Thursday, June 9, 2011

Three Rivers Tour

Oh wow, today was a day of polar opposites! I started it out at 2pm (seriously!) because at around 3 in the morning I woke up feeling feverish. Sweaty and freezing cold, monster headache and every part of me was achy, even my skin! Cathy hadn’t been feeling well the day before and heard at work that something was going around. I got up and drank a big glass of water and took some Advil PM in hopes of getting rid of the headache. Well that PM packed a punch! I felt better when I emerged from my mountain of pillows and blankets.

I took it easy for the day, knowing that I wanted to still be able to make the 28 mile GEARs (Greater Eugene Area Riders) ride that evening.

This'll get you to their website..

My (what turned out to be absolutely genius) idea was to cook up a big batch of millet mixed with coconut milk and some of my yummies from Eugene Local Food: kale, shitakes and carrots. I refrigerated it so that when I came back from the ride I’d have dinner ready and waiting.

Genius. I got home and only just barely had the strength to put some in a bowl and nook it in the microwave.

Despite being totally pooped, I feel elated after what turned out to be a fantastic ride!!

The meet up point was 6pm at Alton Baker Park (across the Willamette River, pronounced “Will-AM-it”) and the turnout was good, about 20 riders. The makeup was mostly age 40-ish (I’m guessing) and up, and only 4 females including my roommate Cathy, who road straight over from work, and me. There was a pair of undergrads from the U of O, a couple. The girl, Rachel, surmised that the lack of students was due to this being finals week, “everyone is either studying or out drinking”.

We rode out via the north bank of the Willamette river trail and made our way through a residential maze before getting out onto more country roads with farm fields and rolling mountain views. The majority of the ride was flat save for one uphill that showed me that I have some training to do before I feel confident that I can maintain some dignity on some of the more hilly rides! 

Here's the route. I called it the Three Rivers Tour.

We kept our speed up the entire loop so even during the flat areas I felt like I was getting a good workout. Gary, the ride leader, stays at the back of the group ensuring that no rider be left behind. We talked for awhile along the way and he told me how he’s been here for three years and the man was just raving about how much he loved it. His enthusiasm, three rainy winters in, was definitely great to witness. He ensured me that I’d certainly be able to stay on my bike through the winter (I don’t want to use my car at all if I can help it, save for my out-of-Eugene excursions) he, along with everyone else, just says I need to be sure to have the right gear which is a synonym for good rain gear.

I also got to talking with Ruthy, a retired U of O professor who taught linguistics. Everyone was so friendly and wildly pro-Eugene. She had moved here 13 years ago from Pennsylvania and “never looked back!”.

The end of the ride took us through Springfield which is just east of Eugene. We hooked back up with the river trail around 8pm and said our goodbyes as pairs and individuals peeled off to head to their various home destinations. Cathy and I crossed the Frohnmayer Bike Bridge to Agate Street towards home. We stopped into her office building so she could pick up her belongings because she biked to work.

We groaned our way up the final hill to her house and peeled ourselves off our bikes. Exhausted and satisfied, we gulped down dinner (Mmmillet! I’ll say it once more: Genius) and crawled off to our respective rooms.

I have to say, I feel pretty great now! I am glad I started with this ride, though, instead of one of the 40 milers that are coming up this weekend. This way I was able to get an idea of the pace of group rides and where I fall in the ranks. I’m definitely going to have to work up to the higher mileages, particularly since they tend to get further out into the hilly areas. Being on my bike every day like I have been, hopefully I’ll get there sooner rather than later!

Gorgeous day, by the way, the evening light was so lovely. I managed not to ever ride off the road (as I’ve been known to..) while taking in the scenery!

Oh how the bed is calling…goodnight!

1 comment:

  1. So glad you're hooking up with biking people and frisbee people and yummy veggies, etc. Sounds like you belong there! Love you and miss you.
    yr mom


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