Friday, June 12, 2009

nocturnal 200k to Dallas (OR) & back

8:00 pm takeoff
Originally uploaded by tangobiker
Not to be confused with the big city in Texas, nor The Dalles (about 80 miles East of Portland on the Columbia River) … Dallas (Oregon) is in Polk County (George Dallas was VP when James Polk was President). The town is about 15 miles west of Salem.

When Marcello Napolitano put out the word he was riding one of his own permanents from Hillsboro to Dallas, I thought this would be a good way to get my R-12 ambitions out of the way early in the month of June. Ray Ogilve must have though so, too, as it was the three of us that took off at 8:10 PM from Marcello’s home in Hillsboro.

It was still light during our first contrôlée in Forest Grove, but then gradually darkened as we headed South on Spring Hill Road. North Valley, Ribbon Ridge, and Kuehne Roads were all familiar, even after dark in the opposite direction than we usually ride them. But then, we blew by Abbey Road and took what amounted to a six-mile detour to Carlton. A local constable suggested to Ray that the quickest way to Layfayette was to return a mile or so back to Mineral Springs Road, which we did.

After a little fueling at a convenience store contrôlée in Dayton, we rode the familiar route through Amity and then Perrydale Road to Dallas.

1:57 AM
Originally uploaded by tangobiker
Usually in Dallas I stop at the Starbucks inside Safeway, which is situated on the East end of town. But as this was my first time in Dallas after dark (or more accurately after business hours), I got my first tour of “downtown” Dallas, complete with two one-way streets and an impressive looking (at least at night) county court building. Marcello knew that the only business open in Dallas after 1:00 AM was a convenience store at the West end of town, and it is there that the three of us re-fueled.

We debated returning via McMinneville rather than Dayton, because we knew there’d be a least once 24-hour market (or a Shari’s) open. But we elected instead to return via the original route, confident we had enough fuel to make it back to Forest Grove. An ATM in Dayton sufficed for the contrôlée there, and birds started to announce that it would be getting light in the next hour or so.

Past Lafayette, the transition from Abbey Road to Kuehne Road is not a problem in the Northbound direction (kind of like a funnel). We negotiated the left turns onto Ribbon Ridge and North Valley Roads without a hitch, but I started falling off the pace a bit on Spring Valley Road. That section sure was purdy during those early AM hours, but I was too anxious to get a caffeine fix in Forest Grove to stop for any pictures.

‘Round 6:30 AM, we stopped at the McDonalds in Forest Grove, where I tried my first espresso drink (a mocha) from that establishment (my most expensive purchase of the trip). Ray got some milk, and Marcello waited patiently for the two of us before our last 9-mile jaunt to Hillsboro.

chicken in the house
Originally uploaded by tangobiker
Ah, the lovely smell of bacon! Ray says he normally can’t eat right after a long ride, but the breakfast that Marcello’s wife Cathy had waiting for us at the finish must have changed his whole body chemistry. ‘Twas a great ending to an 11-hour 30-minute nocturnal 210k. It even included a show-and-tell of the Napolitano’s four chickens by daughter Anna.

The rest of my pictures from the ride are here on Flickr.

No comments: