Friday, January 26, 2007

Race Across Oregon 2007

I've done George and Terri's race for the last two years. In 2007, I'll make it 3 in a row. The difference, though, is that in the past I've been a part of a 4-man relay team. This year, I'll be doing it solo.

I sent my registration and entry fee in this week.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fast Times on the HCRH

...the HCRH being the Historic Columbia River Highway, of course. One of the best places around Portland to ride.

The wind stopped blowing and the temperature got high enough to melt snow this weekend, so I saddled up the Aero and stretched my legs a bit. The ride up the gorge to the end of the scenic highway is well known in these parts, and even on a winter day, I saw several other cyclists between home and Crown Point.

Below Crown Point, I got a couple treats: first, the natural beauty of the gorge was accented by spectacular ice formations clinging to the basalt walls. And secondly, the HCRH has been repaved in the last six months, from Latourell Falls all the way to the end, past Ainsworth State Park. The only blemish on the lovely cycling there (the lousy pavement) has been entirely erased -- the new surface is smooth and straight, and wonderful to pedal on.

The round trip is about 75 miles, a distance which felt pretty good for this time of year. I'm sure I'll be doing this ride in some form or another several more times in the coming months -- in the form I did it this last Sunday, as part of the Bridge of the Gods loop, or to pedal out to Ainsworth and camp for a night. It's nice to know that I won't need 35 mm tires now!

I took some pictures, too.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

Just before the turn of the new year, I did this ride from my house. It's about 40 miles, and involves probably 2500-3000 feet of climbing, total (I can't tell exactly because the gmaps pedometer elevation function is non-responsive.) The route involves climbing steep pitches from just above sea level to around 1000 feet twice, in addition to dealing with some fairly good rollers on the ridgeline at the top. It's my secret training weapon -- the best way to get good at hills is to ride hills, and bike races are won and lost on the hills. I attribute all of my success last year to going out and riding up the west hills of Portland at least 3 times per week on my lunch hours.

So, it was good to get back out there. I felt pretty good, not a world beater after all my time off of William Tell, but not bad. I didn't have any trouble getting up to Skyline on Newberry, and had fun on the second ascent up Barnes. I kept reminding myself that this was my January form, and I'd be in fine shape for racing come May if I kept at it.

I was on my way home, feeling encouraged and satisfied with my endeavor, riding on a mixed-use path, when I overtook a fellow in a wheelchair. He looked up at me on my recumbent and exclaimed, "Awh, dude! Get a real bike! Those things don't climb worth shit!"

A man who did not have use of his legs was telling me that I would not be able to climb on my bike, after doing a ride that was expressly designed to go up as many hills as I could in a short amount of time. I think that pretty much sums it all up, don't you?