So how does a 46 mile ride turn into a 61 mile ride? As easy as missing a turn and being willing to explore a bit.
My friend David and I decided to do a longish ride (for us) without hills. I had mapped out a proposed 46 mile loop, up the valley and back. We had been thinking it would be good to push the distance a bit and 46 miles seemed to be just about right. But missing a turn and going further north, then deciding a slight excursion west, then realizing the choice between very steep hill or a lesser hill but on gravel were the options… we chose the gravel:
So we ended up, though after starting a little later than we wanted, riding a bit more in the heat of the day, being chased by dogs more than once, as well as adding an extra 15 miles to our “tour”, with a great ride. I was dead afterwords; dehydrated (ran out of water), feet cramping, exhausted. But what a great ride! It’s the longest ride I’ve done in almost a year, and now we are talking about doing more, and longer.
That part west of highway 99W over to Alpine was not in our original plans, but that’s when the ride actually became interesting.
This past weekend we attempted to ride the Harvest Century (100 mile bike ride) which started in Hillsboro, Oregon. I say attempted because we only made it to mile 81. Three flat tires, one damaged tire, a late start, and too many hills finally wore us out. But it was a glorious day.
Both of us were surprised by how many folks rode. We estimate somewhere between 1500 and 2000 riders. We were also pleased by how well it was organized and run. We have ridden other centuries in years past, but never one this big or well run.
One of our problems was lack of training. We just didn’t put in enough miles prior to the ride. On the other hand, the entire thing turned out to be a fun adventure, and the day itself was beautiful, perfect weather.
I find nothing better than riding bikes with my wife. If I had ridden this by myself it still would have been okay, but not nearly as much fun. Someday maybe we will get a tandem.