Had a really nice pre-ride of the Birkie 200k with Ray Ogilvie last weekend (March 6th). The actual ride happens this Saturday, March 20, and is basically unchanged from the previous three iterations. It’s as if the ride stays the same, but the organizers change. So the biggest variable (besides the weather) becomes … what are the “hot drinks and home-baked goodies” in Vernonia gonna consist of?
While it’s a little bit of a challenge for an old bachelor like me to compete with the likes of Marcello (’07), Cecil and Lynne (’08), and Del & friends (’09), I’ve got some good help at this year’s staffed control from Barbara and Ray Ogilvie, Ed Groth, and my friend Amy. So to put it another way: no one is likely to go hungry at the 59 km point in Anderson Park.
The ride is described very well on the Oregon Randonneurs web site.
The only edit I would make is that start at the Grand Hotel in Forest Grove is no longer “new.”
Ray and I were blessed with somewhat chilly but otherwise wonderful weather on the 6th. We encountered one hostile Neanderthal in a pickup driving the other way on Gales Creek Road, then enjoyed some espresso at the Black Bear Coffee Company in Vernonia (in lieu of the staffed control at Anderson Park). We came up with a new, uncomplicated control question for the Keasey Road turnaround, and later noticed that the Birkenfield Country Store has a new look-feel inside.
Ray and I utilized the US Bank ATM in Vernonia for the return control, and the Shell station on the right-hand side of Hwy 6 on our way back through Glenwood. We got back to Forest Grove with a finishing time of 11 hours and 21 minutes, which was around dusk. So if you’re planning a leisurely approach to Berkie, make sure your lights are in working order!
Looking forward to seeing y’all at the McMenamins Grand Lodge Saturday morning. Remember, check in is from 6:00 to 6:45 AM. Start is at 7:00.
Lotsa photos of Ray at the Birkie preride photoset on Flickr.