Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lemond Rolls over 14,000 Miles, or Bring Your Fast Bike

Last weekend was the West County 100k.  Susan O posted that the weather would be clear and sunny (and seriously cold), and we should remember what it was like before we started doing rando rides, and bring out our hot bikes, which have neither fenders nor serious luggage.

So, the Lemond Zurich had its flat tires pumped up, and I made sure there were basic supplies on the bike (Detours High Tail to carry things).  Found a pathetic little battery light (a Cateye LED light) to be a headlight for the 30 or so minutes before the sun rose on the ride to the start.  I was surprised that it worked right out of the drawer - I haven't used it in a very, very long time.

Also new on this ride were new homebrew reflective ankle bands from my expedition to Rose City Textiles and their awesome reflective trim department.

Seriously cold.  Not like the polar vortex, but still, it was 26 degrees when I headed out.

Found Susan and Kevin at the Jackson's Convenience Store.  Kevin had his Rawland Stag, and he said he'd have to work extra hard, because I was on the Lemond, and Susan was on her carbon fiber Sweetpea.  And right at 8am, off we went.

I will say right now that there were no pictures, because it was too cold to change to camera-friendly gloves, and I was working pretty hard to keep up with Susan!

We zipped around the route.  First timed control at the Shell Station just west of Gales Creek Rd on Hwy 6, where I bought a snack and ate it while waiting in line - they could scan the wrapper.  There was a Latte Perpetuem-Coffee-Hot Cocoa concoction in the thermal bottle, with tons of calories, so I was mostly working on that.

South on Gales Creek Rd, then onto Stringtown - no cute little pack of barky chihuahuas today.  Next timed control at the Gaston store.  Couldn't find the Red Bull, but I did get a bottle of grapefruit juice, plus ate some snacks from my bag.

It had finally gotten above freezing.

Heading out toward Hillsboro, I was starting to hurt.  Well, ok, I had been hurting, but it was getting beyond annoying.  The Lemond has a much more aggressive posture, and I had been for a run the day before.  Ow.  Kevin came to the rescue with some ibuprofen, which kicked in a few miles down the road.

And then done.  More snacks - it was a good day for peanut butter crackers and cheesy crackers and a packet of tasty mixed nuts.  Kevin offered me a ride home.  I caved and took it.  He seemed surprised that I could lift the bike up to the roof rack, but when we got to my house and he took it off the rack, it all became clear :-)

for the 100k, 5:04 total elapsed time.  Much better than all those Dayton Flyer excursions.
for the day 69.5 miles total, avg speed 14.12 mph
Lemond's odometer - 14007.3 miles

Monday, January 20, 2014

Slightly Quicker, Dayton Flyer, Yet Again

Ray was looking for company this past Saturday, to attack the Dayton Flyer 103k yet again.  The times I have ridden it, finishing in time was always an issue.  Not much fun, stressing practically the entire route!  But, glutton for punishment, and always needing to build more character, there I was.

I had hoped to start on time, for once.  No, not this time either.  The weather was cold and foggy.  Sometimes not a whole lot of visibility foggy.  We are in an air stagnation phase here in the valley, and for us, that means really dense fog.  So we were all reflective geared and lit up.  Mostly.

A few miles out, I came up with a flat.  First flat ever on these tires (Some Xpress).  Checking the records, that is 3775 miles without a flat.  Not one.  Nice.  Of course, the tires not being removed in all that time made for a bit of work getting it off, but the reverse operation when quickly, and without tire levers.  The cause of the flat was a shard of glass.

Pause at the first control to get our not lit rider illuminated.  New batteries for the rear blinkie, and connecting the generator light helped a lot. :-)  I inhaled a PayDay bar.

Off to Dayton.  Stag Hollow Rd was dry (yay! no mud!)  I ate part of my sandwich along here.  Then through Lafayette and back roads to Dayton.  We were ahead of time, but not by a whole bunch.  20 minutes?

Discussion along the way as to what our control strategy would be.  Ray wanted something hot to drink.  I noted that the Center Market (other end of town) had hot things.  Didn't want to enter into the timesucking vortex of the Block House Cafe, and I wanted some Red Bull and food.  Ken peeled off right in town; I think he went to the ATM.  Ray, Kevin L, and I headed to the Center Market.  They had bananas!  Got a banana, the Red Bull, and a really big cup of coffee, which I poured into my thermal bottle.  I was headed back before the control closed.

Ray and Kevin caught me on the other side of Lafayette.  We didn't find Ken until Yamhill Rd - the other gravel stretch, with the added bonus of (occasionally steep) climbing.

The sun came out!  I did have to stop and put on the sunglasses.  Yay sun!

Over the rollers on Spring Hill, then into the Lake Store; last on-course control.  Fortunately, not like the other times; we had enough time that I sat down on the store bench and drank a bottle of grapefruit juice.  Kevin had left, and then Ken.  Finished the juice and headed out.  I knew Ray would catch up.

Saw Ken up ahead.  I do not remember if I passed him or not.  I must be getting old.  In any case, Ray did catch up, and we talked about how done we felt.  Miles back!

As it was just over 7 miles to the end, we soon found ourselves in Forest Grove, headed for the coffee shop next to the Safeway.  Kevin was already there.  Ordered coffee and a cookie; and we all finished up our cards.  I should mention that no receipts collected that day bore any resemblance to the time they were issued.

Finished at 6:34 elapsed time, with 14 minutes to spare.
Bike computer says: 65.3 miles (extra distance to the Center Market and back) and
3300 vertical feet.

Friday, January 17, 2014

January, Check

Ken and I had planned to ride the Mill City Coffee Run (what, AGAIN?) on Jan 2 (Thursday), but he had an Appliance Emergency, so we rescheduled for Saturday, Jan 4.  Ken publicized, and we had a great turnout - Maria, Laura, Kevin L, Jeff, Greg, Chris, and, because he absolutely could not resist the chance to ride a January 200k in reasonable weather, Jason K.  I did a lot of printing (Ken also had a Printer Death), and we all converged on the unsuspecting Wilsonville Starbucks before 7am.  I handed out cue sheets to all, but left the card distribution to the perm owner (Ken).

After tracking down Greg, we all set out, just a few minutes after 7.  It was cold, but not anywhere near as foggy as it had been for the Dec 200k the previous Sunday.  We headed south watching the sun rise, and the group started spreading out.  Jason and I found everyone in Gervais, where I stopped long enough to remove the jacket and swap the warm gloves for shortfingers and wool overgloves.

Then on to the longest part of the ride, Howell Prairie Road.  We did have a slight tailwind, but somehow, it was a slog.  Still cloudy.  I did eat, really.

Finally into Stayton, where we found everyone at the Roth's, eating and or just sitting.  I ate a cup of chicken noodle soup, some cheese, and a banana, in the hopes that it might help on the stretch to Mill City.  Asked Jeff A why he wasn't wearing his hat with the cute little pom-pom... "because it doesn't go with this outfit".  I use the same standard in selecting my riding socks for the day.

Stayton Outgoing 2

The food helped.  The group splintered again; Jason and I rode together.  We had been imperceptibly climbing, and now it was still very gradual, but we had gained some altitude and there was frost everywhere.  It was pretty, and on the bright side, the sun started breaking through the clouds.  I hadn't seen the sun for about a week, so it was quite welcome!  We came upon everyone else gathered around a bicycle - Greg's left crankarm had detached itself(!)

Frosted fields and trees

Jason, Greg, and Kevin

After watching for a bit, I decided that, being slow, I'd go on ahead.  We were almost to Mill City.  Jason and I went on, and the others found us before we got to Rosie's.  Greg wanted a sandwich-length stop.  Fine by me.  They are pretty quick.  Ordered my usual turkey croissant, and got my thermal jug refilled with hot chocolate and coffee.  Kevin eventually appeared, and ordered some lunch.

We all headed out but for Kevin - he said he'd be along after he ate.  It was a bit chillier heading down, but the frost had all cleared away.  I rode solo for awhile, then with Ken until Lyons.  He caught me again before I got to Stayton, and we got to the Roth's grocery.  He wanted to go to the espresso stand; I headed into the store.  Banana, water bottle refill and a Red Bull.  I had a sandwich and some fruitcake that I was eating while riding.

We headed out, and stopped to chat with Kevin headed in.  He was feeling better.  We left; all dreading the inevitable headwind on Howell Prairie Rd.  I attached myself to Jason's rear wheel, and Ken was behind me for much of the time.  Jason punches a nice hole in the wind, yes, he does.

The hilly bits at the south end of Howell Prairie were not as downhill as they were supposed to be.  Jason and I both noticed that.

The bike computer had checked out early in the ride, so I spent the time not really knowing how fast we were moving.  It was a slightly unsettling feeling.

We passed Maria and Laura stopped along the road for some unknown reason (eating?), but kept on.  Finally, the turn to head into Gervais.  I think we stopped, but don't actually remember.  I may have taken the pause to eat something, but I didn't get off my bike.  Still not dark.  Ken: "if you told me that we would be in Gervais before dark, I wouldn't have believed you".  Or something like that.

It did get dark somewhere along Butteville Rd.  Ken wanted to stop at the Broadacres store, and Jason and Jeff stopped along with him.  I stood there for a minute or two, then announced I was going on; they'd catch me.  Surprisingly enough, they didn't reappear until the turn onto Keene.  The store was apparently missing something important.  By now we were just about done.  Turning onto Boone's Ferry, I made a joke about needing a nap.  (Slept there on the 400k, less than 10 miles from the end...)  Jeff didn't take it well.  So.

Onto I-5, over the Boone Bridge, first exit.  Ken suggested we take the sidewalk, rather than do two left turns.  It was indeed quicker and easier.  The Starbucks was still open for another 20 minutes, so we ordered up some hot drinks, finished our paperwork, and visited.  Greg was already there.  No Maria, no Laura.  My reading glasses had vanished sometime after leaving Stayton.  They were my most expendable pair, but I still liked them. :-(

After awhile we were delighted to see Kevin, Maria, and Laura roll up. There had been a wrong turn, and then they met up with Kevin and finished together.  As Kevin was sitting down... "are you having trouble reading?".  He handed over the reading glasses - they had been on the pavement at the intersection leaving Stayton, and he noticed them and thought they looked familiar. :-)

Eventually the nice people at Starbucks kicked us out so they could close, but they were really nice about it.

And then I found a really nice note stuck under my windshield wiper from Susan O, Theo, and Asta, who were on a 100k that day.

A good day.