One of our very first blog posts was a breakdown of last years Perry Roubaix gravel ride in the lovely Willamette Valley. Well, it’s back! It took more than Snowpocalypse 2014 to stop it, though it did force a 2 week postponement. It was worth the wait however, as the weather turned out to be as good as one can hope for in Western Oregon in February.
Team Metropolis rolled out with a good size group, including some of the usual suspects as well as some new faces. Repeat offenders included the Mayor (yours truly) the Utard, Lil’ Snacky, D-Bone and the Schwartz; as well as recent additions Shriner (he neglected to wear his fez) and Ulander, who brought a special top secret guest who I don’t know well enough to give a juvenile nickname to.
Clearly fascinating. The Shriner, the Schwartz, Ulander and El Utardo. Photo courtesy of Lil’ Snacky.
Lil’ Snacky and the Utard were planning on using this as an early shakedown ride for the Oregon Outback, so they were riding their respective off road touring rigs (see in foreground above ). The rest of us were riding a mix of cyclocross, touring, road and randonneur bikes.
The weather was promising on the drive down, but we ran into a thick fog bank a few miles from the start. We battled the fog for the first ten or so miles before breaking out into more typical Oregon cloudy skies.
One of many lovely pastoral views.
The route is a big loop, and does a good job of avoiding towns and busy roads; though you are never far from homes and farms. Surface is probably 60-70% gravel with the rest paved.
I missed my chance to take a picture of this sign last year.
There were approximately 60 to 80 riders at the start line. A few (including Jonathan Maus of Bikeportland.org) had ridden down from Portland. The rest of us were either not that tough or not that stupid, depending on your perspective.
Fortunately, the weather held up until the bitter end and the sun even made a brief appearance.
Snacky’s game face. Or maybe she’s eating a gummi bear.
All in all, a good way to spend a February day. Beats doing yard work.