Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Barlow Trail 300k
But for the Barlow Trail brevet, I was feeling primed and ready to do relatively well. My lighter LeMond Buenos Aires was now set up for rando use, my generator front wheel now moved to that bike, a bright new Edelux light mounted to its front skewer, and my old small Caradice tailpack mounted behind the seat (rather than the rack and pannier set up I had been using on my Mountain Cycle Stumptown).
I managed to get to Sandy, Oregon in plenty of time for a punctual 6:00 AM start, and had the novel experience of riding with or leapfrogging a number of other riders for the first 200k or so. Had a nice conversation with RB Buschman on quiet and scenic Faraday Lane (off of OR Hwy 224), and even rode a little with Kramer (who had been handicapped with an early flat) until he flew up NFD 5810 Road towards the Anvil Creek Crossing. I saw quite a bit of Mark Thomas, Vincent Muoneke, and Geoff Swarts (all of whom came down from Seattle) for the first 9-10 hours of the ride, although their style of riding involved longer breaks than what I took. However, once we hit relentlessly steep NFD 48 Road on our return over the Cascades, they were soon out of sight for the remainder of the brevet.
The descent towards Maupin on Oregon Hwy 216 is probably the longest stretch of fast road I have ever experienced.
My body ran outa fuel during that ascent up to Hwy 35 (pdj sandwiches and Ensure all used up), and my left leg cramped up at one point. So when I finally got to Government Camp, I sat down for a proper meal at the Huckleberry Inn (just as Scott Peterson and Kramer were departing). After a bowl of tomato-meat-pasta soup, some funky mocha, and a rather large doughnut, I started my descent towards Sandy. An hour and a half later, I arrived at the finish, where Philippe Andre was performing check-in duties. Scott and RB were still hanging around, so I was able to rehash some of the ride with them. I believe my official finish time was 17:50, which would still be my second best time for a 300k.
Thanks to Michael Wolfe for another excellent route. I was particularly happy that he had us traverse Anvil Creek, as the roads on either side of that ‘cross like obstacle were part of what made the ride memorable.
Photos here on Flickr