Friday, July 31, 2009

PDX Skyline 100k & Picnic (Updated x2)

The Skyline 100k is this weekend. I have been looking to ride my Bacchetta recumbent in brevets this summer. So far my recumbent has carried me on just two brevets, the famous SIR Baked Salmon 600k Road Runner and an unofficial 200k around my home town in search of the next Bikenfest. I am not a good hill rider even on my best days on a triangle bike and I wobble around the fog line on a recumbent when the road grade reaches over 8 percent. Wobbling around the fog line isn't a good idea in Portland. Portland claims not to kill very many bikers but from my perspective, the urban area is all Portland regardless of geopolitical boundaries. I don't ride Portland but once in a blue moon. A ride into Voodoo Donuts at 2 am was one of those insane Portland rides.

I've ridden the Skyline road once before back when the Portland Wheelmen did Paris-Brest-Paris qualifier brevets. I remember falling over at one of the stop signs going up the hill. Getting stuck in the pedals, how embarrassing!

So I've been checking routes to scope them out. Are they a good choice for me and my Bacchetta or should I take one of my triangle bikes instead? I used street view to check the condition of the road shoulder on various parts of the Skyline Picnic route and it dawned on me that I only mapped half of the route since it is an out and back from Nobel Park in Hillsboro. The elevation gain of 3,652 feet didn't sound so bad until I realized to get the entire route you have to add the ascent and descent. So the total elevation climb for the 100k is 5,966 feet.

ZOMG! I'm gonna die! My wife will kill me for not increasing my life insurance to ride in PDX and for not leaving a last will and testament.

Update 08/01/2009: I survived the ride and it was pretty nice too. My Garmin Oregon only recorded 4,500 feet of elevation gain and the hills were short and not too steep. The skyline road isn't an urban hell hole and there were lots of bicycles on the road. The vehicle drivers were courteous and patient. The miles on Baseline road were a little busy on the return leg and I must have stopped for almost every stop light. The bike lanes were wide and well marked on Baseline Road so Hillsboro was pretty decent for biking.

Update 08/02/2009: Replaced the original Google route with my GPS track so the route should be very accurate. Also replaced the profile showing both out and back.

Google Map PDX Skyline 100k

View West Hills 100k in a larger map

Profile PDX Skyline 100k - 4,306 feet Out and Back