This Space for Rent

A second trip to the well

Gloomy, but at least it's not raining here

My plan was to ride One Big Hill today, and I asked around to see if anyone else wanted to ride it as well (apparently nobody did; I asked on the orrando list and got a grand total of one “maybe” response. Oh well!) but when Saturday morning rolled around the alarm woke me to the sound of dripping rain, and with a nasty sinus headache, so I briefly considered the pros and cons to throwing on my clothes and heading for Silver Falls, then reset the alarm clock for 9am and went right back to sleep.

And by the time I woke up the second time, then by the time the antihistamines kicked in and I got warm enough to even consider going outside (I didn’t bother to put day clothes on, but went directly from naked to my geeky bike clothes. My cloud chamber jerseys are pretty good at keeping me warm when I’m wandering along country roads at 18mph, but not quite so good at keeping me warm when I’m sitting, shivering, in front of the computer. I ended up tossing on a fleece sweater to bottle in just a little more heat before I warmed up) it was already noon and there was not a chance in hell that I’d be making it back before it got dark at 6:30pm. So no 200 today (or 300, for that matter, even modulo the teeny detail that it’s teetering on the edge of the winter forest road closure) but instead something shorter.

Larch Mountain is, even now, likely to be a 7 hour round trip from Sellwood, and the Zigzag 160 is similarly long. I’m not going to ride the Dixie Mountain 100 by myself, so that leaves my newest 100 to ride.

It’s a bonus that I was fairly sluggish when I rode it on Thursday and I wanted to see if I could do better if I wasn’t feeling quite so achy. There was a 100% chance of rain, but that’s sort of the cost of doing business in Oregon in the fall/winter, and if I’m not used to it I’d better get used to it because I’m not going to stop riding until the day they put me under the knife to try to kludge my shoulder back together again (I am trying not to think about what’s going to happen after then, given that riding the fuck out of my bicycle is one of the things that’s keeping me from sinking into a black depression again.)

So I loaded up the mlcm with a long-distance load (I want to push up my moving average when I’m riding 600s, so I need to carry extra weight to make up for the 55 pounds of me that I am no longer carrying around) spread between my handlebar bag and the Carradice saddlebag I borrowed from Kevin and pushed off to ride east at about 1:45pm.

It wasn’t raining when I started, but sort of indifferently misting, so I didn’t bother to put on any rain layers before running out on Woodstock to the Springwater Trail. By the time I actually reached the Springwater Trail, the misting was becoming more serious, and by the time I reached the east side of Gresham the mist had converted to a moderate rain that was showing signs of becoming a serious one, and which provoked me to pull up under a shelter and toss on a light windshell (my rainjacket was such a disaster on the 700 that I didn’t want to use it unless it was an absolute emergency) which might get wet, but would at least block the wind after I got soaked by the rain.

And when I pulled out from the shelter, the rain had become fairly enthusiastic, so you can guess what my next move was: when I reached the end of the paved part of the Springwater Trail at Rugg Road, I did not dodge over to Telford but continued on into Boring on the gravel part of the trail, in the rain, through some fairly spectacular puddles and streams running down the right of way.

Amazingly, this did not completely soak me; my shoes and socks did not become completely soaked until after I was back on pavement in Boring.

After the control in Boring, I headed on the familiar route to Amisigger Road, Barton, and points south. It rained all the way down Amisigger Road, which kept my top speed under 50mph on the descent (and this time I stayed in the middle of the lane and avoided the bottle-ejecting bump that I found on the Tickle Creek bridge on my last trip) but, thankfully, had stopped by the time I did my first crossing of the Barton bridge.

From this point on to almost Estacada, I passed through little sections of rain, little sections of fog, and increasingly larger sections of dark gloom that did not contain either rain or fog. I wasn’t nearly as worn down as I was on Thursday, so the long slow climb up Springwater Road went by faster and I got into Estacada about 6 minutes up on Thursday’s ride.

Normally I’d take the chance to take pictures on the return from Estacada to Portland, but today I just wanted to put my head down and move as fast as I could, so I just went without sightseeing and/or pictures.

In Carver, I ran back into the rain, and most of the rest of the run back into Portland was done in the rain. And, annoyingly, when I reached Oregon City I ran into a headwind that stuck with me as either a headwind or a sidewind most of the way up to the Portland city limits.

A screwdriver found lying on Washington Street in Oregon City

Along here I didn’t stop for anything. Well, anything except for this screwdriver I found lying on the street in Oregon City – I kited by it, registered that it was a screwdriver, and the stopped and walked back 50 feet to pick it up, because a sub-4 finish would be nice, but so is picking up rando junk :-)

I arrived back at the opening/closing control at, alas, 6:02, for a 4h17 loop time. Oh well! A 15mph brevet average isn’t that bad, but I’ve got to keep making runs at Springwater Road to see if I can improve my speed from the Eaden Road ramp up to Hayden Road.

Not many pictures this time (I didn’t want to take the camera out when it was raining on the way up, and I didn’t want to slow down to take pictures on the way back) but the few I took are on flickr.

10,350 miles for the year & 10,038 km of completed RUSA permanents/brevets.