Friday, October 3, 2014

Scio Covered Bridges 200K

We started out before the sun rose, which meant we got to watch the sun rise.  A quick hop on the I-5 to cross the Boone Bridge over the Willamette River, exiting as usual at Charbonneu, this time heading west instead of east.

I started seeing bright orange pumpkin Dan Henrys as we overlapped with the Harvest Century for a few miles.  Those riders would have a great day, weather-wise, and so would we.  Soon we were on Meridian, which reminds me of the time we rode out to stash champagne for Tour de Beavers.  Then we were passing the fork to Silver Falls, where I stopped to puke last year.  Or was it the year before?

That morning in the bath, I read on facebook that a steep hill on Cole School Road awaited us.  Some sort of wall of asphalt apparently.  I dreaded it all morning.  Soon, we turned left onto Cole School and went up a modest hill.

Phew!  That was easy.  Then we coasted downhill, headed toward another ascent.  This one was harder, but still, not at all the wall I had anticipated.  Then we went down again, and there it was.  A giant wall of earth.  It looked unclimbable, and because my derailleur failed me on the way up, it was.
After my lonely walk of shame, we enjoyed the view together and munched on our little snacks.  I had a bag of dried apricots and almonds.  Jeff had foil-wrapped rice cakes that I like to call Rapha Cakes.  Soon after, I split off from the group, quite unintentionally, and didn't catch back up until Silverton.

This is about the time my nausea kicked in.  I blamed it on hormones, ate lightly, whined heavily and carried on.  Finally, we arrived at our first control, fifty miles in, at the cartoonly quaint Scio: Covered Bridge Capital of the west.  While my three partners took in well-deserved calories, I forced down a skim milk and a diet coke.  It felt like a girdle was tightening across my middle.

On to Crabtree, and an info-control that the permanent route owner, Susan, asked me to reset.  I relished zip-tying zip ties to the sign, photographed them and pedaled on.  Soon we arrived at the Gilkey covered bridge and my old partner 7600 and I decided to take a break by the neighboring train trellis.

Chris and Jeff pedaled off and left us to chase them.  This was the beginning of the split of the group.  Riding into Salem, I kept catching glimpses of familiar-looking "M" Dan Henrys.  Ah, yes, these were from the Bike MS ride back in August.
We barely caught Jeff before Salem, where he led us through a labyrinth of traffic and ugly streets to a cafe control.  I had skipped lunch, so I skipped snack time too and had a latte instead.

Leaving Salem on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, we traced the Tour de Beavers route.  It was all there, just as I had left it in April.  My favorite "keep out" sign, now covered in vines.  Windsor Island and Simon and the nasty hill up to Wheatland.  Lovely roads I'd ride any day.

By the time we arrived to the patchwork triptych of Fargo - Bents - Arndt, I began to wonder in great detail just why they call what I was doing "blowing up".  I was not exploding.  I was imploding.  Getting smaller and tighter, molecules contracting to nothing as the cramp across my torso took hold.

1 comment:

  1. Plus bonus miles. them' s the "ugly streets".