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The Last Winter Tour of the Willamette Valley

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The Last Winter Tour of the Willamette Valley

Old 03-05-19, 01:07 PM
  #26  
CliffordK
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Originally Posted by gugie
@CliffordK again came to the rescue and was our harbor pilot the last 15 miles or so to the Eugene train station, taking some shortcuts that we never would have thought of, avoiding traffic, and getting us on the wonderful bike paths of Eugene for the last part of the ride. We almost always regrouped at at strategic points, such as a turn or the top of a hill.
Oh, did you ask for shortcuts?

I'm not sure we really saved that much distance, and I'm sure more than one person questioned my sanity as I led you northbound (for a south ride) around locked gates and on tree strewn roads cutting between snow drifts.

But, it was fun to meet the group.

I was wondering how you were dynamically re-planning the route Monday morning, and came up with printed instructions.

I'm glad you liked my routing suggestions.

Glad the ride worked out. Monday a week before, and you would have had to bring shovels with you to clear a path.
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Old 03-05-19, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
Oh, did you ask for shortcuts?

I'm not sure we really saved that much distance, and I'm sure more than one person questioned my sanity as I led you northbound (for a south ride) around locked gates and on tree strewn roads cutting between snow drifts.

But, it was fun to meet the group.

I was wondering how you were dynamically re-planning the route Monday morning, and came up with printed instructions.

I'm glad you liked my routing suggestions.

Glad the ride worked out. Monday a week before, and you would have had to bring shovels with you to clear a path.
Well, I have no idea if it was shorter, but a couple of those places you sent me through got us to less traffic and onto Eugene's extensive collection of bike paths, which was a great way to end the ride.

Here's a picture I shamelessly stole from the interwebs, clearly from sometime after winter is done - there was some snow on the ground here and there while we rode, but the trails were clear. The Willamette River rushing by near it's winter peak was spectacular.



Much better than this (our original plan):

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Old 03-05-19, 02:15 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by gugie
Oh, you wanted THAT trail???



That is the Ferry Street Bridge with the DeFazio Bridge in the background. We turned off a mile or so before that photo.

I liked the little pizza place we found. Wheel APizza Pub near the train station. But, that reminds me, I think the North Bank Restaurant near where that photo was taken would be a nice place to stop right on the bike path, at least on a warm spring day with the outdoor seating.

I do like the Eugene Bike Path network.

Other than your Riverfront Park, I think Eugene may have begun building the river paths before Portland, and Portland copied the concept.
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Old 03-05-19, 02:31 PM
  #29  
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Well done! Thanks for sharing the travelogue. Glad to hear it was a catastrophe-free and squabble-free adventure.

Btw, I'm planning to be up in the Portland area in late-March/early-April (tentatively arriving late on March 30, leaving early April 3) if any Portlanders want to get together for a ride...

Last edited by gaucho777; 03-05-19 at 10:54 PM. Reason: edited for date correction
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Old 03-05-19, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777
Well done! Thanks for sharing the travelogue. Glad to hear it was a catastrophe-free and squabble-free adventure.

Btw, I'm planning to be up in the Portland area in early April (tentatively arriving late on April 6, leaving early April 10) if any Portlanders want to get together for a ride...
Oof, Eroica weekend?
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Old 03-05-19, 03:16 PM
  #31  
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This was an amazing trip, and I will be posting more later with my pictures. For now, I just want to says thanks to all of my fellow tourists. It was great riding with each and every one of you.

When @RiddleOfSteel was forced to withdraw it left me as the young whippersnapper of the group by a full 10 years under the next most junior rider and put me in the humbling position of being both the youngest and the slowest member of the group. I offer this meme as much defense.

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Old 03-05-19, 05:06 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
This was an amazing trip, and I will be posting more later with my pictures. For now, I just want to says thanks to all of my fellow tourists. It was great riding with each and every one of you.

When @RiddleOfSteel was forced to withdraw it left me as the young whippersnapper of the group by a full 10 years under the next most junior rider and put me in the humbling position of being both the youngest and the slowest member of the group. I offer this meme as much defense.

This is an excellent meme, with flawless reasoning, I might add.

Glad you had a great time, Andy. Same for everyone else. As @gugie stated, never start a tour with a known issue, and thankfully I was wise enough to have it pop up again and call it off (frustratingly) before it became worse. If anything, being invited and doing as much prep work for this tour brought forward some issues on the "I'll deal with it" timeline. So I am thankful there. In addition to spending time with family (namely a young nephew and niece), I did C&V things: de-anodizing some more heavily-worn Sugino AT and Suntour Superbe Pro cranksets. They are both in that rare-for-the-era 175mm length and were about as cheap as can get, so any visual improvement was a lot better than what they started at. I tag-teamed a 6" buffing wheel (learning from near-zero there) and Mother's Mag and Aluminum polish and I am well on my way to success and eventual re-implementation of them on some bikes!
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Old 03-05-19, 05:16 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
Oh, you wanted THAT trail???
Hey, with all the snow on the ground, they all looked alike to me...
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Old 03-05-19, 08:39 PM
  #34  
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Kudos to @gugie for his organizing skills and to my fellow travelers for a terrific late winter tour. I'm very glad to be bringing fine weather wherever I go, but I don't feel like I should probably push my luck on that one too far. Thanks, particularly, to @Andy_K for the use of his Motobecane Grand Record, beautifully refinished and perfectly set up for my needs. I slapped on my own saddle (a Brooks C15 that was new out of the box prior to this tour; it felt great!), my pedals, my bags and lights, and didn't have to make any adjustments to seat post or bars. It was spot on and performed flawlessly (well, I did drop the chain on the one time I tried to go to the small ring, coming off of a ferry and facing a steep hill, but that was likely the fault of the operator).

Here's the Moto resting inside the Eugene train station against a beautifully finished radiator:


They also seem to grow 'em big in the PNW:


And during a rest on the road:


Bob had a big-a$$ saddle bag on his beautiful Jack Taylor:

@northbend manages to go very fast without his feet actually touching the pedals:


The @gugie himself:


Bill, @gugie, @northbend, and yours truly at a sunny and cold stopping point:
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Old 03-05-19, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
Oof, Eroica weekend?
Oof, wrong dates! I will be in Portland the week prior, Sat-Wed, 3/30-4/3.
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Old 03-06-19, 01:25 AM
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Ok, my report, interspersed with random pictures....

Day 1 started with a repeat of the pre-ride @gugie and I attempted on Presidents Day, except this time the ferry was running. The roads between Wilsonville and the ferry were worthy of a scenic bikeway (though they arenít officially part of it) but the hills were just as demoralizing as I remembered. Sorry, no pics of this segment. The ferry ride was a fun diversion.



While on the ferry Mark looked for breakfast spots and came up with what he and I thought was an obvious winner. For some reason not everyone in the group shared our enthusiasm, so we didnít eat here.



After lunch we had a few miles of chipseal and broken pavement to get to the start of the official scenic bikeway route. Once on the route, we had many more miles of rough chipseal but mostly flat roads. Somewhere around mile 50 I completely bonked. I had been trying to stay with the group most of the day (probably my first mistake). At some point we had a fast downhill that dropped us into a crosswind where @Dfrost and I came unhitched from the group. A mile or so after that I lost Davidís wheel and sunk into my own suffering. After a short break for emergency calories and mental regrouping I was back on the bike and David came back to look for me and helped me through the rest of the day. Without his support and encouragement I likely wouldnít have made it to day 2. Even with his support and encouragement I was debating between getting on a train home in Salem or pushing on and getting on a train home in Albany.

We saw multiple cars covered in overgrowth on Day 1. Hereís one of them.



That evening we walked past the state capitol en route to dinner. We decided that the Oregon capitol building is definitely Shimano compatible, and we think hyperglide, not uniglide.



The morning of day 2 I felt like death eating a cracker, but decided to see if I could get to Albany. Eugene seemed out of the question. After repeating the previous dayís mistake of trying to stay with the faster riders early on, I soon fell back and rode at what I would describe as a touring pace with Dfrost. By the time we reached the lunch stop in Jefferson I was starting to feel pretty good and began to entertain thoughts of making it all the way to the dayís planned stop in Corvallis, thinking I could ride the 12 miles or so back to Albany for the train the next day.

After lunch we had the only sustained sections of crosswind and head wind on the entire trip, but gugie went into hero mode a shepherded a small group of us through it. I innocently offered to take a pull about 1 block before we turned out of the wind, but he didnít fall for it. By the time we got to Corvallis I was miraculously feeling better than I had since lunch on day 1.

Hereís a picture of Bob taking a picture in Corvallis.



Somehow that evening I managed to sell the group on a plan to take a flatter and shorter route on day 3, and Mark already shared the story of how Clifford fixed it for us. At the very start of day 3 I repeated my pacing mistake again (Iím a slow learner) but the group dropped me anyway. This day turned out to be Davidís turn to have a tough day, but being a veteran rider he had a plan of mentally breaking the route into four 12-mile rides, which worked very well for what I had left in the tank also. Before I knew it we had reached our destination in Eugene.

Here is the actual bike path Clifford led us to.





Iíve got our final total at 172 miles. We started with seven riders and finished with eight. Iíd say thatís a pretty successful tour.
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Old 03-06-19, 10:09 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by gaucho777
Oof, wrong dates! I will be in Portland the week prior, Sat-Wed, 3/30-4/3.
Bettah!

We should start a new thread...
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Old 03-06-19, 03:45 PM
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And finally, some of Bob Freeman's pictures.

First, the bikes:


Bill's bike, built by his son-in-law



Andy's Sequoia. Like Tin Cup's 7 iron, it's never failed him.



Dave's Miyata 912. Didn't get a stand alone glamour shot



Another from Andy's stable, the Motobecane Grand Record with pitch perfect powder coat, loaner ridden by Neal. Neal commented it fit him perfectly with almost no adjustment.



My Raleigh Grander Sportier. I've ridden it with this setup a few tours now.



Matt's Woodrup, the last one Kevin Sayles made. Oof! Real beauty. Built around 700c x 38 for speed and comfort. Same bike that Matt took from his doorstop to visit his son in Colorado last year.



Bob's 1969 Jack Taylor Tour of Great Britain. Note the old school Baycliff leather saddlebag. Only Bob Freeman would take a show bike on a three day tour.
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Old 03-06-19, 03:51 PM
  #39  
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^^^ Bob's got a few to choose from,
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Old 03-06-19, 04:16 PM
  #40  
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Finally, the pictures of old guys ended and the pictures of bikes began

All very cool bikes, and a cool trip.

The Jack Taylor though. Makes me smile.
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Old 03-06-19, 04:33 PM
  #41  
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So, why is this the "LAST" winter tour of the Willamette?

Rather than the "FIRST"?

You guys just barely missed a rare late snow storm. But, if one watches the weather, it is not uncommon to be able to get a few days of clear weather mid-winter/spring.

Of course, that means less that a week or so between confirming the trip and taking off.

I'm always up for meeting people on one of my northbound/southbound treks.

I'm not that fast, but catch me pulling a trailer or hauling cargo, and it will slow me down somewhat.
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Old 03-06-19, 04:52 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
So, why is this the "LAST" winter tour of the Willamette?

Rather than the "FIRST"?
Cliff, getting 8 or so people's schedule lined up means you have to plan at least a month in advance. Guessing what PNW weather will be in early March is audacious. I'd bet that if we did this 30 years in a row, past or present, maybe two would have sunny weather all three days, maybe 4-5 might have little or no rain on any days. You can call it the first, I'll call it the last. In this case, I think it's the same!
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Old 03-06-19, 05:18 PM
  #43  
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A few more of Bob's pics. He was up and down the peloton every day taking great pictures.



Here comes the ferry



Neal's applying some torque!



Bob's great grandfather built this house in 1910, his grandfather lived in it when Bob was a kid. We stayed in Jefferson for some time while Bob was walking around reliving his childhood. You could tell he was a bit moved by the experience.



We started seeing snow on the ground 20 miles outside of Eugene. Cliff met up with us a few miles before we got to this park. We didn't have to ride through the snow, but it was fun seeing it as we were concerned that the roads would not be clear by the time we got to Eugene.



fini
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Old 03-06-19, 05:48 PM
  #44  
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Yes, I was informed about 3 days in advance.

But, I do realize the complexity of logistics for some. Although, perhaps it could be simplified if done in 2 days, thus one only needs to find a free weekend.

I think Buena Vista/Talbot is close to my halfway point. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any 5-star hotels in Talbot, although I did meet the local pastor who seemed quite nice, and might allow camping near the church.

Of course, you were on a bit of a tight schedule to catch the early afternoon train.

Portland --> Albany
Albany --> Eugene

That would start with a long leg and most of the hills, and end with a pretty easy flat leg, especially if one sticks to 7-mile lane south of Albany.

Oof, snowing again. You guys just snuck in between storms.
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Old 03-06-19, 05:51 PM
  #45  
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Just for the heck of it, I decided to check Eugene's climate data going back 10 years on March 4, the day of our arrival (and departure):

Year, High, Low, Precipitation
2019: H: 43.0, L: 23.0, P: .00
2018: H: 48.9, L: 30.2, P: .02
2017: H: 46.9, L: 35.1, P: .15
2016: H: 61.0, L: 37.0, P: .01
2015: H: 57.0, L: 26.2, P: .00
2014: H: 64.9, L: 44.1, P: .01
2013: H: 55.0, L: 28.0, P: .00
2012: H: 48.9, L: 36.0, P: .00
2011: H: 55.9, L: 39.9, P: .58
2010: H: 55.0, L: 41.0, P: T
2009: H: 48.9, L: 30.0, P: .02

So it rains often on that day though not always a lot. Pretty wide temperature swing, too. We managed to catch the lowest temps since 2009.
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Old 03-06-19, 05:51 PM
  #46  
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So, did you actually take the ferry anyplace, or did you just pay them a couple of bucks for a river tour?
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Old 03-06-19, 06:08 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
Yes, I was informed about 3 days in advance.

But, I do realize the complexity of logistics for some. Although, perhaps it could be simplified if done in 2 days, thus one only needs to find a free weekend.

I think Buena Vista/Talbot is close to my halfway point. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any 5-star hotels in Talbot, although I did meet the local pastor who seemed quite nice, and might allow camping near the church.

Of course, you were on a bit of a tight schedule to catch the early afternoon train.

Portland --> Albany
Albany --> Eugene

That would start with a long leg and most of the hills, and end with a pretty easy flat leg, especially if one sticks to 7-mile lane south of Albany.

Oof, snowing again. You guys just snuck in between storms.
Yeah, sorry about the late inform, it came to me that you were near our route! I didn't want to publish our tour, worried it would be an "all-comers". That and there are only 10 hooks on the train back...

For those that don't know, Cliff is famous in our area for clamping a trailer onto his bike, throwing one or two in the trailer, then riding up to Portland in one day that took us 3, showing those bikes at Velocult the next, then riding back in one day. For some reason he doesn't think there's anything remarkable in that...

And Cliff, if you follow back through the posts, it was just doable for some of us to do the 172 miles in 3 days. Two would have been too much of a stretch, even if we straightened the route out significantly. And this was a bike tour, not a rush to get to Eugene.
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Old 03-06-19, 06:10 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Just for the heck of it, I decided to check Eugene's climate data going back 10 years on March 4, the day of our arrival (and departure):

Year, High, Low, Precipitation
2019: H: 43.0, L: 23.0, P: .00
2018: H: 48.9, L: 30.2, P: .02
2017: H: 46.9, L: 35.1, P: .15
2016: H: 61.0, L: 37.0, P: .01
2015: H: 57.0, L: 26.2, P: .00
2014: H: 64.9, L: 44.1, P: .01
2013: H: 55.0, L: 28.0, P: .00
2012: H: 48.9, L: 36.0, P: .00
2011: H: 55.9, L: 39.9, P: .58
2010: H: 55.0, L: 41.0, P: T
2009: H: 48.9, L: 30.0, P: .02

So it rains often on that day though not always a lot. Pretty wide temperature swing, too. We managed to catch the lowest temps since 2009.
It would be interesting to see what it was like all three days...
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Old 03-06-19, 06:36 PM
  #49  
Andy_K 
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
Although, perhaps it could be simplified if done in 2 days, thus one only needs to find a free weekend.
Two days wouldn't give me nearly enough time to complain about how sore my body was.
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Old 03-06-19, 06:51 PM
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-holiday76
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looks like fun!
Next year I'm in. Let me know what the dates are
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