Sunday, April 27, 2008

Monster Cookie Metric

Well, the plan was to ride a "double cookie". Erinn and I got to the start at 8AM. My Race Across Oregon teammate John showed up with his tandem and his daughter Olivia tapped for stoker duties.

By the time we picked up packets and such we didn't shove off until 8:25AM. The tandem team did what tandem teams do best on flat courses........they flew! John and Olivia led us out at 22-24 mph.

I latched onto their draft and held with them for a few miles, but Erinn, being a Triathlon competitor is not as well versed in tailgating. She and I were planning on doing a modified cookie so I decided to drop off the back and regroup with her so we could talk strategy.

Not too many miles into the ride emergency vehicles came up behind us with sirens on. It didn't take long for us to confirm that it was in response to a cyclist accident.
I'll try to find out what happened, but here's what it looked like as we rode by.

Before long we got to the 1st rest stop at the Bible college. Salem Bicycle Club puts on a good ride, and this rest stop was no exception. Monster Cookies of course, but much more. We had warmed sufficiently to remove our windbreakers by this point. The helmet cam shows its limitations in this clip, or perhaps it just shows how much I move my head around!

One of the cyclists today was really happy that they even had macaroons!

Erinn was thinking that 100 miles would be the most she'd want to ride today, and I learned long ago that a lady is always right. Plus, my bike pansy was all in favor of a shorter ride today. We took a more direct route to Champoeg Park, staying on French Prairie Rd saving us about 3 miles. We figured two laps of about 50 miles would give us a good 100 mile ride, and still hit the rest stops if we just cut out a few of the side trips that the official route took.

We pulled into the Champoeg Rest Stop where John and Olivia soon joined us. We had more cookies and shared a turkey sandwich box lunch.

We soon remounted our wheeled steeds and began heading back towards Salem.
Erinn was leading our little band and followed the Dan Henry's out Matheny Road. Our plan was originally to not take this little side trip, but we did, and it was fun!
Here we are making our way along Matheny Rd, heading towards Wheatland Ferry.

and this taken from the "handlebar cam"

John and Olivia were both doing a season record 1 day mileage and it was beginning to wear on Olivia, and John no longer had it in his legs to take up the slack. They fell back as Erinn and I pressed on. As I mentioned before, she is not comfortable riding close enough to draft.......... I have no such qualms and took advantage of the 30% reduction of effort as we pressed on at 20-22 mph.

We climbed a short steep hill out of the flood plain and I lost momentum because of heavy bike traffic as well as a couple of vehicles working their way around us. I shifted into a lower gear and winched my way up. As I was doing this I felt the twinge of the beginning of a cramp. Upon topping out I pulled to the side, popped a gel and drank some water. Before long John and Olivia came by and I buddied up with them on into Salem.

We met up with Erinn at the finish and had our cookie desert. I took the opportunity to take a picture of John and Olivia and conduct an impromptu interview.

We arrived back in Salem in 3 1/2 hours, just shortly after noon and could have ridden a second time at a slower pace and still finished by the 4PM course closing time. But it was a good day for visiting and just soaking in the "bikeyness" of it all. Erinn said she really wanted more than the 62 miles of the Monster Cookie and suggested that 75 miles would be good number...... and as I mentioned previously, a lady is always right. We started off on our second trip around the route with the plan to loop back around when we reached our mileage goal.

We followed the Monster Cookie route until we reached Perkins Road, just past Volcanos Stadium. Perkins Rd turned into Chemawa Rd which intersected with the return leg of the Monster Cookie route. As we pulled back into bike traffic we remarked how different these riders were from those we had rode with on the first time around. These folks didn't always look back or check a mirror before pulling around a slower rider....and right in front of us. Often there would be bottle necks when someone wouldn't go around a slower rider and everyone would bunch up 2 wide behind, and the pace was slower in general. We did however make it back to the finish area with 77 miles for the day........and another cookie! ;-)

It was a good ride and very nice weather. My pickup's thermometer showed the temperature in the low 70's.

Once again Erinn proved herself to be a great riding buddy. John and Olivia earned a tip of the hat, and Dave and Laura did well too. We didn't see them because we started a little earlier than they did and rode a little faster but we were in contact via cell from time to time during the day.


...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700


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