Pioneer Century ride is done


Our Seventh Pioneer (Spring) ride is in the books. For various reasons our mileage choice for this years was the 45 mile loop. Here’s some thoughts on this years ride:

  • Nice that they kept the same starting spot of the Fairgrounds. Though the route change meant leaving via the opposite side, which required a guy to stand guard at the old exit to turn people around. One old guy was quite insistent he knew the way to go and it took a lot of persuasions to turn him around.
  • Love registering for this ride, they always seem to give ya stuff. I still use the thin wallet they gave us back in 2003. This years gift: Patch kits. Hey, they do come in handy, though while I do always carry a kit, I prefer to carry a couple of good tubes and use them first. Why sit in a ditch to patch a tube if you don’t have to?
  • New this year was the figure 8 loop route. Because of that, also new this year was a lunch, served at the starting point, for the riders as they came in from one of the loops. They served a really great fajita lunch. A beer garden would have been popular, but Honey notes that it wouldn’t be a good idea for either those driving home, or those heading off for another loop on the bike, so then Gatorade it is.
  • Great that the loop provided the opportunity to match the mileage & climbing exertion to your goal for the day.
  • Loops are good for thinning out the crowd. Theoretically, half the riders will take each loop, therefore reducing the congestion that can sometimes make rides a little more stressful.
  • Loops are not so good, since it thins out the crowd. Since you don’t see the other half, the opportunities to see our friends can be limited to the start/finish area. And, empirically, I think that more than half riders left for the 55 mile loop. I am thinking that the 100 milers would choose the longer/hillier loop to do first.
  • Like most rides these days, they are no longer giving out the pin on numbers. Evidently the cost was too high. Thats too bad since I have been collecting them in one big stack on my wall. For this ride, they gave us rubber “Livestrong” type wristbands, which we would need for the great lunch. One other thing I like about the numbers is that you can easily identify those bikers that are on your ride, as opposed to the rogue bikers that are just out for a nice ride somewhere. Truthfully, I kind of liked them since they are much easier to deal with than pinning on the numbers, or using temporary paper wristbands, but still…….
  • The food at the rest stop was first class. Bagels, goldfish, pretzels, blueberries, bananas, grapes, melons, V8, Oreos, Costco cookies, crackers, and, one the coolest ride foods ever, little boiled baby red potatoes in a zip lock bag that you can put it on your pocket and just pop in your mouth a little farther down the road. Moist, cool, tasty, easy to digest, pure energy. Very nice.they provided very nice maps, with street turns, and elevations. The roads were marked with the usual Dan Henrys. It would have been much nicer if the maps would have had the mileages for the road turns as well. Honey really likes to know how far to the next stop, and I like to be able to coordinate mileage with turns, to ensure that we remain on course, since it is possible to miss a marking, especially with fewer bikes on the road.
  • They provided emergency contact phone numbers on the map as well! We have talked about that on several occasions as it seems nobody bothers to include this one very helpful piece of support. Well done PWTC!
  • Always good to go by Champoeg Park, we include that as an extra stop. The shade, cool water and clean restrooms are very welcome.
  • Perfect day for a ride, with temps in the low 80s and really no wind. The roads of the farmlands surrounding Champoeg and Donald are fairly low traffic, and the farmlands were lush with growth as is typical of Oregon at this time of the year.
  • Ended up being 48 miles of quiet, mostly peaceful bike ride with only a few short pitches to raise your heartrate.

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