmets.

Next day was the Monster Cookie Ride, a metric century from Salem to Champoeg Park and back.  Caught a ride with Susan and Jeff.  We got there so early that we stopped for snacks at the Mc D's in Salem.  Caramel latte for me.  Then off to the start, where we were STILL early, but the registration had opened.  Line wasn't long, and we were on the road by about 8:10am.  I was riding Lemond, with a stated goal to go as fast as I could.  Which I did.  It was sunny, but never got very warm.  Cookies and fruit at the first stop, cookies and my hummus wrap at the second stop, and more cookies and fruit at the third stop.  And on-bike snacks in between.

I was feeling very zippy at the start, but by the time we got out of Keizer, I was down to steady state riding (blaze of glory all done).  Every time my speed dropped below 17, I'd kick it up again.  Mostly solo riding.  Sometimes I'd chat with other riders, but I didn't see anyone I knew once Jeff and Susan went on ahead, except at rest stops.  Ran into a former co-worker (and former Portland to Coast race team member); we caught up.  Chatted with some Portland Velo folks.

Shadow panda

There was meant to be a tailwind heading back, but it never quite materialized.  Got back to Salem anyway :-).  Susan was going to be running after she finished.  We all had keys to the car; no worries there.  Visited with Edna, and we were interviewed by the Salem paper.  We were even mentioned in the article :-)

rest stop at Zielinski's Farm

Best volunteer job on the ride

Found Jeff; he'd left his key in the car, so he was glad to run into me.  Before and after, I ran into LJ, Dean, Dave E, Matt D, Einar, KRhea, Scott, and Linda.  KRhea wanted to know if I'd ridden to the start and was I riding home. "For you, that's a fair question!".  Next year. Maybe.  Susan reappeared, and we decided to go find some lunch before heading home.  Siri helpfully suggested some restaurants, and off we went.

Jeff conked out on the drive home

Results for the day: 60.6 miles, 3:37 riding time, 16.7 avg mph.  Yes, for me that is very fast :-)  Especially over that distance.