Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Harder Than It Looks

Ray and I set out to ride the Dayton Flyer 100k this past Sunday.  Weather was going to be decent (neither freezing nor raining).  This route has dirt roads, but I'd ridden it before, and despite an overlong stop in Dayton, we made it back in time.


Right.  Clearly it wouldn't take so long this time!  Tossed in a sandwich, banana, and assorted other food objects which I always carry and rarely eat, a hot drink and some water, and drove out to Forest Grove to meet up with Ray.  I didn't see him, so called his home, his wife called him, and we quickly connected up.  And I now have his cell phone #.

Ray wanted to get his starting receipt (I already had mine) at the coffee shop next to the grocery, so with this and that, we didn't start until 14 minutes past when we were supposed to.

At the start

Bit of a headwind, winding our way south and a bit west to the Lake Store, where we got our receipts (note: the store receipt time bears no resemblance to actual time, neither the hour nor the minutes), and crossed the road to check out the newly constructed and newly opened Scoggins Creek bridge.  Oh, lovely pavement!

Nice first day of winter, occasional bits of sun, a pause at the corner of Laughlin so I could gather more material for info controls for one of my perms, then heading up and over Laughlin, to Hwy 240 to Stag Hollow, our first dirt experience.  Road was a bit damp, but packed.  We could see tire tracks from the Solstice Riders from the night before.

Discussion of wrenching at home... Ray says he's got his grandkids on an apprenticeship program, some of them are now up to bottom bracket maintenance.  I am never quite sure when he is joking.  It all sounds quite reasonable, but then goes stealthily sideways at some point.

Then south on Mineral Springs, through Lafayette, south again.  We discussed what we preferred on cue sheets.

/* digression */
I will say right now that I do not like overmuch information, because it takes too long for one's eyes and brain to track across a row with too many words ("turn left on"  turn right on" - these phrases do not appear on any cue sheet I author).

Also, nice straight lines in a table format, again to keep the eyes tracking across.  I even color mine "green bar", again, to keep the eye on the desired line).  Also (we are in violent agreement here) the cue sheet should be all one needs to complete the ride.  Assuming "everyone uses a GPS these days" isn't going to cut it.  I have gone so far as to get my bike computer calibrated with Ride With GPS, because many cue sheets are generated with that website.  Serves me well.
/* end digression */

So, a bit more dirt past the mobile home park, over the nifty wooden bridge, and there we were in Dayton.  We did go into the Blockhouse Cafe, but just got coffee and I added a premade pastry.  That said, perhaps a bit too much time was wasted, but, hey, we'd have a tailwind on the way back.

Ray and red shrubs

A stop in Lafayette (Ray wanted something).  Then we looked up... Clopping down Hwy 99 was a reindeer-pulled carriage.  Well, maybe not exactly real reindeer.  Mules with antlers :-)  I wasn't quick enough to get a picture.

So.  But before the long straight, hopefully tailwind-aided stretches, there was Yamhill Road.  Dirt, of course, and it goes up.  My wheel was making that scratchy leaf sound, and it got harder and harder to pedal.  I finally stopped, and we discovered that the fender was packed solid with clay soil.  So there was another stop, where I pulled the front wheel and the dirt was all picked out.  Mostly.

Clay tile

The road was almost wet, so it started accumulating again.  We got to the steep part, which I walked, bouncing the front end to knock the mud away.  Finally, the first of several false summits, and pavement.


And then down, onto Laughlin, and the "easy" part.  3 big rollers on North Valley/Spring Hill, 3 more rollers past the Lake Store.  But first we had to get there; the expected tailwind was weak.  We did.  On the last minute (!)  Ray got a coke and a candy bar.  I got a candy bar, and prepared to leave.  Ray was SITTING DOWN.  Uh, we have to leave now!  Oh, right.


I set out, and stomped my way up and over the three rollers, and then did what I always do on the Hwy 47 stretch from Old Hwy 47 to Dudney Rd - rode on the shoulder against traffic.  Ever so much more preferable than having to cross Hwy 47 twice.  We'd still be waiting to cross.

Through Dilley, around the nurseries, and finally, the last climb into Forest Grove.  Stood up to stomp up it. Ray: " I hope that makes you hurt".  It did, but missing the cut-off would have hurt more.  Then we were on 19th, and could see the Safeway entrance up ahead.  Whew.

Went into the coffee shop for the finish.  Got our beverages, and a few minutes later they closed and suggested that we clear out. So we did.  End of story.

About 64.5 miles, at a not-impressive pace.

Another Digression:  Over on the Seattle Randonneurs blog, Mark Thomas talks about Maps With Me Lite, an offline mapping app, into which (if you get the pay-for version) you can download .kml files as bookmarks.  He uses it for a gps backup.  I don't use gps, so I thought I'd give it a try if I got a bit bewildered.  There were a couple of missing street signs this ride, and I had loaded the .kml track, and it clarified very nicely.  You can get the .kml track directly from Ride With GPS.  Nice backup to have.

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