The second annual Vine Ride. A benefit for the NW Medical Teams. Hmmm, $52.00 to ride the bike? Well, it is a benefit, and it is a bike ride. So it seems reasonable to go. The ride is Saturday, with various options, so Im thinking I can go, and decide how far I really want to go when I get out there. A dangerous thought process when you approach the ride initially with the intentions of doing 100 miles. You shouldn't leave yourself any outs, it can sometimes take away from my resolve to complete what I started, especially when weather conditions come in to play. Anyway, the weatherman promises a nice day, so, up at 530, and off to the ride. I am able to get registered and packed and on my bike at 7:30, which is great time. Got yet another T shirt as part of the registration. I definitely don't need to buy any more bike T shirts.
At the start I immediately meet up with Andrew, Dianne and Mark, so I have some good riding partners from the very start. Its a little chilly when on the bike at that hour, so I go with arm warmers and sleeveless jacket to ward off the wind. We set off with a pretty good pace, and maintain a 18-22 mile pace for the first 40 so miles of the ride. Paceline riding is much faster and easier, but also more tense, taking more concentration and reduces your ability to commune with nature. You are riding so close to the other riders, and a slight error can be disasterous for many riders. About 17 miles into the ride, the first barn scenery opportunity presents itself, which requires that I stop for a photo. While Im at it, and especially since Im stopped, not in the wind, and in the sun, I no longer require the use of the arm warmers and jacket, so they are relegated to the bag for the rest of the day.
In a less opportune moment during this stop, I also drop my biking wallet out of my bag, and ride off without it. I enjoyed the rest of the day , without my little wallet, that I got for completing a Portland Wheelmen Century, which contained only my drivers license(never go riding with ID) and $24.00. It was only that next day, when I needed my license that I realized I didnt have it. Many complete searches in every possible location could not locate my wallet, and after continual re-living or the days actions, I had come to the conclusion that it has to be resting at the side of the road, in front of that barn. So, Mondays lunch time is spent driving over a portion of that route in search of that barn and my wallet. It was so interesting to drive back over some of the route that I had done for the Vine ride, which included some of the same roads as this years Reach the Beach ride. On thing I have noticed is, that on organized rides, you just need to follow their instructions and/or the signs painted on the road. Therefore, I tend to lose track of exactly where I am, or which direction I am going. Not so, when you are out driving. So, I was able to put together roads, directions, and sights in such a way as to make them much more relevant and lucid for me. I found the barn, and, there in the grass near the ditch, was my green wallet. A prayer is answered.
Meanwhile, back on the ride, a pretty ride, quite a few rollers that were fairly easily managed, that is until the ones in miles 85-95. Those started to get really annoying. One serious climb with vast views of the valley below in many nearly all directions. The summers heat, and fires created a haze that fogged up what is normally a magnificant view of Mt. Hood. But, really not too windy for a valley ride. Out around Lafayette, Amity, Dayton, Carlton, Yamhill, lots of wineyards. Halfway through the ride, Diane and I drop Andrew and Mark, and picked up Lisa and Heather We were able to finish out the ride with them. Lisa had done the ride last year and she was of great help prepping us for the upcoming climb, encouraging us, suffering with us, and quickly dismissing where appropriate our hopes when someone claimed that the top must be right around this next corner. Awesome, twisting downhill, several miles long, offering great views whenever it was possible to take your eyes off the road long enough to enjoy it. The pavement was slightly pot holed and rough, and with just enough sharper turns that flat out sailing wasn' possible, but did manage 42 miles per hour without even trying.
Lisa and I dropped Diane and Heather the last 15 miles. Not intentionally, they faded, and though the rollers were getting to us, we were still fairly strong and finished at a good pace. Finishing ahead of Andrew, who is defintely a much stronger rider than we are. We could just smell the finish, and began to get hungry. At 3:45 we breeze under the finishing banner, where the people would be cheering for us, if there were any there. There were not. The lingerers were in the grass of the University courtyard, listening to the music and enjoying the spaghetti feed. It is so good to be able to get a dinner immediately after a ride like that. Such a reward for the mind and the body. No ice cream though. Oh well, save that for later in the evening. At 4:00, as promised, the door prizs drawing began. The prizes were for a mens Vine Ride jersey, womans Vine Ride Jersey and a Bike! The first number (of the 450) registered riders, was number 826. Oh, that is MY number, I win a pretty cool looking purple jersey. So, yet another reward for my days effort and for support of the NW Medical Teams. A small financial success, if you count a $50.00 jersey, a T shirt and dinner, against a $52.00 fee. But more importantly I completed a personal accomplishment for which to be proud, made some friends and gained some memories I hope to keep with me a long time.
This year, Lisa and I decide to do
back to back rides for the weekend, and therefore opt for the vine ride
metric century . Maybe also because we have yet to do ANY
centuries this year, and dont really feel like starting that now.
So, anway, we leave home early and will have a sunny, warm ride. We have pregistered but stop to pick up the numbers, maps and free t shirt. Looking over the map I see that the one side with the map says the route is 65 miles, but the other side, with the cue sheet indicates that the route is 70 miles. Hmmmm, I suggest we follow the map. But off we go, immediately warming up, with all the rollers included in the route. No big climbs for the day, since the metric route skips the Eola hills climb, but still lots of rollers to keep us challenged. The route is west out of Newberg, then south to Lafayette, loop south of Dayton then back north trhour Carlton and Yamill, before returning to Newberg. Som e of the route is becoming very familiar. Some roads are used for Reach the Beach, some for the last MS 150, each vine ride, plus some other wanderings. Yet still it is a very scenic area to ride in. Our first stop is in Dayton, and the food is pretty good. After our loop, we end up back at the same rest stop for rest stop two. It takes us just a minute to realize that, hey, we were just here, and yes, this is correct, we didnt just take a wrong turn and end up back where we started. Much of the route used highways 18 and 47, which were really not a lot of fun. The shoulder is fairly narrow, and the traffic count and speeds were pretty high. But, we only got honked at twice, and gestered at once, so, I guess it was ok. We are both feeling pretty strong, and though we make no effort to really push the pace, we finish with a 14.8 average. We agree that we can be happy with that. Not much headwinds to speak of so that was nice too. Then got to have a nice sphaghetti dinner in the shade and listen to music, and rest, before changing clothes and heading off to Newport for the rest of our weekend.
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