Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Skyline-Vernonia-Scappoose 200k

Come November, I was basically done with big rides for the year. But I still was looking for a 200k to keep my 3rd R-12 in tact. I thought about riding an SIR permanent out of Centrailia, but when Ed Groth expressed interest in joining me if the ride started close in, I selected the Skyline-Vernonia route that starts in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland.

After posting my intentions on the Oregon Randonneurs e-list to do this ride on Saturday the 13th , Lynne Fitzsimmons and David Parsons joined up. Lynne lives close to me, and offered to drive me to the start. Riding to her home sounded easier than riding and/or taking the Max, so I accepted. When the two of us arrived at Starbucks in St. Johns, Ed, David, and Ed's friend Adam were already there. Departure time was scheduled for 7:00, but is was closer to 7:25 and quite drizzly when we actually left.

riders writing
Originally uploaded by tangocyclist

The route ascends through Portland's Washington Park on the way to Skyline Blvd., and then goes over to Old Cornelius Pass Rd. I was feeling a bit on the sluggish side and lost sight of the other riders between Helvetia and North Plains. But we regrouped at Maggie's in Forest Grove.

On Timber Road on the way to Vernonia, Adam and Ed discoved an abandonned ATM machine below the side of the road. Adam actually took the time to call the 800 number on the machine, found out that the Southern California bank it belonged to wasn't interested, and then discovered the machine had already been gone through. In the meantime, Lynne, David, and I forged on through the drizzle.

21st & main
Originally uploaded by tangocyclist

After lunch at Black Bear Coffee in Vernonia, we continued over to the Scappoose-Vernonia Hwy, which ascends for most of nine miles before heading back down to Hwy 30. David, Lynne, and I lost track of Ed and Adam at this point, and did our nocturnal exploration of the farmlands between Scappoose and Sauvie Island as a trio. Back on Highway 30, we found Ed while warming up at a local Texaco station, and trusted that Adam found his own way back. (Adam wasn't doing the ride for rando credit.)

The four of us were headed back on Highway 30 at a pretty good clip when my rear tire started to soften. While Ed, Lynne, and David forged ahead, I stood up in the pedals for the last five or so miles to lessen the weight in back, thus avoiding changing a tire in the rain, and losing only a few minutes of time to the other three.

After celebrating strong rides all around, and the completion of my 35th consecutive 200k or greater monthly rando ride, Lynne drove me home ... and in the process ... got her first tour of my place on the westside.

Took a few pictures that are here on Flickr.