WARNING: This post is mostly for my own record keeping. Feel free to read, but don’t say I didn’t warn you that it was boring.
Unfortunately, my first randonee was sort of unsuccessful. I was admittedly under prepared, and suffered because of it. We were out the door on Saturday at 545, and arrived at Forest Grove around 630. I managed to forget my stupid hip pouch, where I was planning on storing a number of things. I had to shove everything into my jersey and raincoat pockets. I was wearing bike tights with jeans over them, and planned to take the jeans off before I began, but it was fucking cold before we started and I didn’t want to. I decided if they got too wet, I would just throw them out (they were like $14 at F21).
The ride began at a decent pace, I followed the pack out of town, but decided to ride solo. My unpreparedness reared its ugly head from the very beginning. I had minimal gear, because I had nowhere to put anything. I was riding my race bike because it was in good working order, but it has no rack mounts. First things to feel discomfort were my fingers. I was wearing fingerless bike gloves. After about 4 miles, my whole body warmed up and it wasn’t a problem anymore. But then it started raining relentlessly, and it was about 47 degrees. About 7 miles into the ride I couldn’t feel the majority of my toes because they were cold and wet. I pushed on through, hoping the temperature would warm up and the rain would back off. I know I can deal with cold/wet toes and fingers. The dealbreaker was at about 15 miles in, I realized that my rain jacket wasn’t actually waterproof anymore (I’ve had it for about 4 years). I was totally soaked INSIDE of my jacket. I knew at that point I had to turn back. SO DISAPPOINTING!!!! Other than the gear issues, I was feeling really great, and totally could have rode all day.
The ride back to the start point was miserable. It took about 50 minutes to get back, and I saw a dead cat in a gutter, which totally sucked. When I got back, I had to make the decision to either bug one of my friends to drive 35 minutes outside of Portland at 9am on a Saturday morning, or suck it up and ride 10 miles to the next town and catch a train back to Portland. I decided against being a pain in the ass, and opted for the train. The whole ride to the train, I kept looking for places to buy socks, because my feet were so cold and wet I thought I might lose a toe to frostbite. I saw a laundromat at one point, and seriously considered taking off most of my clothes and throwing them in a dryer for a half hour. I just kept truckin though.
I finally got to the train, and luckily I didn’t have to wait long. Unfortunatly, this particular stop is the most western stop of Portland’s light rail system, so it takes about an hour and a half to get to downtown Portland from there. Sitting still for 90 minutes while soaked to the bone on a train that is maaaaybe 50 degrees fucking SUCKED. I shivered uncontrollably the entire ride. When we finally got into Portland, I had to catch a bus north (ok, I could have rode my bike, but at that point I was totally over it). Waiting for the bus was the worst part. I only had to wait about 7 minutes, but at that point, my body temperature was at least a degree or two lower than what is normal.
When I got home, I shed all my wet disgusting clothes and had the most wonderful hot shower EVER! Then I made some lunch (I didn’t end up eating any of the snacks I mentioned in my earlier post because I only ended up riding about 37 miles). Then, I got under my covers in bed and only then, finally, felt warm again. I proceeded to watch 4 hours worth of X-files episodes.
OH. I must add that my roommate Joel DID finish his ride. Impressively, as it was his first long distance ride in 3 years. He is a longtime bike messenger and has rode over 175,000 miles in his life, so at that point I guess it’s all muscle memory and attitude.