Yesterday marked my long ride ever, coming in at approximately 139 miles as a part of the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race. We headed out to the beach (Lincoln City) on Friday evening and stayed in a suite at the Inn at Spanish Head thanks to team president Jim who served as sugar daddy for the evening. [...]
Archive for April, 2010
I wish I had time to update you. Too busy living life and such to have time to write about it.
FYI: If you make it all the way to the bottom of this long post, you’ll be rewarded with a spoiler picture of my new race bike in nearly-complete form.
Some nice spring weather happened to coincide quite well with a busy last several weekends. It was Jess’ spring break between terms and even though I worked the standard M-F (taking Thursday off) it was good to take a bit of a mental break when not at work as well.
Now it’s back to more winter before spring truly arrives:
Two Weekends Ago
Team Oregon team training camp in Hood River/The Dalles area! We had a blast with about 30 of us all crammed into a big house in Hood River. On Saturday we rode east of the Dalles up in the rolling hills south of the Columbia River. Nice big climbs, huge wind farms, gravel road, and some fun wind made for a great team ride.
On Sunday, we went and previewed both of the road race courses for the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic coming up in April. I’d ridden the first day’s course in this same event last year, but the new circuit race was exciting to see. For my field, the race will consist of a number of laps on a short loop and a long loop. The short loop isn’t anything too spectacular (outside of the fact that it goes through cherry orchards that will be in full bloom during the race), but the long lap is exciting, with several big climbs (including one on a gravel road) and a fun, technical descent towards the finish. After that preview, I’m very excited for this race.
Check out the full gallery of the training camp on the Team’s Flickr page.
Last Week went about as normal except that I took Thursday off to go skiing with Jess at Mt. Hood Meadows. I was glad I got out skiing at least once this year. It was a fairly stormy day, with decent winds at the top of the lifts and just enough snow coming down to make visibility interesting at times. I enjoyed myself and definitely want to get out more in coming years. Jess was coming off a cold and didn’t feel great but really wanted to go skiing with me anyway. At least there was homemade hummus available in the lodge!
Speaking of, my homemade hummus experiments are coming along. I’ve now gotten to the point where I’d call my hummus “decent”. It generally tastes like hummus should taste and has the correct consistency. However, now I’m experimenting more with how to really make it taste good. It’s really tempting to buy a bunch of different types of hummus from the store and flavor-match, but part of the point is saving money by not buying it from the store. It would be a little silly if I end up buying more hummus than I otherwise would have.
After a series of “we’re going camping” followed by “oh wait, we’re not” followed by “yeah, actually we are” followed by “nope” followed by “yes, let’s leave in 30 minutes”, we went camping at the beach on Friday night. Six of us (Derek and Leeann, Chris and Karey, Jess and myself) headed out and got to our campsite at Cape Lookout State Park in the dark just after sunset. We set up camp and had an enjoyable evening of food, beer, and a campfire that wouldn’t stop smoking.
The next morning, Chris and Derek decided to play super hero…
… and then went surfing. It was Chris’ first time trying it out, and he had a rough time fighting fairly strong surf to get out into the good waves. I haven’t surfed since Hawaii some years back, and I found myself wanting to give it a try again.
In the afternoon, we went for a nice ride near the coast that involved some of the same roads that we traveled last fall for the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race including a beautiful stretch of winding road along a river past Beaver, OR. One of the highlights was definitely climbing up to the top of the road in Cape Lookout for a good view out at the ocean.
Following the ride we headed back into Tillamook for some seafood dinner. Looking back, it was probably a little risky to have crab cakes the evening before a race, but it didn’t seem to be much of an issue.
Here’s Derek looking rather nonplussed about the fact that he’s surrounded by various sauces:
On Sunday, Jess and I headed to Piece of Cake Road Race near Amity, OR. We both got to race for free since we volunteered before/after our own races. I figured it’d be a good training race for me to get in with a flat course leading to a bunch sprint. It seemed like a fairly straightforward course on paper (pretty much a “piece of cake”) but when you factored in the wind, things got really interesting.
In the second lap (of 4), a break went up the road that I was pretty sure would stick, so I set about bridging to it when they were probably nearly a minute up the road. I fought a nasty crosswind section for about 5 miles before finally making it up to the lead group. From there, I quickly figured out I was one of the stronger riders in the break, and we organized well enough that it quickly became apparent to me that we weren’t going to get brought back. The break worked its way down to six of us coming into the finish, and my only mistake in what was otherwise tactically one of the best races I’ve ever ridden was picking the wrong wheel out of the final corner with about 500 meters to go. The rider on the front of the group opened up a gap on the rest of us and I didn’t react quickly enough to catch him. It was a pretty easy second place, however, and it’s one that I’m very pleased with.
During Jess’ afternoon race, I sat out on one of the corners of the course directing traffic as needed and watching the races go by. Here’s Jess (left) chasing a breakaway group that ultimately managed to get away:
Finally, the race bike months in the making is nearly complete! Still to come is adjustments, custom fitting, and bar tape. Plus a chain… those are always helpful. But for the most part, here’s what it will look like. I can’t wait to ride it. The teammates who have theirs together have been raving about how the Blue frames feel in the road.