Sunday, March 15, 2009

soggy snooseville

It didn’t start raining … until 5 minutes before the start.

Thirty-eight hearty souls pedaled off from the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse at the designated 8:00 AM time on what was to be a wet and windy two-wheeled ramble through rural Washington County. The attrition rate was high for a ride of this length; only 30 riders finished. The good news, though, is that the other 8 starters were all accounted for by ride’s end. I think a number of them of them just weren’t having fun, probably due to cold feet and hands. The extremities are a challenge to keep warm when it’s windy and wet … even for more experienced long-distance riders.

Originally uploaded by tangobiker
Most of the finishers, though, seemed exhilarated at the end. Chatty and relieved, many seemed to have enjoyed the workout. ‘Twas a ride well done by all of them.

Particular kudos go to the volunteers on this ride … Ray, Barbara, and Susan at the Snooseville/Fern Flat Road. turnaround … Joshua at the now not-so-secret control at Strohmayer Road … Gregg in Forest Grove … and Ken & Rose at the finish.

Joshua was my hero of the day, as he bicycled all the way to the secret control (about 8 miles beyond Forest Grove) from his home in SE Portland, and then waited over two hours for the 30 riders to pass through. It’s definitely easier to stay warm when you’re pedaling than it is when you’re working a control without shelter (no car or building nearby). But the spot seemed so perfect a week earlier, a day that was forecasted similarly to the ride date, but ended up so different. Fortunately, I was able to text Joshua when the last four riders turned right onto Mountaindale Road from Dairy Creek, which helped him know when his shift was over. A shift done without carbon footprint.

Gregg’s carbon footprint wasn’t much larger. He drove his SmartCar out to Forest Grove (it’s funny when he straps his recumbent to that thing) and then “set up shop” in front of Maggie’s Buns. This ended up being the most thoroughly photographed control I have ever seen. When Gregg returned to the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, he showed Susan & me dozens of pictures (from his laptop). I don’t think he missed any riders. Plus he got a few Portland Velo cyclists, and also some ambience from Forest Grove. His pictures are here on Picasa.

One of the nice things about all the volunteer help this year is that it freed me up to take quite a few pictures of my own, which can be viewed here on Flickr.

Thanks to all who came out and participated in this year’s Snooseville Populaire. ‘Twas a pleasure to organize.


Cecil Anne said...

It was a great ride - kudos to all the volunteers and the organizer! I especially appreciated the Sesame Snaps at the Fern Flat control!

axel said...

Fantastic job by all the organizers and volunteers! I'll be back again for the Birkie.

steph SparkLover said...

thanks so much, Bill and volunteers! it was my first ever taste of randonneuring. it was great to meet you all.

Velomann said...

Also my first rando ride ever. Despite the conditions I had fun. Looking forward to the Birkie as well. Thank you volunteers!!!