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2021 Randonnees

Old 08-17-21, 08:33 PM
  #76  
MetinUz
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
The eastern half is desolate, dry, and will likely be either blazing hot or cold and windy. Maybe both. Limited cell phone service on much of the ride, and some long stretches with no services. Where there are services, it's often one place.
Three of us rode this a few years ago. We got lost twice, ran into blocked Forest Service roads, nearly ran out of water, and did not see anyone for hours at a time. It was an adventure!

I would be concerned about the wildfires right now.
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Old 08-17-21, 10:41 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by MetinUz View Post
Three of us rode this a few years ago. We got lost twice, ran into blocked Forest Service roads, nearly ran out of water, and did not see anyone for hours at a time. It was an adventure!

I would be concerned about the wildfires right now.
Cool to hear from someone who's ridden the route. Not many people have.

Temps have cooled the last couple days and now there's even rain in the forecast. I've been prepared for hot/dry, but I might have to contend with hot/dry combined with cold/wet.

I'll be watching the wildfire situation, but even more so the air quality. The last few days it's been in the "good" range for all the towns en route. That can change quickly with the wind. There are active wildfires south, but (as of today) nothing close enough to be a concern. It is a tinderbox out there, though.
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Old 08-18-21, 08:36 PM
  #78  
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Looks like an awesome route, I hope the conditions are favourable. Maybe next year I'll try an SR600, was thinking of the one in the Catskills since it's the closest.
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Old 08-23-21, 10:00 PM
  #79  
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Well that's done. What an adventure. Concerns for heat were unfounded; we were generally okay on the flats and climbs, cold on the descents, and scary freezing cold on the night descents, of which there were several. I needed one more layer.

So many memories from this one. What a beast of a ride.
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Old 08-24-21, 03:45 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Well that's done. What an adventure. Concerns for heat were unfounded; we were generally okay on the flats and climbs, cold on the descents, and scary freezing cold on the night descents, of which there were several. I needed one more layer.

So many memories from this one. What a beast of a ride.
I want MOAR!
Photos? Strava? Stats? Story writeup ?
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Old 08-24-21, 05:16 AM
  #81  
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Yeah, congrats, well done et al, but now we're waiting for the ride report
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Old 08-26-21, 01:43 AM
  #82  
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This PNW summer has been unusually warm with some extremely hot periods, and quite dry. This ride does a large loop around Mt. Hood. The west side of Hood is typically cool and damp, where the east side is warmer and dryer. The ride has peaks in the 3k-5k foot range. It does get chilly up there. Leading up to the ride I was preparing myself for a hot weekend, particularly east of Hood. Checking the forecast the day before, I saw a different story: daily highs around 70 and overnight lows at altitude down to 29. No rain was forecast. I changed my clothing selection, and that's a very good thing.

Two of us departed at 5am. For my riding partner this was SR600 no. 6; this was my first. We did a 200k together a few weeks ago, with a fair amount of climbing and gravel, and decided we are compatible enough. She's a faster climber, weighing considerably less than my 200 lbs. But she descends cautiously whereas I do not, and we're compatible on the flats. Right off we agreed to ride our own paces, connect at controls, food stops, and where the terrain brought us together.

We started by riding down to the Sandy River, altitude basically sea level, then for the next 20 miles rode first up the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway then Larch Mountain road to the first control - Larch Mountain trailhead parking lot, at 3800 ft. The road was surprisingly wet at the start, and there was a mist in the air that thickened as we climbed. At Women's Forum, a lookout point just before Larch Mountain Rd turnoff, I stopped to see if the water fountain was turned on. I have a SIR group interested in riding this route in a few weeks, so I wanted to know the water situation. It was off, as feared. That meant the next water would be around mile 50. Water is a serious matter on this ride. Bombing down Larch, I caught and passed my buddy with no fanfare; she'd be back. The descent was chilly, but the mist didn't turn into anything serious . I may have donned a jacket at the top; I'm not sure. Between Larch and the next big climb - Lolo Pass - are two humps that don't look like much in comparison, but are not to be ignored. We filled our bottles at the ever-running water fountain hidden just before the Keep Out sign and gate on Waterworks Road. The gate is protecting the Bull Run Watershed; essentially the large drainage area that collects water for the city of Portland. That's a serious keep out of here kind of place. Whilst my partner sought out a port-o-potty, I gorged myself on wild blackberries growing along the road. It was a pretty great start - 50 done, 320 or so to go.

Marmot road is a wonderful lumpy curvy road with views of Mt. Hood, that runs parallel to SR 26. While 26 is rideable, with wide shoulders, it's the main drag for everyone headed from Portland to the Mt Hood National Forest for recreation. Particularly on weekends, SR 26 is and endless stream of trucks pulling boats and campers, with the occasional Subaru. Marmot Road is quiet and beautiful, with the Sandy River separating the two. Eventually we T'd into Lolo Pass road, turned left, and got on with the second serious climb of the day.

By this time, we had our terrain routine sorted out. I'd catch and pass on the descents, she'd catch and pass on the climbs, and we'd ride together in the flats as planned.

Which is to say, I was alone on Lolo Pass once the grade increased above 1 or 2%. The route takes Lolo Pass Rd a few miles, then splits off on a National Forest road. NF-1828 aka Muddy Fork Rd. This road is steeper, less maintained, less traveled, and more forested than Lolo Pass Rd. Eventually there's a control, just a sign pointing to a trailhead, to ensure you're on NF-1828 rather than Lolo Pass. You wouldn't want to miss out on the climbing . Lolo pass has so many false summits, I don't know what to consider the actual summit. At the Lolo Pass Trailhead, a Pacific Crest Trail trailhead, we turned sharp right and headed down a 6 mile gravel descent. Mostly descent, anyway; there was one climby bit in the middle. This is NF-18, and it's a bloody pothole city. I did not catch up on this descent, because I was too busy navigating between the craters to pick up any speed. NF-18 goes down and down and down and down, then when you think it's done you go down some more. It's only six miles, but it seemed like forever. Eventually there's pavement, and more descending on pavement. Joy. Eventually we turned off this road and headed toward Lost Lake. At this point we're at about 2k feet of elevation, and Lost Lake is at 3k, but we're about to give up 500 feet of elevation in very short order. Stupid fast steep bomb down a twisty road with good pavement, wave hi as I blow by the shocked cyclotourists winching up in their granny gears, cross a bridge, and the climbing resumes. I'm caught. Stupid steep ascent, me wishing I had granny gears (30x30 ain't granny enough), and eventually I chugged up to the Lost Lake general store. my buddy wanted to grab and go, which was insane because we're ten hours in and we've just eaten pocket food, so we had typical convenience store fare. For unknown reasons, we sat at a picnic table in the shade and froze our asses off while we ate.

From there the crazy ascents become crazy descents and vise versa, and we ended up back at that same point 2k above sea level, to continue where we left off traversing Lolo pass. All for the sake of a stupid control, convenience store food, and some climbing. This section is really beautiful, with views of Mt Hood popping up left and right as the road twists around. At some point I think I was looking at Mt Ranier. Eventually there's another control, this one a fire host hanging down from and connected to a large pipe that comes down from the woods. There's a big valve on the pipe, and I imagine if one were to open that valve some water might come out. Perhaps it drains Lost Lake? Hal. The purpose of this control is to ensure we didn't shortcut around the last climby bits Lolo has to offer, by taking Lost Lake Road down to Parkdale. Some stupid steep climbs (note, I consider anything above 10% to be stupid steep; YMMV) continued for far too long, then the descent toward Parkdale began. It's getting to be late afternoon by now, and the descent is chilly - a sign of things to come.

I have not mentioned the jackets on/off routine. Often my partner would catch me as I'm partially up a climb, stopped to remove my jacket. She'd stop and do the same. Then I'd sometimes catch up to her when she was at the top of a climb, donning her jacket. I'd stop and do the same. That continued until the jacket removal phase became unnecessary.

Parkdale is a farming community just on the northern slopes of Mt. Hood. Orchards, cattle, and open spaces. Very different from the wooded western slopes. We stopped at the grocery, stocked up, ate some sandwiches, and went on our way. Note for the next riders: the grocery has no public restrooms, and the port-a-potty along the rail-trail is now padlocked. Odd. There is a pub, but we didn't want to burn more time.

From Parkdale, the route turns south and heads up to the penultimate climb of the day - Cooper Spur. Again it's orchards and open spaces, so different than the forested western side that comprises part of Mt Hood National Forest. This is like state highway climbing; low percentage, straight, boring. We're paralleling the busy SR-35, so there's virtually no traffic. Last time I rode this section, it was baking hot in the sun. Not today. Fortunately we're staying warm, as we've lost much of our altitude and are climbing a grade. It's about 12 miles, rising from 1600 ft to 3500 ft at the high point. The last mile is up Cloud Cap Rd, where the control is a sign pointing to various trailheads. My partner was just leaving when I got to the control. We reconnected at the base of Cloud Cap, and decided to forego the lively i.e. crowded bar and grill in front of us. The thing about decisions like that is, when there's nothing for miles and miles, sometimes it's best to go with what you're presented.

The four mile descent, in preparation for the last climb of the day, should have been warning for what was coming. I was still in shorts. I had on my wool jersey, jacket, and reflective vest. In my bag was a base layer shirt, leg warmers, and clothing for the coming days. By the time I got down to SR-35, still at 2900 ft but a 600 ft descent over 4 miles, I was pretty darned cold. We're at mile 143, with 30 to go, but one more ascent. We reconnect at start down SR 35 for a few miles, before turning on the road to Dufur, our overnight town. At this point, it's dark, the recreational traffic has died down, and it's getting cold. The climbing started as soon as we turned off SR-35, and I was soon alone. I don't know the name of this climb, but it ascends from 3200 ft to 4600 ft over ten miles. 4600 was our high point of the day. I stopped and removed the jacket after a bit, overheating from the climbing. My hands and face felt the cold, but with the jacket on I was getting sweaty. I hadn't studied this climb beforehand, so I didn't know how far it was to the summit. It just seemed to go on forever. I'm sure my average speed was under 10 mph, so yeah it took forever. In the dark, I couldn't tell if the occasional downhill was the actual summit, or just a teaser. I was really crawling at this point, even having to stop a couple times to stretch my lower back. Eventually, one of the descents went on for long enough that I decided it was real. By then, I was cold.

We're talking about a 20 mile continuous descent, from 4600 ft to 1300 ft, starting out sweaty, with temps probably in the mid 40's. I stopped and added my jacket, but it wasn't enough. This is Dufur Valley Rd, closed winters. This downhill segment was straight and on good pavement, lending itself to a fast descent. Strava says my max speed was only 34, but in complete darkness on an unfamiliar road, it felt blazingly fast. Eventually I caught up to my partner, who was riding her brakes for both warmth and safety. I thought we'd stick together to the finish, for safety, but eventually I couldn't take riding my brakes. I think I saw one car on this road, on the ascent side. Wildlife was probably the biggest danger - I did eventually see some deer. I was so cold the beam from my headlight was shivering. I considered turning around and climbing back, just to pedal some and warm up. Instead I decided to put on more clothes - leg warmers and my base layer. Wow I should have done that sooner. We rolled in to Dufur, 172 miles, about 17 hours, at 10pm if I've done my math correctly. Nothing was open in Dufur, not that there's much in Dufur to be open, but at least there was a hotel with a hot shower.

That was day 1.



Day 1
https://www.strava.com/activities/5846412330

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37181842

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Old 08-26-21, 02:51 AM
  #83  
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Day 2 and 3. I'm really going to have to shorten this up, as it's late and I have a 1200k starting in two days. I'll hit the highlights.

Nothing was open at Dufur for breakfast, so we ate what pocket food we had and headed for Tygh Valley. From Dufur to Tygh Valley is a 10 mile ride, rising from 1300 ft to 2600 ft. Sadly, the restaurant in Tygh valley (the only restaurant in Tygh Valley) was closed, as was the general store. From Tygh Valley to Maupin is 25 miles, losing all the altitude you just gained, from 2600 ft down to about 850 ft. And you do that knowing the next place you're going is back to Tygh Valley. The funny thing about Dufur to Maupin is, even though the map shows a route that curves and does a big bend to the NE, there are no controls to ensure you don't shortcut. And that's because... there's no other way to get there. There is some serious terrain in the say, and the White River has to be crossed, and there are not many bridges. Maupin for breakfast, finally. Then comes the detour around the original route. The 2019 White River fire has left several NF roads closed, and we had to take SR 216 all the way to Timothy Lake. That is, after our second ascent to Tygh Valley from another direction - this time Tygh Valley was a control, to keep us honest on our ascending. SR 216 was roughly 35 miles of boring state highway, rising 1800 feet, into a stiff headwind. Ug. We did some drafting on this part, probably the first 20 miles until the grade led her to climb away. But I failed to mention Walters Market (no apostrophe), which is pertinent because it offers the last services for a long long time. Walters Market is at mile 60. There's water at Timothy Lake campgrounds at mile 113, and a service station somewhere around mile 130, if it's not closed when you arrive. If it's late, buddy you are screwed. And buddy, we were screwed. But first, Timothy Lake. What I'm calling Timothy Lake is a 40 mile loop riding through stunningly beautiful and remote forest. Of course it was climby, and we eventually made our way up to 4400 ft. Then comes another mad descent, dropping 2000 feet in 8 miles. Daylight, nice road, a little curvy but nothing challenging. Absolutely a blast. My partner was long gone behind me, of course. The control is T, from there it's a u-turn. I should have mentioned, just as we turned onto the bombing downhill section, we passed a sign that said "Dead End". Hmm. Our GPS and cue sheet say otherwise. What's up with that?

Well, let me tell you. The cue sheet says, after about 6 miles of climbing, "scramble across creek". I'm going to translate that for you: Find the end of the road. Push your bike over or around the piles of gravel clearly placed there to dissuade people from continuing. Push and/or carry bike over a rocky stream bed that may well hold water other times of the year. Remount bike and ride on pavement, proud of your scrambling. Stop when road ends. Again traverse around piles of gravel. Follow the dirt path by 4-wheelers who have also ignored attempts to close the road. Continue for a while. Start thinking about your outdoor winter survival skills. Using your bike as a climbing aid, climb a ten foot steep dirt embankment. Spot pavement ahead. Carry on.

From there is was an uneventful climb out of the valley, along Timothy Lake, to the campgrounds to fill water bottles, and then back out to the highway. Lots of climby stuff not mentioned, but you get the idea. Here I had a flat which didn't seal. I pumped up, rode a bit, and it went soft again. At this point, my buddy is ahead, probably trying for the service station before it closes. It's getting dark; I decide to do something else: added sealant and pumped it up again. From here it's maybe ten miles to the service station. I get there by pumping up the tire one more time, only to find it's closed. Fortunately, a bikepacker who'd stashed his gear at the service station had come by, heard our story from my partner, and was driving into town (Government Camp) to pick up some food. Meanwhile I was tubing my tubeless tire. Although the convenience store is closed, the pumps are open 24x7 self service. The station door opens, a lady pops out, and asks if we need anything. Uh, yeah! So she opens up the store, telling us she's not supposed to do this, and we buy supples. About the time I'm wrapping up my repair job, bikepacker guy shows up with sandwiches and soup. Wowsa.

Alright, so here we are, on 26 a couple miles from 35. At 35 the route goes right, about 8 miles of climbing then a sharp climb up to Meadows Snow Park for a control, back down, returns on 35 past where we are and on to Government Camp. There it climbs up to Timberline Lodge for what's supposed to be our last climb of the day. My hotel is at Gov't Camp, my buddy's is up at the lodge. She's super tempted to just go left at 35, get to our hotels, and finish the thing in the morning. But that means an extra, what, 12 miles plus her climbing Timberline twice? We decide to carry on even though it's getting pretty late. I stop to phone my hotel and tell them DON'T GIVE MY ROOM AWAY (which has happened), so my buddy's gone ahead on the highway climb up 35. At this time of night, 10:30 or so, 35 is dead. All the campers are camping. It's fricking dark, it's cold, and I don't even see a blinkie ahead. The occasional downhill is chilly, but there are enough climbs to keep me warm. Finally the ramp to Meadows appears, and I'm surprised I haven't seen her on the return. The actual Meadows climb is like 2.5 miles, from 4600 ft to 5100 ft, so 200 ft/mile, right? That was tough. No sign of my partner, which had me worried. It's a big empty parking lot at night, and nothing open up there. There's a chance she could have been on the on-ramp to 35 when I was on the off-ramp to Meadows; seemed like a weird coincidence. Up on meadows, I stripped down and added my base layer, because it was really super cold. The descent was quick, the 35 stretch was mostly descending but with enough climbs to keep me warm. Meadows to my hotel was from 5300 to 3700. Oh, yeah, I decided to bail on climbing Timberline until the morning.

At my room, I txt and message my buddy to make sure she's ok. She could have gone over a guardrail or something, and there's nobody and nothing out there. It was a long damn time, but eventually she answered. She said she made a wrong turn and went off-route a bit, so either we did miss each-other on the ramps, or she was actually behind me. Strava will tell.

So, last day. Up Timberline in the daylight was way better than it would have been at night. Particularly, that descent would have sucked. It's twisty. Timberline is the highest point of the ride, 5800 ft. There's a restaurant and shops, but I just snapped my pic and bombed down. Actually, from the top of Timberline to the finish, you from from 5700 ft to 300 ft in 50 miles. My buddy had started her descent while I was still climbing, so I was again catching on the downhill. It was warm and sunny, so bombing down 25 from Government Camp was a blast. I didn't even mind the campers. I grabbed coffee somewhere, Welches maybe, and eventually caught my buddy before our turnoff back to Marmot Rd. Again Marmot Rd is nice, lumpy and curvy. There are a couple steep bits, and of course I'm dropped again. I caught up for the penultimate control at Dodge Park, at the Sandy River, only to be dropped again climbing out of the Sandy River valley. We reconnected just outside Gresham, and rode the last few miles together.

Days 2 and 3
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37181842

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Old 08-28-21, 10:19 AM
  #84  
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It sounds so much more civilized done over 3 days. The time limit was 50 hours back when we did the ride, so lots of night riding was required. That "scramble over the creek bed" took us a long time. Pictures from our ride:https://goo.gl/photos/wcrWeVj96yxiUMvz5
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Old 08-28-21, 10:45 AM
  #85  
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I was surprised when they lengthened the time limit. Maybe Sophie is softening.
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Old 09-02-21, 11:40 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I was surprised when they lengthened the time limit. Maybe Sophie is softening.
Don't know about Sophie, but I definitely am.

I suppose I could have gone on rather than slept at Gov't Camp, but there would have been nothing open to the finish. That second sleep was good.
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Old 09-02-21, 11:52 PM
  #87  
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Crater Lake 1200 pre-ride, a week following the SR600. Tough ride, stunningly beautiful along the coast and in the forests. Sadly, Crater Lake was hidden in wildfire smoke when I came through. The first half of day 1 I was definitely feeling the SR600 in my legs. This was my first grand brevet on an upright bike after 6 on a recumbent. Guess what? The 'bent is about a million times more comfortable. Maybe a billion. Wowsa, that hurt.
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Old 09-12-21, 01:52 PM
  #88  
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Got to ride a centenary 200k yesterday! Pretty awesome turnout for our rides, we had 24 starters and only one DNF. The route had some gravel and a headwind for the last 100km that was gusty, ~50km/h off Lake Huron so at least there was nice scenery. The medal and control cards are both pretty neat... heard there is a 300k centenary ride next June, but apparently the 600k centenary isn't until 2028!
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Old 09-12-21, 09:10 PM
  #89  
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Nice! There was also a 200k ride but I didn't participate because this weekend was my first time outdoors for ages, didn't feel like it was a good idea to suddenly do 200k from out of nowhere. Besides, I already got that medal from an earlier ride so not a big loss.
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Old 01-01-22, 01:14 AM
  #90  
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December didn't go as planned, and I found myself staring at December 31st as the last option for getting the month's 200k in. I'm at R4 in my latest R12, and I really hate going back to R0. So I start making plans.

Forecast called for overnight low of 32, rain/snow mix early morning, sunny later, with high of 38. Temps falling to below freezing at my anticipated finish time. The route is pretty much south for 100k, turnaround, and north for 100k. For added pleasure, a north wind was supposed to develop just as I hit the turnaround.

When the alarm went off at 5:30, I got up, looked out the window at the wet pavement, and got back in bed. My wife asked, "is this where I'm supposed to tell you get up and do the ride?" That, folks, is a hardcore rando wife. I said, "no, I'll deal with it", and 15 minutes later got up and got going.

It's 10 miles to the start, and I was dodging icy patches on the Springwater. At the start I enjoyed a coffee and apple fritter, then rolled. There was a rain/snow mix right off, and it picked up intensity within the first 5 miles. So I deployed my Rain Legs and continued on. My outfit was wool socks, normal shoes, shoe covers, winter tights with nylon front, rolled-up Rain Legs, lycra tee, thin wool jersey, Showers Pass rain jacket, PBP vest, Gore-Tex gloves, and a thin gator. My helmet has ear warmers on the straps. In my bag I had another base layer, a balaclava, and (thrown in at the last moment) my flat-bar Bar Mits. I always carry a foil emergency blanket and some pocket food, and of course flat repair. Right off I donned the balaclava, and put the mis-fit Bar Mits on. The latter worked fine at keeping my hands warm, but created real havoc with shifting. I made it work.

Aside from my feet turning to blocks of ice, the outbound leg was pretty uneventful. The rain/snow mix ended, and it even became partly sunny. When planning the route, I'd decided Oregon City at around 10 miles would be my final decision point for completing or abandoning. It has the last option for transit home, and after that it goes from urban/suburban to rural with limited services. It's also more exposed to wind. I carried on. I happened to spy an empty mylar single-servicing potato chip bag along the road, and I snagged it for extra toe warmth. That went on the right foot, inside the shoe over the socks. A few hours later, my right foot was merely cold whilst the left foot was ice. No more mylar potato chip bags presented themselves, but eventually a plastic grocery bag showed up and I put it into service on the left foot. Between these enhancements and the sun coming out, my foot situation eventually improved.

As forecast, a north wind developed in my last 5 miles southbound. Ug. So northbound was a slog, as my winter fitness came into play. Between the wind, my declining power, and the rolly hills, I did a fair amount of crawling along. The Bar Mitts were a ride saver; I rode some with my gloved hands out of the Mitts on the flats, and there's no way I could have managed the ride with just gloves. A glove upgrade is in order. There's a decent climb just before Oregon City that gains 200 feet in a mile, with 15 miles to go. Traffic is almost nil, but it's twistly and a bit steep, and I hate doing it in the dark. I did it in the dark. From there it's mostly flat to the finish, and back in an urban/suburban setting with bike lanes and trails. Mostly flat I said; there's a half-mile long 130' foot climb just about a mile from the finish that is, I'd say, a signature feature of this ride. So, done and done. R5 complete.

One more thing though. I decided to take transit home rather than ride the 10 miles. I was chilly, my bottles were frozen, and my butt was tired of my saddle. That didn't go so well. The wait for the bus was 5 minutes, but I was shivering by the time I got on board. We got to the Max (light rail) station just in time to see my train leave. Next one in 27 minutes and nowhere warm. All trains from there go to a hub, so any old train can be boarded. I picked a red line because it came in 5 minutes - again I was shivering. At the transfer hub I had to wait 11 minutes for my blue line, and again I froze. I would have been home by then if I'd ridden. Note to self: don't take transit home.

On to the 2022 thread!
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