It was a beautiful day for the Lancette Memorial Ride in Canby, Oregon — cool but sunny in the morning, warming up just enough later in the day (it eventually reached 83 in Portland).
The ride wound through several of Oregon’s small, country towns and hamlets: Canby, Mulino, Liberal, Macksburg, Lone Elder, Barlow, Butteville. Wendy instantly described it as “bucolic.” And wow, yes. Horses, hay bales, corn fields, farmhouses, rural post offices, and a perfect white church with stained glass windows and a steeple (which was our first rest stop). We picked out many houses we wanted to live in. And we could have had so many adventures along the way! We pictured ourselves crashing weddings, joining a family reunion, taking a detour to check out the town of Needy (also known as Hardscrabble), stocking up on millions of peaches, and “borrowing” a boat to float down the Willamette (undoubtedly encountering a mystery along the way). If I had had my Xtracycle bags and racks, we would certainly have indulged at one of the farm stands.
But we stuck to the course, and to our 40-mile goal. My longest ride so far had been 30 miles, and indeed, by the time we got the rest stop at the Historic Butteville Store (at 28 miles, been operating since 1863!), I was tired. Of course, we persevered, fueled by excellent snacks provided by the ride organizers and volunteers and Wendy’s margarita-flavored Shot-Bloks. It took us just under five hours total, including two 10-15 minute rest stops and a few unofficial stops to recover from hills and deal with my watering eyes. I did have to walk part of the way up two hills and all the way up another one, due at least partially to the limitations of my bike (it weighs 40 pounds and only has an 8-speed derailleur). But most of the course was fairly easy to ride.
So what’s next? I still want to work my way up to a full century and then the Seattle to Portland ride (two centuries in two days). But I think, and Wendy agrees, that I’m going to need a different bike for that. I’ve thought of getting my Radish re-geared (which might not be a bad idea anyway), but a lighter bike would be good, too. So unless I decide to sell the Radish, I’m going to have to set myself a savings goal for that. I also need to get ME lighter. I’ve been burning lots of calories, but not losing weight because I’ve also been eating a lot to fuel myself for those long rides. Weight loss and distance riding don’t really mix (at least for me), because I can’t ride without the fuel. So over the fall and winter, I need to work on weight loss, aerobic capacity and muscle strength rather than distance. It’s rather less exciting, but it needs to be done.
If you are an Oregonian, I can definitely recommend the Lancette as a ride. It was well-planned and well-supported. I can’t speak for the longer routes, but the 40-mile was a great route with plenty to see and not too many hills. You could even do the 40-mile route on your own if you wanted to — there are stores conveniently located in Mulino, Lone Elder and Butteville for rest stops. You can view the route map and cue sheet here.