17 March 2010

End of the Oregon Trail lollipop ride

This past weekend's ride began out in Oregon City at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center...otherwise known as the place with the big covered wagons off I-205.  The ride was to begin at 8am, but I started mine around 9:30. 

My mom had been in town for a very short two day visit, whereby our family once again proved how well we can consume wine.  Family gatherings for us always mean good food (thank you, Zach & Pizza Fino) and good wine (this time we stuck with several wines from Podere Ruggeri Corsini: Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Barbera "Armujan", and Barolo...ah yes...the Barolo).  Anyway, it was a wonderful two days and mom had to be at the airport around 830/9 on Saturday morning.  The plan was that I would head to my ride and my daughter would take my mom to the airport.  However, as I went out to the garage to get the bike in the car, I discovered my back tire was flat.  I sent a message to the team letting them know I'd be late and not to wait for me.  Once I did that, I apparently felt that meant I could chill and visit a bit more with mom before she left.  Fixed the tire, visited, said goodbyes and finally left the house around 845.  All the while, hacking up a lung because, yes, I STILL seem to have this sickness. 
When I pulled into the parking lot at our meeting site, there were a few cyclists in matching kits.  After a bit of discussion about my being late to meet up with my group and such, I was invited to ride with this team on their ride.  I explained I felt I should do the same route my group was doing and they said that was fine - they may branch off a different direction at some point, but we'd start out the same direction.  So, off we went around 930.  I was only with them for about 3.5mi when my battery in my GPS died.  I hate not having all my stats and such after a ride, so I stopped to change the battery and they continued on.  

As I started back up, I was coughing quite a bit.  I kept drinking water hoping it would make the dry scratchiness in my throat go away.  As a result, I drank my first bottle of water in about twenty minutes.  Then I started getting nauseous.  I don't know if it was the constant coughing, the fullness from water, the may vitamins I took in the morning, or what, but I knew things were about to get really bad, as I rotated between being really hot and then really cold.  I finally pulled off and stopped about 45min in - just before the climb I couldn't see waiting around the corner for me.  When I thought I felt better, or rather convinced myself of such, I continued.  When I saw the climb, I just about turned around and said screw it.  But I did not.  I made it up the hill, closed the loop and considered heading back instead of doing the next loop the route was dictating.  It wasn't the same loop I'd just done, but I knew it must climb over the same hill.  I told myself I would just go to the turning point and then head back, knowing full well this was just how I talk myself into doing the whole thing.  So, around that second loop and stupid, crappy, hill climb I went...coughing all the while; getting pissed off at how weak and slow I was feeling and, of course, at how long this sickness has held on to me.  I stopped halfway up the hill to clear my lungs and let my heart rate drop a bit.  As I glanced up to the summit, a runner came over it and headed down toward me and my immediate jealousy that he was going DOWN the hill.  As he got closer, I noticed he had a big grin and then said, "You're almost there, you can do it."  My replacement team, I guess - thank you, Mr. Anonymous Runner.  Yes, I could do it, so long as I could successfully get started considering I was on a nice slope.  This didn't seem to be the problem I thought it would, though.  I got going, clipped in, and climbed the rest out of the saddle.  As I nice reward, I got a lovely descent shortly thereafter, providing enough wind whipping at my face to cool me down (a bit too much, even). 

Back the Interpretive Center where we began, I literally thought I might never stop coughing - at least for the day.  I'd been out of water from the two bottles I carried (a first for that) for quite some time, so after stowing my bike in the car, I went to locate a fountain, only to find one still turned off for the winter...that or the center relies on your thirst to sell their bottled water.  I bought two and had the first gone before I was back to my car. 
A 35-mile ride doesn't normally kick my butt the way it did Saturday.  Cycling has definitely made me value my health even more.  I take my vitamins daily, I get my sleep, and I keep a healthy, balanced diet (don't even start about the wine...it provides antioxidants and iron).  This next Saturday's ride will be out to Multnomah Falls...plenty of climbing there, so keep fingers crossed that my head and lungs have cleared out.


  1. Loved this post! Good times, good times!!
    You forgot to thank Por Que No...I dream about those tacos!! ;)
    We are wishing you a lovely, sunny, warm, ride on Sat. to the falls...and hoping you feel 100%!!
    Much Love and Aloha!

  2. Hi Heather,

    I'm an editor at FITNESS magazine. I'm trying to reach you regarding an upcoming story. Could you please email me when you have a moment: cristina.goyanes@meredith.com. Or call: 212-499-1687.

    I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon!

    Cristina Goyanes