Thursday, March 20, 2008
600km - One Detail Among Many
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I'm organizing the Fall 600km for the Oregon Randonneurs. There are a couple of options - the most 'interesting' of which will put riders through Yakima, WA. So, that and a few other reasons makes it a good excuse for Dave and I to take an easy ride around Yakima (he's not running; but, his team is running in Yakima and he can take a look/cheer) . The above is the plan, except at no time will we be on the interstate. We'll take the bike path (I'll take notes and note distance on the odometer). Should be a good Saturday ride.
And it is! It's an hour+ drive to Yakima, and then we have to drive across town to West Valley HS - the track meet is in progress. We unload the bikes and head out, down a hill towards Summitview Avenue. This is a nice road. Good shoulder and friendly traffic. It's a gradual climb up Summitview and then a quick downhill towards Cowiche. We lose our wide shoulder for a few miles just before Cowiche, but, it's brief. Then we head up again outside Cowiche. And we get a very very fast downhill from Cowiche towards Naches. It's a good, fairly steep downhill with a straight shot part that lets us take our hands off the brake levers for part of it. Good fun. Then into Naches and a traditional Shell mini-mart stop. Fritos and water.
Our next segment is along the Old Naches Hwy. We have to hunt for it - the big clue - it's 2nd Street. We discover this after some minor bonus hillwork. And, the big clue was actually another cyclist heading towards Selah on 2nd street. This is a nice stretch of road. Not much car traffic and so great for bike traffic. A rough surface for the most part. Lots of orchards - each with its own unique design of smoke-heaters. We decide to get creative about our route to Selah - but, manage to get there eventually. We climb a nice ridge and then get a great ripping ride down Crusher Canyon into Selah. We find the bike path, get to Yakima and find and wind our way back to West Valley HS.
The bikes are put up and we go to watch part of the track meet. It's a great, sunny day. The track is scenicly situated so that one can see the surrounding hills. Dave's teammates are running well and having a good meet. Dave's job for the day was to ride easily. His mission accomplished. Mine too - the Old Naches Hwy and associated climb and plunge into Selah is a great stretch for cyclists.