At last! My last scheduled ride for the year. And, in one of my favorite places, Portland, Oregon. The ride looped around the greater east Portland area, and in spots often quite familiar to me. Many of the bicycle trails were completely new to me, such as the Springwater Trail, and the trail along the Columbia River. The ride was offered in 25, 50, and 100-mile versions, with the 100-mile version offering the only real hills on the ride. Of course, Lucas Anderson and I did the full Century. This was probably my hardest century, the hills being tedious but never completely undoable. There were really three serious hills, all occurring before the halfway mark of 50 miles. Interestingly, one hill that used to kill me as a kid, the ride up out of the Sandy River basin right at the end of Stark St. really wasn’t too bad at all, and we kept a 8-10 mph pace on that hill, all the way up past Mt. Hood Comm. College. Fascinating areas from places as a kid was going through the Sellwood area, riding out Johnson Creek, riding around Dabney State Park on the Sandy River, going by Blue Lake park where we used to swim as kids, riding the Columbia past the airport, and riding around U of Portland. All of these areas brought back vivid memories but were not like I remembered them as a youngster. The total time was 7.5 hours of riding and rest. We did quite well, and my only problem was a little more severe cramping than ever. Here are photos of Lucas and myself at the halfway point, on the top of the last big hill. We really didn’t look terribly tired.
The ride was mostly downhill or flat from here, with other hills, such as the Stark St. Hill, that really were minor. All in all, Lucas and I had a great time with beautiful weather. Interestingly, coming back was terrible weather, and traffic along I-5 had slowed to <10 mph from before Chehalis to the Nisqually basin.