This Space for Rent

The new mix in one go

Riders gather in the Grand Lodge parking lot

Last year I didn’t ride the Oregon Coast 600 for a host of reasons, not the least was the teeny detail that it was scheduled for the exact same weekend as Pacific University’s graduation, so unless you jumped on the room reservations early nothing could be found for love and/or money.

This year I didn’t have that excuse; room space was offered at the start (I couldn’t stay over at the end because I have to be home on mondays for morning bear herding) so all I needed to do was to load up and get out there on friday for a relaxing loop around NW Oregon. And my friend Ed had worked out a bunch of group rooms at the ~2/3rds point in Lincoln City, so people who wanted to crash for a while in the middle of the loop (and, really, who wouldn’t?) would be able to do so for cheap.

So on Friday morning I made up a list, baked a fruitcake, then packed everything on my list into the rando bag and a backpack that I was using as a drop bag. Normally I wouldn’t worry about a drop bag, because I’d either be riding the loop or riding home, but each of the 400s I’ve ridden were made much less painful by being able to crash for 2-4 hours between handing in my brevet card and riding back home from Wilsonville, and I thought that being able to do something like that in the middle of a loop and being able to get new clothes would be a very good thing indeed. Oh, and there was the teeny detail of the weather forecast for western oregon being universally “cloudy with 70% chance of showers” – and in my experience in this state, “showers” includes torrential downpour, hail, sleet, or a combination of the three.

So I had the rando bag full of fruitcake, baked potatoes, science diet, and a couple of spare pairs of socks, my pitiful excuse for a rain shell (a Cannondale shell that’s nice and light, doesn’t have neck-scraping junk at the neck, but which makes up for that by not actually being rainproof at all) and a sash that I threw together so I wouldn’t have to bring the over-the-head emergency spare one (my mesh vest had been left in Wilsonville after the last 400, and Lesli L was going to bring it along to return to me, but paranoia easily covers 90 inches of reflective ribbon and a couple of 6×1 strips of velcro. And the drop bag had an entire set of clothing (except for the +4s; the Chrome ones I’ve got get really wet really fast, but are thin so they dry just as quickly) and a pair of shoes (I wear five-ten “Guide Tennie” shoes when riding, and they’re very nice – they’re solid enough so I don’t feel every part of the pedals through the soles, and they’re 95% waterproof (the non-waterproof parts are where I stick my feet in, of course – wool socks do a very good job of wicking water into them – and the tongue, which is, mysteriously, made of a very waterphiliac material) – except that when they get wet, they stay wet,) plus some more fruitcake, a charger for the GPS, and a toothbrush.

Oh, and I went by Staccato Gelato and bought a hideously colo(u)red bike cap (my cotton one, which is being sacrificed to be a master pattern, is a stench magnet and wants to be washed after every time I wear it) for luck.

So I was ready to go. And at 5am on Saturday morning, I fell out of bed (I was offered the upper berth in a bunk bed, so my extraction was awkward,) put on my regular clothes (I wear +4s all the time these days, and wool shirts and sweaters don’t look so much athletic as geeky,) and dragged the mlcm out to the parking lot for the 6am start.

After a brief round of route announcements, the organizer asked if anyone was planning on riding through, and when some people said yes gave some recommendations about what they should do at some of the night stops. I didn’t pay much attention to this, because I wasn’t planning on riding through, and was simply waiting for the ball to drop so I could head on out.

These days the start of an organized brevet is becoming a bit of a routine. I sit near the back of the pack, the fast riders evaporate with the traditional *pop* of imploding air collapsing into bicyclist-shaped vacumns, then almost everyone else rides out into the street, and somewhere between “almost everyone else” and “the last stragglers” I drag myself into action.

And when I’m moving, I find a good natural pace, bump myself up a little faster, then run ahead for as long as I can before I reach a control or blow up and am overhauled by other riders. Today was no exception; I started accelerating up to somewhere in the ballpark of 20mph, then just went charging forward until the climb up to Tophill (on the Banks-Vernonia trail) brought my average speed down to ~17mph and made me easy to catch when I brought my headlong rush down to a slow creep when looking for an information control on the path (I’d actually thought I’d missed it and was about to turn around to retrace my steps when I was interrupted by a huge mass of fast riders charging down the trail at me, calling out “have you seen the info control yet?”)

No. But I’d be happy to jump into your pacemob and help you look for it, then proceed down to Vernonia at speed (easer said than done; the Vernonia end of the Banks-Vernonia path is older and somewhat more sketchy. The occasional right-angle zig in the path is almost as good as the pavement buckling over tree roots to slow you down to a crawl.)

In Vernonia, the paceline disintegrated as people bolted for the coffeeshop and the gas station to get fud and to get their brevet cards signed. Ed G. and I were both at the Black Bear coffee shop, and we both got in and out of there fairly smartly because (at least in my case) our legs were starting to realize what was going on and were trying to prevent it by freezing up on us.

And off we (and by “we”, I mean that Ed shot off down the highway like a rocket and I had to ride like mad to actually catch up with him) went to the north, winding up highway 47 at a satisfactorily ridiculous speed until about a mile south of Birkenfeld, when Ed’s bicycle ate a nail or something, which had the desired effect of flattening his rear tire and stopping us dead. And while we were stopped doing the replacement, bunches of riders were shooting past, asking – en passant – whether we needed help or not. We didn’t, so most of them didn’t stop. Asta C. and Theo R., on the other hand, shot by with the usual exchange of “need help?” “no, just a flat!”, followed about 10 seconds later by “damn! Now I’ve got a flat!” and a screeching stop so they could sit by the side of the road (350 feet north of us) patching their own flat.

After a few minutes of this, it started to pour down rain, and I eventually had to abandon Ed and run up to the Birkenfeld store because I was starting to chill thanks to the nonwaterproofedness of my rainshell (I promised to wait there, which was not quite as selfless as it might seem because the Birkenfeld store is considerably warmer inside than it was outside.)

And up I went to the Birkenfeld store, where I said hi to Lesli and Kevin B (who’d I’d ridden with on the 400), but they were about to leave and departed before Ed rolled up and we headed off into terra incognito (for me; I’d never been north of the Birkenfeld Store before this) and down into the mountains (for we were following the Nehalem River, which winds down from the neigborhood of Timber in a large loop that ends up dumping into the Pacific Ocean near Manzanita) for a considerable amount of time before diverging at the remains of Jewell and climbing abruptly 1000 feet up to the summit of the Coast Range, then dropping (in a very satisfactory manner; the summit of the Coast Range here is crossed by a road that climbs along a ridge, dips into one or two small valleys, then plunges down from that point all the way to the ocean. Ed was about 250 feet in front of me when we summited (the climb, although steep, was not steep enough to completely kill me, and I only started to fade near the top) but by the time I’d made that 250 feet he was already half a mile down the road and accelerating. I didn’t catch up to him until we were almost down to Olney, where there’s a store and a control. Lesli and Kevin were finishing up there, but Ed was on a mission and we rolled into and out of the stop in no time flat, then flying ahead to the next destination.

Ed was moving along at a pretty relentless clip, and I was getting kind of hungry (and was staving it off by science diet, so even though my stomach was unhappy it wasn’t suicidal,) so when Theo and Asta caught up with us (taking longer than I thought they would; apparently they’d had two flats and decided to time-trial their way up the mountain(!!!) to run Ed and I down) and almost immediately mentioned that they were very hungry and needed real food, I said I thought that was a splendid idea and said I’d join them if they did.

And they did, in a little diner along highway 104, and it was lovely to have some nice hot food to make up for the rainshower that had just gone by while we were looking for this restaurant.

And while we were eating, I asked them if I’d heard right and they were indeed planning on riding through, and, yup, they were. Would I like to join them?

Now if I was sensible (or had the sense that G-d gave a rock) the story of this loop would be a bit different. But I was not, and I had to admit that riding it all at once sounded like it would be fun, so if they’d stop and wait for me after dropping me on hills I’d be delighted to do so.

So, after a leisurely lunch, we got back on the bicycles and rode out to Fort Stevens for an info control, then turned back and headed into a disappointingly strong headwind for the looooong ride south to Lincoln City.

Scott P. (on his recumbent again) joined us at Fort Stevens and rode south with us until Manzanita, where the combination of steep ramps and icy rain knocked him out of the ride.

And south we went, upping and downing a bunch of small capes (each of which would see Scott and I dropping back on the climb, then each of which would see Scott rocketing ahead at 50-60mph on the descent) while the pouring rain played hopscotch with brilliantly sunny skies.

I’ve not ridden south of the US26 junction on 101, so I’d never had the non-automotive experience of climbing Neahkahnie Mountain. It’s, um, interesting. It starts by climbing through a tunnel (with a special “there are bicycles on this road!” flashing light) then continuing on for another 150 meters or so, where you then turn around and drop into a small valley before turning around and climbing ~300 meters up to a long ledge carved into the cliffface for US101 to cling to. It’s a lot of climbing to happen ~250km into a loop, and when I was on it it felt like it just went on and on and on (and I really didn’t notice much of the scenery until the grade had started to level out along the cliffside north of Manzanita. It’s quite impressive there.)

Ocean clouds from the Manzanita lookout

Theo and Asta were waiting in one of the scenic overlooks, so the three of us waited for Scott to arrive. He was completely smashed by the time he rolled in, and decided that he was going to stop in Manzanita for food no matter what (the next control was Tillamook, another 20orso miles down the road, and Asta, Theo, and I were thinking of just killing two birds with one stone there) so we arranged to part company there unless he overhauled us between Manzanita and Lincoln City (alas, no, he didn’t; he was flattened badly enough that even food didn’t help and had to DNF there :-( )

So here we were in Manzanita, rolling south towards Tillamook and about to turn upstream along the Nehalem River (which took a somewhat more direct route to the Pacific Ocean than we did) and then onto the Miami-Foley Road, which isn’t any longer than highway 101, but which is much more scenic. The Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad along here is starting to develop distinct signs of being an abandoned railroad (weeds growing between the rails, small landslides starting to encroach on the ROW – the POTB claims that the line is just embargoed, but the facts on the ground look very different) but I was unwilling to stop and drop out of the group to take pictures today.

I was feeling in good spirits, but very very hungry. I was hoping that we could have made it to Tillamook in time to stop in at the cheese factory and have a little something including ice cream, but, alas, we rolled into Tillamook a little before 8pm (overhauling Ed just before the factory; but we were dead set on stopping at a restaurant with tables while he wanted to pop into a grocery store and get food there, so we split off pretty quickly to stop – for about a hour – at a pizzaria where we had sandwiches, coffee, and soda (all of which, including the soda, was liberally salted.)) And then, after a brief discussion with a drunk who wanted us to loan him a bicycle so he could ride it home along 101, we put on all of our reflective gear and set out into the evening dusk.

And then it rained on us most of the way into the control at Pacific City, only stopping just before we turned onto Sandlake Road to climb Cape Kiwanda (the road was wet enough so that I managed to not see at least one bicycle component eating pothole) and down into the city, where we found Ed and Joel Metz at an oceanside bar that was about to close (Ed was drinking decaf, and obliquely warned us that this was all they had. We ordered regular coffee, which was served to us without complaint, but we ended up getting it for free (which was probably a sign; I’d commented while we were drinking it that if it turned out to be decaf I’d know because I’d be sobbing by the side of the road by the next morning; I did not actually end up sobbing by the side of the road, but I certainly thought about it after the promised caffeine did not materialize in my bloodstream) and, after a considerable amount of time, we rolled out the door and towards Lincoln City and into the teeth of another bout of torrential rain.

Oh, but did I say “towards Lincoln City” but forgot to mention one teeny little informational control that is conveniently located at the top of a ~800 foot ramp up a little poorly maintained forest road called Slab Creek Road.

It stopped raining just before we reached Slab Creek Road, but I still thought I was going to die. I seriously considered just DNFing at several points just so I wouldn’t have to climb up to that effing info control. I was positive that I was going to abandon riding through and just stop in the hotel at Lincoln City for a long nap before continuing. But in any case I clattered up this horrible little road, trying to dodge potholes but not succeeding enough to avoid shaking loose both derailers, my front rack, and getting the front shifter’s cable housing to punch through the end of a cable stop and into the guts of my left brifter.

Fortunately the road got better on the other side of the info control (the cue for the info control should have been “if the road becomes passable, you’ve gone past the info control. Turn around and look for the wumpus here”) so it was only the matter of climbing another couple of hundred feet, then plunging (through the cold damp coastal air) allllll the way back down to 101 and then into Lincoln City and another torrential downpour (at which point Theo, when we were approximately 200 feet from the hotel, hit a pothole which caused the contents of his rando bag to all spontaneously eject onto the street. *sigh*)

And then we were in the Lincoln City control, where the organizer, a large variety of snacks, and our drop bags could be found. I walked into the room fully expecting that I’d be sleeping at this hotel tonight, but after warm food (including tea!), a nice long warm shower, and a complete change of clothes (including shoes) I felt back to normal (which is to say “normally insane”) and was actually eager to roll out the door and continue the loop.

Note to self: I need to carry more layers, and find shoes that are drier after being rained on.

While we were going out the door at 3:30ish, Michael W was getting ready, so we said “hi” as we left (we’d not see him again for another hour and change, when he blew past us on a level spot on the climb up to the summit of the Coast Range) and rode off to the Siletz highway and the land of hallucinatia.

At 4am, the Siletz Highway seems like it’s climbing very steeply, but perhaps that was the hallucinations. Up we went, in a sort of sleep-deprived haze, each of us grimly hoping that we’d stay awake long enough for the sun to start brightening the sky. When we were close to Siletz proper, my front tire, which had been punctured by a fine pointy thing several hours ago (possibly on Slab Creek Road?) finally deflated to the point where the sidewalls started to buckle as I pushed along upgrade.

I’m not sure just when I picked up the puncture. I tend to let the tires on the mlcm drop air until the ride quality starts to deteriorate, and I’ve had them down to about 30psi (on 26mm tires rated at 100ps) before I’ve noticed handling and/or speed problems. But when the sidewalls started to buckle, I had to pull over to see what was wrong, and then pump up the tire so I could proceed to the next town, find a shelter (because, surprise, just as we stopped it started to rain again!) and then change the tube out.

The next town was Siletz, it was only about a mile down the road, and the Siletz cafe was open when we got there. I sat down in the shade of the roof at the bank next door to the cafe and worked on my tire while Asta and Theo went into the cafe to get food and coffee. I pulled the punctured tube, felt inside the tire for pokey things, didn’t find them, then put a new tube into the tire, pumped it up, patched the now-punctured tube just in case, put everything away, and went into the cafe myself to finish my coffee and have some hash browns (which had been sitting out for a little while and were not piping hot, but were more than hot enough for me, particularly when smothered in catsup.)

Michael W, Vincent M (one of the very fast riders; he’d spent the night in Lincoln City, and had passed us around the time I stopped to pump up the tire for the run down into Siletz), and John P were in the cafe as well, but they left before we did, and when we finally left the cafe and headed east we were by ourselves again.

A turn onto Logsden Road and we left the Siletz River valley and proceeded into some steeper climbing. Asta’s knee decided to go on strike somewhere in here, which was very unfortunate because Logsden Road comes with a “nice” gravel section where the county decided to stop maintaining it. That gravel section includes a 300(400?) foot climb that’s very twisty and, of course, gravelly, followed by a slightly longer and even more twisty descent down into the Yaquina River valley.

In its favor, it’s a nice quiet road. Not more than 6 SUVs came barrelling by us while we were climbing, and the countryside is very pretty out here. But the grades suck, the twists suck, and the gravel sucks, and we ended up walking part of the little hill (50" climb, maybe, but we were done with it until the road paved itself again) that separated that big climb from the paved road.

And then, after reaching a paved road, we continued into the tiny town of Nashville, where we turned onto the road to Blodgett, which said “hello” by immediately putting us onto a loooooooong climb up out of the valley. I needed to stop for a bathroom break about a third of the way up, so I did most of the climbing by myself, then met up with Theo and Asta at a flat section near the top. Michael J. came by while we were recovering and cheerfully claimed that the climbing was over. Do not believe his lies; you end up climbing basically the entire way up to the Blodgett Store (on highway 20 at the end of Blodgett Road.)

Another rider approaches the Blodgett Store

The Blodgett Store is pretty much the end of the serious climbing. There are a couple of unhappily steep ramps between it and Forest Grove, but that 95 miles are optically flat compared to the previous 95 miles, and we could (now that we had restocked with ice cream and painkillers) open up the throttles and move along at a faster (fast enough to be at the limit of my speed; a slightly faster group came by and we tried to latch onto it, but I kept rubberbanding off the back of the group until Theo and Asta also called it quits and dropped down from 18-20 to 16-18mph) clip all the way back to the end.

We stopped a few miles out of the Blodgett Store to delayer. And then almost immediately got rained on, so I had to stop again to relayer, then hustle to catch back up.

And then we encountered mile upon mile of rollers, which I never got the knack of until this year. But this was a day where I did get the knack of them, so I spent the next 46 miles zipping up and down the rollers as if I’d not already ridden 290+ miles that day.

This, alas, was rudely punctuated on Hopewell Road, where the front end of the mlcm started to flop alarmingly from side to side when I stomped on the gas to climb a long roller. Whoops, guess that means I’ve got another flat! But I didn’t want to stop for it until we reached Dayton (only ~11 miles away at this point) so I stopped playing the roller game and proceeded more sedately until Theo took a look at my (now almost completely flat) front tire and suggested in a fairly urgent manner that we should stop right now to change it.

Okay. Off to the side of the road, off with the wheel, off with the tire, feel around for a pokey thing, find nothing, put in the new tire, pump it up, and turn around to discover that it had gone completely flat while I was packing things away. Theo offered to try the next change, and he actually found the pokey thing, so when I pumped it up this time it actually stayed inflated (at about 45psi. I love being able to ride narrow tires that aren’t fully inflated) and we could continue on (after a couple of emergency stops first to close the brake quick release, and then to reclose the wheel quick release, which I must not have closed properly because when the front wheel started making washboardy vibrations on smooth pavement I looked down to see the quick release flopping in the wind. Sigh) onto Webfoot Road, then into Dayton for the final transit control.

Webfoot road is pretty flat, but there are a few rollers. Theo and I were feeling fairly punchy, so we raced several of these rollers, laughing hysterically as we did it. Asta, sensibly, stayed well away from the crazies.

And north of Dayton is Lafayette, and then it’s all roads I know. Lesli, Kevin, and Michel Y. had overhauled us when we’d stopped for my last flat, but we caught up to them at Dayton and rode together up through Lafayette to Abbey Road. But then I decided that I would stomp on ahead to get an over the shoulder picture, then Asta & Theo decided they would catch up to me by stomping on ahead as well. And then the three of us flew through the last 23 miles up to the Grand Lodge; I kept putting on the gas, dropping Theo & Asta, slowing down so they could catch up, then forgetting and putting on the gas again, and finally decided at Fern Creek Road that what I’d do was to just time-trial my way into Forest Grove, but then wait for them so we could turn in our brevet cards en masse.

I was in no hurry, but I only had to wait a couple of minutes (2-3?) before they rolled up. 37h43? 37h34? I didn’t take a picture so I’m not sure; we got in before Lesli, Michel, and Kevin, and they made it in at 37h44, then Ed and Joel appeared soon thereafter. And then, after inhaling a couple of pieces of pizza, I shouldered my drop bag, jumped onto the mlcm, and rode back home, where I managed to pull my pictures off the camera and get them uploaded before falling asleep in front of the computer.

And by the time monday rolled around, rando amnesia had set in. When’s the next 600?

The gory details of the trip are sketchy; the GPS ran out of power 330 miles into the loop, and it exhausted internal memory before that, so the first 25 miles of the loop (where I was averaging 17mph including climbing the United Traction line up to Tophill) were lost, but what I do know is

riding distance : 385 miles average brevet speed : 9.9 mph average moving speed : 13.4 mph elevation : 15,000 feet time on bike : 28 hours max speed : 37 mph kcals burned : 29000

What worked? Almost everything. The only things that didn’t work were the p-clamps for the front rack, which shook loose, the stupid Delta bottle cage which snapped, and all of my battery-powered accessories, which ran out of power. My handlebars need to be rewrapped with another layer underneath to fatten the grip areas out, because when I’m tired I tend to lean on the handlebars and that makes my hands (particularly when I’m wearing insulated/padded gloves) go numb (the big and little fingers on my right hand are still numb two days later.)

… and I also need to get waterproof shoes (or spats), better fenders (the SKS fenders have the strut attachment points inside the fender, so water pools up beside them, then spills out directly in front of my shoes), and, just as a change, a rain shell that actually keeps the effing rain away from my body.

Oh, yeah, and now that I’ve finished this 600k it means I’ve done a full series (200, 300, 400, and this 600) each one in order, and each one without sleep (or sanity.) If I had more money, less sense, could deal with the crowds, and could afford to take my family to Paris I could actually try to register for the traditional epic death march this fall.

Also see:


Official results are up and our time is 37h 46m. Next year we’ll do it faster and with less sleep! =)

I’m glad that you have as little sense as Asta and me because it was great to ride with you through the night and second day. For the second time in as many weeks! I think we are developing a bad habit, but I like it.

And for what it’s worth, I really like your incredibly brightly colo(u)red cap.

Finally, for any readers wondering about the effects of a ride like this, please see this photo of David and me in Dayton.

Theo Wed May 11 09:03:44 2011


Those links worked in preview, but I also missed an “/a” at the end. For shame.

Theo Wed May 11 09:05:16 2011

I’m sure we can do the loop faster, but I’m not so sure it’s worth the effort. Sure, we could trim maybe an hour off by not having knees explode, but I kind of like being able to linger over meals :-)

David Parsons Wed May 11 18:31:00 2011

Cursory googling provides me with many links to out-of-stock weatherproof, waterproof, or winterized cycling shoes.

I am forced to conclude that either they all suck rocks, or they don’t make enough of them.

Graydon Wed May 11 18:39:14 2011

Yes, the problem with the waterproof cycling shoes is, apparently, that they are completely waterproof, so if water gets in it stays in (and, shoot, I get that with my existing shoes!) I just need something to keep the water from getting in quite so much (replacing the fenders with Honjos or Honjo-clones will help with this, because whey won’t have the nice water-channelling features that spray dirty water directly onto my feet!) as well as, possibly, shoes that let the water that got in get back out.

And since I don’t use clipless pedals, a large chunk of the cost of bicycle shoes is for features (super-rigid soles, mounting points for cleats) I don’t use!

David Parsons Thu May 12 10:50:15 2011

Congratulations on you and your group’s finish, and your first Super Randonneur award! Nice work. It’s a good course, I think, but it would be better in mid-June of a year that was not epochally bad, weather-wise.

When I asked if y'all had just arrived when I saw you at 3 am, I was not criticizing your pace, I was just curious as to whether or not you guys had had an opportunity to rest, clean up, eat, etc. at the overnight controle, or if you had arrived, gotten your card signed and were then leaving. Glad to see that you were far enough ahead that you got a break.

Michael Wolfe Thu May 12 14:20:33 2011

I didn’t think it was criticism; I was probably too preoccupied by it being the middle of the night to do a coherent reply. I did notice it was you, which was probably an accomplishment at that time of night (and I certainly noticed it was you when you shot by about 5 miles west of Siletz a hour or so later :-))

How was the gravel road climb for you? It looked like it had been raining moderately recently when we hit the gravel, so I’m wondering if you got rainshowered at all when you went through there.

David Parsons Thu May 12 16:17:17 2011

The gravel was honestly no big deal at all. It was not raining at the time, I did it last year on a different recumbent with skinnier tires (and that was no problem either), and it’s far from the worst gravel section I’ve ridden. Babyshoe Pass on SIR’s 3 Volcanoes 300 last year was 12 miles and a lot looser, and that got mildly uncomfortable in places, but I still never had to get off and walk. It is funny to me how strong folks' preconceptions can be about what the bike can and can’t do. “I thought those bikes weren’t supposed to be able to climb!” “Oh, I guess this one must be broken.”

Michael Wolfe Fri May 13 07:44:39 2011

About the only problem I could imagine (what with having only been on a recumbent once in my life :-) with climbing on wet gravel would be that the front end would want to skitter around like an ice skater (the mlcm does that on steep gravel ramps unless I stand and put more of my weight over the front of the bike; the xtracycle does that with the rear wheel unless I sit upright to move the c.o.g. back.) But I’m a slow climber, so I may notice the skittery effects more than you do.

David Parsons Fri May 13 09:14:20 2011

Given the complete lack of need for SPD attachment points, etc., there’s always the “winter running shoe” category; maybe a bit cheaper and certainly there are a lot more of them, just as gore-texty and waterproof.

(and if you find an over-bootie thing that works, I’d like to know about it.)

I am given to understand that the real trick is how you layer at the ankles; various brits on the net speak highly of inverted dry suit cuffs (!!) as a means to make sure the water goes over the shoe, rather than into the shoe. I’d expect plus-fours to have a general structural issue here, because it’s really hard to seal skin+anything so water can’t get between.

Graydon Fri May 13 14:43:48 2011

I think I can kill off a lot of the water running in from the top if I improve the front fender. If I get a pair of Honjo 45s (assuming I can fit them into the fork crown, or that I win the lottery so I can have a nice wide low-trail fork) that will get rid of the whole stupid water spigot channels business from the fenders.

As for winter shoes, that might be overkill. Winter shoes are usually designed for warmth, and there are really only 2-3 weeks a year when it’s cold enough so my feet don’t sweat and then get cold from evaporation.

Not a simple problem, alas :-(

David Parsons Fri May 13 22:47:27 2011

I love the phrase “rando amnesia”!!!! I’ve been stricken by it many times since my first long brevet in the late ‘90’s. If you don’t mind I’m going to steal the phrase- in fact I may even use it as a slogan for a Tee shirt. I noticed you did the 400 and 600 without sleep- as in no sleep on the ride or the night before? Congrats on finishing the series. Don

Don Mon Jun 27 07:04:34 2011

No sleep on the ride; I don’t usually get enough sleep the night before a long loop, but I do get some.

David Parsons Mon Jun 27 21:19:44 2011

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