Saturday, March 25, 2017

Errandonnee 6 and 7

Not raining.  Stack of library books waiting for me.  Free birthday drink at Starbucks.  This was a plan.

First, to the library, where I commiserated with another patron about the hassle of locking up.

Picked up my 4(!) books (Interlibrary Loan, three from Tacoma, WA, one from Worthington, OH), and went back out to unlock.  Same patron, also planning to leave.  His personal music at the time was "Hey Joe" (baBAAAbabababaBAAA; been awhile since I heard that one.  Decades, maybe).

Thence to Starbucks, where I lived dangerously and just helmet-locked.  Ordered their newer Chai Tea Latte (lightly sweetened, more spicy than the original, or so the server claimed) in my personal commuter mug.

And home, via the Hall Creek Enhancement.  Saw one duck.

Learnings - Interlibrary Loan books can come from as far away as Scotland!

4.3 miles.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Errandonnee 4 and 5

Two errands today.

#4 Weaving class at Multnomah Arts Center.  I'll file this one under work/school commute :-). It wasn't going to rain until 4pm today, so I got to ride.  Yes, I could ride when it is raining, but I'd have to bring a change of clothes, as I truly hate hanging out in wet clothing.

So, today's plan was to wind the warp for my next project - Overshot Dish Towels.  Last week I took my 3.7 lb cone of 10/2 Georgia cotton in to use for the warp; today I wound a 530 end (thread) warp.

The warp is draped over the loom.  40" weaving width, 8 shaft loom.  Could be fun.

#5 Knitting Group, filed under, oh, I'll figure it out later.  Ate my sack lunch at the conclusion of Weaving Class, then proceeded over to Karen's house, where I knitted with a group of like-minded folk.  This group has been meeting for years.

And then home.  I could have gone by the library, as a book is waiting, but I didn't want to have to lock my bike up again, plus there was too much stuff on the bike to leave it unattended, even if it was locked up.

13.7 miles.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Success on the North Plains - Banks Vernonia Trail Perm Pop

The last time I had a successful through ride on the trail was the Verboort Populaire in November.  Since then we've had snow, ice, biblical quantities of rain, and so on.  We've tried to ride the trail twice, and been turned back both times.

Surely the trail would be open.  I recruited Ray by promising no thunderstorms (hey, it's his perm pop!), and we set out at 8am-ish this morning.

Epic Ride Weather's take on the day:

It wasn't raining when we started out.  No rain jackets.  I had a wool base layer, jersey, and neon wind vest.  Skipped the waterproof socks; living dangerously. We passed through Banks (ugh, school traffic; Banks has one street.  Maybe it has more, but only one major one.) and onto the trail.

There was a picture pause at Wingham Farms (home of Romulus and Remus, the herding dogs), because they'd moved the chickens into the cow pasture, and had the cows in the chicken space.  They also have cute baby goats.

Onward.  The sun came and went.  Upward (railroad grade).  We got to the Stub Stewart Park road crossing, and... there was a sign - "Trail Closed 1 Mile Ahead".

As we say, there's closed and there's closed.  Nothing at a mile.  We kept going.  There might have been a landslide, but nothing on the trail.  Eventually we starting seeing staggering numbers of alder trees broken off and on the ground, although the trail was clear.  Closer to the summit, we came across some trail workers.  After a conversation, where they said the trail was usable at least as far as the summit, we went on.

Lots of alders down, although the trail was clear, except for some silt from the rain.  The pictures don't really do it justice.

Past Tophill, there was a lot more small litter on the trail.  We found one branch to move off, some short areas of deep silt and gravel, and, closer in to Vernonia, one downed tree with branches across the trail - easily managed.  By now we had a fairly persistent light drizzle, not enough to dig out our jackets.

Beaver Creek and the Nehalem River were running fast and high, but not flooding.  Heading out the the lake, we finally had to concede that it was, in fact, raining, and quickly donned our jackets.  We looped around the lake and decided we did have enough time for some coffee.

Off to Black Bear Coffee.  We walked in the door and... "where's your case of pastries?"  They'd moved the coffee/pastry operation to the far north end of the building!  They now also have a punch card - we are both there often enough to make it worth our while, so, yes, we each snagged one.  Mine will stay in my rando wallet, so as to always be at the ready.  The one cinnamon bun left was so very large that Ray and I elected to split it.

We were fairly expedient and headed back out, still wearing our jackets.  Not very far along, we pulled them off, and I went on, figuring Ray would catch up soon.  He found me before Tophill.

Down, and up.  Tophill is the only steep section of the trail.  I stress about the climb on the return, but found myself almost all the way up before realizing that I was past the steepest switchback and hadn't been thinking about it at all.  Nice.

We then enjoyed the descent (as always!), realized we had over an hour and only 8 miles to go in Banks, and finished up.

Fancy pic from the bike computer:

6:14 elapsed.

Gotta mend these! (I was wearing these when I was left-hooked; all the abrasions showed up as ever-growing holes a few months later)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Errandonnee One, Two, and Three

And it was a good thing I had receipts, totally forgot about the picture thing until the last stop!

March 20, 2017

From home to the dentist - 7.3 miles.

I went the northern route, on the Hwy 26 bike path, then experimented with staying south of Hwy 26 at Camelot Ct (mi 2.4), rather then the usual path continuation to Skyline/Scholl's Ferry with the interesting left turn onto Humphrey/Hewett.  Learning there - more steeper climbing that way!

From there, I would have normally dropped down Dosch to Sunset (mi 5), but both Google Maps and RWGPS suggested I continue up to Fairmount Blvd, and then drop down through the neighborhood side streets.  Every road descending from Fairmount is steep.  Intellectually I knew that.  I did.  How bad could it be?  9-10% downgrades, narrow twisty roads, and generally more potholes and grit than pavement.  I was never so happy to make it down to Sunset Blvd in my life.  Once there, I only had to go another easy mile.

As for the dentist - I will say that N20 makes a dental visit much less stressful.  Plus, the dentist decided it was much less work than originally estimated, so it cost me much less as well!

See receipt #1 for documentation.

From the dentist to the library - 7.6 miles.

The plan from here was to cut between Wilson HS and Rieke Elementary down to SW Vermont, work my way to Multnomah Village (we'll be back here at least once this coming week), and then follow my known route back to Beaverton, except continuing on SW 5th to the library, rather than turning north just before Hwy 217.  Really, I only needed supplementary navigation assistance from Fairmount to the dentist, and then from there to Multnomah Village.

The only unknown was would the Fanno Creek Trail be open?  There had been some contentious trail closures (Portland Water Bureau has a sewage pump station on the trail OUTSIDE THEIR CITY LIMITS AND OUTSIDE THEIR COUNTY!) for pump station work, and the proposed detour put cyclists on SW Garden Home Rd.  Sounds bucolic and all, but that section is a highly traveled, very narrow 2 lane road with ditches right at the fog lines.  I myself pestered both our parks district (it is their trail) and the road department, and they did put up Bicycles on Roadway signs.  The few times I rode that way, though, I crossed Garden Home and paralleled it through the neighborhoods until SW Oleson Rd.

To make a short story long, I was pleasantly surprised to find the construction finished and the trail open.

Felt a few rain drops along here.

So, right, the library.   I was picking up a book which was an interlibrary loan, and, after fruitlessly searching the Hold books racks, I asked where it was - turns out ILL books must be picked up and checked out at the service desk.  The book came all the way from Nebraska.  Pretty cool.

See receipt #2 for documentation.

From the library to the fabric store - .8 miles.

Nothing to report here.  Got to the fabric store, bought my velcro for the Porteur Bag Sewing Project (for flaps to attach the removable lining), had a great conversation with the cashier about the project, as I was adding the velcro to my plastic bag (suboptimal and tacky).

From the fabric store to home - 1.3 miles.

Since I had gone to the fabric store, I continued directly east through the Hall Creek Enhancement to SW 114th.  While it is very short, I love riding through there.  The creek was very high, and I only saw a couple of Canada geese.  Usually there are ducks everywhere.

See receipt #3 for documentation, and I even took a couple of pictures.

I could have stopped for coffee, but I was getting tired of locking and unlocking my bike.  There is good coffee at home.

Beat the rain home.

The route.

Total distance - 17 miles.


Success With Rickey's Populaire

Last weekend was the Oregon Randonneurs Rickey's Populaire.  A fun ride.  It has two climbs, and much gentle rolling, rural scenery, and finishes at a brewpub.  Can't go wrong.

In previous years I have ridden to the start, since it was along my regular work commute, and fairly mindless.  Not up to that this year; I was just going for success.

The weather took a sudden turn for the worse, so, of course, I modified the wardrobe.  To keep my feet dry, I wear the Showers Pass Waterproof Socks, my Lake boots (if they were waterproof, it didn't last), and some battered Endura shoe covers over that.  My feet get damp, but they don't get wet, so I suspect all the liquid is self-generated.

No plans to ride with anyone, but that's ok.

But wait!  At the drippy start (riders huddling under RBA Susan France's car hatch), a car pulled up.  It was Andrew, who I haven't seen riding in awhile.  But the bike...  he pulled a lovely Atlantis out of his car, with dual old-style Schmidt E-6 headlamps.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  "You bought David R's Atlantis!  Good deal!" (mystery of why he was selling many bike parts solved; he didn't need them any longer)

He allowed as he had not been riding and it would be slow and lonesome.  I was quick to assure him it wouldn't be (lonesome, that is).

His front bag, sadly, was still back in his garage.  He had a reusable grocery sack in which to stow items, but no way to attach it.  But wait!  I had a Rivendell-approved John's Irish Strap in my saddlebag.

At 9am we set out.  Given the weather forecast (plug for the Epic Ride Weather app), it wasn't a large crowd.

Andrew, Ray, and I were toward the back, and rode "together" for the entire route.  Sometimes they'd get ahead and wait.  Sometimes we'd be stopped, and I'd go on and they'd quickly catch up.

So we spent a rainy day chasing colorful zip-ties.  I was, of course, slow on the climbs, but I got there.  No walking, which might have been a possibility on Plumlee.

The first four hours were continuous rain, but not cold rain.  While every single watercourse was full, and the Killin wetlands were really full, and Gales Creek was higher than I've seen it, there was only one very shallow road flood - Gaston Road, where the Tualatin River and Wapato Creek bracket the road.

We were mostly quartering into the wind until somewhere on Gales Creek Rd.  Fortunately we turned east just as the wind was racheting up to "really annoying", and enjoyed the push to the end.

From Gaston until the end (20 miles), the rain stopped, which was also enjoyable.   We stopped on LaFollette Road to pull of the rain gear and maybe dry out a bit.

Then they smelled the barn and I rode the final 10 miles in solitude.  Not that I was unhappy about it.  For that matter, no thoughts of gloom and doom at all on the ride.

No pictures, because it was so very wet.  Well, pictures were taken of the info controls (with Timestamp Camera, a free app), so I wouldn't have to take my card out to write on it; took care of that at the finish.

Visited with Susan at the finish, and helped her with her basket of tots.