Wednesday, September 16, 2009

UGB 200k report

rando xtracycle
Originally uploaded by tangobiker
Without putting much thought into it, I made a note to self to ask Michael Wolfe what UGB stood for. Then about 50 kilometers into the actual 200k ride, somewhere in rural, agricultural Clackamas County (between Boring and Canby) it dawned on me. Urban Growth Boundary. 'Twas a ride than circumnavigated the outskirts of greater Portland.

I like the concept. But the ride's main appeal was how close the start and finish are to where I live. Shoot, I could probably sleepwalk to East end of the Hawthorne Bridge; it’s part of my daily commute, and less than 2k from home.

Actually, I wasn’t so sure I’d be able to do this ride after an inconvenient faceplant on NE Alberta St. 2 ½ days before the ride. But on that Saturday morning (September 5th, the start of the 3-day Labor Day weekend), with a stitched up nose and a puffy upper lip, I managed to meet Ken, Keith, and David at the Burger King (the only establishment dependably open at the end of the Hawthorne Bridge), and then do the ride. Ken Mattina I’ve known from a number of rides, most notably our co-lantern-rouge finish at the Covered Bridges 400k back in May 2007. Keith Thorla I recently met at Kramer’s SxSW Mt. Adams 200k a couple months ago. And David Parsons was new to me, as was his Trek-framed Xtracycle. He was also (I believe) probably the fastest of our quartet.

The weather was drizzly as we headed down and out the Springwater Corridor. By the time we hit the first control (for which I must thank Ken for preventing me… twice … from passing by), David and Keith were already pushing ahead. Ken and I rode together to Boring and Barton Park, and then the hills appeared. Ken rides a fairly loaded-down heavy bike, which to my mind, may not be the hill-friendliest rig around. After a few miles of separating, waiting, separating, waiting, Ken decided to head back to Portland (via Oregon City), while I pushed onwards. Between the hills, rain, and Ken's back and knee rehab, he just wasn’t having a very good time. As it turns out, I made it to the Canby control with only 5 minutes to spare.

willamette river ...
Originally uploaded by tangobiker
The rain stopped after Canby, and the sky lightened up from Champoeg Park on. My favorite part of the ride was the newly paved bike path that hugs the Willamette River through Champoeg Park. I liked it so well that I rode a bonus mile or two before finding the road that heads out of the park, and eventually to Hwy 219 and Newberg.

The next control after Canby was Gaston, meaning the only reason to stop in Newberg was to flip over of the route sheet. After a little foray on less-than-familiar roads, I soon found myself on North Valley Road, famous (in my little world) for its Ribbon Ridge wineries.

I saw David and Keith heading the other way out of Gaston, which meant they were about 20 minutes or so ahead of me. I tried to make quick work of my stop at the Gaston Market, but never did catch up with either of them.

double shot cap
Originally uploaded by tangobiker

Rode mostly familiar roads into Cornelius, towards Helvetia, then over to the 2nd-to-last control at McMennamin’s Rock Creek Tavern. There, I swallowed a double shot cappuccino before heading up Old Cornelius Pass Road, and then further up Skyline Blvd (before it levels out into mild rollers). Initially, I thought I would finish the ride before nightfall, but it got dark before my descent down Thompson Road.

Michael’s route cleverly takes the rider from NW Cornell to NW 30th Ave. via what looks like a driveway that heads back the other way. That in turn runs into Quimby St., then 29th (the left turn navigatible only to pedestrians and cyclists), then Raleigh St, which offers a pleasant way to Naito Parkway. After catching the Westside Esplanade to the Hawthorne Bridge, I finished at 8:40 PM for a Cyclos Escargot-ish total elapsed time 13 hours and 10 minutes. 'Twas also my 21st consecutive month of completing a 200k or longer randonneuring ride.

And then I was home by 9:00 pm! Yeah! Thank you Michael for the close-in UGB permanent!

My photos are here on Flickr.
David Parson's blog report


keith said...

I feel bad for not waiting for you after we passed outside Gaston. To tell the truth I thought you would actually catch up especially at about Evergreen or at the pub because it felt like a slow ride for me at that point. Also, you didn't look happy in the morning at the start and I figured you would say" screw this!". Thanks for blogging this.

orc said...

We were blown northwards at a pretty good clip out of Gaston, and we also sped up by a pretty good clip when we hit Evergreen and agreed that getting a snack at the Rock Creek tavern would be just the thing (my GPS tracking shows my speed going up by about 3 mph at roughly Evergreen, which is pretty impressive considering that the road started going uphill around then.)