This Space for Rent

Ooops, I did it again

Here I am back in the national forest

Less than two weeks after sloshing up to Ripplebrook to break a month-long 200k drought, I turned around and rode up there again. This time I was ready with waterproof gloves (good ones, not the horrible REI ones I almost froze my fingers off with on the 700 I rode in October), a new rainshell (a Shower’s Pass one instead of the heat-sucking horror that I had on the 700) and a pair of waterproof shoe covers (yes, I’m sure they’re terrifyingly geeky, but I’m getting kind of tired of having my shoes and feet get wet and cold) so, of course, there was basically no rain (a brief shower by the North Fork reservoir which convinced me to stop and put on the rainshell, and then a serious downfall when I was transiting Brooklyn – I didn’t stop to put on the rainshell because I was 8h50 into the loop and I wanted to make it into Sellwood before the brevet clock ticked past 9 hours) but it was instead a nice late-fall ride up into the mountains.

It’s late enough in the season so that there is almost always a good wind from the south. Today the wind was from the southeast, so that meant that it wasn’t blocked by the Clackamas River gorge but instead it funnelled down the gorge and gave me about 59 miles of headwind between home and the Ripplebrook Guard Station. This was, um, kind of painful – I tried to go full-speed into the wind, but ran out of steam between Boring and Estacada and ended up shoving myself the rest of the way up to Ripplebrook at 12-15mph.

The hydro pipeline goes east

My GPS was acting flaky the last time I did the loop, so I tried to redo some of the route variations again to get a better idea of whether they would give me enough distance. And this time I finally went up Ripplebrook Road so I could see the village of Ripplebrook – I couldn ’t see very much of it because there’s a sign by the road into the village (Ridgeview Road, I think) saying ‘PRIVATE ROAD; NO THROUGH TRAFFIC’ and I respected their wishes for privacy and only stopped at the entrance to snap a couple of photos of the town – and then went further up the road to find a good info control so I could strip some of the loops I’d put in closer to town in favor of an extended outandback.

The trip back was not quite as fast as it should have been, because, despite the now-tailwind my legs were kind of exhausted and every climb became much more difficult than it should have been (I’m sure I missed some of the views because I was forcing my body to pedal dammit! instead of looking at the scenery around me.

But I still made good progress, project bike and all, and managed, even with an 8:30 departure, to make it back into Portland before it got dark and back to Sellwood in 8h57, which gives me 11,700 miles and 11,597 RUSA km for the year.

The absolute high point for this trip was not the scenery, or that I’ve finally managed to maintain a streak of 12 months of at least one 200+km loop, but the direct-pull cantilevers I put on the project bike yesterday. They stop the bike and I can easily lock up and skid the rear wheel instead of the previous behavior of the wheel just spinning happily under the closed-as-tightly-as-I-can-get-them traditional cantilevers I used to have on the thing. Yes, I know that Travel Agents wrap the brake cables pretty tightly and I’ll be needing to pay closer attention to my brake cables so they don’t snap on a long descent, but, damn, these are nice and I’m going to have to braze canti studs onto the seatstays of the midlifecrisismobile so I can get that performance on my allegedly-dedicated rando bike as well.

Photos are, as is traditional, on Flickr.


Also, keep an eye on your rims. Linear pull brakes can eat through them in a hurry, especially if you do lots of wet weather riding.

Michael Wolfe Mon Dec 3 10:43:18 2012

Huh, that’s something I’ve never heard about. Is this something you’ve seen, and do you know why they might chew up rims?

David Parsons Mon Dec 3 19:48:59 2012

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