Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Gravel ground-up

David Parsons and myself went out on Saturday for an inaugural running of my new 205K Irma Pince permanent and, well, it was indeed a bike ride.

A handful of thoughts:

  • There's no (legal) way to connect the far end of Pumpkin Ridge to anything. Burgdorfer, on Google and other maps, is a gated driveway. Murphy Rd works, I think, to go back to Greener/Dairy Creek, or of course there's Smoke Ranch heading east.
  • I misread my own directions and took the first left after the Smoke Ranch gate, onto what turned out to be Wilderness Rd. You can take a right turn shortly after that to get onto Tupper Ranch and, in theory, over to some of the Pisgah/Bacona roads, but the way we went just became a dead-end. Fun riding for a couple of miles, at least.
  • The extension into Scappoose is definitely needed, you'll want full water bottles for the climb ahead...
  • Speaking of which, Mountain View Rd is ridiculous. A couple of 10-14% grade ramps to net you almost 1,000 feet of climbing in under three miles. Ouch.
  • And after that hard work has you hating life, the "reward" descent on Pisgah-Home is about as bad. Gravel, potholes, more double-digit grades, and tight turns. Yikes.
  • Everything from this point forward, though, is great -- three miles on Scap-Vern (or the dirt trail which parallels it), then an awesome romp around Yankton. More climbing, but all at a gradual grade, lots of actually enjoyable descents, little or no traffic (on a Saturday afternoon).
  • The Yankton general store is about a block off-course, and I'd probably recommend it to most riders rather than going from Scappoose to Deer Island without any available water. It was a mild day with some slow riding, but both David and myself were completely out of fluids by the time we reached Hwy 30.
  • The last 45 miles are mercifully flat. I'd actually never ridden in to Portland from that far out on Hwy 30, so... a token amount of new roads. Plus, a nice backside Scappoose loop for extra mileage to make it a legitimate 200K.
A couple of photos:

We took a whopping 12 hours and 59 minutes to finish -- by pace, easily my slowest ride ever that didn't involve stopping to sleep somewhere. I guess that's some motivation to get out and try again, aiming for a better time. Maybe.

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