Where has the week gone? It's already Wednesday! No really, I'm okay with it.
And now for the story of the ride. Saturday morning we fueled with berry pancakes and eggs, perfect for any long ride. We finally got out of the house bike gear and all, headed for the grocery store to grab a coffee, bananas and Clif Bars. I had already packed almond butter and jelly bagels for our lunch and plenty of water.
After an hour drive to the coast, we started gearing up around 11am. We parked right by the public dock in a little town called Mapleton, about 14 miles west of the coast. The ride had us take a little road just across the river that would loop us to the coast and a town called Florence and then journey on for a second half along the Siuslaw River and old homesteads that would finally dump us back at Mapleton 60-70 miles later.
The bike map showed two decent climbing sections. By 11:25 we were off. The moral of the story here: always leave earlier than you want to. Around mile 10 we hit the climbing section and shortly after we were met with a fork in the road in which we took one road and probably should have taken the other. For the next five miles we were climbing and I was taking full advantage of my "granny gear" as manfriend calls it.
Shortly after that, we hit GRAVEL. SIX MILES OF GRAVEL. If you're not accustomed to the ways of a road bike, let's just say gravel and the smooth skinny tires of a road bike do not mix. Nor do glass, sharp rocks or bits of plastic, etc. Luckily, we didn't encounter that, but the gravel, oh lord.
For a while it was downhill, which meant I had one foot in the pedal and one foot hanging low just waiting to catch myself if the bike decided to fly out from under me. Finally, the hills showed up again, for which I was happy because I didn't have to be slamming the breaks and going 4 mph. When we hit pavement, it was a glorious day people.
It's hard to see, but one foot is standing on the gravel portion and the other is on pavement.
Around 3pm we finally stopped for lunch, having only finished about 25 miles of the ride.
Manfriend looking a little Euro...(this is his jersey I bought in Paris last May, fyi)
We had lunch next to a pasture of cows and a little stream.
From here, we ventured on a road once traveled. You may remember when manfriend and I took a little coastal vacation back in January and took a wrong turn on our bike ride. Well, this was the very same loop we had tried to attempt then.
We made it into Florence as the sprinkles began and stopped for lunch #2 around 4. Why lunch #2? Because we had another 30 miles and climbing left on our loop and you gotta get fuel when it's there! We scarfed down sandwiches at Subway and chatted with a man who asked us if we were going to ride the Tour de France-ha!
Manfriend suggested we head over to the bike shop he spied across the street to get leg warmers and possibly jackets. As they were ringing up our gear, manfriend told them our plan and they highly suggested not going that way. They talked about steep climbs, more gravel and steep decents in the gravel portions. Being that it was 4pm and raining, we opted to take the 14 mile flat route straight back to Mapleton.
I stuck on the manfriend's wheel (aka ride right behind the person in front of you and utilize their draft) and we chugged along at 19-20 mph for the next 14 miles. It felt good, but tough for these legs, especially after my 12 mile run the day before. After getting out of bike clothes, we promptly saddled up to the bar at a local establishment and had one of their finest light beers.
While the loop was not completed, we still felt good about all that climbing and an adventurous day of riding. Manfriend may just have to come back with his teammates to conquer that loop.
gravel portions not mentioned on map-6 mi
granny gear used-6-8 times
time taken-6 hrs