04 June 2010

Prom shoes trump ride!

08 May 2010
Our ride on the lovely Saturday that was the 8th of May was supposed to be a fairly straightforward 65-mile ride from Lake Oswego to Newberg and back...loop-style.  I really should know better by now, right?  I mean, you are all shaking your heads thinking I'm nuts to think it.  Yes, Billy Crystal is in my head yelling at me, "Piece of cake!!! Piece of cake!!! You jinxed it."  (If I must explain yet another reference, such as this bit from the hilarious movie Forget Paris, I will need to beg of you, dear readers, to please, give up this active lifestyle to watch more movies!)  Anyway, what I am getting at is that this day was anything but straightforward. 
Getting to the meeting spot.  Yes, we'll begin this story with just trying to get to the meeting spot.  It is a fairly straight shot from my house to Lake Oswego, which kept in line with my straight forward day, until of course, the forward part is removed.  Coming into LO, I came to a complete standstill.  Mind you, this is 745 on a Saturday morning.  I was behind one of those huge trucks that I still fail to see the point of (I mean, really, are those extra tires necessary back there or are they just there to flick the pesky cyclists off the road?) and could, therefore, not see anything beyond said truck.  Finally, as he moved into the right lane and I got my hopes up that I would move again, I saw the sign.  Literally.  LAKE RUN - SAT. MAY 8.  Ahhhh.  And then, I saw the barricades.  State Street was closed off for the hundreds that came out to run around the lake.  Maybe not the best day for us to do this route?  Could have swapped it with the following week?  Yeah...hindsight.  I drove into the neighborhood and searched for a place to park my car.  A nice mile ride later, I pulled into the lot to meet the rest of the team.  In waiting for others that had been delayed due to traffic and then waiting for runners to clear, we pulled out for this ride quite a bit later than anticipated.  Bummer. 
Up McVey (because who doesn't like to start out going uphill?) and onto Stafford to head out past I-205.  I am not entirely clear on where we were after that.  We did some funky rural route that was heading southwest to wind out toward Newberg.  Maybe it was the stars I was seeing that disoriented me. I was rather lightheaded from all the mother-flippin' climbing we were doing!!! That was not part of the deal.  I thought we had one climb on this ride and that was right after we left Newberg.  To top it off, the sun was out.  For those of you that live here, that is the bright orb in the sky that seems to have gone missing lately.  Normally, I would not complain about the sun being out, but as I was wearing bike pants, not shorts, and many layers that I hadn't shed, I was roasting.  Super hot and climbing do not mix.  By the time we reached the top of a terrible hill somewhere out in lala land, I was ready to pass out.  I shed layers and threw them into the SAG car and ate some food and drank a ton of water.  I really wasn't liking the direction this day was going. 
We finally got into Newberg and I dreaded the climb I knew about.  Best to get it done, though, so off I went.  We were going over Chehalem Mtn, which is about a 3-mile climb up 1000' elevation gain.  Honestly, this climb was not bad at all.  I won't say it was a piece of cake, but it wasn't at all what I expected.  I kept my cadence up and before I knew it, I was 2-miles into it.  Over the next half mile, I started feeling a bit of lag, though.  It wasn't my energy, it was my tire...flat.  But of course!
So, there I am, about 4/10 from the top of this hill and I have to pull off for a flat. Sally, our coach, came up the hill just minutes behind me and pulled off to help.  My tires are newer and have a very thick bead.  These factors equate to making it a bit more difficult to change the tube.  Suffice it to say, we were getting a bit irritated with the tire.  Alas, we finally got it taken care of and I tackled the rest of the hill.
At the top, I noticed the time and started to get very worried.  This was prom day.  My daughter's first prom, at that.  We needed to get shoes to go with her dress still and she was due at a friend's house to get ready in just a few hours.  As we enjoyed flying down the other side of Chehalem Mtn, I began calculating how much further we had to go, how long it would take us, how long it would take to get home and showered, and so on.  Result: It wasn't going to work. 
Another ten miles and I knew I needed to go.  We were just over 50 miles through the ride and I knew if I did the last 15, I would be extremely late getting back, so when I saw the SAG pulled off up ahead, I finally called it quits.  53-miles. Sorry ride, but prom shoes have to come first.
By the time we wound through the suburbs and found our way back to Lake Oswego, another 30 minutes had passed.  I was super late.  To top it off, as I looked around the lot after unloading my bike from SAG, I didn't see my car...oh, that's right - LAKE RUN...my car was a mile or so away.  Back on the bike and off I went.  Thank you, SAG, my daughter's prom just wouldn't have been the same if she had to wear sneakers.

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