Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ray's K-Hound Ride

Ray, one of my more consistent riding partners, was set to finish his K-Hound (do we detect a theme here?), and he rounded up Steve B and me to join him in riding the Orenco-Gaston perm pop.

Sweetpea and David Hill Winery

While it claims 2071 vertical feet, 1200 of those are in the middle 19 miles.

Sunday was supposed to be the better weather day, so we settled on that.  The weather Saturday, while windy, was sunny all day...  Sunday was "showers".  So, more sealer on the booties, the AmFib tights, a warm cap, extra gloves.  I was ready.

Met Ray and Steve at the Subway in Orenco, and we headed out right at 9am.

First goal was to get to Banks.  We all stopped along the way to remove rain jackets.  I also removed the rain booties in Banks.  While I did pull the jacket back on a couple times during the ride, it mostly didn't rain or didn't progress much beyond misting.

Favorite Berry Bushes, NW Harrington Rd

Banks.  Time for a banana.  Then onto Hwy 6, rather than Cedar Canyon (the "traditional" route), where we rode right through the Killin wetlands, setting off flocks of ducks as we went by.  It was strange that the cars and trucks did not elicit the same response.

Killin Wetlands from Hwy 6

Then left on Stafford/Strohmayer, the first climb of the day.  Not so bad, in the giant scheme of things, .4 miles, mostly at 4%.  We then rollered along Kansas City/Thatcher (barns! berry fields!), until the right on David Hill, the major climb of the ride.

Love's Barn

David Hill climbs for 2.5 miles, gaining 444 feet, with grades approaching 9% in spots.  The pavement also goes away.  Last time, it had been dirt with gravel.  Climbing was ok, but descending (14% grade!!!!) wasn't so much fun.

Today, with all the rain, the gravel was under about an inch of slippy mud.  Our tires sank into it.  It was interesting, but, surprisingly enough, the ascent wasn't bad.  We all pulled over at the David Hill Winery overlook, to take lots of pictures of what we couldn't see through the fog in January.

Let's all take pictures

<Mr K-Hound himself, about a mile or so before the actual event

A bit more rolling along the top, and then the descent (14%!!!!!).  I probably need new brake pads, as does Steve :-)  Ray was waiting to take pictures as we regained the pavement.

Left onto Gales Creek, where Ray crossed over the 10,000th km, but we weren't stopping there!  Right after the turn onto Stringtown, Ray pulled over on the bridge, and we indulged in a round of picture taking.

Mr K-Hound Himself!

Gales Creek

Ray: "but it doesn't count until I finish!".  True that.

Stripey Trees Corner - Stringtown Rd

One more climb, up Plumlee (.8 miles, 4.5% avg grade), where we were treated to a view of some amazing storm clouds that we all sincerely wished would miss us.

Ray and Steve stopped at the Lake Store; I kept going until the control at Gaston.  I made it 15 minutes before the control closed; they showed up a couple minutes later.

Aside: because I am not a fast rider, and no "just ride faster" doesn't work; I am going as fast as I can at any particular time, I tend to not stop quite as often, because I know everyone will catch me; keeps our overall time faster, as they aren't waiting as much.

Another banana and a chocolate bar (shared around).  The cashier seemed very impressed with the distance and comped me the banana(!)  We finally had a tailwind for our last 24 miles.  Mostly.  If we headed south it was definitely NOT a tailwind, turning north it was a quartering tailwind.  We all really enjoyed that tailwind.

Contemplated ways to mend my very favorite (and disintegrating) pair of gloves.

These are my favorite gloves

I was keeping an eye on the storm cloud; still not getting to us...

We watched cloud formations like this all day

Duyck's Peachy-Pig Farm up ahead

Another pause for pictures on Johnson School Rd.  Ray was philosophizing on how the urgency to get out and ride would now be over, and maybe he didn't want it to be done.  Probably something about how epic the doing is, and the finishing, while nice, can be a bit of a letdown.


They pulled ahead a few miles from the end when I got something in my eye and had to wash it out.  Of course, the rain set in for the last couple miles, so one last stop to pull on the jacket.  Ray said I showed up only 8 minutes after they finished.

Went to get some soup and a soda.  As the soup was down to the last bit, the cashier gave it to me.  Good day for this!

All the pictures here.

Susan's K-Hound Ride

Susan was coming up on her K-Hound, and rounded up a bunch of folks to join her.  The route was North Plains Banks-Vernonia Trail, and there was a great turnout.

Michal and I planned to coffeeneur in North Plains before the ride, so we parked near the start, and, as we were getting ready to ride the 2.5 blocks to our destination the long way around, Corey and Stefanie showed up.  We told them where we were headed, and set out.  2+ miles later, we arrived at Hits the Spot, and enjoyed some coffee with them, as they ate breakfast.

First, Lynne and Michal had to coffeeneur

Back to the McDonalds, where we picked up our cards, and all headed out.  The group spread out as we got further along.

Bikes lined up at the start

Bright spots on Vadis Rd

On the trail

The trestle

When Michal and I arrived in Vernonia, we found one of the riders hoping someone would come along who knew the construction detour.  That would be me :-), and we took the "path to Hwy 47 and up the hill" route, as I didn't remember all the details of the Adventure Route.

Lake Vernonia, lowest I have seen it

Info control managed, and picture taken, we adjourned to the Black Bear, where everyone else was already into coffee.  I inquired at the counter about what the kitchen timeline was (long), so ordered my usual cinnamon roll, heated, with butter on top, and some coffee.


Started back a bit ahead of the crowd, but they all passed me before the summit.

Michal,  headed back to Banks

We were meeting up at the church in Roy for the official 10,000th kilometer celebration.

Pictures were taken.  Gang signs were thrown.

In which Susan achieves her K-Hound, and learns the secret handshake

We then finished up and celebrated some more.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

TL;DR, or, Coffeeneuring 2015 Summary

The summary.

My theme within a theme was Fibers.  Mostly knitting, but not always.  Finished projects:
Handspun Elemental Shawl
Thuja Socks

Still in process:
Flower Fair Isle Socks

Being retired, I got out whenever I wanted.

Ride: 1
Date: Sunday, Oct 4
Destination: Council Crest Park, Portland, OR
Beverage: coffee brewed right at my picnic table, with milk and sweetner
Bike friendliness: picnic tables under shady trees.  Pretty nice!
Total mileage: 15.75 miles
Fiber tie-in: Elemental Shawl

Coffee brewing in the Bodum Solo

Coffee to drink, and the knitting

By the way, the shawl was finally finished.

Elemental Things Handspun Shawl

Ride: 2
Destination: Jim and Patty's Coffee, Beaverton, OR
Date: Saturday, Oct 10
Beverage: Borgia Mocha
Bike friendliness: strip mall has the same crap wheel-breaker bike rack.  Baristas make up for it.
Total mileage: 2.73 miles
Fiber tie-in: Flower Fair Isle Socks

Borgia mocha, Flower Fair Isle Socks.

Ride: 3
Destination: Nike West Campus, Edo Building coffee cart, Beaverton, OR (just across SW Walker from the THRPD ball fields)
Date: Thursday, Oct 15
Beverage: Mocha
Bike friendliness: When I worked there, I was used to wheeling my bike into any building and leaving it unlocked in the lobby, or in a corner, or under some stairs.  This day, I locked it outside.
Total mileage: 11.59 miles
Fiber tie-in: delivered 3 skeins of handspun wool, which I processed all the way from the dirty fleece right off the sheep.

Finally delivering some handspun yarn to the former co-worker who gave me four bags of fleece.

Yarn delivery and coffee

Ride: 4
Date: Friday, Oct 16
Distance: 28.47 mi
Vertical feet: 2000
Location: Saint Cupcake SW,  1138 SW Morrison St
Bike Friendliness: Adorable whisk bike rack.  See the picture.
Bike: Rivendell
Beverage: Americano
Food: a Lemon dot and an Chocolate Hazelnut dot (mini cupcakes)
Fiber tie-in: Thuja socks, because I hit a roadblock on the Fair Isle Flower Socks.

Me, ditto.  Someday I will open my eyes

Ride: 5? (might be too many in a week...)
Date: Sunday, Oct 18
Distance: 4.8 miles
Destination: Ava Roasteria Beaverton
Bike: Rivendell
Beverage: Pumpkin Spice Latte
Bike Friendliness: well, they've got a rack
Fiber tie-in: Thuja socks

Pumpkin spice latte and knitting. Bleriot lurks in the background.

Ride: 6
Date: Saturday, October 24
Distance: 2.42 miles
Destination: Hits the Spot Cafe, North Plains, OR
Bike: Sweetpea
Beverage: Coffee
Bike Friendliness: just lean it outside somewhere, don't block the door.
Fibers tie-in: Thuja socks

Coffeeneuring theme - Fibers

Finished  the socks that evening.

Thuja socks finished

Ride: 7  (I think.  I might have 3 rides in one week and will need another ride)
Date: Monday, November 2
Distance: 4.72 miles
Destination: Bogza Coffee, Beaverton, OR
Bike: Rivendell
Beverage: Borgia Mocha
Bike Friendliness: Super nice today; garage door was open, so I parked it behind my chair
Fibers tie-in: Flower Fair Isle Socks

Bogza Coffee and a primordial sock

Ride: 8  (Although my official #7)
Date: Saturday, November 7
Distance: 2.1 miles
Destination: Verboort Sausage Festival, Verboort, OR
Bike: Sweetpea
Beverage: Coffee
Bike Friendliness: Leaned it up against a building, no lock
Fibers tie-in: Flower Fair Isle Socks

Coffee, knitting and sausage

Ride: 9
Date: Tuesday, November 10
Distance: 22 miles
Destination: Symposium Coffee, Tigard, OR
Bike: Rivendell Bleriot
Beverage: Mocha
Bike Friendliness: Bike rack outside; viewable from large windows
Fibers tie-in: Flower Fair Isle Socks

The pretty Coffeeneuring picture

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Bonus Coffeeneuring: Symposium Coffee

Ride: 9
Date: Tuesday, November 10
Distance: 22 miles
Destination: Symposium Coffee, Tigard, OR
Bike: Rivendell Bleriot
Beverage: Mocha
Bike Friendliness: Bike rack outside; viewable from large windows

The pretty Coffeeneuring picture

Into bonus rides now, kind of like the fleche, where one has to ride a minimum of 360km, but you can keep going until you hit the 24 hour limit.

I had something to deliver in Tualatin, and it wasn't raining.  I know how to get to Tualatin; it is between here and Wilsonville.  But, how to get to that specific destination in Tualatin?

I would have taken my usual route through Cook Park, and gotten to the office from there.  Spouse thought taking Durham Rd until it turned into 72nd and then riding through the big shopping mall (my destination was at the SW corner) would be faster.  Mmmhmmm.  (The red route is the outbound route, blue is the return)

And, wanting to coffeeneur someplace NICE and DIFFERENT, I checked for coffeeshops in historic downtown Tigard.  Sure enough, right on the corner where I make the turn in Tigard, was Symposium Coffee.

I stepped outside and saw my breath.  Excellent.  Gray and cloudy, but not going to rain.  Several layers and full lighting later, I was headed south, first working my way through neighborhoods, office parks, more neighborhoods and a bit of Denney Rd, to the prettiest part of the route, the Fanno Creek Trail.

Fanno Creek Trail

Not many folks out, as it was a weekday mid-day.  Heading south from Hall Blvd, I started thinking (dangerous) - it just rained.  A lot.  Would the Scholls Ferry Rd underpass be passable?  Or would it be flooded, and I'd have to cross Scholls Ferry at grade?

I forgot there might be flooding

It had been flooded, but the waters receded enough that I could slowly ride through.  One more flooded spot a bit later, and then no more water issues.

The trail continues, sort of, south of Tigard Rd, but it isn't continuous, and has some street routing.  I didn't know the extent of wayfinding signage, so I stuck to the route I knew, which is quite straightforward.

Through Tigard, then, when I would have kept straight on to go to Cook Park, I turned left on Durham. Very busy road, but it had a bike lane.  After it turned into 72nd, I turned into the mall (one of those big Streets things), and slowly worked my way SW.  Bad things happen in parking lots.  I really dislike riding in parking lots.

But I did find my destination, transacted my business, and even ran into a former co-worker!  Ex-Tektronix people are everywhere :-)

That managed, I tried a different route back to the trail - turned right out of the mall, and figured I'd turn left to get back to follow Boone's Ferry into "downtown" Tualatin, where I could get back on the trail.  But!  Even better!  Directly across at the traffic light was Rivendell St, which I knew, from google map explorations, would take me to Arkenstone (I swear, those are the street names), which would dump me back onto a trail which lead to Cook Park.

Brief pause for a picture with the bike and street sign.

Street sign and bicycle match

Oh this was so much nicer!  Found the trail entrance, but had to make a brief across the grass detour where trail repaving was in process.

Through the park, up Hall Blvd, left into Tigard, and finally, back at Symposium Coffee.  Artsy bike-shaped rack outside, by an enormous Mobius sculpture.  More racks across the street at the transit center.

Rivendell Bleriot parked outside Symposium Coffee.

One large table, several smaller ones, each with one person at them.  The large table had seating for 8, with 2 people in residence, so I took up a spot there.

Ordered a mocha, and what looked like one of two hazelnut pastries.

Made real progress on the sock.  The young man at my end of the table asked about the knitting, so I asked if he was doing work or school on his computer (all people in coffeeshops these days seem to be staring at laptops).  It was school, and we talked about his major, which was transitioning to electrical engineering, and then the conversation got way geeky.  Oscilloscopes, sampling interval, and triggering may have been discussed.

Sock progress

Eventually the mocha and pastry were finished, and I had gotten into the stranded (two color) work on the sock.  Time for the last errand of the outing, returning a library book - The Man in the High Castle, and I am still not sure about that book.  It didn't seem terribly coherent.

Wonder where that path goes?

Rather than turn onto Tigard St, I thought I'd try the new paved path which appeared to go in the same direction.  And it did, until just before Tiedeman St, where I wanted to continue straight and it veered north.  Got myself back onto Tigard St, and retraced my route until I got to 5th Ave in Beaverton, where I turned west to go by the library.

From there I returned home, and it was a very enjoyable outing all around.

Verboort Populaire

I like this ride.  How can one NOT like a ride which goes through Timber, Oregon, where everything is HO scale, to Vernonia, where the delights of Black Bear Coffee await, and then a return on the Banks Vernonia Trail?

(Note: not many pictures.  Rain.  Long finger gloves.)

I did some recruiting with a new cycling buddy a month or so ago, and she signed up to ride.  You know, populaires, the gateway drug to randonneuring?

Because of various things, I arrived at the start just in time to sign in before the pre-ride announcements, so we departed 10 minutes after the appointed hour of 9am.

I was channeling Captain Overpacker, in that I had extra socks, extra cap, knee warmers in case it got too warm to be wearing thermal tights, and extra gloves.  I was wearing my new custom OrRando wool cap.

Cycling cap, from a repurposed worn-out wool jersey

I didn't get a cue sheet, and I hadn't printed one out, but it really wasn't needed.

Kathryn, Bill A, and I headed out through Forest Grove, to Gales Creek, and onto Hwy 6.  Kathryn and I stopped at the c-store just before the turn onto Timber Rd; Bill passed us there; we didn't see him again.

Note: the portapotty outside the store is now locked, but the key is inside.  It seems to stay much cleaner that way.

It started raining somewhere along here.  I had worried that I would be too warm in my AmFib tights, booties, and jacket, but the body adjusted, so it was about right.  Slogged on up the switchbacks to find Kathryn with another rider who had a sliced tire.  We didn't have a tire boot (maybe I did, but, in the rain, didn't dig as fully in the saddlebag as I might have), but we suggested he use a dollar bill.  He did have one, and was going to give that a try.  We left him to it.

The rain was exceptionally heavy for awhile, and, despite the fresh coat of sealer on the booties, the feet started getting soggy.  (Note to self, inspect for yet more leaky spots)

We summitted and enjoyed the descent down through Timber.  Although Kathryn has done a serious amount of riding in this area, she'd never ridden this route to Vernonia.  I pointed out the buffalo just north of Timber.

After a bit of a wait to cross Hwy 26, we continued along the last 12 miles to Vernonia.  The rain let up some.  Kathryn said she had never voluntarily ridden this kind of distance in the rain.

Ah, finally to the intersection with Hwy 47, and we could see riders headed back on the trail.  We arrived in Vernonia and pulled into The Black Bear.  Many rando bikes parked outside, although we didn't see them inside; they must have been on the tavern side.  The kitchen was not backed up, so I ordered half a Reuben sandwich and an enormous mocha; Kathryn had a grilled cheese sandwich. The remains of the mocha went into my insulated bottle.

Fuel for the return

I spent a bit of time in the restroom blotting the excess water from my tights and jersey.  I wasn't cold when I was riding, but removing the extra water would leave much less to evaporate on its own.  The AmFib tights are pretty good at keeping me from feeling wet, but they do hold some water. (Note: these are several years old; not to be construed as a review on the current version.)

As we were headed out, I saw Andy and Jeff across the street.  And here I thought we were at the very end.  They (and Renee, who is Mrs. Andy) caught us on the trail.  I heard Andy talking to Kathryn, and called back, asking if he was hitting her up for snacks, because it was her first rando expedition.  They pulled ahead at Tophill, but not before Andy and I did a lot of catching up.

Andy, Renee, and Jeff up ahead on the trail

The trail was full of leaves from the deciduous trees, and it was beautiful, if occasionally a bit difficult to distinguish the trail from the not-trail.

Kathryn up ahead on the trail

We summitted, and descended with a bit more caution than usual, what with the leaves and the wet bridges.

One pause by Buxton, so I could swap off my saturated shortfinger gloves (the wool overgloves had been discarded miles ago) for a pair of warm and water-repellent (sort of) synthetic gloves.  The gloves were dry, my hands were a bit damp, so there was a lot of wiggling to get my fingers in them.  My hands were instantly much, much happier.

Through Banks, onto Wilkesboro, with the standard comments about the new Tracks of Death and Why Didn't They Put in a Bump-Out so the Bikes Could Safely Ride Across Them.  Pretty fields, but no picture today.

At the turn from Evers onto Osterman, Kathryn said that she hadn't turned the cue sheet, and we really had a bit further to go than earlier reported.  My reply - the finish is just around that corner.  (And my bike computer was less than a tenth of a mile off the cue sheet distance :-) )

The most difficult part of the ride was wading through the festival traffic to get to the finish at the bingo tent at the far end of the festival.  The RBA and host were lurking at the entrance, so we leaned our bikes on handy walls, and went in to complete the finish rituals.

Coffee, knitting and sausage

I pulled off my cap and wrung it out, said goodbye to Kathryn (she had a thing she had to be at), and bought sausage on a stick and a cup of coffee.  As I was now off the signed release, it was coffeeneuring and socializing time.  And knitting a bit on the Flower Fair Isle sock #2.

The RBA and host were going over the rider list, and asked if we had seen Jeff L.  Um, yeah.  They were ahead of us...

A few minutes later, I saw them pull in.  Wondering how exactly did they get misplaced, I asked.  Andy: "it said to turn left on Wilkesboro, and we did, except we found ourselves on Hwy 6!"  I have done that exactly once, myself.  Heading south out of Banks, after crossing under Hwy 6, the on-ramp is the first left, with a protected left turn, and, a mere few yards later is the left onto Wilkesboro, just before the decrepit white building, with no protected left.

Hey, look!  I'm not the last finisher!

After everyone had gotten sausage on a stick and beverage of choice (no beer there), more socializing.  One of the festival workers was trying to sell us bingo cards, and asked about the ride.  "Where did you start?" Forest Grove.  Pause.  You could see her thinking.  Verboort is only 2 miles from Forest Grove.  I helpfully clarified: "by way of Vernonia."

I walked over to the bulk sales area to get some sausage to take home for dinner.  We had company coming and that was going to be dinner.  Oops.  Guess I didn't ride fast enough :-(  Sent a text to the spouse alerting him, so alternate plans could be made.  I'd be getting home not too far ahead of everyone else.

Went back to get my bike and found the other three getting ready to head back.  They had planned to ride on Martin, but I suggested Porter, because it was not the main road.  And so, a bit over two miles later, we were back.  They took their leave, and I started loading up the car.  Bill A came over - he'd done it right, and gone by a coffee shop in Forest Grove.

Now headed home to get dinner underway.  I didn't get out of the wet clothing and into the shower until I got part of dinner cooking.  Fitz had bought more sausage at the Farmer's Market that morning, just to have it around, so main course was managed.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Expedient Coffeeneuring: Verboort Sausage Festival

Ride: 8  (Although my official #7)
Date: Saturday, November 7
Distance: 2.1 miles
Destination: Verboort Sausage Festival, Verboort, OR
Bike: Sweetpea
Beverage: Coffee
Bike Friendliness: Leaned it up against a building, no lock

Although I had plans to end up at a coffee shop with ceramic mugs, a fancy coffee drink, and some classy ambiance, well, it just didn't happen.

After finishing the Oregon Randonneurs Verboort Populaire, which ends at the annual Verboort Sausage Festival, I was sodden (why, yes, it did rain.  Quite a bit.), and under a time constraint to get home.

Coffee (in the bingo tent at the Verboort Sausage Festival)

So I bought some sausage on a stick and a cup of coffee, sat down with some folks, ate the sausage, drank the coffee and knitted a bit on Sock #2.

Coffee, knitting and sausage

Then I gathered myself up and rode the 2+ miles back to the start in Forest Grove with a few of the other riders.