Thursday, September 30, 2010

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 21st phonecast

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 20th phonecast

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 19th phonecast

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 18th phonecast

Mono Lake

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 17th phonecast

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 16th phonecast

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 15th phonecast

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 14th phonecast

Monday, September 27, 2010

Furnace Creek 508 race updates

The final countdown has begun. My crew and I leave Wednesday evening with the race beginning Saturday morning.

Here are some links provided by Adventure Corps to access current race information:


WEBCAST INDEX
The webcast will be at this specific link, so let your family, friends, fans, sponsors, and local media know that they will be able to track your progress via our webcast. Also, we will have a live webcam on Friday during check-in (and at the start line and finish line), so the webcast goes live by noon on Friday!


TWITTER

We will also post updates via Twitter. Spread the word and become a follower!

Twitter updates posted by racers and crew can be viewed HERE

FACEBOOK
We also post 508-related news to our FC508 FaceBook page.
Spread the word and become a fan!


YOUTUBE
We also post our 508 videos to our YouTube channel, and we're happy to feature your own 508 YouTube videos there, too.

And this from me:
This blog will be the primary location for the updates that my crew and I are able to post during the race. Cell service is spotty at best, but when possible we will post updates here.


Audio updates from my phone posted here will be automatically CC'd to my Facebook page as well.

And my crew chief, John Henry, will be posting the crew's perspective to his blog as they follow me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Peach of a Century

I rode Salem Bicycle Club's Peach of a Century today. I rode it easy, but during the ride it dawned on me that many set riding the Peach as their goal for the year. I salute them of course, but I was riding the Peach of a Century as tapering for the Furnace Creek 508. What's wrong with that picture?

It was supposed to be reasonably warm, but wet. Highs in the mid 70's and a 40% chance of rain. I'd say we had more rain than expected, with rain falling for most of the ride, but the temperature prediction was pretty spot on. When the rain quit (twice during the ride) the sun poked through the clouds and it warmed up quite nicely. Even during the rain it was in the upper 60's. Within a few months we'll all look back at today thinking it was like the tropics!

Dave and I rode out shortly after 8AM today, but rode back to the start to join my Furnace Creek crew chief. I needed the extra miles to reach my 1000 miles, and it would be fun to ride with John.

I was in "taper mode" and not looking to set any records today. I pedaled along easily. I did get a 15.6 mph average, not bad considering the hills today, and the fact that I wasn't hitting it too hard.

After today's ride we had a slice of peach pie courtesy of Salem Bicycle Club and then Dave, John, and I retired to a local coffee shop to talk details of next week's Furnace Creek adventure.

It was good ride today despite the rain. I ran across several members of my social bike club who also attended today.

I didn't take any photos because............ well, because it was raining and the camera was all bundled up in plastic bags and in my backpack.

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......104...............0...............0..........104
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
Aug.......1000...............0................0.........1000
Sept......1002...............0................0.........1002
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....8280...............0..............5.........8285

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A chance meeting with SIR

I am on the Oregon Coast for a meeting and I got out for a quick 21 miles this morning before having to make my attendance known. Probably stayed out on the road longer than I should have, but hey, it's gorgeous this morning and so........


In Depoe Bay I ran into a group of rando looking bikes sitting outside a cafe. Indeed, upon finding a couple of guys with bike gear coming out, I talked with them a bit. They were part of a group of Seattle International Randoneurs who were on a 1000k ride. We chatted a bit about riding distance, then played leap frog a bit at various photo opportunities as we pedaled south.






The sea lions were enjoying the morning. There were hundreds of them hauled up on the rocks near Boiler Bay, here were a few of them.


My new found Randoneur riding buddies took a lower road while I chose to climb Cape Foulweather. Just as I reached a spot where I could see the lower road I could see them pedal by. I couldn't dig the camera out quickly enough to get the photo with the bikes in it, but here's the road.










The weather was nice and the views stupendous but I soon had to turn around to be able to get cleaned up and get to my meeting.

The meeting got out late afternoon, but not so late that I didn't have an opportunity to get a few more miles. Some low cloud cover had rolled in. But the temps were comfortable. I began from Gleneden Beach and pedaled southward. Even with the clouds the ocean was very picture worthy. There was heavy surf and it made for some very interesting ocean watching. Along with the ocean watching I managed to log another 28 miles.

(thought I had software capable of rotating video.... haven't located it on my computer yet, sorry)
video

Tomorrow I ride Salem Bicycle Club's Peach of a Century. Looks like I'll need to find 2 extra miles so that I get my 1000 mile month in. That should be easy enough. I've been advised that I should be "tapering" for next week's little ride through the desert so I'll ride the Peach easy. ;-)

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today........49...............0...............0...........49
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
Aug.......1000...............0................0.........1000
Sept.......898...............0................0..........898
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....8176...............0..............5.........8181

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A maniac ride

My social bike group has rides for all levels of people on bikes. When they start getting more vertical we refer to them as a "maniac ride". Tonight's ride qualified!
23 miles with 2251 ft of climbing. Not all that bad on paper, but when you consider that there was substantial level ground then you start to get the picture.

Paul instigated the maniac rides and had a weekly maniac ride scheduled for tonight leaving from Hillsboro. With the rainy day he had no takers.

I couldn't make it to Hillsboro in time for the ride so I had scheduled a ride in the maniac tradition beginning in Tualatin. Rather than ride solo, Paul and I decided to join forces and ride my route. It was to follow a route that a friend rides with a group of his buddies. Neither Paul nor I are real fond of Stafford Road because of heavy traffic so we modified it by taking Childs Road back towards Tualatin rather than continue down Stafford Road to Borland Rd.

HERE is the route that we started with before our little modification.

The ride up Royce Way hit 31% grade for a bit, back wheels were spinning on the asphalt and front wheels were getting light. This was far from the end of the hills though. After a nicer than expected ride down Hwy 43 we turned UP Hidden Springs Rd.
Another doozy of a climb, in excess of 25% all the way up. We got a nice run down Salamo Rd then climbed again up Grapevine Rd.

Our little Childs Rd cutoff saved a few miles but still got all the hills. ;-)

And the best part? After a day of rain, we didn't have so much as a single drop!

By the way, I'm still looking for a third crew member for next weekend's Furnace Creek 508

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today........23...............0...............0...........23
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
Aug.......1000...............0................0.........1000
Sept.......849...............0................0..........849
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....8128...............0..............5.........8133

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Want to go to Death Valley next week?

I have a last minute crew position available. Give me a shout if interested.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Wet Tillamook Double

After discussing the lack of double centuries in Oregon with a group of California cyclists, Ultra Cycling Goddess Sandy Earl decided to do something about it. Her plan is to have an annual double century on the North Coast. Every event has to start somewhere, and the Tillamook Double started today with a forecast of rain.

After a lot of interest, only 3 of us rode today. There were 3 folks providing support. A one to one ratio! Got to love that.

After a lot of rain over night the skies were partly clear and it was not raining as we started out just a few minutes after 5AM. We pedaled northward on Hwy 101, which was pretty empty of vehicles this time of the day.

I got a bit of a jump at the start on Keith, a noted ultra cyclist, who was riding a fared recumbent. It took him about 29 miles to catch me, then he added insult to injury by passing me on a hill! (recumbents are notoriously slug like going up hills....what does that make me?)




When we reached Hwy 26 we turned east and made our way to Hwy 53 at Necanicum Junction and turned south. The morning had turned out quite nice. No rain and just the lightest of breeze.
As I crossed the Clatsop/Tillamook county line, and the 1/4 ride complete distance, I took the opportunity to give true "mobile audio blogging" a try as I posted this while riding about 18 mph!






We made our way back to Hwy 101 and pedaled along Tillamook Bay. The weather was still quite nice as I looked across the bay to the town of Garibaldi.



When I reached 90 miles into the ride the weather took a downturn. It was dripping just a bit, not hard rain, but the tires where throwing up rooster tails none the less. After about 10 miles of this I arrived in Beaver where I stopped for a snack at the store.


At Beaver I took a left turn and started up a road that followed the Nestucca River. SAG had moved Elise up the course and set her off at Beaver where she now had a 10 minute start on me. Keith was already ahead of me, so I now was the official "lantern rouge", the last rider on the course!



Somewhere along today's route, I forget exactly where as I'm posting this, our route sent us over a bridge that was out. There was a signed detour, but being unsure exactly how far that detour might be I pedaled slowly up to the precipice in search of a worker's walkway. It had one!



There were even wooden stairs! But I had to negotiate wet slick rocks in metal cleated bike shoes to get there. :-O After several tense moments I did in fact make it down to the river and back up the other side safely.




Elise's plan today called for 100 miles interspersed with SAG rides. We had a little fun with this during the day calling it her "energy management plan". Despite the rain we were determined to have fun today!



I climbed a LONG hill and made my way into Willamina. Willamina bills itself as logging and mill town. Despite this, the Desert Coyote felt right at home.



From near Willamina the Tillamook Double's route traces the same route as Reach the Beach. It was in the stretch that we had the hardest rain of the day. It just poured! I remembered this section well from earlier this year, when I covered that distance just a bit faster than I did today. But I did cover that distance fast enough today to stay ahead of Keith, who had missed a turn and been the recipient of "bonus miles". I had hoped to stay ahead of Keith at least until Pacific City. I managed to do that, then had a little fun posting an audio update.



I had walked into a little store directly across the road from the Pelican Brew Pub and refilled hydration and energy stores. I was munching on a slice of pizza when I saw Keith ride by. Despite me waving, he never saw me. If one is going to get passed that's the way to do it......... he never got the enjoyment of passing me, he thought I was still ahead of him!

The wind had increased in intensity and was now blowing about 15 mph, but luckily was at our backs. Our route would take us on the "Three Capes Scenic Tour". We were sheltered a bit from the wind as we were riding along forested roads for a good portion of the time. There was the almost imperceptible "climb" over Cape Kiwanda, then a big climb on tired legs over Cape Lookout. As I pedaled up this long hill insult was added to injury by the condition of the road. Earlier this year three of us had ridden this and noted a few places with rough pavement, it had only gotten worse with time. I was glad to descend Cape Lookout while we still had daylight, it would have been ugly in the dark on wet roads.

It was still raining and it was now clear that it was going to get dark on us before we would be able to finish. None of us were looking forward to riding along busy Hwy 101 on a dark rainy night. The event organizer made an executive decision and modified the route. We would take a turn that would have us miss Cape Meares, and save nearly 10 miles, but still get our 200 miles in.
There were no complaints from the riders.

I made it though Tillamook and turned northward on Hwy 101. I already had front and rear blinkies on, but a bit after Tillamook I turned on the steady state front LED light too. Just as darkness was beginning to take hold I came across Keith who was along the road with his second flat of the day. It was raining hard. Having ridden bonus miles with the missed turn on the Nestucca River he was already at 210 miles for the day, enough he said. After a call to our SAG driver he urged me to pedal on before I got cold. There was a ~20mph tailwind blowing and it was going to help me make quick work of the last 10 miles. I had two 5 LED front lights, with one in blink mode and one in steady state. It wasn't much light for moving as fast as I was moving. Traffic was quite heavy on Hwy 101 and I was riding outside the fog line. I made it another 5 miles (traveling 22-24 mph) when suddenly I hit something that blew both tires immediately. I never did see what I hit. I thought it might have been a metal shipping band by the sound. It was raining and dark. I feared that the tires might be cut but could not see them well enough to make any decent determination. I was in a narrow section of road with no real shoulder. I knew that our SAG driver wouldn't be able to pull over there so I crossed to the other side of the road and made like a pedestrian as I walk my bike to a wider spot. Before I could make it there the SAG vehicle came past and was waiting for me. We loaded my bike........4 miles short of the 200 mile mark, at the speed I was riding I was 12 minutes from the end.

Keith rode more miles, but I made it the farthest on the course of any of us today.

and the final audio update was posted post ride as we all gathered together for pizza.



You can read Sandy's account HERE (more accurate than mine, no audio shenanigans!)

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......196...............0...............0..........196
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
Aug.......1000...............0................0.........1000
Sept.......826...............0................0..........826
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....8105...............0..............5.........8110

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bald Peak

22 miles, 2140 vertical, 15.7mph avg. .....and no rain! Not bad for a last minute evening ride. (posted via cell phone)

UPDATE:
A couple of the social bike group's members put together a last minute ride beginning at Scholls Heights Elementary and making a trip up and over Bald Peak. Evening traffic being what it was, I didn't make it to the start on time but drove on up their intended route and when I saw them drove on ahead a distance and set up to join them. I managed to save the flat riding but did get ALL the climb up to the 1500 ft Bald Peak.

It was a late start to expect to finish before it was dark. We all had lights, pretty much standard equipment on rides now that the days are getting rapidly shorter. With a few miles to go we split ways, with me turning down hwy 219 to return to my pickup while they continued through Scholls heading directly back to Scholls Heights Elementary.

It was getting dark as I reached an area of flagged construction. The flagger had me come to the front of the line. She told me to go first and the flag car and other vehicles would stay behind me. :-) I hadn't ridden enough miles tonight to be tired....... when she said "ok, you can go" I did! The section that had the flag car was about a mile, I never dropped below 26 mph. The flag car was a LONG distance back. As I pedaled past the flagger on the far end of the construction he said "you're flying" as I whizzed by.
I went by fast enough that he didn't have a chance to see the pain in my face or hear the sound of my gasping lungs! ;-)

What's that saying.... "never let them see you sweat" ???? ;-)

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today........22...............0...............0...........22
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
Aug.......1000...............0................0.........1000
Sept.......630...............0................0..........630
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....7909...............0..............5.........7914

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A few got dropped tonight..

A few got dropped tonight........I was not one of them. :-) (posted via cell phone)

I had some business to attend to in Forest Grove tonight and as luck would have it I would be free just about the time that a group from Olson's Bicycles would be heading out for a ride. They are a fast group, perhaps just what I need from time to time.



I expect to get dropped on these rides. I was surprised to not only not be dropped but to be riding fairly strongly tonight. Another rider and I teamed up and pulled away from the main pack a couple of times. We were cruising along on flat ground at 24-25 mph.

For the evening I showed 21 miles with an 18.9 mph avg. There was 623 ft of climbing, most of it on one hill. I had an average heart rate of 134 bpm with maximum of 178 bpm. (just a interesting note that my maximum heart rate was NOT on the hill but during one of my pulls as the other guy and I broke away from the group) I had a maximum speed of 49.3 mph. If I had been watching my speedometer I could have hit 50. I was using my big gear (56x11) and pedaling while my lesser geared brethren were coasting down ~35-40 mph. I could have easily pushed a bit harder to get that extra .7mph.

A good group of folks to ride with, too bad I just can't get out there to ride with them more often.

............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today........21...............0...............0...........21
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
Aug.......1000...............0................0.........1000
Sept.......608...............0................0..........608
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....7887...............0..............5.........7892

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A celebration for Beth

A member of our social bike group had grounds for celebration today, and what better way to celebrate than to go for a bike ride? ;-)


9 of us joined her for the ride today. The plan was to ride 85 miles, but we all ended up with bonus miles so distance today ranged from 91 to 101. It was a beautiful day to ride.

It was a faster ride today than I expected, I showed a 16.6 mph on bike average. But we spent much more time off bike than I was expecting, logging nearly 3 hours not riding. Quite a few flats helped keep us from making continual forward progress.





If I remember correctly our group had 5 flats today.

We crossed both the Wheatland Ferry and the Canby Ferry. It was the first voyage on those ferries for several of our riders today.
Here we are on the Wheatland Ferry



And here's the Canby Ferry arriving to take us across the Willamette River.


It was a nice ride and a great way to celebrate Beth's accomplishment.



............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......101...............0...............0..........101
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
Aug.......1000...............0................0.........1000
Sept.......587...............0................0..........587
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....7866...............0..............5.........7967

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ride Around Mt Hood, take 2

I had a Saturday open that I hadn't planned on. I decided to do a last minute re-ride of last week's ride around Mt Hood.

I started an hour later than last week, just because! It was cloudy as I began my journey. As I climbed up to Vista House I got into those low clouds. The views from there today were disappointing. It was a good thing I've seen the sights from there many times. I felt sorry for the tour bus of Japanese tourists who were there. They probably missed their only opportunity to take it all in.

I left my camera home today, figuring that I took all the photos I could possibly need last week. That may have been true, but there were things that were photo worthy so I was making due with my cell phone's camera.

This photo taken from Vista House seems to be the result of a fogged lens.



The Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway is one of my favorite places to ride. Pretty sights, slow traffic, gentle grades, all make for a great place to ride.



I was a little disappointed to see all the little vendor tents set up at Multnomah Falls. I feel they distract from the beauty of the place. If I wanted to shop knick knacks I would have stayed in Portland and attended Saturday Market.

I made better time today than last week. Fewer photo stops and no long food stops. Before long I was in the Upper Hood River Valley, being watched over by Mt Hood.


I varied from last week's ride a bit when I got to Parkdale. Instead of joining Hwy 35 I turned and rode towards Cooper Spur. I knew that there was a road that went there from farther up the valley, Race Across Oregon had taken that route in 2009. I wasn't sure if the road was paved from the Parkdale side, but it was as far as I could see up the road and I figured if I ran into rocks I could just turn around.

As it ended up it was paved all the way up. It was a nice alternative. No traffic today, and cut 8 miles of Hwy 35 off of my route. It added 2 miles to today's ride and also added 800 ft of climbing. No big deal. It was a very scenic segment. Not far reaching views, more just riding through forest.

Before too long I got to the top, Cooper Spur.

Immediately after the resort there was a fun 2.5 mile descent that brought me down to Hwy 35 where I retraced last week's route for the remainder of the ride.

I didn't take any more photos, just kept pedaling. I shaved an hour off of last week's time, mostly by limiting off bike time. I was just .2 mph faster on the bike.


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......138...............0...............0..........138
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
Aug.......1000...............0................0.........1000
Sept.......486...............0................0..........486
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....7765...............0..............5.........7770

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ride Around Mt Hood

I was riding around Mt Hood today beginning and ending at Barlow High School with 7 other riders from my social bike group.



I had cleaned my chain the night before, but not re-lubed it yet. I had planned on doing that in the morning. With all the activity of the morning it slipped my feeble mind until our little entourage shoved off and I heard my dry chain making sounds. I U turned it and did a quick lube job. The "peloton" was a few blocks ahead by the time I got on the road. I managed to catch up to them as they made a turn. I carried my speed through the turn and jumped ahead of them, and looked ahead at a good down hill run. I pedaled up to speed and saw the yellow jacket of Steve about 50 ft behind me.

The road continued to descend toward the Sandy River and had a few twisties in it. I can do downhills pretty well, and corner well too. Within a half mile there were no bikes in my mirror. It was ok, because we had to climb up from the Sandy River to Women's Forum park on the Historic Columbia River Hwy. It's a decent climb and there were some strong riders in the group today. Several of them could out climb me on any given day. I hoped to stay ahead of them for at least the first few miles of the climb.

I crested the climb at Women's Forum (Chanticleer Pt) and hadn't been caught yet. :-)
Our trip leader's daughter was driving a support car, carrying extra clothing, food, water, and repair supplies. I did see her waiting at the top of the hill. Little did I know it was the last I'd see of any of our group until almost two hours after I'd finish the ride today.

I took the descent to Multnomah Falls fast, again trying to put distance on the hill climbing monsters that were surely going to gobble me up on that long 20+ mile, 4000+ ft climb from Hood River to Bennett Pass.

The morning had a few clouds but as the day progressed (and as we moved closer to the dry side of the mountains!) the sun began to poke through. It illuminated the cliffs on the Washington side of the river quite well. The sight started the Rod Stewart song "Maggie May" in my head that would play for the next hour or so. "The morning sun when it's in your face really shows your age, but that don't worry me none in my eyes you're everything"


I rolled past Multnomah Falls without stopping for a photo. Before long I ran out of Historic Hwy to ride and was routed onto I-84. Many cringe at the thought of riding on the shoulder of a freeway but this was a good run. The road had been recently paved and was buttery smooth. There was very little debris, and the shoulder was at least 12 ft wide!


Our route took us off the freeway onto frontage roads when possible and did so at Cascade Locks. The Bridge of the Gods was looking imposing in the morning light today.



I got to Hood River and felt some twinges of hunger. That's not a good thing when staring up a climb like I was about to undertake. I stopped at a McDonalds that was right next to our route. Had a sausage breakfast burrito and a large OJ. Was wondering a bit on how that would all settle in for me as I'd be working hard on getting up that hill.

I can report that it went well.

I had a 17.6 mph on bike average to Hood River, 52 miles, which I was pleased with considering it included a climb to Women's Forum in it.

Having finished my snack and a cell phone post to my Facebook page I gazed down the road. No bikes coming. Thought about it for a moment, then decided to get a jump on the "big hill".

I started pedaling up. The road of course rolled up and leveled off a bit, then climbed more as I climbed up out of Hood River. The route today took us mostly up the old highway through the Hood River Valley. I didn't have to get on Hwy 35 until Parkdale. I found the roads to be not quite as nice as the roads we took on the east side of Hwy 35 for the Race Across Oregon route.

There were some nice views though.

Mt Adams was behind us as we climbed up the shoulder of Mt Hood.


Hood River Valley is famous for it's orchards. Here Mt Hood stands watch over an orchard near Dee.

Once past Parkdale the real climbing began. The East Fork of Hood River showed a lot of white as it raced down the canyon, I was going a bit slower up!


I note that the roads really do seem to be designed more for autos than for bikes. Take for instance road signs. There's this one:

It might be telling cars that there is an area coming up where there is room to pull off and put on tire chains.
In "bike" what it really says is that you've been climbing awhile and are now officially on a mountain!

Then there is this one:

For autos it's saying to get ready to punch the throttle to get around that slow RV with a trailer you've been following for awhile.
In "bike" it is telling you that even though you are tired of climbing that you've got at least another mile to go..BEFORE you reach the passing lane, which is also on the climb up the hill, so you might as well get used to pedaling that low gear.

Then there is this one:

It might be warning those hauling big loads to use lower gears and keep their speed in check.
In "bike" it's saying get in your tuck, shift into your biggest gear, this is going to be MAJOR FUN!

But back to the climb at hand. I was on familiar road as I had ridden this stretch in late July on a leg of Race Across Oregon. I was working harder then! Today I was just pedaling. I had rolled my arm warmers down earlier in Hood River but about half way up I took off my leg warmers too. I was generating enough heat that I no longer needed the extra insulation.

As I neared the summit of Bennett Pass I rolled the arm warmers back on. At 4650 ft there was definitely a feeling of Fall in the air.

There was a fun and fast descent down the backside of Bennett Pass then the junction with Hwy 26. Once on Hwy 26 the climbing began again, just not for very long, as we climbed up the 4155 ft Barlow Pass. It was in this area that I reached the century mark for today's ride. I logged 8363 ft of climbing in the 100 miles with an on the bike average of 15.6 mph.


From Barlow Pass on it was going to be pretty much a downhill run back to Barlow High School about 40 miles away. That would help bring that average back up! I usually figure I can average about 15 mph on my bike, even with hills, as long as I get the downhills as well as the uphills. Thing were looking good to be quite a bit faster than that today since I was sitting nearly 4000 ft higher than the finish location!

I thought I had a nice photo of White River area but alas the camera had gotten bumped into movie mode and I didn't notice until I was well past.

I was surprised that my fellow riders hadn't caught me on the climb. I figured if they hadn't caught me on that long climb they weren't going to catch me on the descent.

As I pedaled past the turn up to Timberline Lodge I couldn't help but think back to Race Across Oregon in 2008 when we finished with a dash up that road. Was certainly glad that I was going to be continuing to descend today rather than riding up to Timberline!

I was already moving along pretty quickly as I rolled through Government Camp and within just a few hundred feet began a 5 mile 6% grade....woo hoo! With my big 56x11 gearing I was able to keep a 40-45 mph speed up. The busy holiday traffic was choked down to about that same speed. The same few vehicles and I played cat and mouse all the way down the hill. They'd slowly pass by me, then I'd return the favor. More than one passenger would smile and wave as I'd pass them! When the shoulder would get too dicey to be in I'd signal and take the center of the lane. I was in that position as I gained on a big truck running down the hill in lower gears. Quite a feeling to be in the center of a lane at 45 mph and having to feather brakes to keep from running into the back of a motor vehicle!

The road eventually leveled off a bit and I got back onto the shoulder. Got a few more waves and smiles as the cars that had been behind me now began to pass on by. I was still riding along at 30mph+ so they weren't going by that quickly so I had plenty of time to trade smiles with them.

When I got to Sandy I stopped for a chocolate milk and a Snickers bar. Figured I could use the quick energy for the last 15 or 20 miles that would likely include a few rollers.

Our route would take us out Bluff Rd and past the Jonsrud Viewpoint.


I arrived back at Barlow High School at 4:25 PM. Not too bad I thought. It worked out to an on bike average of 16.6 mph and 9289 ft of climbing. My Garmin showed 2 hours off bike. The longest stop was in Hood River for that breakfast burrito, but I had many photo op stops and a few clothing adjustment stops, and a few food and/or fluid replenishment stops. All in all it was a good ride.

I loaded my bike back up, made good use of some baby wipes, and changed out of my bike clothes. I grabbed the camera and waited by the road to get photos of my riding compadres as they would be finishing up.

After just over an hour without seeing anyone yet I decided I should drive back on the course and see if they needed help (not likely since I knew that had a support car with them) or at least get an idea of where they were.

I was amazed to have to drive 25 miles back to find them.
Three of the guys were still riding, the three women and one other guy had bagged it near the 100 mile mark and were riding in the support vehicle. We all discussed plans, both for the remaining miles of riding as well as after ride food options!


The holiday traffic was heavy. On my trip through here there were a few vehicles, usually pulling a trailer, that would come a little close as they'd pass. I suspect the drivers were looking in their mirror to check on my location, but in doing so they'd drift over the fog line a bit. Knowing how reassuring it is to ride ultra events with a support car behind running "interference" I decided to follow behind the guys as they pedaled. I didn't have my big yellow flashing lights and "Caution Bikes Ahead" sign but did have my 4 way flashers on. It worked well, the vast majority of cars went to the left lane (two lanes each way in this section) and those that didn't at least straddled the center line. The bikes had plenty of room to maneuver safely.


The intrepid cyclists finished up just after 7:30PM. It wasn't a race, but none the less I was amazed to have finished a full three hours ahead of them. We retired to Joe's home for a brew, some food, and a good post ride debriefing.



............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......136...............0...............0..........136
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
Aug.......1000...............0................0.........1000
Sept.......348...............0................0..........348
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....7627...............0..............5.........7632

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Out and back, out and back

Followers of this blog will likely remember that I am not a big fan of out and backs. I just love seeing new scenery, or at least new that day. Today I rode two out and backs, but they were both surprisingly fun!

I started out riding from Bend to East Lake. I delayed my start a bit because there was frost at 7AM and I was not prepared to ride in freezing temperatures. I eventually got on the road and made my way towards La Pine. Just before reaching La Pine (which is up hill from Bend!) I turned eastward and began climbing in earnest. The climb from Bend is one of those mean things that starts out gentle and just keeps getting steeper and steeper. By 40 miles in I was climbing 12% grades.

It was a beautiful day though. I played tourist around Paulina and East Lakes for just a bit then took the fun run back DOWN to Bend.

When I reached the outskirts of Bend I stopped at the intersection of China Hat Road. I had seen this road on the map and had wondered if it was paved. It certainly was here in town! There were a few folks standing on the sidewalk. I asked them if the road was paved after it got out of town. They informed me that it was paved as far as the cave. My ears perked up, "a cave?", I said. They told me that Boyd Cave was about 10 miles out of town, and Arnold Ice Cave was just a bit farther down the road after it turned to gravel. I decided that a look see of Boyd Cave was worth the pedal out there. I had time to spare, and the weather was perfect.

Again, my card reader is not with me so you'll have to wait until I get home to post the photos of today's ride.

I had expected to ride a few miles less than yesterday's 100, but with the little side trip to Boyd Cave I ended up with a few more. Yipee! Bonus miles!


............BIKE............LIFECYCLE.....ROLLERS....TOTAL
Today.......112...............0...............0..........112
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
Aug.......1000...............0................0.........1000
Sept.......212...............0................0..........212
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....7491...............0..............5.........7496

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Century Drive

just so happens to also be a Century Bike Ride! I'm in Bend to ride a few long climbs before joining a few of my maniac friends on a 140 mile circumnavigation of Mt Hood on Monday.

I rode Century Drive last year during a week of hard cycling over here while training for Furnace Creek 09. This year I don't have the luxury of that kind of time. I chose my two favorite rides here and am doing them on Saturday and Sunday.

There were a lot of serious bike folks on the road today. Part of it was that there was an organized bike event, "Sunrise to Summit" that went from Bend up to Mt Bachelor and back. But even after Mt Bachelor there were a lot of bikes for country that is many miles from any likely starting point.

I took a few photos of this beautiful country but don't have my card reader with me. Come back later in the week to see the update.

The weather was just perfect for a bike ride. Not too cold, not too hot. I climbed from Bend (~3500 ft) to a high point near Mt Bachelor of ~6400 ft in the first 22 miles. Long climb checked off the "to do" list. Just a few miles past the summit I stopped at the Elk Lake Resort and had lunch. From here on the route would be on a generally descending track all the way back to Bend via La Pine and Sun River.

I stopped near La Pine and got a chocolate milk and an orange/vanilla ice cream bar.

Century Drive used to be an honest 100 miles but over the years road improvements have taken some of the zig zagging out and shortened it up a bit. I managed to get my 100 because rather than take Hwy 97 back I took frontage roads when possible. Hwy 97 isn't that bad really, nice wide shoulders with a rumble strip near the fog line to alert drivers should they "wander" but holiday traffic had the road busier than normal so I ducked off when I could. The only section I had to ride was from near the summit at Lava Butte to Knott Rd, about 7-8 miles, and it's all down hill! Like able to maintain nearly 35 mph downhill!

A great ride.

Tomorrow a ride to East Lake and back, a few miles less, but still climbing to 6400 ft, and it's pretty much all uphill for the first 40 miles, and the last 20 are definitely all UP hill. ;-)

............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......1020...............0................0.........1020
Aug.......1000...............0................0.........1000
Sept.......100...............0................0..........100
_________________________________________
TOTAL.....7379...............0..............5.........7384