Monday, August 13, 2007

Down the Drain #200

I wasn't sure whether to ride Down the Drain in Eugene last weekend. Was still a little groggy from the week before when I rode hills and headwinds in the Gorge. But I showed up anyway, even though the round trip drive was almost three times the distance of the brevet and almost as many hours driving as riding given rush hour, construction and accident zones crawling through Portland.

From the top of BLM Rd 20-5-141

But I was glad that I took the challenge because the ride was very, very nice. Jack and Lesli did a fine job and the route was just perfect. The weather started cool, almost knee warmer temp in the morning and it warmed up to 84 degrees by late afternoon. There was a light and cooling breeze and the descents were cool just like riding into an air conditioner. Total elevation gain was 6,800 feet and that seams pretty typical for an unbiased 200k in the Northwest.

I had hoped to include a profile but my Garmin lost the satellites for about 18 miles in the steep terrain along BLM road 20-5-141 (Carpenter bypass). I stopped several times to take pictures. It was nice to ride in the trees and to have vistas of the Coast range to oogle. Even better, most of the route had almost no car or truck traffic! I forget how nice it is to ride in the shade of a PNW forest canopy. There were at least 3 major climbs on the route but for the most part, even though they were long, the lack of vehicle traffic made them quite enjoyable. We road about 15 miles on a rails to trails path called Row Bike Path. It was nice to see this path and the various types of people using it.

Down the Drain was a good name for the ride. I felt like I went down the drain within the first 10 miles when my rubbery legs notified my gasping lungs that I had no energy manufacture. So my lungs notified my brain it was time to ride in survival mode and my brain told my heart to STFU. This is the second time this year that my engines failed to start after the glycogen was spent. The good thing about riding with no energy production, you don't push your legs hard enough to burn any muscle. This also gave me time to contemplate a blog series about "Things That Suck".

So at the end of the ride Lesli Larson asked which of the hills was my favorite. I loved them all, it was a fantastic ride. I rode in with Scott "Bobby Corno" Peterson who I will refer to in the future as Maestro given his extensive post graduate work in music at OSU and Mark from Salem.

I am thinking Eugene could provide some fantastic cycling with the Coast range on one side and the Cascades on the other. It is a long drive but for the right routes, I think it would be worth it.

Late Night Music Club with The Taking Heads

-- Cosmo