Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Last Ride of 5772

Time constrained this weekend, only had time for a permanent populaire. Kevin suggested I ride one of his routes. Not wanting to climb much, I selected Cedric Diggory. 9am seemed like a civilized start time.

Columbia River at the turnaround

Over to Kevin's before 9am. We coasted over to the start, and I learned that David P would be joining us. Kevin and David have turned into monsters, and I hoped I'd be able to hang on. David had ridden a sub-15 hour 300k the day before. There might be a chance.

David takes a picture of me taking a picture of him

Slow working our way north and east through north Portland to Kelley Point, then picking up speed on the Marine Drive MUP. Big trucks out there, even on a Sunday.

Tug and overgrown something by the Expo Center

Then a lot of looping around to get onto the I-5 bridge.  The new wayfinding signs are a big help, but the route over Hayden Island is convoluted.

Crossing the Interstate Bridge to Washington

Then through Vancouver, and west through town out to Fourth Plain and points NW.  Once out of town, we could just ride, no more traffic control devices.  There was a bit of a headwind, but we plowed northward at 15-16 mph.  Vancouver Lake Park, cornfields (lots of cornfields), a marina or two, views of the Columbia River to the west (and Sauvie Island on the far shore), and into the south end of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, where the road came to an end.

David and Kevin

Bear in the blackberry bushes

We checked out the blackberry bushes, admired the river and answered the info question.  David and Kevin went down a steep path to the river; I thought I'd stay up by the bike and eat a banana.

Columbia River at the turnaround

David and Kevin walk down to the beach

Flew back to Vancouver with the tailwind.  I was desperately hanging on, at speeds of 18-20mph.  And all was good until we got to the railroad overpass in town, just shy of 10 miles, where I fell off.  That was my interval for the day.

Stopped at Esther Short Park to top up water bottles and snack a bit.  Then back over the I-5 bridge, more convoluted wandering around, and we were on Marine Drive headed west.  Hopped onto the bike path just before the airport, and enjoyed the ride all the way to the I-205 bike path.

Columbia River, Oregon side

Kevin on the Marine Drive bikepath

South there, (Lynne looks sadly in her bag for more food) all the way to Harold, where we turned west and worked our way back to the start on the streets.   The route called for a short stretch on SE Foster, but David proposed a parallel alternative which avoided Foster altogether.  A good thing.

And a few miles later we were done.  Rolled through the finish parking lot to get a time (control had gone out of business!  Kevin has to find another convenience store!), then over the few blocks to Kevin's house where we loafed on the back steps, socialized with Roxie and Bindi, beers were consumed, finish rituals completed, and we went our separate ways.

finish rituals

In my case, home, shower, tidy clothes and off to the parents for Rosh Hashana dinner.  Happy 5773 everyone!  A good, sweet and prosperous year!

69+ miles, moving average of 14.4.  In town riding will do that. Total elapsed time of 5:25.
All the pictures here

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Third R-12 Is Complete

And here we are at September.  Various plans were made for reasonably epic weekend riding, but life happened for several of the participants, so that did not happen.  But Michal had a new permanent that only he had ridden, and he and Lesli come up to Portland so often to ride...  Time to return the favor.

The drive down took a bit longer than planned - never, ever try to drive out of Portland to the south on a late Friday afternoon.  It took over an hour to get from my house to Wilsonville, a drive which normally takes about 20 minutes.  South of Wilsonville the traffic started moving a bit more.  Other than that, an uneventful drive, and I arrived at Michal and Cyndi's in time for a very yummy dinner.

Up at 6am for a 7:30 start.  Yummy breakfast (homemade yogurt!), too, and wonderful cappucino!  At 7am we headed out to the start point.  Downhill.  Very downhill.  It was a bit chilly.  I was wearing arm and knee warmers, and a vest, and I still shook the whole way down.  Got to the start, bought a scone (which I surely didn't need after breakfast :-) ) and waited a bit for Lesli.  She showed up, also bought a scone, and a kind patron snapped a picture of the three of us.

Setting out: Five Rivers, 2012.09.01

7:30, off we went.  Bike path for much of the way out of Eugene, over some bridges, a pause at Armitage Park, then east on McKenzie View out and back to Walterville, familiar from the OrRando 400k this spring.

Lesli, long straight stretch

Some discussion about the info control; we hunted around for more things to ask questions about.  Sometimes zipties go missing.

Lesli and Michal

Then north, climbing Marcola.  A pretty gradual climb until, to quote Lesli "there is a pimple at the end".  Heart rate hit 185.  Not my max by any means, but I don't always enjoy it.  Wonderful descent down Brush Creek, and then into Crawfordsville.  We stopped at the market, and Lesli got a corndog.  I got something to drink, and crunched on some chocolate that was in my bag.  By now we were quite close to 100k, and would complete that first 100k in under 5 hours.

We were headed for Sweet Home, but went the long way around to the left

Share the road

Off to the nice rolling road between Crawfordsville and Sweet Home.  No cars, but a couple of horses.  Lots of farm animals.  Popped out at the other end, and headed off to climb Fern Ridge.  The temperature was definitely climbing by now, as were we.  1.8 miles up, average grade 7%.  Ow.  Starting to look for Heidi and her goats.  Michal and Lesli are stronger climbers than me, and I definitely appreciated them pausing from time to time for me catch up.

Fun downhill, and into Sweet Home.  We stopped at the Sweet Home grocery; I consumed some chicken strips, jojos and a V8.  It was getting hot.  I was also taking Endurolytes every so often.  Then the familiar Pleasant Hill/McDowell Creek Rd stretch, other roads I recognized from the fleche in 2007, and eventually into Lebanon.  Another food stop - I just got things to drink and a banana and started working on that scone, but Lesli and Michal bought sandwiches.  A gent sitting outside with his Great Dane wanted to know how many k we were riding.  No one asks how many k; they always ask how many miles.  From here we were now riding south, and the wind would now mostly be at our backs.  Yes.

Lesli eating lunch and playing with phone

I guess I was pretty salt-covered.  Michal and I dumped cold water on each other.  Riding out of town that felt really, really, really refreshing.

Twelve miles or so along, we arrived in Brownsville.  Rode through the old downtown, which was new for me and pretty cool, and then stopped for ice cream.  Michal called home to find out that the power was out.  Oops.  It was supposed to be back on pretty soon; we could only hope.

Drive-up ice cream, Lesli and Michal

Rock Hill School

One of the funny little sudden hills

Top of Gap Rd climb

One last climb, Gap Rd.  Not as long as the other two, but some nasty 9-13% bits at the top.  Again, Lesli and Michal waited, with a nice view ahead.  The valley, which had been so green in November was now late-summer golden-brown.  Fun descent with a couple of bumps, then pretty flat for the last 19 miles, mostly with a good tailwind.  There was some conversation going on at the corner of Coburg Rd; I went on. They'd catch me.  The temperature was slowly dropping.

Ye olde red barn

Through Coburg, one last pause at Armitage Park, then into Eugene.  I suppose I should have been paying attention to the cue sheet, but by now I was baked, and just following them in.  Nice stretch on a great bike path along the river, a couple of turns, and we were on Chambers, counting up the streets until 18th.

And then, done.  Third R-12 complete.  R-24 done :-)

But yet, not exactly done.  Remember that hill we rode down to get to the start?  There is a reason Michal is such a strong climber; he winches himself up that hill every day.  About a mile, average incline 8%, max incline 14%, 450 ft climb.  Took it very slowly.  One stop at a stop sign, one stop because I needed a pause.

For the perm, 11:35 total elapsed time, 132.4 mi, 14.5 moving avg mph, which is a pretty good pace for me on a rando ride.

And the power was back on.

All the pictures here