Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chilly Hilly



6 of us from our little social bike group traveled northward for Cascade Bicycle Club's Chilly Hilly.

We arrived on Bainbridge Island about dinner time last evening and gathered together at a local eatery before preparing our gear for today's ride.

We began the morning ride just before the first ferry load of cyclists from Seattle arrived. That put us ahead of the wave of 6000 cyclists (with a good share being just people on bikes) Doak didn't bring a camera and thus wasn't encumbered with photo op stops. He finished the 32 mile route at 10AM. The rest of us took a little more time to smell the roses and soak in the ambiance of this ride. With the short distance there is no real need for multiple rest stops. Cascade does provide one "official" rest stop but the course is full of local groups selling snacks and drinks. How can you turn away a gaggle of girlscouts selling cookies? ;-)

One thing that wasn't being sold was a local minister who was standing along the road in front of his church and offering free blessings for cyclists and their bikes for those interested. Mark and I partook of the generous offer. Are we now faster? Stronger? Maybe immune to drivers' anger? No matter, we figured it was bound to be a good thing!

Even though we were on an island the views of water weren't as numerous as one might expect. Much of the time the trees and greenery obscured the view of water but provided their own scenic backdrop.

The 6 of us who made the trip have been riding through the winter and did not find the hills to be all that bad. Many of the "People On Bikes" probably had their bikes out for the first time since last fall and were walking their bikes on even relatively moderate hills. With 6000 bikes on the road and narrow country roads this sometimes caused some bottlenecks but considering the number of bikes this event was put together well and there were no real issues encountered.

Even those of us taking photos and lolligagging around managed to finish before noon. Our little group gathered at a Mexican restaurant for lunch before heading back south.

Lots of photos of today's event are HERE

Some photos that won't be posted are on Kay's camera...... that's resting in the holding tank of a porta-potty. Long story!

video
(if you click on the "play" button you'll see a 5 min video compilation of my photos, including a couple of short video clips)


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......35................0.................35
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........692...............0................692
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....1320...............0...............1320

Saturday, February 27, 2010

act of contrition for an act of attrition


Led a Training Series ride for the social bike group today. We rode a 51 mile loop from Butteville to Keizer and back. Started off with 18 riders....lost over half as we rode along. Instructions were that the ride was for those that could ride a 15 mph "clock average" with 16-17 mph on the road.

Today's group couldn't quite do that, not even close. Most didn't bring cue sheets so we couldn't just ride away and leave them, felt compelled to make sure they made the turns. Some riders were commenting that they couldn't get the workout they needed. Others were getting more workout than they needed. Time to redefine and clarify the purpose and expectations of the Training Series.

We pedaled into the wind from Butteville to Keizer then enjoyed a tailwind on the return.

My only bright spot today was that at Gervais with 11 miles to go and no more turns I started to pedal with the goal to finish the 11 miles in less than 30 minutes. I finished in 28 minutes. :-)

17.6 mph on bike average for the day.

56 miles.



Now on my way to Bainbridge Island and Chilly Hilly!


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......56................0.................56
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........657...............0................657
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....1285...............0...............1285

Monday, February 22, 2010

Recovery Ride

Ok, maybe just another way of saying, felt lazy, but still rode some today.

The sun was shining brightly, highs temps in the low 60's, just couldn't resist getting out on the bike. After yesterday's poor performance I thought an easy day might be in order. I rode a flat out and back at a very leisurely pace. More "saddle time" than training.


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......25................0.................25
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........601...............0................601
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....1219...............0...............1219

Sunday, February 21, 2010

low on gas?

More likely low on blood pressure. I got up this morning dizzy. Not unusual for me, my blood pressure runs low normally. Today I couldn't seem to get back to normal. I drank lots of fluids, ate lots of food. Still at the start of today's ride any time I'd dip my head (like to look at my speedometer, shoes, gears, etc) the world would take a spin. I've been climbing a lot of elevation this week and my legs weren't at 100%. I could pedal flat ground, lead the group out at 19-20 mph for the first 8 miles or so, until we started climbing then got passed by one, then another, and another, until the entire group was waiting at Women's Forum Park for me. I did take the turn and head up Larch Mtn Road but wasn't sure how far I'd get. The ride up Larch Mtn was beautiful today.
The plan was for folks to ride uphill for an hour then turn around and cruise back down. Many made it to the snow gate today. I was not one of them. My hour was up and I turned around at MP 8. The cruise back down was fun. I reached the Historic highway in 16 minutes.

The road continued to loose elevation as it looped around the Vista House and made it's way to Multnomah Falls. It was just gorgeous today.

There was a noticeable east wind, but not too bad. Of course my point of view may be slightly askew since I rode in Death Valley into a 40-60 mph wind!


The temperature dropped as we headed east. At Multnomah Falls it was 42. With the shade of the Gorge walls and the wind it was cold. I was shivering AND still dizzy. I had a couple of powerbars from my pack and a hot dog from the concession stand. Along with my bottle of Accelerade I was hoping that would get me back over the hill and back to Troutdale. I shoved off with a group of about 6 and headed west.


The Historic Columbia River Highway was/is and engineering marvel. Gentle 5% maximum grades makes this a very doable ride and even this tired and dizzy guy climbed back up to Chanticleer Point with relative ease.

Our group started out this morning with 22 folks. We scattered a bit during the ride with a few cutting short, a few going long, and a few of us just going slow!
7 of us did manage to arrive back at Edgefield at nearly the same time, 5 of us decided to rest and rehydrate/replace carbs while there.



Today's total elevation gain was a big 8721 vertical feet in 55 miles.

In the last 7 days I've ridden 234 miles........with 28,080 ft of cumulative elevation gain.
It's predicted to be raining Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday. Maybe I should go for a FLAT recovery ride tomorrow!



............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......55................0.................55
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........576...............0................576
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....1194...............0...............1194

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Catching up

Today's ride was billed as "It's going to be sunny, let's go ride some hills" and we did. 7 of us from my social bike group took off from Scholls Heights today heading to Oregon City, New Era, Canby, Pete's Mountain and back. It was a hard ride for me today. I looked at the cool temps early this morning and dressed too warmly, I didn't eat enough on the ride, and I've been doing a substantial amount of climbing in the last few days. Gee, is that enough excuses? ;-)

Our little group did manage to hold a 14.6 on bike average on a course that had 58 miles and 5233 ft of elevation gain. (with a grade to 20%)

My fellow riders enjoyed passing me numerous times today. I was just low on energy it seemed.




Lauren and Doak taking a breather after climbing a 20% grade!


We were not above taking an elevator to get some of our climbing in today.
In actuality it was to avoid a rather dicey section of road.

It was easy to know which side of the Urban Growth Boundary we were on at anytime today. Here Lauren pedals past verdant pastures in the New Era area.


After climbing Pete's Mountain we were rewarded with great views.


And being a social bike group and all, 5 of us stayed for snacks and visiting at Metro Perc after our ride.



............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......58................0.................58
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........521...............0................521
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....1139...............0...............1139

Friday, February 19, 2010

a BIKEY day!

First:



Hello and congratulations!

You have been selected to compete in the 27th Anniversary Furnace Creek 508 on October 2-4, 2010, “The Toughest 48 hours in Sport.” You are part of a select group who will participate in this world-famous spiritual odyssey through Death Valley and the Mojave Desert. We look forward to sharing the experience with you!


Woo Hoo!

I keep in touch with my crewmate and rider from the `08 FC 508. We are bound by a common experience and are genuine friends. All three of us made the cut. It will be old home week in Death Valley in October!

`08's crew chief, Tom, will be riding in his first Furnace Creek 508, Mike and I will be riding in our second. It was fun to read Tom's email. The same thing I felt last year, and Mike the year before.

"Woo Hoo!"
"Oh 'crap'"
"Woo Hoo"
"holy 'crap'"
"Woo Hoo"
"what did I get myself into"

Mike and I have pretty much the same reaction, just muted a bit by knowing exactly what we've gotten ourselves into.

Here's what I sent back to the race director:

Re: 2010 Furnace Creek 508
...
Fri, February 19, 2010 7:18:22 PM
From: Kevin
To: Furnace Creek 508 Race Office

Woo Hoo! I am SO ready for a rematch with Death Valley. I truly hope to have conditions just like last year! Anything less and I'll always have to make excuses to friends on why I "wasn't good enough" to finish in `09. Bring it on!

Kevin "Desert Coyote" Van Dyke

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
What is happening in Kevin's corner of the bike world?
http://the-whir-of-spokes-in-air.blogspot.com
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Second:


It looks like the Race Across Oregon team has come together. Lauren and I will be riding in a mixed double relay team. Dave will be crew chief joined by Michelle and Tim. Tim and Michelle both ride, both have supported marathoners. Dave was a member of my `09 Furnace Creek endeavor. I had hoped to have all three members of my FC 508 crew join me at RAO for several reasons, but the other two had previous commitments. As serious an event as RAO is, I view it as a shakedown for this year's FC 508.


And third:

Art posted a ride for this afternoon.

Shorter than I would have liked but the sun was shining brightly and I couldn't resist. 5 of us rode from the Multnomah area of Portland's upper west side up

and over Council Crest dropping into downtown then climbing back over to the west side via Terwilliger Blvd.

Only 14 miles, but 2455 ft of net elevation gain. A great ride, and with the short distance I felt very strong. Rode up the hills pretty much at will. :-)

It was a great day, perfect weather, good friends, good hills, great news, and finally a good time at Lucky Lab Public House for our post ride social!



............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......14................0.................14
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........463...............0................463
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....1081...............0...............1081

Thursday, February 18, 2010

more hills!



I joined Joe and Beth from my social bike group today on a ride from Troutdale to Larch Mountain. The weather was absolutely gorgeous with a beautiful blue sky and a high in the low 60's. There was a 20-25 mph east wind, but we were sheltered enough to not have it be much of a bother. Our route was an out and back with most of the elevation gain coming on the "out".

Our intended route:
(route mapped as an "out" only, we obviously came "back" also so the distance and elevation aren't shown correctly on this map)

The snow gate was still closed though we suspected that with the mild winter there was no snow. It did cut our trip short today by 6 miles total.
I've seen Multnomah County Sheriff Officers sitting at the gate "conferring" with cyclists as they'd come back down the hill behind the "closed to wheeled vehicles" sign. All three of us, being law abiding cyclists, stayed on the open side of the gate and saved the ride to the top for another day.

The return trip was fast, downhill AND a tailwind are SO much fun! ;-)

I ended up with 42 miles and 4844 ft of accumulated elevation.

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......42................0.................42
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........449...............0................449
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....1067...............0...............1067

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More recovery? For Pete's sake!

My mother often uses the phrase "for Pete's sake", used in situations where some might say "well I be darned".

I'm not sure who Pete is but I want to know why he's so important that a hill was named after him.

On my last ride I joined Paul for about 3000 ft of climbing in a 33 mile route. Paul was a bit under the weather so it was a "recovery ride". If that was true, today was yet more recovery!

Social bike group buddy Carol and I rode from Wilsonville this afternoon. The weather was just gorgeous. We pedaled through the rollers on Advance Rd out towards the Canby Ferry but before reaching the ferry we turned on Hoffman road and out to Pete's Mountain Rd. We made our way over Pete's Mountain to Willamette and then over to Oregon City and across the Willamette River on the Oregon City bridge. As we pedaled south from Oregon City we got on a paved road that was closed to vehicles. From the moss growing on the asphalt it appears it's been closed for some time. Most of the road was reasonable, however we came to an area that slid away. Undoubtedly the reason the road was closed.




This "road" climbed up the hill and topped out back on residential streets, this time with a pretty good view.




From there we took residential streets over to South End Rd and on out to New Era. We made the turn to Canby and navigated to the Canby Ferry, back through the rollers on Advance Rd and closed the loop with 32 miles with 3827 ft of climbing. That's a lot of climbing for 32 miles. No wonder Carol felt tired!

(interactive map, all controls are functional)


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......32................0.................32
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........407...............0................407
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....1025...............0...............1025

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A recovery ride

I joined Paul today on his weekly "Scholls Sunday Summits" ride. The Worst Day of the Year Ride siphoned the rest of the regulars off so it was just us two today. Paul has been a bit under the weather lately and suggested a "recovery" ride. It was raining as we discussed this and it seemed like a good idea!

Note to folks, Paul's idea of a recovery ride may not be your idea of one. We rode 33 miles, a nice little route that included 3002 ft of climbing of some of the Scholls' area summits.

We weren't out to set records today. We planned on a nice Sunday ride and that was what we got. Though drippy when we started the weather improved as the day progressed. After our little hill climbing sojourn Paul and I visited and snacked a bit at Metro Perc.

As we went our separate ways I looked at the now mostly sunny skies and decided that this was the best day of the last several and since I've got big bike plans for the summer that I should probably ride a bit more.

In keeping with the recovery ride theme I didn't push hard, just base miles. I rode out to the Lake Stop Store near Hagg Lake and back. It added 45 miles and another 682 feet to the day's total.

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......78................0.................78
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........375...............0................375
_________________________________________
TOTAL......993...............0................993

Saturday, February 13, 2010

introducing..............

my Race Across Oregon partner! But first a recap of the day.

I led my Training Series again today. 11 of the 18 that were affirmative RSVP's last night showed up. I suspect that the first rainy day of the training series had something to do with it. No problem, we shoved off on time and rode anyway. It wasn't too bad, ya a bit wet, but most were prepared and it wasn't cold. We rode from Forest Grove out around Hagg Lake and back. With "rolling regroups" for faster riders I ended up with 35 miles with a 17 mph average. Most of the "class" did well today. While missing the "clock time" 15 mph goal they were close. Not bad at all considering the hills and the rain.

We had a short post ride lunch at Grand Lodge then my Race Across Oregon teammate and I were the only ones to opt for the bonus miles today. We rode another 35 miles out to Woodland Loop and back. A nice route, no rain on us this afternoon and a good climb up the backside of Woodland Loop.

When we got to the top my partner took advantage of the photo op.



After she got the picture with her phone, I got a picture of her with MY phone!
Introducing my 2010 Race Across Oregon teammate on a 2x adventure.......... Lauren!



She is a strong rider and more importantly has the same loose screw that all endurance cyclists do. "I'm tired, I'm sore, I'm hungry, I'm hot, I want to go home.....but for some reason only fathomable by those who do these things.... you ride on...and on....and on.

I am proud to have her join me in the RAO adventure.


Today's combined trips, mileage 70, elevation 3737 ft, 16.3 mph "on bike" average.


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......70................0.................70
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........297...............0................297
_________________________________________
TOTAL......913...............0................913

Friday, February 12, 2010

even shorter!

The rain was falling heavily this morning. It was one of those days where it would have been easy to find something else to do besides ride bike. Alas, I had told Frank I'd join him on a little hill workout today. I ran windshield wipers nearly the entire way to his place. Almost like magic the rain stopped as I got about a half mile away. We geared up for a wet ride and shoved off on a climb up NW Springville Rd to Skyline. We rode west on Skyline out to Logie Trail. We discussed riding down Rocky Pt road then along Hwy 30 with a climb back up to Skyline via Newberry Rd but time constraints convinced us to save that adventure for another day. We had a bit of rain on the ride today, nothing real serious. The wind was more of an issue, it was really blustery on the ridge top today.

Only 27 miles today, but 2784 ft of climbing!

Towards the end of the day the skies began to clear. It looks like my "Training Series" ride tomorrow may be dry........for the 4th week in a row!

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......27...............0.................27
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........227...............0................227
_________________________________________
TOTAL......843...............0................843

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mid week ride

Luis, Marcie, and I rode a short ride today. The forecast was for 80% chance of rain so we were pleasantly surprised (and overdressed!) when we only had one very light shower on the ride today. Temperatures were in the mid 50's, winds light, and sky overcast. Not bad weather wise for winter in Oregon. With the prediction of rain I brought my steel bike that's equipped with fenders. As it ended up I really didn't need that. I guess chalk it up to training. Heavier bike and less favorable gearing. I put my XeroLite wheels back in this morning saving my Bontragger RaceLite wheels from the wear and tear of winter road grit. I've got a new IRD 11-28 9spd cogset to put on this set of wheels but didn't get it switched over yet so I was still on the 12-25.
We had some hills on today's route. Mapmyride said 728 feet in 34 miles but that seems a bit short on elevation gain. I managed to get my bike to the top of the hills a bit quicker than my partners today. Rather than waiting at the top I practiced what our group likes to call a "rolling regroup". I'd reach the top then turn around and ride back the way I came, passing my still uphill riding partners as I whizzed by. After an "adequate amount of distance" I'd turn around and climb the hill again, hopefully arriving at the top about the same time as the others. That little method ended up giving me 39 miles today with 2128 ft of climbing to my partners' 34 miles with 728 ft.

I felt good today and held a 15.3 mph on bike average even with the climbing.

Luis didn't have such a nice day, he had 3 flats, 2 rear and 1 front. The two on the rear may have been related. The last one came close enough to the end that he just walked his bike the remaining distance.





............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......39...............0.................39
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........200...............0................200
_________________________________________
TOTAL......818...............0................818

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

practice run

I dallied away the early morning waiting for the fog to clear and temps to warm a bit. (pansy that I am!) I finally hopped on the bike and pre-rode the 51 mile route that I will be leading as Training Series ride #6 in a couple of weeks. Another nice day on a bike!

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......51...............0.................51
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........161...............0................161
_________________________________________
TOTAL......779...............0................779

Monday, February 8, 2010

another beautiful day, but alas, no riding

Another great day. I was just preparing to ride a 75 mile "commute" to turn in some paperwork for last week's conference when I got a call to help a member of my social bike group distribute some bike show posters. So I spent the day using my "Garmin skills" to navigate around various bike shops on a 150 mile day of driving! We talked bike, saw bikes, and advertised a bike show. I guess it qualifies as bikey enough to post it here. ;-)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

great weather for a birthday ride

19 of my social riding buddies joined me on a beautiful day to ride bikes....oh, and celebrate a birthday. (that was actually Friday but I was out of town then)

My Training Series riders were on tap for 25-30 miles and I wanted to ride 55 miles for my birthday. Since I was out of town it all had to be rolled into one ride. I accomplished this by setting a 27.5 mile course. 6 of us rode 1 lap as "pre ride bonus miles" then we were joined by 13 more. (1 rider from the pre-ride had Super Bowl plans and left after the first lap and one showed up after the picture was taken)

video

The first lap was fast by plan. I was at a conference that still had me on the coast this morning so couldn't get back to ride until 12:30. My Training Series was slated to be riding at 2:30PM so I knew I had to be finished up with the 27.5 miles in about 90 minutes in order to be back in time to coordinate the other riders. I managed to get back in 91 minutes. an 18.1 true "clock time" average

The second lap riders got a bit of a jump on a few of us as we waited just a bit for a couple of guys that were running a bit late. We managed to catch up with the group about 6 miles into the ride. Shortly after catching them one of the women had a flat.
video
It gave slower riders a chance to regroup with us and all hung around as the flat was repaired then pedaled off.

The "on bike" average for lap two was 18 mph so we managed to hold a good pace today. The "class" did well too with most finishing at or under 2 hours total time, even with the flat caused delay.

About 8 of us retired to Wanker's Corner to catch Superbowl halftime festivities and restock both solid and liquid calorie reserves. ;-)

Thanks to my sis who showed up with a chocolate birthday cake complete with candles!


It was another good day for the training series. 3 weekend rides in a row with no rain, and the added bonus of one midweek after dark "homework" ride organized by a member that was also dry. I'm sure that will change, it is after all winter in Oregon, but it's nice while it's lasting!

An absolutely perfect day for biking. Mid 50's, no appreciable wind, blue sky all around, and joined by a good group of friends.

Thanks all!



............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......55...............0.................55
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb........110...............0................110
_________________________________________
TOTAL......728...............0................728

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A long time off bike

I've been at a conference since Wednesday and won't return until tomorrow around 12:30PM, just in time to bike 55 miles with friends. While I've been sitting here in meetings my Race Across Oregon partner rode 80 hilly miles today. Tomorrow while I'm in my last meeting she will be riding a 40+ mile hilly ride including a ride up Bald Peak. I need to get back on the bike soon and ride hard lest she leave me in her dust regularly!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a nice day and a can of pavement marking paint

I took advantage of the sunny day and dry roads to pre-ride the route I'll be leading with my social group this weekend. While riding the route I carried a can of the non-permanent, brightly colored, pavement marking paint. The route will now be easier to navigate for those that fall off the back, or spring out in front! ;-)

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.........TOTAL
Today.......55...............0.................55
Jan........618...............0................618
Feb.........55...............0.................55
_________________________________________
TOTAL......673...............0................673

Monday, February 1, 2010

A continuation

I met late last evening with Lauren, a strong woman cyclist who has agreed to join with me as a two person mixed team in July's Race Across Oregon. We talked about the fun and adventure of competing in this 520 mile bike racing event. Oh, and we talked a bit about the commitment required too. ;-) This is going to be FUN!

By the time that all wound down it was 12:02 AM, officially "today" and the application for this year's Furnace Creek 508 would be available. I went to AdventureCORPS website and promptly filled out the application.

Not so much that the adventure has begun as it has officially continued.


Mon, February 1, 2010 12:33:12 AM
From: AdventureCORPS race office
To: kevin

Hello Athlete-Adventurer!

Thank you for submitting your application to compete in the 27th Anniversary Furnace Creek 508 on October 2-4, 2010. This is a bold step you have taken and we salute you for the commitment it implies!

Due to the high volume of qualified applicants, it's unfortunate that it is impossible to invite every athlete who applies, including some race veterans. Thus, we appreciate your understanding if you are not invited this year. If that's the case, we encourage you to support another cyclist, or team, in the race as The 508 could not go on without dedicated and competent support crews.

According to the timeline outllined on the website, we will notify you via email whether you are, or are not, confirmed to compete in the 2010 Furnace Creek 508. If you, or you and your team, are accepted to compete, you will be emailed the two-page Entrant Contract and Personal Waiver. You will have just seven days to submit the paperwork and entry fee to AdventureCORPS in order to secure your spot on the race roster