I took advantage of a sunny day to preride my upcoming birthday route. I was hoping to get out early, but morning frost delayed me a bit. I finally started spinning pedals from Butteville at 10:30 AM. Within three miles as I was pedaling along Arndt Rd I had a black SUV pass by in the opposite direction. I noted that even though there were no markings or emergency lights, it just looked like a cop's rig. In about a minute I had a small red car buzz me within arm's reach as it passed at an estimated 70-80 mph. I was sure wishing that cop had been just a bit slower on the road so he could have seen that. Well, in about another 45 seconds that black SUV came by at full throttle with lights flashing! He had turned around and was now chasing this guy down! In about a mile I came across the guy pulled over with the cop behind him. As I approached the cop pulled around the guy moved ahead on the road to the next driveway, then turned around and came back toward me (and the "outlaw". I had already passed the bad guy and flagged the cop down as he was approaching me. I told him that if he needed some more charges to add to this guy's list, he could add a close pass of a cyclist. In Oregon if the motor vehicle is traveling faster than 35 mph, they must pass a cyclist with enough room that if the cyclist were to fall over, they wouldn't hit them. (READ the law here) He thanked me for the information, and added that he thought the driver was in the process of cleaning out his pants, having never expected that the SUV he flew by was a cop. Love it when someone gets caught risking people's lives.
I continued on my way, and turned around the Aurora Airport, making my way back over to Boone's Ferry Rd. I followed Boone's Ferry through Woodburn passing the Settlemier House.
At the end of Boone's Ferry road I jogged north a bit to access Howell Prairie Rd. I was riding through agricultural land. It is the dead of winter, and very little is growing, and nothing is growing actively. The hop fields are barren field of wooden poles and support wires. Grass seed fields are green, but just hanging on, waiting for Spring. Cane berries are trellised up awaiting Spring growth.
The prairie was pretty though.
I followed Howell Prairie southward until I reached Hazelgreen Rd. I turned westward. I had skirted around seasonal Lake Labish. As I pedaled along Hazelgreen Rd I came close to the southeast edge of the lake. Today, the most notable sight was the somewhat rare black peat soils that are great for growing onions.
I continued along Hazelgreen Rd to Highway 99E, where the name changed to Chemawa Rd. I continued across Interstate 5, where the name changed again to Lockhaven Rd, then reaching my half way point, rolled into Keizer Station to refill water and have a quick bite to eat.
I continued west until Lockhaven ended at Windsor Island Rd. I turned north, into an increasingly bothersome headwind. I zigged and zagged my way northeast, slowing down with each passing mile as I fought the wind. It wasn't bad by normal standards, probably 10-15 mph, but was more than my undertrained legs were comfortable with.
I made slow, but sure progress back to Butteville. It took me just over 5 hours clock time (including photo stops, food stop, and actual pedaling) to finish the 62.48 miles. Hopefully I'll be slightly better by the official ride in two weeks.