Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fern Ridge Again

“… a lot of medium hills but no killer ones,” The email said. I still have the email to prove it.

Greg, Barbi, Al and Emma on Northern Drive

An early start today, to beat the heat. Perhaps it was the wrong map, or a miscommunication, but somewhere along the route, after I was already halfway ‘round the mountain, we were suddenly going to ride over Fern Ridge.
What happened to Old Holley Road?
Rolly hills.

Yours truly

I spent Northern Drive desperately chugging down gummy-drop-nutrition-thingies, in a last ditch effort to stave off the dreaded bonk that would surely ensue somewhere on the ascent of Fern Ridge.

Northern Drive, Brownsville

It was suggested by one rider that we could turn back and still catch Old Holley Road, but of course no one would actually be the first to turn back down the hill. We would have all followed. Really we would. But no. Up we go.

Al, Emma and Greg at the top of Fern Ridge - Whew!

I’m happy to say I had a pretty good climb and the gummy-drop-nutrition-thingies did their job. It was a successful no-bonk climb. The view on top is lovely. Mt Jefferson majestically glowed on the horizon. Or was that one of the Three Sisters?. Ah well, some mountain looking majestic … you get the idea.

Mt Jefferson in the distance

Now the good stuff. The descent. Woo-hoo. Only video can do justice to a downhill run. Alas I only do stills. We stopped at Art’s place to say hello, pet the dogs, and refill water bottles. Nothing left but a flat few miles back to Lebanon.

—40 miles.
—1775 elev. gain.
—12.5 Average. Stop chuckling! That’s a good number for me on a hill climbing day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Peavy Hike and Run

Morning in the forest is soooo wonderful. Good for the soul, or whatever. Did one of my regular routes. It's been over a month since I've been here. How did a whole month go by? That explains why my legs are so sore this afternoon. It would also explain why the trail looked so lush and overgrown with a new crop of wildflowers to distract me from my workout.
Carpenteria californica, or so Google says.
Heck you didn't think I'd come up with the latin name did you?

It was the usual stuff. Hike up, run down until the legs are thrashed. Then hobble back to the car. The hike up was at a pretty good pace, I think. I jogged some of the lesser inclines. Ran from Peavy down to the lake, about a mile. Stopping to fuss after things in my pack and what have you, so I had some short breaks.
Fern. (I figured that one out myself!)

I fell once. The upside of trail running, if you're lucky you will face plant into a soft part of the trail. No harm done, and the lady I passed coming down the trail didn't see my grand splat - at least I don't think she did. :) My down hill running skills are a work in progress. Heck, so are the uphill running skills. There is one cool thing about running down the hill. You totally can pass as an actual trail runner who has her sh*t together. Looks good up until the face plant that is.
Another snowy carpet under the trees. So pretty in real life.

I was hoping to run some on Calloway trail, but my legs were toast by then. (Thank you month off.) Strolled back to the car happily munching on some tangelos.
Rosa pisocarpa - another Google guess.

4.75 miles
917 elevation gain
1 fall
2 sore legs

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Binegar Butte

Exploring an unknown trail is always a treat. It’s that uneasy, where am I feeling of the unknown. Are we trespassing? Do the neighboring hound dogs run loose in these here woods? The cougars? And bears? More importantly, does this road eventually loop back the way we came? I sure hope so, cuz it’s a long way to retrace our steps and there is a big hill in between. 
Which way?
Let's go left
Woodsy carpet and an intriguing trail
Little world at my feet
Approaching storm
Someday I really need to learn the local wildflowers.
Wild Iris 

Yours truly 
Bike sign 
I really hope this goes back to the car!
This was a fun hike. From ugly clear cuts to mossy woods, high power lines and pretty flowers. The rain threatened, but never made good on a soaking. Ended up with blue skies and sunshine. I’m excited to go back again. We saw more roads to explore. Might take the bikes next time. 
Probably about 3.5 miles. Forgot the garmin and started the phone late in the walk, so it's my best guess.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sweet Home to Whitcomb Creek Park.

Today started with a spectacular sunrise and I was even up to snap the pic. Sorry that it's just my ugly backyard. We don't have good views for sunrise or sunset for that matter.
Lovely start to the day.
Quartzville Road is such a pretty route, though winter is not the prettiest time of year. The bonus is light traffic. We had a few log trucks, but all were courteous. Nothing to complain about, except maybe that the 60 degree weather really didn’t show up today. 

This route has a bit of climbing, but the grades are tolerable.
37.2 miles

1800 ft of climbing

Foster Reservoir
Crossing Foster Dam
Requisite bike porn shot
Green Peter Reservoir
Whitcomb Creek

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mountain Home

Time to Climb! 
Rumor had it that Sweet Home had sunshine. Lebanon was sitting like a sunken rock in pea soup fog. The plan was Mtn. Home, Liberty, Pleasant Valley (another one of the deceptive names - it's a hill), and if there was still anything left in the tank, Berlin Hill.
Pea soup fog. Not very inviting
Near the top of Mtn Home I got the beauty shot. Sun and mist coming through the trees, lighting the road ahead. Al added a little cycling ambiance to the scene. Good stuff. I can't do it justice.
The beauty shot.
A little cycling ambiance
A little more climbing and it was all blue skies and sunshine. The valley was hidden in a blanket of fog. 
Where is the valley? 
On top of Mountain Home
A quick descent and a rolling ride to Art's place to regroup. Tom, Ron and I headed back to Lebanon at this point, having plans for the afternoon - hello Superbowl. 
28 miles, 

1200-1300 ft of climbing - my best guess.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Macdonald Forest Gravel Grinder

…and she lay dying in the gravel, rasping out her last breath…

Who’s ideas was it to go ride up in McDonald Forest? Oh yeah, both of us! Road rides were cancelled today. All our roadie friends bailed due to bad weather that never showed up. Ron and I decided to take a little ride in the forest, to glory in it’s gentle beauty, to meditate in the peaceful solitude. Guess all that climbing nonsense just slipped my mind. 
It'll be fun they said...
Left or right? Oh, lets' go left!
Started at the Oak Creek entrance, up the 600, the 680, and return down the 770. We didn’t climb to the peak today. Too much fog to enjoy the view, and theres’s that steep bit - no point in climbing that with the fog and all. A little chilly on the decent, but we kept the speed down, so it was alright. My new gloves are working impressively well considering they’re not heavyweight. 
Don't look back...
Saw a few other riders today
The road to nowhere?
Lunch was at Eats and Treats - a gluten free restaurant in Philomath that was dangerously good. One quick stop at Peak Sports to dispose of some disposable income - or maybe the mortgage. Priorities don't ya know.

When it was all said and done, and we were back in the car warm, still alive, and breathing it was easy to say that it was good and we’ll do it again soon. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Anacortes and Home

July 27
We’re home! We arrived home late Sunday evening after a short ride to finish then a mega-drive to get back home to Oregon. Here’s the recap: 

July 25 - Marblemount to Burlington
56 miles today. Mostly downhill. Don and Pat, friends and previous tour mates to Roger and May invited us to stay in their home this evening. They also fed us a wonderful dinner and breakfast promised for tomorrow. They rode out to meet us along the route and show us the way through town. Very pretty, typical PNW scenery today, with mist in the mountains and wet roads. 

Ken and Gail drove down to Burlington and bought us lunch, then drove us up to their home in Lyndon. It was fun too see their new home town, and really great to spend some time with them. 

July 26 - To Anacortes and the end.

A short day today, about 15 miles to the pacific ocean and the end of our ride. Once again, Pat and Don would be our guide to Anacortes. We spent some time on local roads, a short jaunt along highway 20, a tall bridge crossing, and then a nice bike path to our finish near the marina. We took the requisite ending pics, and then had a celebratory lunch/breakfast at a local restaurant in Anacortes before we all went our separate ways.