Great training ride today! I was treated to a hillfest with Chris and Mark. Chris' stock training ride - which I last did to prep for Ring of Fire last fall - is a 1:10 scale RAO - 50 miles, 5000' of climbing. It was a good measure of progress for me - my low speed handling is definitely less panic-driven, and my climbing speed *might* be a little faster, especially on shallower grades.
We got most of the climbing out of the way in the first 30 miles or so, parting ways with Mark at the Helvetia Tavern - so that he could head off to the Portland Velo club ride(!). Mark is training for 2-man RAO and appears to be well on his way to a repeat performance. I was a little surprised to find that Chris had never been further west, so we decided to strike out for - get this - Kansas City. Yes! There's a Kansas City in Oregon.
So off we go - Team Pink - two recumbents on a mission to ride from Portland to Kansas City -and back - in a day. Along the way I showed Chris a few roads that are great fun - Pumpkin Ridge, Dairy Creek...We made a quick, but respectful, stop at the cemetery in Roy.
We rolled through Kansas City. I think. It's one of those places where you can't blink. And sometimes even if you don't, you're not quite sure...was that...it?
Rolling along toward Forest Grove, we decided to make a stop for refueling. Since I'd bragged on my corndog eating abilities last week, Chris was expecting great things. At first, I was thinking that we'd hit Maggie's Buns - probably not a corndog to be had, but still quite a nice place, with brownies that absolutely can't be beat....but I missed the turn. And we had this really nice tailwind, and I really didn't want to turn around, and...a Plaid Pantry was just around the corner. Saved! Surely they would have corndogs!
But - no. It was a dry hole. Not a corn dog to be had. Sadly, we started back toward our bikes. That's when we noticed Can Am Coffee - a small trailer-restaurant in the corner of the parking lot, nearly swallowed by an immense cedar. And - in smallish print, near the bottom of the menu - HOT DOGS. We're stoked!
Wayne, the proprietor, is stoked, too, especially when he sees my Race Across Oregon Finisher jersey (which, ironically, I had forgotten I was wearing). "Hey - I was just talking about Race Across Oregon this morning...and Race Across America, too!" OK, I thought, THIS is really strange...but Wayne goes on to say that Mike Olson had come over for coffee - so it makes perfect sense. I let slip that Mike had this crazy friend who's doing Race Across America, solo...Here's a photo of Wayne in his native environment:
And - the hot dogs were amazing. We went big - sprung for the Polish dogs, with (almost) everything. I skipped on the mayo, Chris on the kraut (but he got it anyway, and a good thing, too - we all need to eat our veggies!). Fully loaded with freshly minced onion, relish, Tillamook cheese, mustard, catsup, jalapenos (you KNEW I'd have the jalapenos this time!) and the requisite kraut, the dog was easily a 3/4 pound EXPERIENCE, heaped up on top with ingredients, and excess dog peeking out both ends of the bun. The cafe Americano was also above par, and Wayne was the consummate host - table service out to the picnic table under the cedar. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
As we sat down, I (finally) realized that the reason Mike Olson had been over for coffee was that.. Olsons' Bicycles was literally right across the street! I'm embarrassed to say that I'd never been in. So of course we had to stop in and say hi. It was great to see Mike, catch up a bit.
After that, a tailwind ride home, only slightly marred by traffic through the Hillsboro/Beaverton corridor. One road-rager, more amusing than menacing. We beat the rain home, and lived to ride again tomorrow.