Monday, March 30, 2015

Yankton, Found Again

I haven't been on a bike to speak of since the Grab Bag 300k.  We were away, and plans to ride a perm there didn't come to fruition.  So, no riding for 2 weeks.  That's not good.

Also, yet another new pair of cycling shoes to try.

Ray was planning to ride Where's Yankton?  Not the gentlest perm pop to ease back into riding, but anyway, there I was at the Scappoose Library, along with Ray, RB, and Steve.

I remembered the first climb - up the Scappoose-Vernonia Hwy; about 11 miles of climbing.  I could usually see Steve, but RB and then Ray went ahead.  Found them at the top.  Then down to Hwy 47 and the first control at Big Eddy Campground.

We then headed west a bit more, then north on Apiary Rd.  I did start to rain a bit there, but looked like it would clear off.  It did, so no pauses to add rain gear.  Started to warm up, so I wrestled my wind vest off while riding.  Apiary climbs up to Camp Wilkerson, about 6 miles, then drops for awhile.  I brought Steve up to speed on the fleche, as he had joined my team earlier in the week. ("It is a balance between riding and stopping, except you can't stop at one place any longer than 2 hours. So you can't ride too fast, or you have too much time to use up!")

I knew there was more climbing in there, but didn't remember where.  It starts up again about a mile before the turn onto Meissner, and keeps on going.

Found everyone at the turn onto Canaan Rd, where we discussed the upcoming gravel (Ray: "maybe it has been paved"  Me: "don't be cruel"), and the chaser dogs at the other end.  I suggested they hang around there and wait for me, just in case.  We started on up, turned the corner, and found the gravel.  It was actually in the nicest state I'd ever seen it in - very well packed.  Which means, of course, that they'll dump more gravel on it pretty soon.  Ray and I were talking about something, and then the grade kicked up and I fell back.  Ray and Steve were waiting at the other end (they paved out to the chaser dog barn), and we continued on.

Bit more of a climb, then a screaming descent down Pittsburg Rd (FABULOUS view of Mt St Helens), a bit of a bump, and the Yankton Store came into view.  The cashier was a delight ("my dad rides STP and all, but I'd NEVER be able to do that!" Me: "you are younger than all of us put together!"); wanted to know if it was a race, as we were collecting receipts (timestamp 15 years ago), stamps (the store DOES have a stamp; ask), initials and the time.  Took a brief pause there for a candy bar and Red Bull.

One last climb (I don't forget this one!), but by mile 56 on Stone Rd, all the climbing is done.  Lots of meandering in horse country, and then I got to corner which didn't match up with the cue sheet*.  Checked google maps, and eventually figured out which way was north on the map (I was facing north), and all was good.

Got to the end just as Ray and Steve were pulling out to head back to the library.  Bought a banana and joined them.  Not the slowest I have ridden that route.

Sadly, the little restaurant from our last ride was closed.

The shoes might do.

*After some conversation with Ray, it turned out that the cue sheet I fished out from the pile in my garage was somewhat outdated...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Errandonnee 12, Fini!

Careful perusal of my categories revealed that I had one "you carried WHAT?" left.

#12: Carrying a spinning wheel, 2.74 mi, "You carried WHAT?"

Fellow Participant Tess and I had been running errands all around Beaverton, on the same days, and going to many of the same places, but not at the same time.  We hadn't met before, and decided to put an end to "ships passing in the night."  Tess also knits, so we decided to meet up at Jim and Patty's Coffee and knit.  And/or spin.

What?  I could have taken my drop spindle.  That was easy.  Small, lightweight.  Easy to carry.  No.  I brought a spinning wheel.

Hoped it would fit in my pannier, but it was a bit too big.  I have two wheels, one which LOOKS like a spinning wheel:

It Followed Me Home, Can I Keep It?

And a travel wheel, which is smaller and considerably more portable.  Still a bit bulky for a bike, but with enough bungees, it attached securely to the porteur rack on my Rivendell Bleriot:

#12: unloading the spinning wheel at Jim and Patty's Coffee

Arrived, ordered a mocha with orange syup ("oh, you want a Borgia!"  "Is that what it is called?"), and a Florida Orange Roll.  Reassembled the wheel.  (Learning: Borgia Mocha)

#12: Borgia mocha and Florida Orange roll. And the spinning wheel

Shortly thereafter, Tess rode up.  I have to say, this was the Best Errandonnee Ever.  She's a non-practicing engineer.  She knits.  She teaches knitting.  We know people in common in a couple of circles.  This was GREAT!

#12: And Tess, so we wouldn't be ships passing in the night

After a few hours of this, we both needed to move on to the balance of our day.  Packed it up again, and rode home.

#12: headed back home, crossing Hwy 217

Errandonnee 10 and 11

#10: Transporting a Pie, .62 mi, "You carried WHAT?"
After our St Pat's blowout, we found we had an excess of pies.  Also an excess of salad and cooking greens (another story) and Irish wholemeal bread.  The greens and half of the bread went into the pannier.  Easy.  The pie went on the porteur rack, and I rode over to my parents' home and delivered the goods.  "Home delivery!"

#10: Pie transport to the parents

Why, yes, it would have been faster to walk over.  But that wasn't the point :-)

A good store baked pie and relatively smooth roads make this easy.

#11: Multimoding to the Portland Timbers Game, 3.06mi, "Personal Business"
While it is possible to ride to the game and park there, I found out last time that secure bike parking is restricted to those who elected to have "bike parking" as part of their season ticket package.  We elected for transit tickets.  This time, I rode up to our transit station, and left the bike in the Bike Link secure lockup.  I also carried a pair of non-cycling shoes to change into, because one stands the entire game.  Locked the cycling sandals and helmet up with the bike.

#11: multimoding to the Portland Timbers game

Or, for a more complete overview:
Background, me in the stadium
Bike in the bike cage
Beverage up with an interesting Budweiser logo at the bottom, and
because I am a fidgeter, I poked at the bottom and
it detached!
It was a magnet!
Still cider in the cup.
I quickly tipped it diagonal, so didn't lose much.
What were they thinking?

Timbers Game

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Errandonnee 2015, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9

March 10, 2015
Bicycle: Rivendell Bleriot
#4, Beaverton Library, Art & Entertainment
Ohh, email from the library!  Moar books for MEEEEEEE!  Zipped on over, WITH proper bike lock this time, and snagged my books.  Discovery on the way to my next stop - one of my favorite pieces of public art, a big upside down canoe with a saddle (yes.) is no longer there!  It was at the corner of SW Lombard and SW Broadway.  And now it isn't.

#4, Beaverton Library run

#5 Jim and Patty's Coffee, Personal Care
Stopped off on the way home to sit down, drink a Peppermint Patty Mocha, eat a Well of Nutella, and start reading one of the books (Rose on Fire) for awhile.  It was very de-stressing.

#5, Jim and Patty's Coffee

The strip mall has a terrible bike rack - one of those elementary school wheel-breakers.  I locked the bike to itself, and wedged it between a table and the store window.  Chatted with an employee on my way out - I am not the first one to complain about the rack.  Maybe a more suitable one will appear in my lifetime.

#5, Jim and Patty's Coffee

Total miles: 4.33

March 12, 2015
Bicycle: Rivendell Bleriot
#6 Coffee Pickup from co-op run by former co-worker, Social Call
(This one could go either way on designation).
Rode over to my original former place of work to collect my coffee order from Benton.  When my job went away, he just moved me to the "outside co-op member" list.  As I pulled up, friend Maria, former walking buddy AND former Portland to Coast Walking Relay team member, came by.  We did a fair amount of catching up; I hadn't seen her since just after Thanksgiving.  She had to then head off to yoga, but Benton came out with my coffee, and there was more catching up.

#6 Coffee pickup at Former Place of Employ

#7 New Seasons Grocery, Store
It was on the way, and we needed Irish cheese and whole wheat flour.  The Irish cheese was surprisingly had to find.

#7 grocery stop at New Seasons

#8 The Bank, Personal Business
The short contract I picked up last month paid me.  I deposited the check.  The road construction on the road which makes it EASY to get into the bank is still not complete.  They've even cut off access to the sidewalk, making getting into the bank coming from the west rather challenging.

#8 Bank run

#8 at the ATM

#9 Library, Returning books, Non Store Errand
(it isn't art and entertainment, because I wasn't taking any new books away)
The automated drive-up return window (reads the books RFID chip and checks it in automatically) works better from a bike than it does from a car.

#9 returning the library books

Total miles: 6.7

So I am all there on miles; now just have to run three more errands...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Grab Bag 300k, or, Someone Has To Be Last

This route was last run in Feb 2011.  I rode the 200k with Cecil, and that was plenty far enough.  This year, after a careful examination of the calendar, I realized that this would have to be my first 300 of the season, because the fleche is not far off. (Note to self, get the route finalized!)

There were people registered that I could have conceivably ridden with.  They weren't at the start on the bright, sunny (UNSEASONABLE!!!) Saturday morning.  Chris W offered to tow me :-) Visited around, and got a room key from Michal.  He had offered up their room floor, because driving home after a 300k has been chancy.

Did I mention that the weather was unseasonably excellent?  Sun, 60's, clear, almost full moon.  Light winds.  Amazing.

We started out at 7am, and the pack rapidly sorted itself out (everyone passing me).  Eventually I fell in with Kevin.  Sadly, he was only riding the 200k.

Kevin, and the morning fog on North Valley Rd

Wonderful fog on North Valley Rd, just enough to snap some pictures, but not enough to be annoying.

Love the morning fog on the wetlands

Aside: I had thought to finish between midnight and 1am.  Michal helpfully created and sent me a schedule, with a "this will work if you maintain a 13mph average".  Mmm.  The first loop had a whacking steep 8 mile climb towards the end.  Well, I'd certainly give it a go.

We arrived at Maggie's Buns (first control, in Forest Grove), to find Keith K outside signing cards, because "it is a zoo in there".  Indeed it was, so I had him sign my card, and relieved another rider of the necessity to eat the entire sticky bun he was carrying around.

Kevin and I then set out again, ahead of (my) schedule.  We got as far as the golf course, where he decided to pull over, and I went on.  Caught up with the only other woman riding (Robyn, riding the 200k) for a bit, then we split up.

Made it to Sherwood, and Sesame Donuts, without incident.  No other riders around.  I got a bagel with cream cheese, ate half, and saved the other half for later.  Off to that climb.  The route took us through neighborhoods and a bike path, and, after crossing Hwy 99, the climb started.

I've ridden it several times before, but the last time was Feb 2011 :-)  The climb goes up Kruger, Leander, and Chapman roads, to the Gibbs Cemetery, and, for extra vertical feet this time, continued along Mountain Top Rd, for an info control at Neill Rd.

Mt Hood, from The Climb

Where, as I suspected, I found Susan F and some stickers.  She lives right up there.  Keith K and Tomas were also there,  So I got to ask Tomas about a Ride With GPS feature, and chat about cue sheet text with Keith and Susan.

Next up, the 5 mile drop to Newberg.  It was on Hwy 219, so I pulled over a couple of times to let some cars get by, but I was otherwise completely enjoying the descent.

I didn't stop in Newberg.  I figured I could get what I wanted in Lafayette, which had a c-store and would be a much quicker stop.  Ate the second half of that bagel along the way.  Because of the climb, I was now 30 minutes behind.  Maybe I'd make it up on the next two loops.

Or not.  Last time I rode this, it was gray and gloomy and chilly and February, and I started "hearing the banjos", as Cecil puts it.  It was all nice and sunny and warm, and I wasn't hearing banjos.

Fluffy sheep

Four years ago, this was grey, gloomy, and scary.

However, I'd completely forgotten about all the steep little lumpy bits from the Westside Hwy all the way to the Sheridan Dairy Queen.  And the bugs.  Lots of bugs!  Yellow ladybugs, and some other winged pest.  On the bright side, the fluffy, adorable Pucara Alpacas were all out in their field.  So I didn't make up any time, but I didn't lose any, either.


There were a few cyclists in the Dairy Queen, as well as many other people.  But it turned out they were just standing around, so I ordered a kid's chicken strips meal.  I got the dessert first (butterscotch Dilly Bar), which I consumed while waiting.  Greg P was there, looking kind of toasted.  He asked after Kevin, but I hadn't seen him since we parted ways at the golf course.

Now headed back to Newberg, to finish off loop 2, and change my shoes.  I was wearing new ones, and I really wanted them to work.  But they weren't. :-(  I'll have to see if I can return them.  I was not ENTIRELY stupid; I had my winter boots and sandals in the car, which I could visit every 100k.

The route back went through the countryside north of Amity; lots of roads I am not familiar with until intersecting 233 outside of Dayton.  Lots of fields with rows, some horses, and a big, silent chaser dog that I didn't even see or hear until the owner called it off. (!)  Not even jingling collar tags!

rows of baby trees

Horses and trees

Got to Dayton.  I had planned to stop at the Center Market; needed my V-8, more water and a banana.  Parked outside were two incredibly cute Brownie Girl Scouts, hawking cookies.  If only I'd had room to carry them...  We did visit a bit while I sucked down the V-8.  They are cookie-selling rockstars, 900 boxes each.  Speaking as a former Girl Scout Leader, I can tell you that is amazing.  Especially in Dayton.  I am not sure 900 people live there!  The leader mentioned that another rider had been through a few hours ago, wondering about the route (Kreder Rd?  Where was that?).  She said "he was going to Newberg by a really stupid route".  Indeed, so was I.  Exact same stupid route, except I knew that Kreder Rd was accessed by a footbridge over the river after a tiny bit of off-road riding.

So, only 9 or so miles to Newberg.  I wasn't expecting any problems or delays.  Gah.  The traffic was way backed up into and through Dundee, and I couldn't scoot by on the shoulder because ODOT had repaved 99W (yeah!), but made the shoulder MUCH narrower (boo!), so the giant enormous Safeway semi was blocking.  I couldn't get around it, for fear it wouldn't see me.

So, that sorted, I got into Newberg, and it was getting dark.  Now, I can reliably navigate myself to the Thriftway, the public parking lot, and the Burgerville, but the route was a bit past that.  Hard to read the street signs, so a bit of a navigational pause.  But I did get to my car, swap out my shoes (toes/forefoot breathe HUGE sigh of relief), and go off in search of the Circle K for my open control receipt.  They assured me they were open 24/7.

So, full dark now, and somewhat later than I wanted to be starting the last loop.  I still had plenty of time, and the last loop had absolutely NO demanding territory.  As I was making the second turn onto Champoeg Rd, a whole peloton of randos came the other way.  We exchanged hellos and continued on.  I'd run into 4 or so more groups headed back.  Leaving Gervais, after a stop to pull on another layer, I saw Michal and another rider heading in.  Those would be the last riders I'd see; the loop had a lollipop through Silverton.

The stars were quite bright, and the moon was up, but not quite bright enough to cast a shadow.

Got into Silverton, and discovered my phone was completely dead.  I stopped at the first food place on the way in - no, they had no more soup and could only provide fried food.  Kept on.  There is allegedly a Subway in Silverton, and it was supposed to be open, but I didn't see it.  Last chance, the Oak St Market, at the top of hill.  They were open.  I elected to get a Red Bull, and eat/drink the food in my bag.

The route out of Silverton was familiar.  I could even picture it in my head, since it was dark :-)  At least until 114th St.  My bike computer was tracking nicely with the cue sheet, and here was a road in the middle of nowhere, sadly without a street sign.  There was indicated to be another turn a bit further along, so I went with it, and found a "114th St" sign there.  And then it turned into Waypark, at which point I no longer actually needed the cue sheet, except to reassure myself as to how far I had left to ride.

By now you might have suspected I was riding solo, in the full dark, in somewhat rural territory.  It was great!  I had the roads ALL TO MYSELF, but for the extremely occasional vehicle, all of which passed me with plenty of room.  I had my iPod in my bag, but never felt the need to get it out.  So, yeah, at this point, I am over the stressing over riding around all by myself in the dark thing.

Through Gervais (store closed, it was 12:30am), then mindlessly north.  Past Champoeg Park.  Over the Willamette River.  Happy it was dark and I couldn't see off to the sides, because I still don't like crossing the river on Hwy 219.  Not that it mattered, because no one was on the road but one stupid randonneuse.

Into Newberg, looking for some place to get the finish receipt.  I started heading west on Hwy 99 toward the Circle K, but saw the Open sign at an expedient food establishment.  Went to turn into the driveway and bam!  Not quite the driveway.  However, the parking lot was full of extremely courteous college students, who dusted me off and made sure I was ok.  I was, but for my pride.

By now it was Daylight Savings Time and 3:15am.  The cashier wrote 2:15 PST on my card.  (The RBA was also watching my SPOT; she knew when I'd finish).  Sat down with a lemonade.  I really didn't want to eat anything by now.  Whew.  Done.

No sleepies.  No low points.

Rode back up to my car, loaded up the bike, and drove around the block to the motel.  Shower.  Sleep.  After breakfast the next morning, came home, ate a bit, and took another very long nap.

All the pictures.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Errandonnee 2015 1, 2, and 3

Fitz wanted to pick up some burlap to put on our metal roof vents, so the birds would quit drilling on them.  It is annoyingly loud, and we have to go out and yell at them, or toss a pinecone up on the roof.  I am thinking a slingshot would be really good for this.  So, anyway, he called over to Longbottoms Coffee Roasters to see if they had any empty bags.  They said they did.  So Fitz suggested lunch.  And me, ever looking to work in an Errandonnee, said "I'll ride over; you can meet me there."  Well, he thought he'd ride too.

So off we went, pretending that we were commuting to work, except, being retired, we aren't anymore.  10.5 miles later, there we were.  We had fun chatting up other cyclists out on lunch rides or errands, or whatever, along the way.

Parked at Longbottoms

They've still got the NO CLEATS OR SHOES WITH CLEAT COVERS sign on the door, and many signs saying DON'T REARRANGE THE TABLES.  So I went in, carrying my shoes.  Lunch was ordered.  Fitz asked after the burlap bags, and someone went in the back to check.  Oops.  No bags.  Ah well, we did have lunch.

The remains of lunch

During lunch, I got an email saying my library book was waiting for me.  Oooh, another stop!

Learning: they have burlap bags but not today.  Also, it still isn't clear if they like cyclists.

Errandonnee 1 complete.  Social Call. 10.54 mi

I needed to stop at the bike shop for new cleats.  Fitz dithered, then thought he'd ride home by way of the bike shop with me.  We went back on NW Cornell, and headed down to SW Baseline/Jenkins by way of SW 158th, then headed south on Hocken to Millikan, then eastward to Bike Gallery.

I didn't recognize anyone in the shop, and I know most of the mechanics...  Bought my cleats and some tire levers, then went to find Fitz.  He was trying on helmets, because his was disintegrating.  Now, my non-rando helmet is 9 years old, and I know better, I truly do. Really.  There was a hi-viz green helmet with reflective bits on the shelf, and I tried it on.  Two new helmets later...

I wasn't planning on buying a new helmet

Asked about the store staff...  My favorite mechanics are still there, but everyone else has moved on.

Sweetpea lurking by the helmets

Learnings: favorite mechanics are still working there.  The cashier and I agreed that the metal core tire levers break at the wrong time.  They'll take your old helmet and dispose of it!

Errandonnee 2 complete. Bike Shop, 9.15mi

Remember that email from the library?  Fitz decided he'd go straight home; I detoured by the library.  I didn't have my card with me, but I did have the card number.  Parked the Sweetpea outside with my flimsy little touring lock and hoped for the best.  The racks are under camera surveillance.  Snagged the book, and waited in line to check out, which is what happens when one does not have one's card.  Ah, bike still there.

Waiting to check out at the library

Book on bike

Learnings: if you know your library card number, even if you don't have the card, it's good.

Errandonnee 3 complete.  Art & Entertainment, .81mi

And home, 2.16mi

Total miles for the day: 22.68