Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mill City Coffee Run with Susan and Bill

Sweetpea at Rosie's

Susan was starting her taper for LEL, so she recruited me and Bill to keep her under control for 200k.  Nice sunny day, perfect for a ride through the Willamette Valley to Mill City and back.

stalk of wheat photobomb

For three people who don't live all that far from each other, we all showed up in Wilsonville separately.  Shame on us.

Susan had found a recipe on one of the many food porn sites she visits - the Elvis Sandwich.  Woven bacon, with banana and peanut butter filling.  Mmm.  She thought it would be great ride food, and made one for each of us.  Knowing that it was coming, I didn't do hardly any food prep for this ride.  A pbj, a couple of bars and gels, and some drink mix.  The route has places to buy food as well.

Elvis Sandwich.  The napkin was a nice touch.

Ok then.  Ate a very adequate breakfast, and arrived at the Wilsonville Starbucks with time for a mocha and a scone.  Susan arrived with the goodies, and Bill showed up shortly thereafter.  We departed on time (!)

This ride was the inaugural long test ride of the new Sidi Dominators.  I had commuted to work a couple days during the week - seemed ok.

shiny new shoes

Uneventful trip over the Boone Bridge, and then we headed for Gervais.  Oh my.  The tailwind the entire way to Stayton was just amazing.  We got there in very good time, too early for the bbq they were firing up outside.  So I had another mocha (they were out of mango smoothies :-(  ), and about half of that Elvis sandwich.  My, that was a lot of bacon.  And salty, which on a warm day is a good thing.

Susan and Bill

Susan takes my picture

We then headed out of Stayton by a slightly complex route. Bill: "Ken wanted to make sure he got the one block of gravel in town on this ride". Southeast to Mehama, Lyons, and our destination, Mill City.

Brief stop in Lyons; Susan practiced her sidewalk nap technique.

Pause in Lyons

Rosie's Mountain House Coffee was hopping.  We got in our orders (smoothie and a scone for me) and retreated to the front porch.  Susan commented on the amount of time we were frittering away on this ride, but wasn't really pushing us to leave.


Susan alerts the followers

Now it was downhill all the way back, but with a serious headwind.  Yeah, knew we'd have to pay for the push on the way out.

Bridge, Mill City

Fixer-upper, Mehama

Another stop in Stayton (it WAS a control) where I ate another quarter of the Elvis sandwich, then north onto Howell Prairie Rd, with its legendary headwinds.  We pacelined, but the wind was a quartering headwind, echelon worked the best for me.

Amber waves of grain

shadow panda

Stop at the gas station at Hazel Green (I think) and Howell Prairie - did a little FB activity while waiting for all to finish up.  Sadly the espresso stand was closed.

Finally reached the end, and rode into Gervais.  Cold beverage refill, and the last of the Elvis sandwich.  17 more miles to go.  Bill and Susan finally let me pull for awhile :-)

Elvis Sandwich.  The napkin was a nice touch.

It is a shame that such a nice ride has to start and end with the I-5 Boone Bridge, but that's the only way over the river for miles and miles.  The northbound shoulder was somewhat cleaner.

Back into Wilsonville; got cold drinks at the grocery, then visited for a bit before heading homeward.

Ride stats:
3300 vertical feet
14.29 avg mph (wow, that tailwind was helpful!)
11:34 total time

All the pics here

Note: this posting mostly composed with the iPad Blogger app.  Don't paste the picture html code directly from flickr, though.  Still figuring that out.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

100k, The Non-Rando Way

Given that I wasn't going to be riding Something Big about right now, coach told me to go out, have fun and ride 100k or 200k on weekends.

There was a post on BikePortland about the Rapha Women's 100, with a 7:30am meetup in N PDX (ouch!).  Then there was a route posting, which I promptly converted to RideWithGPS (my very favorite mapping tool).  And finally, me.  I didn't know the makeup of the group, but figured that the Fast Bike would probably be the better choice.

Onto the MAX way early - I didn't feel like stressing out not being able to get there on time - off at the Rose Quarter and north on Williams.  Only one person waiting there; not the organizer.  By 8-ish six of us had assembled.  Two had never ridden 100k, and were a bit apprehensive.

Gathering at the start

Off we went, headed north to the Columbia River.  Pace was very relaxed.

Group pic at the Columbia River

Headed east, then down the I-205 path to the Springwater Corridor.  Summer flowers blooming by the Springwater.

Flowers along the Springwater Corridor Trail

We then had a long-ish lunch pause at Water Ave Coffee.

Lunch stop
(the guy in the background was just sitting there :-) )

Then, for me, the fun part.  We headed across the Steel Bridge, north on Naito, then left on 9th onto NW Overton, headed for St Helens Rd/Hwy 30.  Besides learning about NW Overton (nicer way up from NW PDX), well, there was Hwy 30.  We planned to regroup over the Sauvie Island Bridge, so I wound it up, and ended up riding with Annette.  We waited over the bridge, and eventually almost everyone got there.  We saw our last rider miss the regroup, and set out after her.

Eventually Lisa called their mutual boss to get her number, called her, and she rejoined us - she'd missed a turn and kept going...

Made the traditional Sauvie Island circuit.

Sauvie Island - corn

Sauvie Island

Sauvie Island

Then flew back on Hwy 30 to the St Johns Bridge, with a lovely tailwind.

Crossing the St Johns Bridge

Lemond waits after the St Johns Bridge

We waited for everyone to catch up.  The last rider arrived kind of done - I gave her a gel for some quick calories.  Only a couple miles to go, to finish at Peninsula Park.

Organizer Lisa cools off at Peninsula Park

Little Pink Bear cools off in the shade

Roses at the finish

After some post-ride visiting and dunking, I refilled my water bottles and prepared to ride home.  West to N Vancouver, south through the Rose Quarter and down to the Steel Bridge, then Naito/Overton/NW 25th to the Stearns Way path in Washington Park across Burnside.

As I came up to the stop at the Rose Garden, I saw a couple of cyclists start up the hill, both wearing Portland Velo jerseys.  I finally caught them just at the T before the zoo.  None other than Alan and his son Andrew!  We rode together until they got to their turn off the Hwy 26 bike path, and Alan told me how awful his cycling trip to Spain was.  Not.

Found Andrew and Alan on the ride home

So, after all that... 80 miles for the day.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

This Wasn't The Plan

At Least I Got Some Nice Pictures

Kalaloch at dusk

Part I

June 8-9 was the SIR Olympic Peninsula 600k.  I successfully completed the ride last year, and had no reason to think it wouldn't happen again this year.

Yeah.  Well.

Started out promisingly enough - Asta and I drove up the afternoon before, went for a short bike ride around Kingston, got a massive pasta dinner and ice cream, and visited with the other riders.  Ian showed up (and we were given the rock star hotel room).  We chatted, and eventually got to bed.

Up bright and early, stuffing things back in the car, grabbing my overnight bag, getting breakfast at Mc D's (sausage McMuffin, mmm), and crossing the street to the start.  Visiting.  Standing around.

And we were off.  Leapfrogged a few riders along this stretch.  It is kind of hilly (heck, not a lot of real flat on this ride).  I had planned to stop 40 miles in at the QFC for more water, and did just that - in and out.  The first control was at 58 miles, several riders there.  I was ahead of time (from last year), got a Lunchable, some nectarines, topped up the bottles, and headed out.

Hood Canal

Purdy Cutoff Rd

on the way to Matlock

Got to Matlock, again, the same clump of riders.  Ahead of time.  Banana, Doubleshot, more food from my bag, which I'd been eating all along.

Then, the stretch from Matlock to Humptulips.  I had sort of forgotten about all the hills but for Cougar Smith  Rd. (gravel, for extra bonus), and that one where Peg dropped me like a rock.  Bill K was riding with me through here.  We'd had a pretty constant headwind all day.  Lots of ups and downs, in the 6-9% range.

At one turn - surprise!  There were Dr and Mrs Dr Codfish, with chairs, cinnamon buns, fruit and beverages.  We stopped for about 10 minutes and took advantage of the offerings.

These nice people were handing out homebaked sticky buns

Off again, up and down...  and finally back on Hwy 101, heading north to Humptulips.  There was a serious bike repair activity going in at the store.  I learned later that a Fiber-Fix spoke was being installed.  I topped up bottles, got an ice cream bar, and sat down to eat it.  I felt crummy, and,, indeed had for awhile.  Behind time now (but still well within the time limits).  Bill took off.  I finished my ice cream as Dominique and Annie arrived.  Took off, but I was cold, so came back to the parking lot to add some layers.  Off again.

Got a few miles along and stopped to pull on the knee warmers.  It wasn't cold, either.  20 miles later we were at the Lake Quinault control.  I ate some Greek Yogurt and a V-8, and took some endurolytes.  Still didn't feel all that great, but we all pushed on.

Lake Quinault

It was hard work.  A few miles along on Hwy 101, I saw a rider sitting on the guardrail.  It was Joe L, and he'd broken his crankarm.  And something in my head just gave it up, and I pulled over to join him.

Of course NOW, I realize I should have eaten a little more and kept going, but my head had totally checked out.  Or consumed one of those 5 Hr Energy things.  Or eaten a gel.  150 miles.

John P showed up and collected us - we went on to the next control (Kalaloch), where they were feeding riders who arrived after the store closed.  Pretty sunset.

Kalaloch at dusk

Then on to Forks.  I don't remember the drive, because I conked out.  Vinnie fed us big bowls of pasta.  Took me awhile to eat.  We grabbed our drop bags, and went on to the NEXT control - the park entrance at mile 219.  I don't remember that either.  I eventually woke up in the front seat of John's Element, scraped myself out, and joined the fun, chatting with and feeding riders.

Heidi at Rando Cafe 219

Bill K


Rando Cafe 219

Vinnie and the bacon

Heidi dubbed it "Rando Cafe 219" and she was cooking up awesome tortilla-lunch meat-cheese quesadillas, and made me eat one.  I passed out all my ride snacks, because I wasn't going to eat them.  Vinnie showed up after the Forks control closed.  He cooked more bacon.  Lots more bacon.  Everyone was eating it right from the pan.


Annie and Dominique showed up, and after they left, we all broke down and packed the control (pop-up, chairs, tables, food, stove...)

Our bikes were moved to someone's pickup; Joe and I piled in, and we then drove all the way to Kingston.  Snacked, chatted, sat around, got a shower, and since it wasn't late, and I wasn't falling asleep, we elected to drive home that evening.

Part II

So, no 600.  After long conversations with Michelle, I arranged to ride the Portland Portland Portland 600k perm with David and Kevin on Jun 29-30.

Sweetpea and Little Pink Bear among the dinosaurs

We got a heat wave. With humidity.

Kevin, bridge, Clackamas River

Another bridge

Reasonable enough progress to Ripplebrook Ranger Station.  It was getting hot.  30 more miles of climbing to the 4000' summit before dropping down to Detroit.  More hot.  A few "I want to lay down and DIE" moments.  Headwind.  We cheered every time it clouded up (not often enough), and were happy to be riding on the side of the road with the most chance of shade.

Almost to the top of the NF

Summit of NF-46.

I was getting dozy at the summit (at 2pm!), so ate some caffeinated things and took a 20 minute nap.  All good for the descent, but we had a serious headwind there, as well.  My headlight did charge my phone :-)

A pause at Detroit for snacks and liquid refill, then more of a descent down Hwy 22.  Only 1 close call (and it was deliberate) with an idiot in a van.

My stomach started checking out on the climb, and never really cleared up.  And I do not like those shoes. The previous model had MUCH stiffer soles. Pearl Izumi X-Alp Seek V, if you were wondering.

Sun setting like molasses in the sky

Another nap in Scio (with caffeine appetizer), then off to find covered bridges.  It got dark, and everyone admired my headlight.


Headed to Stayton

Wandering around, we went to the Stayton covered bridge, and then the Safeway.  Got off the bike and just sat.  And made a phone call.  When the guys came out of the store, I went in and bought whatever looked good (watermelon, a roll, a banana, a Coke, and some Laughing Cow cheese).  They went on, and I napped on the bench until Fitz came to collect me.


No Big Wild Ride this summer.  Ended my 4th R-12 streak.  Maybe nothing longer than a 200k for awhile.

More pretty pics here and here