Friday, August 21, 2009

vineride century

Hadn't done a supported bike ride in a year. In fact, RSVP 2008 (Seattle to Vancouver, BC) was the last time (almost exactly 12 months ago).

As this 100-mile ride on August 15th was supported (and therefore more expensive than what I’m used to), I made a point not to bring anything but the bare essentials. I would not make any convenience store purchases, I’d leave the energy bars, sandwiches, gels and supplements at home, and I’d eat only what was provided at the rest stops. With this strategy, I didn’t mind the $52 registration cost, as the ride was basically a benefit for the Children’s Cancer Association (a group I’m happy to support).

witness tree
Originally uploaded by tangobiker
This was a good ride to do after the previous weekend’s Alsea Falls 400k. It felt easier than most centuries I’ve done (my last one being the Ride Around Clark County [RACC] in May 2008). The Vineride traversed some of the same roads around the Eola Hills portion of last week’s Alsea Falls 400k, and introduced some new-to-me roads as well.

My main disappointment during this century was mechanical in nature. My rear derailleur started going AWOL, popping out of gear(s), not up-shifting, and not moving over to the largest or smallest cogs (quite inconvenient on hilly Eola Hills Road).

But the two highlights were:
  1. Mechanical support in Dayton.
    The mechanic from Lakeside Bicycles diagnosed my shifting problems and replaced my rear derailleur cable, which had both stretched and frayed beyond use. Now here’s a benefit of a supported ride!
  2. Winemaker Felix (of Carlos and Julian Winery in Carlton) looking at my bike and saying/pronouncing “Ah, LeMond Buenos Aires” as only an Argentine can do. This was after I briefly tasted his Pinot Noir, Tempernillo, and Malbec.

The route passed by a lot of familiar (and not so familiar) wineries, including Willakenzie and Patricia Green during the last leg into Newberg. The finish was well stocked with turkey and ham sandwiches, pasta salad, fruit, cookies, and ice cream. A number of riders hung around for a raffle (a bike from Lakeside). It was nice for me to finish while still daylight, and not be totally exhausted.

Pictures are here on Flickr.

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