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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Top of Parrett Mountain, Oregon
    Posts
    453

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    Saturday's ride was pretty wet, a lot of rain yesterday. The two routes were two of the preview routes for the Event Rides on July 28. The shorter route of 26 miles is over gently rolling terrain; the longer route of 43 miles has two category 5 climbs with some steep grades over 10%. If a cyclist can bike the 43 miles, then they can bike the metric on July 28, and perhaps the full century.

    We were not expecting too many cyclists to show up because of the heavy rain, but there were about 20 of us. I was the Ride Leader for the short route, the first time I rode this route, and I could tell through the rain that it is a scenic route. We didn't have enough volunteers for the shorter route to have a sweep too, so I let the faster cyclists go ahead, and I did regroups with the cyclists in the rear, just to make sure no one made a wrong turn and got lost; a regroup is basically making sure the cyclists knew how to read the cue sheet, told them where and when to turn because they really don't read the cue sheet, and at which turn I would wait for them; waiting was about 5-10 minutes each time. It was about 48 to 50 degrees on the bike for most of the ride, so wet and cold.

    We put the rest of the volunteers into the hilly longer route as some cyclists were attempting category climbs for the first time and more assistance was needed in the middle and rear. There were two vehicles for SAG, food and water and picking up cyclists who had mechanical failures, plus a volunteer on a motorcyle to assist with the turns.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Top of Parrett Mountain, Oregon
    Posts
    453
    It was a really good ride on Saturday. Rain and thunder showers were in the forecast, however it didn't start to rain until I had completed the 40-mile route. There were 30-40 cyclists over two routes, 40 miles and 18 miles. I was the Ride Volunteer who mapped these two routes, and I chose undulating terrain, which the elite cyclists think of as flat since there are no category climbs. However undulating terrain is real fun to ride, the roads promise speed and one can get a real good cardio workout. I was a Ride Assist in the back stopping at the critical turns so that the cyclists in the rear didn't get lost or feel forgotten, so didn't get to partake of the speed; the front group on the 40 miles finished with a 16.7 mph average and the middle group finished with a 15.7 mph average.

    The next ride is a repeat, where the group members do all climbing up the Old Columbia River Historic Hwy. I believe it is a category 5 and a category 4 climb just to get to the first possible turnaround point. Some cyclists will continue up Larch Mountain to the top, which is steep climbing ending with a category one climb. I prefer to ride to the Women's Forum, enjoy the view, then ride the long descent back to the state park, though this year I might bike up Larch Mt at least a little ways, until the grade starts going over 10%, then turn around.

    We are seeing people turn up for the group rides who are finally getting on a bike to try to reverse or correct health issues. I talked with one nice lady pre-ride who is struggling with bad knees. She rides a step-through comfort bike and does the short routes. She told me that riding the bike has strengthened the muscles, tendons and ligaments around her knees with the result that she is now able to walk better and longer, without as much pain as she used to experience. I love hearing these stories, to confirm that it isn't just about raising money for the American Diabetes Association, but that we are actually helping people at all levels of fitness and on all types of bikes.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Top of Parrett Mountain, Oregon
    Posts
    453
    It is hard to believe that Event Day is almost here. The training season passed quickly and there are only two official training rides left. On July 14 there are two routes going out of Canby to bike the rollers of the farmland where the hops are grown; the longer route is 45 miles and the shorter route is 19 miles. On July 21 the training group bikes two routes out of Willamette Mission State Park and over the Wheatland Ferry to the Amity side of the Willamette River; the longer route of 37 miles entails several category climbs, whereas the shorter route of 24 miles bikes out to Grand Island, makes the loop and bikes back and the terrain is mostly flat to only mildly undulating.

    Then it will be Event Day on July 28 and we can only hope that the registered cyclists trained hard for the route they will be riding.

    After Event Day the training group members will continue to participate in group rides as individuals step forward to create and lead group rides, or to suggest other event rides. Members of the training group bonded as the season progressed, friendships were formed, and best of all, the training group did not get dominated by the elite power cyclists at the top, which happens too often to other bike groups. The volunteers worked hard to integrate new cyclists into the group who were just beginning on a bike, made the new cyclists feel comfortable with their skill and fitness levels and with delight we saw beginners transformed into distance cyclists.

    My favorite success story of the season is one female cyclist, in her late 50s, she has MS and is legally blind in one eye, started the season biking less then 10 miles in distance with an average speed of less than 10 mph, and she now bikes over 40 miles that includes long climbs and with an average speed over 12 mph.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Top of Parrett Mountain, Oregon
    Posts
    453
    The last official training ride for Tour de Cure was on Saturday. The Event Ride is on July 28. Members will continue to create and post rides on the meetup site, which is a great way to continue to bike with others after the Event. However, it is nice to have a SAG vehicle with us, got all of the cyclists spoiled.

    Saturday's two rides were incredible. There were about 35 of us for both routes. We congregated further south in the Willamette Valley at Willamette Mission State Park. Both routes went over the Wheatland Ferry, which is a lot of fun to ride. The shorter 24-mile route turned right at Hopewell and rode Webfoot Road for a few miles, then a right turn to bike the perimeter of Grand Island. It was a push for the cyclists riding cruiser bikes because cruiser bikes are not designed for distance, but quite a few cyclists on cruisers were able to do the ride. Grand Island is a special place, all farmland and one park, orchards of cherries and peaches, fields of raspberry vines, corn and truck farm crops. The longer route of 37 miles went climbing over the Eola Hills twice, for two category climbs, and rode the roads winding through the farmland southwest of the small town of Amity, all exceptionally scenic, and the climbs giving a bit of challenge but not so difficult as to be impossible to bike up.

    Photo one is the shorter route posing for a group photo on Grand Island, including our SAG volunteer. Photo two shows cyclists for both routes walking onto the river ferry.
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