This Space for Rent

That was harder than I thought it would be

Estacada 100 profile

I’ve been riding, almost exclusively, Kevin Brightbill’s two flat fast populaires during the week (I’m quite confident that, modulo late starts + flats, I can finish them in the ballpark of 4-4.5 hours) but have started to feel that I need to mix up my populaire-riding with a few different ones instead of repeatedly pestering Kevin to ride the same two loops over and over and over and over (I’ve not ridden either of those loops as many times as I’ve ridden Portland-Ripplebrook-Portland, but they’re both getting really close :-)

So I built up a couple more populaires of my own. One of them (The Larch, which climbs Larch Mountain) is just ridiculous and there’s no way on G-d green earth that I’ll ever be able to loop it in under five hours barring an extensive doping program, but the other one (the Estacada 100 is, for me, short and flat enough to be a good candidate for a sub-4 finish.

RUSA approved the Estacada 100 on Monday, right after I returned from riding Kevin’s Grawp! 700, so I decided that this would be a good week to do the checkride for it. I didn’t want to do it on Monday, because I was a little bit flattened from the 700 (which was considerably more difficult than Orrando’s summer 600, and not just because it was fall instead of summer) so I originally planned to ride it on Wednesday. But Wednesday was predicted to be rainy while today was merely going to be cold and foggy in the morning, so I changed my plans over and rode it today.

Blue sky over the Springwater Trail

I started the ride at the crack of 9am, which means I actually left the house at 9:19, and set out into a thick cold morning fog. But when I climbed Woodstock up past Chavèz, I popped out of the fog at the top of the hill (40th) and flew east under sunny, but cold, skies. I made good time across Portland despite riding in city streets, and managed to notch my speed up a little bit when I switched over to the Springwater Trail, and made the 19 miles out to Boring in 1h12, which was pretty nice. I slowed a little climbing up to Amisigger Road, but made most of that back when I plunged down the hill at 45mph (stopping, alas, at the bridge over Tickle Creek, because I hit an expansion joint the wrong way and ejected one of my water bottles onto the highway) and was thinking I was looking forward to a nice fast loop when I turned onto Eaden Road and discovered, to my dismay, that I had not fully recovered from the 700 when my legs knotted up and started howling with agony when I hit the first small ramp on the way up to the lower plateau.

Oh, dear. I thought this was because I hadn’t warmed up enough yet (I’d not done much riding on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, so was probably a bit stiff) but, no, from this point on basically every climb became a slow painful cursing creep.

I managed to ignore the pain most of the way up Springwater Road, but that proved to be a miscalculation, because even though I made it into Estacada in 2h22, that blew up most of my legs and made the run back down into Portland much slower than it would otherwise be (all of the little hills between the summit of Springwater and Portland ended up being more painful than the hills flanking Boring.

I did manage to make it back in less than 4h30, though (4h28), so I didn’t end up being overly late to pick Silas from Llewellyn.

And it was a pretty ride, at least the parts I noticed when I wasn’t swearing my way up hills or down shallowly graded descents (A few pictures can be found in the usual place,) and it was enough to put this year’s RUSA total up to 9934km.

It’s unfortunate that it’s supposed to rain on Saturday, because that’s when I’m riding One Big Hill and I’d really hate to do a slow ride of that loop in the rain :-(