Here I am back in Oregon for another event, this time the Kings Valley 400 km brevet. The weather forecast was near perfect with a predicted 80 degrees inland and 60′s on the coast. The route looked like a nice loop on quite, low traffic roads with only moderate climbing. This would not all prove to be true!
22 riders started the ride at 4am in Wilsonville Oregon. There was also an NPR reporter interviewing many of the riders. Perhaps they will do a piece on randonneuring at some point. We rode in several smaller groups for the first 37 miles where, in the small town of Amity I pulled in to use the facilities. After that stop I would ride alone for much of the rest of the day!
The routing of this event took us on quite rural roads and away from many services. As a result there was the potential for some longer stretches without support than I prefer. To make sure that I would be well supplied I took more food with me than usual. My bags were packed for this ride. My Surly Pacer is a great workhorse.
A few miles south of Lincoln City we turned back inland up the Siletz River Highway. This is one of the nicest roads I have ridden on in the region. Near zero traffic, incredibly scenic and with a gentle grade made this section the highlight of the day! That all ended in the town of Siletz where I missed a turn. I did not realize my mistake for 7.5 miles and by the time I was back on course I had accumulated 15 bonus miles. Bummer!
After my big mistake of the day I got my big surprise of the day. There were going to be a couple of miles of dirt road on the course! I guess I missed that in the fine print. The pavement ended at the head of the valley and turned to dirt for a climb over and descent down the other side. It wasn’t too steep, about 8 or 9%, but in parts was pretty loose gravel. Even with my 28c tires it was a little sketchy but I made it safely through.
The next section of the ride was through endless rollers. Every small summit led to another without end. This section was pretty but was also very tiring. After the bonus miles earlier, I enjoyed it less that I might have. On the plus side there were light but generally favorable tailwinds which I did enjoy.
Late in the ride, at the Monmouth Control I caught up with another rider, Bill Allsup. Together we enjoyed the hospitality of Burgerville and provided some amusement for the other patrons. From here on in the course was flat and it was just a matter of navigating our way home. Bill and I seperated on this final run in. I finally pulled in after 2 am with a finishing time of 22 hours 45 minutes. Certainly not my best 400k time but still a good day on the bike!
Here is a link to the route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/199374162