Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ripplebrook

Every four years almost five thousand hearty Randonneur riders from round the world travel to France for the signature Paris Brest Paris 1200K ride.  Completing a PBP earns you the title of Ancien and a handshake.  Unless you're a woman, then you're an Ancienne and you get a rose.

But, all this is beside the point, for me anyway.  I'm still working on learning how to ride 200Ks in a relatively short time and more than just survive.  It may take another year, another R12 (f!) or maybe more.  In the meanwhile, I am developing a genuine appreciation for our "Alps" and the postcard-like qualities of the countryside that we have right here in our own backyard.
Saturday was no exception.  An in-town start saved the headache of pesky carpooling logistics but added a few miles and several minutes to the start time.  A bagel, a brevet card signed by the Po Po (Portland Police) and a quick sprint to the first control at Bell Station started the summer-like May day.

It's become a tradition to run into Brake-Bike-Mike anytime one rides eastbound on the Springwater trail.  And, sure enough, there he was.  He knew we were off on a 200K adventure and bemoaned his necessarily slower, shorter day as the leader of a group of newer riders.  

Soon we found ourselves past Boring and entering the village of Estacada.  After a leisurely stop for lemonade, we were on our way.  South to the lovely Faraday Road.  The temperature continued to rise as we began the gentle ascent toward Ripplebrook Ranger Station.
A river dip was definitely in order, and after several tries we found a nice pull-off with easy access to the cold and quick-running Clackamas River.  Somehow, 7600 and I got separated so I rode on ahead without him, leaving a lipstick note on a big blank sign "C ya at RRS".  Alas, it was to go unseen.

The climb ramped up a bit more and I was glad to do it alone.  Just like a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it, if I ride very slowly while solo, no one will ever know.  After a while, I could see the trusty red, white & blue scorching up the hill behind me.
We rolled into the Ranger Station snack shop, filled our bottles, got some snacks and sat in the shade before coasting back down the hill.  The shadows started getting long by the time we reached Faraday.  Soon we were on the westbound section enjoying rolling hills and a sun set.  Then, Oregon City and shots of Red Hot at a favorite little haunt.

Home stretch time!  Heading north, north, north, we looked for the trolley trail and failed and went back to the main road.  Light rail construction near Milwaukee Avenue predicts the future there.  Times will be changing soon for that humble neighborhood.  Broadway at last.  Burgers!  Brevet cards signed.

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