Monday, October 27, 2008

Yet another great fall day!

I took off this morning for a little ramble around the countryside. The weather was perfect, blue sky, light winds, reasonable temperatures!

I headed out and around Hagg Lake, a route I hadn't ridden in many months. When I got back to Forest Grove the weather was just too good to stop riding so I went to Hillsboro and back via the "Snoozeville Populaire" route.

We will eventually get those blustery and wet days, but in the meantime I'm going to ingrain these days into my memory!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today.............56...............0.................56
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
Sept total....338.....+.........0.....=...........338
YTD...........5858....+.......766....=.........6624

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Some good luck, some bad



I joined John and Joanne, Oregon Randonneurs members, who were on their tandem today and rode the Cows and Capes Permanent. We were starting early and on my drive over to the coast I had to run windshield wipers for most of the way. Once I met them in Manzanita the rain stopped but the roads were still wet. They remained so for most of our first 40-50 miles, however, it never rained on us. Before too long the clouds dissipated and we were left with beautiful blue skies with a trailing wind for our ride from near Seaside south to Cape Meares.

A tandem is traditionally slower on the climbs and lightning fast on descents. Their Canondale was no exception. I felt like I was in a Polka-Dot jersey denoting the "King of the Mountain" today as I didn't have to work too hard at all to stay ahead of them on the climbs. They make up for it though by making me pedal hard to keep up as they coasted down the hills at 40+ mph. (I got to use my new 56-11 setup!)

We were on a set route that Rando folks call a "permanent". They can ride it at anytime for credit, but it has very strict rules as to direction and time. We also had to stop to get receipts to "prove" we were on the course. I missed a turn coming off Cape Lookout and was finally informed by a passing motorist that my friends were waiting for me back up the road. That added about 5 miles to my planned trip today!
One of the legs sent us over the Trask river. The sign at the beginning of the road told us "road closed at Trask River", which concerned us but hey, rules are rules. ;-) We rode to the bridge and luckily for us, yes the bridge was under construction and closed to traffic, but there was a construction access crossing that we were able to walk the bikes across.

We had stops along the way for lunch in Tillamook, looking for the colored zip tie "control", and trying to ascertain the answer to the question concerning the distance to the Trask River. (as well as changing a flat tire on my bike!) It's all in good "Rando Fun". We were "off bike" for nearly two hours total, and it was enough to run us out of daylight. We finished about the last 45 minutes in darkness.
It was a good thing I still had the RAO reflective material on my bike! My HID light was safe in my pickup... :( ... but I did have my blinkies. John and Joanne put on the very bright front light and we just pedaled on.

We had a few miles on Hwy 101 as we returned north and were very happy to note that during the day the wind had shifted........ we now had a tailwind again!

As I tallied the score for the day I noted:

Good luck
Perfect weather,
Tailwind BOTH directions,
Good company
and another 100+ mile day on the books

Bad:
Ruined a tire
It got dark on us

Looks like there was more good than bad!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............135...............0................135
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
Sept total....338.....+.........0.....=...........338
YTD...........5802....+.......766....=.........6568

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The weather gods are smiling

It's been a great few days and the weather gurus are saying the good weather should hold through the weekend. I've had a busy week but finally got a short ride in today. Tomorrow I join a couple of folks for a ride, and on Saturday I will be going to the coast for 125 miles with 7000 ft! That ought to get me out of this "non rider" situation!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today.............36...............0.................36
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
Sept total....338.....+.........0.....=...........338
YTD...........5667....+.......766....=.........6433

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A social ride............

........in the middle of a longer ride. I took a tip from my Oregon Randonneur friends who "ride to the ride". I thought it might be a good thing to finally ride with a social bike group I belong to. They were planning on riding 25-30 miles with a coffee stop in the middle. I rode to Gladstone High School where the group had a planned 10AM shove off. We rode into Portland via residential streets and Springwater and Waterfront Trails. We crossed the Steel Bridge and made our way down to River Place where we stopped for a time and had sandwiches, warm drinks, etc. We then made our way back. All tolled, 32 miles with the group, in 5 hours. ;-)
Add that to the 64 mile round trip commute and it was a good day! It started out cloudy and a bit cool, but cleared up by afternoon.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today.............96...............0.................96
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
Sept total....338.....+.........0.....=...........338
YTD...........5631....+.......766....=.........6397

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sunny afternoon

Perfect afternoon for a ride! I was in Sherwood for a meeting this morning but finished up just before noon. I had my bike with me. I went for a nice 56 mile ride. Perfect weather, just perfect.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today.............56...............0.................56
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
Sept total....338.....+.........0.....=...........338
YTD...........5535....+.......766....=.........6301

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thursday, October 16, 2008

dodged a bullet....

....or at least a few raindrops!

After a few days of glorius fall sunshine we had a few rainshowers overnight. This morning looked pretty wet and dreary. There were rain showers playing around in the surrounding hills as I fielded a "decided not to join you" email. What was I to do? I put on my neoprene shoe covers, a Tyvek jacket, and headed out for a ride. ;-) As it ended up it was a good ride. The road was damp but not splashy as I started out but soon dried off. It was cool, but not cold, and I never did get rained on.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today.............48...............0.................48
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
Sept total....338.....+.........0.....=...........338
YTD...........5479....+.......766....=.........6245

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I have priorities

but ignored them this morning and went for a bike ride! Cloudless October days will do that to a person.

Just cruised around the Tualatin Valley.

(late afternoon update)
I was emailing with my Furnace Creek 508 teammates today and talking about next year's plans. Talk of such things as another run at Race Across Oregon and a shot at Furnace Creek 508. I was leaning real hard towards a solo entry in the Race Across Oregon and there was some talk of a team effort in the Furnace Creek 508.
I went to the Race Across Oregon websiteto get some answers to questions and lo and behold, I note that in `09 RAO and STP are scheduled for the same weekend.

Quite a conundrum. I absolutely love the STP and the challenge of riding all 204 miles in one day. I've increased my average speed each of the 4 years I've participated. It is THE BEST organized bike event I've ever attended.

Compare that with Race Across Oregon where I see a lot of lost opportunities for the organizer to improve. Yes, it would be fun and a great challenge to return to RAO as a soloist and see what I'm capable of. At the same time the impetus for competing in the `08 RAO was to have it on my resume when I apply for inclusion in the `09 Furnace Creek 508. Any participation in the `09 RAO would be after registration was submitted for the 508 so that reason does not exist this year.

So, short version.... I'm really on the fence as to whether I will return to RAO this year. If I don't participate in RAO it will really put the pressure on heading back to Death Valley next October ......and this time bring my bike!

So it's back to focusing on the two year plan.
1)Participate in the `09 Furnace Creek 508
2)Have some fun in the process...ie "more miles and more smiles"

Given that I'd have to miss STP I'm not sure RAO fits into that real well.
Maybe saving the money involved in competing in RAO and put it towards a full effort on FC 508 is the best course of action.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today.............44...............0.................44
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
Sept total....338.....+.........0.....=...........338
YTD...........5431....+.......766....=.........6197

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another nice day

The day started off with a trip over to the Cyclo-Cross race in Wilsonville. It was my first time to see one of these. Pretty wild!

After watching the cross race for a few hours I just had to get on a bike. The Harvest Century was also held today. I don't ride OrBike events but the course went with in a few blocks of my sister and brother-in-law's house. I took off mid afternoon following the Dan Henrys for the Harvest Century until I got in the Scholls area then took River Rd to Hillsboro before turning around and making my way back to Wilsonville. It was a nice day for a ride, a little improvement over yesterday only because there was no wind to speak of. Before long the rain will set in but in the meantime it's nice to be out and about.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today.............61...............0.................61
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
Sept total....338.....+.........0.....=...........338
YTD...........5387....+.......766....=.........6153

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's October

But today was a very nice fall day. Crisp in the morning with a bit of frost here and there but not a cloud in the sky. Dave and I put on long cycling pants and wind jackets along with long fingered gloves. It was just about right for the weather. As the day warmed Dave took off the jacket, I kept mine on. We had invited several folks to join us, some from a group that advertises that longer distances and hills are to their liking, but alas, Dave and I were by ourselves. There were quite a few other cyclists out enjoying the day also.

We started from Wilsonville and headed across the Canby Ferry then south on Meridian Rd. We got a few miles from Silverton then headed to Scott's Mills then back on Kropf Rd to Lone Elder and Canby. One more ride on the ferry and a few miles and we were back in Wilsonville.

It was a nice 56 mile ride.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today.............56...............0.................56
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
Sept total....338.....+.........0.....=...........338
YTD...........5326....+.......766....=.........6092

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Remembering how to ride a bike

Late this morning I found my bike, aired the tires, and went out for a ride! After the last bit of time doing bikey things but not riding, it felt good to get out on the road. It was a bit of an odd feeling just out there by myself, green trees around, a bit cool in the fall air, no time clock running. Just out for a ride! I had things on the schedule for today so couldn't ride too long, but it was fun while I was out there.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today.............44...............0.................44
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
Sept total....338.....+.........0.....=...........338
YTD...........5270....+.......766....=.........6036

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

almost back to normal

I arrived back home this morning at 8:15 AM after the drive home from Santa Clarita. I stopped for a one hour nap near Redding Ca adding 1 hour to the 15 hour drive. Better safe than sorry. :-) I have a few hours before an evening meeting........ back to the grind. I will start sorting through the many photos and video of the Furnace Creek 508 and get them put into some sort of coherent order then put them into the FC 508 blog postings here.

I just want to say once again how much fun the Furnace Creek 508 experience was. I appreciate Mike "Siberian Husky" Arenberg and Tom Eller for taking a chance on me and allowing me to share in the fun. Tom has crewed many RAAMs (Race Across America) and it was quite educational to see first hand how an experienced crew member sets things up and operates. I learned a lot of things from both Mike and Tom that will help me when I ride the FC 508.

It was very interesting to be observing a rider rather than riding myself. Having ridden long distances (though not nearly 509 miles!) I knew a lot of what he had to be going through. When I'd see him stop pedaling for a moment and stretch I knew exactly how he felt. When he came to incredibly rough sections of road I knew exactly how that felt too. I can appreciate the effort that Mike put into this major accomplishment. I am happy that I in some small way helped make that possible.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Driving up Hwy 99 on way home after FC508. Great time, great guys. I am now in Merced

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mission Accomplished!



Finished.....509 miles, 35,000 ft of climbing. Placed about 29th of 91 solo riders. What a stud Mike Arenberg is!

It's going to take a few days to get all the photos, videos, and data sorted and compiled. Check back here for a lot more information when it's available.

Update:
Finally got the DVD put together.
Here's a lower resolution version of it.

video

36 miles to go with

36 miles to go with about 3000 ft of climbing. It is quite warm, but managable. He's going to make it!

They call this pavement?

They call this pavement? Unbelievably rough!

(click on photo to enlarge.....posted via cell phone so resolution is not that good, but take my word for it, it was like riding over golf balls!)

through Baker ts at 8:48am,

through Baker ts at 8:48am, Tough ride.....tougher rider. Currently at mile 387. Blue sky, light wind, ROUGH road!

been a tough night..

been a tough night..t storm etc but making it (posted via cell phone)

Update:
The first 24 hours of the Furnace Creek 508 we almost behind us. The weather during the first day had been challenging and yet at the same time helpful.

At the start of the race the sky was mostly clear. The elevation was 1100ft. By the time we started climbing in the San Francisquito Canyon we got into thick fog. At times we couldn't see 100 ft. The wind was blowing about 20 mph and the fog. It was raining very lightly along with all this. The road was wet and slippery.

The riders had started with cool morning air so most wore armwarmers, legwarmers, or if lucky a light windbreaker........ but from my position 24.4 miles in at the corner of Elizabeth Lake Rd and Johnson Rd (el 3330ft) I saw a lot of wet, cold, miserable riders. They had crossed a 3740ft summit to get to where I was so the descent had chilled them.

I had positioned myself there to find out what Siberian Husky wanted. Yellow glasses? Clear?, Windbreaker? Long pants? Full fingered gloves?......... scarf and fur lined boots????? I had a walkie talkie with me and would communicate what we needed to have ready to the crew chief Tom, sitting with our support van up the road a good mile. I had dug my coat and long pants out for this duty and was very glad that I had packed them along!

Siberian Husky came by at 8:41AM, I ran along side as he climbed the hill just long enough to get the answers he needed then radioed the information to Tom.

As we crossed over Johnson Summit we rose out of the fog to see a blue sky with about 50% cloud cover.

The map shows road names like "Avenue D", "90th Street", and such, but this was definitely rural hill countryside.

Siberian Husky was riding in a very stiff crosswind, perhaps 25-30mph and had the very deep carbon rims of the Zipp 808 wheels to deal with. At 49.5 miles in, at Bacchus Rd, we traded out the front Zipp 808 for the Xero XR1 so that the wheels wouldn't catch so much of that crosswind. We left the rear Zipp in because it would take longer to change and wasn't as critical to handling issues.... we hoped. Mike also took off the warm clothes he had put on during the drizzle and fog.

At this point Siberian Husky began "The Windmill" climb, an effort that would bring him to 4150 ft elevation.



(more updates to come later)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Inspection day.

Inspection day. The excitement builds.

Here's our rider, Mike "Siberian Huskie" Arenberg


Our rider, like all Siberian Huskies, is getting anxious to start this show.



I wore my Race Across Oregon t-shirt today. (not my team shirt..saving that for the finish line, but rather the event shirt) Glad I did. At the FC 508 that event is quite a buzz. Met the Two Person Team 50+ course record holder. Met the Recupright record holder. ....they got to meet the 4 Person Team 50+ course record holder! ;-)

Tonight we attended the riders meeting. Really too much about who the organizers are, why they are doing this, why they've done such a good job. There was 90 minutes of that, followed by 30 minutes of mostly telling us the rules that we already have written in our race book. The room was about 20% too small for the number of folks who attended. Ah, all just sour grapes I guess.

Tomorrow we will be up early and head over to the starting line. This will be so much fun!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Travel day

6:51 AM No bike.....but still bikey!
Having left home early (2AM!)daylight finds me in Nothern California on my way to the Furnace Creek 508. The adventure has begun!

11 AM, in Sacramento. Almonds, melons, and rice in the farms. I guess I'm not in Kansas anymore! About 400 miles to go.

1:20 PM Mile 685 into my journey, citrus and aquaducts abound, also some pistachio orchards!.

3:11 PM 120 miles from LA, remarkably vacant. There is just nothing out here except powerlines and cell/microwave towers. Even in the more desolate areas of Oregon if a freeway intersects with another main road there will be a few support type business....gas, cafe, auto repair. Along this stretch there was nothing...absolutely nothing. Just miles and miles of dust and irrigated agriculture. No farm building or anything. Oh, there was one very large feed lot. Probably 80 acres under roof, mountains of hay stacked outside, several thousand beef animals. A noticeable brown cloud was riding the wind from the direction of LA. I sure wouldn't want to be breathing that air everyday.

4:55 PM After 932 miles, I have arrived in Santa Clarita!

Then proceeded to prepare for the ride. After getting most of our stuff ready we walked down the block and took the opportunity to unwind a bit.

Left to right,
Mike "Siberian Husky" Arenberg, Tom Eller, and me.


Over the course of the race I'll give updates from my phone. I'll get back on here and spruce up the layout after we finish up.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

1st weekend in October

I'm still my father's son, I grew up knowing this is the opening weekend of deer season here in Western Oregon.
It's also the weekend for the Kitsap Color Classic, a nice little bike ride put on by the Cascade Bicycle Club.

Which will I be doing?

Neither!

I'm taking off tonight for Southern California! I'm a last minute addition to the crew for Furnace Creek 508 competitor Mike "Siberian Husky" Arenburg. It's a big endeavor both for rider and crew. I missed out on most of the planning since I'm a late addition to cover for a member who had to drop out. Just travel alone is daunting, a day to get to Santa Clarita, 2 days to follow the rider to 29 Palms, a day to drive back to the start where my pickup will be sitting. A day to drive back home. I am told by previous competitors that riding the 508 is a life altering experience. I guess for we crew members it will just be an adventure! ;-)

I added up my monthly totals for September. As pathetic as 338 miles is, it would have been even worse if I had not logged 166 miles last weekend! Mountain climbing, hiking, hunting..... so many things to do in fall in Oregon!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today..............0...............0..................0
Jan total.......98.....+........402....=..........500
Feb total.....385.....+.......220....=...........605
Mar total.....659.....+........41.....=...........700
April total...629.....+........57.....=...........676
May total.....642.....+........23.....=...........665
June total....804.....+.........0.....=...........804
July total....933.....+.........0.....=...........933
August total..732.....+........23.....=...........755
Sept total....338.....+.........0.....=...........338
YTD...........5222....+.......766....=.........5992

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++