Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Not content

with yesterday's adventure in Forest Park, today Jeff and I teamed up with former brother in the lore and mountain biking fiend Chris Sautter to hit the park again, but this time on mountain bikes. We met up at Fat Tire Farm and huffed and puffed up Holman Lane. Holman is not only steep, but fairly waterlogged in parts, which when paired with lousy mud tires (like mine) makes it quite an effort just to keep moving forward.

The asphalt of NW 53rd was a welcome change, which we rode until turning right to drop down Firelane 1.
Here are Chris and Jeff all nice and clean before riding down FL 1.

The descent was fast, fun and swoopy. The slog on Leif Erikson to Saltzman was cold, slow, muddy and slushy. Not much of the snow accumulation on Saltzman had melted since yesterday, so there was a bit of hike-a-biking going on. After reaching the top, we decided that we'd all had enough of frozen slushy mud, so we rode Skyline back towards town with the intent of heading down some legal, urban singletrack. However... a cable was down on the Radio Tower at the Barnes/Skyline intersection and Skyline and Barnes were both closed to all traffic. We tried to navigate through via the cemetery but that didn't work either, so we bombed down Burnside and turned into Washington Park to search for a trail down into town. Chris knew of one, but we couldn't find it, and after a short bushwack we gave up and took the pavement down to town.

Chris peeled off by PSU to head back up Terwilliger to home, while Jeff and I high-tailed it to home in SE, tired, cold and hungry. 29 miles, 2 hours and 45 minutes, and a whole lot of fun.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

12-30-08 Ride Report

Jeff and I decided to head up to Skyline today as a scouting trip for the start of the Rocky Rabbit Sunday rides. We cruised out of town via NW Vaughn and out to Dirty 30. As we started up Saltzman we chatted with a guy headed down the hill on a cyclocross bike (with cross tires). This was at the paved part, even before the first snow covered hairpin turn. He said that he tried going up, but turned around, as just past the gate there was too much snow and it was unrideable. As he rode down towards Highway 30, Jeff and I decided that a climb up a snow filled Saltzman was just what we needed today!

The section from the gate up to Leif Erikson was about 90% rideable on our skinny road tire fitted bikes. We had to hike-a-bike a couple short portions. Towards the top of the section between Leif Erikson and Skyline though, the going got pretty tough. Traction was hard to find, and was often best while plowing through the powder instead of the narrow packed path where people had walked. There were two sets of tire tracks that went all the way to the top, so we continued on to Skyline. I'd guess we rode 75% of the upper section.

Skyline was a breeze after Saltzman. We rode out a ways past Germantown before turning around and heading home. 30 miles in 2 hours and 20 minutes (you can really see the hiking part in those numbers). There is a lot of gravel near the shoulder of Skyline, but the snow/gravel really only pinched the road lane down in a couple of spots that we saw (one near Forest Heights, and another a little farther out past the cemetary. It looks good for a nice easy Sunday Rocky Rabbit adventure. I hope to see a good turn out for the ride.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Riding

On Thursday Jeff and I rode up to Mt. Tabor to meet Dave W for some snow riding. Jeff and I were on our mountain bikes, and rode slowly over to Sound Grounds to see if anyone else was joining in. After a few minutes, we proceeded to SE Salmon & Taylor up to Tabor. The snow was really tacky, so the ride up was a breeze.

We were early for our meeting time with Dave, so we rode a couple of laps on the trails and roads. The snow gave the park an entirely new feeling, and it was a blast bombing and sliding around. Soon we caught up with Dave, Sojean and Langston. While Sojean and Lansgton played with the sled, Dave, Jeff and I headed back up to the top for some more riding. We had another 3 good laps or so before we parted ways with Jeff and I riding down the steep trail with the log steps. Remarkably, we descended crash free.

On Saturday, the family and I headed down SE Pine Street to Laurelhurst Park. Danny and I rode our bikes, while Abigail and Dede walked with the snow saucers. We had a great time riding around the hills and jumps. I'm sore today, so I officially consider it a 2 hour training session.

I've had my fill of Portland snow now, and look forward to some road riding. Hopefully soon, very soon....

Monday, December 08, 2008

The weather went South when we went West, by Randy

It all started out so innocently. Mild temperatures, lots of smiles and a fun pace out Halsey. Wet roads, but only little sprinkles of rain, and a quick clip up the scenic highway with a rotating paceline of 4 (Alex, Justin, Steve & Randy). With the quick pace up the long climb the miles flew bye and before we knew it we were already at the Women's Forum. Then the high speed descent as we smoothly flew through the corners with perfect lines and complete control in the wet conditions, spinning the big ring over the rollers near the bottom of the hill as we approached the Falls, only an hour and twenty minutes had passed (23 miles).

After a short break to fill water bottles and answer questions from a bystander admiring Alex's bike, we headed back West. That's when the weather turned...into a furious beast. The rain quickly flooded the grooves in the pavement and standing water was generously flowing off our tires and directly onto our legs & feet. The wind made sure to blow steadily into our faces and force water into every opening in our raincoats and thoroughly soak every square inch. The cold temperatures, the rain soaked clothes, and the wind chill made the ride back feel, oh...about the same as standing naked under Multnomah Falls in December (not that I would know what that feels like). Riding up the hill to Crown Point we rode a varied pace and practiced brutally ferocious (but short) attacks followed by a slower pace and a quick regrouping of the forces. Only a couple of cars passed us on the way up - one rolled it's window down and said "Good Job", while another didn't dare brave the weather and just gave us a thumbs up from behind the window with the heater running full blast. The rest of the ride in was cold, and then colder, and then a whole lot colder, but we left the regular course and sought out a couple more hills to keep us warm...wouldn't want anything less then epic eh!

Through it all we stuck together because we know that misery loves company, but we figured it was good preparation for a our team training camp with the Navy SEALS. So there you have it, just another average training day in Oregon for the Fast & Furious of Cyclisme. :-)

Here's the stats:
Distance: 74.75 kilometers (46.45 miles)
Time: 2hrs 49min (In Europe that would be 2hrs 49min no matter if you rode kilometers or miles ;-))
Max Speed: 66.4 kph (41.3 mph) felt faster then that in the rain but I guess the computer doesn't lie
Avg. Speed: 26.4 kph (16.4 mph) more impressive then it sounds considering the conditions & terrain
Power Output: Off the chart, probably in the billions of watts. They just don't make a power meter that can handle the power of Cyclisme
Heart Rate: Somewhere between barely alive and almost dead (we're into exact numbers here)
Fuel: Can't speak for the others, but here's my grocery list - Half a banana, half a Powerbar, half a Clif Bar (finished the other halves after the ride), two bottles of water, and one bottle of Gatorade.
Flat Tires: Zero :-)
Crashes: Zero :-)
Smiles: Many :-)
Frowns: A few of those too, on the way back!
Dry Clothes: Zero
Fun: Yes

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