Lots of firsts this past weekend: Trisha and I went and watched our first body building competition and did our first 75 mile bike ride.
The bodybuilding competition was the Seven Feathers Classic at the Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon. Our friend Ronda was competing so we went down to give moral and verbal support. It was inspiring to see all the athletes dedication and commitment. I was also glad I had done my push-ups earlier in the day so I could at least pretend I had some muscle definition :-) . Ronda did great finishing 3rd in her height class. If you are interested in more details read her blog here.
After a short sleep, we hit the road again for the relatively short drive to Champoeg state park and the start of the Harvest Century rides. With James and Mary, we had signed up for the 75 mile route option. Trisha and I road on the tandem bike (thanks Scott!) with James and Mary riding solo.
The ride started kinda cold with even a few raindrops. Then just as the legs were loosening up and getting into the riding groove we hit a traffic jam: hundreds of bikes waiting in line to catch the Canby ferry across the Willamette River. Luckily the sun came out to warm us up as we ended up waiting almost one hour. The hill on the other side of the river really got the blood pumping and made everyone quickly look forward to the next aid station.
The route does a large loop around Chehalem mountain and pretty much goes right by Bull mountain and our house. Then on out to Forest Grove. We missed one turn on the way (none of us saw any marking) but I don't think it added or subtracted from the ride.
The next section was pretty grueling for us: lots of rolling hills and I suspect we rode a fair bit of the stage with a tire on the verge of going flat. Trisha noticed the tire was low at the aid station so we filled it back up. About 5 miles later it was flat. Checked the tire, changed the tube and set out again. 2 miles. Low again. Pump, ride, repeat. We got within one mile of the finish and were totally flat when Trisha jumped off the bike and ran in the last mile to fetch the car and end our day. She is a such awesome shape right now a little 1 mile run after 75 miles of biking hardly phases her :-)
The ride is at a nice time of the year with a reasonable price ($45), with weather that will generally cooperate. It is a scenic but challenging, rolling course. The lunch was tasty: chili, salad and baked potatoes washed down with apple cider...really quite good. Chocolate milk at the last aid station brought me back from the dead.
The route could be marked a little better, the aid stations were a bit sparse (there are only so many bagels and peanut butter you can consume to stay fueled), the refreshments were all gone at the finish when we arrived and something needs to be done about the bottleneck at the ferry.
Would we do the ride again? Yes. We are not sure how to beat the ferry problem but likely starting earlier would help. It would be interesting to hear how many people had to wait versus those who just basically pulled up and crossed.
Not sure I would do the ride in the rain. Staying warm would be quite a battle.
Now I can focus back on running and the next four weeks of hard training before I head back to Champoeg for my next race: the Autumn Leaves 50km on November 15th.
- western states
- catalyst challenge
- tourist run