Blueberry Pancake

Start/Finish: Champoeg Park

2001 = 29 miles
2002 = 29 miles
2004 = 29 miles


This is the third year I have done this and have decided that this is a ride of predictability. 
For the third year, the ride was 29 miles.
For the fourth year, it rained on this day.
Lisa and I skipped the ride last year because it was raining so hard.
For the third year, the pancakes and coffee at the end of the ride made riding in the rain and the cold all worthwhile.
Once again, we tried to make sense of the skies before leaving, and once we could convince ourselves that the lighter spots in the clouds in the west would really stay over us, and perhaps even break up, we were off.
The temperatures were really quite comfortable this morning, around 48 at departure,  and it did not require heavy bundling.
We were able to get our bikes together and map in hand in order to leave about 9:20
This year there was really no wind as I had remembered from other trips, on the stretch of highway 219.
The rain was sporadic, mostly gentle, with one good solid downpour.
This was ok, as I was able to use the trip as a trial for some new equipment.
I used my waterproof seal skin socks, and covered them with my nylon burly foot covers, and wore sandals.
Water got under the burly covers but did not get inside the seal skins. 
My toes did start to get cold towards the end of the ride, so next time I might try some light socks under the sealskins, or perhaps with shoes.
Also tried out my new goretex raincoat, with removable sleeves. Very nice. After I warmed up, was able to remove the sleeves and use as a vest, until the rains came, then put the sleeves back on, but did not zip them all the way allowing for some good ventilation. It did seem to breathe well, and kept me plenty warm with a long sleeve undershirt and a jersey.


Sponsored by Louie Martin & Rebecca Anderson, prominent area cyclists, this is a free ride, very early in the year.
It begins at Champoeg Park, which has a 3 dollar parking fee, with a free bluegerry pancake breakfast. Then off for the ride, they provide maps for several options, but provide SAG support only for the 29 mile route. They try to add some fun to this ride, with things like the scavenger hunt. This is really an attempt to get you to look around and pay attention. You get a paper with about 20 questions like, who owns the cannery on ___ Road. (The LDS church). Its a hard thing to do on a cold, wet ride, where you are more concerning about finishing, since it forces you to keep referring to the paper, look around, maybe stopping and writing stuff down. But its interesting anyway.  There is no rest stops during the ride, but hey, its a free ride. And, there are the pancakes. The first year I did the ride, I went solo, ate pancakes before the ride and took off. It rained throughout the entire ride. The next year, I stopped in Woodburn to pick up Jill, and we were able get started before 8:00. Jill wasn't up for pancakes before, ( I think she was nervous about her first ride), so we set off. It was windy and chilly but not raining at the start. The wind kept up through the entire ride, until the last five miles. When it subsided, the rain which til this point had held off, began a hard rain. Since the end was near, it really didn't bother us much. We were much more concerned with getting back to the camp before noon, since that was the published ending of the pancakes, and they were beginning to sound very good about this time. We made it back just before noon, but, the timing was not that critical, since Louie and Rebecca were happily cranking them out as fast as they could and showed no signs of letting up. Oh, those pancakes tasted so good then!  They were really enjoying the day, and the small crowd that was brave enough to come out on such a dismal early day, had quite a time. All sharing the same discomforts of the damp cold. There is some level of comfort in sharing this discomfort with others who understand what it means to voluntarily push yourself out of a warm bed early on a cold, windy day, just to ride your bike. This ride would be much more fun if it were held a little later in the year, but I think their whole purpose is to get a ride in, very early in the year, before all the other rides come out.  This has been the kind of ride that was not a lot of fun while it lasted, but much more memorable after it was completed. Its a ride worth doing, and would probably do it again, if only for the pancakes, camaraderie, and ability to gather in a group to share the experience. As a route, some of it is very pretty, it is relatively "flat as a pancake", (the organizers pun, not mine), but parts of it are on highway 219 (I think) which is pretty busy and not at all fun to be on. I think, on my next opportunity for this ride, I will pay more attention to the weather and allow it to be a determining factor whether I go.   


Rode the ride by myself.
The only thing I remember, besides the pancakes were that it was wet, and it was windy, and that they were nice enough to provide a scavenger hunt, but all I wanted to do was keep my head down and finish so I sort of lost track of the hunt.

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