The gloomiest/wettest/coldest spring in my four years in the PNW continues. Although it's been a week since the trip down to Oregon with some fantastically sunny/dry/warm-ish days in between, I'm currently sitting here listening to the sound of raindrops pattering against my living room window while I type this.
I'll warn you now that there aren't that many photos of the ride itself. Constant driving rain has a way of encouraging me to keep my camera safely stowed away, especially when the roads are loose and bumpy. The Oregon Gravel Epic has been on the plans for the better part of a year and was meant to be one of the highlight rides of this season. With that in mind, you'd think that somebody that plans as meticulously as I do and has as much clothing for various conditions would be prepared for pretty much anything Mother Nature threw at us, but we'd both be mistaken. I was a victim of my own over-confidence in the forecast for shorts weather. Don't be like me; pack EVERYTHING.
ALL. THE. CLOTHES.
We woke up on Saturday morning to strong coastal winds, and though it was overcast and dry. That lasted for all of about 30 minutes or so because as soon as we left paved roads and hit the first dirt section, the sky sprung a leak and continued to empty itself for the entire morning. Long story short, Alex and I bailed out at the first aid station and took the option to do the short course instead of the full monty. When the organizer tells you that first aid will be at least an hour away if things go sideways and you're soaked to the bone with not enough foul weather gear, common sense and self-preservation should probably triumph over ego. It's a shame because despite the wet spring hampering my ability to get regular training in, my body felt fine and wouldn't have struggled with the terrain or ride profile at all. I had a handlebar bag full of om nom nom and with three total aid stations, it wouldn't have been a problem keeping up with caloric intake. There's always next year.
The good news is that we had plenty of fun off the bike hanging out with Alex's college roommate and his family and running into the usual spots in Portland. One of the highlights was Alex running into a former riding buddy who knows the owner of VeloCult and getting to venture down into the basement. If you've been there and seen the stuff that's hanging in the rafters on the main level, just imagine the cool shit that's packed away downstairs.