100km populaire
Newburg - Butteville - Mt. Angel - Newburg, 15 Apr 2006

Well, my pictures didnt really come out at all (blasted uncooperative decrepit digital camera...), so its text only this time.

Susan was kind enough to push the start time of this populaire back so that I would be able to attend, being as i was working this Saturday on account of tax day coming up and having a big accountant client. So 8pm it was, which was just fine by me, cause I tend to think that if you're gonna have a nighttime ride, have a nighttime ride! Weather forecasts all week were looking somewhat grim, with rain forecast for the entire weekend, and the day didn't bode so well either, with on and off rain all day in downtown Portland, but somehow that all worked itself out.

It was a small little ride, with I think about 6 of us at the start line, and another group of 3 "pre-riding" the course ahead of us, but a pleasant group. We pretty much broke up into our separate subgroups immediately, and i ended up riding the entire way with Nate and Del (and Marcello until about the first control in Butteville). Night time riding tends to either go faster or slower than daytime riding, as I have mentioned many times before - you lose your visual reference points that normally would tell you how far you've gone, and there's not the visual distractions and places to stop that there are during the day.

We kept up a good clip, hitting the controls at 2040h, 2240h and 0057h (for roughly 15, 50 and 90km) and finished up at around 1325, if i remember correctly. There was light sprinkling going on for a while, but we didn't get anything of note in the precipitation department until on our way from Butteville to Mt. Angel, when the patches of rain I'd been watching on the horizon ended up getting in our way instead of moving around us like it had been looking they like they would, and we got a fair bit of hail dropped on us for a short bit. From then on, it was occassional showers, but nothing more. Terrain was mostly low rollers, nothing too difficult, and the wind fortunately stayed at our back or side for the vast majority of the ride, though there were a few times with pretty decent headwinds. On the way back from Mt. Angel, we say a few flashes of lightning on the horizon, and one of the brightest shooting stars I've seen in a long time, arcing down from the sky in front of us, and turning green as it burnt out. As you may have guessed, by this time, the sky was clearing, at least partially. Approaching the final info control at Riverside & Champoeg Roads, the moon began to rise, and we were fortunate enough to have some clear sky for it to manifest itself into, although rain started to begin again just before things finished up back in Newberg.

For me, it was a great ride - 5h20m for a 100k is perfectly good time as far as I'm concerned, and the company was great - it was the first time I've really ridden a nighttime ride (let alone a whole brevet/populaire) with a group of people (albeit a small one), and it really did keep me going pretty well. Nate and Del (and myself as well) both commented on how little we ate or drank on the ride - which I daresay was due to the conversation nature of our little group! Was great riding with you guys, and look forward to doing it again, most likely next weekend!

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