I’ve been patching together some of these segments to produce routes of about 100K which I’ll nominate as permanents to RUSA. This will give us the option of riding these routes as we used to or we can plan ahead and ride them as perms for RUSA credit if we want. (see? I'm still rando-correct)
The weatherman said things were looking relatively good for Saturday: Freezing over night, morning fog, but sunny and high of 41(Woo Hoo). Wind out of the NW but most important, no rain in sight! I sent a note to a couple pals saying I was going to test ride the Tono 100K route and would be glad for company. Brian shot a note back saying he’d meet me at S’Bux in Centralia about 9:00ish.
I laid out my gear the night before, and Chairman Meow was on that stinky wool jersey like a duck on a June bug.
I continued to round up cold weather gear but he never budged. I guess he just wanted to make sure the riding togs were nice and warm for me in the morning. What a pal.
I was purposely vague about the start time for a couple reasons: In case it was icy (which it was)
We met up at close to nine, but had a cuppa and a little talk. The roads looked good in Centralia but out in the sticks; Hanaford, Skookumchuck, and Johnson creek roads would probably take a little longer to thaw if they were going to.
We rolled out probably closer to 10:00 than nine, and though we were putzing and chatting along, in no time at all (or so it seemed) we were at the steam plant.
Steam plant/Mt Rainer)
I dressed just right, never overheated much (this route is pretty flat) but the wind on the cheeks was ‘bracing’ shall we say.
I forgot my helmet again!
(Global warming? Their snowman hasn't even melted yet!)
Past the Steam plant we turned onto Tono road, known for its series of rollers. It's generally thought that they are easier coming from this direction rather than from the north. They warm me up either way.
Coming into Bucoda I needed to eat. I had a Clif bar in my H-bar bag that I think might be older than me. Something a little more fresh was appealing. We went into the store and about the times I started perusing the chips and candy bars Brian said “You know, we could go next door to Joes Place (the local watering hole), they have good food.”
Two cups of coffee later it is always just a bit of a shock to step from a cozy nest (did I mention it was warm?) out into the chill air of a winter morning; the first few minutes back on the bike seem more challenging than the start. Soon enough we were headed up Skookumchuck creek, generally into the teeth of the wind that had been building through the morning. Not gale force by any means but a steady if gentle headwind always feels like you are riding with your brake rubbing, or there’s sand in your hubs; No coasting or you come to a stop.
Into Rainer we elected not to stop, the day was going by a little faster than we were and Brian wanted to get back in time to take in the Apple Cup.
At the junction of Waldrick and Old 99 we decided to short cut the course and head south. Soon enough we were back on SR 507 rolling into Centralia, and for stretches we even had a bit of a tail wind. Our short cut saved us about 7.5 miles, still we got in just short of 60 miles, and had a good time at it.
I will do a little editing and then send this off to our club permanent coordinator. It is going to need a few information controls but navigation should be pretty simple.
Next up the Centralia Bordeaux 100.