Sunday, July 31, 2011

Riding around the (Mt) Hood

Today I was joined by 2 folks as I rode around Mt Hood. A third rider was a no show. He sure missed the boat today! It was an absolutely gorgeous day to do this challenging ride. We dealt with very warm temperatures and a stiff headwind but were rewarded with stunning views.

The plan was to start off from Sam Barlow High School in Gresham at 6:30AM.
As I made my way to the start location I noted the pre-sunrise silhouette of Mt Hood beckoning us to come for a bike ride around her graceful slopes.



We rode down to the Sandy River then began the climb up to Women's Forum park. Often the goal for my social biking group, today this was just the prelude. We'd drop down to Multnomah Falls then pretty much climb for the next 75 miles to Barlow Pass. While riding the shoulder of I-84 is necessary, and the shoulder is for the most part quite wide, we tried to stay off the freeway whenever we could.

One rather dicey freeway section is the Tooth Rock tunnel. We managed to avoid that today by taking an orphaned segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Unlike some of the other more popular segments that have been repaved and made quite user friendly, this section had a more rustic and historically correct look. The surface was rife with root ridges, but still a great improvement over having to traverse that tunnel on I-84. After getting past the tunnel we dropped back down to freeway level via a set of stairs. In pre-freeway years the road undoubtedly would have made a graceful descent on it's own but the dynamite and earth movers of freeway construction left sections of the old road dangling.



It was not hard to visualize Model T's making their way along this narrow ribbon of old asphalt.



I had a good breakfast this morning before riding but found myself "under nourished" most of the day. My 100 mile ride the previous day might have had something to do with that... but maybe not.l I had a Cliff bar from my on bike supplies as we rode through Cascade Locks. I was craving pancakes, or maybe just the carbs. No matter, that craving was satisfied when I reached Hood River. We refilled water bottles here too.



The mostly gentle climbing along the Columbia River (aided by a noticeable tailwind!) was coming to an end as we started climbing through the Hood River Valley. Hood River is famous for it's fruit orchards and we got a good look at many of them as we pedaled along the Dee Highway, the precursor to Hwy 35.




Mt Hood was gorgeous today, as were Mt Adams and Mt Rainer in Washington when we could see them. The late season heavy snow pack has meant high rivers as well as very white mountains for the end of July



The day was warming up and we reached Parkdale where the pitch of the road tipped upward even more. John Henry and I stopped at a market and refilled water bottles again, as well as grabbed some snacks. John Henry made healthier choices than I. Well, if you can count chips as healthy! I had a High Fructose Corn Syrup berry flavored desert, aka Hostess Berry Pie sounded like just the sugar jolt I might need.
I also downed a pink lemonade.

Our original plan was to get on Hwy 35 just above Parkdale, however a last minute change of plan put us on course to Cooper Spur ski resort, and bonus miles and bonus climbing. ;-)

As John Henry and I made our way up the hill (Robert had dropped us on the climb out of Hood River!) I ran across a former college roommate of mine, Terry, who lives in Parkdale. He turned around and rode with me as we visited a bit while making our way up the hill together.




It was very warm now, probably upper 80's to possibly low 90's. When we reached Cooper Spur we stopped and refilled water bottles again. I was sweating profusely so it was no mystery where all that water was going..... some of that salt laden liquid made it's way into my eyes too! :-O I also had a Power Bar from my on bike stash.



We took the fast descent from Cooper Spur toward Hwy 35, and I got to demonstrate the value of my 56-11 high gearing to Terry.....as he watched helplessly as I gradually pulled away from him. We regrouped at the intersection with Hwy 35.
There is some bridge/culvert construction on Hwy 35 and it made a challenging climb up this road even more so. The lanes were pinched down to one lane with a traffic signal making folks take turns getting through. I managed to ride behind the orange barrels and behind the temporary concrete barriers for most of the distance, but did have to get in the lane in one stretch. The motorists where patient for the most part. Each vista of Mt Hood verified that we were making progress on our quest to ride around it.



When we reached Mt Hood Meadows Terry bid adieu and went back down the hill toward his home, having some chores to attend to. I kept going up. I stopped twice in this upper section. Once to drink a can of V-8 that I was carrying. (excellent source of sodium, potassium and other vitamins and minerals so good on a hot day) Another time to have a bottle of Ensure Plus. (a good source of calories and potassium)

I made it over Barlow Pass and merged onto Hwy 26. This made a change of direction from southward, to westward. ...into the wind that had been increasing as the day wore on.

Robert was ahead of me, I was ahead of John Henry. Our little group had spread out a bit. This stretch of road is marked by short climbs of perhaps a mile or so, followed by matching descents as the road makes it's way along the flanks of Mt Hood. Here is what's at the bottom of one of those descents, the White River, as it flows from the glaciers and snowfields of Mt Hood.



I finally reached the high point of today's ride, Government Camp. I was about 80 miles into the ride. I pedaled slowly through the frontage road before getting back on Hwy 26, and the long 7 mile 6% descent.

Today that pesky headwind kept the speed down. I reached a maximum speed of 42 mph, about 8-10 mph slower than what would be expected.

There was construction along Hwy 26 as well. At the speed I was rolling I didn't want to get behind the orange barrels in this area. I rode just on the traffic lane side of the fog line, and when that wasn't safe I took the center of the lane. I was in my big gear again and keeping the pace up near 40 mph, plenty fast enough to take the lane when the traffic was at that speed, or just a shade above.

I got down to the community of Mt Hood and spotted a Dairy Queen. I knew that they'd have what I needed.

Cold and calories. A perfect combination on a bike ride on a hot day.



The road continued it's descent in a much more gentle form. I was pedaling about 25 mph, on a road that I should have been able to just roll that speed if it hadn't been for that wind. I'd get a little shelter from that wind from time to time as I'd take a few of the side roads we had mapped out. Those sections tended to be tree lined and not as exposed to the wind as Hwy 26.

Before long I pulled into the parking lot at Sam Barlow HS. My ride of 140 miles had come to an end. Robert's vehicle was already gone. I un-biked and rested in the shade of my pickup for about 45 minutes until John Henry arrived. We celebrated a successful ride with a trip to Buster's Bar-B-Que before each going our separate ways.


........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today.......140..............0.............0..........0.........140
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1148..............0.............0..........0........1148
YTD........5201..............0............37..........7........5245

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The dangers of riding with a Desert Coyote

I rode the Tour de Cure today, a fund raiser for the American Diabetes Association. Thank you to friends and associates who stepped up with donations on short notice to allow me to reach the fundraising goal required to participate.
There were several reasons why I rode today. The first was that like most, I have relatives who have diabetes. The second was that one of my blog readers wanted to ride her first century, and a few of her facebook friends had warned of taking time to ease into it. She had never ridden more than about 65 miles before, and has not been riding that long. I challenged her to ride the 100 mile route, and in return offered to cheer her on, and let her draft me the entire way.
I arrived at Hillsboro Stadium just after 5AM, in time to eat a provided light breakfast. My riding partner for the day arrived about 45 minutes later. We got a "before photo" as we prepared to start off.


The organizers were a bit delayed in getting us started but we finally got on the road. The morning air was still as we made our way westward from Hillsboro.


We rode up into the hills in the Helvetia area then back down to the valley in the Roy area. It was about 8:30AM as we began to feel the first puffs of wind coming from the north. It was a light cross wind and no real problem but foretold of a headwind later in the day as we'd be pedaling from the Newberg area back toward Hillsboro. I mentioned to my partner that later in the day she'd want to tuck in behind me pretty closely to take advantage of the draft. She immediately came like a rocket from my left to tuck in behind me. I turned my head slightly to remind her to not cross wheels only to hear that sound of bike hitting ground before I could say anything. I I looked in my mirror and saw her tumbling across the pavement. I was riding near the edge of the pavement, and there was probably a 4" drop from the pavement to the gravel shoulder at that point. I presumed with her speed that she had overshot me and put a front wheel off the road and went down.

Evidently what happened is that she clipped my rear wheel. I never felt a thing, as is often the case I'm told, but it turned her front wheel and sent her crashing.
The impact knocked the wind out of her, and tore up her brand new riding attire. :-(
There were some pretty deep abrasions on her knee, and a banged up elbow. The bike was in pretty good shape suffering only a few scratches on a brake hood/lever which was also tweeked a quarter turn. I "untweeked" it and checked brakes and gearing. The bike was good to go, the cyclist was questionable.

The motorcycle support arrived fairly quickly. Unfortunately it was just the first of a couple of times today that I'd find that motorcycle support was little more than a guy with a cell phone.


I was, as usual, carrying the "ouch pouch" that Cascade Bicycle Club supplies riders at STP. I did the best I could with what I had to clean, disinfect, and protect the wounds from contamination.

I told her that I didn't NEED to ride the ride today and we could turn around and go back if she wanted. She said she'd ride and see how it felt. We shoved off and proceeded on.


I was leading, but from time to time I'd drop back and ask her how she was doing. We'd discuss the injuries a bit, but it always came down to that she wanted to continue on.

When we got down near Gaston there was an opportunity to follow the 65 mile route instead of the 100 mile route. She'd have no part of shaving 35 miles off. We continued on through Yamhill and Carlton then turned toward Newberg. As we neared Newberg I experienced the only idiot driver of the day. There were about a half dozen riders in my close proximity. A car was coming the opposite direction down the highway and an impatient driver behind that car passed with not really enough clearance to do so. Unbelievably, the third car in the line decided to pass also. As he came around the slower car he braked a bit and moved back a couple of feet before deciding that he was bigger than a few bikes and came out into our lane in full force with the throttle wide open. One of those cases where "might makes right". If not right, at least there wasn't a lot we could do about it.

We rode the remainder of the route without much incident. We stopped only minimally at the rest stops, just enough to grab a quick snack and refill water bottles. The day was warming up and would reach the low 90's so we did our best to stay hydrated and fueled. My friend noted that her elbow hurt worse than the knee, though the knee looked worse, but she kept pedaling.

The official route only mapped out to 98 miles, and if one is going for a first century it really needs to be the full 100 miles. I mean, how would you feel if you knew you only rode 98? ;-) When we got about a mile or so from the end I made a turn on Jackson School Rd then to Meek Rd before returning to Evergreen Rd giving us a few bonus miles.

We rode into the finish with 103 miles.


and received a cool token reflecting our accomplishment.



We met up with some friends at the finish and we ushered our injured cyclist to the nurses manning the Providence first aid tent. The nurses, utilizing far better training, and better supplies tended to our injured rider (who just finished 103 miles. Woo Hoo!)


We were advised to make a trip to an Urgent Care facility to have x-rays taken for a possible broken elbow. They put her in a sling. We loaded her bike....then went to the far side of the stadium to eat our post ride meal. Priorities you know! We then made the trip to a nearby care center.


After an hour or so our friend came out with, if not a clean bill of health, at least the knowledge that no bones were broken. The arm was already turning black and blue however. I'm sure she will wake up in the morning feeling quite sore.

Early tomorrow morning it's off to ride 137 miles (with 10,000 ft of climbing!) around Mt Hood with a few folks. None of the folks today took me up on the offer to join us. ;-)

With two miles of pre-ride futzing around the parking lot this morning I ended up with 105 miles.

........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today.......105..............0.............0..........0.........105
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July.......1008..............0.............0..........0........1008
YTD........5061..............0............37..........7........5105

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's Thursday.......

and time for the twice weekly Rocky Butte hill repeats ride. For the last month and a half or so the Thursday ride has been a smaller group than the Tuesday gang. I'm not sure what to attribute it to. There are two other rides scheduled on the club's calendar, maybe that's it. No problem, the hill is still there, we still ride up it.
Tonight there were 4 of us. Even by Thursday standards it was a small group. On Tuesday we had two first timers join us, one of them came back for more torture. Okay, she was smiling most of the time.


It was a hot night, with the temperature just a bit above 90 degrees when we started.
One of our group had other plans later tonight so started a bit early, and left a bit early. Our smiling rookie managed to score 5 ascents tonight!



After playing on the hill for 90 minutes our official ride was over and usually some of us retire to a local watering hole for refreshments/snacks. Tonight one left early, one had to get home, and the third thought it best to head home since Tuesday we all got a bit late before getting home.

That just left me there......... what's a guy to do? Well, ride the %#^@%# bike of course! I decided that I was already there, the hill was still there, and it would be daylight another 90 minutes or so, I might as well ride bonus miles. ;-)

I only got five ascents tonight during the allotted 90 minutes, just too busy chatting, taking photos, etc.
I did better the second 90 minutes, getting another 6 climbs, and totaling just over 5000 feet of climbing.

A bit warm, but still a good night for riding.


........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........32..............0.............0..........0.........32
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July........903..............0.............0..........0.........903
YTD........4956..............0............37..........7........5000

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday again!

I'm still working on putting the Race Across Oregon photos, audio updates, and story together, but tonight I took a bit of time off from that job to lead the Tuesday installment of my social club's Rocky Butte Hill Repeats ride.

Tuesday always seems to have better attendance than Thursday's version. Tonight we had 14 folks. About half gathered for a preride photo, the rest were either already heading up the hill, or we still futzing with bike prep.


We had two first timers tonight. They both did well and had fun. We did the usual, struggle UP the hill.


Then come flying back down.



Repeat a few times, then wrap things up with some carbo feasting.



I had a rare opportunity to have a bit of time before today's ride so I bike commuted in from Johnson Creek near the I-205 and 82nd area. Along with that commute was a pedal to our post ride gathering, which was 50 blocks away. Two of us were carless tonight so we rode those blocks together. Following the visiting and munching I turned on my lights and pedaled back to Johnson Creek.

All that pedaling around gave me a nice 36 mile ride tonight.

I had not been on the bike since last Thursday so it was nice to get a few miles in tonight.


........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........36..............0.............0..........0.........36
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July........871..............0.............0..........0.........871
YTD........4924..............0............37..........7........4967

Saturday, July 23, 2011

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 102nd phonecast

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 101st phonecast

ipadio: Following the Desert Coyote - 100th phonecast

RAO Race Day!

I was up early and off to the starting location in Hood River. The stars were shining brightly, temperatures were cool but comfortable, it was going to be a great day to race bikes!


The rider's support vehicles and crew were not allowed on the course until the riders reached The Dalles, about 25 or so miles in. This was to keep traffic congestion to a minimum until the field had a chance to spread out. Two of us course officials were not only allowed on this first part of the course, but it was part of our job. One of our duties was to insure that no support vehicles were tagging along, and that riders were not drafting or violating any traffic rules.

In this first part of the race the riders climbed Seven Mile Hill out of Mosier. It's a relatively long and steep climb by social club measures, but just the first of many on this course, and at only about 1600 total feet of climbing it was one of the smaller climbs these folks would face.

I was impressed to see the riders climbing this hill at 12-18 mph!




Of course what goes up must come down. Here's some of the lead riders descending The Dalles side of 7 Mile Hill.
video

The riders and their crews were united in The Dalles and started climbing away from the Columbia River. They climbed up Hwy 197 and Old Dufur Rd heading toward Tygh Valley. They would climb to about 2600 ft in this stretch.



Just prior to reaching the small town of Tygh Valley the racers took a left turn and pedaled toward Shearer Falls on the Deschutes River.


After that fun descent to the Deschutes River it was time to climb away from the river and toward Grass Valley. In 2010 my RAO 2 person mixed partner, Lauren, really had her heart set on riding this torturous grade. We referred to it as "Lauren's Hill". ;-)





After climbing 2200ft in 4 miles the route tapers back to a more reasonable ascent. We had a clear day and riders had views of 5 Cascade Mountain volcanoes as they pedaled along.


The racers reached Grass Valley and took a brief run down US 97 before taking a turn onto Rutledge Lane on the way to Moro.



Moro was the location of Time Station 2. It was also the location for 1 of the few stop signs along the course. I took a position near the stop sign to check for adherence to the rules of the road. One of the support crews caught sight of me and immediately set about warning their rider to stop at the stop sign. It took a lot of effort for them to get her stopped.... even the slow roll through that the rider managed to do. I'm sure if they hadn't seen me she would have blasted through that stop sign.







It was just a beautiful day. A bit warm to be racing bikes UP hills, but the wind, that can just be a major problem out here, was not a real issue. Cell service is improving out here. In 2008 when I was on the 4 man team "Old Goats 4" there was only cell service in about a half dozen locations on the entire course. Last year when I rode it as a member of the "Flying Aquarians" 2 person mixed team there were many more locations where we could pick up a signal, though often it was one of those things where you'd have to face Mecca, stand on one foot, and moisten a finger. This year it was easier to find a cell signal, though there were still large areas where we were incommunicado. I called in a rider update to race HQ and at theat time also got my updated assignment. I'd be manning a time station in Dale for a short period of time until my relief, that was enroute, would arrive at which point I'd go back to following the race leaders.



This year the beginning of the route was changed to accommodate some road construction in Hood River. It shortened the course by about 20 miles. It was noticeable to me. These folks were riding fast, but not fast enough to account for the difference in daylight. The Flying Aquarians climbed Battle Mountain in the dark. We played cat and mouse with Team Teal a bit on the climb before I put my big gears on my bike to good use and dropped them on the descent. The leaders this year were well over Battle Mountain before it got dark. In fact, Dean Kindorf was all the way to the Dale time station just as it was getting dark.







(to be continued)

Friday, July 22, 2011

RAOeve

I answered the call for volunteers for this year's Race Across Oregon. I will be a course official. I've competed in ultra events, crewed for ultra events, but this will be my first go at officiating an ultra event. I had to work a bit late so got on the road later than I had hoped.



I arrived in Hood River, the starting location for the Race Across Oregon in time to take in the final 15 minutes of the rider's meeting. I did get a chance to go over my race duties with George Thomas, the Race Director for RAO, as well as Race Director for Race Across America (RAAM)

I joined George, and his stable of 3 beautiful out of state gals, for dinner. Maybe some of his charm will rub off on me? Ha!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday night, back to normal

It was Thursday and time to ride Rocky Butte hill repeats. The last several weeks I've been busy at work, attending meetings, or just riding easy social pace visiting with fellow hill climbers. Tonight I rode harder, sort of by default.

8 of us rode tonight, one being a new member, this being his first ride with our group. He had a nice bike and did a lot of riding. We started off up the hill and he was right on my wheel. I pushed a bit harder, he matched my pace. Finally about half way up I started to pull away. The route up Rocky Butte climbs, descends a bit through a saddle, then has one last steep pitch to the summit. As I was going through the saddle I noticed a rider in my mirror back about 75 yards. He was moving fast and gaining on me. My heart rate was in the 150's. I shifted up a couple of gears and got on the pedals a bit harder. I was climbing the 12% grade at 10 mph with a heart rate in the high 160's. The guy was still gaining! I pushed a bit harder yet. Now the heart rate was in the high 170's and the guy was still gaining, a bit more slowly, but gaining none the less. I had about 50 yards to go and I was not going to let this guy catch me. (a female friend calls this "testosterone poisoning") I pushed harder yet. As I reached the summit I was still leading the guy by about 40 yards, and had a heart rate in the high 180's. I'm getting too old for this stuff! I made the first ascent and matching descent in just under 11 minutes. I decided to see if I could keep sub 12 minute laps.

I worked harder on this hill tonight than I have in quite some time. As the 90 minutes expired I was on my 8th lap, about 2/3 the way up. Not bad for not riding hard lately.

We started off with 8 of us tonight. 2 left immediately as our 90 minutes were up. The rest of us stood around and talked bikes for an hour before some split off to return home and three of us retired to burgers and fries!

It was a good evening for a ride. Dry roads, no noticeable wind, cooler temperatures, just perfect for climbing hills. I'm not likely going to be able to ride at all this coming weekend. I'll be helping out with Race Across Oregon

........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........22..............0.............0..........0.........22
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July........835..............0.............0..........0.........835
YTD........4888..............0............37..........7........4931

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday, time to ride hills!

It was Tuesday and time for my twice weekly Rocky Butte hill repeats ride that I lead for my social bike group. Tonight we modified the routine a little. A young woman was murdered and her body was recently found on Rocky Butte near the road we normally ride up. Tonight the community held a memorial.


Out of respect and also not wanting to be disrupting the service or descending at 40 mph with the crowd along the road we took "the back way" up. Tonight's route wasn't as steep as our normal route. I also found it's summit approach to not be as much fun. This route gradually flattens out as it reaches the top, the other way drops through a small saddle then gives a good steep pitch to finish off. ;-)

There were nine of us tonight. 7 of us managed to get grouped together for a photo at the top. (I was taking the photo) Kay and Jose were out of range and didn't make the photo op.


It was a perfect evening to ride hills. No rain, not hot, not cold....just right!



Most of the gang gathered after the ride for a bite to eat. Having other duties to attend to I offered my regrets.



........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........16..............0.............0..........0.........16
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July........813..............0.............0..........0.........813
YTD........4866..............0............37..........7........4909

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Riding with the Desert Coyote

I was supposed to be riding back home from Eugene today. When that all changed I decided that a good fallback would be to ride to Multnomah Falls and back from Wilsonville. The deluge that met me at morning light made me rethink that.

One of my regular blog readers posted an invitation to join her on a 25 mile loop beginning in McMinnville. Little did she know but that written comment would be the winning entry in the "Why I'd like to ride 25 miles with the Desert Coyote" essay contest. I was going to bike to McMinnville and back, which would give me an ~90 mile day, but it was just pouring. Since I don't have to ride when it's not fun anymore I loaded the rain bike and drove to McMinnville.

The rain had tapered off a bit by the time I arrived there, the contest winner informed me that it never rained really hard there.


(Essay winner Esther)

She led me on a nice route beginning from McMinnville out to the Perrydale and Whiteson areas. The route was for the most part on roads I had never ridden before.

It was a nice route with good company. We finished the ride with a stop for snacks at Alf's.

The weather was improving as the day wore on. I wasn't ready to hang the bike up for the day quite yet.

I took a few moments to look over the other essay contest entries and noted that there was a three way tie. ;-)

I called one of the other winners, only to find she had taken the day to go on a mtn bike adventure. The fine print said entrants had to be present to win so I contacted the third person on the list.

Carol jumped at the chance to ride with such a famous cyclist ;-) so off we went in search of another 25 miles.


(essay contest co-winner Carol)

Just as we started off I was challenged to a race by a local young racer. Here he is pulling out ahead of me.


Carol and I rode up into the Mountain Home area and circled back around via Scholls.


Following the ride the Desert Coyote was treated to a homemade strawberry milkshake! :-) (Thanks Carol!)

All jest aside, I was glad to enjoy these gal's company on the rides today. Fewer miles than I had hoped for, but more than I expected to get earlier in the day as the rain was falling.

........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........50..............0.............0..........0.........50
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July........797..............0.............0..........0.........797
YTD........4850..............0............37..........7........4893

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Looking for a good social ride

After several years of riding the majority of my bike miles solo it amazes me just how much I really look forward to company now.

I was scheduled to lead a trip on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway from Champoeg (except I was starting in Wilsonville) to Eugene. It's about a 150 mile ride. The plan was to stay overnight in Eugene then ride back northward on Sunday.
I did this ride last year and had two others join me. This year I only had one decide to join in the fun.... and last week he was involved in a biking incident while riding STP that left him with a broken collarbone.

After a week of good weather I woke up to light rain this morning, along with a brisk wind that would be in my face for the entire trip. I'm not training for anything this year. I ride for fun. With no company to join me it was already not as much fun as I would have liked. The rain took away a bit more of the fun. The headwind a bit more yet. I vacillated.

What finally got me on the bike was that next weekend I am officiating at the Race Across Oregon and won't be able to ride. If I am to have a chance of getting 1000 miles this month I need to get some miles in this weekend.

I took the rain bike off the hook and geared up.

I started southward with my booties and raincoat on, but the rain pants stayed in the backpack. There were some light showers from time to time but luckily no serious rain. More of an issue was the ~15mph headwind. I pedaled easily but was only making about 14 mph. I got down to Keizer and decided that there was more fun to be had by making a change of plan and direction.

I had a great ride a few weeks ago up into the Santiam Canyon so since that would involve mostly a crosswind I decided to morph my Willamette Valley flat ride into a Santiam Canyon hillier ride.

I had my camera with me, unfortunately I did not have the SD card. I had room for two photos on the internal memory. I used the space to take two photos of a field of flowers being grown for seed. This one turned out the best. I'm thinking these might be Cosmos?


As I neared Silverton I joined the Cycle Oregon Weekend crowd for a few miles. I last saw them in my mirror as I made my way up Victor Point Rd at a bit faster rate than they could match. ;-)

I wasn't working too hard today (except on Victor Point Rd!) and stopped often for treats. Chocolate milkshakes and banana splits were in serious jeopardy today. ;-)

I made it to Detroit Lake then turned around. The return trip was a lot more down hill than up and there was a bit of a wind helping me along besides. The weather had also improved a bit. The roads were dry and it was warmer, not that it was ever cold today.

I stopped and took off my rain coat, my booties, and my arm warmers. As I made my way north the wind dissipated a bit, but there was still enough to help.

I arrived back home well before dark with more than enough energy in reserve to allow me to be making plans for another long ride tomorrow. I'm thinking maybe Multnomah Falls and back from Wilsonville. A "no car" weekend! :-)

........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today.......176..............0.............0..........0........176
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July........747..............0.............0..........0.........747
YTD........4800..............0............37..........7........4843

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday, must be time for hill repeats!

I haven't been able to attend the midweek rides for the last several installments. I'm either working late, or in at least one instance had a meeting to attend. It was nice to be back on the bike this evening. 5 of us met for our Rocky Butte hill repeat ride only to find a Portland Policeman with his car sideways across the road. He informed us that the road was closed..... but evidently a big secret as to why. ...must be a matter of national security. :-O
Having had the man tell us we couldn't ride our hill tonight....

... we decided to pedal over to Mt Tabor and ride up that a few times instead. Monica and Mark led the way.

I didn't have my camera with me so I only took two photos with my phone... sorry for the poor quality. There were some nice views, probably better views than from Rocky Butte, but the ride didn't lend itself to the training we are accustomed to. Seems that Rocky Butte is steeper, and much shorter.

By the time we rode back to Rocky Butte and our vehicles we logged 16 miles and 1425 feet of climbing.

I helped a friend with a household repair project after our ride and it was dark by the time I left. I noted a nearly full moon, and the very comfortable evening temperature... wish I had my bike lights with me.... and didn't have to work early in the AM. It would have been a lovely night to go for a few bonus miles.

........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today........16..............0.............0..........0.........16
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July........571..............0.............0..........0.........571
YTD........4624..............0............37..........7........4667

Sunday, July 10, 2011

STP recovery ride

.The Vancouver Bicycle Club hosts The Ride Around Clark County (RACC) every year. One of the female members hosts a ride the following day that starts with french toast billed as the "RACC Recovery Ride".

Well, I wasn't having french toast but I was going for an easier ride today.

I started at the STP finish line at 8AM and rode the 50 miles back to Longview then turned around and followed the two day STPers on their ride back to Portland. I've done this a few times now and it's always entertaining.

I started off with a little different route out of Portland, owing mostly to one way street issues. It did put me past Peninsula Park, very pretty.


Before riding over the St John's Bridge I took a little detour to take advantage of the morning light on the bridge.

There wasn't much traffic on the bridge this time of day so I took advantage of being able to take the center of the span as I rode over.


There was a bit of a headwind, but not bad this early in the morning. I began to see oncoming cyclists by 8:30AM. With my little detour for the bridge photo op I didn't have to go all the way to Longview and was able to turn around just a bit before that rough Longview Bridge and still get my hoped for 100 miles in.
I ate a snack from my pack and turned around to join the mass of two day riders.

I stopped at the St Helens food stop and had a slice of watermellon and refilled my water bottles. From there on it was on the pedals with a favorable trailing wind helping to push me along.

Soon I was back in Portland crossing the STP finish line for the second time in less than 24 hours.

and added a little "bling" to my collection.

I spent the next 6 1/2 hours at the finish line festival just enjoying the bikeness off it all. Everybody finishing was a winner. Many of the two day riders, though slower, showed more perseverance and courage than we 1 day riders who often don't have to work too hard at this.

This little gal, probably about 6 or 7 came in on a trail-a-bike. Her dad was on the front. They came in with another dad/daughter team. At the finish line a whole gaggle of little girls ran up and began chattering to their friends who had just ridden 204 miles in two days. I didn't hear what they said, but I did hear this little athlete's response...... "ya, but my butt hurts". I imagine it did!


I spent the next several hours just soaking it all in, listened to those that obviously had a story to tell, talked to those that just wanted to visit about bikes.
I saw Lauren, my 2010 RAO partner finish, saw a lot of friends finish. I thoroughly enjoyed the day, finally leaving about dark........and seeing those with even more of a story to tell still pedaling in with blinkies flashing!

A great day on the bike, a great STP weekend!

........road bike.......rollers.........mtb.....lifecycle.....total
Today.......100..............0.............0..........0........100
Jan.........474..............0............21..........7.........502
Feb.........530..............0.............0..........0.........530
March.......502..............0.............0..........0.........502
April.......524..............0.............0..........0.........524
May........1003..............0.............0..........0........1003
June.......1016..............0............10..........0........1026
July........555..............0.............0..........0.........555
YTD........4608..............0............37..........7........4651