I rode the "Three Prairies Permanent" today with a half dozen Oregon Randonneurs. The last time I rode this route I had issues with multiple flats and had to cut my ride short, stopping with just over 100 miles. Today as I drove towards Newberg for our 7AM start the roads were dry and the temp 37. Not all that bad for an early morning in February. But as I drove the rain began falling. By the time I got to Newberg there was not doubt it would be a wet and cold ride.
We began by riding south on Hwy 99 and we looked like a string of Christmas lights, blinkies galore! The route is pretty much two out and backs with the first one taking us to Dallas. We had a trailing wind as we made our way south. A north wind in these parts means drying weather. Dry it did, by about 30 miles into the ride the clouds left us and we had a very nice, though windy, day for the remainder of our trip.
I really wanted to be finished up before dark. John Henry and Joanne, on a tandem shared my desire. With the trailing wind we rode a pretty quick pace and within 10 miles left the rest of our group behind. We continued on to Dallas where we stopped for a snack at Safeway. While there John Henry asked the clerk to initial his ride card (a Rando thing to prove you were there) The clerk said it was against company policy. Must be a leftover "national security thing" from the previous administration. ;-) The woman behind him in line had no qualms and did the duty.
While we were there Bill rode in. We left Dallas and headed back north with Bill in tow.
A bit north of Rickreal Bill's legs had enough and he dropped back. We crossed a railroad track and I gained a bit of distance on the tandem. They caught up in a few miles but just as they caught up we hit a hill. My single bike climbs a bit easier than the tandem and I left them behind. As I crested the hill I put my head down and pedaled hard expecting them to come barreling up on me at any moment. I never saw them again. It seems it was their turn for the flats today. They reported two flats for the trip. With all the wet grit and grime picked up in the first few hours when the wind came up and it stopped raining my freshly lubed chain was singing some pretty ugly songs to me. I stopped at a small market in hopes of finding some type of light weight oil. I would have settled for 3 in 1 oil, or even WD-40. What I got was power steering fluid. Note to self........ power steering fluid, while not proper chain lube, does quiet a noisy/grinding chain for the rest of the day!
The wind picked up during the day and it took noticably more effort riding north. Unfortunately both legs of our out and back ran more or less north and south.
Somehow I missed seeing the rest of the group at the Mt Angel turn around. Either they were in a different part of town when I was there or they were on the short section where the in and the out are on different routes. Either way I didn't see them until the end. I had a much easier time today than last month when I rode with them. I was more cognizant of keeping adequate calories coming in. No bonking for me today!
The one issue I had was when I got to the finish I noticed my cell phone had shaken out of my rear bag. I had used it with about 15 miles to go in today's ride so I drove back on the route hoping to find it. No luck finding it on the route, but by the time I got home it had been located. Note... putting the message "If found please call 503-xxx-xxxx" on the phone's wallpaper is a good idea! :-)
As it ends up, the folks who found it have a family member who works in my hometown. I should have it back by tomorrow morning!
So it was a pretty good day. I finished up before dark, so did John Henry and Joanne on the tandem. Bill would have been pretty close but I didn't see him as I was out looking for a cell phone. Cecil Anne and Lynne weren't far behind.
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Year to date....854.....+.........30.......=.......885