Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three Capes 300k

My 5th annual ride of the 3 Capes 300k occurred on the 26th of March. Even though I have finished all five of ‘em, each attempt has produced a much different result:

 2007: 16 hours, 41 minutes
 2008: 19 hours, 5 minutes
 2009: 17 hours, 55 minutes
 2010: 14 hours, 53 minutes
 2011: 15 hours, 50 minutes

This year’s 2011 edition started familiarly enough … Westbound in pre-dawn Forest Grove. I stayed up with some faster riders (a number of them from Seattle) out to Stringtown Rd, but once again fell off their pace up Gales Creek Rd. I was passed by a few more riders going up to Timber Road, but didn’t dawdle at the turnaround contrôle. Ascending up the Wilson River Hwy took longer that I anticipated. And then I struggled on the long descent to Tillamook. Last year I was able to catch John Kramer’s and Mike Richeson’s wheels during that segment, but this year I couldn’t keep up with anyone, and was in fact passed by about a half dozen riders.

Once in Tillamook, I made relatively quick work of the contrôle at the Shell station (less time-consuming than Safeway), opting to eat a micro-waved burrito on the run rather than waiting in the store for it to cool.

clara at the coast by tangocyclist
clara at the coast, a photo by tangocyclist on Flickr.

I heard it was rainy in Portland that day. The Oregon coast, however, was only intermittently drizzly, and actually quite pleasant. It was my Ahearne’s first trip to the Pacific Ocean, and she did quite well.

‘Round Netarts I rode some with PPB veteran Joel Metz, then closer to Pacific City I was joined by Lesli, Sarah, and John Henry. They eventually pulled ahead, and by the time I arrived at the Stimulus Espresso Shop, a long time-sucking line had formed between them and me. I forged ahead (falling down in the sand on Pacific City’s main drag), and once again did the quicker Shell Mini-mart contrôle thing.

On Little Nestuca River Road, I enjoyed the company of Seattle Randonneur Noel Howes (riding a pretty 650b Belinky), then forged on ahead to Sheridan before stopping for fuel (which included some Muscle Milk … closest thing there to Ensure). Stopped to take a picture at the Ballston contrôle of three faster riders (John Henry, Tim and Bruce) who had a real good paceline going. Then my last stop (before the finish) was at my favorite porta-potty in Dayton, where I added a layer of clothing and reflective gear.

Again, last year I was able to catch a wheel (of a nice SIR rider) almost all the way from Sheridan to Forest Grove. But this year, it was all solo. Soreness in my left knee kept me from pushing very hard. But I did keep pedaling, and managed to finish well under 16 hours. Only about one hour of that time was off the bike.

My photos from the ride are here on Flickr.

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