Saturday, June 30, 2007

For Sale, One Barely Used Pair of Running Shoes. Cheap!

[Picture Hint: Click on the photos for larger versions]

Well, I did it. I ran a 5K race, finished in 00:29:40 [edited on 7/8/2007 to show official time - 35 seconds better than I thought!!], and now I think I very well may be crippled for life. I guess it's a good thing it was for a good cause. I was joined in this "endeavor" (read "exercise in self-abuse, and not the enjoyable kind of self-abuse") by some of of my co-workers. As should be fairly obvious, this picture was taken BEFORE the race.

The first 4.5 km really weren't so bad, especially given that the course was quite hilly and my 3 whole training runs had all been on flats. I felt good enough that I sprinted the last 500 m to the finish . . .

. . . which was a mistake.

But thanks to Green Day on the iPod and a week's worth of nightly doses of Flexaril, I got the job done. Maybe in another 30 years, I'll try it again.

See the race results here:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fun With Weather, or What A Difference A Year Makes

This past Sunday was the 4th Annual Barlow Century. This organized ride is put on by a LBS, River City Bicycles, as a benefit for a very cool non-profit called b.i.k.e.

The route begins in Gresham, Oregon and heads east (and UP) to Lolo Pass on the flank of Mt. Hood. It's not all THAT much climbing, only about 6500 feet over 97 miles, but the climbs are mostly of the long, grinding variety that can be pretty tiring.

Last year, the weather was beastly hot. In the upper 90s for most of the ride - 104 by the time I headed home. This year? Well, this year it rained. And rained. And rained. I came prepared with wool jersey, arm warmers, leg warmers, rain capris, rain jacket (hooray for Showers Pass, the best jackets in the universe) (no, they don't pay me to say that - but they can if they want too . . .)

The feature point of the ride is an 8+ mile climb up an old forest road to Lolo Pass Summit. It has just enough steep pitches to make it interesting.

There's one little hair pin that pitches up so quickly that if you have not geared down in anticipation you are fairly likely to fall down. Last year I watched two different riders "turn turtle" at that point. Fortunately, when you are only going 3 miles an hour, it doesn't hurt all that much. It's just embarrassing. The key is to immediately jump up and exclaim "I meant to do that!" It's sort of amusing to see how slowly you can ride and still remain upright - at one point I was at a whopping 2.7 mph. It took me almost exactly one hour to get from the start of that climb to the rest stop at the end, which is about 15 minutes less than I had budgeted (Yay!)

It had been pretty much drizzling all day, but just as I reached the top, the heavens opened and the rain began to come down in buckets. Well, no actual buckets, just lots of rain. Riders were huddling under a canopy, and every once in a while you'd hear a yelp when water that had been pooling on top of the canopy suddenly broke loose and poured down the back of someone who hadn't QUITE made it all the way underneath.

Usually, I really look forward to the descent from Lolo. The road down is wider and less technical than the road up, and there are only a couple of gravel patches to watch out for. This time, however, I had to factor in slickness from the rain, longer stopping distances, and that whole "can't see through wet glasses" problem. That, plus when the rain hits your face at 35 mph, it's a lot like running into a cactus at full speed. But I was still able to get going fast enough to be practically hypothermic by the time I got to the end. With a lot more climbing to go, however, I warmed up soon enough. The most interesting part of the descent was hearing the rain hit the high-tension electrical lines that run down the valley next to the road. Snap! Crackle! Pop! Sizzle!

At the end of the day, I had put in 118.3 miles and burned a whole lot of calories. Of course, I also took in a whole lot of calories . . .

Gourmet fig bars at every rest stop, it was hard for me not to be piggy . . .

I'm the one on the right . . .

Friday, June 22, 2007

Proof That I Am Not Crazy

I would never do this: I would never try to ride a single-speed bicycle from the California coast to Atlantic City, New Jersey in less than 295 hours. I (most probably) wouldn't even try it on a 10-speed. But then again, I am not John Spurgeon. John is from Oregon and is a member of the same randonneuring club as I am - but I never see him on the rides because he is one of the "fast boys."

Today, he finished the Race Across America with a time of 290 hours, 11 minutes.

I am not worthy.

You can read more about it here:

I was gratified to learn that, in the end, he gave up on all those weird bike geek things like Hammer Gel and Perpetuem and relied on good 'ol food as fuel. Okay, crappy American fast food like McDonald's and Burger King, but at least it was something you CHEW.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

About This Whole Running Thing - The Road to St. Andrew Part 2

I just remembered why I quit running back in 1977. IT'S HARD! REALLY, REALLY HARD! Today was my third day of training for the St. Andrew Legal Clinic's "Race for Justice" and I am starting to get the hang of it. But it's still hard. Each time I run, I learn something new. Today's lesson: Check outside temperature before choosing to wear heavy cotton t-shirt, and wear shorts that actually fit.

This afternoon's course was a 3.5 miles run from my office down to the path along the river and back - a beautiful run were it not for the whole "I feel like I'm going to puke from the exertion" part. They tell me that the endorphins "kick in" faster when running than cycling, but I haven't felt that yet. All I know is that on my bike, no matter how hard I am riding, no matter how long or steep the course, I have never felt like I was going to puke. Running, on the other hand . . .

But I keep going, because it's for a good cause. The run is in 10 days, and by then I hope to be able to do it without puking. On the other hand, I know some people that might pay extra to see me puke (you know who you are).

There's still time for you to support me in this effort - here's the link to the pledge page on St. Andrew's website -

Just fill in "Cecil" where it asks for the participant's name - there's only one of me (thanks be, says Mom).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Long, But Not Lost, Weekend

On Thursday, June 14, Greg and I hopped on the train for a short trip down to San Francisco to visit our friends Lisa and Theresa. We were supposed to visit them last February, but then had to postpone because of my work, We rescheduled and then had to postpone it again, and again it was because of my work. I was damned if I was going to postpone it a third time!
On the ride down, we were seated by the world's loudest family. It made for a very long trip.

We arrived in Emeryville 22 hours later, having had about 3 hours of sleep . . . next time we go for the sleeper car

The day before, Lisa had scored about 25 pounds of cherries, so we spent the afternoon helping her, and her friend Tristan, make cherry jam. Greg and I pitted cherries for what seemed like hours. I ate as many cherries as I pitted, yet we still ended up with 36 jars of jam.

The next morning, Lisa and I got up early and went to the farmer's market to purchase picnic provisions for a day trip up to the Anderson Valley for some wine tasting. Tristan and her husband, Tom, joined us - Lisa rented a honking huge minivan for the trip.

A friend of Lisa's had arranged for us to meet one of the winemakers at Navarro Vineyards. Sarah's father started Navarro, and Sarah was working there after graduating from UC Davis. Navarro is a beautiful place, and they make beautiful wine. Their tasting list is very long; Sarah said some of the other wineries would complain that it was too long, but we weren't complaining.

Sunday was spent hiking off Saturday's (over)indulgence. We headed out to some beachfront land owned by the Olympic Club and used a lot by hikers and equestrians. There's a pretty run down looking stable there - I was surprised to see it still had tenants.

Everywhere we looked were HUGE stands off yellow lupine - they were very fragrant, which surprised me. My garden lupine have no scent at all . . .

There was also iceplant. Lots and lots of iceplant.

Down on the beach we came across a dead sea lion. We could see no sign of trauma on it. There was a ribbon tied around its hind flippers. Theresa said that was probably put there by a marine researcher who had come out to check on it, to show it had been catalogued. Even in death it was beautiful, and you could see finger marks on its fur where people had petted it.

We ended the day with Chinese food and ice cream on Clement Street, followed by a tea tasting at the world's strangest tea shop. Good tea, strange owner. He was very theatrical as he gave us different teas to taste - we ended up spending a lot of money there.

Then it was back to Emeryville for the night train home to Portland. At least this time our car was a quiet one . . .

You can see the rest of my pictures at

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pocketful of TRFKAF

Originally uploaded by agfachrome25

Lesli took this shot on the 300K while we were passing many fields of mustard outside of Woodburn

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Ow! Ow!

Ow! Ow! Ow!

People who have not run since high school should be very careful when they take it up again. Especially if that last high school run was in 1977. Last night I ran 4 miles and I think I am now crippled. Or maybe just really really sore. But it was for a good cause, and I will be doing it again and again until June 30. After which I may really be crippled.

Here's the deal. There's a non-profit in town called St. Andrew Legal Clinic. It provides legal services (family law) to those people who can't afford to hire an attorney at market rate, yet who are not poor enough to qualify for Legal Aid (you'd be surprised by how poor one has to be before he or she qualifies for Legal Aid). On June 30, St. Andrew is holding its annual "Race for Justice," a 5K run. And I am going to run it. And I want people to give me money (well, really, they would be giving the money to St. Andrew) to do it. So between now and then I will be torturing - I mean training - my feet and legs to do something other than pedal a bike.

See, I used to go on all these charity bike rides - you know, Reach the Beach, the MS 150, those kind of things. I'd send out the e-mail: "Dear friends and family, on [insert date] I will challenge myself by riding [insert large number of miles] for [insert worthy cause]." The problem is that my friends and family quickly figured out that (1) I wasn't really "challenged" by the ride, and (2) I would do it whether they sponsored me or not. So what's a girl to do when there's a worthy cause that she really wants to support and get others to support with her? She runs.

You have to understand. I HATE running. I hated it in high school, and I hate it now. Hannibal Lecter could be chasing me with a big knife, a plate of fava beans, and a nice bottle of Chianti, and still I wouldn't run. That's how much I hate it. But as much as I hate running, I love justice. And I love people who are willing to work very hard for very little pay to ensure that justice is done. The people at St. Andrew are just those kind of people.

So I will continue to train, and injure - I mean CHALLENGE - myself for this worthy cause. You can help. You can sponsor me. Just send your checks to St. Andrew Legal Clinic, Race for Justice, 807 NE Alberta, Portland, Oregon 97211. It's tax-deductible.

Tell 'em Cecil sent you. You'll be glad you did. My aching shins, quads, and calves will be glad you did.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hot Springs (No Dunes) 300K - June 9, 2007

This weekend was the Oregon Randonneurs' 300/600 kilometer "Hot Springs & Dunes" brevet. I decided to do the 300K from Newberg to Breitenbush Hot Springs on Saturday, but not the 600K, which took place Saturday and Sunday and included not only the Hot Springs route but a trek over the Coast Range to Pacific City as well. As much as I enjoy the IPA at the Pelican Brewery in Pacific City, I decided that I really didn't need to ride my bike almost 400 miles in 2 days just to get some. Especially when I can get it in a bottle at the market across the street from my house. But seriously, even though I no longer even blink at the idea of riding my bike over 180 miles in less than 20 hours, twice that distance in less than twice that amount of time is still a little beyond my capabilities.

Anyway, I talked my friend Lynne into doing the ride with me. It wasn't really that hard to do - her only qualm was that her husband, Fitz, was starting to grumble about being a cycling widower. Funny, Greg has no problem with my disappearing for hours on my bike. Probably because if I weren't on my bike, I'd be at the office instead, and I would come home from that in a much worse mood!

The ride started at 6:00 AM from the Travelodge in Newberg. After getting about 3 whole hours of sleep the night before, I headed out from home shortly before 5:00. Although for the last 2 days I had been obsessively gathering everything I thought I might need for very long ride, I still managed to make it to the start without my gloves (or so I thought) or my bike computer. Fortunately, Lynne had an extra pair of gloves. As for the computer, she noted that now I would be forced to stay with her for the whole ride if I wanted to know such minor details as our mileage (it helps when working with a cue sheet in unfamiliar territory). At least I remembered to install my fenders. The forecast was for rain. Of course.

There were quite a few riders, most of them doing the 600K. One rider from California had come with his new Vanilla randonneuring model, and we all spent some time drooling over it.

Near Newberg is an airpark where balloonists take off and land. There was a balloon festival being held in a nearby town over the weekend, and some participants were taking off as we hit the road.

The route from Newberg to Champoeg was new to me. I didn't particularly enjoy crossing the Willamette - the bridge had a narrow shoulder and really short guard rails - I had visions of toppling over into the water . . .the river was pretty, though. We soon hooked up with Leslie and Susan, who were riding at a very similar pace, and who turned out to be very good ride company. Leslie told us we could ride with them if we were sparkling conversationalists. We took up the challenge, and everyone sparkled for the next 134 miles.

Somewhere around Woodburn I started to smell watermelon. It was far too early in the ride to be hallucinating, so I was pleased when Leslie confirmed that she, too, smelled watermelon. We never did figure out where the smell was coming from. Shortly thereafter, Lynne exclaimed "Smell the strawberries!" The air was redolent of jam; but this time the source was obvious, we were passing acres and acres of berry plants, and the pickers were out in force.

The first control was at Lyon. It was an open control, but most folks stopped at the Lyon Market to get their cards signed. We could tell other randonneurs had been there already by the trash they left behind (and by the jugs of water they had left for us to fill our bottles with).

Did I mention it was raining? Up until Lyon, it had mostly been a matter of incessant drizzle - enough to annoy us, but not enough to make any major clothing adjustments. For one thing, it was still pretty warm, and a rain jacket would have been a little heavy - my short sleeve wool jersey and arm warmers had been enough. But in Lyon in started raining heavier and I was getting a little chilly. I was trying out my new Shimano sandals (with wool socks) and my toes were a little cold. So we did some clothing adjustments - I pulled on my legwarmers and struggled with my booties (PI Amphibs don't really work with the sandals) - another rider that had come to the control (I guess we weren't the last after all) asked if I was getting ready to climb Mt. Everest. Hummph! At least my toes were warm again. As my cycling buddies like to say, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."

The climb up to Breitenbush from Lyon was relatively uneventful. About 5 miles up Hwy 22, I really needed to use a blue room - I saw a sign for a rest stop ahead, and shortly thereafter saw a sign pointing to a public park. I figured that must be the rest stop - I led the group down a dirt road to a small brick building housing a toilet. It was a pit toilet, but not bad as far as those things go. I did think it was a little odd for a rest stop to have a single pit toilet, but hey, this was the country . . leaving the park and going another 500 yards up the highway we came to the REAL rest stop; the one with the real, flush, toilets. Oh well, the park was pretty.

Stopped for some snacks in Detroit Lake before heading up to the turn-around just past Breitenbush Hot Springs. Some nice church ladies were having a bake sale. Mmm, cookies. This time you could tell all the other riders had been there because they were sold out of bananas.

Leslie and I made it to the turn-around first and took the time to stretch (and other things) while waiting for Susan and Lynne. Once Susan and Lynne arrived, we wasted some more time just goofing around and talking about food (a fairly constant topic of our conversation throughout the day).

It was raining pretty steadily at this point and none of us were really looking forward to the descent down Highway 22. But we finally took off for the second half. Highway 22 is not exactly the ideal road to ride a bike. Especially in the rain, especially on a summer weekend in the rain. We were constantly being strafed by RVs towing boats and the shoulder was quite narrow. I was desperate to get off that road. Plus it was getting kind of dark - it was still early but the rain and clouds were oppressive. When I saw the first sign for the rest stop (the REAL one), I told the others that I wanted to pull off and use the facilities. I figured I'd also use the time to put on my lights and reflective gear. The others decided that was a good idea, so we did some more gearing up (and discussing gear)under the maple trees while the rain poured down.

Leslie and Susan were riding the 600K route, and they had spent the last 100-plus miles trying to convince me and Lynne to join them. We declined, which meant that at Lyon we would be separating as they had a 60K detour on their route that we did not. We went back to the Lyon Market, got our cards signed again, purchased some "dinner," and talked another rider (Bill Alsup) into taking a group photo.

After leaving the Lyon Market, we said goodbye to Susan and Leslie and headed off on our own. We missed our turn and ended up on Highway 22 a little sooner than we should have. Lynne celebrated that fact by immediately picking up some glass. Phhhhhhht. "Is my tire flat?" "Oh, yeah." Fortunately, there was a driveway ahead and a building with a covered porch. We took advantage of both. With a little teamwork, we got the flat fixed quickly - it helped that Lynne's tires are very easy to get on and off the wheel. We were, of course, now filthy.

Had I paid more attention to my card while we were in Lyon the second time around, I would have noticed that in 10 more miles Lynne and I would be in Stayton, where I could have possibly gotten something with a little more nutritional value than the meal of V8, Ritz Bits and candy bar I chose to eat there. Oh well. As it turned out, by the time we got there I was hungry again, so I got a bagel and cream cheese at the Safeway - and some more V8 - mmmmm, sodium . . . .

The 600K and 300K routes joined up again in Stayton, and as Lynne and I sat in the warm DRY Safeway eating our bagels and contemplating the next 3 to 4 hours of riding ahead of us, another rider (Noel from Seattle) came in and walked past, moaning "Socks . . . ." Sitting there with our sopping wet, heavy wool socks slowly pruning our feet, we could relate.

Of course, both Lynne and I had extra socks, and I proceed to change into mine. Lynne had rung a gallon of water out of her wet ones and put them back on, but once she saw that I had changed, she decided she would as well. Noel had not found any socks for sale, and was sitting near us looking sad. I told him I had another pair of dry wool socks if he didn't mind that they were pink. He didn't mind. He also let me take his picture, knowing full well it would end up being blogged. A true good sport!

By now it was dark and we still had about 45 miles to go. Ron from Seattle was leaving the Safeway at the same time as us, and he joined us for the last leg. We warned him that we were riding both slowly and inefficiently, but he really must have wanted company because he stayed with us. Either that or he was worried that we would get lost if left to our own devices. Given the 3 wrong turns I made in the next hour, I guess he wouldn't have been that far off base. As we got closer to the end, we encountered more and more 600K riders (or more precisely, they encountered, and then passed, us). The rain had finally stopped at about 10 PM, and we had a stiff tailwind. This was good, because by this point I was exhausted. We finally rolled into Newberg after midnight, where Susan and the other volunteers were waiting for us with ravioli, soft drinks and trail mix. I had some food, changed into dry clothes and after spending some time chatting with the others I got in my car and headed home. Finally arrived home at about 1:45 AM, ate some more food (not the entire contents of the refrigerator, but close) and hit the sack.

All in all, I had a terrific ride. With over 192 miles in a little over 18 hours (including about 5 hours of faffing around)it was long, wet, physically and mentally exhausting ride, but terrific nonetheless.

Lynne's account can be found here:

More pictures here:

And here:

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My New Favorite Cookbook

My New Favorite Cookbook
Originally uploaded by cecilanne

There was a time that I did not eat meat. Then there was a time that I started eating it again. Over the last year I have once again begun moving away from eating most animal products, for all sorts of reasons - personal, political, ethical, nutritional. I don't foresee myself ever being a pure vegan--my best friends Ben & Jerry would never approve--but with amazing recipes like the ones in this book, I can certainly see myself coming close.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

It Was Istanbul, Now It's Constantinople - Nope, It's Istanbul Again

That damn song kept going through my head as I set out yesterday for the Portland Wheelman's annual century ride. See, it had been called the Spring Century, but before that it was the Pioneer Century, and this year they decided to go back to the old name, but with a new route. A figure-8 design with a 55-mile loop through the hill country southeast of Canby, Oregon and then a 45-mile loop through the flats around Champoeg Park. It was all too much for my little stuffed rabbit brain to hold . . . .

Anyway, I was really looking forward to the ride - I had gotten pretty bored with the old Spring Century route, and PWTC was promising more thrills and chills this time around. Only figurative chills, however, given that the forecast for the Valley was the upper 80s.

A friend, Nat, and I had decided to ride to the start from my house - he lives just about a mile northwest of me, we were headed southeast - it made sense for him to come to my place (plus that gave me five more minutes of sleep). I had estimated that the start in Canby was about 20 or so miles from home, with a few hills in between. Nat is an incredibly strong and fast rider, but also nice, so he was willing to slow down to my pace.

Nat and I left my house in Ladd's at just after 6:00 AM - I needed those five minutes for some last minute fussing with my cleats to see if I could resolve a hot foot problem I have been having. We rode down Division to the Springwater Corridor and took that over to Sellwood, then climbed up Umatilla toward 17th. We briefly contemplated pounding on another friend's door to see if she wanted to join us, but then decided she probably wouldn't have appreciated it. At the end of 17th at McLaughlin we turned off onto the bike path (lumpy lumpy tree roots) and then up to River Road. Rode River Road all the way down to scenic Gladstone (some really horrible pavement at the end there between Glen Echo and McLaughlin) and over the bridge to Oregon City, where the fun really began. By this time I had just over 14 miles on my computer. The sign said "Canby - 9 miles" but that was if we took 99E. Which we had no intention of doing.

In Oregon City we had to climb one fairly steep, but not too long, hill up from the river. Shortly after the climb up from the river we reached the Urban Growth Boundary. It was astonishing how quickly the landscape changed at the UGB - suddenly we were surrounded by lush farmlands, woods and assorted green growing things (also many sheep, moo-cows and one heartbreakingly cute foal).

Then it was 10 miles of rollers, with one long thrilling descent (more about coming back UP that hill later). Down, down, down, then up, and down, and up, and down - fun, fun, fun rollers all the way to Township Road, where we turned right toward Canby. We had planned to take the (relatively) new Rails to Trails bike path into town, but when we got there we could see that the ride was already in full swing on the path and we would have been riding against the flow. I didn't feel like doing my "salmon on a bike" routine, and so we stayed on the surface streets and headed into the fairgrounds. Got there at just about 7:45, I think (Nat was paying more attention to timing than I was). I was showing 24.9 miles, and an average speed of 14.9 at that point which I though was not so bad considering all the climbing we had done. For Nat, of course, that was akin to standing still.

Ran into some friends who had just arrived and chatted a bit - got our registration packets, ate some breakfast (the very tasty vegan pumpkin muffin in my pack had been calling me for the last 20 minutes) and performed various pre-ride rituals (reapplying sunscreen, folding map and putting in case, etc.) We met up with another friend of Nat, named Mark, and we were off for Round 2, the 55-mile loop. I could tell immediately that I was going to get a workout - Mark is as strong and fast a rider as Nat, and they were clearly enjoying the speed they could generate on the relatively flat first part of the course. But someone had told Nat that the Dan Henry's in some places might not be accurate and to be sure to double-check on the tip sheet (a problem I had encountered on another Wheelmen ride last year, so that didn't surprise me), so they were not going to leave me behind because I was the only one with the map reable and accessible. As it turned out though, the DH's all seemed to be fine . . .

I was starting to get worried about the climbing aspect of the 55-mile loop because the info was that there was over 3,000 ft. elevation gain and for the longest time it seemed as if we were on pancake-flat terrain. I had this vision of a wall, and I wasn't looking forward to it. Mark knew the area pretty well, and he said that it appeared the climbing would be up a road called Sawtelle. Yep. It sure was. But it was one of those LOOOOOOOOOOOONG gradual hills, not a short sharp shock. There was a rest stop at what I thought was the summit (silly me, I forgot that Oregon is the land of the false summit). Got some melon, trail mix, refilled my water bottles and had the repair guy check out the annoying chirping that had developed somewhere on my bike ab out 5 miles back - I thought I just needed some lube, but it turned out to be loose chain ring bolts (4 out of 5) - possibly a result of last week's fall down, go boom incident. Anyway, once those were tightened the only noises left were the ones the bike usually makes (a random assortment of creaks and dings to which I have become accustomed). Ran into a few more friends at the rest stop and I talked about how much less difficult the course was than we had anticipated. Aah, hubris. Some day I will learn. Heading out, I quickly realized that we were NOT yet done with climbing - rats. On the other hand, it helped to be going slowly, because the views were spectacular. Particularly one vista of a clear cut that had since been completely filled in by scotch broom (yes, I know, clear cutting is bad, and scotch broom is invasive, but it was beautiful nonetheless). Nat and Mark were riding too fast for me to take any pictures - I would have lost them for sure if I'd stopped for even a moment.

Toward the "real" summit we came across a water drop - the PWTC had left cases of bottled water on the side of the road and chatted with other riders - I mentioned the chocolate milk "drop" at the Gaston Store on last week's Oregon Randonneur's ride (where a rider who had gotten to the control before us had left a carton of chocolate milk outside the store for us), and how the locals were surprised to see us pick up and drink from what they thought was litter. Another rider told me about being in a train station in Amsterdam many years ago when he was in the service and finding a roast chicken, a loaf of bread and half a bottle of wine in the trash - he said it was the best meal he'd had in weeks. . .

And on that note we finally headed downhill. Yee-hah. On the first descent I really thought I would at least break 45, if not 50, but only managed to get to 44.9. I let it all hang out on Maple Grove, but still only got to 46.1. If it had been a liiiitttle bit longer, or not had that pesky stop sign at the bottom, maybe I would have hit 50 . . .oh well.

Wandered back to Canby and realized that no matter how they redesigned the route, I still had to go up that hill and over the river on Knight's Bridge Road. I don't know why I hate that hill so much - it's not long, and it's not steep - but I really hate it. Anyway, cars were backed up because the road gets narrow there and there were a lot of riders. Some expletive-deleted 20-someting with a shaved head in a beat up mini-pickup was blasting his horn repeatedly and swearing at everyone. Always enjoyable. .

LUNCHTIME! Arrived back at the fairgrounds showing exactly 80 miles at 15.7 average. Lunch was being catered by a local components maker named Chris King. Rumor had it that he was also a gourmet cook. Before the ride I had been talking with one of his employees and he had been raving about what we would eat - fajitas. Although in concept that sounded great, I wasn't so sure that's what I needed when I still had another 70 miles of riding in hot sun. But the mushroom fajitas smelled sooooooooo good. Given the choice of one or two, I asked for one tortilla with two servings of filling . . . conjuring up shades of last year's (pre-return to vegetarianism) Tour de Franck's "two hot dogs was one hot dog too many" incident on MacNamee hill . . .

Chris King Makes Hubs

And A Damn Good Fajita

Saw many friends at lunch, had a nice chat and then off for Round 3, the 45-mile loop. One friend jokingly told me I would hate it, that it was too flat, and I suggested to Nat that maybe we should just do the 55-mile loop again. Nat just looked at me funny . . . and I decided to stick with the flat. We had thought that if worse came to worst maybe we could bail out somewhere and just head home, but looking at the map we realized that there really was no feasible bail-out option. Oh well, we were committed.

The 45-mile route was indeed pretty darn flat - some minor bumps just to wake us up, but otherwise uneventful. These roads were all familiar to me, but strung together differently than in past rides. At one point we were passed by some yahoo in a pick-up honking his horn and waving his middle finger - it was the same yahoo from Canby earlier in the day - now he was clearly out to harass the riders. Grr.

I was tiring some and so was not pushing as hard as earlier and it seemed as if no matter where we turned we were fighting the wind. The thermometer on my computer was showing 97 by the time we got to the rest stop, but I am sure that was road surface interference - at the rest stop in the shade it went down to 86. At the rest stop, folks were dunking their heads under the water faucets and then heading over to the food table - the volunteers were handing out paper towels and asking folks to towel off before dripping on the food. It reminded me of the sweaty bald guy on T10K that had run over and dunked his head in the barrel of ice water that, up until then, people had been using to fill their water bottles . . . .eeeeeew! The rest stop food was great, especially the boiled tiny red taters in individual baggies with salt . . .

Hot foot had set in with a vengeance by this point - so I took off my shoes and walked around on the cool shaded concrete. Aaaaaahhh. Reapplied sunscreen, soaked my little helmet cap in cold water and we were off again. 100 miles down, 50 to go. For a brief period the sun went behind some clouds and it got noticeably cooler. Then the clouds went away and I started sweating again. When we reached Donald (pop. 895), there was a train coming through and blocking the road. A long, slow train. I noticed a corner shop and I thought, "Well, since we have to wait for the train anyway, I'll go get a Diet Coke (my energy drink of choice)." Sadly, they were out of it, so I had to settle for a Sprite. But it was cold, and that was all that really mattered at that point. As we set off again, I noted that one good thing about stopping in such heat is that the sweat builds up on your skin so that when you start riding again you get a nice cool feeling while it evaporates . . . simple pleasures (or cheap thrills).

The rest of the ride back to Canby was uneventful. The 45-mile loop was not nearly as spectacular as the 55-mile one, but that could also have been because it was more familiar territory.

Knights Bridge Road again! Aargh.

Back at the fairgrounds I showed 126 miles at 15.9. They were in the process of taking everything down, but there was still plenty of watermelon, soda, potato chips, addictive Costco trail mix, and Gatorade to go around. Nat and I discussed the various options for a return trip - two of which involved hills, another involving 99E (yuck!). We opted to go back the way we came. Somehow I managed to forget the very long time I had spent descending in the morning and how fast that descent had been at times. Oh well, what goes down must go up. And I would get to go down that steep hill to the river in Oregon City, right?

Nat after 125 miles.

We left the fairgrounds for Round 4 at about 4:00 PM, maybe a little later and headed out to the bike path (no opposing stream of bikers to deal with at ths point, just the usual hazards of people with jogging strollers and dogs on long leashes). I was definitely slowing down at this point. Nat was fresh as a daisy, or at least was riding as if he were. I told him not to worry if he lost sight of me on the hills, I was going to be gearing down and spinning them. I discovered that I could remain upright at less than 4 miles an hour. It helped to know that a really fun down hill was on its way. Of course, at less than 4 mph, is was going to take me a while to get there.

We reached the top of the hill over the river in Oregon City at 5:00 - we each called home at this point to say to expect us in about an hour (with 15 miles to go I was being optimistic). Greg wasn't home, but I left a message to fill the tub with cold water and set out the beer and salty pickles . . I hoped he would pick it up.

There was one last stretch of climbing to go, but only one particularly steep section - nevertheless I was dreading it, and was so happy to get it over with. From there it was a relatively straight and completely flat shot home. Got home to find a cold bath, beer and an enormous quantity of homemade ceviche awaiting me. Mmmmmmmmmm. I soaked, I drank, and I then proceeded to eat EVERYTHING else in the house that wasn't nailed down.

151.7 miles in under 10 hours of saddle time and almost exactly 12 hours total time. Average speed 15.4.
6464 feet elevation gain.

I had been thinking I would go for a short ride out to Stevenson WA today, but changed my mind.

More pictures from the Pioneer 100 here:

My friend Lynne's Pictures here:

Next up, the Oregon Randonneurs Hot Springs 300K: