Saturday, July 31, 2010

A great end to the month

I rode from Diamond Lake up to and around Crater Lake and back today. What a beautiful day for this ride! Not a cloud in the sky, light wind, not too cold, not too hot. Just right! 2 friends joined me today.

It was a bit formidable on paper. We'd climb 2800 ft in the first 18 miles, and a total of just over 6300 ft in the 63 mile ride.

Go  HERE to see the  photos.
I did manage to break 1000 miles for the month as I pedaled along the rim of Crater Lake. Not a bad location to reach that milestone at all!

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today........63...............0...............0...........63
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July......1020...............0................0.........1020
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....6279...............0..............5.........6284

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mid week ride

I managed to get off work early enough to join my social bike group for a ride from Troutdale into the hills south of the Columbia Gorge tonight. It is a rather hilly 30 miles with a climb to Larch Mountain Rd via Louden Road. It was a good night for biking the hills. It was not overly hot, and I was in good enough shape to be able to just play around on the hills, pretty much able to pass or catch whoever/whenever I wanted. ;-)

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today........30...............0...............0...........30
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July.......957...............0................0..........957
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....6213...............0..............5.........6218

Sunday, July 25, 2010

RAO, Day 2

again, my apologies for not getting the full update here yet. For now the total miles I rode on day two of RAO was 171. A full description will be coming.

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......171...............0...............0..........171
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July.......927...............0................0..........927
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....6183...............0..............5.........6188

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Race Across Oregon-Day 1

Okay, okay, it's taking longer than expected to get my blog updated. Tons of photos and data to sort through and a full work day to boot..........plus 8 weeks until Furnace Creek 508 means I "need" to ride bike too.

I'll get a full write up and photos posted, but it will take awhile.

Thanks for your patience.

+++++ interim update +++++++

Plans to put together a little video of our participation in Race Across Oregon hit a snag. In consideration of my riding partner's privacy concerns I won't be making one. I'll post some narrative and photos here in the next few weeks.

We were a team united by a common goal.


We even had a mascot suitably attired in team kit thanks to my sister!

We had a 15 passenger van converted into a bike race support van, complete with lights, signage, and a microwave oven! All that was left was to ride the bikes.

I took the team's first leg, a climb from Hood River up a few side roads then on Hwy 35 up towards Bennet Pass. It would include the steepest pitch of the entire RAO coarse. I had my bike tuned up prior to RAO but did not get a chance to ride it. A mistake that I knew better than to commit. I did run it through the gears on the work stand but found out that is not the same as riding! My triple chainrings are 56x43x30 so I drop to my small ring quicker than most folks would. Unfortunately I found out very quickly into the race that I could not shift into my small chainring. That meant I climbed some pretty steep pitches in 43x28. Doable, but not the high cadence spinning I'm accustomed to. I tried to adjust the barrel adjuster as I rode but as luck would have it the shop had it turned completely down and I had no additional adjustment available.


I rode 19.25 miles and climbed 2270 ft with a 14.3 mph avg. Not too bad by my standards, but was enough out of contention that I was only ahead of the lone female rider at the end of my leg.
As luck would have it, she was the female half of the other mixed double team, Team Teal, from Canada.

The plan was for Lauren to ride a leg as soon as a rider exchange was legal. I knew I'd be tired, this was a race and we both expected to be putting out some effort. Before this race was over we'd be riding on a sunny Sunday afternoon, but it wasn't your normal Sunday afternoon bike ride by any stretch of the imagination!

There were some pre ride jitters and last minute pointers as she prepared to take her first pull. video


I'd jump back on when she figured she had enough and ride on up to the summit then descend to Shearers Falls. It would be a long leg, but with mostly downhill I figured I could do it and keep Lauren fresh for her anticipated climb from Shearers Falls up the long unsupported hill towards Grass Valley.
She ended up riding an 8.68 mile leg with 1210 ft at a 12.2 mph avg.
I used my down time to adjust my front derailleur shifting. It would not be a problem for the rest of the ride. Another benefit of having the bike inside the support vehicle.

I jumped back on the bike and climbed the remaining elevation before turning on Forest Road 44 and heading mostly downhill to the Deschutes River. I ended up riding 49.89 miles with 2733 ft of climbing, and a staggering 5454 ft of descent. I averaged 18.6 mph for the run. Even at the time I thought it might be a bit too long a leg to bite off. By the time I really knew it was too long we were too close to Shearers Falls and Lauren's climb to put her back on the road without just toasting her prior to the climb. I just pedaled it on out. The male half of Team Teal had passed me on one of the climbs about half way through my 50 mile pull. I just didn't have the legs to challenge him.

Giving Lauren a long rest might have been a good plan however. Lauren climbed the 1617 ft in 11.58 miles from Shearers Falls at a very strong 9.3 mph average. I and the entire crew were very impressed.

From this point on for the first day we pretty much traded half hour stints on the bike. We rode past hundreds of wind turbines, all sitting mostly idle in a rare low wind day. It was warm though, with temperatures in the upper 90's. Lauren and I both took to our hot weather plans and did our best to cool off during our down time (plenty of cold fluids, wet towel compresses, electrolyte replacement) and to keep temperature rise to a minimum during our on bike time. (cold neck wraps, soaked jerseys, squirt gun soakings as we rode) Our crew had very defined roles at exchanges and we didn't have to remove wheels or anything else. This would prove to be very advantageous during the night when the entire team had to come to a stop to do the exchange. We stayed within minutes of Team Teal throughout the day, once evening came we started making progress.

We started catching solo riders and many of the two person teams who had dropped me on the first climb up Hwy 35 that morning by the time we neared Condon and were passing a whole slew of them in the Heppner area. It was very gratifying to just power past them. As much as I'd like to attribute it to strong legs it was at least equally the result of very quick rider exchanges. I didn't time a changeover, but I saw other teams stop, unrack a bike, put the front wheel on, set the rider on the road, who'd now wait until the other bike had it's wheel removed, and bike racked before they could ride on. We probably had our exchanges down to well under 30 seconds. Bikes stored ready to ride and unfastened before stopping, the crew took the retiring rider's bike and rolled it in. We'd take off down the road while the bike was being fastened in, gps removed and data downloaded, and any issues dealt with.

I was pedaling up Franklin Summit playing cat and mouse with the male half of Team Teal. I'd pass him, he'd pass me, repeat. I finally decided to conserve energy and just pace behind him and his support car. I knew the summit was coming soon.......and knew I had the gearing to use the descent down the back side to my advantage. I could hear Team Teal's support crew as they talked to their rider via the PA "The Flying Aquarians are keeping the heat on". Indeed, just biding my time, waiting for that descent.

As we approached the summit I poured the coal to the effort. As I crested the climb I shifted into the big ring, a monster 56 and started grabbing smaller cogs as I gained speed. I was in 56x11 as I roared past Team Teal and another competitor who was a hundred feet of so ahead of them. I kept the power on because when you pass ...you want to pass with authority. Don't give them the idea that they might just be able to draft you or regain the lead. It was pitch black by now and it took a bit for my support car to make the passes. I did not have my HID light on, only a 1 watt LED. I was beginning to wonder why I didn't have the bright light on as I was rocketing down the hill at 45 mph with a LED headlight and getting beyond the headlight range of the teams I had just passed. But before it was too long or too dark I could tell that the Flying Aquarian support vehicle was back behind me. We had some excellent auxiliary lighting that completely eliminated shadows.

During the night we had planned on doing longer pulls for several reasons. First, to allow the "off" rider to get more meaningful sleep. Secondly, to reduce stopped time since at night everything had to come to a stop while we exchanged since rules dictated that the rider had to be in the headlight beam at all times. Dave, our crew chief had us doing 90 minute pulls. It worked well.

Lauren and I put a 17 minute lead on Team Teal during the night hours.

I ended up with 154 miles and 12,079 ft of climbing on the first day.

DAY TWO will be described later.

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......154................0...............0..........154
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July.......756...............0................0..........756
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....6012...............0..............5.........6018

Today's the day

The Race Across Oregon began for solo riders just minutes ago. Two person teams begin in two hours. I will be taking the first leg, from Hood River up towards Bennett Pass.

One small detail became apparent last evening as we prepared for this morning. In my rush to get on the road yesterday I failed to bring my heart rate pickup, looks like I'll be racing without a tachometer. Funny how you get to rely on these technologies. I rode for years without heart rate data, now I rely on it, especially when climbing or riding hard............both of which will be in abundance during Race Across Oregon.

Oh well, as RAAM veteran Sandy Earl says, just "ride the #&%^*# bike"!

Friday, July 23, 2010

RAO eve

The Flying Aquarians are in Hood River!

We passed inspection (bikes, signage, lighting, proof of insurance) and are officially on the roster for tomorrow AM. The crew is off on a shopping spree for crew food and a few last minute team supplies, Lauren and I are resting up a bit and just plain unwinding. It's been a very busy week. (as demonstrated by my slowness in getting my STP photos uploaded from last week!)

I've got some photos of today's pre RAO activities but my crew chief has the van keys and my SD card reader is in the van so........... check back on Tuesday to see a few photos of today's activities.

The crew will be taking photos and notes as well as the more usual support duties so expect a multimedia presentation when this is all over with.

We have a ride meeting in 15 minutes and will hear some last minute reminders and be able to meet our competition.

The crew will be icing down drinks later tonight as those of us pedaling will be getting some early bedtime orders.

Tomorrow the Flying Aquarians will take off on a 536 mile, 40,000 ft of elevation gain bike race! Yup, we are just crazy enough to think this kind of thing is FUN!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

soon to be racing across Oregon

It's been a busy busy week. I've advised my riding partner as well as our crew to be sure to get plenty of rest during this last week as we prepare to race 536 miles....with 40,000 ft of climbing. Too bad I've been unable to listen to my own advise.

I've been working on the myriad of details that are required to participate in an event of this scale. Our crew chief has been helping out too. We are not ready yet, but we are getting closer. I've taken Friday off from work so if all else fails I should be able to get a good 6 or 7 hours of prep time before we leave for Hood River.

Two maddening things happened today.
1) Found that the brand new tubular tire that I had mounted on my Zipp wheels is flawed.....as in has flat spots. The bike shop has agreed to swap it out for a more round tire, but alas that means I don't have my #1 bike tonight, and won't have it until tomorrow night. That's cutting it sort of close.

2) We are planning on using a GPS enabled laptop with a mapping program to give us a souped up vehicle GPS. Not only navigation, but route notes to be displayed as we approach. Unfortunately, after annotating the entire map I find that there is some sort of issue with the GPS device/com port/driver. I am running short on patience and short on time to figure it all out.

We may just have to run with a TomTom on the windshield and a route book on the lap.

I did get 1 lousy mile on the bike.......flat pedals, tennis shoes, blue jeans... to meet my partner at the rental facility to pick up our support van tonight.

I am so not ready.

We begin racing Saturday morning at 7AM.
You can follow the race progress on the RAO Blog


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.........1................0...............0............1
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July.......602...............0................0..........602
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....5858...............0..............5.........5863

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My normal routine for STP weekend the last two years has been to ride a one day STP and follow it on Sunday with another 100 miles riding across the finish line for a second time. Today I just didn't have the time to do that. I did get to the STP finish line though. I had to go there to pick up some drop bags that were being transported to the finish line and while there wander around a bit and just take in the "bikeyness" of it all. There are so many interesting stories to be told. You don't have to be around the finish line long to see courage. The very young, the old, the "disabled" and those dealing with all modes of adversity join those who just take it a bit farther by riding skateboards, unicycles, and big wheels.

The rest of us just have to ride bike 204 miles, don't ever complain about that.

I didn't have time to ride because I am building the fixtures for our RAO support vehicle. We are renting a 15 passenger van to transport the team and all our supplies for 48 hours. No small undertaking.

I did stop by the bike shop to pick up my carbon bike which had been in for a pre-race tuneup. My little test ride amounted to 5 miles, the only riding I got in today.

The bike is ready, this rider is not. Oh well, in a week with any luck we will be finished with RAO, if we are not so lucky we will still have just under 8 hours to reach Hood River.


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.........5................0...............0............5
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July.......601...............0................0..........601
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....5857...............0..............5.........5862

Saturday, July 17, 2010

STP

Okay, so it's taken way too long to get back here and update this. Here's how this year's STP went for me:

For the week leading up to STP I was hobbling around on a very sore foot. Two days before STP I really couldn't walk on my left foot, and on STP eve I was still just barely able to hobble around a bit even with some pretty strong pain meds.

The pain was in my toe joints so I brought along flat pedals and tennis shoes and figured if things got too bad I'd just change shoes, swap pedals, and push pedals with my heels. It was, after all, only 204 miles. ;-O

I was riding Race Across Oregon the next week and did not want to take any chances of damaging me or the bike ahead of such an important event. I rode my Marin since it would be my spare bike for RAO. It's heavy steel frame wouldn't be much of a detriment on the flat STP.
As far as keeping me safe I opted to start 5 minutes ahead of the official 4:45 AM mass start. I wanted to get through the twisties along Lake Washington before the crowd caught up. I love the excitement of the mass start, there is just something about being in curb to curb bikes moving southward. But every year there are some bad crashes in the early twilight and I couldn't afford to be caught up in them.

Dave and I started of 5 minutes early and did indeed get through those sharp curves dropping along Lake Washington before getting caught by the crowd.


Dave probably was well ahead by then! As we shoved off, within the first half mile or so I could see Dave looking over his shoulder back at me. I could tell that he was just itching to put the hammer down. I was pedaling with 1 good leg and about 25% of the other.....and two Vicodan. I was doing all the hammering I was going to do today and was just hoping to be able to keep moving. I told him not to worry about me, I knew the route and had my cell phone if need be.

I didn't have to say that twice. Dave nodded, and was gone!

The crowd caught up with me and before long there was a sea of riders whizzing past me.


I pedaled along at what for me was a relaxed pace. After completing STP with a 1mph faster average each year for 5 previous years I knew that this year just finishing a 1 day STP would be goal enough.

I arrived at the REI rest stop, 25 miles in and grabbed a snack.


I continued to pedal towards Portland. A few folks asked about the tennis shoes tied to the back of my bike. They all just shook their heads when I explained that I had a very sore foot and my have to swap pedals part way through the ride.

I made brief stops at every major food stop, about every 50 miles.

I did eventually make it to Portland, 2 1/2 hours later than last year, but earning my 6th One Day Rider medallion none the less.



For the last several years I've gone back on day two and ridden 100 miles with the two day riders crossing the finish line for the second time. This year I was still very busy preparing for RAO the next week so I just didn't have the time to spare.

All in all, I should be satisfied just to finish in one day this year.



............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......205................0...............0..........205
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July.......596...............0................0..........596
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....5852...............0..............5.........5857

In Seattle

We arrived in Seattle in preparation of riding STP (Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic) tomorrow. Dave and I biked to dinner and also to a local bike shop. Details on the reason for the bike shop to come later.

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today........6................0...............0............6
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July.......391...............0................0..........391
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....5647...............0..............5.........5652

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

planless

While my Race Across Oregon partner was pedaling a club ride of Lolo Pass I was trying to come up with a route to ride. The ride up Lolo had a warning posted that it would be 50+ miles with over 5000 ft of climbing, possible gravel road sections, and no opportunity for water refills. It was going to be hot. It just didn't seem like a ride I'd enjoy. When I finally decided that I should at least go ride it, I was too late to make it to the start on time.

John had left a camelback in my pickup yesterday so I finally decided I'd ride to Keizer and return it. It was a flat ride with plenty of opportunities for water and snacks if needed.

I rode briskly in the morning relative coolness. When I arrived in Keizer (unannounced) John was just getting ready to go for a ride. He invited me to join him for a short ride which I gladly accepted. We rode a 12 mile loop of Windsor Island before John had to attend to previous commitments.

I took a longer route back home which included a crossing of the Canby Ferry. It was definitely a bike day. When I arrived at the ferry there were already two bikes onboard and no cars. Across the river where 3 more bikes waiting, and again no cars!

I powered up the hill on the Wilsonville side of the river and soon finished up the ride. It ended up being a warm day and I noted high water usage.

I had a niece's birthday gathering to attend so I had to be satisfied today with 78 miles. I joked with family that I had three aspects that scuttled my usual 100 mile weekend day rides, if any of the three things changed I would have achieved the hundred miles:

1) start earlier
2) ride faster
3) don't stop so early in the day

It was still a good ride. I'll try to get some mid week miles in to make up for the short weekend.

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......78................0...............0...........78
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July.......385...............0................0..........385
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....5641...............0..............5.........5646

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Flying Aquarians on the road!

75 degrees as the Flying Aquarians prepare to ride 100 miles of RAO course at 9 am
(sent from my phone)

UPDATE:
The Race Across Oregon team, Flying Aquarians were on the roads of north central Oregon today. We rode a route that took in 70 miles of the 2010 Race Across Oregon route along with 30 miles of "connector" bringing us up to a nice 100 mile ride today. We began by meeting at Elmers Restaurant in Gresham for breakfast together. We then drove nearly two hours to get to Tygh Valley, our starting point for today's ride. It was the same route that Lauren and I rode a few months ago and liked so well we thought it would be good to share it with our crew. They agreed so today found all 5 of us there as well as John Henry Maurice, the crew chief for my 2010 Furnace Creek 508 adventure.

It was a cloudy but warm morning as we prepared to pedal.


We began with a "relatively flat" few miles before taking a fast descent to the Deschutes River at Shearer's Falls. From there we crossed the river and began a long climb out of the Deschutes Canyon heading to Grass Valley. I climbed well, keeping my heart rate at 165 +/-3 the whole way. That was good enough to drop all my fellow riders except for Doak, who is, after all, the King of Brynwood!

We climbed for the next 60 miles but it became a more reasonable climb after the first 10 miles. As we rode over the lip of the canyon we could see 5 snow capped Cascade Volcanoes.


John Henry was still smiling as he decided that riding with Flying Aquarians wasn't all that bad.


We stopped at a small grocery store in Grass Valley and took in our share of water, V8 juice, and a few energy bars. We then continued our climb to Shaniko on US 97. 97 wasn't all that bad. The other roads were virtually empty of traffic but 97 is a main N/S connector and had some traffic. Sightlines were good, shoulders adequate, and for the most part traffic was kind. We rode the nearly 30 miles to Shaniko and stopped at another small grocery store. Again we topped off water supplies and this time added some ice cream! The temperature was in the mid 90's by now and the wind was working us a bit along with the raise in elevation.


You will notice in the photo that Doak is working on a flat tire. In keeping with the usual scenerio, Doak had a flat. I don't think I've ever been on a ride with him where he hasn't flatted. Maybe the team should buy him better tires! ;-)

We were sitting at almost 60 miles into the ride at this point. All three crew members reached Shaniko before Lauren and I. The last crew member passed me about mile 45. Don't they know that Lauren and I are supposed to be the cyclists on this team?! I think Lauren and I should talk some smack at RAO in two weeks and challenge other crews to race our crew. Who cares about the real race, our crew ROCKS ON BIKES!

I began slowing down on the long low gradient climb from Grass Valley to Shaniko. At first I thought I might have consumed too much water in one setting at Grass Valley, but after a while I discounted that theory. As we finished up at Shaniko we turned more directly into the wind and made our way to the high point of today's ride just a few miles west of Shaniko, then we did a few up and downs before taking the big descent back to the bottom of the Deschutes Canyon at Maupin. Just before taking that descent however John Henry developed an "issue" He and I were trading positions back and forth depending on terrain (I'm currently a better climber, he a better descender) as I was coming up on him he stopped me saying he had a mechanical issue. Sure enough he did. His chain side carbon crank was cracked. We thought if he could treat it gently he could make the mostly descending trip to Maupin where perhaps we could jury rig some repair, snag a ride for him back to Tygh Valley, or at least find a comfortable spot for him to wait for our return with a vehicle. He made it about 30 ft before the crank snapped completely off.



Oops, how many of us carry spare crank arms? He descended carefully with one pedal reaching Maupin where he found an air conditioned location with internet to watch the Tour de France as he waited for us.




We left him and his crippled bike and climbed back up out of the canyon. It was quite warm and several of us doused our jerseys in water before making the climb.
The climb up from Maupin isn't nearly as bad and before too long we were making that fast descent to Tygh Valley.

Our route today left us with 95 miles so we all rode out to the fairgrounds and back to bring us to that magic 100 mile mark. It was a nice final 5 miles of today's ride. Flat, shady, no traffic.

Dave and I grabbed an Orange Slushy at the Tygh Valley store and the the others had some cool treats as well. We loaded our bikes and drove back to Maupin to rescue our compadre.

We sat in the cool spot he had found and had ice water and a beer. Pretty nice end to a ride..........all except for John Henry, who has to deal with a broken bike.

I was slow today. My Garmin showed 100.15 miles, 15.1 mph avg, 40.2 mph maximum, 130 bpm avg heart rate, 168 bpm max, along with a 56 average pedal cadence.

Careful analyzation of the data shows that I was working very hard at going slow!

Darn it, the race is in two weeks and the crew chewed me up and spat me out today!


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today......100................0...............0..........100
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July.......307...............0................0..........307
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....5563...............0..............5.........5568

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Traffic

I was to join a half dozen of my social bike group tonight on a weekly ride that Paul J leads in the Corbet area. Unfortunately, navigating horrendous traffic meant that I missed the group's start time by 30 minutes. :-(

The weather was great, after a record high today of 94 it had cooled off reasonably by the 6pm ride time. I may not have been able to ride with the group, but the roads were still there so I hopped on the bike and pedaled. I knew the group was planning on modifying the normal hilly route tonight and riding out to Multnomah Falls and back.
I figured I'd ride our normal hillier route then hopefully catch up with the group as they pedaled back on the Historic Highway.

I climbed the hills, Woodard, Mershon, Louden. When I reached the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway I backtracked a couple of hundred yards to take a photo of the Vista House from that spot on Chanticleer Point where a million photos have been taken. (photo to be added later) I then pedaled down to the Vista House to see if I could hook up with my riding buddies as they pedaled back from Multnomah Falls. I waited there until 8:15, chatting with folks, but had not seen my buddies. I wasn't sure that my friends had stuck to their plan as it was a little "soft" the last I heard. I might sit there another hour only to find that they never were in that area. I figured I'd need the time to get back to Edgefield before dark so I shoved off. There was a pretty good tail wind on the way back and I took advantage of that as well as the descent in elevation. I reached Edgefield just as the sun went down.

As it ended up my friends pedaled in about 9:30 PM. They had indeed gone to the falls, they just got later than they expected.

I got a good ride in, just wish I would have got there in time to ride with company.



............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......35................0...............0...........35
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July.......207...............0................0..........207
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....5463...............0..............5.........5468

Sunday, July 4, 2010

just limping along

The weekend of riding plans morphed a bit. I had hoped to get nearly 300 miles over the three day weekend but a last minute work schedule change meant I'd miss out on a 200k ride to the coast with my RAO partner Lauren and crew chief Dave on Monday. Yesterday I spent most of the day doing non biking things but did get out for a good hard ride late in the day.

That left today to log some miles.

I dallied a bit this morning waiting to see if a ride partner would materialize. My RAO partner had plans from late afternoon on but was hoping to find 60-100 miles early in the day. At 9:30AM I finally got on the bike and started southward, unsure exactly where the road would take me today, but thought I'd ride for about 150 miles. I rode to Keizer at a fairly quick pace but began getting a headache about 2/3 of the way there. I thought that maybe lunch and break would help. The late night last night was showing it's effect and I kept nodding off while eating. I finally hopped back on the bike but the headache was still there and was now joined by a sore lower back and stomach ache. I rode past a park that looked inviting ..... I rolled up to a picnic table, leaned the bike against the table, and laid down on the bench to rest a bit. I fell asleep! 2.5 hours later I woke up!
As I went to sit up I noted that the back still hurt..... a lot!

I knew there wasn't much to do but ride, and I did at about 12-14 mph. Instead of riding south like I had thought I might do I turned back northward. When I got to Willamette Mission Park I went in for a look see. There was a lot of activity there today. A civil war reenactment was going on along with all it's trappings. I took the bike path over to the Wheatland Ferry where there was what appeared to be a mass baptism going on in the river just downstream. In a moment of insanity I decided to cross the ferry and ride the western loop of the recent Cycle Challenge. I had saved the route on my GPS since Dave had ridden the event and said it was a route worth doing again. I had ridden many of the roads but not all and that's a good enough reason to go take a look see....albeit a slow look see. ;-)

After a couple of hours I felt a bit better. The stomach issues left but still had a slight headache, and still had a very sore back, but at least I was pedaling along at 16-18 now.

It's funny how just a little reduction in speed sure makes things a lot easier. I was looking at heart rates below 100 as I pedaled and at times below 70!

So the weekend for me ends with less than 200 miles for the first time in many weeks. I'm hoping I can get out mid week for a few rides to make up the difference.


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today......117................0...............0..........117
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July.......172...............0................0..........172
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....5428...............0..............5.........5433

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Four hills and a lap

What a fun afternoon! I worked on support car trappings this morning and early afternoon. By mid afternoon Dave and I made our way out to Forest Grove to get a bit of a preride in before the Flying Aquarians took to the road to make a few laps of Hagg Lake in the dark.

Dave and I were on the road by 5PM. We pedaled an Olson's Bike Shop favorite, Woodland Loop to start off with. The Woodland loop gives a nice hill just over half way through a 35 mile route. Not satisfied with just one hill or just 35 miles we varied from the course and rode through Laurelwood before climbing UP to Bald Peak Rd. The climb is one of the better ones around in that it reaches 18% and is more than a few miles long. We saw 2 deer on the ride up. Neither of them was too concerned with two guys wheezing their way up the hill in lycra.

We made our way to Hwy 219 then took an westerly turn onto Unger Rd and climbed up Iowa Hill. I've hit 50 on the descent of this hill several times, I was considerably slower than that going up the hill today! ;-)

We descended Iowa Hill towards Cornelius but before reaching that little town we again turned westerly, this time to climb Blooming-Fernhill. After the bigger hills earlier in the ride this didn't seem near as bad as we remembered it being!

Small though it was at only a couple of miles long it did bring our total climbing to 3152ft for the 45 miles.

We rode it fast enough (15.9 avg) that we had time to make a quick stop at Jack in the Box for a quick bite (and a chocolate shake!) before driving out to Hagg Lake to meet 2 other members of our Flying Aquarian RAO team for some night riding practice. My riding partner has never ridden at night with a support car following, and 2 of our three crew members have never supported a rider at night. It was a good chance to work out the bugs.

Lauren rode the first 10 mile lap beginning at 9:30PM. She looked every bit the ultra cyclist as she hammered out the 800 ft of climbing in the 10 mile lap of the lake. Then it was Dave and my turn. We had already pedaled a few miles and I've ridden ultra races at night twice previously so we were riding mostly to give Lauren the feel of what it will be like to ride on a two person relay team. Ride hard, rest while your partner rides, ride hard.......repeat.

Dave and I pedaled reasonably hard for old guys (18.2 mph/144 heart rate avg) and soon finished our lap.

Lauren and Tim took to the road again. Tim got a jump at the exchange and that left Lauren to pedal de facto solo on the lap. This was probably good for her as she will be out there by herself on RAO.

After some pfaffing around it was midnight and both Lauren and I want to ride early in the morning and it was still a long drive home. All involved agreed that it was a fun night.

We also figured that if we each did just three more laps it would be daylight! :-)

We are going to have so much fun on RAO!

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......55................0...............0...........55
Jan........618...............0................0..........618
Feb........692...............0................0..........692
March......940...............0................5..........940
April......934...............0................0..........934
May........905...............0................0..........905
June......1152...............0................0.........1152
July........55...............0................0...........55
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....5311...............0..............5.........5316