Sunday, May 24, 2009

Scaponia Loop....

Yesterday was an Epic day of a ride for those that were not racing the Rehearsal Road Race up in Rainer, OR.

Scaponia is a combination of Scapoose and Vernonia which were both towns we rode through yesterday. The ride started in our normal location "Longbottoms Coffee" in Hillsboro, but due to the length of the ride we started an hour early at 8am sharp. Yesterday's ride was to be an endurance paced ride, but as usual we turn it up from time to time =)

The first part of the ride is one of our goes from Hillsboro to HWY 6...up HWY 6 to the Timber Road turn off where we ride up to Timber. The climb up to Timber is always a good, but short "Race" since it's only a couple hundred feet of steep climbing (though a steady climb for several miles before the steep part). It's on this climb that I set my 5 minute power record (435 watt average). Yesterday, given the length of the ride I kept things in check a little holding a 417 watt average up the climb. After cresting the climb you drop down into the very small town of Timber and work your way to HWY 26.

We re-grouped there since we had 22 people that had come out for this ride instead of the normal club ride, or racing. From here we crossed HWY 26 and rode to the town of Vernonia, a nice small town about 40 miles outside of Portland. Vernonia has had some tough times with flooding over the past couple of years, but the town is picturesque small town Oregon. We stopped here to re-fuel with water and food for those that needed it.

From here we headed north on HWY 47 to the Scapoose turnoff. After the turnoff the road took a steady but shallow climb on some very "Pot Hole" ridden roads. The pace started to pick up here as we were keeping speeds in the low 20's up a steady climb. Then we hit the steep part and the pack separated quickly. By the top of the climb there were 4 of us together on a "Break Away" if you can call it that...but three of us are on the CAT 3 TTT team and it was downhill or flat from here to Scapoose so we laid on the heat. There was some really twisty parts to the road, which I just love to bomb down...once we came off the downhill we had 6-7 miles of fairly flat to slightly downhill roads where we had a good rotating pace line and held an average speed of 29-30 mph until we came to HWY 30 and shut it down.

We ended up about 3-4 minutes ahead of the next group to come in, which overall the group of 22 (down to 17 (?) by the time we left Vernonia) spatted into 4 different groups up the climb.

In Scapoose we stopped at another small store/gas station to fill up on water and food before heading out again.

After leaving Scapoose we made a right hand turn up Rocky Point Rd. which is a tough climb...3.19 miles, 1264 feet of elevation gain, 7.48% average grade with a short section of 14.2% grade right in the middle of the climb. Usually this is a hard climb....but after 80 miles and some hard riding was a very hard climb =) I decided since I had been going fairly hard and had done a lot of pulling during the day I'd take it fairly easy on the climb and dropped it into my 39x26 for most of the climb. Overall, it took me just over 22 minutes to get up the climb with an average watt output of 326 watts, which is basically a high tempo or low threshold climb for me. I still felt pretty good overall and knowing it was pretty much all downhill from here...I was ready to go.

From here we went down Skyline to Moreland Rd. then down to Mason Hill, Jackson school and back to Longbottoms Coffee.

For the day I had 95.67 miles with 5300 feet or so of climbing at an average speed of 19.36 mph. This was the longest ride of the year for me and the first ride where my daily TSS Score was above 300 (303.6).

The ride was a beautiful route and aside from one section of really crappy roads...had some great roads to ride on. The weather was gorgeous with a high of 74 degrees, clear skies and low wind...just can't beat weather like that.

It was definitely one of the best rides I've ever done and hopefully we will do this one again this year...maybe reverse the direction. It was just to "Epic" of a ride not to :D

This was the 3rd week in a row I've had over 17 hours and 320+ miles of riding during the week. I've started taking Monday's off due to sore legs on Monday's which has helped out a lot.

This week will be a taper week...Hard (but shorter distances) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday then just an hour on Friday and Saturday since the State Championship Team Time Trials are on Sunday. Hopefully the legs are fresh and ready to go for Sunday since I really want to bring home another TTT championship for Portland Velo. Love the TTT race and can't wait for Sunday.

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