Saturday, September 10, 2016

A Longer Ride

It may be noticed that I am having some challenges in getting my conditioning and distance back.  Super frustrating, I must say.

So anyway, on Sunday, I asked Susan O if she wanted to ride one of the local 100k perm pop routes.  She instead offered up riding from their house out to Jeff's property in Willamina - 72+ miles, not very climby.  I'd finally get to see the property (I've been hearing about it for years), and Jeff would drive us all back in his Sprinter Van (now THERE'S a project), with a dinner stop.

Yes.  Sure. (No, not a RUSA-sanctioned route, but they don't all have to be!)  Fortunately, the bike was all back together; I filled some bottles, grabbed a sandwich out of the fridge and a few other food items, a change of clothes, and drove over to Susan's.

She was doing something with her bike, and then, a bit after 11am, we started out.  The route was roughly Hillsboro-Cornelius-Lafayette-Dayton-Sheridan-Willamina, and I am entirely clear on the obvious and common way to get there.

NotSoFast.  Susan had plotted a route that didn't quite do that.  The route through Hillsboro was mostly off the main streets, and very quiet.  We did have a stretch on TV Highway to Cornelius (at some point it just cannot be escaped).

I came up with a rear flat, of course, on TV Highway, when one cannot hear oneself even THINK.  I was carrying a spare tire, as I always do, so replaced the tire and tube.  Susan noted the extreme amount of wear on the discarded rear tire.  Oops.  Got my money's worth on that one.

Then another non-standard route through Cornelius, dropping us eventually on LaFollett, which then became the standard Geiger-Fern Hill (new chipseal)-Spring Hill-North Valley-Ribbon Ridge-Kuehne (where did all that traffic come from???)-Abbey(ditto) through Lafayette, thence to Dayton.

We discussed stopping in Dayton.  There is the Blockhouse Cafe, with same-day-service, but I knew that Susan wanted to finish before dark so she could show me around the property, and I also knew that she'd be getting there a lot quicker without me.  So I suggested the Center Market (prime randonneur stop), and we got more things to drink and eat.  I had a V-8 and a banana, and added a Kind Bar for later consumption.

Then we stopped and tweaked my seat adjustment.

Many years ago, Susan said that she was going to find a route between Dayton and Amity that didn't follow the infinity road ("Amity - 5 miles".  Further along: "Amity - 5 miles").  Well the new route gave Amity a miss altogether, but it was on blissfully smooth pavement (until DeJong Rd to Ballston Rd at the end), with no traffic whatsoever.  Nice scenery, too.  I think parts of it have been featured on the middle loop of the Grab Bag brevets.

My fender developed an annoying rattle.  It turned out both fenders had annoying rattles - the front had a bolt which needed tightening, the rear had rattled out the teeny little bolts on the L-bracket.  No way to fix that; I'd just live with it until I could get to a hardware store and buy more teeny little nuts and bolts.

So, after Dayton we just had scenery for miles and miles and miles.  Eventually we popped out in the former town of Ballston (General Store sign still there; building replaced with some metal garage-y thing), and Sheridan (last town before Willamina) wasn't TOO far away.

By now we were riding into a rather strong headwind.  The terrain wasn't particularly challenging, but the wind was not helping my forward motion.  I suppose I'd say that both the warp and impulse engines had malfunctions, and I just stopped and stood for a moment.  I could see the turn up ahead where we'd transition to a crosswind, but it took some effort to get there.

Susan was waiting, and told me that I'd ridden 100 km in 5:47 total elapsed time.  Given the past year, that wasn't bad at all.

Finally the turn, and a pretty special crosswind.  As I was descending into Sheridan, it took some effort to move forward in a straight line.

From Sheridan to Willamina, it was pretty much dead flat, wonderfully freshly paved, and rather more sheltered from the wind.

And finally there we were (although not quite finished).  We stopped in the "new" market in Willamina (there are now 4!), and perused the beer selection for a bottle for each of us.  Best I could find for me was a Widmer Hefeweizen, which isn't bad at all, there are just other beer styles I prefer more.

Stocking up in town

Now the last 3+ miles out to the property, gently rolling road (and more gloriously smooth pavement) past a lumber mill, and several farms.

I saw a sign up ahead that was probably a good indication of our turn, and indeed, Susan turned in.  At this point the driveway/road was gravel, but not bad at all.  We did walk the last pitch up; Jeff came out to greet us.

Destination.  Sweetpea and Thompson on the porch.

Susan and I, photo by Jeff (in the reflection!)

Dropped the bikes, opened the beers, and got a full tour.

Chair in the woods