Even still, things need to get done, but admittedly I kinda wimp out when the temps are dipping under about 25 or so. The short truth is I don’t own any adequate kit to be comfy in these not-oft-seen temps. These last few mornings I’ve had early engagements and the temps were in the teens when I left the house. By the time I got where I was going today, my water bottle was sufficiently slushy and ice was forming on my mustache and neck gaiter. It’s currently about 28 degrees f outside and it feels downright balmy compared to the 16f it was about dawn. The nice thing is the light has been pretty spectacular if you stop a moment to notice. Actually the light doesn’t give a rip if you pay any attention. It’s just out there doing its thing being beautiful without our eyes.
It’s also good to see that cyclists aren’t backing down from the challenges of the cold. I know, I know, there are some of you who are reading this blog from pretty cold places and let me just say that typically Portland is pretty mild. Wet, but mild and we rather like it that way. Today I saw a couple out gathering their celebration materials and tree sacrifices and I asked to snap the guys picture and he smiled and said sure. I wish I had gotten his name but I’m an idiot sometimes.
Be safe and have fun out in the cold everybody.
I had a cold, climby, pleasant ride with one of the Aarons from Upness.org today. We climbed a bit over 4600′ in about 40 miles. These are ratios that I like. You pack a lot of experience and challenge into a shorter period of time when the climbing is greater than 100′ per mile. On track nicely to get set up for a fantastic spring and summer, I think.
The day turned out to be absolutely beautiful and wonderful testing conditions for some gear I was given to have a looky-see about recently. I’ll have more on that in the future though when I get more diverse experience with the items.
The weather was fairly clear and in the higher 30′s to very low 40′s all day, but no rain, which is kinda cray this time of year.
The sun was casting some long shadows towards the end of our ride and all-told, it was a fantastic time on the bike.
Like the way a blade bends into the dropout just right. These last blades came out great and I’m really digging these dropouts.
I must say that I’m stoked on not just this ride, but the whole concept surrounding it. Route planning, navigation, self supported, and few checkpoints to confine your ambitions. I really hope to make a go of this in 2015.
As if I need another crazy scheme to get obsessed with. This sort of thing is right up my alley.
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I’ve been living in the Woodstock neighborhood of Portland for close to 7 years now and I’ve been into deeper Southeast, but I’ve never tackled Mt Scott. Today, I decided that I would give it a go since it was so close and why not? Adam joined me at my house and waited while I finished my coffee and got ready to leave. The temps were forecast in the 30′s to lower 40′s and I had some gear that I was given to test a bit, so I suited up, rolled outside and we made our way through the neighborhood towards the looming Mountain. After about 15 minutes, we found ourselves climbing at a decent gradient along a pleasant road. Not too trafficky and the drivers were fairly courteous. After a bit of upness, we finally reached the summit where we were afforded lovely views in near panorama. It was clear enough that we could see Mt Hood looming in the distance and we could turn around, head down the road a bit and get what would perhaps be the best view of the city if it weren’t for the house built right in the way. Good for them!
Afterwards, we made our way over a bit of up and down to the final decent. Our speeds reached 50 MPH without really trying and it was faster than I had cycled in a while. From there we fudged our way a bit further SE towards Carver where we crossed onto Clackamas River rd. A gem of a road when theres not much traffic, Clackamas River rd from this direction starts off fairly flat and the closer you get to the next turn, the more you have to rise a bit to keep momentum.
Once over the river again, we figured out perhaps the crappiest way back towards our start with a few misguided turns and figuring out how to correct them. All in all it was a nice time in the saddle and the climb up Mt Scott is something I’ll need to work into heavy rotation. Especially when the weather’s nice.
Recently, I’ve had no less than 10 people ask me about the Oregon Outback. It’s been kinda awesome that folks hear about this and think to ask me what I’m doing about it. I’m not sure how I got the reputation for being so adventurous, but I did and I’m kinda obligated somehow to maintain my image. Of course, when folks ask I exclaim “of course I’m doing it” and then follow up with some BS about how if I have an opportunity to train properly then I’ll do it “all in one go.” Further solidifying my badassery? Maybe. But it’s just how I treat these sort of organized events. If I just wanted to go out and do things leisurely, I’d just invite friends, bring a couple bottles of good bourbon, some steaks and have a good time. But, since I’m taking away from my family and business obligations, I have different goals.
It sort of harkens back to the the history of how Randonneuring got started. Some French dude was all “how far can this bicycle thing take me?” And voìla, Rando was born. That’s exactly what has simultaneously attracted me and to some degree drawn me away from Randonneuring. I know I can go the distance. I don’t need a medal for every ride that I do. I just need to go out, spin the wheels, have a few laughs and challenge myself. Which is precisely why I’m interested in the OR Outback. Low to no volume roads, like minded dudes and dudettes and the opportunity to see what I’m capable of if I put my mind to it.
For now, I need to build those slow winter base miles. Then I’ll do some speed work in the spring and do some longer distances at various paces. All the while trying to get in as much mixed terrain riding that I can. Brevet Week is on my short list this coming year and I think the distance is under wraps after that and the Flèche. Now I just need to outfit the perfect bike and get the gear dialed and I’m on my way.
Most folks are interested in doing the route camping-style and I certainly envy their patience. But my approach will be fueled by how fast I can go, to “faire une tempe, ” to have “le goute d’effort.” After all, what good is it if it’s not an exploration into some form of insanity.