Early signs of spring- or not!

The ride at the office.

Where to ride today was solved by the need to go into work to finish up some data analysis.  I had my mind set on completing a longer ride and conveniently my round-trip distance to work is about 30 miles.  I thought I would add in a yoga class on the journey out but was thwarted by a slightly wrong turn that sent me in the opposite direction.  I opted t0 just continue my ride and save the getting twisty for another day.  I picked my route as I went and ended up along the major arteries that run through Yamhill County. I wanted to see how safe and ride-able these roads were and was pleasantly surprised. Both hwy 99 and 18 were busy with cars zooming by at 55 mph, then 45 mph, and 25 mph and then back up to 55 mph as the road meanders over the open rolling hills and through the towns.  The shoulder was adequate and in places on hwy 18 even generous.

I realized 15 miles into my ride that I had not packed any snacks which is very uncharacteristic since I am all about the food.  Taking the indirect way to work I clocked just over 20 miles, arriving hungry and cold with mild frost bite on my little toe. Luckily I had caramel rice cakes and Nutella hidden in the back of my desk and a tea kettle for hot water to brew my Earl Grey Tea.  The tea kettle also provided a little external heat source which I used to warm up my toes!

Two delicious rice cakes smothered with Nutella and 3 hours later, I shut down the computer and headed home.  I took a more direct route home stopping several times to take in the first signs of spring: brilliant daffodils, cherry trees starting to bloom and fuzzy little Daffodils amoungs the grass stubble.lambs chasing after their mothers.  At about 15 miles, with 3 to go, I was informed by my dropping blood sugar that two rice cakes and Nutella do not provide nearly enough calories for an 18 mile ride in the freezing rain.  Grumpy hungry and shaking I pulled into the driveway of the Laurel Ridge winery and considered my options: 1. Call mom to come get me and have a glass of wine while I wait or 2. Eat the handful of stale rice crackers I stuffed in my handlebar bag before I left my office, suck it up and ride home.  Well, mom wasn’t home so option two it was.  The last three miles were brutal with hail being hurdled into my face by the direct headwind, no shoulders on hwy 240 with cars and logging trucks zooming by at 55+ mph and the final mile a 550 ft hill climb.  Success was celebrated with an hour in the Jacuzzi followed by Irish stew, soda bread and beer. It was all worth it!

I am pleased with my 38.3 mile adventure and am feeling ready for our first shake down tour next weekend.

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