Sunday, November 18, 2012

Long, Wet Ride for Coffee

Not coffeeneuring, although MG did say one could ride 100 miles for coffee :-)

Vineyard, almost to the southern terminus of Howell Prairie Rd

Susan O proposed Ken M's Mill City Coffee Run 200k perm for this month's R-12 adventure.  We settled on a date and time, and watched the weather forecast get bleaker and bleaker...  Went from 50% chance of rain to 100% chance of rain with 15-20mph winds from the south.  High would be about 50.

Went into a mild obsession over what to wear, reviewed clothing choices from similar rides, and decided I'd be fine.  I packed an extra baselayer, extra socks, and two changes of gloves.  Wore a wool bra, wool sleeveless baselayer, ls wool jersey, wool shorts, Craft storm tights, wool socks, shoes, Endura booties, Showers Pass Elite, Gore Visibility Vest, and a very thin Ibex cap.  Pearl Izumi pro softshell gloves.  The raincover came out of the drawer and onto the helmet.

So, on a very soggy Saturday morning we all descended on the Wilsonville Starbucks attached to the grocery store.  Papers signed, lots of organization by the other riders - my goal is to be completely organized when I get to the start of the ride.  Everything is on the bike the night before, and the bike is in the car, if I am driving to the start.  More time for coffee and socializing.  Ken was already there, so I did the paperwork and received my card.  Susan, Theo and Asta showed up shortly thereafter, followed by Lesli and Michal, who came all the way up from Eugene.  I had a lovely cheese danish and mocha, and watched everyone get ready.

Theo and Ken (perm owner)

Theo and Michal (signing in)

Started out about 10 minutes after 8.  It was raining.  Our first order of business was to hop on I-5, and cross the Willamette River to get to points south.  Noisy.

Then the familiar roads south to Gervais (17+ miles).  Everyone was moving right along, and I was pushing it to hang on.  We stopped for this and that at the store.  After a brief pause I decided to push on, knowing everyone would catch me.  Out of Gervais, then south on Howell ("Howl") Prairie Rd.  16+ miles of open valley.  Headwinds from the south.  And rain.  I got a good long ways before anyone caught up.  I had pulled over to switch the jacket to the vest, and Susan, Theo, and Lesli found me.  My feet were quite wet by now, but the rest of me, albeit damp, was just fine.

Howell School

More riding along, and Susan came up with a flat.  I helpfully found whatever it was in her tire that caused the flat ("OW!"). We heard that Asta and Michal were back a ways fixing Asta's flat.   Once the new tube and tire were back on the rim, I took off again.  Got some pictures along the way, and, as the rain was returning, pulled the jacket back on.

Lesli, preparing to document Susan fixing her flat

Old truck, Howell Prairie Rd

Finished Howell Prairie and the Shaw Hwy, and found myself where I should be turning left on Mill Creek, except the street sign said "Main".  Susan, Asta, and Theo came along, and, as Susan was riding with the GPS track, she just turned left.  Followed them the next 4 miles into Stayton, where we pulled into the Roth grocery.  Bowl of potato chowder and a banana, refill of the bottles, and tracking down Lesli and Michal.  They were back a bit, having had the same navigational confusion I did at the Mill Creek turn, so we went on ahead.  More texts back and forth, so I was dropped before leaving Stayton.  No worries; I wasn't going to get lost.

Rando provisions, Stayton

Paralleled OR-22 all the way to Lyons, through Lyons and on to Mill City.  The rain kept falling, but it was lighter.  Left my bike on the porch at Rosie's Mountain Coffee Shop.  Susan told me they had pumpkin lattes.  Oh happy day.  Also a big selection of pastries.  Tucked my way into a big frosted cinnamon roll and the latte.  Also ducked into the restroom and changed to the long-sleeved wool baselayer and dry socks (didn't last long, shoes were saturated).  Michal and Lesli arrived, and got themselves some hot coffee as well.  Got out a pair of dry gloves.  The gloves I was wearing were warm even when wet, but I thought dry would be a nice change.

Rosie's Mountain Coffee Shop

We all headed down; Mill City is uphill.  Very gradual, but we could tell we were riding downhill on the way back.  The wind was also slightly favorable, so we flew right along, and soon found ourselves back in Stayton.  Those not in night riding gear pulled it on.  I had a banana, and made up a calorie bottle.  Easier than eating with big puffy gloves.  The rain had pretty much called it quits by now.  Susan, Theo and Asta left; Lesli finished her soup, and we followed very shortly thereafter.  Had to explain to the store patrons, that no, we weren't cold.

It was getting pretty dim, and the roads were busy until we crossed OR-22.  But we had a wonderful tailwind, and flew northward.  The sky cleared, and we could see the moon and stars.  I was happy I'd included that long sleeved baselayer!

I was in charge of navigation; this area is very familiar.  There really aren't many turns, and there are only 3 maybe that aren't t-intersections.

Chatted with Michal about his upcoming custom bike (well it will be upcoming once he orders it).  We are both fantasizing about the upcoming B&M Luxos U light (bright! integral USB charger!)  Braze-ons were discussed.  I figure if you are getting a custom bike, there should not be any zip ties or electrical tape.  With Sweetpea's lead time, I had lots of time to work out all the bits I wanted.

Also discussions of next month's ride.  I am liking Eugene to Beaverton - winds are from the south in the winter, and 200k of tailwinds is pretty nice.  Flèche routes were also discussed.  I've worked up a route which is 366km from my front door, ending in Olympia.  Goes out to Astoria, over the 4 mile long bridge, then north and back inland via Raymond and Elma.  Never ridden the part of Washington State that is north of Parpala Rd. Assuming this year's flèche also ends in Olympia, that is.

Finally on to the last bit, and again on I-5 to cross the river.  Found Cyndi, and everyone else at the finish.  The non-Eugene crowd went over to Perfect Pizza, gorged ourselves on pizza, and changed into dry clothes.

Pizza at the finish

12:32 elapsed time, 14.04 avg mph.

All the pictures here

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Estacada 100 With Kevin and David

This is the last week before I start back to work.  Hence, the last week I can do a midweek ride.  David and Kevin are usually riding, but often much faster than me.  They've turned into monsters.  They slowed down for me today.

99E bridge.  Isn't it pretty?

David has a permanent populaire that goes out to Estacada and back, starting at the corner of SE Bybee and SE 17th.  The logical start point is Marsee Baking :-)  We agreed to start as soon as David got his boys off to school, shortly after 9am.  For me to get there before 9am, because I was NOT going to ride to Marsee Baking and NOT have coffee and pastry, I planned to set out 7:30-ish.  Only 12 miles, but there is a big hill, commute traffic through downtown, and then the light rail construction to get around on the east side.  Careful reading of the construction updates said I could head south on SE 9th, and I'd be ok.  Riiiiight.

Fun riding east on the Sunset Hwy MUP - saw lots of cyclists flying downhill west.

Heading east on Division Place, the road was CLOSED just past SE 8th.  Ok, I'd head south on 8th, and cut over before SE Powell, which was the reason I needed to be on SE 9th - there is a pedestrian bridge over SE Powell there.  Except I kept riding and not finding a connector road.  Fortunately, a block before Powell, there was a road heading east (and lots of cyclists on it heading into Portland!)  Uneventful after that; arrived at Marsee Baking about 8:50, plenty of time for a mocha and an almond croissant.

Second breakfast

Kevin showed up shortly after I arrived, and David some after that.  Ritual of the releases and the perm card, and official start time 9:15am.

We headed east on SE Bybee, which became SE Woodstock, through neighborhoods, and roads that were busy until there was a turnoff onto another major street, then quiet.  Onto the Springwater Trail at SE 128th, then the familiar run out to Boring and our first control.  David and I talked about the upcoming new B&M Luxos U light.  The beam pattern is amazing, plus it has a USB plug built in for charging whatever it is that needs a charge.  Not sure how I'd mount it on my bike, but I'd figure something out.

Then onto Richey and Amisigger, and I was totally delighted to ride BY the turnoff onto Judd Rd.  Today we took Baker's Ferry, Eaden, Hayden and Estacada roads into Estacada; all new to me.  Pretty views off Eaden.  We got whistled at twice (same truck, coming and going).  I think the driver was astounded at David's quads, myself.

Eaden Rd (I think)

David and Kevin up ahead

Kevin crossing the Clackamas River Bridge by Barton Park

Once we got to Estacada (our turnaround control), David announced that he had to scoot, so he'd be there when school let out.  Kevin thought he'd stay with me, and David flew off ahead.  We stopped at the Thriftway (many great murals in Estacada; I should have taken pictures) for me to get water and a banana, then headed off ourselves.  Winched ourselves out of Estacada (I was in totally the wrong gear, and had to loop back into the parking lot to downshift).

Back through Barton again, but heading to to Oregon City now.  Springwater Rd and Clackamas River Rd were, again, really pretty - Clackamas River Rd has nice river views.  Got our last two yellers of the day (many of them, all in pickup trucks.) along here.  I can't ever make out what they are saying, but I am pretty sure it is supportive and encouraging.

view from the Clackamas River Bridge

Stopped at a gas station in Oregon City (control); bought another banana.  I'd been munching on fruitcake all day, and getting bananas at the stops.

Bikes at the Oregon City open control

Kevin updating

Then the final 10 mile slog north.  We'd had a headwind on the outgoing leg, and then the wind shifted.  I actually like riding on SE River Rd and the Trolley Trail, but there's lots of stop signs on the trail and points north from there.  Back onto River Rd, then the left turn on Wren and drop down to the river to pick up the trail right at the river's edge.  Then a bit more trail along McLoughlin, and onto SE 17th.  If there was ever a reason to remove on-street parking, SE 17th is it.  I will not ride in the door zone, and the lanes are narrow.

Finally back at Marsee Baking.  Got a bagel with salmon cream cheese and some coffee for the 12+ miles home.  We filled out our cards (5:30 elapsed for the route; David was 51 minutes faster :-) ), then Kevin saw David a block away (he lives a couple blocks from the bakery), and ran our cards over to him.

I planned to ride back to the Hawthorne Bridge via the Springwater Trail; didn't want to work my way through the construction.  Found my way back to the trail (Kevin: "follow Bybee, turn right on, oh, I forget"), and took a few pictures along the trail.  Always riding in a group on the trail; hard to get pictures.  The sun was low, so the light was great.

view from the Springwater Trail, on the way home

the Ross Island Bridge

Rode up out of town, then UP through Washington Park, and Canyon Rd to the Sylvan overpass.  All downhill from here; except the sun was setting, so I had to stop and take more pictures.

Sunset from the cemetery overpass of Hwy 26

92.8 miles for the day, 5180 vertical feet, 12.20 avg.  13.38 moving average for the Estacada 100.

All the pics here.

418 RUSA km needed to break 5000km for the year.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Coffeeneuring #7, Chatterbox Coffee

Our last (for the series, probably not our last ever!) was to Chatterbox Coffee, in far west Beaverton.  About 6.5 miles due west on SW Baseline.  37 degrees when Fitz and I set out, but not raining.  Brought my jacket along just in case.

Jeff A was there when we arrived; Susan O showed up shortly thereafter.

Coffeeneuring #7: Chatterbox Coffee

I had a Mexi-mocha in a real mug, and a marionberry scone.  That was it for pastries.  They had breakfast things, but I'd had my bowl of Cheerios before departure.

Coffeeneuring #7: Chatterbox Coffee

Discussions included special purpose tools, both bicycle (Park Master Link Plier, yeah!) and kitchen (that Williams-Sonoma pie drip catcher was perhaps a bit over the top), cycling clothing (vests are so amazingly versatile), and riding up Bald Peak.  Apparently there are 5 ways up it.  I have ridden two of them, and not on the same ride.

Coffeeneuring #7: Chatterbox Coffee

Noticed that all the rando bikes had S&S couplers.  Fitz's tank didn't count - utility and commute only.

Seemed to be raining on the ride home, so everyone but Susan pulled out jackets.  We directed Jeff A to the Willow Creek MAX stop (he comes in all the way from SE Portland, and multimodes), and stopped by Bike Gallery in the hope that they would be open; Sweetpea's rear derailleur is doing that skip thing again.  Still too early, so I'll try later.

All coffeeneur expeditions were in Washington County.  No trips into Portland for coffee.  Only one trip to Starbucks, all the others were independents.

13.42 miles round trip.

All the coffeeneuring pictures here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Verboort Sausage Populaire

I love this ride.  And to make it even better, this year was a new route, out to Vernonia and back.  Sausage, Vernonia, the Banks-Vernonia Trail.  All the makings of an excellent ride!

Banks-Vernonia Trail

First we coffeeneured in Forest Grove, at Maggie's (ooh, add in the big sticky bun!  This day gets better and better!), then rode the 3 miles over to Verboort and the start.

We were starting at 9am, and by the time we arrived (8:45?), the lines for the sausage dinner were already very, very long.  Maybe they were there for sausage second breakfast?

Peg and Lesli arrived (yay!), rando-chick photos were taken, the route rap was given, and off we went.  Many women on this ride.  I hope they show up for the longer rides in the spring. It was not raining - mid to high 50's, very cloudy, persistent south wind.  I was in wool from head to toe - new red wool beanie, LS OrRando jersey, Ibex capris, Smartwool knee socks and wearing my wonderful new Gore Visibility Vest over that.  Absolutely perfect for the day.

Red barn on Gales Creek Rd

Diane on Gales Creek Rd

Started out by myself, but joined up with Diane K on Gales Creek Rd.  We caught up and rode together for awhile, but then she stopped and I went on.  Brief pause at the store just before Timber Rd (like several other riders.  Last chance before Verboort :-) )

Timber Rd was awash in fall color.  As I started up the switchbacks, I could see riders below - Peg and Lesli.  Toward the top of the climb I rode up on Jeff M, and we stayed together the rest of the ride.  Peg and Lesli and Brian L joined us, and we rode along to Vernonia together.

A driver heading the other way felt the need to yell at me out in the road (riding two abreast, no traffic anywhere, except for him) for using the center of the lane because "I don't pay road taxes".  Lesli and I rode on, Brian tried to talk to him, but, of course, his mind and ears were closed.  Fortunately he didn't STOP.

Rail car in Vernonia

We were of course stopping at Black Bear Coffee Company.  No speed records on this ride, ever.  Many randos were already there.  One rider was taking pictures of all the bikes.  After a brief thought, I asked if he was Russ.  He was indeed.  Sweetpea got lots of love in his photo record of the day :-)

Verboort Populaire
picture by Russ Roca

I had ordered a Mexi-Mocha, a banana, and chicken noodle soup.  They forgot my soup order, but Lesli and Peg said they'd wait.  Slurped it down, and entertained Jeff by recognizing every single song (and naming the albums) of the soundtrack.

And now for the wonderful part of the ride - the 20+ miles of the Banks-Vernonia Trail.  It was beautiful, but there were lots of leaves covering it in places.  I hear it was slippery, and some riders fell.  I didn't have any problems, but I wasn't in a hurry.  It got misty and dim at points, and I slowed down some, and rode in the middle of the trail, since it was difficult to see the edges.  Fairy tale forest.  Met Shaun Granton along here - he's the guy that created the Oregon Randonneurs poster.

Riders on the trail

Eventually popped out the other end, rode through Banks and turned onto Wilkesboro.  Jeff and I didn't see Lesli, Peg, and Brian behind us, so we dawdled a bit.  They'd tried to turn onto Hwy 6 instead.  Easy to do. I've done it once.

Last bit of the route, through Roy, and onto Cornelius-Schefflin, Verboort, and then Visitation roads.  Checked in, then went in search of sausage.  We found Susan and Asta and her friends in the sausage and bingo tent, got ourselves some sausage as well, and sat down to enjoy it and each others' company.

Asta's post ride meal

Post ride feast

Sausage for later

Then it was time to head out.  Lesli wanted to get on the road before dark, and I was riding home from there.  My last stop was the bulk sausage sales shed, where I found a smallish package (2.7 lbs) of sausage, stuffed it in the Carradice, and pushed off for home.

Fall berry bushes on Leisy Rd

Mostly a southern crosswind, and a totally autopilot route.  The berry bushes on Leisy Rd were really spectacular, but once into Hillsboro, I was back within the urban growth boundary.  Major roads until SW 158th, where I turned into the office park, cut through the rec center soccerplex, and was in quiet neighborhoods the rest of the way home.

112 miles for the day.

All the pics here

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Coffeeneuring #6, Maggie's Buns

Susan suggested we meet at Cafe Montecassino in Forest Grove before the annual Oregon Randonneurs Verboort Sausage Populaire.  We'd then ride the last 3 miles to Verboort in plenty of time for the start.  Our backup plan was Maggie's Buns, my very favorite place to stop in Forest Grove.

Coffeeneuring #6, sticky bun as big as my head

Maggie's is 18 miles from my house by the most expedient route.  Out the door at 6:45am (yawn) in pitch dark.  Not raining, and not particularly chilly.  I made it through downtown Hillsboro before it got almost light enough to call it daylight (day before the end of daylight savings).

Found Jeff and Susan's bikes parked outside Maggie's, so went inside and ordered my standard - cup of coffee (Stumptown, very good), and a bun.  Heated.  With the frosting.  Mmmmm.  Bill A appeared shortly thereafter.

A nice 30 minute stop, then northward to Verboort for our populaire.