I-205 Bike Path

40

Sunday was going to be the first 40 mile bike ride of the season for me. Michael had done it many times in the last few months since he’s out of work right now. I’ve been relying on my commutes to work to get my mileage up. But it was time. Now or never. The event is a month away.

Looking at last year, our first 40 mile ride took us 4 hours (different route) and then our first attempt at this 40 mile loop took us 3:44. How would this year go?

We started the morning off with watching Tour de France and eating breakfast. 1.5 scrambled eggs, 1 turkey sausage link, black beans, unsweetened iced tea and strawberries. We were about to get going when Michael discovered he had a flat tire. At least it happened in the house and not 20 miles from the house.

Our start was delayed and we didn’t actually get on the bikes until after 11:30. And the temperatures were rising steadily. I slathered on the sunscreen and I also wore my new cycling jersey. I bought it for $30 (regularly $80!) and it fits great. For snacks I brought dried apricots and GUs (which I never ate), water and a water mixed with energy powder.

Michael and I set out on the I-205 bike path north which is essentially an uphill climb for about 15 miles. It really is uphill almost the entire time. Sometimes it’s a gradual grade, sometimes it’s a steep climb. I was actually feeling okay on the hills! I think riding to work has gotten me better at it.

There wasn’t really much to see or report on the 205 path. We connected with Marine Drive and were then biking the next few miles into a wall of wind. At least the wind felt nice on the hot, hot day.

We rode along the water and then eventually stopped to help a guy out who had a flat. He borrowed my bike pump and then was on his way.

I got two compliments on my new cycling jersey–the first from the guy with the flat and the second from another cyclist who came up along side me and said “I love your jersey!” Too funny! I thought for sure I’d get compliments from women, not guys.

We left the trail and picked up the bike lanes through North Portland, taking Dekum to Vancouver. We stopped briefly at a convenience store, resting in the shade. Michael got himself a Pepsi and I got a Gatorade. I drank half and put the rest in my empty water bottle. I also had a snack of dried apricots before we pushed on.

Dekum did not have bike lanes but there wasn’t much traffic there. Vancouver has super wide bike lanes and I love it! At this point of the day it was very, very hot, almost 90 degrees. I was starting to really feel the heat. The heat makes me feel slow on the bike and there wasn’t much of a breeze to cool me off.

We rode by the Rose Garden and then picked up the Esplanade downtown. The rest of the ride was basically my commute home. The Springwater Trail was very crowded because it was so nice out.

The first 25 miles felt fantastic! My body was good, I felt light on the bike, my legs felt strong, my back was comfortable–no complaints at all. The next 5 miles were slightly uncomfortable. My lower back was getting fatigued. The last 10 or so miles were brutal: I was tired, I was thirsty and what I brought was not helping and it was disappearing quickly, my neck hurt, my back hurt, my FEET hurt (next time wear thicker socks for padding) and I was just ready to be off the bike.

Stats:
Time: 3:16
Calories Burned: 1753
Mileage: 36.6 miles (almost 40, not sure where you shaved off 3 miles)

Michael and I shared a recovery protein drink and I happily showered the grit, sweat, sunscreen and bike grease off my body! We went to Little Big Burger in SE Portland to grab one of their small burgers as a lunch/dinner. I like that place because the burgers are the size of sliders and they are oh so good! We split an order of truffle fries.

Even though I burned over 1700 calories, I oddly wasn’t that hungry. I blame the heat. It was a good first long ride but it did make me doubt whether or not I’ll be ready to do 100 miles in a month’s time….

In good news: the next day I felt completely normal. My recovery is awesome! That is really good news!

Finally, check out this great post by Suzanne on three success stories!

QUESTION: What’s a summer fitness goal you’re working towards accomplishing? How is it going?

An Uncertain 40 Miles

Saturday we planned on going for a long bike ride but I was uncertain how my body would hold up after the painful hike the day before. The good news: I could walk around the house without pain or discomfort. I was worried about my knees. I slept in and was SUPER lazy all day. We watched the rest of the Californication, had leftover pizza for lunch and then finally left the house around 1:30 or so.

I had no idea if I could ride at all but I wanted to try. We rode from the house to the trail and headed to downtown. Michael wanted to do 40 so his total for the week would be 75. We biked down to OMSI and took a quick break for GUs.


After the quick snack, we continued on the Esplanade to North Portland. I was feeling good so far. No knee pain.

We took the bike lane by the Rose Garden to N. Williams because it has a wide, safe bike lane.

Last time we did this route we ended up on a horrible street that had no bike lane. It was terrifying and we almost got hit by a car (scary!!). This time we found a route that was much safer!

The bike lanes in North Portland are really nice and the scenery is pretty cool. Lots of buildings had beautiful graffiti art on them. There were some other cyclists going the same way as we were going and we asked if they knew a safer route than that scary street that had no bike lane. They gave suggestions and they turned out great.

We left the Vancouver street with the bike lanes. We followed the signs and ended up on MLK. It was scary but short and we were quickly on Marine Drive.

We rode passed Salty’s to the Marine Drive trail. We stopped for another GU break and continued on.

So far I was feeling good. No issues! We were about halfway there–20 miles done.


For once the wind on Marine Drive was at my back. It was a quick and easy stretch. I enjoyed the water and watching the people on boats. It seemed like a nice way to spend a sunny summer day.


We left Marine Drive for the I-205 Bike Path. I had a huge hill in store for me and I was not looking forward to it. The hill is a long steady climb that doesn’t seem to end. It’s definitely a challenge–I usually see people on bikes walking up that hill (well, people on mountain bikes or cruisers).

We stopped at a small park on the trail to rest, eat another Gu and drink some water before facing The Big Hill. It was a nice break.


We got back on the bikes. It was time to face it. Michael took off and I grinded up the hill. I wish I could accurately capture the size of this hill but pictures just don’t do it just. And honestly, when I’m at the base of the hill I’m counting on momentum to get me part of the way up so I don’t stop to take photos.


I took the hill slow and steady but SURPRISE! The hill was not as bad as it has been in the past! I just hunkered down and made it up that hill. It wasn’t bad. I was so happy and surprised that I made it up the hill. Going into it I’d wondered if it would be the first time I’d have to WALK up that hill…


I got to the top of the hill where Michael was waiting for me at the light and I asked, “That was the killer hill right? I’m not mistaking it for a different one right?” He said no, that was the killer hill and I happily made it! Woo hoo! The rest of the ride was smooth sailings–mostly downhill. Instead of continuing on the I-205 trail we veered back to the Springwater home. It was good to be home!

 

Ride Stats:

Times: 3:31
Calories Burned: 1464
Distance: 38.25 miles 


Michael and I split a GenUCan Recovery shake as soon as we got home. It was a good snack to tide us over before dinner. Since we’ve been so busy the last few weeks we had no food in the house! Grocery shopping was a must (not exactly what you want to do after biking almost 40 miles).

For dinner Michael made us grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. I steamed some fresh green beans as my side.


By almost 7:30pm we finally were able to sit down and eat dinner, watch some TV and relax!


And enjoy a little dessert. 🙂 Total miles for last week (in two rides): 56.36.

QUESTION: When you’re sore and tired, do you take a day off or do continue with the planned activities?