Pioneer Century

June 5, 2011

I would have loved to be able to claim that I completed the Pioneer Century ride organized by the Portland Wheelmen. In their wisdom the wheelmen decided to offer other supported distances for mortals like myself. And of course riding a single speed fixed wheel bike is not exactly a good ideas for long distances that include a hill longer than 400 yards. But the 32 mile ride had only a few little slopes and using my technique of sprinting up the hills to hold cadence as long as possible proved workable. In fact it often surprised multi-derailleur riders who had just swooped past me on the downslope only to have me whiz past on the up slope as they changed down a cog or nine or even chainwheel.

It is a great event. hundreds of riders whizzing about the countryside around Canby. All ages, shapes and sizes, proving that cycling is a truly egalitarian activity. Superb weather greeted us all whatever distance we chose, and the mood everywhere was happy and celebratory.

And thanks to the drivers of the county who tolerated long lines of riders on narrow roads. Thanks to all the volunteers who chopped fruit, schlepped water, gave directions, fixed bikes for free, and generally made it the huge success it was.

Next year I might just try a longer distance. I’ll have to speak to Loretta…


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