Oregon Randonneurs puts on some really great rides. They don’t always guarantee the best weather but the routes are almost always spectacular. Yesterday I had both a great ride and wonderful weather!  The Ride with GPS route is here.

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Gallon House bridge across Abiqua Creek

 

The ride started in Wilsonville Oregon and headed south into the Willamette River Valley following a big lazy clockwise loop around the valley. I keep a rando bike in Portland, my Surly Pacer which is ready to go when I am in town for an event. It is not a bike that I brag much about but it is comfortable and reliable, two qualities which are very important for this kind of riding.

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Shimanek Bridge over Thomas Creek.

Winds were light and favorable for our outbound leg with morning temps in the mid 50’s. There were only a half a dozen riders doing this 200k route but there was a concurrent 400k event going on as well. That ride had well over 30 riders which departed two hours earlier that morning.

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Hoffman Bridge over Crabtree Creek.

We went well south of Salem along the foothills and farms on the east side of the valley before turning back to the north. Gilkey Bridge (built in 1939) was our farthest south of the bridges we would visit that day.

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Gilkey bridge over Thomas Creek.

On our return leg through Salem we passed directly in front of the State Capitol. It seemed oddly quiet to me there but I guess that on such a beautiful day with temps reaching the upper 80’s, people must have been out and about and not stuck working.

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Oregon State Capitol building in Salem.

North of Salem you are quickly back into farming country again. The fields of red clover were brilliant and alive with bees. I kept running into them and had to shake them out of my helmet! On a positive note the winds had shifted and I was able to enjoy a gentle tail wind all the way home. A very nice way to finish a ride!

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Red clover fields in the Willamette River Valley.

I appeared to be the first rider in but only because all of the faster riders were probably doing the 400k. I finished the 130 mile route (my computer) in 9 hours and 55 min and it was 87 degrees when I got back to my car. I’ll give all the credit to the OR Randos, not only for the wonderful route but also for the spectacular weather! To be fair I have also blamed them for those days that were not so nice.

 

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